Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight, Anthony Sanborn says what it’s like to finally be free; Dispatch Magazine is no more; and the race for governor is officially on.
What we’re talking about
After decades in prison, freedom and disbelief — After nearly three decades behind bars, Anthony Sanborn was released on bail yesterday when a key witness recanted the testimony that was instrumental in convicting him of murder. The Press Herald’s Matt Byrne interviewed Sanborn, who has maintained that he is innocent, about his time in prison and what it’s like to be free after all these years. Here are some highlights:
“Back then I had faith in everybody,” Sanborn said of the time before his 1992 conviction “I thought there was no way the justice system could fail me, so there was no way I was going to be found guilty of a murder I didn’t do. At some point it got real.”;
“She said one day, ‘You can look at me,’” he said of connecting with Michelle Lincoln, who he married while in prison. “I said, ‘I don’t want you to think I’m, like, checking you out,’ and she said, ‘I’m yours. You can do it.’ She says she touched my face and I shuddered.”;
“God, if this ain’t real, then take me now. Because if this ain’t real, what just happened today, just take me,” he said on being granted bail Thursday.
Dispatch is no more — Dispatch, the entertainment magazine that covered the youthful side of Portland, vanished from newsstands this winter and is now officially dead, BDN Portland’s Kathleen Pierce reports. “Our readers loved us but advertisers not so much,” said publisher Bob Fernald. “So after six years, we’re moving on.”
Let race for governor begin — BDN’s Michael Shepherd breaks the news of the first credible candidate to officially jump into the 2018 gubernatorial race:
Maine State Treasurer Terry Hayes filed to run for governor on Friday, becoming the first credible candidate to declare for the 2018 race and positioning herself to continue the state’s tradition of formidable non-party Blaine House challengers.
The 58-year-old independent from Buckfield flew under the radar in speculation on who will run to replace the term-limited Paul LePage, but carries bipartisan gravitas as a former Democratic legislative leader who left her party to win two terms as treasurer with Republican support.
Ali invites Lockman for coffee — Portland City Councilor Pious Ali wants to grab a coffee with controversial State Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst. In a video posted on Facebook Friday, Ali, the first Muslim immigrant elected to Portland city council, said he wants to talk with Lockman about how talk to make Maine a more welcoming place. In February, Lockman gave a fiery talk in Portland claiming that the city’s welcoming policies toward immigrants are endangering Mainers. Ali said he hopes the two lawmakers can have “a very compassionate, civic conversation , around … how we can be welcoming to other people who live next door.” Ali said he’d even pay for Lockman’s coffee.
Portland tax breaks should come with conditions, mayor says — Mayor Ethan Strimling is pushing for ordinance changes that would require companies that get city tax breaks to diversify their construction crews and pay a livable wage, among other measures, the Press Herald’s Randy Billings reports. The requirements would apply to projects that receive Tax Increment Financing and will be discussed at a meeting of the City Council’s Economic Development Committee on Tuesday.
“Everything must go” — The Eastern Mountain Sport in Bayside will be closing as part of a bankruptcy deal by the outdoors store’s parent company, BDN’s Darren Fishell reports. The store will likely be holding an inventory clearing sale and its closure will open up a 8,000-square-foot vacancy next to Trader Joe’s.
Find the “golden turd” — It’s once again time to pick up a winter’s worth of what dogs have laid down on the Eastern Prom. The annual community clean-up effort started in 1995 and is still going strong. This year, join volunteers on April 22, from 9 a.m. until noon. If you find one of the special, “golden turds” you could win a fabulous prize. But hey, what’s more fabulous than a golden turd? — Troy R. Bennett
This comedian is hoping his videos will catch a buzz on Facebook — Local laugh master Ian Stuart is promoting his April 20 shows (get it?) in Portland in a new series of slick, clever videos. The double shows are being recorded for a live album. — Troy R. Bennett
Tweet of the day
From public utility advocate Tim Schneider, on BDN reporter Darren Fishell’s story that he’s likely out of a job:
The Big Idea
“Going it alone” — Rahawa Haile recounts her experience of hiking the Appalachian Trail alone as a black woman.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @JZBleiberg.