How you might get a little extra time to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act

How you might get a little extra time to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act

If you're having trouble enrolling in a health plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you may be able to breathe a short sigh of relief. The deadline for open enrollment is next Monday, March 31, but the Obama administration has decided to allow extra time for some people who haven't been able to do so yet. Read more ...

Four Maine vets recognized with special trip to Washington

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In a small town, sending veterans to Washington is a big deal.

So five days after hosting a big fundraiser for the trip, everyone at the Vinalhaven school tuned up to cheer on a group of vetrans as they left.


The trip happened because of the town's new physician's assistant, Earl Morse. He started Honor Flight nine years ago in Ohio.

Morse began recruiting volunteer pilots and planes to take World War Two veterans to the National World War Two Memorial in Washington.

And this may just be the first trip of many. Earl Morse and the owner of Penobscot Island Air are already planning a bigger trip this summer.

They're hoping to recruit more pilots to bring in dozens of veterans from around the state, and charter a big plane to take them all to Washington.

National Drink Wine Day

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Today is National Drink Wine Day! According to their website, National Drink Wine Day is celebrated to spread the health benefits - and the love - of wine.

The positive benefits of wine include the enhancement of food and life, as while as reducing the risk of heart disease.

National Drink Wine Day is celebrated annually on February 18 across the United States.

Insurance rates sky rocketing despite efforts to improve fire protection

BERWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Residents in many communities across the state have experienced sticker shock when they open their home owners insurance policy renewals to find their rates have more than doubled.

There are a variety of reasons that insurance rates have skyrocketed over the past year, said Brad Scott, president of Spencer & Mathews Insurance Company.  The main reason, he said, has been the significant payouts insurers have had to make due to many large-scale natural disasters in recent years.

"The number of these events that have happened in the past decade, and the ferocity of them, has been unprecedented," he stated.  "The insurers have paid considerably more out than they have collected in premiums."

Ski area prepares for major makeover

CAMDEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's looking like another good weekend for skiers around Maine. But at the Camden Snow Bowl, they're already thinking about next season.

The town-owned ski area is about to start a major, $6.5 million makeover, financed through $4.5 million in private donations and $2 million from taxpayers. As soon as the ski season ends, work will begin for a new triple chair lift and an expanded snow making system. They will build a new beginner slope area and relocate the current chairlift to serve it. There will also be significant work to improve water drainage.

Snow Bowl managers say they're completing permit applications now, and will advertise for construction bids in March or early April. The goal is to have all the "on the mountain" work completed before the next ski season. Then they plan to build a new base lodge in 2015.

Snowy owl trapped in Portland building released

PORTLAND, Maine (NECN) -- There's been an unusually high number of snowy owl sightings in New England this winter.

VIDEO: Snowy owl released

One explanation is an overpopulation of owls in Canada
has lead the birds to come further south looking for food.

One owl made news January 15 when it was spotted peeking "out" of a window in downtown Portland. No one knows for sure how the owl got trapped in the building on Commercial Street but it was rescued Wednesday night and brought to the "Avian Haven" bird sanctuary in Freedom.

PHOTOS: Owl sightings around Maine

The sanctuary says the owl is in good health and has no injuries.

Video of the snowy owl release courtesy of Avian Haven