Central Maine News: January 21, 2016
These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.
(KJ) -- A Waterville legislator is asking MaineGeneral Medical Center to extend for an additional year credit and identity protection to patients and employees affected by a September 2015 data breach. According to the KJ, Rep. Henry Beck, D-Waterville, said he’s received more communication about this issue than any other he’s dealt with in the two-year session that started in January 2015. He issued his call for additional protections some workers and patients from MaineGeneral have had received letters about the breach. The letters provides information on signing up for credit monitoring and identity restoration service.
(KJ) -- Huhtamaki has laid off about 30 workers temporarily at its Waterville plant as it deals with a slowdown of orders for packaging used by the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant chain. Huhtamaki produces paper fiber trays and bowls for the Denver-based fast-food company, which has been dealing with recent outbreaks of food-borne illnesses linked to its products. The layoffs are temporary, but officials could not say when the workers might be able to return to the job
(AP) -- Maine election officials are verifying petitions for a ballot measure requiring criminal background checks for all private gun sales in the state. The group ‘Maine Moms Demand Action’ submitted petitions to the Secretary of State's office on Tuesday. Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn says the group claimed it has more than 72,000 signatures certified by cities and towns. Flynn's office has until Feb. 18 to verify the petitions. The group needs 61,123 valid signatures to send the measure to the state ballot in November.
(AP) -- The nation's capital is bracing for a major snowstorm, but it looks like the storm is going to miss northern New England. The National Weather Service says the storm is expected to track south of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. If that holds, then southern Maine and New Hampshire could see up to 1 to 2 inches of snow -- or perhaps none at all. It's a different story for the District of Columbia, which could see up to 2 feet of snow. Heavy snowfall is expected to extend northward to Philadelphia, and to brush southern New England. Meteorologist Tom Hawley says the track could shift, but right now "all indications are that it will not amount to much" in northern New England.
(AP) -- A 58-year-old man responsible for causing an eight-hour armed standoff at the Waterville police station in December will not be charged if he provides proof that he's getting counseling. Gary Cross won't be charged with creating a police standoff if district attorney receives written proof of his treatment by the end of this week. The Troy resident, armed with a gun, parked in the Waterville Police Department's lot on Dec. 7 and threatened to kill himself.
The standoff led police to close streets and either evacuate or lock down nearby buildings. A large number of units from various law enforcement agencies assisted. Cross said he was overwhelmed with financial problems at the time of the incident.
(AP) — Lewiston has banned hoverboards from use inside city buildings. The ban also applies to other wheeled riding devices inside public buildings. The City Council approved the ban on Tuesday night. Hoverboards have been the subject of several bans in recent weeks from cities, air carrier and rail systems. The batteries in the hoverboards sometimes catch fire, and users have also had accidents while riding on them. Mayor Robert Macdonald says not using hoverboards indoors is "common sense."
(AP) — Oregon's governor says she's frustrated with the way federal authorities are handling an armed group's continued occupation of a national wildlife refuge. In a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Kate Brown called for federal authorities to end the siege immediately. Ammon Bundy and his armed group are demanding that federal lands in Harney County be turned over to local residents.
(AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is asking President Barack Obama to reconsider the denial of a federal disaster declaration to address the water crisis in Flint, saying the lead contaminated tap water poses an "imminent and long-term threat" to residents. On Wednesday, the Michigan House approved Snyder's request for $28 million more in the short term to pay for more filters, bottled water, school nurses and testing and monitoring — on top of $10.6 million allocated in the fall.