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
- King and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from the 1st District, asked the U.S. Navy to supply a ship to take tourists between Portland and Nova Scotia. Officials said Thursday that they don’t have a particular ship in mind, but we may have gottten a hint from Dennis Bailey, a political operative who worked for the last operator and tweeted the Wikipedia page for the USNS Puerto Rico, which used to ferry passengers to Hawaii.
- Another interesting, rural Maine Senate race is shaping up, with Republican Gary Knight of Livermore Falls announcing a bid against Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford. Knight served in the House for eight years through 2014 and was a top voice on tax issues, while Patrick is a throwback labor Democrat going for his fourth and final term. — Michael Shepherd
- Stranded island: How a year with no taxes, elections or governing endangered Isle au Haut — Abigail Curtis, Bangor Daily News
- Transgender rules key to fate of LePage’s education chief pick — Christopher Cousins, BDN
- Think tank ‘oinks’ at government spending — Scott Thistle, Sun Journal
- Bowdoin grad, ‘Black Lives Matter’ activist enters Baltimore mayoral race — Seth Koenig, BDN
- Sanders tied with Clinton nationwide: poll — Bradford Richardson, The Hill
- Top takeaways from N.H. Democratic debate — Cooper Allen and Paul Singer, USA Today
- Shkreli laughs off questions from lawmakers, calls them ‘imbeciles’ — Sarah N. Lynch and David Ingram, Reuters
Do you want ‘to be near’ Donald Trump?
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