Things You Need to Know: Waterville Considering Fees on Shopping Bags
Here are the things you need to know today……
Maine has a bus driver shortage. According to WGME there is a new program targeting veterans to help fill those openings. There are at least 50 open school bus driver positions. It is a national issues and affects both public and private enterprise.
Fire damaged building on Spring St. in Gardiner. According to centralmaine.com no one was injured. But a family cat did die.
The Sustain Mid Maine Coalition in Waterville is looking at rules for shopping bags. Centralmaine.com reports Waterville is considering rules on fees similar to Portland’s on paper and plastic bags.
From the Associated Press:
Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is set to draw the order of ballot questions for this November’s ballot. One question to allow slot machines or a casino in York County asks voters if they want to allow a certain out-of-state company to seek state and local approval to do so. The second question would be to expand Medicaid to qualified adults under 65 with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty line.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing more than $2.3 million to American Indian tribes in Maine to develop housing. The Indian Housing Block Grant money is going to the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Penobscot Indian Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Pleasant Point Reservation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Indian Township.
The father of one of the organizers of a demonstration that led to racially charged violence during the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, is disavowing his son’s racist views. Peter Lodge tells the Sun Journal he has spent his life “trying to bring people of all groups together regardless of race or sexual preference, to make the world better.” His son is Nathan Damigo, founder of a white nationalist group.
State police in Maine say a man suffered minor injuries when an ultralight plane he was piloting crashed about 25 miles north of Augusta. Police say 75-year-old Bill Fuller of Clinton was taken to a hospital on Tuesday for treatment of cuts and bruises. They say Fuller’s plane crashed in Benton and he was able to walk away from the wreckage.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says “white supremacy is repulsive” and “is counter to all this country stands for.” Ryan is the first Republican leader to comment on President Donald Trump’s saying Tuesday that “there is blame on both sides” for the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The fight over “traditional America” is throwing a spotlight on the Republican Party’s struggle with race in the age of Donald Trump. Corey Stewart, an outsider candidate for Virginia governor, says the removal of a Confederal general’s memorial is an “attempt to destroy traditional America” and he says such an action “hits people in the gut.” Despite GOP talk of inclusiveness and minority outreach, it’s clear white fears continue to resonate with many in the GOP base.
The violence over a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, has prompted leaders in cities and states across the country to accelerate plans to remove Confederate monuments from public property. In Gainesville, Florida, the Daughters of the Confederacy removed a statue of a Confederate soldier known as “Ole Joe.” And in Durham, North Carolina, protesters used a rope to pull down a Confederate monument dedicated in 1924.
Sultan Hossaini sent three of his children from their rural home to the capital, Kabul, hoping they would gain degrees and employment in the new Afghanistan promised after the overthrow of the Taliban. But one was killed by a suicide bomber, and the other two face dwindling opportunities and mounting fears as the country slides back into chaos.
An influential Iraqi Shiite cleric, notorious for his followers’ deadly attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and long-thought to be close to Iran, is now cultivating ties with two Sunni nations among Arab Gulf states that are fiercely critical of Tehran. Muqtada al-Sadr’s trips to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are a sign of the realpolitik at play in the region. For al-Sadr, the trips burnish the chameleonic cleric’s credentials as an Iraqi leader.