Good morning, Maine. Here is your morning briefing.
The highs will be in the mid to upper 70s, with clouds and a chance for thundershowers later in the day. Check your local forecast here.
National and international headline
The singer Lorde was on “The Tonight Show” Friday, promoting the long-awaited follow-up to her hit debut album, and Jimmy Fallon quizzed her about how she passed the three-plus years in between.
A bit unusually, maybe, for an international celebrity, the songwriter said. She might pop off to a remote corner of her native New Zealand and spend days watching “Twin Peaks,” she told Fallon. Or — as she got close to finishing her album “Melodrama” — she’d bring her laptop to a late-night New York diner and bang out lyrics in semi-anonymity.
“You like diners,” Fallon noted, casually, his voice not betraying that he was leading up to a sensitive question.
Lorde agreed: She liked diners.
“Did you order onion rings?” Fallon asked.
The pop star responded with a loud sigh as Fallon pulled from behind his desk a printout of a website that had, in the past several days, become an enormous distraction from the 20-year-old artist’s album rollout.
A van plowed into a group of Muslim worshipers as they were leaving prayers at a pair of north London mosques early Monday, leaving one person dead and injuring 10 others in what is being called a “terrorist attack.”
Witnesses said the driver of the vehicle was heard shouting that he wanted to kill Muslims.
“This is being treated as a terrorist attack,” Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu told reporters. He added that the driver of the van was arrested on suspicion of murder.
A member of President Donald Trump’s legal team repeatedly insisted that Trump is not under investigation for obstruction of justice but acknowledged he could not know for certain during combative Sunday television interviews.
“Let me be very clear here, as it has been since the beginning, the president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction,” lawyer Jay Sekulow said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” part of a blitz of bookings on the Sunday morning public affairs shows.
That assessment, repeated on three other broadcasts, was at odds with a Washington Post report last week and seemingly with a tweet by Trump himself on Friday.
During a later appearance on “Fox News Sunday, ” Sekulow conceded that he could not say with absolute certainty that Trump is not being investigated because he cannot read the mind of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Pediatricians and public health researchers know they have to be on the lookout for lead exposure from paint chips and contaminated drinking water. A new report suggests food — particularly baby food — could be a problem, too.
The Environmental Defense Fund, in an analysis of 11 years of federal data, found detectable levels of lead in 20 percent of 2,164 baby food samples. The toxic metal was most commonly found in fruit juices such as grape and apple, root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots, and cookies such as teething biscuits.
“Lead can have a number of effects on children and it’s especially harmful during critical windows of development,” said Dr. Aparna Bole, pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, who was not involved with the report. “The largest burden that we often think about is neurocognitive that can occur even at low levels of lead exposure.”
A U.S. Coast Guard investigation team arrived in Japan Monday to start piecing together the sequence of events that led to the weekend collision between a Navy destroyer and a fully loaded container ship four times its size.
There are now multiple investigations into the accident, from both the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard as well as the Japan’s Coast Guard and its Transport Safety Board.
The investigators will be questioning the crew of the USS Fitzgerald, the Aegis guided missile destroyer that collided with the ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flagged container ship, just off the Izu peninsula.
Amid the national fury over the death of Philando Castile at a traffic stop in July – a shooting made more horrific by his girlfriend’s Facebook Live broadcast of his final moments – some condemned the National Rifle Association’s near silence on the matter.
The organization had been quick to defend other gun owners who made national news. Castile had a valid permit for his firearm, reportedly told the officer about it to avoid a confrontation, and was fatally shot anyway after being told to hand over his license.
So some NRA members were furious when the organization released a tepid statement, more than a day after the shooting, that merely called it “troublesome” and promised that “the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known.”
President Emmanuel Macron’s government on Monday promised to reshape France’s political landscape as final results showed he had won the commanding parliamentary majority he wanted to push through far-reaching pro-growth reforms.
Macron’s centrist Republic on the Move party and its center-right Modem ally won 350 out of 577 seats in the lower house, after a record low turnout for a parliamentary ballot in the postwar Fifth Republic.
Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said the high abstention rate — more than 50 percent of voters stayed at home — was a failure for the political class and highlighted the need to change politics in France.
“The real victory wasn’t last night, it will be in five years’ time when we have really changed things,” Castaner told RTL radio.
With thunderstorms in the forecast for Monday afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for all but the coast of Maine.
Numerous showers and thunderstorms capable of producing as much as 1 to 2 inches of rain an hour could cause flash floods.
The Maine Department of Transportation has been awarded $600,000 in federal funding for the diverging diamond interchange planned for the Hogan Road exit on Interstate 95.
State officials say the diverging diamond interchange design has been shown elsewhere to reduce crashes by about half, while increasing mobility and reducing congestion to prevent backups.
It also would provide a dedicated protected path for bicyclists and pedestrians within the width of the Hogan Road bridge.
It’s a common story in Bath: For five generations, members of the Bennett family graduated from Morse High School, then marched down Washington Street to work coveted jobs at Bath Iron Works.
Brian Bennett was part of that tradition, a point guard and captain of the Morse basketball team in 2001, the year he and his twin brother, Mike Bennett, graduated. Mike now coaches the Morse wrestling team, a gig he took over from his father, longtime wrestling coach Tom Bennett. And in 2015, Brian Bennett became the varsity boys basketball coach at his alma mater.
For eight years, Brian worked at BIW, starting as a designer in 2008, and eventually earning more than $27 an hour as a planning tech. His dad still works on the company’s production floor, and Mike is a supervisor at the main shipyard in Bath.
But in 2016, Brian Bennett was suspended, and later fired, from BIW, which accused him of fraud and “job abandonment” after a medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder.
Over the last several days, thousands of dead bait fish have washed up on the shores of Middle and Maquoit bays in Brunswick.
