Friday, March 7, 2014
From news service reports
State raising awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum
Maine is raising awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder by urging women to avoid all alcohol while pregnant.
Monday is National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day.
Maine's Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services says fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is 100 percent preventable. The office says there is no safe time, amount or type of alcohol during pregnancy.
The office says that more than 9 percent of pregnant women ages 15 to 44 in Maine reported that they were drinking alcohol. More than 2.5 percent of those reported binge drinking or having four or more drinks in a row. Every year, more than 40,000 children throughout the country are born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
LePage to discuss energy at Canadian conference
Gov. Paul LePage has traveled to Quebec to discuss energy policy with New England and eastern Canadian leaders.
The Republican governor is attending the 37th New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference on Sunday and Monday in La Malbaie.
The conference brings together the governors of the six New England states and the premiers of Canada's five eastern provinces.
Task force aims to find fixes for revenue sharing
Maine lawmakers, economists and tax experts will meet this month in an attempt to find savings in tax breaks to avoid further reductions to municipal revenue sharing.
A task force, which meets for the first time Sept. 16, was created as part of the state budget and has been tasked with finding $40 million in savings within the state's tax breaks, exemptions and credits. It's expected to meet five times before reporting back to the Legislature in December.
"All of our efforts, from our tax code to our policy making, need to be focused on strengthening our economy and growing jobs," Democratic Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland said in a statement. "It makes good sense that the committee take this opportunity to look at what's working and what's not and align our tax incentives to our economy."
Democratic leaders said that the group's failure to find $40 million in savings will result in further cuts to municipal revenue sharing. The $6.3 billion state budget approved in June reduced revenue sharing to Maine's cities and towns by $75 million, which local officials say will lead to property tax hikes.
Pedestrian dies after getting hit by box truck
New Hampshire State Police said a pedestrian died Saturday after he was struck by a box truck while he was standing in a breakdown lane on Route 4 in Barrington.
Police identified the man as Raymond Boucher, 59, of Barrington.
They said the truck driver, Tyler Rioux, 23, of Norway, Maine, was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
The accident occurred about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. A preliminary investigation showed that the truck veered out of the eastbound travel lane before striking Boucher.