Seth Koenig

Seth Koenig

Portland Bureau Chief

Seth Koenig, formerly of the Brunswick Times Record, covers the Greater Portland area for the Bangor Daily News. He has been named both New England Journalist of the Year and Maine Journalist of the year.
#MAINE (blog)

Stephen Colbert takes LePage’s side (for laughs): ‘Maine is just one Octomom away from bankruptcy’

on July 24, 2014, at 11:39 a.m.
The Colbert Report Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Colbert Report on Facebook   As you can see above, political humorist and faux conservative talk show host Stephen Colbert rushed to the defense of Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage — in his typical tongue-in-cheek, deadpan sarcastic way — during last …

Police identify man killed by train in North Berwick, say likely suicide

By Seth Koenig on July 24, 2014, at 10:52 a.m.
NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Police have identified the man struck by a train Wednesday night, and they have concluded his death was a suicide. North Berwick Police Chief Stephen Peasley said 43-year-old Paul Voisine of North Berwick was hit by an Amtrak Downeaster passenger train about 140 feet from the …

Portland adds a new attorney to its busy legal team

on July 23, 2014, at 5:48 p.m.
Christopher O’Neil, the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce’s government liaison consultant, has on a couple occasions joked that the city of Portland’s legal team is the busiest law firm in the state. In terms of high-profile cases, anyway, he’s probably right. Since the city successfully fought in the court system …
Marijuana Policy Project holds a press conference before advocates turn in 1,521 signatures seeking a legalization referendum at City Hall in South Portland on Monday.

Pot legalization advocates get enough signatures to qualify for South Portland ballot

By Seth Koenig on July 23, 2014, at 3:25 p.m.
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Seven business days after holding a news conference to turn in their petitions, marijuana legalization advocates announced on Wednesday they officially have enough signatures to qualify for a spot on the South Portland ballot. “Voters were very receptive during the signature drive,” said David Boyer, Maine …
#MAINE (blog)

This Mainer is selling his life-sized Flintstones car. Guess the price…

on July 22, 2014, at 5:46 p.m.
You’ve seen classic car replicas, but perhaps nothing quite like this classic. Tip of the cap here to my BDN colleague Jackie Farwell, who was probably hunting online for a 1967 Corvette when she found this gem. Someone from Gorham is putting his life-sized Flintstones car up on Craigslist for …

Smarter Travel: Portland has metropolitan food and entertainment, but without ‘pretentious big-city attitude’

on July 22, 2014, at 5:22 p.m.
Another week, another national list of top American cities that includes Portland. This time around, the publication Smarter Travel is urging smarter travelers to visit Maine’s largest city in its list of “America’s Best Small Cities on the Rise.” In case you’ve been living under a rock, Portland’s been lauded …
The former Thomas B. Reed School on Homestead Avenue in Portland was most recently used by the city school department as a central kitchen and warehouse space, but is now vacant and unused. The Portland City Council accepted ownership of the building at its Monday night meeting.

Portland’s Reed school building the latest to be turned over to city for reuse or disposal

By Seth Koenig on July 22, 2014, at 4:46 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland City Council on Monday night accepted ownership of the former Thomas B. Reed School, the latest in what has been a string of building handoffs from the school department in recent years as the system has upgraded its facilities. The city now finds itself in …
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan speaks at a City Council workshop focused on the fate of Congress Square Monday evening flanked by Councilor Jill Duson.

November referendum rematch over Congress Square unlikely after Portland council workshop

By Seth Koenig on July 21, 2014, at 8:46 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — A second citywide vote on whether Portland should sell two-thirds of its Congress Square to private hotel developers is unlikely to take place in November. Facing the prospect of keeping up with an aggressive timeline in order to put the controversial sale before city voters, members of …

Gunshot fired during armed home invasion in Portland, police say

By Seth Koenig on July 21, 2014, at 4:05 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Portland police are searching for two men they say broke into an apartment on Sunday night brandishing firearms and demanding money. According to a Monday afternoon announcement by Lt. James Sweatt of the Portland Police Department, the two men entered the unit at 66 Smith St. at …
A fire burns auto repair shop R.P. Bell Collision in Saco on Monday afternoon.

Fire collapses roof at longstanding Saco auto repair shop, CBS 13 reports

By Seth Koenig on July 21, 2014, at 2 p.m.
SACO, Maine — The roof of Saco auto repair shop R.P. Bell Collision has collapsed as firefighters work to get an afternoon blaze there under control, Portland television station WGME, CBS 13, reports. Authorities have blocked traffic to Barrows Road at Route 1 as a result of the fire. According …
Fuquan Prince Wilson, 34

Police say victims of Biddeford double shooting may have been shot in self-defense

By Seth Koenig on July 18, 2014, at 3:11 p.m.
BIDDEFORD, Maine — Maine State Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of a New York man they believe shot two others in Biddeford earlier this month. Fuquan Prince Wilson, 34, of the Bronx, New York, is wanted on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. …
A researcher holds a female Atlantic salmon in this 2009 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services photo.

