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Author Archives: TCT Staff

IRS calls demanding a payment are a scam

Calls to the Maine Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division show an uptick in IRS and other phone scams targeting Mainers

Calls to the Maine Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division show an uptick in IRS and other phone scams targeting Mainers

 The Maine Attorney General’s Office has noticed a recent increase in the number of Mainers calling to report they are the target of phone scams in which someone pretends to be calling to collect a debt owed to the Internal Revenue Service.  Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills is reminding people to be aware that these are scams and they should not give people credit card information or wire money.

 

“The IRS scam and others like it are the most common complaint we receive,” said Attorney General Mills.  “However, we have noticed a recent spike in the number of people calling our office to alert us and to complain specifically about IRS scams. On Thursday alone we received 61 contacts from Maine people.  These are often randomly dialed calls, but for some reason the 207 area code seems to be their target in recent weeks.  People should not engage the callers and hang up the phone. Do not give them personal information and do not wire them money.”

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Patrick Dempsey in Maine for Winter Fun

Patrick Dempsey

Join Patrick Dempsey for a day of Winter Fun at Black Mountain Ski Resort on Saturday, February 27.

An endorsed independent fundraiser for the Rumford Hospital Dempsey Challenge Team, the event will feature Alpine and Nordic skiing, tubing, raffles, food, entertainment, and a few surprises!

An all-day pass is $35. For more information click here.

Maine chef to appear on Food Network reality show

chopped

Shaun “Yaz” Yazbek will compete on “Chopped” on Tuesday, March 1.

Shaun “Yaz” Yazbek will compete on the Food Network reality show “Chopped” next month. Yazbek will compete with three other chefs in an episode titled “Truck Stop Stars,” pitting the four competitors against each other for a $10,000 prize.

The show, now in its 27th season on Food Network, gives four chefs a mystery basket of ingredients, which then must be turned into a dish. The show is broken into three courses: an appetizer, an entrée, and a desert. Chefs are given different mystery ingredients for each course. After each course, one of the chefs is eliminated by the panel of judges who base their results on creativity, presentation, and taste.

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CLT’s “Shakespeare in Hollywood” Opens This Weekend

The entire cast of Community Little Theater’s “Shakespeare in Hollywood.”

The entire cast of Community Little Theater’s “Shakespeare in Hollywood.”

The hilarious comedy “Shakespeare in Hollywood” opens this weekend at the L-A Community Little Theater. Written by Ken Ludwig (“Lend Me a Tenor,” Moon Over Buffalo”) and directed by Mitchell Clyde Thomas, the play is a fanciful and farcical romp set in 1930s Hollywood.

Winner of The Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play of the Year in 2004, this fast-paced comedy is right out of the screwball films of the 1930s. A “play within a play” that melds fact with fiction, it follows the real-life quest to bring Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the silver screen in 1934. In the midst of all of the business of making this talking picture, Oberon, King of the Fairies, and his sidekick Puck magically arrive, having taken a wrong turn on their way home from the wood near Athens. And then the fun begins!

Performances will be held on February 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m. and February 14 and 21 at 2:00 p.m. All performances will be held at the Great Falls Performing Arts Center on 30 Academy Street in Auburn. Tickets may be ordered online at www.laclt.com or by calling 783-0958.

DHHS Uncovers over $1.2 Million in Welfare Theft 

Unauthorized use of EBT cards, falsifying documents, lying about income, hidden trust funds and the act of “water dumping,” are just a few examples of the welfare fraud that DHHS has caught people committing in recent months.
In 2015, 130,413 EBT cards were issued and $311,664,909.00 was spent through EBT transactions this includes cash withdrawals. Prior to this administration, the state was not actively utilizing available EBT transaction data to find potential inappropriate usage or potential eligibility issues of clients. Now, DHHS is using state-of-the-art business analytics software to quickly find inappropriate usage including clients that may have moved out of state, potential drug trafficking activity and collusion with vendors to commit fraud.

Seventeen investigators spread out over 11 offices work tirelessly taking tips, investigating leads and tracking down millions of dollars in misused benefits.

