Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Opportunity Maine Enacted

The state legislature has voted overwhelmingly to pass the "Opportunity Maine" initiative as a bill. The Maine House passed the initiative unanimously, 142-0, and the Senate passed it 27-8. Now, students who stay in Maine after they graduate will be able to receive up to $32,000 towards payment of their college debt.

Opportunity Maine will also help workers who have lost their jobs and need re-education for Maine's rapidly shifting industrial and employment climate. Moreover, businesses will also have the option of claiming the tax credit for employees they hire who are themselves eligible for the tax credit.

Portland’s League of Young Voters spearheaded a grassroots effort that gathered 73,000 signatures to put the initiative on the ballot. Then, the legislature passed the measure as a bill, with support from all over the political map. It's only the sixth time in Maine's history that lawmakers have enacted a citizens’ initiative.

Mercy Hospital Knife Fight
Michael Martin was arrested on June 8th after he was involved in a fight at Mercy Hospital. Martin, a 19-year-old Portland resident, pulled a knife during the fight, then fled. Police apprehended him down the street, and he was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, and trafficking of dangerous knives. The last charge applies to the knife displayed. Gravity-fed and spring-fed knives are strictly prohibited.

Dog Bites Man on State Street
Police received a call regarding an animal bite on June 10th, a little after noon. A woman pet-sitting a dog for a friend took the dog and went to visit a male friend at 144 State Street. When the man attempted to pet the dog, he was bitten, causing him to go to Mercy Hospital for treatment.

Assault and Grow Lights
Steven Baker, 48, was arrested at his Rackleff Street apartment after an argument with a female roommate regarding rent money. The roommate claimed Baker grabbed her on the biceps, causing an assault charge to be placed against him.
He was also charged with marijuana cultivation because police arriving at the scene saw several plants with grow lights in the apartment.


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