United Airlines boots couple traveling to wedding from plane after trying to switch seats

Good morning, Maine. Here is your morning briefing.


Expect an overcast sky and a chance for rain. Our highs will be in the low to mid 60s today, but they will tumble as the week goes on. Check your local forecast here.

National and international headlines

United Airlines removes couple traveling to wedding from plane

An engaged couple were removed from a United Airlines flight to Costa Rica on Saturday, as the airline remained under scrutiny following outrage caused by a video last week of a passenger being forcibly removed from a flight, Reuters reports.

According to the couple, who said they were en route to get married, a federal marshal had escorted them from the plane before take-off from Houston, Texas, but United denied this on Sunday, saying in a statement that neither a marshal nor other authorities was involved.

A United Airlines Boeing 787 taxis as a United Airlines Boeing 767 lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, U.S. on February 7, 2015.
Louis Nastro | REUTERS

The couple “repeatedly attempted to sit in upgraded seating which they did not purchase and they would not follow crew instructions to return to their assigned seats,” United said in a statement, adding “They were asked to leave the plane by our staff and complied.”

The airline suffered a public relations disaster after a video emerged a week ago showing security officers dragging a bloodied passenger off an overbooked United Express flight in Chicago.

Dr. David Dao, the 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor who was seen in video being dragged off a United flight a week ago, will likely sue the airline, his attorney said on Thursday.

As millions watch via webcam, April the giraffe gives birth in New York zoo

After weeks of suspense, April the giraffe finally gave birth Saturday to a baby boy, delighting of hundreds of thousands of people who have been monitoring a live cam feed from a New York zoo in anticipation of the long-overdue event, Reuters’ Gina Cherelus reports.

April, who had been due to give birth in January or February at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, in western New York, was pregnant for at least 16 months, compared with the typical gestation period of 15 months, zoo officials told Reuters.

The baby boy has yet to be named; the zoo plans to hold a contest to name him.

Cleveland police seek suspect in Facebook Live slaying video

Cleveland police and the FBI are hunting for a shooter who killed an elderly man in broad daylight and streamed it on Facebook Live, The Washington Post reports.

“I found somebody I’m about to kill,” the man said in the video, as he pulled his Ford Fusion to the side of a road in east Cleveland about 2 p.m. Sunday.

“I’m about to kill this guy right here. He’s an old dude,” the man said as he confronted Robert Godwin Sr., 74, who was walking on the sidewalk.

The shooter — whom police suspect is 37-year-old Steve Stephens — then asked Godwin’s age before killing him. The interaction lasted less than a minute. The two men did not know each other, police said.

Berkeley rally yields mass arrests, a stabbing, a weaponized Pepsi

A news station called it “something resembling a war zone.” A woman told the Los Angeles Times that it was “more of a riot.”

In any event, Berkeley, California, hosted its third recent clash between pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators Saturday, The Washington Post’s Avi Selk and Michelle Ye Hee Lee report.

A park that normally sees produce stalls on the weekend was the scene of a stabbing, as reported by ABC 7, as well as at least 20 arrests and 11 injuries. Berkeley police confiscated several makeshift weapons including knives, sticks, a shield and cans of pepper spray and – a Pepsi filled with concrete.

In a widely panned commercial earlier this month, Pepsi had billed its product as a catalyst for peaceful protest.

Turkey’s Erdogan declares referendum victory; opponents plan challenge

President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result, Reuters reports.

“For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics,” Erdogan said, referring to the military coups which marred Turkish politics for decades. “That is why it is very significant.”

Under the changes, most of which will only come into effect after the next elections due in 2019, the president will appoint the Cabinet and an undefined number of vice presidents, and be able to select and remove senior civil servants without parliamentary approval.

Local headlines

Bangor police investigate shooting on Ohio Street

Lt. Dave Bushey said that officers, detectives from the Bangor Police Department’s Central Investigations Division and evidence technicians were called to the area of 125 Ohio St. shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday, the BDN’s Dawn Gagnon reports.

Police are investigating a report of a shooting on Ohio Street.
Dawn Gagnon | BDN

“Officers have confirmed the shooting. One victim has been transported to a local hospital and the scene remains active,” Bushey said, reading from a prepared statement. “We are currently unable to release the condition of the victim.”

