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National and international headlines
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Thursday that Joe Lieberman was his top choice to become FBI director, filling the slot left open after Trump fired James Comey, his previous FBI head, last week.
Trump, speaking to a group of television anchors at the White House Thursday afternoon, said that Lieberman, the former senator from Connecticut and Democratic vice presidential nominee, was his leading candidate to run the agency.
Don’t drink the water! Diarrhea from public swimming pools rising
CHICAGO — As warm weather approaches, U.S. health officials are warning that outbreaks of diarrhea caused by swallowing swimming pool water containing parasites have doubled in the past few years.
The infections occur when swimmers ingest water contaminated by diarrhea from a person infected by Cryptosporidium or Crypto, a parasite that is notoriously difficult to kill.
Crypto caused at least 32 outbreaks in swimming pools or water parks in 2016, compared with 16 in 2014, according to a report published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report on death and disease.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday denied ever asking FBI Director James Comey to back off his agency’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and the role played by former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Asked whether he urged Comey to ease up on the Flynn investigation, Trump said at a news conference, “No, no,” before ordering the media to move on to the “next question.”
Earlier this week there were several news reports that Trump made the request regarding Flynn during a February meeting in the Oval Office — these accounts were based on a memo Comey drafted at the time, the contents of which were described by officials familiar with the memo. Trump fired Comey last week.
The Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 Thursday to advance a Republican plan to reverse the Obama administration’s 2015 “net neutrality” order.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai has proposed the commission repeal the rules that reclassified internet service providers as if they were utilities. He thinks the open internet rules by President Barack Obama were unnecessary and harm jobs and investment.
“We propose to repeal utility-style regulation,” Pai said Thursday. “The evidence so far strongly suggests that this is the right way to go.”
The public will have until mid-August to offer comments before the FCC votes on a final plan.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is planning to announce Thursday that he will leave Congress in June, according to two people familiar with his plans.
Chaffetz, R-Utah, announced last month that he had “made a personal decision to return to the private sector” and would not seek re-election or run for any other political office in 2018.
The decision comes days after Chaffetz took an aggressive posture after reports emerged that former FBI director James Comey alleged in private memos that he had been pressured by President Donald Trump to end an investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser at the time.
WASHINGTON — Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.
The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, three current and former officials said.
A vehicle driving the wrong way through New York City’s bustling Times Square plowed into a crowd, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring 22 others during Thursday’s lunchtime rush, authorities said.
The driver, a 26-year-old man from the Bronx, mounted a sidewalk at Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan and drove at a “high rate” for several blocks, striking pedestrians along the way, police said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, D, at an afternoon news conference said it was a “tough day for New York City but, as usual, the people of New York City will stand firm.”
Basic Google searches turned up a posthumous public service award from True Detective Magazine — a copy of which the department bought on eBay — but that wasn’t enough for Bath police Sgt. Dan Couture.
“I was like, this is a problem, because if this was a line-of-duty death, there should be some recognition — at the very least locally — in the department or at the Maine Memorial or the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial.”
So during slow nights at the station, Couture would take his radio to the basement of Bath City Hall and dig through decades of old Bath Daily Times, trying to piece together the story of Bath police Sgt. Merle Niles’ death.
The organization tasked with drawing tourists to the Bangor area says it needs twice as much money as last year to launch a new marketing and promotional campaign — but city councilors said it can raise money in other ways, and questioned why neighboring towns don’t contribute more.
The Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau on Wednesday evening asked the city council to double its budget for the next fiscal year — from $60,350 to $120,000.
CARIBOU, Maine — A Georgia woman and former employee of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Limestone is suing the Loring Development Authority, claiming that she is suffering health effects after she was exposed to contaminated water at work.
Angela Jackson of Bonaire, Georgia, filed the suit on Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor. According to the court documents, she started work in 1997 at the DFAS offices in Limestone, which are located in the Loring Commerce Centre on the former Loring Air Force base.
FOREST CITY, Maine — The dam in this tiny border town isn’t much to look at: It sports three gates and a fishway, and may stretch all of 40 feet from Canada to the United States.
But a long-simmering situation has heated up in recent months as the mill owner, Woodland Pulp LLC, has filed paperwork with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that would allow it to surrender its license to the dam and remove two of the three gates.
Look upstream from the dam, and you begin to see why that possibility troubles local landowners: There lies East Grand Lake, a massive, 16,000-acre impoundment that ranks among the state’s most popular fishing destinations. Around the lake are more than 2,000 camps and cottages.
And downstream of the dam are other streams and lakes that could lose any sense of flood protection that they now have, thanks to the dam at Forest City.
Jason Brown didn’t realize he was telling the oldest of the many stories of his Wabanaki ancestors, the story of creator deity Klooscap, through a piece of jewelry he was making. It didn’t dawn on him until his friend Harald Prins, a renowned anthropologist and Wabanaki scholar, pointed it out.
“In the creation story, Klooscap shot his arrow into the brown ash tree, and split the tree, and Wabanaki came out of the tree, which is why all Wabanaki basketry is brown ash,” Brown, who with his wife Donna Decontie Brown own Bangor-based jewelry and fashion design label Decontie and Brown, said. “I was making this cuff,out of woven brown ash and copper, and Harald said to me, ‘You know your ancestors mined copper out of the Bay of Fundy. You have the whole creation story right here.’ I didn’t realize the significance of it. … And then it just kind of hit me in a big way. The light went off.”
Planting in containers will save you space, and it will save you some money. Because of the low cost for containers and need for less soil, planting in containers is less expensive than investing the resources in purchasing loam and constructions materials for raised beds.
“It’s a really low-cost way of getting into gardening.”