Salmon blood could provide breakthrough to treat traumatic injuries; Maine firm awarded patent

By Seth Koenig on July 18, 2014, at 2:32 p.m.
FREEPORT, Maine — When salmon are grabbed out of the water by large birds of prey, their flesh is pierced and spines often snapped by the talons of the predator. But, if the bird loses its grip on the fish and it falls back into the water, the salmon can …
Blueberry farmer, former art student and tuna fisherman Jesse Field thinks he has come up with a better social media website than Facebook for businesses and users with privacy concerns. It's called No. 1 Fan.

Maine blueberry farmer, fisherman develops social media alternative to Facebook

By Seth Koenig on July 18, 2014, at 5:36 a.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Jesse Field is an organic blueberry farmer, as well as a former art student, tuna fisherman and filmmaker’s aide. His resume isn’t the sort that would strike fear into the heart of stalwart social media giant Facebook. Yet Field, who represents a growing number of Mainers and …
#MAINE (blog)

Institute for Justice report blasts Maine for its lack of ‘braiding freedom’

on July 17, 2014, at 2:59 p.m.
The Institute for Justice released a report today grading each state based on its regulation of hair braiding (yes, hair braiding), and Maine scored a big, fat “F.” Your immediate reaction might be to worry — because you likely at one time or another braided the hair of a friend …
A firefighter drags hose from a tanker truck parked nearby, through a wooded area and onto an otherwise remote section of railroad tracks in Old Orchard Beach on May 8, 2014. A freight train spitting sparks was blamed for a string of brush fires along the tracks that continued through five southern Maine towns.

Report: Freight train caused 47 fires in 4 southern Maine towns, resulting in ‘hundreds of thousands’ in property damage

By Seth Koenig on July 17, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.
OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — A string of brush fires that followed railroad tracks through at least four southern Maine communities more than two months ago was caused by a faulty freight train, according to a report released by state forest rangers on Thursday. The conclusion comports with widely reported …

Has ‘the Whistler’ blown his last note in Portland?

on July 16, 2014, at 3:07 p.m.
A recent post on the social networking and content sharing website Reddit has stirred renewed conversation about Portland’s notorious “Whistler,” a man well-known in the city for, well, loudly whistling as he walks the streets. However, local Reddit user BucketOfToenails wrote, in part, that “this year, The Whistler has fallen …
Portland's waterfront Commercial Street, with Bell Buoy Park and Ri Ra Irish Pub in the foreground, in August 2013.

Portland launches new study to determine future of public spaces

By Seth Koenig on July 16, 2014, at 2:03 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — The city of Portland announced on Wednesday it has partnered with The Trust for Public Land and nonprofit Portland Trails for a study that will show, in part, which city-owned properties should be maintained as public spaces and which should be considered for development. The citywide open …
The Portland Pipe Line Corp. terminal facility on the South Portland waterfront in February 2013.

South Portland planners the latest to endorse anti-tar sands ordinance

By Seth Koenig on July 16, 2014, at 1:37 p.m.
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Supporters of a proposed South Portland ordinance that is intended to block transportation of tar sands oil, also called oil sands, through the city lauded Tuesday night’s approval of the measure by the city’s planning board. The planners’ 6-1 endorsement of the ordinance marks another incremental …
#MAINE (blog)

Maine is ‘a sleeping giant’ — Rankings finds the state patriotic, safe and with great food

on July 15, 2014, at 5:10 p.m.
Over the past few weeks, Maine has gotten another wave of listicle/ranking love, and rather than milk them all individually for blog posts, we’ve decided to cram them all into a single roundup. The real estate website Motovo has blasted out a pair of July maps ranking states on their …
Shasta, one of Maine's two fire investigation dogs, takes a breather at recertification program in Yarmouth on Tuesday. "She doesn't have a mean streak in her body," said handler Dan Young.

‘Without Maine, we would not have this program’: State trainers give dogs a second chance as arson sleuths

By Seth Koenig on July 15, 2014, at 3:09 p.m.
YARMOUTH, Maine — The animal shelter already had too many large dogs, and Kai was the odd dog out. “She was a stray wandering the streets of Bloomington, Indiana,” recalled Heather Paul, coordinator of State Farm Insurance’s arson dog program. “Kai was set to be euthanized.” But in her time …
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