Share Our Strength's 6th Annual Taste of the Nation

Share Our Strength's 6th Annual Taste of the Nation is being held on Sunday, June 26th at the Leavitt & Parris Pavilion on the campus of Souther Maine Community College in South Portland.  Dozens of Maine's leading chefs will making dishes for people to sample, including Fore Street, Duckfat, Back Bay Grill, Cinque Terre, David's and Havana South.

General admission tickets are $125 each.  All of the money raised from the event will go to four anti-hunger organizations working to feed hungry children in Maine and beyond.  Since its launch in 2006, Taste of the Nation's Maine presence has raised more than $215,000.

For more information on Taste of the Nation click here:  TASTE OF THE NATION

Remembering 9/11: The Patriot Flag visits Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A giant flag, which has been traveling across America paying tribute to the victims and heroes of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, made a stop in Maine on Thursday.

The Patriot Flag, which weighs seventy-five pounds and measures thirty feet by fifty-seven feet, was made to honor a World War II veteran at his funeral in California, but volunteers quickly realized the massive symbol could reunite Americans as the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches.

After being raised in Cumberland on Thursday morning, the flag was escorted to Portland by police officers and fire fighters and hoisted again, this time by two ladder trucks parked next to Back Cove.

Push to repeal new voting law

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --  One of the more controversial decisions of this year's legislative session is still being debated - and may ultimately be decided at the ballot box.

Lawmakers voted to eliminate election-day voter registration in the state. The Maine Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters and some other groups are angry, and are launching a "people's veto" campaign to overturn the new law. For 39 years, Maine has allowed people to register to vote up to and including Election Day itself. In 2008, roughly 49,000 voters registered on Election Day. In 2010, according to the Secretary of State's office, about 18,000 registered on Election Day. But that law has now changed.

New VA Health Clinic opens in Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A new Veterans Administration Health Clinic has opened it's doors near the Portland Waterfront.

Veterans are finding all their needs can be met under one roof from medical care, to mental health services, to laboratory work. Since there are fewer medical services available in rural areas, the VA made it a priority to put it's clinics there. But it became clear in recent years one was needed in the state's largest city.

"It never made sense to me and a lot of other veterans why there wasn't something in the City of Portland", said Christian Mullen, a Gulf War Veteran.

Before the clinic opened veterans in the Greater Portland area had to travel south to Saco or north to Togus to get medical care.










Red Sox Wish granted for Maine teen

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A teenager who has battled cancer most of his life had his dreams come true at a Portland Seadogs game Tuesday.

Seventeen year-old Colin L'Heureux already knew he would be throwing out the first pitch at the game. But when he took the mound, Seadogs mascot Slugger and the Make-A-Wish team gave him a suprise message: that he will be sitting in the Green Monster seats for a Red Sox game in July.

Colin has been battling cancer since he was just eighteen months old. His family says he's a die-hard baseball fan who has always dreamed of going to Fenway.

Colin will head to Fenway July 8th, where the Make-A-Wish Foundation says even more surprises are in store for him.



Sun's rays can be harmful to your skin, so lather up!

BREWER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- With the sun-filled weather we've been having lately, people have been soaking up their vitamin D from the sun's rays. But some rays can damage your skin if you don't put on that sunscreen.

Between the hours of 10am and 4pm is when UVA and UVB rays are at its highest.  In order to prevent skin damage like cancer, sunspots, and wrinkles, even on cloudy days, it's important to put on sunscreen.  Most doctors recommend using at least 30 SPF and reapplying every two to three hours.

"That little bit of tan actually, it brings out your melanin and what not," Sarah Stewart, DO at UMaine, said. "You get that nice look and everything but if you really burn on top of that, you're getting more skin damage."

If you're participating in water sports or sweating, reapplying more frequently than every few hours is highly recommended.

O negative blood type hits critical need level

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The American Red Cross says blood supplies in the northeast are reaching critically low levels, especially for the type O negative blood.

The Red Cross has three donor centers in Maine's largest cities: Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor.  It now needs people to stop by those donor centers or to attend blood drives in their communities to help replenish supplies.  The Red Cross Northern New England region says it provides blood to 80 hospitals and needs about 500 people donating blood each weekday to meet demand.

"If you make an appointment, keep that appointment," Lisa Frazell, American Red Cross, said. "It's very important if make that commitment that you stick to it as well as encourage your friends and family to come give."

To donate blood you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS and make an appointment at a donor center near you.