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Election being held to fill seat of the late Sen. Donnelly

ARLINGTON, Mass. (AP) — A special election is being held to fill the state Senate seat left vacant by the death of Kenneth Donnelly.

Democrat Cindy Friedman, who served as Donnelly's chief of staff, won a three-way Democratic primary last month in the district that includes Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn and much of Lexington.

No Republicans ran in the primary, so the only other candidate on Tuesday's special election ballot will be Ian Jackson from the Green Rainbow party.

Donnelly, a retired firefighter, represented the district from 2009 until his death in April from a brain tumor.

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DA: Officer shot man involved in domestic altercation

CHELMSFORD, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say a police officer responding to a report of a violent domestic altercation shot a man in Massachusetts.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan says officers arrived at a Chelmsford home Sunday and found the man in a struggle with the woman.

Ryan says the man was using "dangerous" items such as shards of glass and hammers. She says police were unable to subdue him with a stun gun. Authorities say an officer fired two shots, hitting the man in the leg and grazing him in the head. He was hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Ryan says the woman was treated and released. One officer suffered facial injuries.

Authorities say charges are expected to be filed against the man.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave.

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Trump asserts all agree he has 'complete power' to pardon

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he has "complete power" to issue pardons, an assertion that comes amid investigations into Russian interference in last year's presidential election. It was one of many topics that appeared to occupy the president's mind as the day broke.

On a day when most people are ready to forget about the issues that nagged them during the week, Trump revved up. In an early morning flurry of 10 tweets, he commented about pardons, former presidential rival Hillary Clinton, son Don Jr., health care, the USS Gerald Ford, the attorney general and other issues.

Trump said in one of his 10 messages: "While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS."

The Washington Post recently reported that Trump has inquired about the authority he has as president to pardon aides, relatives or even himself in connection with the widening investigation into Russian interference in the election and whether any Trump associates were involved.

The president has long criticized leaks of information about the investigation, and has urged authorities to prosecute leakers.

Trump maintains that no crimes have been committed.

One of Trump's attorneys, Jay Sekulow, said the president has not discussed the issue of pardons with his outside legal team.

Sekulow reiterated that point Saturday evening. Speaking to reporters at the site of the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, he said that Trump's private legal team is "not researching it because it's not an issue."

"I don't know where this came from. There is nothing to pardon," said Sekulow, who added that "what's going on in Washington is an attack on the president."

Congressional lawmakers say eldest son and his former campaign chairman won't be forced to testify publicly next week as part of the Russia election meddling investigation. Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort are discussing undergoing a private interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee's chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, also say they are negotiating with Trump Jr. and Manafort about possibly turning over documents.

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and top White House aide, is scheduled to speak behind closed doors with the Senate intelligence committee on Monday and the House intelligence committee on Tuesday.

Trump defended his son in one of the tweets, saying he "openly gave his e-mails to the media & authorities whereas Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted (& acid washed) her 33,000 e-mails!" Trump's namesake has become a focus of the investigation after it was revealed that he, Kushner and Manafort met with Russian representatives at Trump Tower in June 2016. Trump Jr. later released email exchanges concerning the meeting on Twitter, after learning that The New York Times was about to publish them.

The FBI investigated Clinton for using a private email server as secretary of state. She turned over thousands of pages of emails to the government, but deleted thousands of others that she said were personal or unrelated to her work as the nation's top diplomat.

Trump also complained Saturday about a Washington Post report that the Russian ambassador to the U.S. said he discussed election-related issues with Jeff Sessions when the men met during the 2016 presidential race. Sessions, now the attorney general, at the time was a U.S. senator and foreign policy adviser to Trump.

Trump tweeted: "A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!"

The Post on Friday cited anonymous U.S. officials who described U.S. intelligence intercepts of Ambassador Sergey Kislyak's descriptions of his meetings with Sessions.