On January 8th, the most recent case of welfare fraud ended with a conviction. Details can be viewed at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/fraud-press-release.htm

Efficient and effective government requires accountability and transparency

Governor Paul R. LePage

Governor Paul R. LePage

I intend to let Mainers know what is going on in Augusta. They deserve to know how their elected officials are voting on important issues. Unfortunately, once these politicians get to Augusta, they are all too eager to hide their business from the Maine people.

They soon forget why they were elected and what they promised to do for their constituents. I was elected by hundreds of thousands of people from all corners of Maine. As your Governor, I don’t make decisions based on one person, one lobbyist, one community or one county, but rather what’s in the best interest of all 1.3 million Mainers.

I am all for accountability and transparency in government, and I have made that clear throughout my tenure as Governor. But the Legislature is not transparent.

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We will continue to root out corruption in Augusta

Governor Paul R. LePage

Governor Paul R. LePage

As the second session of the 127th Legislature opens, you can be sure it will be more political than last session. That’s because 2016 is an election year.

Politicians know how to provide lip service, and that’s exactly what they will be doing for the next few months as they use the session for their campaign soapbox.

I did not come to Augusta to provide lip service. I came to work for the Maine people. I also came to Augusta to root out crooked politicians and government corruption. I’ve upset their apple cart, and they don’t like it. They could not defeat me at the ballot box, so they are trying to destroy me any way they can. But, as the saying goes, when you point a finger at me, three fingers are pointing back at you. These politicians are the same people who are guilty of deceiving the Maine people.

They wasted six months of the taxpayers’ time and money on a political witch hunt, only to find no wrongdoing. They convened a kangaroo court, but shut it down as soon as the truth started to come out. They blundered on the budget. In June 2015, they orchestrated a secretive, back-room deal on the budget, which included wasteful spending of millions of taxpayer dollars.  They rejected real tax reform. We put up a bill to amend the Maine Constitution to eliminate the income tax. These politicians rejected the bill, denying Mainers a chance to vote on how much tax the government should take out of their paychecks.

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Media, Legislature vilify anyone who threatens status quo

By Robert E. Macdonald, Mayor of Lewiston

Robert E. Macdonald, Mayor of Lewiston

If it were not for newspapers, the history of America might have been quite different than what children currently study in school.

Back before radio, television and computers, the printed word was sought and relished by those who wanted to keep abreast of what was happening in the world, the country and their own backyards.

Newspapers printed the current happenings. They also printed uncensored, dueling letters in which both sides of an issue were presented. This back-and-forth free flow of ideas and opinions allowed readers to make educated decisions on the issues of the day.

In the 1770s it was an educated newspaper reading public that steeled the spines of our Founding Fathers when they had second thoughts about declaring independence from Great Britain.

But as time went by, newspapers evolved. They saturated news with sensationalism and untruths designed to keep the readers’ interest, raise their emotions and, most importantly, sell papers.

Times change. Today people get their news from television, radio, the Internet and the old standbys, beauty salons, barber shops and coffee shops. Exercising your brain via the written word seems to be going the way of the dinosaur.

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Good government requires active input from citizens

By Jonathan P. LaBonté, Mayor of Auburn

Jonathan P. LaBonté, Mayor of Auburn

Many of you may remember the cartoon “School House Rock” and the song “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” Without commentary on the dysfunction of Washington and whether that is still the process today, the topic of public idea to implementation is worth revisiting.

As the song goes, some local residents had an idea and they brought it to their elected representative. Their representative turned that idea into a bill, which was sent to a committee to be reviewed, researched, debated and voted up or down back to the full elected body, in that case, Congress.

For the public, there’s a clear link between how an idea gets shared and ultimately gets to a yes or no from all of the elected officials. An idea becomes a bill. A bill goes to a committee made up of a small number of elected officials. The committee votes it back to the full body. And all the while the process is clear and the public knows how to provide its input to their officials.

In my four years so far as mayor, one of the most concerning aspects of trying to work with an elected city council of seven is that there is no process for an elected official, or a citizen, to propose an idea and have it worked through a defined process.

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Mechanics seeking photos for calendar contest

Mechanics Savings Bank is seeking photos that capture the beauty of Auburn, Brunswick, Lewiston or Windham regions for their calendar photo contest. The photos can be from any season. Winners receive $100. The deadline is October 22, 2015 at 5pm. Contest rules and photo entry instructions are available on the bank’s website: www.mechanicssavings.com.

 



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