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This week’s edition!

Governor’s Address: Medicaid Expansion Must Be Funded Responsibly

When I took office, MaineCare was running biennial budget deficits of more than $200 million, and our state owed the hospitals $750 million in Medicaid debt. I campaigned on paying the hospitals without raising taxes, and I did. It was one of our signature accomplishments.

My administration has worked hard to bring our state’s finances back from a sea of red ink and into the black. MaineCare is now on sustainable financial footing. It has not run a shortfall in years, and the hospitals have been repaid in full. This is a turnaround of nearly one billion dollars.

But our state continues to devote significant resources to healthcare and social services. DHHS funding accounts for 34 percent of General Fund spending, and MaineCare spending alone accounts for 23 percent of the General Fund. It has tripled as a percentage of the General Fund budget over 30 years.

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S and J Enterprises supports St. Mary’s Nutrition Center

S and J Enterprises, LLC recently donated $1,000 to St. Mary’s Nutrition Center. The donation will be divided evenly between the center’s Food Pantry and Summer Youth Gardening Program. Pictured here with Eliza Huber Weiss and Fiston Mubalama Lowatiwiya of SMNC are S and J Enterprises co-owners Scott Berry (l.) and Jeffrey Stewart (r.).

 

Troop 121 offers curbside Christmas tree pick-up

Troop members Jacob Clark, Jack Wang, Elias Libby-Richards, and Jordan Burn prepare the mailing for their seventh annual Christmas tree recycling program.Troop 121 offers curbside Christmas tree pick-up

Again this year, Auburn-based Boy Scout Troop 121 will offer curbside pick-up of Christmas trees in the cities of Lewiston and Auburn. While Auburn and Lewiston still provide locations for free disposal of discarded Christmas trees, they no longer collect the trees at curbside.

For a minimum donation of $5, the scouts will pick-up Christmas trees on the weekend of January 5 and 6. Trees should not be placed curbside until the morning of January 5.

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Auburn UU welcomes new members

The First Universalist Church of Auburn welcomed several new members in November. Pictured here (l. to r.) are Mary Sylvester, Emily McConville, Rev. Dr. Jodi Hayashida, Dawn Westerfield, and Membership Chair Paula Spruill. The group learned about the history and principles of Unitarian Universalism and opportunities to minister within the church. New member sessions are offered by the Membership Committee twice per year. For more information, call 783-0461 or visit www.auburnuu.org.

 

Blue Devils squeeze out win

Lewiston High School JV player Malik Foster drives through traffic on his way to the basket recently as the Blue Devils hosted the Deering High School Rams. The Lewiston JV team trailed the entire game before pulling within a couple of points and then squeezing out a 57-56 win with a last-second three-pointer. (Photo by Nathan Tsukroff)

 

Governor’s Address: Thank You for Letting Me Serve as Your Governor

As we approach the winter holidays, we often look back and assess what we have accomplished and set goals for the coming year. We accomplished much during my administration, but there is more to be done.

As my time in office comes to a close, let me first thank my wife Ann for her service to the people of Maine as First Lady. You have made Maine proud, and our family is proud of you.

I also thank our children. I appreciate my family’s willingness to share my time with the duties of being Governor. It’s a difficult balance.

As a homeless kid living on the streets of Lewiston, I never imagined I would one day make it to the Blaine House. I came into office saying I will put people before politics, and I have tried to do that. Politics as usual puts our most vulnerable Mainers at risk.

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Senator Collins participates in Wreaths Across America ceremony at U.S. Capitol

U.S. Senator Susan Collins recently participated in the Wreaths Across America wreath laying ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. Beginning in 2007, and each December since, Wreaths Across America, based in Columbia Falls, Maine, has placed a remembrance wreath at the Capitol. The wreath is adorned with flags representing each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as the POWs-MIA flag. It is decorated with a red bow.  

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GAHS hires new Executive Director

Katie Lisnik, with Dasher

The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society has named Katie Lisnik, formerly of Barre, Vermont, as its new Executive Director. A Maine native, Lisnik has relocated to Auburn and began her new position on November 15. She succeeds Steven Dostie, who retired this summer after 38 years of service.

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Wicked Illustrations hosts solstice celebration and exhibit

Part of artist Melanie Therrien’s Tree of Life series, “Solstice Tree” is among the works that will be on display at the event.

December 21 is the official first day of winter and the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice. Wicked Illustrations Studio and Gallery in Lewiston will host a traditional solstice celebration featuring an art exhibit inspired by the season on Friday, December 21, from 7 to 9 p.m.

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Concert pianist performs at Franco Center this weekend

Diane Walsh

The distinguished American concert pianist Diane Walsh will make her Gendron Franco Center debut on Friday, December 21 at 7 p.m. The latest entry in the center’s 2018-19 Piano Series, the program will reflect Walsh’s vast and varied repertoire, featuring works by J.S. Bach, Liszt, Brahms, and “A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979” by American composer George Crumb.

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