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

The debate over the Skowhegan High School's Indians mascot isn't going away, as evidenced by a pair of Columbus Day rallies. A group that opposes the Indian mascot is holding Skowhegan Indigenous Peoples Day at Lake George Regional Park in Canaan. Supporters of the Indian nickname are rallying in front of the Skowhegan Indian statue. Native American groups led by the Penobscot Indian Nation have vowed to continue to keep up pressure after a vote by the school board earlier this year to keep the Indian mascot. Skowhegan High School is the last school in the state to have a name considered offensive to American Indians. Others have changed their nicknames. High schools in Scarborough, Wiscasset, Old Town and Sanford all dropped their "Redskin" and "Indian" mascots. (AP)

Gas prices in Maine have not moved in the past week, averaging $2.25 a gallon.The result is from, which surveyed 1,228 gas stations in the state.The national average increased 2.7 cents, to $2.31 a gallon. The price in Maine was $1.04 less per gallon than a year ago, and 11.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average decreased 3.1 4 cents per gallon during the last month and is 88 cents lower than a year ago. (AP)

Gov. Paul LePage is holding a town hall meeting in the city where he was born. The governor is going to deliver remarks and take questions from the public in Lewiston. The session will focus on the governor's vision for further reducing the income tax, cutting energy costs, reforming welfare and addressing Maine's high student debt burden. The event is set for Tuesday evening at Lewiston Regional Technical Center. LePage grew up in Lewiston and lived on the streets for a time after he left home. He was taken in by two other families before going to Husson College. (AP)

$125,000 federal grant that will help the Winslow police department hire another patrol officer for the next three years can’t be accepted until the town agrees to pitch in more money. According to the KJ, the town has to provide $82,000 in shared costs over the life of the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services grant. The award would fund 75 % of a patrol officer position. Adding more manpower to the force has been a goal of Chief Shawn O’Leary. (

Gardiner city officials, with with MaineGeneral Medical Center, have issued a request for proposals to develop the old TW Dick site into a 10,000-square-foot to 15,000-square-foot medical arts building.  According to the KJ, MaineGeneral’s interest in the site is from its limited space at its current facility on Dresden Avenue and partly because it has had success in partnering with other communities in similar ways.  (

The U.S. has begun arming Arab groups fighting the Islamic State group in Syria. Military officials say U.S. cargo planes on Sunday dropped small arms ammunition, following the Obama administration's announcement last week that instead of trying to build a new Syrian rebel force, it would provide equipment to existing Syria rebel groups who share the U.S. goal of defeating IS. (AP)

Amnesty International is calling on Kurdish forces to stop abusing Syrian civilians. The rights group says U.S.-backed Kurdish forces have forcefully displaced thousands of Syrian civilians, mostly Arabs, and demolished villages in northern Syria. Amnesty says it's being done often in retaliation for the residents' perceived sympathies for the Islamic State group and other militants. (AP)

The fire chief in Kansas City, Missouri, says "It's going to be a difficult month." The city lost two firefighters Monday night, after a building on fire collapsed. Fire Chief Paul Berardi says firefighters rescued two people in the building that included apartments. The firefighters were clearing an area with a partially collapsed roof when the structure collapsed further. Two other firefighters were injured. (AP)

The former head of Chicago Public Schools is expected to plead guilty in what prosecutors say was a scheme to steer more than $23 million in no-bid contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks. Tuesday's arraignment will be Barbara Byrd-Bennett's first court appearance since she was indicted last week. Her attorney says she'll plead guilty in a plea deal. (AP)

Authorities in Mississippi say a standoff with a man who shot at police from inside his apartment has ended with the man dead. Authorities say the standoff in Brookhaven began Monday evening after the man refused to be evicted. A SWAT team was sent in, and some six hours later, Brookhaven police announced that the man was dead. They're not saying how. Police say one officer was injured in the incident but is expected to recover. (AP)