Things You Need to Know Today: Have You Seen Any Brown Rabbits This Winter?
Here are the things you need to know today......
A couple hundred people gathered by the State House yesterday for a 'Not My President's Day' rally against the president and the administration. According to centralmaine.com those who came decided to attend for many different reason but all had concerns about our current administration.
From the Associated Press:
Maine has once again asked the federal government to ban the purchase of sugary drinks and candy with food stamps. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture study found soft drinks accounted for 5 percent of food stamp purchases. Maine says $700 million is spent on obesity-related medical expenditures in Maine. The department also asked to shift $4 million in federal funding for nutrition education to food banks, schools and community organizations.
Homeowner and personal auto insurance rates in Maine continue to rank among the lowest in the nation. State Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa says that recent national reports show Maine has the third lowest average auto insurance premium for the fourth year in a row.
Biologists want Mainers to report if they see brown rabbits this winter. Fewer than 300 New England cottontail rabbits live in Maine, and they are an endangered species in the state. They look like snowshoe hares most of the year, but remain brown in the winter when the hares turn white.
Portland police say an officer who fatally shot a man brandishing what turned out to be a pellet gun that looked like a rifle has used deadly force before. Police say Sgt. Nicholas Goodman shot 22-year-old Chance David Baker on Saturday. Police say this is the second time Goodman has used deadly force. In 2008, police say he was dragged over 300 feet by a vehicle during a traffic stop. Police say Goodman shot and killed the driver. That shooting was found to be justified.
Fishing regulators say public hearings will take place on a plan to make the Atlantic herring fishery run more smoothly. Herring are an important fish on the East Coast because they are important bait for lucrative species, especially lobster. Last year's lobster season was hindered for several weeks by a herring shortage. Hearings will take place in New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts in March and April.
A new screenplay contest will fund an independent film to be produced in Maine on a low budget. The goal of the Maine Firm Initiative is to highlight Maine as a low budget film-making destination and to support Maine film artists by investing in paying productions. The contest's deadline is Feb. 28.
Creeks and rivers are nearing flood stage in California as another rainstorm pounds the area. A levee break along the San Joaquin River prompted an evacuation order for about 500 people. In Monterey County, people living along a section of the Carmel River were told to leave, as were those in a neighborhood of Salinas. Northwest of Sacramento, about 100 homes were ordered evacuated.
An Australian pilot and four American tourists on a golfing vacation were killed when a light plane crashed in flames into a shopping mall in Melbourne, Australia. Officials say the five were on a twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air that crashed shortly after takeoff about 45 minutes before the mall was to open.
The death toll has risen to 15 from a bus crash in the Philippines. Officials say that number could climb. Most of the dead and injured were college students on the way to a camping trip when the brakes on their chartered bus apparently failed on a steep downhill road. The out-of-control bus then smashed into an electric post.
President Donald Trump has tapped Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, a prominent military strategist, as his new national security adviser. McMaster replaces the ousted Michael Flynn. Trump announced the pick Monday at his Palm Beach, Florida, club. He called McMaster "a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience."
Russia's ambassador to the United Nations is being remembered by his diplomatic colleagues as a powerful and passionate voice for his nation. Vitaly Churkin died suddenly after falling ill in his office at Russia's U.N. mission. Churkin would have turned 65 Tuesday. The cause of his death is not yet known.