Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight is the final edition of The Express for the year. We’re off on Monday. Enjoy the weekend and be safe. Also, please shovel the sidewalk in front of your house. Thanks!
What we’re talking about
Get your car off the streets — A warning to those planning on enjoying the last Friday of 2016 with a night on the town: You may have to be up early Saturday. This afternoon, the city called a belated parking ban to clean up after the Thursday night snowstorm. The ban will be in effect from 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday and cars must be out of the city parking lots by 7 a.m. Get the full details on the ban here.
Cumberland County hit hard by outages — The majority of the power outages from last night’s storm were in Cumberland and Kennebec counties. The Press Herald reported: “In Cumberland, nearly all of CMP’s 3,335 customers were still without power while almost 80 percent of Falmouth’s 5,683 customers and 3,405 people in Windham awaited restoration.”
A peek at Portland’s first restaurant opening of 2017 — Kathleen Pierce got an early look at 2017’s first new restaurant (it’s good!) “Portlanders hungry for authentic Chinese cuisine, inflected with chili peppers, cinnamon and anise, have been knocking on Sichuan Kitchen’s door for months. The 45-seater finally opens on Congress Street at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 2.”
What fire dancers, urchin divers and candlepin bowlers have in common — They’re all featured in some of Troy R. Bennett’s favorite videos this year.
Look for this story tomorrow — You may remember Yassin Saker from our story last year. He was trying to make enough money working the Hannaford deli counter to bring his family over from Syria. Jake’s happy story drops tomorrow on bangordailynews.com:
Yassin Saker didn’t meet his youngest daughter until her first birthday. They were outside a terminal at Boston’s Logan Airport on Nov. 1 and the little girl took in her father with a long, uncertain gaze, Saker recalled. “I knew she didn’t know me,” he said.
ICYMI: Here are Maine’s top stories of the year — BDN editors picked the year’s biggest stories. Wessie made the cut (RIP, probably). So did the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. And, once again, Maine’s opioid crisis was a story that defined the state. As Executive Editor Tony Ronzio tweeted on Wednesday: “Just realized that heroin has been a BDN “story of the year” for three of last four years. At some point it shouldn’t be, right?
Tweet of the day
The Big Idea
‘2016: One year in the Upside Down’ — The Washington Post’s Dan Zak writes:
It’s more difficult to dwell on good news. This year the unemployment rate dropped to a nine-year low! The Dow rocketed past 19,000! Giant pandas are no longer endangered! The Cubs and Cavs won!
Alas, joy is sanded down by the relentless 24-hour news cycle, the barbed hamster wheel of social media, the outrages that distract from catastrophes.
Much of Flint still does not have drinking water. Much of West Virginia is drowning in opioids. Most of Aleppo is rubble. Chicago exceeded 700 homicides for the first time in almost two decades. The Internet didn’t know or care much, though. The year’s top searches on Google, counting down:
3. Donald Trump
2. iPhone 7
1. Pokémon Go
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @dsmacleod.