There may be something redeeming about ticks after all

Thank goodness for ticks.

No, really. The gross little disease-ridden blankety-blanks that have been gorging themselves on our blood for years have finally been revealed to have some use.

Scientists, who have presumably searching tirelessly for something good about ticks, discovered the bugs’ saliva can potentially be used to reduce the chronic inflammation that leads to extremely high rates of heart disease in HIV patients.

These same scientists are also using a synthetic version of the tick spit molecule for their tests, so we don’t really need the actual ticks for anything.

Thanks for the inspiration, ticks! Now stop existing.

What we’re talking about

The Portland City Council has a number of votes of interest tonight, one of which will determine whether a cold storage facility can be built on the waterfront in support of the city’s growing container shipping industry, The Forecaster’s David Harry is reporting. The BDN’s Jake Bleiberg is on hand tonight to cover the proceedings, and you can follow him on Twitter @JZBleiberg or check for the results.

Entrepreneur and former Maine real estate developer Michael Liberty, once called “Donald Trump with a Maine accent,” will begin serving his four-month sentence for making illegal campaign donations about a week later than planned, thanks to Hurricane Irma. The court agreed to push his start date from this Friday out to Sept. 15 to allow Liberty, who now lives in Florida, to secure his home and family in advance of the hurricane, now considered one of the strongest ever in the Atlantic Ocean.

A man driving with his cat crashed through a restaurant wall in Biddeford and injured a guy inside trying to enjoy a late lunch. James Clark, 63, of Lewiston, accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake and drove his 2017 Nissan through the wall of Wok and Roll Restaurant on Elm Street, the Journal Tribune reported. Both Clark and an unnamed diner were taken to hospitals with injuries. The cat was taken to the Animal Welfare Society in West Kennebunk for safe keeping.

House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, a Newport Republican, will run for governor in 2018, the BDN’s Christopher Cousins is reporting. Fredette is one of current Gov. Paul LePage’s staunchest allies in the Legislature, and joins former LePage DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew and Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason as GOP gubernatorial candidates. Mason’s official announcement, previously scheduled for today, was postponed because of the unexpected death of his mother, state Rep. Gina Mason. Gina Mason, 57, was remembered as “a wonderful mother, a leader and a friend to us all” by her House colleagues Wednesday.

Attorneys for Anthony Sanborn Jr. say they’ve uncovered records that an eyewitness may have seen 16-year-old Jessica Briggs alive around 2 a.m. the night she was killed, two hours later than what was previously considered her last known sighting, according to the Portland Press Herald. Sanborn was convicted of murder in the Briggs case in 1992, but was released from prison in April after new evidence emerged which put that conviction in doubt. Sanborn has requested that his conviction be overturned or that he at least be given a new trial.

Tweet of the day

From CBS 13 weather forecaster Lexie O’Connor:

In related news, a flash flood watch is in effect until tomorrow morning for most of southern Maine.

The Big Idea

Portland is actively hostile to growth. That’s the assertion made in this commentary by Matthew Gagnon of the Maine Heritage Policy Center. An excerpt: “None of the ideas currently being promoted by the mayor, or pursued by the city council, is truly geared toward making the city a welcoming environment for new businesses, and the economic growth they create. Quite the opposite, really. Every idea they pursue makes it more costly, more burdensome, less profitable, and ultimately not worth the effort.”

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