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.
Judge Andrew Horton

Judge finds school district overcharged West Bath by $1.9 million but doesn’t order repayment

By Seth Koenig on June 23, 2014, at 2:25 p.m.
WEST BATH, Maine — West Bath town officials declared a key legal victory as a Sagadahoc County Superior Court justice ruled that the Bath-area regional school system overcharged the member town by more than $1.9 million over a four-year period. But in a multifaceted ruling issued last week, Justice Andrew …
#MAINE (blog)

Buzzfeed lays out the ’25 best parts about being from Maine’

on June 19, 2014, at 6:05 p.m.
Tip of the cap to our BDN newsroom head Anthony Ronzio for noticing this latest piece by the listicle factory Buzzfeed. The folks over at Buzzfeed have apparently noticed that whenever Maine gets mentioned in one of their “Top places” lists, Mainers share the heck out of it on social …
Portland city attorney Trish McAllister talks to reporters outside the federal courthouse in Portland Thursday afternoon after oral arguments in a case about the city's 39-foot no-protest zone around the local Planned Parenthood clinic.

Lawyer argues Portland’s abortion clinic buffer zone results in ‘viewpoint discrimination’

By Seth Koenig on June 19, 2014, at 6 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen heard arguments Thursday that Portland’s abortion clinic buffer zone was either discriminatory against an unpopular viewpoint or necessary to stop hurtful taunts. Legal arguments from both sides centered on rights. Attorneys for anti-abortion protesters made the case that the buffer zone imposes …

Could the future of Congress Square include a public fountain? View a gallery of options

on June 19, 2014, at 11:39 a.m.
On the latest edition of the Ink & Pine podcast, which I cohost along with Trent Gay and Cat Smith of Maine Digital Press, we spoke to District 2 Portland City Councilor David Marshall about the future of Congress Square. Marshall, in case you’re one of the few Portlanders who …
The Gorham public safety building sign pays tribute to fallen firefighter Michael Kucsma.

Medical examiner determines Portland firefighter died of a heart attack

By Seth Koenig on June 18, 2014, at 8:30 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland firefighter who died while scuba diving Monday afternoon suffered a heart attack, according to preliminary findings of the state medical examiner’s office. Portland Fire Department Capt. Michael Kucsma, 43, was found unconscious in the water near the Maine Yacht Center on Kensington Street just after …
File photo of Planned Parenthood's controversial buffer zone sign in Portland.

Protesters want court to strike down Portland’s abortion clinic buffer zone until case is resolved

By Seth Koenig on June 18, 2014, at 2:50 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — A group of anti-abortion demonstrators who filed a legal challenge to Portland’s no-protest zone around the city’s Planned Parenthood clinic is urging a federal judge to nullify the buffer rule until the lawsuit runs its course. The two parties will offer oral arguments on the protesters’ motion …
Banners urging the University of New England to reconsider closing the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center were unfurled on the beach in Biddeford Tuesday night after the center's final five seals were released back into the ocean.

‘Bittersweet moment’ as animal rehab center releases final five seals before closing down

By Seth Koenig on June 18, 2014, at 7:26 a.m.
BIDDEFORD, Maine — The gray seal named Black Rock was the last to leave, moaning sadly and attempting to climb back into his kennel before human handlers tipped up the container, spilling the reluctant pinniped onto the sandy Biddeford beach. It was almost as if the nostalgic Black Rock knew …
#MAINE (blog)

‘A workaholic with a fiction addiction’: Stephen King pops up in an epic rap battle

on June 17, 2014, at 11:13 p.m.
One of the more amusing web series out there these days — if you don’t mind some vulgarity — is the Epic Rap Battles of History series on YouTube. If you haven’t seen them, they feature talented rappers dressed as various characters — sometimes real historical figures, sometimes fictitious ones …
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan presides over a meeting of the City Council Monday night alongside City Manager Mark Rees. The council considered a ban of polystyrene containers and fees on single-use paper and plastic bags at the meeting.

Divided Portland council bans polystyrene containers, adds fees on paper and plastic bags

By Seth Koenig on June 17, 2014, at 5:53 a.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland City Council voted late Monday night to implement a ban on polystyrene food containers, as well as tack a five-cent fee onto paper and plastic bags customers take from check-out lines. Both moves were panned by business groups, who lamented the added costs of implementing …
Mike Kucsma

Veteran Portland firefighter dies in diving accident, city confirms

By Seth Koenig on June 16, 2014, at 10:57 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — An off-duty Portland firefighter died Monday as the result of a recreational scuba diving accident, city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin confirmed. City officials on Tuesday identified the deceased firefighter as Capt. Michael Kucsma. Kucsma was pulled unconscious from the water just after 3:30 p.m. Monday near the Maine …
Soccer fans celebrate the United States' victory over Ghana in the World Cup while watching the match in Portland's Congress Square Monday night.

