If naming storms makes you want to scream, this is the one for you |


Good evening from the BDN Portland outpost in Bayside. Tonight the weather has us feeling like Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire”; prison guards say Cumberland County Jail is understaffed; and the drones are multiplying.  

What we’re talking about

What you need to know about Winter Storm Stella:

86 to one — That’s the ratio of inmates to guards allowed in a Cumberland County Jail housing unit following a 2016 protocol change, the Press Herald’s Matt Byrne reports. On Monday night, more than two dozen members of the jail’s employee union gathered to tell county commissioners that the facility is understaffed “and the safety of inmates and officers is now at risk.” Like other Maine county jails, Cumberland County’s is facing a budget hole that the county commissioners said needs to be plugged at the state level. Corrections officers argued that low pay and harsh working conditions make staffing the jail a challenge.The complaints were voiced in the midst of negotiations over the union’s contract.  

The drones are multiplying. — There are now more than 2,600 drones flying in Maine, BDN reporter and drone enthusiast Darren Fishell reports. Since last May, the count of unmanned aircraft registered in the state with the Federal Aviation Administration jumped nearly 50 percent. Most of the 845 new drones were registered in southern Maine, with 231 and 158 added in Cumberland and York counties respectively. Portland added 44 new drones. Here’s some lovely footage of the fall foliage shot with a lift from Fishell’s drone, Airship Sancho.

Donut ‘Grand Central’— BDN Portland gets an early look at the new Holy Donut opening at the end of March in a former Scarborough Tim Horton’s. “Hopefully we can bring a little soul to this stretch of highway,” said owner Leigh Kellis, on a tour of the cheerful cafe that will crank out 20 different kinds of gourmet, Maine potato doughnuts daily. Dark chocolate sea salt anyone? — Kathleen Pierce

The Shins and My Morning Jacket — Two more acts have been added to the already impressive line-up of summer concerts being put on at Thompson’s Point by the State Theatre, BDN’s Emily Burnham reports. The Shins will perform on June 16 and My Morning Jacket on July 11. Tickets for both shows going on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, March 17 via Ticketmaster. Other shows in the series include the xx on May 26, Ween on June 10, Michael Franti & Spearhead on June 20, Elvis Costello and the Imposters on July 24, Fleet Foxes on July 27, Wilco on July 30 and Glass Animals on Aug. 3.

Meatball Co. closes — It didn’t even reach the six-month mark. Portland Meatball Co. is no longer in business, according to the Portland Food Map blog. Last month, the Press Herald’s food critic Andrew Ross gave it two stars, citing greasy meatballs and a zany atmosphere. “The more adventurous meatballs seemed to get progressively worse as they drifted farther out of the orbit of the Italian-inspired house ball,” he wrote. Noah Talmatch, owner of Timber Steakhouse, was behind the Exchange Street eatery, which opened with much enthusiasm in October. — Kathleen Pierce

Tweet of the day

From Maine children’s book author Cynthia Lord, because it’s awful outside and a basket of bunnies is clearly what we all need:

The Big Idea

“Kellyanne’s Alternative Universe” — Long an insistent defender of “Trump’s looking-glass version of reality — in which conspiracy theories merit consideration but reported facts are suspect,” Kellyanne Conway is now a contender for the most powerful woman in America, The Atlantic’s Molly Ball writes in a profile of the GOP pollster turned senior counselor to the president.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at jbleiberg@bangordailynews.com, or tweet @JZBleiberg

If someone forwarded you this newsletter, click here to sign up. Or just text PORTLAND to 66866. As always, like BDN Portland on Facebook for more local coverage.