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U.S. Sen. Angus King visits The County for listening sessions with Northern Maine residents

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — U.S. Senator Angus King traveled to The County this week to meet with community leaders, residents and students in the Central Aroostook region to discuss issues that affect Northern Maine residents. 

King began his tour around Presque Isle with a private group meeting at the Aroostook Agency on Aging to listen to various healthcare challenges in the area, such as isolation for older residents and concerns about prescription drugs.

King also visited Northern Maine Community College in the afternoon to speak with students about their own health and wellness. 

“Mostly today is about listening,” King said late Wednesday evening. He said many people brought up challenges they were facing with the healthcare system as well as barriers to accessing quality health care. 

While transportation was a recurring issue mentioned throughout the day, King said broadband internet access was one of the most common problems that he heard. 

“It’s one of [the] biggest issues that came up at all the meetings,” he said. 

King said he is going to take the issues he heard today and bring them back to Washington to work on finding solutions. 

He specifically mentioned that he’s currently working on getting better access to broadband internet in rural Maine communities — a goal that has been in progress for both local organizations and the state Legislature for some time. 

King also visited the University of Maine at Presque Isle on Wednesday afternoon to meet with students in the new cybersecurity degree program, which launched this fall. 

King currently sits on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee and is co-chairman of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, an organization that works to develop strategies to protect the nation against cyber threats. 

During his visit on Wednesday, King talked with UMPI students about the need for people to enter the workforce with cybersecurity skills. “They’re important jobs,” he said. 

He said that there are many jobs available in the field, adding that cybersecurity is “desperately needed” today.

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