That time Portland ate its neighbor and stole its Republicans

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight: We feast upon the blood of our vanquished foes Congratulations to the New England Patriots.

What we’re talking about

Here’s what authorities are saying about the Fore River fuel spill

— A heating oil truck driver, Dale Brown, 58, of Topsham was driving north along I-295 near exit 4 in South Portland when police suspect he had a heart problem that caused him to lose control of his truck. The truck hit a guardrail and cement abutment, then rolled over.

— The truck was on its way from the South Portland fuel depot and was carrying 2,900 gallons of home heating oil, all of which spilled, according to Maine State Police.

— That fuel spilled on the road and median, and oozed into a drain pipe that leads into the Fore River.

— It’s not clear how much oil made its way into the river, but a Coast Guard spokesman said most of it was recovered before it reached the water. “Because of the Fore River’s flow rate the spilled material has most likely flushed out to marine waters,” said Maine DEP spokesman David Madore. “However, DEP and the Coast Guard will continue to monitor the area.”

— Madore said that responders flushed the storm drain to collect more oil, and are excavating soil tonight, likely continuing into tomorrow. “There is a wet area, with [cat ‘o nine] tails, adjacent to the [onramp] that seems to be holding a great deal of oil,” he said.  

— The crash snarled traffic, closing one lane of the interstate in each direction.

— The driver is being treated at Maine Medical Center for a head injury, as well as the condition that’s believed to have led to the crash, police said.

That time Portland ate its neighbor and stole its Republicans — In the late 19th century, Portland was hemorrhaging Republican voters, losing them to the newly streetcar-reachable suburb of Deering, which at that time was its own city. In an effort to retain control, the Republican-led city government asked the Republican Legislature in Augusta if it was OK to take Deering by force. They said, “Go for it.” You can see even more light shed on this topic by attending the Greater Portland Landmarks’ lecture: Street Car Suburbs Along the Forest Avenue Corridor on Sunday, Feb. 12 at HopeGateWay United Methodist Church on Forest Avenue. — Troy R. Bennett

Two robbers called in a bogus order to hold up a pizza guy, cops say Dawn Gagnon reports: Two men held up a Papa John’s delivery driver early Sunday morning when he arrived with four pizzas for an order that turned out to be fake, authorities said.

The robbery happened about 2:30 a.m. Sunday as the driver was getting out of his car to deliver pizzas at 59 Danforth St., an address that turned out to be fictitious, Portland police Lt. Robert Martin said Monday in a news release.

Police believe the order was used to lure the victim to that location, Martin said.

Never mind the snow, reserve your primo campsite now — It’s cold, snow is on the way and you probably don’t want to get out from under that blanket on the couch but now’s the time to reserve a summer campsite. Portland is blessed with two nearby state parks with overnight facilities: Bradbury Mountain in Pownal and Sebago Lake in Naples. This morning, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands started taking online reservations at all 12 of its family campsite equipped parks. The popular weekends book up fast, so you may not want to wait. — Troy R. Bennett

8 people showed up at a Trump rally in Portland and basically the entire Internet made fun of them — Huffington Post picked up on WGME’s story from this weekend about a Trump rally in Monument Square:

A rally in support of President Donald Trump and his immigration ban in Portland, Maine, on Saturday is drawing attention on social media for all the wrong reasons: only a handful of people showed up, according to footage from local CBS station WGME.

Specifically: Eight people showed up.

Portland’s most famous refugee afraid to leave the country — Somali refugee and Portlander Abdi Nor came to national attention when This American Life told the story of how he traveled to America after winning a sort of immigration lottery. Now, after Trump singled out Somalis by claiming they are a threat to the United States during a visit to Portland, Nor is so worried about the administration’s immigration policies that he’s afraid to leave the U.S. “This is not about the 120 days. This is not about the executive order itself. This is about who issued the executive order. This is about Trump … so I’m not planning to leave,” Nor told the Chicago-based public radio program. — Jake Bleiberg

Tweet of the day

From Joshua Malina

Screenshot 2017-02-06 18.19.05


The Big Idea

How I could have made more money at my old job — Prior to covering Portland for the BDN, I reported for VICE News in Montreal, Quebec. Little did I know, that while I was writing for VICE one of my Canadian colleagues allegedly had an illicit side gig. Read Bangor-native, turned Canadian reporter Sean Craig’s incredible story of how VICE Canada’s music editor allegedly used his position to recruit drug mules for an international smuggling operation. It’s truly stranger than fiction.  — Jake Bleiberg

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at, or tweet @dsmacleod.

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Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. He's an Orland native who first moved to Portland in 2002. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.