Like South Africa and New York, Maine takes a World Cup victory viewing outside

By Seth Koenig on June 16, 2014, at 9:05 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Dozens of enthusiastic soccer fans gathered in Portland’s embattled Congress Square on Monday night to catch the U.S. team’s opening game in the World Cup, displayed on a trio of flat-screen televisions. Bars around the city showed the game inside as well, but many of the more …

Three-vehicle crash in Standish spills lumber, hospitalizes three

By Seth Koenig on June 16, 2014, at 5:34 p.m.
STANDISH, Maine — Three people were taken to the hospital Monday after a three-vehicle crash in Standish forced the closure of a section of Route 25 for nearly six hours, according to police. At about 9 a.m. Monday, a van driven by 51-year-old Edmund Seeley of Lewiston was stopped in …
Speakers at a press conference at Portland's City Hall on Monday urged the city council to suspend official government exchange visits from their sister city of Archangel, Russia.

Gay rights advocates urge Portland to distance relationship with Russian sister city

By Seth Koenig on June 16, 2014, at 3:07 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Gay rights advocates urged Portland city officials Monday to cut off exchange visits from government officials from their sister city of Archangel, Russia. Robert Lieber, who organized a Monday news conference on the subject, said three Archangel university professors — including at least one, Oleg Klyuenkov, who …
#MAINE (blog)

Study of Mainers’ Tweets indicates this is one of America’s smartest states

on June 16, 2014, at 2:57 p.m.
Try to digest this concept for a moment: The real estate blog Movoto analyzed 500,000 Tweets from across the country in an effort to gauge each state’s relative intelligence. Yes, our brain power is being judged based on our Twitter posts now. Movoto focused its research on the Twitter users’ …
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud is all smiles while a crowd cheers as Planned Parenthood’s Maine Action Fund endorses him for governor Monday in Portland.

Planned Parenthood’s PAC endorses Michaud in Maine governor’s race

By Christopher Cousins and Seth Koenig on June 16, 2014, at 12:32 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Planned Parenthood’s Maine Action Fund political action committee endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud for governor Monday during an event in Portland. The endorsement adds another high-profile liberal group to Michaud’s portfolio, as the Blue Dog Democrat’s supporters push to unify left-leaning Mainers around their candidate and …
The replica HMS Bounty tall ship is shown in this August, 2011 handout photo supplied by HMS Bounty Organization LLC on its European Tour 2011 while in Swinoujescie, Poland.

Coast Guard finds ill-fated ship Bounty avoided tighter safety standards, repair warnings by Maine shipyard

By Seth Koenig on June 13, 2014, at 6:01 a.m.
BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine — A new investigation into the 2012 sinking of the famed tall ship Bounty released Thursday by the U.S. Coast Guard found that ship operators avoided tighter safety requirements by choosing to classify it as a “recreational” vessel instead of a “small passenger” or “training” ship. The …

Congress Square group wants to reconcile with City Hall after contentious vote

on June 12, 2014, at 11:46 a.m.
Yesterday, I wrote about how the people in the group Friends of Congress Square Park want to keep the pedal down in terms of revitalizing the approximately 14,500-square-foot public space. This morning, the group issued an additional statement emphasizing that it wants to work arm-in-arm with the city in that effort. In …
#MAINE (blog)

Buzzfeed: This pub is the best place in Maine to watch the World Cup

on June 12, 2014, at 10:36 a.m.
In case you haven’t heard, the World Cup — quite possibly the most-watched sports tournament on the planet — begins today with a 4 p.m. match between the host country of Brazil and Croatia. But I suspect there are some Mainers who didn’t make the flight to South America’s largest …

Kerosene truck crashes and spills in Gorham, causing ‘substantial risk’ to nearby stream

By Seth Koenig on June 11, 2014, at 4:53 p.m.
GORHAM, Maine — A tractor-trailer transporting 9,000 gallons of kerosene flipped at the intersection of routes 114 and 112 in Gorham, the Maine Department of Transportation announced late Wednesday afternoon. The intersection has been closed to traffic, and the department urged commuters to avoid the area around the crash entirely. …

Portland city manager’s capital improvements plan calls for nearly $13 million in new bonds

on June 11, 2014, at 4:28 p.m.
Portland City Manager Mark Rees is scheduled to deliver his fiscal year 2015 Capital Improvements Plan budget to the City Council’s finance committee Thursday night, when he’ll call for the city to borrow about $12.6 million in the coming year for a variety of projects. This is a rolling five-year …
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