Biden to Nominate first Black Woman to Supreme Court

President Joe Biden confirmed today, Jan. 27, that he will nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. He says says he intends to announce his decision before the end of February.

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Winter Hikers Stranded Atop Mountain Rescued By Maine Game Wardens

The Maine Warden Service rescued two ill-equipped hikers on the Appalachian Trail last night who were unprepared for hiking in Maine in the winter.

Jacob Haisley, age 36 of Red Hook, New York, and Wayne Gage, age 70 of Schenectady, New York were planning on hiking a 15-mile portion of the Appalachian trail that included Mount Abraham, Spaulding Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain Jan. 25.

“Poor planning, coupled with poor decisions, stranded these hikers in very dangerous conditions,” said Game Warden Kyle Hladik. “They were very fortunate we were able to get to them quickly.”

They began their hike at about 8:00 a.m., and were quickly slowed by the deep snow, and only made it halfway through their hike once darkness came. They found shelter at the Spaulding Mountain lean-to, but did not have food, water or the proper equipment to spend the night. Temperatures dropped into the single digits, and as they got colder, they decided they could not hike out and called 911 at approximately 5:45 p.m.

Game Wardens were able speak to Haisley on the phone, and advised him to stay at the lean-to and start a fire. Three game wardens ascended much of Spaulding Mountain by snowmobile, then snowshoed over ¾ of a mile to near the summit of Spaulding Mountain where the hikers were stranded. After a quick examination, it was determined they could hike out, and the game wardens and stranded hikers snowshoed back to the snowmobiles, and descended the mountain by snowmobile, arriving at the base at approximately 1:00 a.m. this morning. Neither hiker required medical attention.

Photo: From MDIFW, is one of the rescued hikers at the Spaulding Mountain Lean

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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire at end of term

Justice Stephen Breyer will step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term. Breyer is one of the three remaining liberal justices, and his decision to retire after more than 27 years will allow President Biden to appoint a successor who could maintain the current 6-3 split between conservative and liberal justices. CNN reports that Breyer does not plan to leave until a new nominee is confirmed to the nine-member court.

Breyer, at 83, is the court’s eldest member. He was appointed by former President Bill Clinton and joined the court in 1994. Prior to that he served on the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for from 1980 to 1994, the last four years of which he was chief judge. He was nominated to the appellate court by former President Jimmy Carter. Prior to his judicial career, Breyer served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg and as a special assistant to the attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. During his career he also worked on the Warren Commission and the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.

Liberal activists have urged Breyer to retire while Democrats hold both the White House and the Senate; an appointment by Biden could keep Breyer’s seat on the liberal side of the court for years or decades to come. President Biden declined to comment, saying that he will leave it to Breyer to formally announce his retirement. White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted saying, “It has always been the decision of any Supreme Court Justice if and when they decide to retire, and how they want to announce it, and that remains the case today.”

During his 2020 campaign, Biden pledged to select a Black woman to be his first nominee to the Supreme Court should there be an opening. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Biden plans to stick to that promise: “The president has stated and reiterated his commitment to nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court and certainly stands by that. For today, again, I’m just not going to be able to say anything about any specifics, until, of course, Justice Breyer makes any announcement, should he decide to make an announcement.”  Among likely contenders are U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a former Breyer law clerk; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on California’s Supreme Court.

Editorial credit: mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com

One body found, 38 missing amid Coast Guard search after boat capsizes off Florida

One body has been recovered as a search continued Wednesday for 38 other passengers on a boat that capsized in the northern Straits of Florida.  The boat, carrying 40 people, left the Bahamas in a suspected human smuggling attempt, the U.S. Coast Guard said.  Officials say that a man was found clinging to the overturned hull of the boat Tuesday morning.

During a news conference Wednesday morning, a U.S. Coast Guard official said search and rescue crews are in a race against time to find any survivors. Capt. Jo-Ann F. Burdian said that finding the other migrants alive is their highest priority: “It is dire. The longer they remain in the water … exposed to the marine environment … with every moment that passes, it becomes much more dire and more unlikely that survivors will be found.” 

The 25-foot capsized boat was discovered around 8 a.m. on Tuesday roughly 40 miles east of Florida’s Fort Pierce Inlet. A commercial tug-in barge operator radioed in that one survivor was found clinging to the hull of the overturned vessel.   The man said he was part of a group of 40 people who left the island of Bimini in the Bahamas on Saturday evening in what the maritime security agency suspects was a human smuggling operation The man said they capsized shortly thereafter, and none of them were wearing life jackets.

The survivor was brought to a hospital for symptoms of dehydration and sun exposure. Capt. Burdian wouldn’t provide more details about him, saying he’s now in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security. Burdian said searchers saw indications of more victims, but no more bodies yet. “The aircraft have reported items in the debris field that’s consistent with a number of people being on the vessel,” she said.

Editorial credit: Joseph M. Arseneau / Shutterstock.com

Jason Aldean releases the video for his new single ‘Trouble With a Heartbreak’

Jason Aldean has dropped his latest single, “Trouble With A Heartbreak” along with an accompanying music video, which is described as ‘an ode to hardworking cowboys everywhere.’  The song comes from the second installment of Aldean’s 10th studio album “Macon, Georgia”, which will drop on April 22nd.

