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Central Maine News: Ebola Nurse Steps Outside Fort Kent Home to Hold Impromptu Press Conference

Scott Olson, Getty Images

These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.

Maine Sen. Angus King is withdrawing his support for independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler and backing the Democratic Mike Michaud. King, an independent, said Wednesday that it’s clear Maine voters are not prepared to elect Cutler. King believes Cutler is capable of being governor, but he says Michaud is a more realistic candidate to unseat LePage. King’s announcement came on the same day Cutler told reporters he is staying in the race despite concerns from supporters that he could spoil the election for Michaud. King says Michaud is a good choice because he will work to protect Maine’s environment and stimulate its economy. (AP)

State officials are seeking a judge’s permission to require quarantine for a nurse who’s vowed to defy Maine’s request for self-isolation after treating Ebola patients in West Africa. Officials say state police plan to follow Kaci Hickox and monitor her interactions, but troopers cannot detain her unless a judge signs off on the state’s request. Maine’s protocols for health care workers go beyond what’s recommended by the federal CDC. CDC guidelines call for monitoring workers who’ve come into contact with Ebola patients; the state recommends a voluntary quarantine. (AP)

Maine’s potentially final season for hunting bears using dogs and traps is about to end. The season for hunting bears these the two methods ends on Friday. Maine residents are voting on a ballot initiative this year that would outlaw both methods along with the use of bait. The election is Nov. 4. The season for hunting bears with bait ended Sept. 20. That season accounts for most of the state’s bear hunt. Hunters can continue to hunt bear without bait, dogs or traps until Nov. 29. Hunting without those methods would remain legal if the ban passes. Opponents of the ban say the methods are necessary to control the bear population. (AP)

Prescription drugs were stolen in a robbery at a pharmacy in Skowhegan Wednesday afternoon. According to WMTW, police say a man demanded drugs by handing a note to a worker at the Rite Aid on Madison Avenue. The note also threatened use of force, according to Skowhegan police. The suspect was identified in surveillance video from the pharmacy and is currently in custody. The Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and the MDEA assisted in the investigation. (WMTW)

A nurse who treated Ebola patients in West Africa and has been under a voluntary in-home quarantine in Maine has stepped outside to voice her concerns about the state’s quarantine guidelines. Kaci Hickox briefly left her home last night for an impromptu press conference. She reiterated her concerns about the state’s quarantine. Police watched from across the street. Maine health officials say until a judge signs off on a court order they don’t have the authority to prevent her from leaving her home. Hickox has shown no symptoms of Ebola and said earlier Wednesday she plans to defy the quarantine. The state is trying to enforce it. For now, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner says police will monitor the nurse if she leaves her house. But Hickox can’t be detained without the judge’s approval. (AP/centralmaine.com)

Voters in Windsor and Palermo will vote next week on whether to withdraw from RSU 12. According to the KJ, that is an issue that comes with with conflicting concerns about cost, quality and local control. Wiscasset has already withdrawn from RSU 12. This type of vote is happening in 10 areas statewide from Freeport to Belfast that will take up withdrawals. Nine communities have already withdrawn from school districts created after Maine’s school consolidation law took effect in 2009. (centralmaine.com)

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