Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight: Everything we know about Trump’s executive orders around immigration; the Women’s March made history in more than one way; and a record number of people rode the bus last year.
What we’re talking about
Here are the details on Trump’s draft executive order cracking down on immigration — As early as Thursday, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order that would begin vetting would-be visitors based on ideology and opinion and close America’s borders to broad swaths of people, including some of the world’s most vulnerable.
According to drafts obtained by multiple news organizations, the order will indefinitely prohibit Syrian refugees from coming to the United States, place a temporary halt on the admission of refugees from anywhere else in the world, and ban anyone from seven Muslim-majority counties from entering America for one month. — Jake Bleiberg
Meanwhile, he plans to sign an order that would punish so-called sanctuary cities — Reminder: Portland is not a sanctuary city, even though both Gov. Paul LePage and the Center for Immigration Studies refer to it as such. The city’s policy is to cooperate with federal immigration officials — though it does have some protections for undocumented immigrants.
In related news, via the New York Times: “President Trump signed an order on Wednesday to start building a border wall with Mexico …”
Maine Historical Society is collecting Women’s March signs — The Congress Street organization is collecting posters from the Women’s Marches in Portland, Augusta and D.C. “We’ve probably received close to 100 items, including dozens of signs, a banner from the DC march, a pussy hat, pins, T-shirts, and the likes,” said Executive Director Stephen Bromage. Curators are adding rally paraphernalia into the Maine Memory Network and hope to mount an exhibit. — Kathleen Pierce
Read the letter Obama sent a Portlander who went from prison to a White House internship — Christopher Poulos this morning posted a photo of this letter he got from former President Barack Obama, thanking the Portland native for his service and telling him that he was moved by his story. Poulos interned at the White House last year, which is pretty remarkable when you consider that he previously served time in federal prison for dealing drugs. Read more about his story here.
Portland police shoot injured skunk on Munjoy Hill — Lt. Robert Martin of the Portland Police Department confirmed an officer shot a skunk with a leg injury in the vicinity of 98 Cumberland Ave. today around 1:30 p.m. The unidentified officer used a special .38 caliber revolver loaded with steel shot. The department keeps it handy for just such occasions, Martin said. His department is called on a few times a year to put a deer or two out of its misery. “But possums are usually just playing possum,” he added. Here’s your soundtrack. — Troy R. Bennett
A record number of people rode the METRO last year — METRO says it recorded 1.81 million rides last year, easily breaking the record of 1.57 million set the year before. That’s an increase of 15 percent.
Here’s a chart showing ridership over the past 20 years:
Tweet of the day
The Big Idea
How Maine let casinos write gaming laws with voters’ help — Michael Shepherd reports:
When Maine voters gave Shawn Scott the rights to Maine’s first casino nearly 14 years ago, he wrote his own law, hastily sold the rights and made a cool $51 million.
And the Virgin Islands developer may have another chance to do it in 2017.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at email@example.com, or tweet @dsmacleod.