King to CVS: Make overdose-reversing drug available without prescription

Good morning from a snowy Augusta, which should be sleepy on Friday with just one legislative committee doing work. Here’s the Maine Emergency Management Agency’s guide to not falling on snow or ice.

Gov. Paul LePage has livened up quiet news days before, and we’re waiting for his State of the State address to be delivered (on paper) to the Maine Legislature. We don’t know when it will come. A spokesman told us earlier this week that “we’ll give you a heads up when it’s ready.”

A slow Friday afternoon would be the perfect time for a news dump, ruining reporters’ nighttime plans. (I’m pretty much just dog-sitting for my parents. Meet Rosie. I lead an exciting life. Here’s my soundtrack.) — Michael Shepherd

King: CVS should take ‘huge step forward’ to help fight drug deaths

U.S. Sen. Angus King sent a letter to CVS Health on Wednesday asking the company to make an overdose-reversing drug available in Maine without a prescription

The pharmacy chain recently added Ohio to a list of more than a dozen states where naloxone — branded as Narcan and often carried by police — is available over the counter. It has been praised by advocates who say it’ll immediately help more people save the lives of others who overdose on heroin or other opioids.

Maine is in the throes of a heroin crisis: Drug overdose deaths killed 174 people here in the first nine months of 2015 and the state was on pace for up to 250 for the year, which Attorney General Janet Mills has said would be a record.

“Allowing Mainers to easily get this life-saving drug from their local CVS Pharmacy would be a huge step forward,” King wrote. — Michael Shepherd

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Do you want ‘to be near’ Donald Trump?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is well ahead in polls on Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire, but after his loss in the Iowa caucuses, he’s not leaving anything to chance.

The boasting billionaire businessman is trying to woo volunteers to the state with a decidedly Trumpian email pitch, according to the New York Times.

An email to supporters offered “free lodging and meals” for supporters who come to the state, but there were also some fringe benefits (yes, these are real):

  • “Potential opportunities to be near Mr. Trump”
  • “Travel expenses considered on a case-by-case basis”
  • “Bragging Rights. You helped Make America Great Again!”

New Hampshire’s not far away. If I’m not writing the Daily Brief on Monday, you’ll know where to find me. — Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.