Aldean had this to say, “The cool thing about putting out two parts of this record is having fans hear all the different influences I grew up on This song hit me right when I heard it and reminded me of those bitter R&B breakup songs that take me back to riding through the backroads of Georgia.”

The video was shot in December during Aldean’s sold-out, three-night run at The Park Theater.  Take a look at the video for “Trouble With A Heartbreak” – here.

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Luke Bryan shares the emotional music video for “Up”

Luke Bryan’s has shared the emotional video for his latest single, “Up.” The three-minute clip finds Bryan sitting in an old barn watching personal home videos as well as scenes that appear within his five-part docuseries, Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary.

Throughout the clip, fans witness Bryan’s reactions to the footage as director Shaun Silva captures him watching the docuseries for the first time.  Bryan re-lives the memories documented throughout his life, from his childhood to raising children of his own.  Up appears on the deluxe edition of the superstar’s Born Here Live Here Die Here album, and is co-written by Jeremy Bussey, Taylor Phillips and Bobby Pinson,

Take a look at the video for Up here.

Editorial credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

Chris Evans teaming up with Dwayne Johnson in the film ‘Red One’ for Amazon Studios

Chris Evans will star opposite Dwayne Johnson in the holiday film Red One for Amazon Studios. Jake Kasdan will direct the film, which will reunite him with Dwayne Johnson and Seven Bucks Productions after their collaboration on Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level.   Plot details on Red One are vague; but the movie, with a script penned by Chris Morgan, will be based on an original story from Hiram Garcia, president of production at Seven Bucks Productions.  The film is being touted as ‘an action-adventure comedy that imagines a new universe for the holiday genre.

Evans will next be seen in the The Gray Man for Netflix, and is voicing the role of Buzz Lightyear in Lightyear for Pixar.

Editorial credit: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

CBS’s legal drama ‘Bull’ to end after Season 6

CBS legal drama ‘Bull’ will end with its sixth season.  Bull is loosely based on the work of Dr. Phil McGraw as a jury consultant; McGraw is also an executive producer of the show.  Series star Michael Weatherly tweeted the news, saying: “It’s been my privilege to play Dr. Jason Bull but after 6 seasons of incredible storylines, it’s time to pursue new creative challenges and bring his story to a close.”  Sources confirm that Weatherly’s decision to move on led to the decision to bring the series to an end.

The series has dealt with a good amount of controversy.  In 2018, CBS paid actress Eliza Dushku $9.5 million to settle a sexual harassment claim against Weatherly. Dushku alleged he made a series of inappropriate comments to her while she recurred on the show’s first season.  The actress had originally signed on to the show with the possibility of becoming a regular in season two, but her character was written out following her complaint and the settlement.  In addition, showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron was let go from the show and dropped from an overall deal at CBS Studios following an internal investigation into allegations that Caron fostered an unhealthy work environment on Bull. Actor Freddy Rodriguez also departed after an investigation.

CBS said in a statement:  “For six seasons, Bull has established itself as a ratings winner with its fresh take on the judicial process never before seen on television. We extend our thanks to the talented cast, Michael Weatherly, Geneva Carr, Yara Martinez, Jaime Lee Kirchner, Christopher Jackson, MacKenzie Meehan, the incredible creative team led by Kathryn Price and Nichole Millard, and our hard-working crew, for bringing to life these innovative stories. We also thank our loyal viewers and look forward to providing them with a final run of compelling episodes filled with the humor, intelligence and twists that have made the drama a fan favorite.”

Editorial credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

Drug Arrests in Auburn Lead to Seizure in Bangor

As a result of a joint investigation between the Auburn Maine Police Department and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, a significant amount of illicit drugs, cash and firearms were seized from a Bower Street apartment in Bangor last Friday, Jan. 21.

An investigation by the Auburn Police Department led to the arrests of Angelena Quirion, 39, of Bangor and Adam Jalbert, 33, of Caribou. These arrests were made by Auburn Police officers following the discovery of a large amount of cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine in the vehicle that the pair were in while waiting outside of the Androscoggin County Jail.

Following these arrests, Auburn Police Detectives contacted investigators assigned to MDEA’s North Central Task Force in Bangor, Maine. Acting on information provided by Auburn
detectives, MDEA agents were able to identify the apartment belonging to Quirion on Bower Street in Bangor and on January 21, 2022, obtained and executed a search warrant on this
residence.

Seized during the search warrant was, in excess, of two pounds of fentanyl, nearly two pounds of methamphetamine, over $30,000 in suspected drug proceeds, two handguns and an AR 15 rifle. The street value of the drugs seized during the Bangor search warrant is approximately $250,000.

Quirion is still being held in the Androscoggin County Jail on the Auburn charges. It is anticipated that these cases will be joined by prosecutors at the appropriate time.

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Maine High School Regional Cheerleading Championships Rescheduled

The Maine Principals’ Association is rescheduling the regional cheerleading championships scheduled for this weekend, because of the pending major storm.

The competition originally scheduled for Saturday in Augusta and Bangor will now be next Saturday on Feb. 5.

Class A North and South, Class B and C South will be at Lewiston High School. Class B North, C North and D North/South will be at Stearns Jr./Sr. High School in Millinocket.

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