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POSTED November 4, 2013 9:38 p.m.

MAINE CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES HE'S GAY: PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Rep. Mike Michaud had endured more than a dozen elections without anyone questioning his sexuality. Now everyone knows the Maine congressman is gay — including his mother.

The 58-year-old Michaud said Monday that he told his mom that he was gay just hours before he released an op-ed in which he came out publicly. He said he wrote the piece to end "whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls" that were dogging his gubernatorial campaign.

"It was a difficult decision to tell my sister and my mother," Michaud said in his Portland campaign office hours after he released an op-ed. His mother, sister and five other siblings said through his campaign staff that they didn't want to be interviewed.

The announcement lifts the profile of a three-way race in which the six-term congressman and former paper mill worker is running close in the polls with Gov. Paul LePage, the Republican incumbent. Also in the race is wealthy independent Eliot Cutler.

OFFICIALS GO DOOR-TO-DOOR FOR DOG LICENSE CHECKS: EASTVALE, Calif. (AP) — Inspectors are going door-to-door in one Riverside County city checking to ensure every resident's dog is vaccinated and licensed.

Eastvale contracted for a part-time license inspector in its 2013-14 agreement with Riverside County for animal control service.

Inspectors began canvassing neighborhoods in August and as of Oct. 24 had written 225 "fix it" citations.

Owners are given 20 days to get their animals vaccinated against rabies, licensed, micro chipped and, if needed, spayed or neutered. The ticket is then cleared.

Eastvale spokeswoman Michele Nissen tells the newspaper the city chose to use a license inspector after receiving a number of complaints about dogs roaming loose.

Nissen says there are an estimated 8,600 dogs in Eastvale. Only about 1,100 are licensed.

The program is expected to generate about $200,000 in revenue.


BEAR KILLS DOG, BITES WOMAN IN WASH. STATE: LONG BEACH, Wash. (AP) — Wildlife agents are trying to trap a bear that bit a woman and killed her dog when they surprised it raiding a garbage can outside the woman's home on Washington state's Long Beach Peninsula, the state Fish and Wildlife Department said.

The woman was treated at a hospital for puncture wounds on her waistline. The attack happened at about 3 a.m. Friday, but the woman didn't report it to police until she returned home later that day, said Mike Cenci, deputy chief for Fish and Wildlife officers.

Four officers responded, bringing a Karelian bear dog from Tacoma to help track the animal. However, the ground was wet, and too much time had passed to pick up the scent.

Cenci described the attack that left the pet schnauzer dead as an accidental encounter. He said the bear likely was trying to get away when the woman spotted it and began chasing it with a broom.

INSURANCE BROKER SENTENCED FOR SCAMMING TOM HANKS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California insurance broker who overcharged Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, hundreds of thousands of dollars has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison.

Jerry Goldman received a 27-month sentence Monday. He also was ordered to pay about $840,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors claimed that between 1998 and 2011, Goldman inflated premiums by as much as 600 percent and created phony invoices to hide the scam.

The original indictment claimed that Goldman also bilked others including Andy Summers, the former guitarist for The Police.

TWITTER FACES SKEPTICAL INVESTORS: NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter faces skepticism from potential investors and the broader public ahead of its initial public offering, according to an Associated Press-CNBC poll released Monday.

Some 36 percent of Americans say buying stock in the 7-year-old short messaging service would be a good investment, while 47 percent disagree. Last May, ahead of Facebook's IPO, 51 percent of Americans said Facebook Inc. would be a good investment. Just 31 percent didn't agree.

Twitter plans to make its Wall Street debut this week and surprisingly, 52 percent of people ages 18 to 34 say investing in the company's stock is not a good idea.

Twitter Inc. will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning after setting a price for its IPO sometime Wednesday evening. As it stands, the San Francisco-based company plans to raise as much as $1.6 billion in the process. The transaction values Twitter at as much as $12.5 billion. That's little more than one-eighth of Facebook's roughly $104 billion market value when it went public.

GOV'T EASING THE WAY FOR DISABLED AIR PASSENGERS: WASHINGTON (AP) — Disabled travelers should find it easier to access airline websites under a new set of rules the government issued on Monday.

Airline website pages which have core travel information and services must be accessible to the disabled within two years, the Department of Transportation said, and all pages on airline websites must within three years be readily available to people with disabilities.

The new regulations also require airline ticket agents to disclose — and offer — web-based discount fares to customers unable to use their sites due to a disability. Airlines already are required to provide equivalent service for consumers who are unable to use inaccessible websites.

Airlines and airports will also have to make accessible to the disabled automated kiosks providing boarding passes and baggage tags, as they purchase new equipment. If no new kiosks are installed, 25 percent of the kiosks currently at each airport location must be accessible within 10 years.

Another new rule gives airlines more flexibility in how they transport manual, folding wheelchairs onboard, making it possible for them to carry up to two wheelchairs in the cabin, the department said. In addition to being able to stow a wheelchair in a closet, airlines will also be allowed to strap a second chair across a row of seats.

Closets also must have signs saying wheelchairs have priority over other baggage.

 

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