Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight, after 200 years a veteran gets his due; Maine lawyers are outraged at last week’s courthouse arrest; and the Food Network is looking for Portland chefs.
What we’re talking about
200 years later, the U.S. finally does right by this Portland vet — BDN Portland’s Troy R. Bennett reports:
William “Billy” Brown was a child soldier who went to sea in 1798. Maimed in battle in a now-forgotten war, Brown was then cast aside by his country. The African-American man never got medals or the pension he was due. Instead, his reward was a life of pain and poverty. When he died, he ended up a forgotten man in an unmarked grave in Portland’s Eastern Cemetery.
Maine attorneys to ICE: Stop courthouse arrests — A former federal prosecutor, a patent lawyer, a law professor, a civil rights activist and an ex-public defender are among the 179 Mainers who’ve signed a letter opposing the arrest of immigrants in courthouses. They sent it to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. — Judy Harrison
The Food Network seeks Portland chefs — Whether you cook a mean skillet dinner, have been shortlisted for a James Beard Award or run a killer brownie truck in the park, the Food Network’s show “Chopped” is looking for you. This month casting directors are urging Portland chefs to apply to the popular reality show. “Portland has a unique culinary scene and we’d love to meet and highlight chefs with great stories and passion for what they do and the space and location they do it in,” said assistant casting director Beth Schiff. — Kathleen Pierce
Coffee with Cooks features Josh Berry of Union — He’s Maine Restaurant Association’s Chef of the Year. He’s gone vegetarian and has very cool tattoos. What else do you need to know about chef Josh Berry of the Press Hotel? Join Kathleen Pierce on Facebook Live tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. for more. — Kathleen Pierce
These new Mainers are worried about famine back home — Members of Maine’s Somali community filled the basement of the Portland Public Library last week asking a top U.S diplomat how American policy toward their homeland might change. There is deep anxiety that President Trump’s promise to cut funding to the United Nations will lesson the flow of crucial aid to that region of Africa. — Troy R. Bennett
Rising property prices might spell g-e-n-t-r-i-f-i-c-a-t-i-o-n in SoPo — The Portland Press Herald reports the 2008 recession is over in South Portland. Properties around Willard Square and the waterfront are reportedly selling for 25 to 45 percent more than the city’s assessed values — and those haven’t changed since 2010. — Troy R. Bennett
The Legislature may make moves to protect electricity customers due to BDN story — The Maine House and Senate will soon decide whether or not to enact new consumer protections for Maine electricity customers, in response to a Bangor Daily News investigation that found residential customers have paid millions more than they needed to. If you’re not in the know, you’re going to want to read THIS first. — Darren Fishell
Tweet of the day
From Stephen King:
The Big Idea
“The Roots of the New Urban Crisis” — In the age of the great urban center, the gap between cities that thrive and those left behind has become “the central crisis of our times,” Richard Florida writes in The Atlantic.
Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at email@example.com, or tweet @JZBleiberg.