Things You Need to Know: Gardiner Residents Asked for Input on Cobbossee Rail Trail
Here are the things you need to know today......
The Augusta Planning Board said OK to a plan to build two new office buildings on Capitol Street. According to centralmaine.com there have been concerns the design isn’t worthy of such a prominent location near the capital complex.
Earlier this year, Skowhegan decided it was not going to maintain Moody Street. According to centralmaine.com residents have now hired a lawyer to force the town to continue taking care of the small street.
Gardiner residents are being asked for input on the Cobbossee Rail Trail. According to centralmaine.com Gardiner is having extensive work on two bridges in the city and the trail work is expected to be incorporated with the bridge work.
From the Associated Press:
Republican Gov. Paul LePage says 7,600 residents of Maine fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, a claim that is drawing consternation among historians. The self-described "history buff" made the claim Tuesday on a radio interview and during a discussion about Civil War monuments. He says Maine residents who fought for the South instead of the North were farmers "concerned about their land, their property." Jamie Rice with the Maine Historical Society says, "There's no way to say he's right or wrong, but it's not a number I'd go with." She says about 72,000 Maine residents fought with the Union Army. LePage also criticized the media and repeated his claim that newspaper reporters are "pencil terrorists." He says, "If I walked across the Kennebec River, the headline would read 'Governor can't swim."
A group of Republicans wants Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to strike the word "insurance" from a November ballot question asking voters to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Former Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett said the question should refer to "taxpayer-funded health benefits" or as "government-funded health benefits." He was joined Tuesday by several other prominent Republicans. Supporters say the referendum question doesn't need to be changed. The question now reads: "Do you want Maine to provide health insurance through Medicaid for qualified adults?" The Medicaid program provides medical care to low-income residents and people with disabilities. Expanding the program would cost about $54 million a year; supporters point out that it would draw down $525 million each year in federal matching funds.
Maine's supreme court has ruled that law enforcement officials don't have to show what specifically distracted a driver who caused a fatal chain-reaction crash. Thomas Palmer testified that he "looked up" to see a car stopped in the road on U.S. Route 1 in Woolwich in August 2015. His lawyer argued that the contention he was distracted was not supported by any facts pointing to what activity was distracting him.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is set to receive an award from an international organization aimed at boosting women in transportation. The Maine chapter of Advancing Women in Transportation says it will present its International 2017 Woman of the Year award to Collins, a Republican, at a Wednesday lunch buffet. The organization hailed Collins for efforts like 2011 legislation allowing trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds to operate on Maine's modern interstate highways.
The central Maine town of Clinton is getting ready for a two-day celebration of the state's farms. Maine Farm Days is taking place at Misty Meadows Farm in Clinton on Wednesday and Thursday. Organizers say the event will include wagon tours, agribusiness exhibits, educational speakers and lots of animals.
Republican state Sen. Andrew Cushing is facing ethics violations for using his leadership PAC to provide short-term loans to a family business. In a memo, the staff said Cushing never reported short-term loans from his Respect Maine PAC to New England Forest Products. Cushing didn't immediately respond to request for comment Tuesday.
President Donald Trump says he thinks the U.S. will "end up probably terminating" the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico "at some point." Trump tells supporters at a Phoenix, Arizona rally that, "Personally, I don't think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of." But he cautions he has yet to make up his mind.
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams says three people were arrested on charges related to a protest after President Donald Trump's speech at the Phoenix Convention Center had ended Tuesday night. She adds that one person was arrested on an unrelated warrant. Williams says that two officers were treated for heat exhaustion. A contingent of protesters stayed behind after the clash with police had ended. Their numbers were small.
US officials say the commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet will be removed after a series of warship accidents. According to one official, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was being removed due to the leadership's loss of confidence in his ability to command. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision. Two collisions in two months left sailors dead and missing.
Thousands of Iranian-backed fighters in Syria's desert central region are advancing east, bringing Tehran closer to its goal of securing a corridor from its border through Iraq all the way to the Mediterranean that would give it unhindered land access to its allies in Syria and Lebanon for the first time. The land-route would be the biggest prize yet for Iran in its involvement in Syria's six-year-old civil war.
A conservative firebrand promoting President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud oversees a Kansas election system that threw out at least three times as many ballots as similarly sized states did. That is fueling concerns about voter suppression. Data collected by the bipartisan U.S. Election Assistance Commission shows only six states discarded more votes during the 2016 election than the 33rd-largest state of Kansas.