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Things You Need to Know: $650,000 to Winslow + Rockland to Improve Infrastructure + Create Jobs

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Here are the things you need to  know today……

Zone forecast from Maine.gov

A federal audit found Maine DHHS did not investigate the deaths of all 133 people with developmental disabilities.  According to the Bangor Daily News  the deaths happened between the start of 2013 and mid 2015 while under the care of community-based providers and did not report suspicious deaths to law enforcement agencies to review.

From the Associated Press:

The Northern Border Regional Commission is providing $650,000 to Winslow and Rockland to help improve local infrastructure and create jobs in the state. Rep. Chellie Pingree says Rockland’s aging fish pier will get an upgrade. The pier is critical to Rockland’s working waterfront area. The work will help the waterfront better accommodate fishing and allow a boat pier to serve growing cruise ship activity in the area. Funds will also help the Winslow Business Park expand, creating new jobs. Two companies in the business park are already looking to grow and add 110 new jobs.

The National Science Foundation is awarding a Maine marine science lab nearly $1.2 million to study the chemistry of the ocean. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King say the award will fund a Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences project about Sub-Antarctic Mode Water, which is an important water mass.

An appeals court has ruled Maine can bar protesters from being too loud, saying the law does not distinguish between the protesters’ positions. The Portland Press Herald reports the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law was “content-neutral” Tuesday, saying it only focuses on the noise level of the protests. The case centers on an anti-abortion protester who the state says was so loud he disrupted examinations at a Portland clinic in 2015.

An attorney says the family of a teenager who died in a 2014 hayride crash in Maine has settled a lawsuit against the farm owner who operated the attraction. The settlement amount in the wrongful death lawsuit for 17-year-old Cassidy Charette wasn’t disclosed Wednesday. The money will be used to support a family-created foundation in Cassidy’s honor.

Maine is adopting rules about daily fantasy sports games that classify the contests as games of skill and create a tax structure for them. The proposal passed the Legislature and has become law without Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s signature. It says fantasy contest operators must be authorized to do business in Maine and pay a fee of 10 percent of gross fantasy contest revenues for the preceding 12 months, up to $5,000.

Japan says it could shoot down missiles for its U.S. ally if North Korea fires them at Guam. The defense minister says a missile attack on the U.S. military bases there would breach the U.S. deterrence against an attack on Japan. He said that would be a Japanese national emergency because it would threaten Japan’s existence as a nation. A new defense law allows Japan’s military to defend its allies when they are attacked.

The case of a severely disabled New York man infested with maggots offers a rare glimpse into the often-secretive probes of abuse and neglect in state-run institutions. Steven Wenger had maggots around his breathing tube twice in two days last year at an upstate group home. The case only came to light because The Associated Press obtained a confidential investigative report. In most states, details of such probes in state-regulated institutions for the disabled are almost never made public.

Yemen’s raging two-year conflict has turned the country into an incubator for lethal cholera. Primitive sanitation and water systems put Yemenis at risk of drinking feces-contaminated water. Wells are dirtied by runoff from rain falling on piles of garbage left uncollected for weeks. Farmland is irrigated with broken sewers due to lax oversight and corruption. And half the country’s health facilities are out of service.

Hurricane Franklin roared ashore on Mexico’s central Gulf coast early Thursday, threatening to pound a mountainous region prone to flash floods and mudslides with torrential rains and heavy winds. Franklin strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season on Wednesday and its landfall early Thursday was its second on Mexican territory in three days. As a tropical storm, Franklin made a relatively mild run across the Yucatan Peninsula earlier in the week.

One of President Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters has made a $300,000 donation to a super PAC for a primary opponent of Sen. Jeff Flake. The Arizona Republican faces re-election next year and has been one of the biggest thorns in the president’s side. Robert Mercer’s check marks the “first major gift” to the committee backing Senate candidate Kelli Ward.

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