The latest nor’easter has dumped at least 2 feet of snow in some areas of Maine and New Hampshire.
Light snow was still falling Wednesday morning, with snow showers expected to continue through the night.
Most places in northern New England could see up to an additional 3 inches, with up to 6 inches in the mountains.
The National Weather Service says Raymond, New Hampshire, received 27 inches of snow. Rochester got 25.5 inches and Derry got 25. In Maine, Sanford got 24 inches, Limerick got 23.5, and Shapleigh got 22 inches. In Vermont, the Burlington International Airport recorded at least 7 inches.
Many schools were closed for a second day; others had a two-hour delayed opening.
The measure is reportedly aimed at preventing the Russian state-run company from seizing nearly half of the Texas-based refiner in case of a complete default by its current owner, Venezuela’s state oil corporation PDVSA. The near-50 percent share was offered to the Russian oil major as collateral for a $1.5 billion loan in 2016. The remaining 50.1 percent of shares in the US refinery is collateral to holders of PDVSA’s 2020 bond.
Citgo reportedly refines nearly 749,000 barrels per day. The company owns nine pipelines and 48 petroleum storage terminals, located from Texas to Maine. Launched in 1910 by an Oklahoma businessman, Citgo was bought by PDVSA in 1990.
The investors have applied for a license from the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the agency quotes one of the initiators as saying. The request was reportedly submitted in early October and has already received technical approval. The group is said to be waiting for a response from the President’s administration.
“The administration should recognize that if it doesn’t do something pro-active here, it will face limited options under almost any scenario, whether it is an attempt to foreclose by the current lienholder, further restrictions on Venezuelan crude oil imports into the US, or even in the event there is a positive political change in Caracas,” said the unnamed investor. “This is a private sector solution to a public policy problem.”
Washington had initially sounded the alarm over the issue in April 2017, when several Congressmen warned the White House of an imminent risk connected to the probable takeover of Citgo by the Russian firm, which is currently under US sanctions. Head of Rosneft Igor Sechin said at the time that the company had no plans to take control of the refinery. Rosneft had reportedly invested in some oil enterprises in Venezuela, owning up to 40 percent stakes in five joint ventures in the country.
Since January, churches have been forbidding worshipers from drinking from the same wine cup during communion and joining hands during prayer. Priests are advised to greet churchgoers verbally instead of shaking their hands.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, which covers the entire state of Maine, sent out a memo last month which detailed the restrictions. It reads, “Breaking with custom, parishioners should not shake hands during the Sign of Peace and will be encouraged to offer a verbal greeting, smile, or bow of the head.”
It also included instructions for priests, who must disinfect their hands “before and after giving Holy Communion,” along with warnings to try and avoid accidentally touching “the tongue or the hand of the communicant.” Churchgoers are advised to receive Holy Communion in their hands instead of on the tongue.
The memo mentioned the suspension of wine sharing, except for those required to drink from the cup because of medical issues like Celiac disease. During mass, priests will announce that parishioners who have flu-like symptoms can stay home for their well-being and others. Those who are ill “are not bound by the Sunday Mass obligation,” continued the memo.
There were warnings that sponges found in holy water fonts must not be used. The protocol will remain in effect indefinitely.
Except for Hawaii, Maine is among the 49 states where the flu is widespread.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously announced that more than 30 children have died from the flu and warned that the virus is “one of the worst on record.” Last month, 14,401 people were sick. Hospitalizations went up from 22.7 per 100,000 in the first month of January to 31.5, which is the highest rate since 2010.
People are advised to do what they can to prevent the spread of the virus since the flu is especially dangerous. Even though most people infected with the virus “experience fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue,” not everyone experiences the symptoms mentioned. (Related: Protect yourself from flu season with these natural cold remedies.)
Healthcare professionals warn that washing your hands frequently and avoiding close contact with anyone, regardless if they have symptoms or not, can help prevent the spread of the virus.
Dr. Brian Secemsky, an internist based in San Francisco, said, “Supporting one’s immune system with good rest and adequate hydration may help reduce the severity of symptoms.” He added, “Washing hands often, wearing masks, and staying home from work during periods of fever can help reduce the transmission of the virus.”
