Here are the things you need to  know today......


From the Associated Press:

The Maine Governor's Energy Office says the price of heating oil has risen over the last two weeks. The statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $2.22 per gallon this week. That's up eight pennies over the last two weeks. The state's average prices for kerosene and propane also increased.

The Dixfield PD has been shut down. This comes after the Police Chief and patrol officer were placed on paid administrative leave. The two were the department's only full-time officers in the town of about 2,500. The city manager declined to discuss the nature of the "personnel issue." The Oxford County Sheriff's Department is providing coverage for the town.

Northern New England is feeling the effects of a powerful nor'easter that's dumping a foot or more of snow on some parts of the region. The storm is expected to last through Friday. Officials in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont warned residents Thursday to stay off the roads as the snow quickly piled up and snow plows struggled to keep up. Numerous crashes were reported and at least one fatality.

Maine officials are warning that there's still thin ice in many lakes and ponds, even as a winter storm dumps heavy snow across most of the state. Rangers on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway say the ice is still spotty in late December: They found only 1 to 3 inches on Chamberlain and Eagle Lakes this week.

A fire official in Waldo County waded into ice cold water to recover mail that had been stolen and dumped over the side of a bridge in Monroe. WCSH-TV reports the Waldo County Sheriff's Department posted found the mail Wednesday sitting on top of the ice that was surrounded by open water. Monroe Fire Chief Kenneth Clements jumped into the water to retrieve the three full bags of mail.

The top lawyer for Gov. Paul LePage has left the administration and plans to start a new law firm with a former colleague. Avery Day was appointed in March to be LePage's chief legal counsel. Day tells the Portland Press Herald he gave his notice about six weeks ago and has already left the administration. He is the fifth general counsel to leave the administration during the past six years.

The U.S. has released a detailed report on Russia's efforts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election by hacking American political sites and email accounts. The report released Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI says Russian intelligence services were involved in "an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and its citizens." Russian officials have denied any involvement in the hacking.

President Barack Obama has sanctioned Russia's civilian and military intelligence services. The sanctions were announced Thursday as a report by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI was released that detailed Russia's efforts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election by hacking U.S. political sites and email accounts. The sanctions are the administration's first use of a 2015 executive order for combatting cyberattacks.

The New Year's Eve celebration on Times Square will be a place of heightened security. Officials say they don't want to see a deadly truck-driving attack like the ones in Germany and France. Officials will have massive 20-ton sanitation trucks and about 100 patrol cars surrounding the site. And there'll also be some 7,000 officers on the scene, including specially armed counterterrorism units and bomb-sniffing dogs.