Governor vetoes bill to protect living organ donors

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s Republican governor is opposing a law to prohibit certain insurers from considering a person’s status as a living organ donor.

Gov. Paul LePage vetoed the bill Tuesday and said it would make Maine one of the only states in the nation to prohibit life, long-term care and disability insurers from such a consideration. The bill wouldn’t apply to health insurance, which already has such protections.

The House on Thursday voted 146-0 to override LePage’s veto. The bill goes to the Senate.

Groups and insurers like the American Council of Life Insurances and Anthem Inc. reported lobbying on the bill.

LePage said the decision to donate a kidney or other organ is commendable but carries significant health risks.

The governor also said the bill would skew insurer’s risk estimates.

Official wants to make Akron autism friendly

AKRON, Ohio — A county official in Ohio is hoping to formally declare the Akron area a welcoming place for people with autism.

Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro said she would introduce a proposal to establish Summit County as “autism friendly” at a council meeting Monday.

Laurie Cramer, executive director of the Autism Society of Greater Akron, told the Akron Beacon Journal that Shapiro’s proposal would formalize efforts made over the past several years.

Cramer said her group has worked with others, including the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board, to promote inclusion of people with autism.

Among their successes are autism-specific story times at the library and a chance to meet the Easter Bunny at a local mall before opening without all the crowds and loud music.

Park’s Trail Ridge Road open to cyclists

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is now open to bicyclists, but park officials warn that the conditions might still be a little tricky.

Park officials opened the road, which connects Estes Park on the east and Grand Lake on the west, earlier this month. The scenic route is the highest continuous paved road in the United States and reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet.

Cyclists should be prepared for strong winds and rapid weather changes, especially in early spring.

KUSA-TV in Denver reported the road is expected to be closed for vehicles until late May when crews are expected to finish snow plowing.

— Associated Press