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Bond Brook Recreation Area in Augusta will receive $50,000 for improvements. According to the money comes from a settlement between a wind energy project developer and a group that opposes wind projects. Augusta and Augusta Trails will able to decided how the money is to be used.

Quarry Road Recreation Area is planning for its future. reports a new master plan is in the works to help guide the area for the future.

From the Associated Press:

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has cited the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for multiple violations. The violations including improperly displacing soil and filling natural wetlands were discovered during inspection of a $30 million expansion of the nearly 300-acre gardens. Over time, the gardens plan to build a new visitors center and a 22,000-square-foot conservatory.

Former Democratic lawmaker Justin Alfond says he is sitting out the 2018 race for governor. Alfond announced the decision Friday through Facebook. Democrats running include progressive Betsy Sweet; Patrick Eisenhart, a military retiree, and Army veteran Adam Cote.

A few bills from Maine's GOP governor are now law following action from Republicans and Democrats. Now, career and technical education programs can serve sixth to eighth graders. Another new law lets the state modify licensing requirements for certain military veterans with training in a particular field.

A Washington County minimum-security prison is slated to remain open through next June. The surrounding community has grown to rely on the jobs provided by the facility and the labor provided by its inmates. The prison got a reprieve in the $7.1 billion, two-year budget that lawmakers passed this week.

Competitive sailors have teamed up with conservationists on new guidelines aimed at keeping sailboats and whales from colliding during races. It's a collaboration between US Sailing, the sport's national governing body, and nonprofits working to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales and other species. Experts say vessel strikes are a leading cause of death for whales.

The eldest son of President Donald Trump says he had a meeting with a lawyer linked to the Kremlin shortly after his father got enough support for the nomination. Donald Trump Jr. said he was hoping to get information helpful to the campaign. A New York Times report citing advisers to the White House and other people familiar with the gathering says Trump Jr. agreed to the session after being promised information damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Talk of cooperation between the United States and Russia on cybersecurity is drawing skeptical comments from congressional quarters. The notion of a "cyber security unit" emerged from President Donald Trump's talks in Germany Friday with President Vladimir Putin. But Trump appears to be retreating from the concept. And Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California says expecting Moscow to be a credible partner in any cybersecurity initiative "would be dangerously naive."

Iraqi forces are pushing to retake the last patch of ground in Mosul where Islamic State militants are holding on to a tiny sliver of the Old City, west of the Tigris River, a day after the prime minister visited soldiers to congratulate his troops on the hard-fought battle. Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil of the Iraqi special forces says his men, closely backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, continue to advance and clear territory in the Old City on Monday.

Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western U.S. and Canada, destroying homes and forcing thousands of residents to flee. In California, two major wildfires have forced nearly 8,000 people out of their homes. In British Columbia, firefighters were contending with more than 200 wildfires that had destroyed dozens of buildings, including several homes and two airport hangars.

The health care fight Congress left behind when it went on its Fourth of July recess will greet lawmakers again as they trickle back to the Capitol this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still trying to find enough votes in his GOP caucus to muscle the measure, but several Republicans have indicated they oppose the bill. Passage of the legislation would give President Donald Trump the GOP's first major legislative triumph this year.

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