Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight: released prisoners, a $16 million park proposal, and coffee milk in Biddeford.
What we’re talking about
LePage releases 17 prisoners under conditional commutations — BDN Portland reporter Jake Blieberg reports that Gov. Paul Lepage on Friday commuted, with conditions, the sentences of 17 inmates incarcerated by the state Department of Corrections. The offenders, from multiple prisons, are considered “low-risk offenders,” state officials said. The conditional commutations were announced days after LePage revealed his plans — which he later backed away from — to swiftly close the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport as part of his proposed two-year budget.
Shaking her head in disbelief or agreement? — Famed Maine U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith is being honored with a bobblehead giveaway at a Portland Sea Dogs game this season, the team announced this week. The first 1,000 fans through the gates at Hadlock Field on August 26 will get the free figure. The giveaway will mark Women’s Equality Day. — Troy R. Bennett
This musical junk could be the treasure you’re looking for — We’re not usually into announcing specific store sales here but this one is different. On Saturday and Sunday you’ll have the chance to pick over some fine musical junk collected over the years at the city’s oldest music store, Buckdancer’s Choice. They’re saying, “We have cleaned out the cellar, the attic and the dingy corners of the outback to find piles and piles of broken and abandoned projects and basket cases… piles of instruments, amplifiers, bodies, necks, husks, just a big pile of assorted broken stuff on the cheap. Try your hand at repair, refill your parts bin and burn the rest, turn that guitar into a wall clock, whatever works.” If that doesn’t sound like a holiday weekend, I don’t know what does. — Troy R. Bennett
$16 million — That’s the likely price tag on a park that city officials envision for an empty lot next to Ocean Gateway terminal, the Press Herald’s Noel Gallagher reports. The park would include an event space, sailing facilities and elevated berms to guard against tidal surges and provide “resiliency” from flooding. “This is a very different space than we originally thought,” said Bill Needelman, the city’s waterfront coordinator.
Coffee milk company expands to Biddeford —Biddeford has a new milkman. But if you take Rocket Fuel with your morning Wheaties you may need to be scraped off the ceiling. The owner of The Gorham Grind closed his cafe in early May and moved into a new production space to make and bottle his high-test coffee milk called Rocket Fuel. Soon there will be a cafe and coffee milk tasting room. Attention UNE students your finals just got easier. — Kathleen Pierce
Lewiston school officials didn’t know about bullying before suicide — In the wake of a suicide earlier this week by a Lewiston middle school student, school officials and the girl’s parents tell the Press Herald’s Noel Gallagher that they only learned that the girl was being bullied at school after she took her own life.
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The Big Idea
NOAA FORECASTS BUSY HURRICANE SEASON FOR ATLANTIC — Federal forecasters predict above-average storm numbers in the Atlantic Ocean for 2017. The forecast is currently for 11 to 17 named storms to form, of which five to nine are expected to become hurricanes, and two to four major hurricanes.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @JZBleiberg.