The Justice Department said Sessions stands by his previous assertion that he never had conversations with Russian officials about any type of interference with the election.

Trump also said "Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote to Repeal and Replace" the Obama-era health care law. An effort to advance legislation collapsed in the Senate earlier this week after several Republicans said they wouldn't vote for the bill.

Trump ended the tweet with "Tax Reform and Infrastructure. WIN!"

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Yemen's president sacks governor accused of ties to al-Qaida

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's president has sacked a governor who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for his ties with al-Qaida.

The presidential decree by Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi was issued on Sunday. Hadi removed the governor of the central province of al-Bayda, Nayef al-Qaysi, and named Salah al-Rassass as his replacement.

Bayda is a known al-Qaida hotbed, and where the U.S. had carried out airstrikes and raids in the past years hunting the group's operatives.

Al-Qaysi was classified by the U.S. as a "specially designated global terrorist" over allegations that he financed the group.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemen affiliate is known, has long been seen as the global network's most dangerous branch, and has been implicated in a number of attempted attacks on the U.S. homeland.

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US states vie for big Foxconn display panel factory

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn's plan to build a display panel factory in the U.S. has sparked a flurry of lobbying by states vying to land what some economic development officials say is a once-in-a-generation prize.

It's not just jobs that are up for grabs — possibly 5,000 alone at the plant and potentially thousands more at other unspecified U.S. operations the company intends to launch. Luring Foxconn to build the country's first liquid-crystal display factory would signal that the Midwest, which has hemorrhaged manufacturing jobs in recent decades, can diversify into again producing high-tech consumer gadgets often assembled in Asia.

The hunt for Foxconn is fluid and largely secretive, with Rust Belt governors and state officials declining to even confirm their interest due to non-disclosure agreements and Foxconn not elaborating much on why it will expand its U.S. footprint. But Foxconn, the biggest contract assembler of smartphones and other devices for Apple and other brands, has listed seven states with which it hopes to work. It's expected to announce plans to develop operations in at least three states by early August.

In two, the wooing of Foxconn has spilled into public view. Michigan lawmakers this month passed job-creation tax incentives, including one for companies that add at least 3,000 jobs that pay the average regional wage. Wisconsin legislators are considering new incentives, too.

Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana and Texas also appear to be in the mix for some sort of investment from Foxconn, which bought Japanese electronics brand Sharp last year. An examination shows positives and negatives in each state:


WISCONSIN: Republican Gov. Scott Walker has close ties to the White House, and President Donald Trump said during a visit to Wisconsin that "we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions and I think they're going to give the governor a very happy surprise very soon." House Speaker Paul Ryan met with Foxconn officials and hopes the company will build its big plant in his southeastern Wisconsin district, which isn't far from Chicago. Right-to-work Wisconsin has a manufacturing incentive that provides a dollar-for-dollar tax credit equal to 7.5 percent of reported income, nearly eliminating all corporate tax liability. Like some other states, it struggles to provide enough trained workers for available jobs.


MICHIGAN: Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has made Michigan more business-friendly by slashing business taxes, eliminating a machinery tax and boosting trades training. The auto state boasts the most engineers, per capita, and tax changes and loosened union requirements help it compete. But a decision to reduce tax incentives has kept it out of the mix for large-scale business expansions, say economic developers. The new "Good Jobs" incentives worth $200 million annually will let qualified companies keep employees' state income tax withholdings for 10 years. High electricity rates may be a hindrance, and some lawmakers have criticized the working conditions at Foxconn's factories in China.


PENNSYLVANIA: In January, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said Pennsylvania was a leading candidate for the factory, but that the company was also in discussions with other states. Gou's talk of hiring 50,000 workers for all of the company's U.S. operations has been met with some skepticism because the state's 2013 announcement that Foxconn would add 500 jobs at a high-tech manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania hasn't panned out. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf touts the state's low energy costs, major shipping ports and proximity to six of the 10 largest U.S. markets. Pennsylvania has an existing $1,000 tax credit per job created, but its corporate tax is high compared to those in other states. Business groups say it's difficult to find skilled workers in Pennsylvania and the state can be slow in issuing permits.


