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Central Maine News: LePage Says the New England Patriots Are A “Less than Ethical” Franchise

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These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin has joined GOP colleagues in voting for a bill to tighten federal restrictions on abortions. The House voted Thursday by a near party-line, 242-179, to permanently bar federal funds for any abortion coverage as anti-abortion activists surged through the city on their annual protest march to the Supreme Court. Poliquin said in a statement that taxpayer-funded abortions go against the values of “our Second District families.” He also said he understands “how fragile and precious life can be,” having grown up in a Roman Catholic family and having become a single father when his wife died. A democratic spokeswoman said he and House Republicans were using the Roe v. Wade anniversary “to carry out relentless attacks on women’s access to health care.” (AP)

Auburn police are searching for a man who tried to rob a credit union Thursday morning. It happened at the Rainbow Federal Credit Union. According to WGME, police say around 6:30 a.m., a man pulled a knife on a credit union employee in the parking lot and forced his way inside. The robber tried to get into the vault but couldn’t and then ran away. Police say the suspect is a white male, about 5’7.” He is in his 20′s and was wearing a dark ski mask, navy blue hoodie and dark pants. If you have any information, call police. (WGME)

There’s a push to prohibit drivers from talking on cellphones in Maine.  According to WMTW, Sen. Roger Katz plans to introduce a bill entitled ‘An Act to Prohibit the Use of a Mobile Telephone When Operating a Motor Vehicle Except in Hands-free Mode’. Katz said while there doesn’t appear to be any organized opposition to the bill, he is expecting some pushback. Texting while driving is already against the law in Maine. A law authored by Bill Diamond made distracted driving illegal several years ago. Diamond is a co-sponsor of Katz’s bill this legislative session and says the added ban is needed. Katz’s bill does not ban the use of hands-free devices. Diamond said Mainers should not be surprised if the next step is a ban on those as well. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, 14 states and Washington, D.C., ban the use of hand-held cellphones by drivers. (WMTW)

Gov. Paul LePage says the New England Patriots are a “less than ethical” franchise and cemented that reputation with this week’s controversy about the use of deflated balls in the AFC Championship Game. He made the statement in Portland while addressing a group of reporters, one of whom asked his opinion about the unfolding investigation about the deflated footballs. LePage says the Patriots “have a track record” of unethical behavior on and off the field. (AP)

Two Winthrop Hot Meal Kitchen volunteers dropping off dinner to a Winthrop man Wednesday ended up providing more than a free meal, according to the KJ, they probably have saved his life. Nelson and Sherry Lavigne said they were making a delivery around 5 p.m. to a home on Route 41 when they found 99 year old Gordon Alcott lying down on his back porch, bleeding from the head. Alcott, who had a large cut over his left eye, told police he had been lying outside for three hours.  The Lavignes, of Winthrop, were still recovering from a fire last month sparked by their wood stove, destroying their belongings and killing their cats. (centralmaine.com)

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