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An extension cord was to blame for the apartment building fire in Skowhegan Tuesday night that left 8 people homeless. reports the owner said the building had smoke  detectors.

Lithgow Library was closed yesterday after bedbugs were detected. According to the area was treated and the building will be open today. As a preventive measure Augusta has City Center, the Buker Community Center and Lithgow Public Library checked once a month.

Two bills to tighten Maine’s voter ID requirements called unconstitutional and unneeded during a public hearings yesterday. reports those opposed say it would discourage voting but supporters say it would help to reduce any voter fraud.

From the Associated Press:

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she's going to vote against President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Collins tells Maine Public that she has doubts about Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's vision for an agency with a "critical mission to protect human health and the environment."

Two New England states are battling more snow after several days of practically nonstop storms. Maine and New Hampshire residents were running short on snow blowers, rakes and shovels as another winter storm arrived Wednesday.

Maine's congressional delegation says the U.S. International Trade Commission was right to rule against Chinese fabric producers for selling unfairly subsidized materials in the U.S. at less than fair value. Auburn Manufacturing Inc. led the fight over amorphous silica fabric, or ASF, a heat-resistant material. The delegation says on Wednesday that the International Trade Commission unanimously voted in agreement with the company that unfair trade practices occurred.

Crews are working around the clock to make repairs to an emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam in Northern California. Meanwhile, the Department of Water Resources says Lake Oroville's water level is 26 feet below the emergency spillway. Nearly 200,000 residents near the dam were told to evacuate over the weekend, when erosion put a hole in the emergency spillway.

A relatively mild winter across the Northeast has made thinly frozen lakes dangerous. Ten snowmobilers have died this season. Most of the accidents happened in New York state, where officials warn that despite recent snowfalls, many lakes have not had enough cold days to develop ice thick enough for riding. Two people died this month when their snowmobiles plunged through the ice in the Adirondacks. A 15-year-old snowmobiler died in New Hampshire.

More questions are being raised about the planning of last month's U.S. raid in Yemen that targeted al-Qaida. Military officials, tribal figures and relatives say the main figure killed in the raid was actually a tribal leader who was allied to the country's U.S.- and Saudi-backed president and had been enlisted to fight Yemen's Shiite rebels. Also killed in the raid were a U.S. Navy Seal and at least 25 Yemenis, including 10 children. Six U.S. soldiers were wounded.

Police in Malaysia say a second woman has been arrested in the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The second alleged assassin was taken into custody early Thursday, a day after authorities arrested the first suspect. The women are accused of poisoning Kim as he waited for a flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday.

Firefighters in Wellington, New Zealand say they've been able to halt an advancing wildfire that's burned down 11 homes in the hill suburbs and forced hundreds of people to evacuate. The civil defense controller for Christchurch says the plan for his city is to let the blaze burn itself out, now that firefighters have stopped the fire from moving further into Christchurch. There's also a forecast for rain over the weekend.

China is adding the deadly elephant tranquilizer carfentanil and three related synthetic opioids to its list of controlled substances effective March 1. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration calls China's action a potential "game-changer" that is likely to reduce supply of key chemicals driving a surge of overdoses and deaths among unsuspecting drug users in North America.

Representatives of the fast-food industry are disappointed that Andrew Puzder has withdrawn his nomination to head the Labor Department. Labor groups criticized Puzder's comments about replacing workers with robots and his opposition to significant wage hikes. Puzder is CEO of the company that owns Carl's Jr. and Hardee's.


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