Things You Need to Know: Cold Weather Moving in Maine after Christmas Blizzard
Here are the things you need to know today......
From the Associated Press:
A winter storm moved out of New England but not before bringing blizzard conditions to some areas, power outages to others and making Christmas travel treacherous. Snow totals ranged from a few inches in Boston to around a foot in some central and northern portions of Maine, where a rare blizzard warning was issued earlier Monday by the National Weather Service. Behind the snow is bitter cold, with temperatures expect to plummet over the next several days.
A Winthrop teenager has been indicted by a grand jury on murder charges stemming from the killing of his parents on Halloween 2016. The Friday indictment came less than two months after a judge decided that Andrew Balcer, who was a month shy of turning 18 when his parents and the family dog were killed in their Winthrop home, would be treated as an adult in the court system.The Kennebec Journal reports that Balcer, who is now 19, was charged with two counts of intentional or knowing murder in the deaths of Antonio and Alice Balcer and one count of aggravated cruelty to animals.Balcer's attorney has said Balcer was having gender identity issues and didn't feel his parents would accept him. Balcer will plead not guilty.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is looking to train the next generation of Maine beekeepers. The cooperative extension is offering beginning beekeeping courses and workshops on honeybee diseases, swarm management and how to handle queen bees this winter. The courses start with the beginner beekeeping classes on Jan. 3 and the workshops continue through the middle of March. The courses will take place at the UMaine Regional Learning Center in Falmouth. Officials with the cooperative extension say it's a great initiation for new beekeepers as well as a good refresher for the more experienced.
A federal judge has ruled that Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap can't be excluded from participating in the work of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, on which he serves. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's ruling Friday in Washington, D.C., largely agrees with Dunlap's argument that as a member of the commission he must be given access to substantive commission documents. Dunlap filed suit in November.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage says that Maine has received approval for specialists to work with veterans on justice outreach and health care. The Veterans Affairs analyzed Maine's rate of homeless veterans, incarceration issues, calls to the veterans' crisis-line and other risks a rural state faces such as the propensity for isolation. The agency agreed that Maine needed additional resources to serve veterans in crisis.
MaineHousing Deputy Director Peter Merrill is stepping up to serve as interim director upon the retirement of John Gallagher on Jan. 5. Merrill has served as deputy director for more than five years, and has been with the agency for more than two decades. Gallagher announced his retirement in November.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Maine's economy is growing, but he's urging Mainers to remember those who're struggling. He said he hopes to use his final year "to continue to fight for the future of Maine" and make the state a better place for generations to follow.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is looking to train the next generation of Maine beekeepers. The cooperative extension is offering beginning beekeeping courses and workshops on honeybee diseases, swarm management and how to handle queen bees this winter. The courses start with the beginner beekeeping classes on Jan. 3 and the workshops continue through the middle of March.
Chalk up another difference in how President Donald Trump runs the White House. He's set to be the first chief executive in nearly a century not to host at least one state dinner during his first year in office. Such visits by a foreign head of state, with showy arrivals and elaborate meals, are seen as important diplomatic tools. The White House offers no particular reason Trump has yet to extend an invitation for a state visit, but says to expect one early in the new year.
The holiday weather in parts of New England is frightful. A blizzard warning was issued for portions of Maine and New Hampshire, with forecasters saying snow of up to 10 inches and wind gusts up to 50 mph could make travel "dangerous to impossible." States from Montana and the Dakotas to Wisconsin expect wind chill temperatures in places at 40 below zero. Mountain areas in parts of Colorado, Montana and Wyoming have received more than 1 foot of snow since Saturday, bringing cheers from skiers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's most serious challenger in all his years in power has been barred from running for president. Russian election officials say Alexei Navalny is ineligible to run because of a conviction in a fraud case. Putin is set to easily win a fourth term in office in the March 18 election, with his approval ratings topping 80 percent.
The offshore wind industry isn't making a lot of friends with East Coast fishermen. The fishermen say that wind farms popping up off the coast will make it difficult to navigate their vessels, especially in heavy wind and fog. Massachusetts plans for hundreds of wind turbines to spin off the shores of New Bedford in about a decade. An organization representing East Coast scallopers is suing to try to halt another wind farm off New York's Long Island.
The menu for President Donald Trump's Christmas Day dinner didn't skimp on the goodies. The five desserts to choose from were Piña Colada Crème Brulée, Brilliant Cheesecake, Black Forest Trifle Martini, Bread Pudding and, of course, Trump Chocolate Cake. The first family is celebrating Christmas at the president's South Florida estate and golf club, Mar-a-Lago.