The pogies, a type of bait fish, appeared to have died after a single vessel which caught them was ill equipped to handle a large catch, not low oxygen content in the water or predation by a larger fish, according to the Brunswick Police Department.
Living and events
If you come to Unity, smack in the middle of Waldo County farm country, you’re likely to pass by fields being worked by earnest organic farmers or Amish families using horse-drawn plows.
And if the sight of all of these agriculture-related things has made you peckish, you can sate your hunger at the new 93 Main Coffee Shop, with a menu featuring locally sourced produce and meats, locally roasted coffee and freshly made breads and treats.
The 2017 Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, scheduled for June 24, has several open slots remaining for bakers. This year, a couple of local bakers who have been with the festival since its inception were not able to make it due to prior commitments, leaving space for new talent to register.
Anyone interested in a booth at the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival should visit mainewhoopiepiefestival.com/bakers for information as soon as possible.
Last year, Dover-Foxcroft saw nearly 10,000 visitors come through the gates. For those who register as vendors or bakers, the day promises success.
Festival organizers are always on the lookout for volunteers, and this year is no different. Help is needed at the festival gates, to sell merchandise and to offer support to our vendors.
Every Tuesday in June from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts is hosting an archaeologist-led program where you can learn about Wabanaki material culture and the archaeological record in Maine.
This is a hands-on activity where you can touch artifacts and replicas while learning about Wabanaki cultural adaptations over the past 12,000 years.
This is a drop-in event so there’s no registration required!
The Old Town Public Library, in partnership with the Bangor Public Health and Community Services, will be hosting a seminar entitled “Be a Life Saver” from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 21.
Heath Myers, an Overdose Prevention Coordinator with Bangor Public Health and Community Services will discuss overdose symptoms and risk factors, how to react to an overdose, medication safety, naloxone, and treatment and recovery.
Free take-home materials will be provided.
More than 50 teams will take part in the 2017 Maine Summer Adventure Race 7 a.m.-7 p.m. June 24, Hidden Valley Nature Center, 131 Egypt Road. The teams are composed of more than 115 individuals from 11 states, who will all get the chance to explore the Midcoast region by boat, bicycle and foot in a single day.
Now in its second year, the Maine Summer Adventure Race involves teams of two, three or four competing in a nonstop race including trail running or trekking, road and mountain biking, sea kayaking and orienteering. Teams will have to combine athleticism with strategy and navigation to guide themselves to as many checkpoints as possible within the race’s time limit.
A Strawberry Festival will be held 4-6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at Dirigo Grange Hall, Route 137.
The annual S.W. Collins 5K Road & Fun race will be held June 25.
Registration is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at S.W. Collins Co. Caribou Yard. The 5K starts at 10:00 a.m., walkers start at 9:45 a.m., and kids Fun Run starts at 9:00 a.m.
Registration is $13 for adults, and the fee for the kids fun run is by donation. All proceeds will go to the Caribou Athletics Department.
Bill Cobb, director of the Maine chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association, will give a presentation about several historic fire towers Down East, including the much beloved Grand Lake Stream tower that sits atop Indian Hill. The tower was built in 1934, and it is currently the oldest standing, enclosed wooden tower in Maine, and potentially New England. Following the presentation, we will take a group walk up to the GLS Tower to examine the site.
The talk will be 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 30 at the Grand Lake Stream School Building, 15 Water St., in Grand Lake Stream.
Performing for audiences around the world and in their own backyard in Maine, the 195th Army Band’s Concert Band is carrying on a proud tradition of military bands past and present by presenting free patriotic public performances.
The band will perform 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 6 at Riverfront Park, North Main Street, in Old Town.
The American Red Cross of Maine and the Old Town Fire Rescue Department are teaming up to install free smoke alarms in residents’ homes and teach people how to be prepared for home fires.
Old Town residents can sign up for the free smoke alarm installation by calling Ron Springel of the Red Cross at 874-1192, ext. 113. The Red Cross, the Old Town Fire Rescue Department and community volunteers will follow-up with the installation on July 22.
“Working smoke alarms are key to escaping a home fire safely. That early warning, along with a practiced escape plan to a designated meeting area and early notification to emergency services can greatly reduce death and injuries,” Capt. David Daniels of the Old Town Fire Rescue Department said.
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.
Amazon.com sent a shock wave through the grocery industry Friday when it announced plans to buy Whole Foods Market and formally enter the world of bricks-and-mortar retail.
The $13.7 billion deal brings to a head a years-long battle brewing between Amazon, the online darling, and traditional retail powerhouses likes Wal-Mart.
After reaching a settlement with owners of the former Great Northern Paper mill, the hopeful developers of a $240 million biorefinery and energy park at the site face a challenge getting the funding they need.
Despite owing the city nearly $120,000, the American Folk Festival has signed a new contract with Bangor, allowing the annual weekend-long event to keep returning to the waterfront.
My family left four generations ago, and “we” have been looking back ever since. It’s a common Scottish story, but it’s new every time the next generation makes the trip. It’s also a common American story, since we all began somewhere else and millions of us feel the urge to locate our origin. Going back to the remote source of our DNA helps explain why we’re here and who we are.
Though we pride ourselves on our tight-knit communities where neighbors still care for one another, the numbers show a portion of our aging population is falling through the cracks. In fact, one out of every three senior citizens in our country wakes up every morning isolated or lonely. For that older American, the common cold is dangerous and a fall in their home could be deadly.
The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is a focal point in the lives of business owners and residents of the Katahdin region. Now the U.S. Department of the Interior is conducting a review to determine if there was sufficient public input before its designation.
What we all once thought was settled — after countless hours of research, discussion and debate at public forums — has been re-kindled to stall economic development in a region that desperately needs it.