OHIO: Like other states, Ohio hasn't publicly disclosed any incentives it might offer Foxconn. Republican Gov. John Kasich made a hastily arranged trip to Japan in early June to pursue undisclosed business opportunities — the same weekend the governors of Wisconsin and Michigan were also there. Kasich hypes an improved business climate that includes the elimination of corporate income taxes and tangible personal property taxes on businesses, regulatory streamlining, and extensive higher education and workforce training networks. Despite recent economic improvements, Ohio was forced to close a projected $1 billion budget gap last month.


INDIANA: Republicans crow about cuts to the corporate tax rate and a favorable regulatory climate. But perhaps the biggest advantage Indiana offers is its central location, a recent $4.7 billion investment in infrastructure and comparatively low wages. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and other governors have generally been willing to push generous tax incentive packages. The right-to-work state in 2015 passed a religious objections law that critics contended would allow business owners to discriminate against gay people. A backlash, including from big business, prompted legislators to change it, but Indiana took a big public relations hit and the episode remains a black eye.


ILLINOIS: Illinois has no tax incentive program, but lawmakers hope to adopt one soon that would be similar to one the state used to have and would give tax breaks for creating and retaining jobs. Illinois has a central geographic location and an enviable transportation network, with international access by air from Chicago airports, a solid rail network and water access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The state's finances, however, are a mess. After two years without a state budget due to an impasse between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-led Legislature, legislators finally passed one this month by overriding the governor's vetoes. It included increases in the income and corporate taxes.


TEXAS: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott can offer incentives to job creators. Texas is about as pro-business as they come. After the Great Recession, Texas led the nation in economic growth, though it has fallen back due to the prolonged slump in oil prices. Former Gov. Rick Perry relished traveling to recruit major employers to Texas, even if it meant stealing jobs from other states. His successor, Abbott, has made fewer such trips but has aggressively continued Perry's "Texas is open for business" pitch to top companies. Its Sun Belt location used to be a plus, but Texas has been punished by droughts in recent years. Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled Legislature has begun embracing policies backed by social conservatives that top companies say is bad for business.

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State awards federally-funded grants to communities

BOSTON (AP) — Dozens of communities around Massachusetts are sharing $30.5 million in federally funded community development block grants.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's administration announced the awards last week, saying the money would help support housing, infrastructure and other projects that benefit low- and middle-income residents in cities and towns.

The grants will allow for the rehabilitation of 286 housing units around the state.

Other projects include food pantries, financial literacy programs and training in English as a second language.

Baker says the grants allow communities to respond to specific local needs.

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White House indicates Trump would sign new sanctions bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House indicated Sunday President Donald Trump would sign a sweeping Russia sanctions measure, which the House could take up this week, that requires him to get Congress' permission before lifting or easing the economic penalties against Moscow.

Lawmakers are scheduled to consider the sanctions package as early as Tuesday, and the bill could be sent to Trump before Congress breaks for the August recess. The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the newly appointed White House press secretary, said the administration is supportive of being tough on Russia and "particularly putting these sanctions in place."

"We support where the legislation is now, and will continue to work with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia until the situation in Ukraine is fully resolved," Sanders said on ABC's "This Week."

Congressional Republicans and Democrats announced Saturday that they'd settled lingering issues with the bill, which also includes stiff economic penalties against Iran and North Korea. The sanctions targeting Russia, however, have drawn the most attention due to Trump's persistent push for warmer relations with President Vladimir Putin and ongoing investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign.

"North Korea, Iran and Russia have in different ways all threatened their neighbors and actively sought to undermine American interests," according to a joint statement by California Republicans Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, and Ed Royce of California, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman. The bill the House will vote, they said, "will now exclusively focus on these nations and hold them accountable for their dangerous actions."