Natural remedies for the flu
If you’re starting to feel some flu-like symptoms, try some of these natural remedies:
Cinnamon – Cinnamon has anti-fungal and analgesic properties. Make some cinnamon tea by adding boiling water over the herb into a cup. Drink at least one cup twice or thrice a day.
Elecampane – Also known as Inula helenium, elecampane is an herb that can be used for congested coughs. The herb can soothe irritation and relieve coughing. It can also fight infections thanks to its antimicrobial properties. If you have a cold that “leaves you coughing up phlegm with a dry irritated lung and throat,” take a tincture of elecampane (at least 1/2–2 milliliter [ml]) thrice a day.
Garlic – A known antibiotic, garlic also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. If you have yellow or green phlegm, consume some garlic. “Highly anti-viral,” garlic is immune stimulating, and it can kill any upper respiratory infections. Use garlic as an elixir by pressing or chopping a whole clove. Let the garlic sit for 15 minutes. Once the garlic reacts with air, a chemical reaction turns the clove into a powerful antibiotic.
You can read more articles about disease prevention and natural remedies at Prevention.news.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Leaders in a Maine town said Sunday they will meet with their town manager, who has come under fire for espousing white separatist views.
Jackman town manager Tom Kawczynski recently made public comments bashing Islam and calling for preservation of white European heritage in northern New England.
Local officials are scheduled to meet with him on Tuesday. Town lawyer Warren Shay said Sunday the town manager’s beliefs aren’t shared by Jackman officials, who intend to meet with him at Jackman Town Office at 8:30 a.m.
“The meeting is to talk with the town manager about comments attributed to him in a number of newspapers and other media outlets around the state,” Shay said. “The beliefs reflected in those comments are not shared by any of the select persons or the Town of Jackman.”
Kawczynski didn’t return phone calls from The Associated Press. He moved to Maine a year ago and launched a group called “New Albion” to promote what he calls “the positive aspects of our European heritage” in northern New England and Atlantic Canada.
Kawczynski has said he expects to be fired over his actions, but he does not intend to quit, and he does not feel that his views on race interfere with his work as town manager. His website states that its purpose is “defending the people and culture of New England.”
The website includes essays that make the case for a voluntary separation of races, and identifies Kawczynski as “steward for New Albion.” He has also identified as a supporter of President Donald Trump.
The Jackman-Moose River Chamber of Commerce president has said businesses in the area “do not condone” Kawczynski’s views. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine has condemned him as well.
Many social media users are taking to Jackman-related Facebook pages to call for Kawczynski to quit or be fired. Jackman is a town of about 850 people near western Maine’s border with Saint-Théophile, Quebec, about 170 miles north of Portland.
A Maine sheriff admitted to CBS 13 he sent a sexually explicit photo while in office and in uniform.
Sheriff Wayne Gallant on Tuesday night confirmed that the person in this photo is him and that he did take it while in his office and while in uniform.
Gallant is in his 3rd term as Oxford County Sheriff and is also the President of the Maine Sheriff’s Association. On Tuesday, he said he intends to step down from his role in the Maine Sheriff’s Association.
Gallant says he sent the photo to a woman who he did not want to identify.
Gallant declined an on-camera interview but released a statement:
“I bring discredit to myself, to my uniform, my badge and the Maine Sheriff’s Association. The appropriate thing for me to do is not remain in a leadership position with the association and to step down.”
What happens from here isn’t clear.
As a county sheriff he took an oath and subscribes to the International Association of Chiefs of Police code of ethics, which states:
“I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency.”
Tuesday night CBS 13 asked an attorney for Oxford County what steps county government will take in regards to the sheriff’s conduct.
He said the commissioners can consider filing a report with the governor’s office, who then can determine if a state statute was violated and if there should be disciplinary action.
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This past June, Maine legislators passed a law, An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, which allows cities and towns in the state to adopt laws permitting farmers and other food producers within their borders to engage in a host of direct-to-consumer food sales. The law, intended to bolster local food economies in the state, allows Maine municipalities to “regulate by ordinance local food systems,” and requires the state, in turn, to “recognize such ordinances.”
