Maine

As President Trump's impeachment trial approaches, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is under close scrutiny from Democrats and her fellow Republicans ahead of a vote that could once again test her reputation for centrism and independence.

The spotlight on Collins has come a bit earlier than expected.

In the narrowly divided Senate, just four Republicans could force Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconsider his vow for a speedy acquittal and "total coordination" with the Trump White House.

Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who is one of the few members of her party willing to buck President Trump, announced Wednesday she would seek reelection. Her announcement comes the same day the U.S. House of Representatives began debate on impeaching the president.

Inside her small shop in downtown Bangor, Maine, Angela Okafor chats with a local mom as she braids the mom's hair. A few feet from the styling chair, Okafor's young daughter glides on a scooter through shelves of international foods and spices. Racks of African clothing — sewn by Okafor — line the wall. It's a busy place, she says, and one that the city's small immigrant population seeks out for food and connection.

While abortion bans in Republican-led states dominated headlines in recent weeks, a handful of other states have passed laws to expand abortion access. Maine joined those ranks in June with two new laws — one requires all insurance and Medicaid to cover the procedure and the other allows physician assistants and nurses with advanced training to perform it.

There is more than just January's cold currently gripping the city of Westbrook, Maine. An immense, icy disk doing a solitary pirouette on the Presumpscot River is dazzling observers, local and distant alike.

Scientists say the disk is naturally occurring and has been seen before. Most of us have spotted eddies in flowing water, that is when a cross current creates a small whirlpool. But winter's cold adds a whiff of mystery to this phenomenon.

Updated at 2:06 p.m. ET

A House Republican who represents the northern part of Maine became the latest incumbent to be unseated as the Democrats' blue wave continues more than a week after Election Day.

A version of this story was first published by Maine Public.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, has a filed a lawsuit in federal court that seeks to block state election officials from conducting the nation's first ranked-choice voting tabulation in a federal race.

On a blustery fall afternoon in Jay, Maine, Jared Golden stands at the gate of the Verso Paper Mill shaking hands with workers at the end of their shift. The workers — mostly men, wearing steel-toe boots, some still in their safety goggles — greet him politely before rushing off to their waiting pickups.

The endangered North Atlantic right whale population took a big hit last year with a record number of animals killed by fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes. Now, an ongoing debate over threats posed by Maine's lobster industry is gaining new urgency as scientists estimate these whales could become extinct in just 20 years.

Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET

Voters in Maine have easily approved a referendum to expand Medicaid for low-income adults, doing an end-run around Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who vetoed the move — a key element of Obamacare.

Maine is one of a handful of states deciding major issues by referendum on Tuesday, including New York and Ohio.

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