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Things You Need to Know: Exit 124 in Waterville Now Open

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Here are the things you need to  know today……

Zone forecast from Maine.gov

The new Trafton Road Exit is open in Waterville.  The new exit 124  cost $5Million dollar and was opened on Friday.

A car crash in the Northern Maine town of Wade just about split the car and half and set it on fire. According to Maine State Police Facebook page,  16 year old driver was taken to the hospital with severe injuries.  Police are still investigating.

Downtown Gardiner is celebrating and enjoying a number of new business over the last few years and a bunch they are opening this summer. Centralmaine.com reports that the newest offerings include medical marijuana shop, pizza chain and a kids consignment shop.

From the Associated Press:

Syringes left by drug users amid the heroin crisis are turning up everywhere. They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass, get washed into rivers and onto beaches, and lie scattered about in baseball dugouts and on sidewalks and streets. There are reports of children finding them and getting poked. Some experts say the problem will ease only when more users get into treatment and more funding is directed to treatment programs.

The Maine supreme court said it’s unconstitutional but ranked choice voting is still law of the land. Lawmakers were unable to agree on modifying or killing the voter-approved law, meaning it stays on the books. But supporters are cheering the development and say the voting method will reduce the impact of spoiler candidates in future races. In November, Maine voters approved the new system that lets voters rank candidates in order of preference.

Maine’s fall hunting seasons are drawing near as it will soon be legal to lay bait in the woods to attract black bears. Hunters are allowed to place bait for bears in Maine starting July 29. Bait is typically sugary human food such as doughnuts. Hunting for bears with bait is then legal from Aug. 28 to Sept. 23.

The speaker of the Maine House of Representatives says she is removing a fellow Democrat from his committee assignments after he posted a threatening comment about Republican President Donald Trump on Facebook. Rep. Scott Hamann, of South Portland, has apologized for the post Tuesday in which he said Trump is a “half-term president, at most, especially if I ever get within 10 feet.”

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is asking residents to take precautions after a man was diagnosed with a rare virus transmitted by mosquitoes. According to the Maine CDC, the Kennebec County man showed symptoms of Jamestown Canyon virus as early as June. State epidemiologist Siiri Bennett tells the Morning Sentinel this may be the first ever reported case of the virus in Maine.

Republicans are struggling with an exploding Russia scandal and an unpopular health care plan. But Democrats have yet to unify behind a clear, core message that will help them take advantage of their opponents’ challenges. Indeed, eight months after Democrats hit rock bottom last fall, party leaders are still struggling to tell voters what their party stands for. The soul-searching comes as Democrats look to break up GOP control of Congress and many statehouses in the 2018 midterm elections.

A marijuana dealer gave police a grisly account of killing four men on his family’s farm. According to court papers, Cosmo DiNardo said he crushed one of them with a backhoe after shooting him and tried to set three of the bodies on fire in a metal bin with the help of his cousin. DiNardo pinned one of the deaths on his cousin, Sean Kratz, who was charged Friday, although Kratz told police that DiNardo shot all four of the victims.

Authorities say they’ve found nine bodies and are only looking for one more person among a group who got swept up in a furious flash flood in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona. Gila County Sheriff’s Detective David Hornung told The Associated Press that all of the victims were among a group of 14 family and friends from the Phoenix and Flagstaff area, who had met up for a daytrip along the popular Cold Springs swimming hole.

Foes of President Nicolas Maduro said more than 7 million Venezuelans cast symbolic votes rejecting his plan to retool the constitution in a strong but not overwhelming showing that left the opposition facing tough choices two weeks before the socialist leader seeks to reshape the political system. Analysts said the 7,186,170 votes for the opposition was an impressive show of support. However, it fell short of the opposition’s 7.7 million-vote showing in 2015 legislative elections.

South Korea offered Monday to talk with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s. It’s unclear if North Korea would agree to the proposed talks as it considers Seoul’s policy still requiring the North to disarm. Seoul’s proposal for two sets of talks indicates President Moon Jae-in is pushing to improve ties with Pyongyang.

In the enclave controlled by Syria’s al-Qaida affiliate, Rania Kisar, a Syrian-American, often negotiates but also fights to get her way. When the militant group sent in an inspector to warn her against playing music during the graduation ceremony at the higher education institute she founded in northern Syria, she argued.

The Washington Post is reporting that the United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of a Qatari government news site. The Post reports that the UAE planted a false story that was used as a pretext for the current crisis between Qatar and several Arab countries. The Post cites unnamed U.S. intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan. The UAE calls the Post story “false.”

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