Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight: Portland saw eight suspected overdoses in roughly one day; you can fight hipsters in a new video game; and there’s going to be an “air sex championship” in town next month.
What we’re talking about
In about 24 hours, there were roughly 4 times the average of suspected overdose calls — Matt Byrne of the Press Herald reports that first responders got eight calls for suspected drug overdoses between Sunday and Monday — none of which were fatal. On average, the city gets two to three calls a day, police told him.
Angus King comes out against Gorsuch — King cited “‘evasive’ answers to senators’ questions about certain cases, his ‘judicial activist’ past and past decisions,” Michael Shepherd reports.
“If Judge Gorsuch is ultimately confirmed, I sincerely hope my concerns and fears will be proven wrong; I would be delighted if this is the case,” King said. “But in good conscience, I must vote my convictions and not my hopes – and my convictions in this case tell me ‘no’.”
Battle hipsters and Gov. Paul LePage in this new video game — Maine’s favorite rapper, Spose, released a new game in which you battle to claim the title of “King of Maine.” Sam Shepherd writes:
Promoting his upcoming album “Good Luck With Your Life,” he released “Spose: King of Maine” a side-scrolling game where players collect pinecones and iced coffee while battling horses at the Fryeburg Fair and raccoons in Wells, the rapper’s hometown.
Spose posted a video on Instagram that showed players battling “man bun” wielding hipsters in Portland. I’m sure you can already guess who the final boss is.
U.S. ambassador to Somalia coming to Maine — Stephen Schwartz, America’s first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years, will be coming to Maine this week as part of outreach to the African nation’s diaspora community here. On Wednesday he’ll be at Deering High School for a student-led question-and-answer session from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.. Schwartz will be headed to Lewiston on Thursday to meet with Somali and Somali Bantu residents in a community forum at 10 a.m. in Callahan Hall at Lewiston Public Library. Somalia is one of several African nations in the grips of a famine that threatens millions of lives. The Trump administration recently proposed budget cuts to the U.N. that would likely affect aid work done through the World Food Program and UNICEF. — Jake Bleiberg
Spring snowstorms are a great time to go camping — It’s lovely, peaceful and summer crowds don’t exist. Sebago Lake State Park is less than an hour from the city and winter camping is allowed. The friendly ranger may even help push your motorcycle out of a snowbank. — Troy R. Bennett
New Netflix short series features Portland film director — The city’s own son, famed western movie director John Ford, is one of the main subjects in the new Netflix original documentary series “Five Came Back.” The three-part show was released a few days ago and tells the story of five Hollywood directors who joined the war effort during World War II. Ford won an Oscar for his film about the Battle of Midway, which he filmed during the actual fighting. He also directed a film crew at Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings. — Troy R. Bennett
(Troy did a video about John Ford back on the director’s birthday in February.)
You’ve played air guitar but have you tried air sex? — That was a rhetorical question. We know the answer is no. But now you can. Portland House of Music is hosting Maine’s first ever “Air Sex Championship.” It’s your chance to show people how you do it without really doing it. We’re pretty sure you’ll see things there you’ll never be able to unsee. The competition gets hot and heavy on May 9. If you just want to watch, it’s $14. — Troy R. Bennett
Tweet of the day
From Academia Obscura, because who doesn’t like a good graph?
The Big Idea
‘As state response lags, communities step up to fight addiction’ — In The Press Herald’s final piece in its excellent 10-part series on Maine’s heroin crisis, Joe Lawlor reports: “From folding chairs in Down East community centers to pews in southern Maine churches, community leaders and activists are working to address a public health crisis that state government was slow to recognize and address.”
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet @JZBleiberg.