Protesters rally in Bangor to demand that Trump release his tax returns

Close to 80 people marched outside the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building in Bangor on Saturday to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns, the BDN’s Dawn Gagnon reports.

Presidents are not required to release their returns, but they have voluntarily done so since the early 1970s. Trump is the first president to buck this tradition with his refusal to publicly release his returns.

Trump has rebuffed calls to release his tax returns, saying he cannot release them because he is being audited. The Internal Revenue Service has said that Trump can release his tax returns even while under audit.

“I think a lot of people are concerned that Donald Trump still has not released his tax returns, but I think that this is a clear indication that we think millionaires and billionaires like Donald Trump should be paying their fair share in taxes so that everybody can get the basic necessities that they need,” Sam Portera said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden to speak at Colby College graduation

Former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. will speak at Colby College’s commencement ceremonies, the BDN’s Christopher Cousins reports.

Biden, the 47th vice president of the United States, also served in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009. His commencement address is scheduled for Saturday, May 20. The event is open to the public.

Immigrants fear rough waters after federal agents arrest Maine immigrants

About 100 people gathered at Portland’s Deering Oaks Park Saturday afternoon to voice their support of immigrant communities, and protest recent developments that bode ill for migrants seeking a new life in the United States, Maine Public’s Jennifer Mitchell and Caroline Losneck report.

“We’ve seen ICE agents doing sweeps in neighborhoods.” organizer Magnifique Butoto told Maine Public. “And right here in Maine, we’re seeing ICE agents enter the court, interrupt a lawyer-client consultation and carry out a lawful permanent resident.”

On April 6, Immigration Customs Enforcement, commonly known as ICE, officials arrested Abdi Ali from the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland, where Ali was meeting privately with a court-appointed lawyer to answer a charge of operating under the influence.

Ali is a permanent legal resident who came to the U.S. from Somalia as a 7-year-old refugee of war.

More recently, ICE agents arrested Otto Morales-Caballeros, a Naples man who came to the U.S. 20 years ago from Guatemala, and petitioned for permanent legal residency after he was married two years ago.

The practice of ICE agents arriving at courthouses to make arrests also has triggered protest from some members of the legal community over concerns that immigrants will simply avoid official proceedings and decline to seek services if they’re afraid to appear.

Homestead and Living

Liveaboard life a draw for some hardy Mainers

Krystin Noyes had never imagined living on a boat, but last fall she became one of the few, proud and hardy souls that make up Maine’s year-round live-aboard community, the BDN’s Abigail Curtis writes.

Krystin Noyes works on a watercolor paining below decks while her dog, Cirroc, roams around outside in Portland. Noyes spent the winter on the 36-foot boat at Dimillo’s Marina with the dog, a cat and her boyfriend, Nate Taylor.
Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Last fall, she packed up her belongings yet again and moved onto the 36-foot aft cabin trawler that spends winters at DiMillo’s Marina at the Old Port in Portland, and summers at a marina in South Portland. The year-round live-aboard lifestyle is not for everyone — but it certainly has been a good fit for Noyes.

“My favorite part is just being on the water,” she said. “I’m a water baby. I can’t wait until it’s time to jump in again.”

The forgotten women of Maine have finally found a voice

The BDN’s Meg Haskell tells the story of Jude Lamb whose family never tired of recounting the story of her great-great-great-great grandfather, Luther Hoar, who in the spring of 1817 brought his wife and nine children, including a 1-year-old baby, to settle near Rangeley Lake in Maine’s western mountains. They were the first white family to settle in the region.

“Luther was always cast as the great pioneer, and he was,” Lamb, 66, said during a recent conversation at her farmhouse in Lamoine. “But he could never have done it alone.”

Although he was accompanied at every step by his adventuresome and resourceful wife, also named Eunice, she said, “It was never her story. She had no voice.”

A recipe for Portuguese baked eggs, compliments of Kismet

Blogger Diane Atwood offers readers this recipe for Portuguese baked eggs, courtesy of the restaurant Kismet in Montpelier, Vermont.

Diane Atwood