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.
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 …
Assistant city clerks Alice Kelley (left) and Karen Morrill accept petitions as marijuana advocates turn in 1,521 signatures seeking a legalization referendum at City Hall in South Portland on Monday.

Pot legalization advocates turn in petitions for referendum in South Portland

By Seth Koenig on July 14, 2014, at 3:25 p.m.
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Marijuana advocates turned in 1,521 petition signatures seeking a legalization referendum in South Portland on Monday, marking a key milestone in what may be the Maine effort’s toughest battle yet. While the Marijuana Policy Project and its coalition of supporters faced little in the way of …
Gary Allen Irving, who was convicted of three rapes in Massachusetts in 1978 and was found living in Gorham last week, appears in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court Monday morning.

Convicted serial rapist who hid in Maine for 34 years sentenced for crimes as a fugitive

By Seth Koenig on July 11, 2014, at 2:28 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — A man who was convicted of three brutal rapes in Massachusetts during the late 1970s and then spent more than three decades hiding out in Gorham was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison on Friday for charges tied to his time in Maine. Gary Irving, 53, …
Johnsonville's Big Taste Grill, billed as the world's largest barbecue grill, rolled into Old Orchard Beach this week on its way to New Hampshire.

53,000-pound grill, the world’s largest, makes stop in southern Maine

By Seth Koenig on July 10, 2014, at 6:40 p.m.
OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — The world’s largest barbecue grill, a tractor-trailer truck-sized device, rolled into Old Orchard Beach this week, Portland television station WGME reported. Johnsonville Foods’ Big Taste Grill weighs 53,000 pounds and can sizzle 750 of the company’s signature brats at a time. In addition to being …

Gray man pleads guilty to making counterfeit money with inkjet printer

By Seth Koenig on July 10, 2014, at 1:38 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — A Gray man has pleaded guilty to passing counterfeit money, U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty announced Thursday. John E. Williams, 33, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, Delahanty’s office said in an announcement. According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Williams created at …
Bernard Madoff leaves federal court in New York in this March 2009 file photo.

Maine couple who lost more than $1 million in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme take case to jury trial

By Seth Koenig on July 09, 2014, at 8 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — A Bremen couple who lost more than $1 million in disgraced stock broker Bernard Madoff’s investment scam is suing the advisors they say talked them into the ill-fated fund. A jury trial in the 4-year-old case is scheduled to begin Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland. …
Sylvia Schlotterbeck of Auburn holds a sign outside the polls on Broadway in South Portland seeking votes in favor of the waterfront protection ordinance that would prevent tar sands oil from flowing to the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line in this November 2013 photo.

After overcrowding problem Monday, South Portland secures a bigger venue for latest vote on tar sands ordinance

By Seth Koenig on July 09, 2014, at 12:21 p.m.
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — After too great a turnout for Monday night’s South Portland City Council meeting threatened city fire code violations and forced a delay of a vote on a new ordinance aimed at blocking transportation of so-called tar sands oil through the city, the issue will be back …
Lance Palmer, 44, of Auburn.

Police locate two men of interest in Biddeford double homicide, arrest one on unrelated charge

By Seth Koenig on July 09, 2014, at 10:30 a.m.
BIDDEFORD, Maine — Maine State Police announced Wednesday morning they had made contact with the two men they believed had information on Sunday night’s double homicide in Biddeford. An update on the case issued by Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland added that one of the men — …
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, who said the governor’s rule could cost his city $250,000 in aid per month, has called LePage’s stance “incredibly unfortunate.”

Portland to join municipal association lawsuit challenging LePage on distributing aid to undocumented immigrants

By Seth Koenig on July 08, 2014, at 7:09 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — The city of Portland announced Tuesday evening it will join the Maine Municipal Association lawsuit challenging whether Gov. Paul LePage has the authority to cut off General Assistance aid to undocumented immigrants. Lewiston’s top administrator said earlier Tuesday his city has not taken that step, and Bangor …
 Lance Palmer, 44, of Auburn

Police searching for two men in Biddeford double homicide case, one considered ‘armed and dangerous’

By Seth Koenig on July 08, 2014, at 5:19 p.m.
BIDDEFORD, Maine — Maine State Police announced Tuesday they are searching for two men they believe have information about the shootings that claimed the lives of two people Sunday night. The two men sought by investigators — Lance Palmer, 44, of Auburn, and Christopher Dube, 28, of Dover, New Hampshire …
A marijuana plant is seen at Tweed Marijuana Inc in Smith's Falls, Ontario, March 19, 2014.

