Things You Need to Know: Augusta to Spend up to $100,000 on City Hall Elevator
Here are the things you need to know today......
A legislative hearing over online burn permits happened yesterday. Centralmaine.com reports Maine forestry officials say the state's system should be the only one. There is support from some fire officials for the private option for getting a burn permit online.
Augusta city councilors have voted to spend up to $100,000 to get the elevator at Augusta City Center working as it should. Centralmaine.com reports over the last 9 months there have been about a dozen times the elevator has become stuck with people inside.
The LePage administration is proposing legislation that would add an annual fee on electric and hybrid cars in order to pay for highway maintenance. WABI reports the measure would tack on a $250 fee for electric vehicles and a $150 fee for hybrids because owners of hybrids and electric vehicles pay less in gas taxes than other vehicle owners. Maine's highway maintenance is underfunded by $60 million a year. Even with the proposed fees, the state would still face a funding shortfall.
From the Associated Press:
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government is giving a Maine health organization more than $270,000 to improve access to telehealth in rural parts of the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving the money to MaineHealth, which includes Maine Medical Center, the largest hospital in the state. A spokeswoman for MaineHealth says the money will help improve communications between emergency departments and emergency medical services in rural areas.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Massachusetts officials are demanding to know whether a hydropower project rejected by New Hampshire regulators still is a viable option for delivering clean energy to the state by 2020. The $1.6 billion Northern Pass project was set to bring hydropower from Canada by creating a transmission line through New Hampshire for customers in southern New England. Regulators cited the potential negative impact on local communities and the region's tourism industry in rejecting the project last week.
SEAL HARBOR, Maine (AP) — The summer home of the late billionaire philanthropist David Rockefeller on Maine's Mount Desert Island has sold for $19 million. The real estate company that handled the sale declined on Thursday to identify the buyer, who paid the asking price. Money from the sale will be used to help fulfill bequests in Rockefeller's will, including $20 million to the Land and Garden Preserve of Mount Desert Island in Seal Harbor and $5 million to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to reopen the government and pass an approximately $400 billion budget deal, giving the measure momentum into a pre-dawn House debate in which success is not assured. The White House issued a shutdown order shortly after midnight, but a successful early morning vote in the House would likely mean the government will open on schedule.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — A high-level North Korean delegation including leader Kim Jong Un's sister has arrived at a train station in Pyeongchang hours ahead of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Kim Yo Jong earlier on Friday became the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — After two failed bids, billions of dollars in preparation and a national debate about whether it's worth it, the Winter Olympics are about to open in Pyeongchang. The opening ceremony showcasing South Korea's rise from poverty and war into one of Asia's most modern nations. Athletics have been overshadowed by a frenzied, increasingly momentous spray of political developments. The rival Koreas are making overtures toward cooperation. And the Olympics could be where the next step plays out.
LONDON (AP) — European stock indexes have opened lower after another tumble on Wall Street the day before caused jitters through global markets. The European and Asian markets followed U.S. stocks down after the Dow, coming off a record high, entered a correction - or a 10 percent decline from its latest peak - for the first time in two years
WASHINGTON (AP) — The stock market may just have fired off a warning shot to the Trump administration and Congress about their plans to blow up the size of the federal deficit. The anxiety that has gripped the market this week appeared to escalate just as President Donald Trump and lawmakers were setting the government up for annual budget deficits that would routinely exceed a gaping $1 trillion.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's chief of staff John Kelly is facing criticism after the resignation of a senior aide. Rob Porter, the president's staff secretary, cleaned out his desk Thursday after allegations surfaced of spousal abuse. Porter was close to Kelly, and now the chief of staff is in a harsh spotlight for his efforts to keep the aide in a highly sensitive West Wing job.