These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.

(BDN/KJ) -- A man has been charged in connection with kicking a puppy on the Kennebec River rail trail last month. According to the Bangor Daily News, Michael Hein, 45, of Augusta was running along the rail trail and apparently kicked a puppy that a woman had been walking. Hein was charged with animal cruelty. According to the woman’s complaint, Hein approached her and the dog and after a brief exchange of words, Hein passed by and kicked the dog. The dog suffered minor injuries. Hein’s attorney said Monday night that Hein denies kicking the dog.

(KJ) -- Three men from southern Maine are accused of stealing more than $10,000 from the Augusta Elks Lodge last May that was earmarked to cover the costs of a fundraiser for the Travis Mills Foundation. The three was arrested in late September in Cumberland County and charged with burglarizing more than 25 businesses in Maine, among them Tobey’s General Store in China. Arrested wereTaylor Schultz, 34, of Biddeford, Michael J. Warner II, 37, of Freeport, and Charles York 38, of Portland, each face two counts of burglary and theft by unauthorized taking and one count of aggravated criminal mischief and criminal mischief in connection with the Augusta break-ins.

(AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is warning boaters and paddlers that the water is still plenty cold even if the temperatures outside are relatively balmy. The forecast calls for temperatures in the 60s parts of New England this week. But officials say the water is cold enough to cause hypothermia. Walt Taylor, recreational boating safety specialist, said it's understandable that people want to get onto the water to enjoy the mild weather. But he says people need to be safe by filing a float plan and wearing a lifejacket over the wetsuit or drysuit.  The Coast Guard has an app for that. The app that can be found in Apple and Google Play online stores features and includes a safety checklist.

(AP) — Lewiston police say a 2-year-old boy was accidentally run over by his father's car and suffered a head injury. Police say the boy's father didn't realize the child was outside and backed over him late Monday morning. The boy was taken to Central Maine Medical Center before being transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland. The Sun Journal reports that police administered a blood-alcohol test, which is routine for motor vehicle injury cases. But the newspaper reports that investigators don't believe alcohol is a factor.

(WCSH) -- With winter officially starting Monday, flu season is also underway. But the latest flu strain starting to emerge isn’t hitting humans, its targeting dogs. The new strain is called H3N2 and can cause dogs to have some nasal discharge, trouble breathing, coughing, loss of appetite, along with low energy. The H3N2 strain is derived from a strain of the avian flu, but it carries a very low mortality rate. Animals who contract the strain could develop some respiratory symptom, but few become very sick because of the strain. So far, there have been no confirmed cases of the H3N2 dog flu in Maine. This strain of dog flu doesn’t transfer to humans.

(AP) -- Gas prices continue to drop across northern New England. Among the three states, the price-tracking website GasBuddy.com says gasoline prices are lowest in New Hampshire, where the average price fell 2.4 cents per gallon last week to $2.01. In Vermont, the average price is $2.13 per gallon, and in Maine, it's $2.11. All three are still higher than the national average, which is $1.99. The national average has dropped 8.4 cents per gallon in the last month and is nearly 40 cents per gallon lower than the price a year ago.
(AP) — Investigators are struggling to piece together the background of the 24-year-old woman accused of plowing her car into crowds of pedestrians on the Las Vegas strip while her 3-year-old daughter sat in the back seat. Investigators say Lakeisha Holloway was homeless, out of money and sleeping in her car in parking garages, and she may have been headed to Texas to meet with her daughter's father. Holloway is now in jail on suicide watch.

(AP) — Saying Enrique Marquez still presents a danger to the community, a federal judge in Southern California has denied bond for the man accused of buying the assault rifles used in the San Bernardino massacre that left 14 dead. A lawyer for Marquez said his client had voluntarily spoken to the FBI over a 10-day period while he was free to leave at any time. The attack was carried out by Marquez's longtime friend, Syed Farook and Farook's wife, Tashfeen Malik.