New report calls Maine’s medical marijuana program the nation’s best

By Seth Koenig on July 08, 2014, at 3:55 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — A new report released by the industry trade group Americans For Safe Access gave Maine’s medical marijuana program the highest score out of 35 states with some kind of medical cannabis law. The study rated states based on categories including patient rights and protection against discrimination, access …
Brandon Aull, a graduate of Thornton Academy and current student at the New England School of Communications in Bangor, is scheduled to open for Snoop Dogg during his Portland show this week.

Maine performers to take the stage with Snoop Dogg in Portland

By Seth Koenig on July 08, 2014, at 1:14 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Before Snoop Dogg — he of the 30 million album sales and almost as many monikers — takes the stage in Portland on Thursday, two of the state’s top performers will do so first. If there are Maine music fans who don’t yet know Wells rapper Cam …
Erin Kuenzig, an attorney from the Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center, is representing a group of anti-abortion demonstrators in Portland. The demonstrators are suing the city of Portland over a 39-foot buffer zone around the local Planned Parenthood clinic, saying the rule infringes on their constitutional right to free speech.

Anti-abortion protesters to push ahead with lawsuit, despite repeal of Portland buffer zone

By Seth Koenig on July 07, 2014, at 8:42 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Portland’s repeal of the 39-foot no-protest zone around the city’s only abortion clinic won’t likely end the legal drama over restriction of anti-abortion demonstrators in the area. Erin Kuenzig, attorney for the Thomas More Law Center representing a group of anti-abortion demonstrators who sued the city over …

Maine State Police officer discusses Biddeford fatal shooting

By Seth Koenig on July 07, 2014, at 5:07 p.m.
Lt. Brian McDonough of the Maine State Police briefly describes the police response to a 7 p.m. shooting Sunday night in Biddeford.
Two Maine State Police crime scene analysts work outside the 19 Western Ave. home in Biddeford on Monday where two men were shot Sunday night. Police said on Monday the shooter or shooters responsible were still at large.

Police looking for suspects in Biddeford double homicide

By Seth Koenig on July 07, 2014, at 3:54 p.m.
BIDDEFORD, Maine — Maine State Police say the shooter or shooters responsible for a Sunday night double homicide in Biddeford remain at large. Lt. Brian McDonough with the Maine State Police told reporters at a Monday afternoon news conference at the 19 Western Ave. location of the crime that investigators …
Portland city attorney Trish McAllister talks to reporters outside the federal courthouse in Portland on June 19 after oral arguments in a case about the city's 39-foot no-protest zone around the local Planned Parenthood clinic.

Portland City Council to consider repeal of its abortion clinic buffer zone

By Seth Koenig on July 07, 2014, at 12:27 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland City Council will consider repealing its 39-foot no-protest zone around the city’s only abortion clinic on Monday night, after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling late last month struck down a similar buffer in Massachusetts. But operators of the Portland clinic, Planned Parenthood of Northern New …
#MAINE (blog)

Research suggests Maine is one of America’s most ideologically ‘loose’ states

on July 07, 2014, at 10:57 a.m.
Don’t read that headline the wrong way. For the purposes of this discussion, ideological “looseness” is strictly referring to how flexible — or not — people are in terms of enforcing rules and accepting variances from social norms. In new research by Jesse Harrington and Michele Gelfand of the University of …
#MAINE (blog)

Which actor will portray LePage in the movies? This facial analysis program can tell you

on July 03, 2014, at 5:05 p.m.
On long, holiday weekends — especially long, holiday weekends getting blasted by rain storms — the news tends to slow down a bit. What better way to spend a few idle minutes than to run prominent Maine politicians through a facial recognition software program and find out which actors look …

Wine Enthusiast magazine is enthused about Portland

on July 03, 2014, at 10:55 a.m.
In case you missed it, Wine Enthusiast magazine named Portland to its list of “America’s 5 New Foodie Cities.” If you read my blog regularly, you know that Portland has been regularly lauded by nationwide publications for a while now for a range of things, but perhaps more than anything …

Updated: Could Portland repeal its abortion clinic buffer zone in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling?

on July 02, 2014, at 5:49 p.m.
Most people following national or regional news by now know that, last week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a Massachusetts law establishing a 35-foot no-protest zone around abortion clinics in the state was unconstitutional. That decision sets a precedent that’s widely expected to have an impact on a …
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