Good morning, Maine. Here is your morning briefing.
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National and international
Dramatic video from the U.S. Coast Guard captured the moment Monday when the captain of a capsized Alaskan fishing boat risked his life to rescue one of his crewmen from choppy, 47-degree waters near Kodiak Island.
Captain Christian Trosvig and his crew of three had spent the afternoon trawling for salmon in the Kupreanof Strait off the coast of Alaska’s Raspberry Island when suddenly their vessel, the Grayling, started to take on water.
Then the Grayling rolled over without warning, throwing Trosvig and the three other fishermen into the frigid, turbulent sea, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.
Shaky footage from a Coast Guard’s MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter shows Trosvig with an orange life jacket strapped to his shoulders paddling up to the fisherman and grabbing hold of him by his right arm. The fisherman appears unresponsive, bobbing up and down as waves roll over the two men and water splashes up from the sides of a vessel near them. At one point, Trosvig appears to lose his grip and the fisherman slips below the surface, disappearing from view. Trosvig plunges under to retrieve him.
Lt. Kevin Riley, the helicopter pilot, praised Trosvig’s actions.
“That fisherman didn’t hesitate,” he said in a statement. “It is a testament to how tough those fishermen are and how far they will go to help their fellow Alaskans.”
Trosvig, a resident of Kodiak, Alaska, has been fishing in the area for more than 20 years, according to local media. In a brief Facebook post Tuesday, he said he had lost his twin brother “to the sea.”
“It was not going to happen again,” Trosvig wrote. “To God be the glory for giving me courage and strength to get my man out of the water and bring him back to life.”
Top Republican lawmakers rallied to the defense of Jeff Sessions on Tuesday as allies of the attorney general said President Donald Trump appeared to be trying to pressure him to quit by repeatedly criticizing him on Twitter and in interviews.
Two allies of Sessions told Reuters that Trump’s public attacks went beyond a president simply venting his frustration but were part of a deliberate campaign to encourage the attorney general to step down.
They said Trump was likely reluctant to fire Sessions after his sacking of FBI Director James Comey backfired and led to the appointment of an independent special counsel, Robert Mueller, whose wide-ranging probe into contacts between Trump aides and Russian officials has cast a deep shadow over Trump’s presidency.
Republicans narrowly advanced their campaign to roll back the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, as the Senate voted by a slim margin to begin debating legislation to repeal and potentially replace large sections of the 2010 law signed by President Barack Obama.
But the partisan 51-50 vote — with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie — does not assure the success of the GOP’s seven-year quest to dismantle the sweeping law, often called Obamacare.
With health coverage for tens of millions of Americans at stake, it remained unclear Tuesday what kind of health care bill — if any — might emerge by the time a final Senate vote is held, possibly as early as Thursday.
Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, threatened on Tuesday to fire his entire staff in an effort to stem the leaking that has plagued President Donald Trump’s administration since almost the first day he took office.
“I’m going to fire everybody, that’s how I’m going to do it,” Scaramucci said.”You’re either going to stop leaking or you’re going to get fired.”
Paul Manafort, a top campaign aide to President Donald Trump, took notes at a meeting with a Russian lawyer that he attended during the presidential campaign and has agreed to turn over the document to the Senate investigators.
Manafort submitted the documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee in advance of appearing behind closed doors to answer questions from committee staff, said a person familiar with the investigation of the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia.
The notes could provide a key contemporaneous account of a meeting that has emerged as a key focal point of investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign by both Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Anti-Muslim discrimination is common and on the rise — and so, too, are expressions of support for Muslims, according to a new study on one of the United States’ fastest-growing religious minorities.
The Pew Research Center on Wednesday released the results of a far-reaching new survey of Muslims nationwide that highlighted a broad sense of anxiety and unease about their place in the United States and with a president who most consider unfriendly toward Muslims.
“Overall, Muslims in the United States perceive a lot of discrimination against their religious group, are leery of President Donald Trump and think their fellow Americans do not see Islam as part of mainstream U.S. society,” the study’s authors wrote.
A hot microphone caught U.S. Sen. Susan Collins telling a colleague on Tuesday that the Texas congressman who invoked a duel when discussing her health care stance is “huge” and “unattractive.”
Collins later apologized for her candid response to U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Republican who told a radio host on Monday that “female senators from the Northeast” were holding up the Affordable Care Act’s repeal and “if it was a guy from South Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.”
The Maine senator was one of two Republicans to vote against debating a repeal of the health care law on Tuesday. Farenthold’s remark was a reference to the 1804 duel in which Burr killed Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
President Donald Trump exhorted every Republican to vote yes on a health care overhaul when it comes before the Senate this week, but one of his party’s most vocal opponents of the bill, Sen. Susan Collins, said he had made no effort to reach her.
