Things You Need to Know: ME Bill to Raise the Minimum Age to Purchase Tobacco Products to 21
Here are the things you need to know today......
Concord Coach Lines is now offering service out of the Lewiston Auburn area. WGME reports that will connect them with Portland and Boston.
A customer of A & G Shooting in Fairfield has been charged for allegedly stealing a gun. According to WGME video shows him reaching over the counter at the shop, took the gun and putting it in his pants.
Madison Junior High has opened a food pantry for students in need. Centralmaine.com reports the pantry will be expanding soon to also include students at the elementary and high school levels.
House Republicans have offered more money for education in a new budget offer in return for eliminating an income tax surcharge of 3 percent on higher income Mainers. According to centralmaine.com negotiations on a new state budget continued with a threat of a state government shutdown.
From the Associated Press:
A bill to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 is headed to the House. The bill expands the definition of tobacco products to include electronic smoking devices. The amended bill would only apply to people who are 18 as of July 1, 2018.
Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is urging lawmakers to avert a government shutdown on Independence Day weekend by passing a proposal offered by House Republicans. He's backing down from his demand for a two-year budget under $7 billion as the midnight June 30 deadline to enact a budget nears. The House Republicans' proposal includes ideas backed by LePage and long unpopular with Democrats, including a $5 million cut to an assistance program for asylum seekers.
Boston has renamed a street in honor of retired Red Sox player David Ortiz. Mayor Marty Walsh called the man known as Big Papi a "legend on and off the field" at the ceremony Thursday to rename the street formerly known as Yawkey Way Extension near Fenway Park to David Ortiz Drive. The Red Sox are scheduled to retire his No. 34 on Friday.
A Democratic senator's bill to give preference to Maine and U.S. companies in state contracts is receiving support in the Senate. Lawmakers voted Thursday to approve Sen. Troy Jackson's bill that would give preference among similar bids to in-state contractors. Republican Sen. Tom Saviello's amendment would allow businesses to qualify as in-state companies if at least 60 percent of their workforce is located within Maine borders.
Maine wildlife managers say their effort to restore a vulnerable population of Arctic charr in the northern part of the state is a success. Arctic charr are cold water salmon-like fish that are found in just 14 bodies of water in Maine The state Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife says the species came dangerously close to disappearing from one of the last Maine ponds where it still lives.
Medical organizations and other interest groups are weighing in on the Senate Republican health care bill, and they have problems with the proposal. The American Academy of Pediatrics says the bill would hurt children by scaling back Medicaid. The Association of American Medical Colleges says it would leave millions of people without health coverage. AARP agrees with that assessment and is calling on every senator to vote no.
Kuwait has given Qatar a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations that include shutting down Al-Jazeera and cutting diplomatic ties to Iran. That's according to a list obtained by The Associated Press from one of the countries involved in the dispute. The list says Qatar must immediately close Turkey's military base in Qatar and end military cooperation with the NATO member. It also demands an unspecified sum of compensation from Qatar.
The Philippine military chief says a Malaysian militant who helped lead and finance the siege in southern Marawi city has been killed as the local jihadis become increasingly restricted to a small area after a month of fighting. Gen. Eduardo Ano told AP that the Malaysian militant is suspected of channeling more than $600,000 from the Islamic State group to acquire firearms, food and other supplies for the attack.
A South Korean court has sentenced a longtime friend of ousted President Park Geun-hye to three years in prison for using her presidential ties to unlawfully get her daughter into a prestigious Seoul university. The court said Choi Soon-sil "committed so many illegal activities" as she pressured Ewha Womans University to grant admission and then provide academic favors to her daughter. Choi is being tried separately on other more serious charges.
President Donald Trump says it's "bothersome" that the man investigating possible ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia is good friends with fired FBI director James Comey. Trump tells "Fox and Friends" in an interview to be broadcast Friday that special counsel Robert Mueller is "very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome." Comey was overseeing the investigation until Trump fired him last month out of frustration with the inquiry.