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The Coastal Packet

The longtime national journal, Progressive Review, has moved its headquarters from Washington DC to Freeport, Maine, where its editor, Sam Smith, has long ties. This is a local edition dealing with Maine news and progressive politics.

1/28/10

DOWN EAST NOTES

Maine Public Broadcasting - Sales of existing single family homes in Maine were more than 10 percent higher in 2009 than in 2008, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. . . The association says 10,486 homes were sold in Maine in 2009, compared with 9,502 in 2008. Meanwhile, the median price of those homes fell over the year by nearly 9 percent.

CMIO - Hospitals rated in the top 5 percent in the U.S. have a 29 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate and are improving their clinical quality at a faster pace than other hospitals, according to a study issued Jan. 26 by Health Grades, a healthcare ratings organization. . . Thr following states had no hospitals in the top 5 percent: Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Wyoming.

Kennebec Journal - An ice jam more than a mile long flooded Augusta and Hallowell's downtowns and had authorities in other riverside communities on edge wondering if they could be next. . . Some vehicles in Hallowell and Gardiner were trapped and submerged in the floodwaters. . . Officials said water levels in Augusta and Hallowell reached more than 17 feet -- more than 5 feet above flood stage. In Hallowell, Front Street was completely underwater Wednesday, as were the basements of waterfront buildings. A camper and commercial truck were partially in the water. . . A sign on the door of Dancewear House, which was closed, read: "Flood level store hours: zero feet, open for business, 10-5; two feet, cash only; four feet, wading boots are not dance attire; six feet, Oh my God." Next to the 8-foot flood level, the sign had a simple drawing of what appeared to be bubbles.

Portland Press Herald - Maine's two U.S. senators say the state is going to get $35 million to extend the Amtrak Downeaster passenger train from Portland to Brunswick. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins say the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority will use the money to rehabilitate the 30 miles of tracks between the two cities.

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