Maine Medical Center put Ebola response plan to the test

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - We are learning more about the case of a patient who was held for observation at Maine Medical Center because of Ebola concerns.

Concerns were raised because the man, who walked in to the emergency room, had a fever and had traveled to Africa. The man was placed in isolation. All doctors and nurses who went inside the isolation room had to wear special personal protective equipment, including a body suit, booties and a hood. The hospital staff went through 50 of the suits during the two days the patient was under observation

When doctors determined the man did not have Ebola, he was released. In reviewing the response, hospital officials found there were gaps in communication with the public and staff.

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Portland schools receive major arts education grant

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Side x Side, a grassroots, arts education initiative, was awarded $1.9 million by the U.S. Department of Education to expand its programming.

"Side x Side believes that the best education has creativity at its heart," stated Beth Wilbur Van Mierlo, Side x Side's executive director.

The program has worked with elementary students at the Reiche School for the past two years, engaging them in arts projects designed to teach them about math, science and more. The grant money will allow Side x Side to eventually expand to four schools and reach more than 1700 students.

The University of Southern Maine will be a partner in the project, providing college students exposure to this teaching approach.

Regulators consider future of Maine shrimp fishery

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Federal regulators are gathering findings to determine if there will be a commercial season for the Gulf of Maine's northern shrimp next year.

Regulators closed the shrimp season for 2014 for the first time in more than 30 years because shrimp populations dipped to their lowest recorded levels. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Northern Shrimp Technical Committee is meeting in Portland on Wednesday to update the status of the shrimp stock. The technical committee's findings will be the basis for regulators' decision about next year's season.

The commission's Northern Shrimp Section will meet Nov. 5 to set specifications for the 2015 season. The fishery could also reopen with new restrictions.

Preview of Maine's First Congressional District debate

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- NEWS CENTER will hold a live First District debate between the three candidates Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. This debate will also be streamed live on

The candidates in Maine's First Congressional District race will discuss hot-topic issues with Pat Callaghan. The candidates are Incumbent Democrat Chellie Pingree, Republican Isaac Misiuk and Independent Richard Murphy.

View a preview of the debate with Caroline Cornish.

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Clearing leaves can prevent drainage problems

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Several crews will be out Wednesday cleaning streets and making sure they're as open as possible for the onslaught of the rain.

Portland has already seen over 2 inches or rain and there is the possibility of another 2 - 4 inches through Friday. This nor'easter is happening just days before the City's organized Fall Curbside Leaf Pickup Program.

The City of Portland Public Works crews do their best to keep Portland's 4,000-plus storm drains working but with Thursday looking like the wettest and windiest of all the days, it's important to clear drainage areas near you. Residents and property owners are encouraged to open up their catch basins to minimize flooding.

One major race all but forgotten in busy campaign season

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- There are now just two weeks until Election Day, and with so much attention focused on the race for Governor, the battle for Maine's Second Congressional District, and even the race for U.S. Senate, one other major contest has been almost ignored: the First District Congressional seat

With strike underway union leaders warn of storm impact on FairPoint

PORTLAND. Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Union leaders say with their workers out on strike, the storm impacting Maine the next few days will be a real test for FairPoint Communications.

They say replacement workers brought in from out of state won't be able to meet the challenges that come with high winds and heavy rain.

FairPoint officials say they have a plan in place to minimize disruptions for telephone and high-speed Internet customers. Still, that did not stop striking FairPoint workers from using the storm to highlight their importance to the company.

Several dozen workers walked the picket line outside FairPoint's Portland office. They walked off the job Friday over several issues including frozen pensions and higher health insurance contributions.