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Gov LePage is now says that he did tell lawmakers he was leaving on vacation earlier this week as a negotiating tactic during the budget crisis. According to WGME, there had been claims it was fake news but a voice mail was released that has him saying he was going on vacation.

The Augusta man  who threw a cup of bedbugs onto a counter at City Center, has been charged with two misdemeanors. reports 74-year-old Charles Manning was charged with assault and obstruction of government administration. He's scheduled to appear in court Aug. 7.

From the Associated Press:

A Maine man's killing of a woman and their son has underscored Maine's long-standing problem of domestic violence, which is linked to about half of homicides. Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills said that last year, seven out of 16 homicide victims lost their lives following domestic violence. Police say 51-year-old Carroll Tuttle Jr., of Madison, killed 52-year-old Lori Hayden, and their son, 25-year-old Dustin Tuttle, at their home. He then killed a neighbor, 57-year-old Michael Spaulding, at his home a short distance away.Spaulding's son, also named Michael, told the Morning Sentinel that Spaulding was helping Hayden move away from Carroll. A neighbor says Carroll had a temper and was jealous. The shootings came to an end when Carroll was killed by police.

Gov LePage is lashing out at media reports he planned to leave the state during a budget impasse, and he suggested he makes up stories to mislead reporters. Republican Gov. Paul LePage criticized the news media for reporting that he planned to leave the state while state government is shut down. The news stories were based on LePage's comments to two Republican senators. His office described the reports as "fake news." LePage said Thursday: "I just love to sit in my office and make up ways so they'll write these stupid stories because they are just so stupid, it's awful." He also characterized the Maine media as "vile," ''inaccurate" and "useless." He says "the sooner the print press goes away, the better society will be."

A professional runner from Kenya says he had to outrun two charging black bears while training in the woods in Maine. Moninda Marube says he went for a run early Wednesday on a nature trail near his home in Auburn and engaged in a stare-down with the bears. The Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal reports he thought his only option was to run away so he sprinted to a nearby vacant house and got inside its screened porch and the bears chased him but then wandered off.

Maine's congressional delegation says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved up to $10 million to purchase surplus Maine blueberries. Wild blueberries are one of the most important crops in Maine, but the industry is struggling with a steep decline in prices to farmers. The congressional delegation says on Thursday that the USDA's purchase will hopefully help farmers by stabilizing prices.

Jay Leno's car now qualifies for the popular bumper sticker, "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington." But this was no ordinary car. A television crew filmed Leno's Stanley steam-powered car driving the auto road to the summit of New Hampshire's Mount Washington this week. He tells the Portland Press Herald that the idea was to recreate the first time a Stanley drove up the mountain in 1899. His show, "Jay Leno's Garage," follows the comedian as he travels around the country to find unique cars.

President Donald Trump is publicly criticizing Russia for what he calls destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere. But Trump stops short of condemning Moscow for meddling in the U.S. presidential election. Trump is now in Hamburg, Germany, for a Group of 20 summit that includes Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A military strike against North Korea appears to be one of the least likely options the U.S. would consider in response to the North's missile tests. Officials have said such a move would carry the risk of an all-out conflict. Pentagon chief Jim Mattis tells reporters that this week's test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile doesn't threaten the U.S. The defense secretary also says that the latest test doesn't bring the U.S. closer to war.

South Korea's president says he's willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un amid heightened regional animosities after the North's first test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday. President Moon Jae-in made the overture during a speech in Germany, where he is attending the Group of 20 summit.

A Canadian official says a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan has received a multimillion-dollar payment from Canada after a court ruling said his rights were abused. The official confirms that Omar Khadr has been given the money. A different official also familiar with the deal says it is for 10.5 million Canadian dollars (US$8 million).

A Somali man whose leg was blown off by a grenade says he feels unbelievably lucky to be among the last refugees allowed into the United States before stricter rules kick in as part of the Trump administration's travel ban. Ali Said (sy-EED') told The Associated Press on Thursday after arriving in San Diego that he and his family would have likely been denied entry to the United States under the new rules that require refugees have ties to a U.S. person or entity.