Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight a man charged with a 1979 murder pleads not guilty; the Sea Dogs lose but are off to their best start in a decade; and there’s new hope for the dog LePage pardoned.
What we’re talking about
Man charged in 38-year-old cold case pleads not guilty — BDN’s Beth Brogan reports from the Portland courthouse:
A former Brunswick man charged Friday with killing his infant son in 1979 pleaded not guilty during his first appearance in court on Wednesday…
Standing in civilian clothing beside his attorney, Verne Paradie, Hagar pleaded not guilty to a charge that he murdered his 4-month-old son, Nathan, on May 9, 1979…
Nathan Hagar was found unresponsive in the family’s School Street apartment and died at Parkview Hospital in Brunswick on May 9, 1979. The child was originally believed to have died due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, but detectives reopened the case quietly in 1991, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Friday.
New hope for Dakota — The husky sentenced to death but pardoned by Gov. Paul LePage got an 11th hour reprieve late Tuesday, according to WGME. Dakota was at a veterinarian’s office waiting to be put down after a judge refused yesterday to set aside the kill order. But an appeal filed with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in Portland appears to have stopped the legal killing, for now.
Sea Dogs lose but still are off to their best start in over a decade — The Binghamton Rumble Ponies handed the Sea Dogs their first loss of the 2017 season today, defeating Portland 4-3 in 11 innings at Hadlock Field. Entering the game, Portland was 5-0 for the first time since starting the 2005 season off 10-0. — Troy R. Bennett
Portland’s first publicly-owned park gets a reboot — It’s a stately open space with wrought iron fencing, a canopy of trees and a Parisian fountain. But Lincoln Parks best days have long been in the rearview. On Thursday a rehab effort kicks off aiming to restore the decayed park bounded by Congress, Franklin, Pearl and Federal streets. The City of Portland and the Friends of Lincoln Park convene at 4 p.m. to share more details on the rise of Lincoln Park. — Kathleen Pierce
Portland chef Josh Berry is working on a cookbook — Yesterday on Coffee with Cooks, the weekly Facebook Live series where BDN Portland’s Kathleen Pierce enjoys a caffeinated beverage with a local chef, Josh Berry of Union at the Press Hotel let it slip that he is working on a cookbook. “It’s early, early R and D, but we have a lot of recipes. It will be a Union cookbook,” said Berry, executive chef at the Congress Street hotel. “It’s going to be really exciting … we don’t do anything half-assed.” — Kathleen Pierce
Demystifying data — BDN writer Darren Fishell spoke at the first annual summit of the Muskie School’s Data Innovation Project. The three-year project aims to promote better understanding of data at nonprofits and local government. He shared a few recent stories that data made possible or where it helped cut through the noise. That included basic fact-finding and myth-busting around Maine’s new 3 percent surtax on income over $200,000, insights about the last presidential election in Maine and an investigation into electricity prices that would have been nothing without the data. If you’re interested in the Data Innovation Project, check them out. They host monthly data workshops and other events. — Darren Fishell
“Catch Me If You Can Author” to speak in Portland — From the the age of 16 to 24 Frank Abagnale posed as an airline pilot, an attorney and a doctor and cashed millions in fraudulent checks in a series of events later turned into the book and the 2002 movie “Catch Me if You Can,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Abagnale now works as a security consultant and will be giving a free talk on how to protect yourself from identity theft at the University of Southern Maine’s Hannaford Hall at 88 Bedford Street. The talk, hosted by the AARP, will run from 5:30 to 6:45 pm. You can register to attend at aarp.cvent.com/catchme or by calling 1-877-926-8300.
Tweet of the day
From the AP’s David Beard:
The Big Idea
Mainers still dying from asbestos — People are still being killed by cancer linked to Asbestos, despite decades of regulations meant to limit exposure to the dangerous fiber, NPR reports. Maine and Washington were the states with the highest rates of Asbestos-related death between 1999 and 2015.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @JZBleiberg.