The White House had objected to a key section of the bill that would mandate a congressional review if Trump attempts to terminate the sanctions against Moscow. Top administration officials said the provisions infringed on the president's executive authority and tied his hands as he explores avenues of cooperation between the two former Cold War foes. But Sanders said the White House was able to work with the House and Senate to "make those changes that were necessary." She didn't specify what those changes were, however. The congressional review section wasn't altered substantially and Democrats were satisfied with the results.

Lawmakers included the review because of wariness in both parties over Trump's affinity for Putin. Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the top ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said Trump has been unwilling to respond seriously to Russia's belligerence, "leaving Congress with the urgent responsibility to hold Vladimir Putin accountable."

McCarthy had pushed to add the North Korea sanctions to the package. The House had overwhelmingly passed legislation in May to hit Pyongyang with additional economic penalties, but the Senate had yet to take up the bill.

The Senate last month passed sanctions legislation that targeted only Russia and Iran. Congressional aides said Senate Republicans may resist adding the North Korea penalties, but it remained unclear whether those concerns would derail the legislation. The aides were not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Although the legislation has widespread support, the bill stalled after clearing the Senate more than five weeks ago due to constitutional questions and bickering over technical details.

The House and Senate negotiators addressed concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia's energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow's benefit. The bill raises the threshold for when U.S. firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Russian businesses.

McCarthy and Royce said other revisions resolved concerns that the sanctions could have unintentionally complicated the ability of America's European allies to maintain access to energy resources outside of Russia.

The congressional review requirement in the sanctions bill is styled after 2015 legislation pushed by Republicans and approved in the Senate that gave Congress a vote on whether then-President Barack Obama could lift sanctions against Iran. That measure reflected Republican complaints that Obama had overstepped the power of the presidency and needed to be checked by Congress.

According to the bill, Trump is required to send Congress a report explaining why he wants to suspend or terminate a particular set of sanctions. Lawmakers would then have 30 days to decide whether to allow the move or reject it.

The North Korea sanctions bill included in the package bill cleared the House by a 419-1 vote, and House Republicans became frustrated the Senate didn't move quickly on the measure given the vast bipartisan support it received. The measure bars ships owned by North Korea or by countries that refuse to comply with U.N. resolutions against it from operating in American waters or docking at U.S. ports. Goods produced by North Korea's forced labor would be prohibited from entering the United States.

The sanctions package imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

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Report: Maine gov, staff spend more than $35K on DC trips

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine newspaper is reporting that Republican Gov. Paul LePage and his staff and security spent more than $35,000 on luxury hotels, restaurants and travel to Washington, D.C. over a three-month period.

The Portland Press Herald reports the expenses occurred last spring when LePage was attending meetings or seeking audience with members of Congress and President Donald Trump's administration.

The paper reports taxpayers paid for most of the travels. LePage's office tells the paper some expenses were reimbursed by outside groups such as the Republican Governors Association.

The Press Herald reports one trip included a four-night stay at the Trump International Hotel.

LePage spokesman Peter Steele says the governor was in Washington to advocate for Maine interests. He also says the rates at the Trump Hotel were "very competitive."

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New England official eyes vacant land for PawSox stadium

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island city official wants to bring the Pawtucket Red Sox to East Providence.

WPRI-TV reports that Joseph Botelho, a city councilman, is proposing that the team build a new baseball stadium on vacant land off Veterans Memorial Parkway on the water.

Botelho hasn't officially presented the idea to the PawSox because he wants to first get approval from the owners of the property— the Connecticut-based G&W Railroad.

Company officials say it's looking at all possibilities for what to do with the land.

PawSox officials said earlier this month that the club will respond to other cities seeking to present proposals for potential ballpark sites after working "cooperatively and exclusively" with city and state officials to keep the Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket.

