Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight state government is a step closer to restoring a lower the tipped wage; Otto Morales-Caballeros is in Guatemala; and Elton John is coming to town.
What we’re talking about
Lower tipped wage bill moves ahead in statehouse— A bill to alter part of Maine’s minimum wage law approved by voter referendum in 2016 will head to the Maine House and Senate with a bipartisan 11-2 endorsement following a committee vote Wednesday morning, BDN’s Chris Cousin’s reports. If passed, LD 673 would restore the tip credit to Maine’s minimum wage laws, allowing employers to pay workers such as waiters and bartenders a lower base minimum wage — currently $5 an hour in Maine — because those workers receive a portion of their income from tips.
Deported. — As expected, Otto Morales-Caballeros of Naples, Maine, has been deported to Guatemala, the Press Herald’s Megan Doyle reports. Yesterday, his wife, Sandra Scribner Merlim, shared the details of how Morales-Caballeros came to the United States illegally as a teenager to escape violence in his home country and explained that he is being deported for working under a phony social security number. Merlim said that she will continue fighting to bring her husband back and plans to travel to Guatemala to be with him if necessary. “I’m going to be wherever he is and I’m not going to let this government tell us who we can love and who we can marry,” she said.
The city collaborates with shelters to fight opioid crisis — This week the city launched a year-long collaboration between Portland’s Public Health Division, the fire department, Oxford Street Shelter and the Milestone Foundation, which aims to help addicts and homeless citizens through “community paramedicine.” Emergency Medical Service providers will assist Milestone’s homeless outreach team and the Oxford Street Shelter on mobile rounds. Led by the Fire Department’s medical director, a team of specially trained paramedics will rotate shifts twice a week with Milestone and the Oxford Street Shelter. The shelters helped 2,500 new clients last year. — Kathleen Pierce
ICYMI: LePage won’t run — Late Wednesday evening, Republican Gov. Paul LePage announced that he will not seek to unseat Senator Angus King in the 2018 election, BDN’s Chris Cousins reports. LePage, who is term-limited and out of office next year, said that he decided not to run against the highly popular independent senator because “there is more to do” as governor. “The governor will remain focused on the job at hand and not enter the United States Senate race in 2018,” reads a statement from LePage’s political adviser. During his time in office, LePage frequently spoke of taking on King.
Congrats, Ms. Teller — Brooke Teller, a chemistry teacher at Casco Bay High School, has been named Cumberland County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. This year, Teller launched a new course on the chemistry of Mars, which she co-designed and taught with a University of Southern Maine professor, according to a statement from the Portland school district. She is now in the running to be the Maine Teacher of the Year.
A Knight on the waterfront — Elton John, a bonafide Commander of the Order of the British Empire, will bring his Wonderful Crazy Night Tour to Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena on Nov. 17, BDN’s Emily Burnham reports. Tickets for that show and another one the next day in Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 19 via Ticketmaster.
Tweet of the day
From National Geographic, because who doesn’t like dragons:
The Big Idea
Inside the firing of James Comey — The Washington Post’s White House team has an incredibly detailed, moment-by-moment account of what led up to President Trump firing the the FBI director. It includes Press Secretary Sean Spicer hiding out “amid” some bushes.
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