Portland candidates differ on working with governor

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Maine's Republican governor has become a campaign issue in the race for mayor in Portland.
Incumbent Mayor Michael Brennan, who's seeking re-election, said during a debate Tuesday that "the answer is no" when asked if he can work with Gov. Paul LePage. He accused Ethan Strimling, a former state senator, of "naively believing he can change" the city's relationship with the governor.
Strimling insisted he'd work with anyone - including LePage - if he's elected.
The exchange was reported by the Portland Press Herald.
Maine's largest city has fought the LePage administration over benefits for immigrants seeking asylum. The governor isn't a big fan of southern Maine, saying people "not only ignore corruption, but welcome it."
The Portland mayoral race features Strimling, Brennan and Green Independent leader Tom MacMillan.

Portland warns of potential flooding tonight

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The City of Portland is warning residents of the potential for flooding in and around the city following the possibility of heavy rains later Wednesday night and into Thursday. 

The city is advising residents to avoid parking and traveling in areas prone to flooding. While predicted conditions are not expected to produce the extreme flooding experienced on September 30, the traveling public should use caution in choosing travel routes and parking areas. 

Dermatology practices settles with government for $600K

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A dermatology practice with an office in Lincolnville will pay nearly $630,000 to settle claims involving false billings to Medicare.
Federal prosecutor Thomas Delahanty announced the settlement on Monday in Portland. The federal government filed a civil complaint alleging Maine Dermatology violated the federal False Claims Act between 2010 and 2013.
The complaint says the company violated the act by billing Medicare for providing evaluation and management services to patients in violation of billing guidelines. It says Maine Dermatology submitted $314,908 in false claims, and sought damages equal to double the amount.
Prosecutors say Maine Dermatology cooperated with investigators.

Travel agent who misapplied money gets 18 months

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A Maine travel agent will spend 18 months in jail for taking clients' money without making travel reservations.
Federal prosecutors say 46-year-old Beth Rogers of Portland will also serve six years of supervised release and must pay $209,000 in restitution. Rogers pleaded guilty in March.
Records say Rogers operated TravelWise Cruises & Tours in Saco and began taking client money without making reservations in late 2011. The records say Rogers instead used the money to pay for the travel of other individuals who had booked travel through TravelWise.
Prosecutors say Rogers misapplied money for more than 50 clients until mid-2012.


Portland planning board recommends historic district at 58 Fore Street

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland's planning board has voted in favor of creating a historic district at the site of the Portland Company Complex. They'll pass their recommendation on to the city council.

The historic district is based on a proposal the property developer, CPB2, suggested.

The project at 58 Fore Street has been controversial from day one, and Tuesday's planning board meeting was no exception.

During public comment, everyone agreed there should be a historic district, but disagreed on how big it should be and how many buildings should be protected.

The city's Historic Planning Board put forward a proposal that a lot of people who spoke preferred. It would protect eight buildings from demolition and the historic district would encompass most of the property.

Elite Airways to fly from Portland International Jetport

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Maine-based airline that already flies between a number of U.S. cities is launching service in its home state.

Elite Airlines on Tuesday announced scheduled service starting Dec. 18 from Portland International Jetport to the Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Florida. President John Pearsall said he thinks Mainers will appreciate the opportunity to get away this winter to Orlando, Cocoa Beach or Port Canaveral.

Founded in 2006, the airline is headquartered in downtown Portland and has its maintenance, crew training, sales and marketing offices in Melbourne, Florida.

It also serves Newark Liberty International Airport, Chicago Rockford International Airport, Denver International Airport, Branson Airport in Missouri, Houston Hobby Airport, Fort Collins-Loveland Airport in Colorado and Vero Beach Municipal Airport in Florida.

Report: Portland becoming top tier sustainable city

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A report from the Natural Resources Council of Maine released Tuesday recognized the efforts of 50 people and organizations across Portland that promote sustainability.

The report highlighted six areas where these efforts are succeeding: local food, waste reduction, eco-friendly transportation, energy saving, water quality, and sustainability resources.

Advocacy Director of the NRCM Pete Didisheim said local efforts have proven more effective than political efforts.

"People want to be part of the solution. We've just been inspired with enough different people and organizations that we decided we should document this. This is important, this deserves attention," said Didisheim.