29 Oct Midcoast News October 29 2014
Maine: The new Ground Zero for the Ebola debate
Here in Maine we’re seeing some high-stakes drama emerging from a broader national debate over questions about how we should best react to the Ebola virus. Top state health officials are saying that the nurse who recently treated Ebola patients in west Africa must abide by a court order of the state will secure a court order requiring her to do so. But her attorneys say they will fight those efforts. Meanwhile, after having been held against her will in New Jersey, Kaci Hickox is apparently now in Maine, but not at her home in Fort Kent. She has tested negative for Ebola and shows no symptoms, and the disease is transmitted only through contact with bodily fluids.
A veteran medical ethicist is weighing in on the Ebola scare. Arthur Caplan, the founding director of the division of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, who says actions taken by Maine health officials are not based on science, and says this quarantine has nothing to do with science and everything to do with fear.
A thief hears her fate
The woman from Brunswick who stole over 365 thousand dollars from the non-profit economic development firm Coastal Enterprises has been sentenced to twenty years in prison. 41-year-old Stacey Backman had been a fund accountant at Coastal Enterprises and pleaded guilty in June to embezzling the money over four years, beginning in 2010. The company discovered the missing money this past January and fired the woman.
A new stop for the Downeaster
The Downeaster train that runs daily between Brunswick and Boston will add a stop in Kennebunk either next summer or in 2016, and that will mean a restoration of passenger train service in that town for the first time in a half century.