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That stinks! Man seeking dropped phone falls in trash chute

WASHINGTON (AP) — A man looking for a dropped cellphone ended up in a stinky situation, tumbling into a building's trash chute where he had to be rescued.

Washington, D.C., Fire Spokesman Vito Maggiolo says the man was throwing out trash at an apartment building when he thought he dropped the cellphone in the chute. Maggiolo says the man leaned in to check and fell inside.

Maggiolo says the man was able to call 911 from inside the trash chute around 3 a.m. Sunday, though it wasn't clear what phone he used. A video posted online shows firefighter rescue crews pumping fresh air down the chute to the man through a hose. They eventually hauled him out using a harness.

Maggiolo says the man didn't appear hurt and was released on the scene.

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Police and Fire crews are working to extinguish a large brush fire in Pelham

PELHAM — Fire and Rescue crews are currently working on extinguishing a large brush fire in New Hampshire.

According to a Facebook post from the Pelham Police Depatment, the area of Windham Road and Dale Ave are currently shut down so crews can attack the blaze. 

The cause of the fire is unknown and it has not been determined when the roads will be open for travel.

The Pelham Fire Department and Police Department are asking motorists to seek alternate routes. 




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Officials: Inmate dies at Maine State Prison

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Authorities say a 47-year-old inmate has died at the state prison in Warren.

The state Department of Corrections confirmed the "anticipated death" of Charles L. Pettigrow at 3:45 p.m. Saturday.

The corrections department says the state police and the medical examiner have been notified and that they are reviewing the death.

Pettigrow had served 14 months of a sentence for theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, and for eluding an officer.
WCSH-TV reports that Pettigrow's sister says he was suffering from a rare blood cancer.

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Jordanian killed, Israeli wounded at Israeli embassy

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Three people, including an Israeli man, were wounded by gunfire Sunday in a residential building in the heavily fortified Israeli embassy compound in Jordan's capital, the kingdom's Public Security Directorate said.

Before the shooting, Jordanians had entered the apartment building for carpentry work, the statement said.

One of the Jordanians was critically wounded and later died at a hospital, according to Hala Akhbar, a news site linked to the Jordanian military. The site said the Israeli man was in "unstable" condition.

A Jordanian security official confirmed that a Jordanian had been killed and an Israeli wounded. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the incident with the media.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment.

The incident comes at a time of mounting tensions between Israel and the Muslim world over metal detectors Israel installed at a Jerusalem shrine revered by Muslims and Jews.

Jordan is the Muslim custodian of the site. On Friday, thousands of Jordanians staged an anti-Israeli protest in Amman.

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GOP senator: Trump should stop talking about Mueller probe

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Republican Sen. Susan Collins says President Donald Trump needs to stop publicly commenting on the investigation into coordination between the Russian government and his campaign.

Collins' comments concerned Robert Mueller, who has been appointed as special counsel to investigate Russian election interference. Trump recently told the New York Times it would be a "violation" if Mueller looked at his personal finances as part of the probe.

Collins, a political moderate, says on CBS's "Face the Nation" that it's time for Trump to "step back and not comment." She says Mueller is an "individual with the utmost integrity" and he must be allowed to complete his investigation.

Collins has challenged Trump and Senate Republicans a number of times. Recently, she has criticized efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

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Legislative panel in New England mulls raising 10 percent tax on marijuana

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — As the legalization of recreational marijuana sales in Maine nears, a legislative panel has spent months pondering the best way to tax pot to bring in state revenue, fund regulatory enforcement and discourage the illicit market.

In November, legalization of recreational marijuana was approved. Possession of recreational marijuana became legal this year, while the Legislature pushed back the legalization until at least February.

The referendum included licensing fees as well as a 10 percent tax on sales by retail marijuana stores and social clubs.

"I think we'll definitely be increasing (the tax) to some level," said Democratic Rep. Teresa Pierce, co-chair of the Legislature's joint marijuana legalization implementation committee.

