Things You Need to Know: Fewer Crashes on I-295 Since Speed Limit Lowered
Here are the things you need to know today......
Centralmaine.com reports the Hallowell City Council had a busy night a head of them with a review of the contract for the work on Water Street and amendments to the city’s noise ordinance to increase levels that are allowed .
Randolph is talking about closing their elementary school. Centralmaine.com reports the plan would send kids to Pittston.
From the Associated Press:
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — There have been fewer crashes on Interstate 295 north of Portland since the speed limit was reduced, though officials say it's too early to say whether it's the start of a positive trend. The number of collisions on the 24-mile stretch between Portland and Brunswick went up sharply after the state increased the speed limit to 70 mph four years ago. The Portland Press Herald reports that since the limit was lowered again to 65 mph last March, the number of crashes has dropped. In 2017, there were 237 crashes in that area, 18 percent fewer than the previous year. Steve Landry, the state's head traffic engineer, says he hopes the numbers continue to go down but without more evidence, he can't say for sure whether the lower speed limit caused the change.
THORNDIKE, Maine (AP) — Students from a Maine middle school are attempting to visit every state park in the Pine Tree State this year. The students are from Mount View Middle School in Thorndike. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says the students got started in early February by picking up park passports and maps from Commissioner Walt Whitcomb.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Republican Gov. Paul LePage has again moved to empty a minimum security prison as lawmakers debate the $5-million-a-year facility's future. LePage spokesman Peter Steele said Downeast Correctional Facility's beds will no longer be needed as of March 31. The 149-bed facility houses about 60. AFSCME Council 93 representative Jim Mackie said 51 prison staffers were placed on administrative leave and received layoff notices effective March 2. The state Friday transferred Downeast inmates to Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston. Steele said it's a management question, not a legislative matter. He said LePage doesn't believe a prison should be a region's economic engine. Republican Rep. Will Tuell called LePage's move an end run around lawmakers. Tuell's funding bill would only allow the prison to close if lawmakers pass a law.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A company that makes dehydrated gourmet meals and a manufacturer of outdoor equipment are among the recipients of $24.5 million in grants from the Maine Technology Institute. The grants are financed by a $45 million bond approved by voters last year.
FREEPORT, Maine (AP) — L.L. Bean says too many people are abusing its generous return policy, so it is imposing a one-year limit on most returns. Under the new policy announced Friday, the company will accept returns for one year with a proof of purchase and will continue to replace products for manufacturing defects beyond that. The news drew a mixed reaction on social media, with some excoriating the retailer and others saying the change is justified.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers are considering a bill to ensure that loggers and contractors get paid by Stored Solar, the owner of two biomass energy plants that are set to receive a taxpayer-subsidized bailout. Maine Public Radio reports that the proposal, which also recommends that the state attorney general investigate the company, is unusual because it seeks to penalize a specific company.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's Republican governor has begun his last year in office with a focus on finishing up a to-do list of conservative reforms he says the Maine people's need. Gov. Paul LePage has gone months without the personal jabs against lawmakers and headline-grabbing gaffes that've marked his term. It's unclear what temperament viewers and lawmakers will be in for Tuesday, when the governor delivers his annual State of the State address.
BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Susan Collins are urging Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to ensure that technology designed to prevent train crashes is in place on the nation's rails. The Rhode Island Democrat and Maine Republican pointed to a series of recent deadly accident to call for the swift implementation of positive train control. The technology uses sensors and GPS to prevent trains from colliding or derailing.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's support will be vital if Congress is to overcome election-year pressures against compromise on passing an immigration overhaul. No Senate deal is likely to see the light of day in the more conservative House without the president's blessing and promise to sell compromise to his hard-line base. The Senate is set to open up a rare, open-ended debate on immigration and the fate of the "Dreamer" immigrants on Monday.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — North Korea won the political gold medal at Pyeongchang just by showing up. But what's next? Kim Jong Un scored badly needed publicity points by sending his little sister to the games and extending an invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to come to Pyongyang. That's the low-hanging fruit. Actually parlaying photo ops and handshakes into a summit _ or a lasting, positive change in the regional security situation _ is quite another matter.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Chloe Kim and three other Americans are through to the finals in women's halfpipe snowboarding. The 17-year-old Kim posted the top score during qualifying to earn the top seed in Tuesday's final in Pyeongchang. Kim was the only rider to go over 90 points, putting up 91.50 in her first run and topping it with 95.50 in her second. All four American riders pushed through to the 12-woman final. Maddie Mastro was fourth in qualifying, with 2002 Olympic champion Kelly Clark 11th and Arielle Gold 12th.
NEW YORK (AP) — An attorney for Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein says while his client "was not without fault, there certainly was no criminality." New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit in Manhattan on Sunday against Weinstein and the Weinstein Co. following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. Weinstein's attorney also says he believes a "fair investigation" by the attorney general will show that many of the allegations against Weinstein are "without merit."
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — An explosion and fire at an electric substation threw much of northern Puerto Rico into darkness late Sunday in a setback for the U.S. territory's efforts to fully restore power more than five months after Hurricane Maria started the longest blackout in U.S. history. The island's Electric Power Authority said several municipalities were without power, including parts of the capital, San Juan, but they were optimistic it could be restored within a day.