House Whip Steve Scalise readmitted to intensive care unit

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Today’s weather will be sunny with a high in the mid to high 70s. Check your local forecast here.

National and international

Scientists are starting to clear up one of the biggest controversies in climate science

Participants are seen in silhouette as they look at a screen showing a world map with climate anomalies during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, Dec. 8, 2015.
Stephane Mahe | REUTERS

How much Earth will warm in response to future greenhouse gas emissions may be one of the most fundamental questions in climate science — but it’s also one of the most difficult to answer. And it’s growing more controversial: In recent years, some scientists have suggested that our climate models may actually be predicting too much future warming, and that climate change will be less severe than the projections suggest.

But new research is helping to lay these suspicions to rest. A study, just out Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, joins a growing body of literature that suggests the models are on track after all. And while that may be worrisome for the planet, it’s good news for the scientists working to understand its future.

The new study helps to reconcile the models for future warming with the historical record. It suggests that global warming occurs in different phases or “modes” throughout the planet, some of which happen more quickly than others. Scientists now increasingly believe that certain slow-developing climate processes will amplify warming to a greater extent in the future, putting the models in the right after all. But these processes take time, even up to several hundred years, to really take effect – and because not enough time has passed since the industrial revolution for their signal to really develop, the historical record is what’s actually misleading at the moment.

This conclusion is supported by a growing body of research, which suggests that warming estimates made from the historical record alone are “potentially biased low, for reasons we are now just beginning to understand,” said Timothy Andrews, a climate scientist with the Met Office, the United Kingdom’s national weather service, in an email to The Washington Post. While Andrews was not involved with the new study, he’s one of multiple scientists whose recent research has tackled the same issue.

House Whip Steve Scalise readmitted to intensive care unit

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol, hours before an expected vote to repeal Obamacare in Washington, D.C., May 4, 2017.
Kevin Lamarque | REUTERS

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was wounded by a gunman in Alexandria, Virginia, last month, was readmitted to MedStar Washington’s Intensive Care Unit on Wednesday, said officials from the hospital and his congressional office.

The hospital tweeted a brief statement late Wednesday explaining that the Louisiana Republican was listed in serious condition as doctors feared new dangers of infection after he underwent several surgeries after being shot in the hip on June 14.

Hobby Lobby fined $3 million for artifacts smuggled from Iraq

The arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby has agreed to pay a $3 million fine for illegally smuggling thousands of ancient clay artifacts into the United States from Iraq, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Under a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Hobby Lobby will forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets, clay bullae and cylinder seals it falsely labeled as “samples” and shipped through the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

White House gender pay gap more than triples under Trump

President Donald Trump

The pay gap between male and female White House staffers has more than tripled in the first year of the Trump administration, according to an analysis by economist Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute.

The median female White House employee is drawing a salary of $72,650 in 2017, compared to the median male salary of $115,000. “The typical female staffer in Trump’s White House earns 63.2 cents per $1 earned by a typical male staffer,” Perry writes.

The 37 percent gender pay gap in Trump’s White House is more than double the 17 percent gender pay gap nationally.


Alleged gunman in triple homicide shot dead by police in Madison, victims identified

A Madison man was fatally shot by police on Wednesday after he killed his wife, their adult son and a neighbor, authorities said.

Four people died and a fifth was injured early Wednesday morning in Madison in what Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, described as “an extreme case of domestic violence.”

Man who said his name was ‘Santa Claus’ leads police on a car chase through Maine

Christos Kassaras, 54, of Goffstown, New Hampshire was arrested in Bangor on Tuesday after a police chase.
Maine State Police

A man who reportedly told police his name was Santa Claus led officers on a lengthy Fourth of July car chase that ended in Bangor, according to multiple Maine media outlets.

Maine communities face holiday week cleanup after record five-tornado day

Trees around western Maine were uprooted and homes, vehicles and campers were damaged when four tornadoes touched down in the area Saturday.

After a record five tornadoes touched down in western Maine on Saturday, Maine communities are facing lengthy cleanup and repair efforts on a week in which many locals were hoping to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday and just relax.

Too many kids are exposed to lead in these Maine towns

The stairs of a Lewiston apartment building at 84 Walnut St., owned by Cirrus Capital, LLC, show extensive lead paint deterioration. On June 16, 2015, the city ordered the building to be demolished
City of Lewiston

Many more Maine children are considered at high risk for lead poisoning under updated rules that are prompting an increase in home inspections

In Maine, the CDC has identified five areas as high risk for childhood lead exposure, which you can see in the chart below.

Those are more urban areas where larger numbers of children under age 3 correlate to a higher risk for lead poisoning. Lewiston-Auburn has been particularly hard hit.

But the state CDC’s data, published here, also show a high share of children at risk in rural areas, particularly in Solon, St. George and Bristol.

Living and events

You probably didn’t know it, but your cat needs a catio this summer

Bucksport resident Bonnie Brennan, built this catio for her cat Titus.
Gabor Degre | BDN

On a recent Wednesday in Bucksport, the midday breeze was just right. Birds were singing and the sound of distant chimes carried on the swaying grass.

It was a splendid day to be outside.