But nothing's been decided yet, said Pierce, who added there may be a special session in October for a vote on a final bill. Committee co-chair Republican Sen. Roger Katz said the committee is meeting often and hopes to wrap up its work by September. The Legislature approved $200,000 for the committee and $1.4 million to the state for the costs of putting together marijuana regulations, including consultants.

Meanwhile, medical marijuana dispensaries and advocacy groups so far this year have reported spending more than $265,000 on lobbyists to sway officials. Legalize Maine has reported spending $32,000, while Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana has reported spending nearly $85,000.

The regulations will govern issues from the use of pesticides to growing for personal consumption, and the Legislature faces further votes on a bill to set up a system of labs to test marijuana. Pierce said that overall, the idea is to learn from states like Colorado.

"We are really trying to make sure we give opportunity for small grows to happen, so people who don't want to be big industrial marijuana producers can be in the market," Pierce said.

That could look like a market "almost akin to the craft beer market," she said.

One of the biggest issues ahead of lawmakers is deciding what the tax is, how it's structured and where the money will be directed.

Katz said the idea is for licensing fees to cover the state's regulatory and enforcement costs, with tax revenues possibly going toward public health programs to discourage youth marijuana consumption or efforts against impaired driving.

He said lawmakers share the concern of finding "that sweet spot so we're not driving people to the black market."

But the head of a marijuana legalization campaign is pushing back against talk of a 20 percent tax.

"Twenty percent is too high," said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine and a board member of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine. "The tax needs to be 10 percent to make sure we don't encourage an illicit market. Maine already has an active cannabis economy."

Maine is looking at examples from others states, some of which also allow local taxes. Colorado has a 15 percent excise tax and 15 percent sales tax on marijuana, while Oregon has a 17 percent sales tax and Washington has a 37 percent excise tax.

Alaska, meanwhile, has a tax of $50 per ounce (28 grams) of marijuana. And in Massachusetts, where voters also legalized recreational marijuana last fall, the Legislature sent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker a bill for a 10.75 percent excise tax on top of the state's 6.25 percent sales tax.

Taxes on medical marijuana, meanwhile, are generally lower. Medical marijuana in Maine is subject to a 5.5 percent sales tax.

How recreational marijuana "is going to relate to the existing medical marijuana program is a real issue for us," Katz said.

But, he said of Maine's medical marijuana program: "We're not going to touch that, we don't feel it's within our purview at the moment."

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University of Maine system to get grant for grad education

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The University of Maine system says it has received a $7.5 million grant to support changes to its graduate professional studies programs.

The grant funds a new initiative to create the Maine Center for Graduate Professional Studies which will tie law, business and public service programs.

The Harold Alfond Foundation says it's the largest private gift to an initiative involving the system's campuses. The foundation has awarded a total $9.25 million with the challenge of raising an additional $7.5 million from other sources.

The idea involves combining the MBA programs at the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine.

The Maine Center will also feature a program focusing on externships, executive education and incubator programs.

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Marine group disentangles humpback whale off Cape Cod

ORLEANS, Mass. (AP) — A marine conservation group says it has disentangled a young humpback whale off Cape Cod.

The Center for Coastal Studies says a charter vessel discovered the whale just outside Nauset Inlet Friday afternoon. It had a bridle of heavy line looped though its mouth and twisted across its back. Two orange buoys trailed behind it.

The center's Marine Animal Entanglement Response team cut away the gear and the twisted line, leaving the whale with just a short length of line in its mouth. As the whale moved away the remaining rope was pulled from its mouth and it sped off.

The Center for Coastal Studies urges boaters to report any entanglement sightings of whales, sea turtles or other marine animals.

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From alpacas to zucchini, it's Open Farm Day in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — What's more local than farm-to-table? How about customer-to-farm.

