Backyard Gardener Part 1: Plotting Land and Testing Your Soil

BANGOR - Growing a successful garden takes a lot of hard work, but the rewards are great.  We decided to grow our own here at the studio as a way to teach our viewers how to raise a garden of their own, and to generate some food for our hungry neighbors. Our Erin Thomas has more.

Bill Would Expand School Choice

Augusta - The governor is promoting a bill that would lift the cap on charter schools and expand school choice.  It would help low-income kids transfer out of underperforming schools, and allow public funding to be used for parochial school tuition.  Teachers unions are against the ideas, saying they undermine public education. 

Food Stamp Junk Food Bill Falters

Augusta - A bill that would ban the use of food stamps to buy junk food has been rejected by a legislative committee.  Despite the 8-5 vote along party lines, the matter is still advancing to the full legislature for discussion.  Governor LePage says the purchase of unhealthy foods is not in keeping with the purpose of the SNAP program.

Wide Support For Workforce Bill

Augusta - Training Maine workers to fill Maine's jobs is a plan that's getting widespread support.  Leaders from business and labor joined Democrats and Republicans at the State House to back a bill that would make a number of investments in job training.  The measure would expand training at community colleges, offer more educational programs in rural areas, and make it easier for students to transfer credits between community colleges and the University of Maine system.  Maine Community College System president John Fitzsimmons told the crowd in Augusta there are 50-thousand unemployed Mainers, and thousands of unfilled jobs because Maine doesn't have enough trained workers.

Abortion Bills Fuel Debate

Augusta - Three abortion bills now before the Maine legislature are stirring a lot of debate.  One would require girls younger than 18 to ask a parent's permission before having an abortion.  Another would require doctors to give patients more information about the abortion procedure and alternatives, and a third would open the way for wrongful death suits by establishing a fetus as a person.  Pro-choice groups, including the Family Planning Association of Maine and Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights oppose the bills.

The Aroostook Medical Center Adds Pediatric Services

Presque Isle - The Aroostook Medical Center now has services for kids who need occupational therapy.  The new services to focus on earlier intervention for children with so-called developmental delays in areas including fine motor skills, upper body and core strength and coordination, handwriting, and skills to take care of themselves.  Occupational therapists help people learn to do day-to-day activities as independently as they can.

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