GARDINER — The city will host Easter events on April 23 in the downtown area from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The day will start with a parade beginning at the Loads of Fun Laundromat, proceeding down Water Street and ending at City Hall.

Chris West, Executive Director of the Gardiner Main Street Program, said everyone is invited to participate in the parade.

“This event is a great way for the Gardiner community to get together, celebrate the holiday and finally get out of their homes after a long winter,” West said.

After the parade, he said there will be children’s events throughout downtown, including an Easter Egg scavenger hunt, put on by Blue Sky Bakery.

For a parade application or more information, call 582-3100 or email [email protected]

LePage signs new ed standards into law

AUGUSTA — Maine has become the 42nd state to adopt a new set of academic standards known as Common Core.

Gov. Paul LePage on Friday signed the Common Core standards bill into law after it passed the House and Senate unanimously. The administration says it sets forth a clear set of standards for teachers to work with, and allows them to tailor their teaching to the new, rigorous expectations of what students should know.

By adopting the Common Core standards, Maine schools will be able to take advantage of a vast web of new curriculum resources that leading text book producers are developing to align with the new standards.

Amputees closer to switchblade relief

AUGUSTA — A bill to allow amputees in Maine to carry switchblades is nearing final legislative approval.

The measure, requested by an amputee in western Maine who rides horses, received final House approval Tuesday and faces a final Senate vote before being sent to the governor. The bill limits the blades to 3 inches in length.

Paul Dumas Jr. requested the bill. Dumas says that with only one arm, he can’t react quickly enough in emergencies when he needs to cut a piece of rope.

Dumas, a lawyer, says he’s tired of opening knives with his teeth and the bill would remedy that.

Whoopie pie bill passes in the House

AUGUSTA — A bill to make whoopie pies Maine’s official state treat — along with an equally tasty amendment paying homage to blueberry pie — is close to final enactment.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill to that makes whoopie pies the state treat, not the official state dessert as initially proposed. As amended the bill designates blueberry pie — made with wild Maine blueberries — as the official state dessert. It still faces a final Senate vote before going to Gov. Paul LePage.

The bill has generated criticism from some who say the Legislature should concern itself with more serious issues.

From staff and wire reports

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