While the act was intended to protect people like the “one-cow farmer who feeds the people in his community the food they want to eat,” its protections had limits.
“The law does not cover sales outside a given city or town that has a food sovereignty ordinance in place,” I wrote in a column shortly after the law passed. “Neither does the law pre-empt federal law.”
And it’s that latter area that got Maine into hot water with the federal government, before the law ever took effect.
“Maine’s Department of Agriculture is concerned that the law would keep it from inspecting any meat slaughtered and processed in a town that is food sovereign, negating an agreement it has with the USDA to meet federal standards,” the Portland Press Heraldreported last week.
Indeed, threats made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) against the state forced Maine lawmakers this week to amend its food-sovereignty law.
In a July 6 letter from USDA to Maine’s agriculture department, the federal agency threatened to pull its approval of slaughterhouses in the state, which could have temporarily shuttered five facilities in Maine and left Maine livestock farmers scrambling to find available out-of-state slaughter options.
The letter, written by the USDA’s Alfred Almanza, says the agency is “concerned that the Food Sovereignty Act, if implemented as currently written, would contravene Federal food safety laws and regulations.”
The USDA also threatened Maine—one of 27 states to run its own meat inspection system—with federalization of its slaughter regime.
At an emergency legislative session this week, Maine lawmakers amended the law to require cities and towns that adopt new ordinances under the Food Sovereignty Act to “comply with state and federal laws when developing local ordinances for meat and poultry production and sales.”
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AUGUSTA, Maine (Sept. 25. 2017) – A law prohibiting any type of state firearms registry is now in effect in Maine. The law will not only protect the privacy of Maine gun owners, it will also hinder the federal government’s ability to develop a firearms database and create a climate less favorable to federal gun control.
Rep. Patrick Corey (R-Windham) spondored House Bill 9 (LD9) along with a bipartisan coalition. The new law declares:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a government agency of this State or a political subdivision of this State may not keep or cause to be kept a comprehensive registry of privately owned firearms and the owners of those firearms within its jurisdiction.”
The House approved the joint Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety’s “ought to pass” report by a 122-24 margin. The Senate unanimously passed it 35-0. Both chambers then voted for LD9 to be enacted by a voice vote. Gov. Paul LePage signed the bill on June 12 and it went into immediate effect.
The federal government depends on state cooperation for all kinds of information-gathering. For instance, most of the data in a DEA license plate tracking database reported on by the Wall Street Journal comes from state and local law enforcement. Local police operate tracking systems, paid for by federal grant money. The DEA then taps into the local database.
In the same way, the ATF, or another federal agency, could easily create a federal gun registry using information gathered by state and local governments. By prohibiting any such databases in the state, Maine ensures this can’t happen. Simply put, no data means no federal database.
Ensuring the privacy of firearms owners also subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with future federal enforcement efforts.
State actions like prohibiting gun registries lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that will make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
An infant died after the child was injured by the family’s dog, according to the Bangor Police Department.
The Bangor police and fire departments responded on Saturday, July 29, to a local residence after receiving a call about an injured infant, Bangor police Detective Sgt. Brent Beaulieu said Sunday morning in a statement.
The child, who had been injured by the family’s Shepherd mix, was transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
“Unfortunately, the child succumbed to the injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital,” Beaulieu said.
Beaulieu declined Sunday to say where the incident took place.
Police Chief Mark Hathaway said Sunday that additional information may be released later this week and that the death remains under investigation by the Bangor Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. Children are among those most at risk, particularly those who are 5 to 9 years old.
Several dog attacks occur in Maine each year, but they rarely are fatal.
In Frankfort, 7-month-old Annabelle Mitchell was mauled to death by the family dog. The infant had been home with her mother, 29-year-old Katrina Mitchell, and 2½-year-old brother on April 12, 2011, when the family’s Rottweiler attacked her.
Her death was believed to have marked the first time a dog had killed a person in at least 40 years, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said at the time.
In June of last year, 7-year-old Hunter Bragg of Bangor was killed when he was attacked by an adult male pit bull while he was playing outside a Corinna home he was visiting with his father.