Things You Need to Know: Flood Warning Continue on Kennebec River in Central Maine
Here are the things you need to know today......
—The flood warnings include the Kennebec River that did crest it banks this weekend. The flood waters are receding.
—The officer was unhurt but Capitol Police cruiser was damaged heavily late last week when snow and ice sliding off the roof of a state-owned building. According to centralmaine.com he was in the vehicle at the time.
From the Associated Press:
— Wardens say the recent subzero cold has made for good ice fishing conditions _ for those hardy enough to venture outdoors. Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Jim Pellerin said most lakes and ponds have 8 inches of ice but few people are out on the ice. But it's still not safe everywhere.
— Officials in Maine are leading tours around the state to give the public a look at examples of woodland stewardship and conservation by private landowners. The Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District and Maine Forest Service are co-sponsoring the tours, which are open to landowners, loggers, foresters and other people interested in the care of small woodlands.
— The rain and warmer temperatures are gone, but the National Weather Service says a handful of rivers remain above flood stage in northern New England. Heavy rain and warmer weather Friday and early Saturday resulted in significant snow melt across the region, as well as ice dams in multiple rivers that sent water over the banks.
— There's a whiff of horror about PEN America's new Literary Service Award winner _ it's Stephen King. The literary and human rights organization will honor King with the award at the American Museum of Natural History in New York on May 22, the publication date for the Bangor, Maine, resident's new novel, "The Outsider." The award is handed out every year to a critically acclaimed writer "whose body of work helps us understand and interpret the human condition."
— A Winthrop, Maine teenager indicted on charges of killing his parents has pleaded not guilty. Nineteen-year-old Andrew Balcer is charged with stabbing his parents to death on Halloween morning 2016. The Kennebec Journal reports Balcer stood before a judge on Friday and responded to an inquiry about his pleas by saying, "Not guilty on all, sir."
— A Maine health insurance cooperative is suing over the federal government's decision to stop some reimbursements under the Affordable Care Act. Community Health Options contends it's owed $5.7 million in reimbursements during the last three months of 2017.
—Maine's congressional delegation is unanimous in its condemnation of President Donald Trump's vulgar remarks about immigrants from Haiti and Africa. Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin the president's "reported comments are not helpful" when it comes to immigration reform and securing the nation's borders. Sen. Susan Collins, also a Republican, tweeted that the comments are "highly inappropriate and out of bounds" and said the president "should not denigrate other countries." Sen. Angus King, an independent, called the president's comment "truly regrettable and inconsistent with my understanding of what America is all about." Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree called the comments "absolutely sickening, even for him." Trump on Tuesday questioned the need for more immigrants from Haiti.
— Hawaii state lawmakers are planning a hearing later this week after a mistaken emergency alert warning of an imminent missile strike sounded on hundreds of thousands of cellphones. In the wake of the mistake that left residents shaken, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said on social media the panel would launch its own investigation. The state also had problems last month when it reintroduced Cold War-era warning siren tests.
—President Donald Trump is defending himself anew against accusations that he is racist, this time after recent disparaging comments about Haiti and African nations. "No, No. I'm not a racist," Trump told reporters who asked him to respond to those who think he is. Trump tells reporters: "I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed."
— President Donald Trump says the federal government will "get involved" with Hawaii following the false alarm about an incoming missile strike on the island state. Trump says what happened Saturday "was a state thing." He did not describe the level of federal involvement he envisions, but the Federal Communications Commission has opened an investigation.
— An Associated Press reporter who was at his Honolulu home on a hill overlooking Pearl Harbor when an erroneous warning about an incoming ballistic missile lit up his cellphone says he needed to protect his young daughter amid the panic. Reporter Caleb Jones says he told his daughter "we have to go" and they headed by car toward shelter. He says they could see terror on the faces of fellow motorists Saturday morning before the emergency alert was declared a false alarm.
— President Donald Trump is considering sharp cuts to money sent to a U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees. US. officials say the Trump administration could make additional donations contingent on changes to the organization. They say Trump appears more likely to send only $60 million of the planned $125 million first installment. The officials aren't authorized to publicly discuss the matter and were speaking on condition of anonymity.
— Authorities say 50 passengers and crew are safe after a casino shuttle boat was engulfed in fire while making a regular run to a casino ship off Florida's Gulf Coast. Fire officials and witnesses say people leaped into chilly waters and reached shore at Port Richey in the Tampa Bay region after Sunday's big blaze. Fifteen minor injuries were reported.