Here are the things you need to  know today......

There is a bill in Maine to raise the smoking age to 21. According to WGME it is already that way in Hawaii and California. And over 200 cities have that age to purchase including Portland.  The bill comes up for a senate vote this week.

From the Associated Press:

A Maine court will hold a hearing on a mother's request that her daughter be declared dead more than five years after the girl disappeared. Ayla Reynolds was 20 months old when she was reported missing in December 2011 from her fathers home in Waterville. A court has signed off on holding a hearing on Sept. 21 to declare Ayla dead. As part of the legal process, a probate judge signed a document declaring Ayla dead to move the process forward and to appoint her mother as personal representative.

Thousands of pieces of equipment from Madison's closed paper mill are going up for auction starting June 13. The Madison Paper Industries mill shut down a year ago, and it was sold to a buyer in December who intends to create another industrial use on the property. FMI

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is in Maine to raise money for the Republican Party. Gov. Paul LePage, Senate President Michael Thibodeau and House Minority Leader Kenneth Fredette are among those expected to attend a reception and fundraiser in Augusta on Wednesday to welcome Demi Kouzounas to her new post as chair of the state Republican Party. Schilling helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004.

Maine's Republican governor is looking into commuting the sentences of female inmates as part of an effort to alleviate a shortage of workers as the tourism season starts. Gov. Paul LePage said in a radio call-in show Tuesday he's asking the federal government for help securing foreign workers to fill jobs in hotels. Maine's tourism industry is having a difficult time finding workers during record low unemployment in the state, known for its lighthouses and beaches.

The Maine Warden Service says divers have found the body of a canoeist who went missing on the Saco River. The service says Jennifer Bousquet's body was found in about eight feet of water some 300 to 400 yards from the Fryeburg spot where her canoe capsized on Saturday. The Portland Press Herald reports the 38-year-old's body was found just after noon on Tuesday.

The Maine fire marshal's office is investigating a fire that claimed a life in the community of Orneville in Piscataquis County. Investigators say the house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived early Tuesday. Firefighters discovered the body of a man and two dogs after the fire was doused.

The House intelligence committee has asked a former Trump White House staffer for information in connection with its probe into Russian interference in the election. Boris Epshteyn confirmed Tuesday that he had been contacted, saying in a statement that the committee had asked him to volunteer information.

President Donald Trump has been handing out his cellphone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly, an unusual invitation that breaks diplomatic protocol and is raising concerns about the security and secrecy of presidential communications. Trump has urged leaders of Canada and Mexico to reach him on his cellphone, according to a former and a current U.S. official with direct knowledge of the practice. The White House did not respond to questions about the practice.

Forget, for the moment, how erratic leader Kim Jong Un and his generals may seem. North Korea is testing better, more advanced ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons faster than ever before. If it were to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike, would Washington hit back, or recoil and de-escalate? For Pyongyang, forcing Washington to weigh that calamity is a win.

An Afghan health official says the morning rush-hour explosion in Kabul has killed nine people and wounded as many as 90. Ismail Kawasi says it was not immediately known what the target of the attack was on Wednesday morning. The explosion was so heavy that more than 30 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged at the site of the attack. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State group have staged large-scale attacks in Kabul in the past.

The apparent arrest and disappearances of three men investigating a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump-branded shoes in China prompted a call for the brand to cease working with the supplier and raised questions about whether the first family's commercial interests would muddy U.S. leadership on human rights. The men were working with China Labor Watch to publish a report alleging low pay, excessive overtime and possible misuse of student labor.

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