“I’ve had conversations with Vice President (Mike) Pence and Seema Verma and Reince Priebus has called me a few times, to discuss the bill, but the president understandably I think is focusing on others,” Collins said in an interview Monday evening with Reuters.
Verma is the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Priebus is White House chief of staff.
Asked if Trump had given up on her, Collins said: “I don’t know but it sounded that way from one of his press statements that I saw. He said something like — ‘Susan Collins, she’s from Maine.’ As if that explained it.”
An unidentified cyclist was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center after a car hit him in downtown Bangor on Tuesday, police said.
Police received the 911 call at about 4:30 p.m. and found the cyclist down near the crosswalk at the intersection of Cross and Main streets, his 21-speed mountain bike nearby.
Witnesses told police that the motorist sped up Cross to Columbia Street immediately after the accident, according to police.
A flight from New York to Portland was delayed by two hours because the pilot and a flight attendant got into a heated argument and had to be removed from the plane, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.
The 54-year-old pilot and 26-year-old attendant argued in the aisle of the plane prior to takeoff from LaGuardia Airport Monday, aggressively grabbing each other’s arm and using vulgar language, according to the New York Daily News.
A dentist’s unforeseen illness is forcing Wiscasset Dental, a practice with about 3,500 patients, to close abruptly after about 11 years in business.
The practice at 93 Churchill St. will have limited office hours until Aug. 23 so patients can collect their dental records, according to a notice Dr. Catherine Bunin-Stevenson sent to patients. Any records not retrieved by the closing date will be destroyed.
Sherri Jewett has worked as an administrator at Wiscasset Dental for the past 8 1/2 years, she said. Jewett is helping patients collect their records.
“This is really sad,” Jewett said. Patients “were first and foremost” at Wiscasset Dental, and many traveled long distances to go there, from as far away as Bangor and Portland, she said.
It is high summer, the time of year when the occurrence of at least four ‘b’ groups reach peak annual density at Mount Desert Island: (lobster) buoys, boats, bus riders (i.e., tourists) and billionaires.
Two of those groups overlap to create a subcategory — billionaires boats. Three such vessels could be seen Monday anchored at various locations around the island.
Living and events
When the breeze blows in from the ocean, Jordan Messan Benissan can, for a moment, feel transported from coastal Maine to his home nation of Togo, the small Western African country wedged in between Ghana and Benin.
At Me Lon Togo, his newly opened Togolese restaurant Benissan located on Route 1 in Searsport, things are a bit idyllic both inside and out. On warm, sunny days, he throws open the windows to let the seaside air in. His staff picks wildflowers to arrange in vintage glass vases for display on tabletops and on the long bar, handmade out of reclaimed wood. Music softly plays in the background — music is always on, since food and music are inextricably linked for Benissan.
Togo may be thousands of miles away from Searsport, Maine, but when Benissan is in the kitchen at Me Lon Togo, frying up plantains or simmering chicken in peanut sauce, the distance shrinks.
Eastport’s third annual Bay Day, a celebration of life on Passamaquoddy Bay will be held 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 29.
It’s a free, fun filled day for kids and families sponsored by Sweeties Downeast and Eastport Area Chamber of Commerce.
Featuring photography by Catherine Frost, this exhibition showcases photographs of 30 Muslim young women from Deering and Lewiston High Schools.
Each of these young women has engaged with the Justice for Women program, an organization formed in collaboration with Catherine Lee of Lee International and the University of Southern Maine School of Law with the stated mission, “To promote global conversation about justice that inspires people to transform the lives of women and girls in both Maine and the developing world.”
The exhibit is on display from July 28 to Aug. 16 at Maine College of Art, Zand Head an Friedman Galleries, Congress Street, in Portland.
The Maine Lobster Festival is looking for volunteers to help with this year’s festival to be held Aug. 2-6. It takes more than 1,300 volunteers to run the festival each year.
Volunteer jobs include everything from setting up and taking down tents, to taking tickets, or cooking the lobsters served to guests. Volunteers will receive an exclusive “volunteer” shirt and free admission the day you volunteer.
If you wish to sign up, fill out an Online Volunteer Form from our website, mainelobsterfestival.com/
Children aged 8 and above are invited to join author Liza Gardner Walsh at the Blue Hill Public Library at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, when she discusses her recent book, “Ghost Hunter’s Handbook.”
Kids will learn some tips about how to be a good ghost hunter, and how to tell a spooky ghost story. They will also investigate the library for any possible hauntings.
Participants will take home instructions to make their very own electroscopes to help them on their supernatural pursuits.
