HERMON

One dead in snowmobile crash near Hermon Pond

A Hampden man was killed Saturday night in a snowmobile crash near Hermon Pond in Hermon.

The Maine Warden Service said speed and alcohol appear to have been factors in the crash, which remains under investigation.

The warden service said Austin Gardiner, 41, was operating a snowmobile at about 9:15 p.m. near the shoreline of Hermon Pond when the vehicle crashed into several trees. Gardiner was pronounced dead at the scene.

The warden service said Gardiner was riding with a 15-year-old boy, who was following him on a separate snowmobile.

This was Maine’s sixth snowmobile fatality since Jan. 31.

PORTLAND

After Arctic trip, Sen. King concerned and pragmatic

U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says his military excursion to the Arctic underscores the need for the United States to take immediate action against global climate change.

King arrived in the Arctic on Saturday night to meet with Navy officials about their ability to operate in the warming Arctic environment.

The U.S. says the Arctic is a region important to national security, and the senator said the trip will help him make better decisions in Congress through his position on the Armed Services Committee. The Navy trains in the challenging environment every three years to test combat readiness.

King said while addressing climate change should be a priority, the U.S. also should be pragmatic about the opening of largely unchartered and unclaimed waterways to new avenues of commerce and exploration.

AUGUSTA

House to consider measure to bolster property tax credit

Maine’s Democratic-controlled House will soon consider a measure that aims to bolster a new property tax credit for low-and-middle income families.

The bill introduced by House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick was unanimously approved by the Legislature’s Taxation Committee last week.

The new program replaced an old credit, which provided homeowners and renters as much as $1,600 back in their local property or rent taxes. The new program only provides a credit up to $400.

That change is saving the state $23 million this fiscal year.

But Democrats say the lower credit is hurting struggling Mainers.

The bill would create a new state savings account to allow for the credit cap to be increased in the future.

– From staff and news services