Things You Need to Know: LePage Suggests Merging MeDOT + Turnpike Authority
Here are the things you need to know today......
A donor has promised up to $1M for a fire station at Stevens Commons in Hallowell. According to centralmaine.com the offer comes with some conditions and a tight timeline to accept.
Gov LePage would like to merge the DOT and Turnpike Authority. Centramaine.com reports it would take years to complete but in the end, Maine would only have one toll booth in Kittery.
Maine Maple Sunday is this weekend. Sugar houses around the state will be taking part and inviting people in to enjoy.
From the Associated Press:
Acadia National Park is warning hikers of closures of some popular trails because of peregrine falcons that have returned to nest. Officials say the falcons are defending nests at the Precipice, Jordan and Valley Cove cliffs. That means the Jordan Cliffs Trail, Valley Cove Trail, Precipice Trail, and a part of the Orange & Black Path are closed to public entry until further notice.
A police officer diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder could have an easier time accessing worker's compensation under a Democrat's bill. Assistant House Majority Leader Jared Golden's bill would apply to law enforcement officers, firefighters, corrections officers or emergency medical services workers.
A Republican lawmaker in Maine who has introduced a bill that would protect people from discrimination based on their beliefs about climate change says he thinks it's an open question whether human activity is the primary cause of it. Rep. Larry Lockman tells The Associated Press that there needs to be a "vigorous public debate" on whether human activity is the main cause of climate change.
The federal government is shutting down scallop fishing in a key New England fishing area amid an ongoing conflict over the harvest of the valuable shellfish. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it'll close the northern Gulf of Maine area at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and the total allowable catch for the area has been harvested. Small boats have been in conflict with big boats in the area.
British authorities have not yet identified the man they say carried out an attack outside Parliament that left five people dead, including the attacker, and some 40 people injured. Police say they're treating the attack as terrorism, but there've been no claims of responsibility. Counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley says Islamic extremism is suspected.
Australia says Wednesday's deadly rampage near Britain's Parliament shows that Australia has been right to be cautious when accepting Syrian refugees. An official says that during a year of vetting, Australia accepted 12,000 refugees from Middle Eastern camps who were eligible for resettlement, but 500 Syrians were rejected.
The aid group Save the Children says nearly third of all children in war-torn Afghanistan are unable to attend school, leaving them at increased risk of child labor, recruitment by armed groups, early marriage and other forms of exploitation. The group says more than 400,000 Afghan children are expected to drop out of school this year due to growing instability and the forcible return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, adding to the 3.7 million already out of school.
At least 26 Republicans have said they oppose the GOP bill to replace the Obama health care law, and others are leaning that way. There may be enough votes to narrowly defeat the measure when it comes up for a vote Thursday. But President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have been holding meetings with lawmakers who support and oppose the bill, hoping to win over more of the GOP.
A new study says that the stresses of working-class, middle-aged white Americans are putting their lives at risk. Research by two Princeton University economists says the loss of steady middle-income jobs for those with high school diplomas or less has triggered broad problems, such as suicide, drug overdoses and alcohol-related deaths, especially for those 45 through 54 years old.