Waterville will host the 2017 Appalachian Trail Conservancy Conference. It will be held at Colby College Aug. 4-11.
The week-long event features over 240 hikes, numerous workshops, and excursions to local areas of interest.
Each evening there are exciting adventure presentations and stellar entertainment.
Baxter Outdoors and Maine Huts & Trails are bringing back the Maine Huts & Trails Backwoods Duathlon 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Aug. 5. This 25 K mountain bike/trail run can be tackled either solo or as a team.
Join ReVision Energy and Full Circle Farm for a solar open house 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Aug. 5. The solar open house will take place during Full Circle Farm’s regularly scheduled farmers market.
Guests can stop by to learn how Full Circle Farm is locking into long-term energy savings and lowering their carbon footprint as a local business. Guests can also pick-up their favorite locally-sourced foods during the visit to Full Circle Farm.
A Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be held noon Sunday, Aug. 6, at West Market Square in Bangor.
The cool breezes of Maine’s northlands have flowed through the songs of David Mallett for more than four decades. His latest, “Greenin Up,” is a compilation of some re-recordings of his finest work. “Greenin’ Up” is the culmination of a musical career that began when Mallett was 11 years old, playing in a country and folk duo.
Join us for a remarkable evening of entertainment and to enjoy the talents of singer/songwriter David Mallett from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 10 at Triangle Park in Calais. This concert is brought to you by The St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce and is generously sponsored by Washington County Community College and WQDY, Calais.
The concert is free and open to the public. This event helps kick off the 2017 International Homecoming Festival.
The Paris Hill Music Festival will kick off with Schooner Fare at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, at First Baptist Church of Paris, 500 Paris Hill Road, South Paris. Tickets are $25 and available at Paris Hill Country Club and Bolster’s Decorating in Market Square and Books-n-Things in Norway or by calling 743-9390.
The Brunswick Downtown Association will host the 11th annual Brunswick Outdoor Arts Festival 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 19.
Works from more than 100 artists will be displayed along the sidewalks of Maine Street and the Town Mall. This juried, fine arts and crafts exhibit represents a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, mixed media, graphics and drawing, photography, and fine crafts.
Come join us for a hike up John B. Mountain in Brooksville and bring your picnic supper — we have entertainment of stellar quality!
Starting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, we will experience a partial solar eclipse positioned in the beautifully picturesque direction over Cape Rosier and Penobscot Bay.
Plan on at least a 10 minute hike to the top. The maximum eclipse will occur at 6:47 p.m. and the sun will set by 7:31 p.m.
Enjoy an early fall bike ride while supporting local farmers and producers. Ride 56, 42 or 17 miles through the Midcoast countryside, stopping at farms along the way to sample and purchase their products.
The ride is 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at The Morris Farm, 156 Gardiner Road, Wiscasset.
A Cumberland County man has sued a Chicago debt collector, saying he did not grant them permission to call the cellphone number they allegedly dialed seven times in two minutes.
Derek Laplume last week filed a potential class-action lawsuit against Harris and Harris Ltd., alleging the company violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The Bangor-based firearm maker started by Bushmaster Firearms founder Mack Gwinn Jr. has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, seeking to sell all its assets to resolve its debts.
MG Industries Inc. on Thursday filed for bankruptcy protection, listing somewhere between $0 and $50,000 in both assets and liabilities.
MG’s downfall comes after years of growth and big expectations.
SunEdison won final approval for a bankruptcy plan that will leave what was once the world’s largest renewable-energy firm as a shell of its former self, with nothing for shareholders whose investment at one point had been worth about $10 billion.
“SunEdison flew too close to the sun and landed in Manhattan bankruptcy court,” Nathan Serota, a New York-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in an email last week. “During the Chapter 11 process, the company lost nearly all of the the assets and personnel that — for better or worse — defined it in the first place.”
President Donald Trump’s speech to the annual Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia on Monday was wholly inappropriate and embarrassing by even the low standards Trump is held to. Using children as political prop brings to mind Nazi rallies in 1930s Germany, not a gathering of young men who are supposed to be dedicated to service, kindness and courtesy.
I support marijuana legalization, but I wish pot smokers would stop stinking up the sidewalks.
I’m not alone. In places where using marijuana no longer carries the threat of a jail sentence, the pungent odor of ganja is increasingly infiltrating daily life — and annoying nonsmokers.
Ben isn’t the only person I know who has battled addiction, but he is the first person I ever knew who died from this disease. Last year, 378 people in Maine died from drug overdoses. That’s around 750 parents in our state who have lost children. The same year, the state failed to rally the political will to pass meaningful legislation to combat the opioid epidemic sweeping through our state.