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Tension thaws between Maine lobstermen and feds over plan to protect right whales

A group representing Maine’s lobstermen said it’s now willing to work with the federal government on a plan to protect right whales after withdrawing its support for the plan this summer.

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association is one of the key stakeholders in an effort to better protect the North Atlantic right whales, which number only about 400 and are vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear. A federal plan that’s being developed to help save the whales would remove miles of lobster trap rope from the waters off Maine.

Kurds evacuate Syrian town in 1st pullout of ceasefire

AKCAKALE, Turkey — Dozens of vehicles rolled out of a besieged Syrian border town, evacuating Kurdish fighters and civilians and opening the way for Turkish-backed forces to take over in the first pullback under a 3-day-old U.S.-brokered cease-fire.

Kurdish officials say the evacuation of the town of Ras al-Ayn will be followed by a withdrawal of their forces from a broader section of the border with Turkey, a central requirement of the ceasefire deal.

Caught up in Trump impeachment probe, US diplomats fight back

WASHINGTON — Three years of simmering frustration inside the State Department is boiling over on Capitol Hill as a parade of current and former diplomats testify to their concerns about the Trump administration’s unorthodox policy toward Ukraine.

Over White House objections, the diplomats are appearing before impeachment investigators looking into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and they’re recounting stories of possible impropriety, misconduct and mistreatment by their superiors.

Boom year for acorns turns Maine into a squirrel paradise

It’s a boom year for acorns in Maine, where parks and lawns are covered in the squirrel-attracting nuts.

The bumper crop of acorns is the result of a phenomenon that happens every two to five years. The Portland Press Herald reports scientists have struggled to explain why these irregular “mast years” sometimes flood communities with the acorns.

Bangor Daily News honored for best website by Maine Press Association

The Bangor Daily News has been named the best daily newspaper website in the state by the Maine Press Association.

In all, BDN staff took home 52 awards for writing, photography, videography, design and advertising given Saturday night at the association’s annual banquet. The event was held this year in South Portland.

Ohio University suspends organizations amid hazing probe

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio University says two more fraternities have been suspended amid allegations of hazing.

The university said Thursday that Pi Kappa Phi and Alpha Kappa Psi have been suspended and the men’s rugby team received a cease-and-desist order this week.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the university has fielded allegations of hazing against a total of 16 student organizations, nine of them traditional fraternities, two business fraternities, three sororities and the school’s marching band and rugby club.

22 months in solitary violated Maine inmate’s rights, but he’s not entitled to damages, judge rules

A Maine State Prison inmate whose due process rights were violated when he spent 22 months in solitary confinement is not entitled to injunctive relief or damages, a Superior Court judge has ruled. Douglas Burr had hoped for a decision that would have limited the number of days prisoners could be held in segregation and the reasons for placing them there.

In her 18-page ruling, Justice Michaela Murphy found that Burr had a protected interest in not being confined in segregation without due process.

OSP investigating after tanker crashes, catches fire

LEBANON- The Lebanon Highway Patrol Post is investigating a single-vehicle that took place on US-42 in Warren County Sunday morning.

According to a release, a white 2017 Peterbilt pulling a tank trailer was traveling northbound on US-42 when it traveled off the road and into a ditch.

The impact caused the fuel tank to ignite and was engulfed in flames.

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