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

~Zone forecast from Maine.gov~

A retired Maine state trooper was arrested. Centralmaine.com reports he was  charged with dealing drugs. MeDEA seized several grams of what they suspect to be fentanyl, and $1,000 of suspected drug money.

Cianbro plans on hiring about 300 construction workers. Centralmaine.com it's for a  number of projects in Maine.

The Augusta City Council voted for a six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana retail sales. According to Centralmaine.com its in response to uncertainty about how state government will regulate sales.

From the Associated Press:

The first of a three-part dose of winter weather is arriving in northern New England. The National Weather Service says snow will fall Friday across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, with the heaviest accumulations of up to 6 inches in southern Maine and New Hampshire. Meteorologist John Cannon says that fast on the heels will be another storm on Saturday with mixed precipitation across the region. He says it will be messy near the coast, and snowier in inland areas. That gives folks a narrow window to clean up before a coastal storm arrives late on Christmas Eve in Maine and New Hampshire. That storm brings the potential for another couple of inches through Christmas Day.

This Christmas is much more about reefer than wreaths for marijuana lovers. Gift-giving has long been a part of marijuana culture, and the drug's newly legal status is a source of Yuletide celebration in four states. Voters in California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana last year, and some residents of those states will legally stuff stockings with spliffs for the first time this Christmas. Statistics suggest a modest bump around the holidays.

Records show that the Maine Legislature has received two complaints of sexual misconduct or harassment against lawmakers in the last decade. The Associated Press uncovered the complaints Thursday after a records request. Both were against House lawmakers. The Maine Senate has not received any such complaints in that period. The Legislature's executive director's office said correspondence regarding the complaints is exempt from disclosure under state law. It declined to give further details.

The first of a three-part dose of winter weather is arriving in northern New England. The National Weather Service says snow will fall Friday across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, with the heaviest accumulations of up to 6 inches in southern Maine and New Hampshire. Meteorologist John Cannon says that fast on the heels will be another storm on Saturday with mixed precipitation across the region.

Gov. Paul LePage has nominated Suzanne Krauss to serve as director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency. LePage, a Republican, said Thursday that Krauss is a former Navy pilot who served in the military for 22 years. The Brunswick resident graduated from the U.S. Naval War College with a master's degree in national security and strategy studies. Peter Rogers had been serving as the agency's acting director after director Bruce Fitzgerald announced he was stepping down in August.

Congress has avoided a government shutdown by approving a stopgap spending bill to keep agencies running through Jan. 19. The Senate's 66-32 vote sent the temporary funding bill to President Donald Trump with time to spare before a midnight Friday deadline. He has said he will sign it.

The U.N. General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to denounce President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The vote Thursday was 128-9, with many countries ignoring Trump's threats to cut off aid to those that that went against him. The nonbinding resolution says U.S. recognition of Jerusalem is "null and void."

Nearly seven years into the conflict, the war in Syria seems on one level to be winding down, largely because of Russian-backed government victories and local cease-fires aimed at freezing the lines of conflict. Underscoring this perception is the fact that President Bashar Assad _ however battered and bruised _ has survived the conflict, sitting more comfortably now than at any time since the rebellion against his rule erupted in March 2011.

An Associated Press investigation finds that Russia-aligned hackers tried to raid the email of 200 journalists around the world. The AP identified journalists as the third-largest group on a hacking hit list, after diplomatic personnel and U.S. Democrats. The list of journalists provides new evidence for the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that the hacking group Fancy Bear acted on behalf of the Russian government when it intervened in the U.S. presidential election.

Since 2013, thousands of Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority from western China, have traveled to Syria to train and fight alongside al-Qaida, playing key roles in several battles. Syrian President Bashar Assad's troops are now clashing with Uighur fighters as the six-year conflict nears its endgame. But the end of Syria's war could be the beginning of China's worst fears.