The Coastal Packet: Down East Notes

Wednesday, February 25

Down East Notes

Bangor Daily News - Officials from the Maine Education Association, which has 24,000 members, gathered teachers from across the state in Augusta to argue that LePage’s laser focus on cutting the state’s income tax will come at the expense of Maine’s public schools “We want you to know that we believe the tax changes will devastate our schools, our teachers and the future of our state,” said Maine Education Association President Lois Kilby-Chesley.

Bangor Daily News - Maine has the lowest adult incarceration rate per capita in the nation. In 2011, Maine’s rate of 147 inmates per 100,000 adult residents was the lowest in the country and more than three times lower than the national average of 492 per 100,000 residents. However, while the crime rate has fallen substantially, the number of offenders held in Maine’s county jails more than doubled from 1993 to 2011, driven by mandatory sentences and an increase in offenders choosing jail time to lessen their fines, which are often a mixture of court fees and financial penalties for breaking the law. Both have been on the increase in recent years to fill state coffers. Arrests for drug crimes rose by more than 8 percent between 2003 and 2012, according to the 2014 Maine Crime and Justice Databook. Most of the increase was attributable to drug possession. Arrests for sales and manufacturing declined during that time. About half the possession arrests in 2012 involved marijuana. Arrests for possession of synthetic narcotics are on the rise.

Press Herald - Standard & Poor’s downgraded its long-term outlook for the University of Maine System from stable to negative, citing declining enrollment and high turnover among leadership at the seven campuses.

Polar dip postponed by polar conditions - The eighth annual Portland Polar Dip has been rescheduled to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 14, at East End Beach. The annual event was postponed Feb. 21 because of ice in Casco Bay.

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