Central Maine News: Nov 23, 2015
These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.
(AP) -- The Maine state legislature will consider a pair of bills in the upcoming session that the state Senate's democratic leader says would help fight childhood hunger. The state Legislative Council initially rejected the bills, but Sen. Justin Alfond of Portland appealed on Nov. 19. One of the bills proposes to give schools tools to make sure qualified students receive free meals. Alfond says the other would streamline the application for qualified after-school facilities that wish to participate in federal anti-hunger programs. Alfond says nearly half of Maine students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The upcoming legislative session begins in January.
(AP) -- Maine's ski areas are starting to come alive as Thanksgiving nears. Sugarloaf opened for skiing over the weekend. It plans to be open mornings this week before opening full time for the season on Thanksgiving Day. The early bird this year was Sunday River, which opened on Oct. 19. Most Maine resorts will be opening later next month.
(BDN) -- The Richmond woman who owned of two Holstein cattle that were shot dead on her property said Sunday that she thinks she may know who is responsible for the killing, which she said is considered by police to have been a deliberate act. According to the Bangor Daily News Daria Goggins said the siblings, a male named Theodore and a female named Isadora, were shot dead Friday afternoon. She had owned them as pets for about 10 years but just recently had moved to her property in Richmond. Goggins did not mention any possible culprit by name, but on Sunday said she thinks she may know who shot her cows and has provided that information to the police. She believes the perpetrator or perpetrators may have lured the animals out of their 4-acre fenced pasture toward a stone wall that marks her property line to try to make the killing look like a hunting accident.
(AP) — The Maine Council of Churches is criticizing Gov. Paul LePage's opposition to allowing Syrian refugees to enter the state. The council, representing nine denominations and more than 600 churches, told the governor in a letter that the terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut were frightening. But its board said, "We cannot allow fear to become so powerful that it clouds our judgment and hardens our hearts against innocent, frightened people." The board said in its letter that it's important that the U.S. carefully screens refugees, but said rejecting all Syrian refugees would compound the recent tragedies. Executive Director Jane Field said the board voted to send the letter Friday, four days after the governor announced he will "adamantly oppose" any attempts to place Syrian refugees in Maine.
(AP) — Paris hospital officials say a number of protective health outfits, similar to those worn by people dealing with the Ebola virus, are missing from a locked room in one of the city's hospitals. A formal complaint was filed Thursday, the same day Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in the National Assembly that terrorists may use "chemical and bacteriological weapons" to carry out attacks. In Belgium, authorities are asking the public to stop commenting on social media about ongoing police operations targeted at any terror suspects. Police in Brussels arrested 16 suspects in 22 raids Sunday.
(AP) — Northern separatist groups in Mali say the assault on a luxury hotel in the capital. Bamako. that killed 19 people was a clear attempt to derail a fragile peace process meant to stabilize the country's volatile north. Peace negotiations have been dragging on between the central government and northern separatist groups for more than two years. The Radisson Blu hotel was attacked by two gunmen on Friday. The hotel was preparing to host a meeting on implementing the latest peace accords.
(AP) — Soldiers, police and volunteers are pulling body after body from the rubble in northern Myanmar, as the death toll from a landslide near several jade mines has reached at least 113. And a local official says more than 100 others are missing in Kachin. Saturday's mine collapse was the worst-such disaster in recent memory. Kachin is home to some of the world's highest-quality jade, and the industry generated an estimated $31 billion last year, but people remain desperately poor.
(AP) — Sixteen people are wounded after gunfire erupted Sunday night at a block party and music video shoot in New Orleans. Police say two groups in the crowd opened fire on each other at a playground in the city's 9th Ward. Ten people were taken to the hospital by ambulances. Police say as many as 500 people could have been in the park when the shooting occurred, and the gunmen ran off.