Things You Need to Know Today: Mainers Clean Up from Monday Storm, Get Ready for More
Here are the things you need to know today......
From the Associated Press:
The Northeast is digging out from the latest blast of winter weather that dumped well over two feet of snow on some areas. The storm was most active from New York to Maine, where blizzard conditions shut down towns. Some Maine towns, including Starks and Nobleboro, saw at least 30 inches of snow. Farther south, there was less snow, just a few inches fell in Boston and Hartford, Connecticut. More snow is expected Wednesday into Thursday morning.
A new study finds that Mainers are increasingly relying on food pantries for survival, and not for emergencies. One in four respondents to a survey commissioned by hunger relief agencies reported being dropped from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in the past year. The hunger relief groups behind the study say those kicked off food stamps due to tough-on-welfare restrictions put in place by Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration are now relying on overworked charities
A Maine engineering group is providing grants so students can go to the Maine Engineering Expo at University of Southern Maine. The expo is scheduled for March 4. The Maine Engineering Promotional Council says it is giving $500 grants to 16 schools to help defer the cost of transportation.
Grant money for economic and infrastructure projects will be handed out in upstate New York and northern New England. The Northern Border Regional Commission will start to look at project proposals from governments and nonprofits.
Retail gas prices are still falling or staying flat in northern New England. Gas price website GasBuddy's survey says the average retail gasoline price in Vermont has fallen 1.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.31. The price went down slightly in Maine, to $2.32. In New Hampshire, the price was unchanged from last week, at $2.21 per gallon.
President Donald Trump must fill a vital national security post now that his national security adviser has resigned. Michael Flynn stepped down late Monday, following reports that he had misled Vice President Michael Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia. Trump has named retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as the acting national security adviser.
The U.N. Security Council is warning that it will impose "further significant measures" on North Korea if the regime continues nuclear and missile testing. The Security Council on Monday condemned Saturday's launch and a previous test Oct. 19. Speaking in Washington earlier, President Donald Trump said that North Korea is "a big, big problem" and will be dealt with "very strongly."
A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction barring the Trump administration from implementing its travel ban in Virginia. Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema's ruling is considered legally significant because it says the ban is based on an unconstitutional religious bias. The judge cites as evidence Donald Trump's campaign promise to implement what became known as a "Muslim ban." The travel order is already frozen by another federal court.
California Gov. Jerry Brown says he wasn't previously aware of a report that surfaced Monday indicating environmentalists raised concerns about the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway in 2005. Some 188,000 residents were forced to evacuate when erosion put a hole in the spillway. Helicopters have been dropping loads of rock on the hole.
The search has been called off for the six fishermen aboard a crabbing boat missing in the icy Bering Sea. The fishing vessel Destination went missing early Saturday after an emergency signal from a radio beacon registered to the ship. Searchers found the device in a debris field along with an oil slick, life ring and buoys.
One of Jerry Sandusky's adopted sons faces sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania. Forty-one-year-old Jeffrey Sandusky is accused of pressuring a teenage girl to send him naked photos and asking the girl's sister to give him oral sex. Jeffrey Sandusky has been a stalwart supporter of his father, the former Penn State assistant coach who's in prison for molesting several boys. But another adopted son, Matt Sandusky, has accused his father of molesting him when he was younger.