More than 80 farms were open to the public in Maine on Sunday. It's the state's 28th annual Open Farm Day, which provides residents with a chance to meet with Maine farmers and get to know their work and products.

Most farms were open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some of the farms are offered activities such as field tours, hay rides and milking animals.

The state has more than 8,000 farm operations. Farms participating in Open Farm Day are in all corners of the state, ranging from McElwain's Strawberry Farm in Caribou to Sea Hill Farm Alpacas in Kittery Point.

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Borrowed House Concerts in NH bringing community together over 'magic of music'

PLAISTOW – Dee Voss dreamed of bringing house concerts to the community but had one problem – she didn’t have a big enough house. Thankfully, a close friend opened up her doors.

Borrowed House Concerts came to light three years ago, giving locals the opportunity to enjoy artists from around the world in an intimate setting.

“Somebody described it to me that ‘it’s like being back stage at every show you ever wanted to go to because you’re that close to the artist,’” Voss said.

Voss, who has always been passionate about music, attended house concerts before and decided that this is something she wanted to do as her hobby.

Unfortunately, living in “750 square feet of an acoustically- challenged apartment” made that idea difficult. She called up a good friend of hers that also lives in Plaistow and asked her if she could borrow her house. Without question, her friend said yes.

Chelsea Berry headlined the first Borrowed House Concert at the borrowed home. Members of the community gathered in the living room where the furniture had been pushed out of the way to make room for folding chairs.

These indoor concerts continued to thrive, with around five concerts each year that sell out. Voss also added an outdoor concert called ChelseaFest, named after Chelsea Berry.

“It’s the community part of it that I think keeps it going,” Voss said.

Two other households have stepped up and allowed Voss to borrow their houses for the concerts. People have also donated supplies – such as a Borrowed House Concerts roadside sign - and one man donated money for a sound system.

“Music is magic and it brings people together in ways that I don’t know anything else that does,” beamed Voss.

Each concert consists of two full sets with a break in between and a social hour beforehand. Attendees are given the opportunity to ask the artists questions, take pictures, buy CDs and get autographs.

Indoor concerts fit 30 people, who reserve a spot by making a donation. All the money collected goes directly to the artist performing. ChelseaFest can host more than 30 people, but only the first 30 people are guaranteed a spot inside if it rains. Those who bought a ticket beyond the 30th person would get their money back in that case. Beyond that, Voss does not offer refunds because she has to pay the artists. She has never had to cancel a show, but in the off chance that she did, patrons would receive a refund.

People are told where the concert will be held after making the donation in order to protect the homeowners' privacy.

Voss only offers so many concerts a year to give a break to those who she is borrowing houses from and to make sure she is not wearing her audience out.

“It’s rare and it’s special and people are excited to come,” she said.

Borrowed House Concerts is putting on two more shows before winter. The first is in September and is already sold out, featuring the DuPont Brothers from the Vermont area. The second is in October and features Claude Bourbon from England – a “finger picking, medieval Spanish, blues guitarist” who sought out Voss to play for the Borrowed House Concerts.

Voss plans to release next year’s line up in October.

Concert schedules and more information about Borrowed House Concerts can be found on their website.

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High-profile animal abuse trial scheduled to start

DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) — A man charged with abusing a dog so severely that it had to be euthanized is heading to trial nearly four years after the animal that came to be known as Puppy Doe was found barely alive on a playground.

Radoslaw Czerkawski (RAD'-oh-slaw zehr-KAW'-skee) faces multiple animal cruelty charges in the trial scheduled to start Tuesday in Massachusetts.

The case received widespread attention when the year-old pit bull mix was found in Quincy in 2013 with skull, spine and rib fractures, a stab wound to the right eye and a split tongue. The starving female dog was euthanized.

Czerkawski has pleaded not guilty and suggested youths he saw drinking in a park were responsible for the abuse. His attorney didn't immediately respond to a message, but previously questioned the DNA evidence.

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