Things You Need to Know: Many Mainers Deal with Power Outages
Here are the things you need to know today......
The Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition is considering a proposal on the use of plastic shopping bags. According to Centralmaine.com they are leaning toward proposing to the Waterville City Council a ban on single-use plastic bags at businesses that get more than 2% of their income the sale of food as opposed to a bag fee.
From the Associated Press:
Thousands of people in the Northeast were without power early Monday as severe weather pounded the region. Southern New England appeared to be suffering the brunt of the storm damage. Eversource reported more than 150,000 Connecticut customers without power around 2 a.m. Monday. National Grid also reported more than 130,000 customers without power in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The National Weather Service says there have been reports of downed trees and power lines around the region.
Gov. Paul LePage's wife says former President Donald Trump chief strategist Stephen Bannon has lobbied her to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Maine next year. Ann LePage told Massachusetts radio host Howie Carr on Friday that Bannon told her to talk to her husband and to "pray about it." The Bangor Daily news reports she played coy on air and said she didn't know if her husband would want her to run. Republican Gov. Paul LaPage has opted not to run in 2018 against U.S. independent Sen. Angus King.
Maine hunters are taking to the woods to participate in the state's expanded deer hunt. Maine gave out more than 66,000 of the "any deer" permits, up from fewer than 46,000 last year. The deer hunt begins on Monday and lasts until Nov. 25. Deer can be hunted all over the state, but hunters need an "any deer" permit to hunt antlerless deer in designated parts of Maine.
Maine has updated its website for comparing the costs and quality of health care facilities. The Portland Press Herald reports that CompareMaine.org now has new indicators of quality of care and prices updated through the end of 2016. The state-run database allows consumers to compare the costs of about 200 common medical procedures at roughly 175 health care facilities throughout the state. The prices cited include money paid by both the patient and the insurance company.
Maine's two U.S. representatives came down on opposite sides of a close vote potentially setting up a major overhaul of the tax system. Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin voted in favor of the GOP budget that narrowly passed the House on Thursday. Rep. Chellie Pingree and all her fellow Democrats opposed it. Poliquin tells the Sun Journal the budget is the first step toward "fairer and lower taxes." Pingree says Republicans are aiming to cut taxes for the wealthy.
A Maine woman charged with manslaughter in the death of her infant son is going on trial. Opening statements and testimony are set for Monday in the trial of Miranda Hopkins. She's accused in the January death of 7-week-old Jaxon Hopkins. Court documents indicate Hopkins suggested that her baby could have been smothered accidentally by one of her other two children, both of whom are autistic. Police say Hopkins had been drinking whisky and told investigators that she must have "blacked out."
It's sign-up season for the Affordable Care Act, but the Trump administration isn't making it easy — cutting the enrollment period in half, slashing advertising and dialing back on navigators who help consumers. Many people already faced fewer choices and higher premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. But President Donald Trump's decision to cancel subsidies to insurers that lower consumer costs could cause lasting damage to insurance markets. Some are calling it a "hostile takeover."
Two women from Hawaii who were adrift on their sailboat for months say they once got within 726 nautical miles of Oahu but couldn't get their storm-damaged boat home. A U.S. Navy ship picked up Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava last week after they were found by a fishing boat, and brought them Monday to an American base in Okinawa in southern Japan.
President Donald Trump's national security brain trust is set to testify on the need for a new war authorization as the deadly ambush in Niger spurs a push among lawmakers to update the legal parameters for combat operations overseas. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will appear before the Foreign Relations Committee in an open hearing Monday. They told the panel behind closed doors three months ago that a 2001 law gave the military ample authority.
The wife of a seriously wounded soldier is expected to take the stand as the sentencing hearing for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl resumes. Prosecutors told a judge they intend to call Shannon Allen to the stand Monday to discuss a traumatic brain injury her husband suffered. National Guard Master Sgt. Mark Allen was shot in the temple during a search for Bergdahl days after he abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009.