Former Press Herald opinion writer dies in shooting

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight, the snow has turned to rain, so check out these wintery photos Troy Bennett took just hours ago.

Lloyd Jones shovels snow off a portion of the Casco Bay Lines terminal in Portland on Thursday. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Lloyd Jones shovels snow off a portion of the Casco Bay Lines terminal in Portland on Thursday. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

What we’re talking about

Former Press Herald opinion writer dies in shooting — Beth Brogan reports:

Police say Michael Harmon, 71, died at his house on Brunelle Avenue when he was showing a teenage boy a handgun and the gun went off. …

The 16-year-old was handling the gun at the time, according to police. …

Harmon was employed by the Portland Press Herald for more than 41 years, beginning in 1970 as a reporter and later as an editorial writer and most recently a columnist. During his four decades, Harmon gained a reputation as one of Maine’s most strident conservative voices.

Developer proposes nearly 300 housing units on Rufus Deering property — Jake Bleiberg writes:

Initial plans submitted to the city on behalf of a high-end property group propose erecting three six-story buildings on the historic Rufus Deering Lumber Co. lot between Maple, Commercial, High and York streets. Proposed by Reger Dasco Properties, the mixed-use development would include more than 250,000 square feet of residential space and 380 parking spots.

Here’s what’s going on around Portland on New Year’s EveIf you’ve just realized that Saturday is New Year’s Eve, Kathleen Pierce has your back.

$60K coffee cup sculpture, pride of a Portland cafe, damaged badly — Kathleen reports:

The giant red coffee cup sculpture atop Coffee By Design’s flagship Portland cafe was damaged earlier this month — and owners of the Diamond Street roastery suspect someone climbed their roof and swung from the kinetic sculpture, which balances like a weather vane.

Even in Maine more people are going without cars — Cumberland County saw an increase in the number of carless homes. The surveys for those years aren’t detailed enough to say for sure whether that’s the case in Portland, but estimates put carless homes up slightly in the city and other similar towns. — Darren Fishell

The city is looking to sell off more of its prime peninsula properties — First, it put a Bayside municipal building on the market. Now, it’s looking to unload a few other properties, including an East End parking lot.

Tweet of the day

From Arash Karami. It’s an evergreen tweet.

Screen Shot 2016-12-29 at 6.23.49 PM

The Big Idea

‘Obama Strikes Back at Russia for Election Hacking’ — The New York Times’ David Sanger reports that today’s “actions amount to the strongest American response ever taken to a state-sponsored cyberattack aimed at the United States.”

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at, or tweet @dsmacleod.

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Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. He's an Orland native who moved to Portland in 2002 and now lives in Unity. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.