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Things You Need to Know: Spring + Pothole Season Have Arrived in Central Maine

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Here are the things you need to  know today……

A Skowhegan woman has been arrested on charges related to running an illegal pet shot and animal cruelty.   According to centralmaine.com she has been under investigation for a few months.

Pot hole season in Maine has arrived. Centralmaine.com reports is the ‘freeze thaw cycle’ that drives their arrival and they are now showing up all over Central Maine.  Today, March 20th, is also the first day of spring  of 6:28 a.m.

Four small airports in Maine, including Augusta, could see federal cuts if the proposed subsidy cuts in Washington go thu. According to the Bangor Daily News the money from the program helps keep the smaller airlines that service these smaller airports like Cape Air in Augusta.

From the Associated Press:

Maine has shot to second in the nation for voter turnout for a presidential election. About 72 percent of Maine’s voting eligible population cast ballots in the 2016 election. A new report says 72.8 percent of Maine’s voting eligible population cast ballots in the 2016 election. Maine is second only to Minnesota, which reached nearly 75 percent.

Legislators are set to consider once again whether to approve rules to jumpstart mining of Maine’s deposits of copper, zinc, gold and silver. Officials approved a law in 2012 calling for an overhaul of mining rules. But companies like J.D. Irving say they can’t mine in Maine because lawmakers have twice failed to approve rules proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection. Public hearings on several bills are scheduled for Monday.

The expanding market for lobsters in China is continuing to grow, with the country setting a new record for the value of its imports of the crustaceans from the United States. American lobster was almost unheard of in China until 2010, when the value of imports grew 250 percent to about $7.4 million. Last year, China imported more than $108 million in lobsters from America.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she doesn’t yet know if President Donald Trump owes an apology to former President Barack Obama over accusations of a wiretap. But she says Trump owes the American people an explanation. She spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Maine is gearing up to host some of the nation’s top skiers. The U.S. Alpine Championships kick off this weekend at Sugarloaf ski area with skiers arriving after the World Cup wrapped up in Colorado. The event is a major ski development tool, pitting top skiers from regional teams around the U.S. against U.S ski team veterans. It’ll be the sixth time Sugarloaf has hosted the event.

The top two lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee say that documents from the Justice Department and FBI offer no evidence that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential campaign. But ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, says the material does offer circumstantial evidence that American citizens colluded with Russians in Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the presidential election. The committee begins hearings on both matters Monday.

China’s trading partners are bringing the top U.N. food standards official to Beijing in a last-ditch effort persuade regulators to scale back plans to require intensive inspections of food imports. Washington and Europe say those inspections — that include low-risk items such as wine and chocolate — could disrupt billions of dollars in commerce. The rule could inflame tensions with the Trump administration of, which has promised to raise tariffs on imports from China and the European Union.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’ll pursue changes to a GOP health care bill to provide more help to older people. The new willingness to compromise comes days before a pivotal vote and is a bid for more support from moderate Republicans, who’ve expressed continuing unease about the plan to replace “Obamacare.” A House vote on the bill is set for Thursday..

A judge is scheduled to hear new arguments Monday from Roman Polanski’s lawyer about why the director’s long-running underage sex case should be drawn to a close. Polanski fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl the previous year. Prosecutors say Polanski should not be allowed to make any arguments for how to resolve the case unless he personally appears in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Americans from the Middle East and North Africa may soon be counted in the U.S. census as distinct members of their country, not as “white” or “some other race.” The Census Bureau has recommended adding a Middle East-North Africa category, saying it would produce a more accurate count. Some worry that could lead to discrimination.

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