On these nice summer days, you can find Titus lounging in a window box that juts out from Brennan’s first floor bathroom, where he can enjoy the breeze and nap in his own sanctuary.

“He loves it. It’s a way for him to be closer to nature and it’s kind of like his little space,” Bonnie Brennan said.

195th Army Band to play Old Town concert series

Performing for audiences around the world and in their own backyard in Maine, the 195th Army Band’s Concert Band is carrying on a proud tradition of military bands past and present by presenting free patriotic public performances.

The band will perform 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 6 at Riverfront Park, North Main Street, in Old Town.

Red Cross and Old Town Fire Rescue partner to install free smoke alarms

The American Red Cross of Maine and the Old Town Fire Rescue Department are teaming up to install free smoke alarms in residents’ homes and teach people how to be prepared for home fires.

Old Town residents can sign up for the free smoke alarm installation by calling Ron Springel of the Red Cross at 874-1192, ext. 113. The Red Cross, the Old Town Fire Rescue Department and community volunteers will follow-up with the installation on July 22.

“Working smoke alarms are key to escaping a home fire safely. That early warning, along with a practiced escape plan to a designated meeting area and early notification to emergency services can greatly reduce death and injuries,” Capt. David Daniels of the Old Town Fire Rescue Department said.

Volunteers needed for 70th Maine Lobster Festival

The Maine Lobster Festival is looking for volunteers to help with this year’s festival to be held Aug. 2-6. It takes more than 1,300 volunteers to run the festival each year.

Volunteer jobs include everything from setting up and taking down tents, to taking tickets, or cooking the lobsters served to guests. Volunteers will receive an exclusive “volunteer” shirt and free admission the day you volunteer.

If you wish to sign up, fill out an Online Volunteer Form from our website,, or print a paper volunteer form and mail it in. Be specific about which job you’d like to sign up for. If you have any questions, email

Appalachian Trail Conservancy 2017 Maine Conference coming to Waterville

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Waterville will host the 2017 Appalachian Trail Conservancy Conference. It will be held at Colby College Aug.4-11.

The week-long event features over 240 hikes, numerous workshops, and excursions to local areas of interest.

Each evening there are exciting adventure presentations and stellar entertainment.

Schooner Fare to kick off Paris Hill Music Festival

The Paris Hill Music Festival will kick off with Schooner Fare at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, at First Baptist Church of Paris, 500 Paris Hill Road, South Paris. Tickets are $25 and available at Paris Hill Country Club and Bolster’s Decorating in Market Square and Books-n-Things in Norway or by calling 743-9390.


Vacationland turnpike director asks: Can every holiday be on a Tuesday?

Northbound traffic at the Maine Turnpike toll plaza in West Gardiner.
Brian Swartz | BDN

Early tallies by the Maine Turnpike Authority indicate particularly good signs for holiday tourism over the Fourth of July, confirming that many travelers extended the weekend through Wednesday morning. And the traffic remained manageable.

“Perhaps every national holiday should fall on a Tuesday,” wrote Turnpike Authority Director Peter Mills in an email Wednesday.

Lewiston ‘nips’ bottler blasts ban idea, warns it may halt expansion plans

Calling a recommendation to ban nips “politically motivated” and unsupported by evidence, a company that churns out the tiny liquor-filled bottles in Lewiston is threatening to pull the plug on a planned $1 million expansion.

Sazerac Co., which sells the fast-growing Fireball Cinnamon Whisky brand bottled in Lewiston, said the “rush to judgment” by the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations will “undermine consumer choice in Maine, reduce state revenue and eliminate jobs.”

Portland Regional Chamber picks first woman CEO

Quincy Hentzel
Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce

Quincy Hentzel has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Hentzel is the first woman to head the Chamber according to a spokesman, and took up running it as interim CEO in February after Chris Hall resigned from the position.


Trump’s tweets hide the real problem: his faltering administration

President Donald Trump

The problem isn’t that President Donald Trump won’t stop tweeting. Rather, it is much more fundamental — he won’t do the job he was elected to do. A flurry of angry, fact-challenged tweets draws attention away from the core problems with his administration — its disengagement from real policymaking, its inability to hire qualified people to fill hundreds of high-level government jobs, its ethical challenges, its ties to Russia, which are slowly being revealed.

The media and the American public should focus their attention on these ongoing fundamental failures to govern, not Trump’s latest tweets.

How I made it to 21 years of recovery

Linda Coan O’Kresik | BDN

In the loose network of people living in recovery, we often talk about sharing our “experience, strength, and hope.” On Sunday, I celebrated 21 years of continuous recovery. My life today, even during my darkest days — the days that were the impetus for beginning this column a few years ago — is better than I ever dreamed it could be. I’ve recovered from a seemingly hopeless condition of body and mind through a connection with a power greater than me, and for that, I’m truly grateful.

This isn’t just ‘locker room’ talk. Trump is actively undermining women.

Michelle Robbins (center) cheers during the Women’s March on Maine outside the Burton M. Cross building at the Maine State House in Augusta in January.
Ashley L. Conti | BDN

Arguably, the most economically, militarily and politically powerful country in the world is being led by a man who views more than half of the world’s population — women — as pieces of ass. In 1991, Trump discussed the media with Esquire magazine claiming, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [they] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”