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Maine averaged over one drug overdose per day in 2016 and was the fifth year on increases.  According to opioid drugs like fentanyl and heroin caused most of the deaths. 216 was 378 people, the previous records was in 2015 with 272 deaths.

Maine has new rules that ban the sale and distribution of 33 plants that have been deemed 'invasive'. According to the Bangor Daily News the non native plants can be found all over the state and in some area are taking over and a threat to Maine’s natural habitats.

River View Community School in South Gardiner was evacuated yesterday. According to there was a small fire in one of the class rooms. A school officials were able to put it out. They did not way what happened to cause the fire.

The Colby College Museum of Art reportedly has received a gift of more than $100 million  includes about 1,500 works of art and will start the Lunder Institute for American Art. According to this is the second large donation from Peter and Paula Lunder.

From the Associated Press:

The flu is making its way throughout Maine, but it's not too late to get vaccinated. The state provides the influenza vaccine for free for children under the age of 19 years old.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration has amped up investigations of Maine's welfare recipients, although the number of cases prosecuted remains essentially the same. The state Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release Thursday that it referred 174 criminal cases for prosecution last year and uncovered more than $1.7 million in theft from welfare programs. Meanwhile, the Attorney General's office prosecuted 37 cases last year and 36 cases in 2015.

Gov LePage and Sen. Susan Collins disagree over whether philanthropist Betsy DeVos should be confirmed as education secretary. Collins says she's concerned DeVos' lack of experience with public schools would make it difficult for her to identify and address challenges they face. LePage He says Collins' vote should reflect desire to improve the education system. He believes that includes charter and private schools.

The Maine Senate has approved asking the state's highest court to rule on the ranked choice style of voting that voters approved in November. Voters would rank their preferred candidates, allowing for an "instant runoff" of top vote-getters in a multi-candidate contest. The request asks the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to rule whether the ranked choice system satisfies requirements of the state constitution.The request doesn't delay implementation of ranked choice voting. The court could issue an advisory opinion or decide not to weigh in.

The future USS Peralta is becoming property of the U.S. Navy. The paperwork is being completed Friday to transfer ownership of the guided-missile destroyer from Bath Iron Works, which built the ship. The Peralta is expected to be commissioned this summer in San Diego.

The Maine Small Business Development Centers program say 2016 was a record year for small businesses in the state that sought money to start and expand companies. Officials say the 14 advisers around the state helped clients secure a little more than $47 million in capital. That is the most in the program's 39-year history.

The Trump administration is getting ready to levy new sanctions on Iran for test-firing a ballistic missile. U.S. officials say up to two dozen Iranians, companies and possibly government agencies could be penalized as soon as Friday. Earlier this week, the White House warned Iran for the test-firing, saying it had been put "on notice."

A federal judge in Boston is will hear arguments Friday on a request to extend a temporary injunction against President Donald Trump's travel ban. A seven-day restraining order was granted Sunday in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of two state university professors who were detained at Boston's airport as they returned home from an academic conference. The professors are Muslims from Iran and lawful permanent U.S. residents.

Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is scheduled to appear in person in a federal court in New York Friday. A judge initially ruled that Guzman would appear by video rather than have marshals escort him to and from a high-security Manhattan jail cell, but his lawyers asked the judge to reconsider. Guzman is charged with running a massive drug trafficking operation that laundered billions of dollars and oversaw murders and kidnappings.

Investigators say that there were concerns in December about a man suspected of killing a transit officer in downtown Denver. Members of mosques in Texas and Colorado grew alarmed by newcomer Joshua Cummings' hard-line comments, and they told authorities about the Muslim convert. Investigators even interviewed Cummings in December. Authorities say on Tuesday evening, Cummings walked up to a transit guard and shot him point blank as the guard was helping two commuters.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has quit President Donald Trump's council of business leaders, according to an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press. Kalanick wrote to his employees that he'd spoken with Trump on Thursday and that joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda. Also skipping Friday's meeting will be Disney CEO Bob Iger (EYE'-gur), who will be attending a board meeting.

A Maryland judge has tossed out a libel lawsuit filed by first lady Melania Trump against Britain's Daily Mail newspaper over an article that contained insinuations that she had worked as an escort. The Daily Mail's argument centered on whether the lawsuit should have been filed in Maryland and whether Mrs. Trump was suing the correct corporate entity. She also has filed a lawsuit against the paper in London.

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