Sen. Susan Collins announced yesterday that she’ll vote for the GOP tax overhaul when the bill returns to the Senate this week. The plan would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, give modest tax cuts to many middle- and lower-income families, and provide larger tax cuts for many wealthy Americans. Several protesters picketed outside her Bangor office as Collins announced her support for the tax plan yesterday on the Senate floor.

A Tennessee man has been charged with murder in the death of a pregnant mother with ties to Aroostook County. 23-year-old Kyanna Howes Vaughn and her husband, 25-year-old Robert Vaughn, were shot to death two weeks ago inside their home in Johnson City, Tennessee. Kyanna Howes Vaughn was born in Ashland. She was pregnant with the couple’s third child. 33-year-old Derrick Benjamin Sells was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder. Police have not yet established a possible motive for the crime.

Fire destroyed a barn yesterday afternoon in Pittsfield. Crews were called to Webb Road just after 3:00. Firefighters were able to keep the blaze from destroying an attached restaurant, although the kitchen did sustain some damage. No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A Maine task force is studying ways to tackle the rising cost of special education. The task force was scheduled to meet today in Augusta to work on its report. School enrollment is declining in nearly all of Maine's school districts, and many communities are contending with the cost of sending special education students out-of-district.

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