ICE seizes Somali man at courthouse

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. It’s been a busy news day. Let’s get to it.

What we’re talking about

ICE detains Somali man in Portland courthouse — Abdi Ali, 28, had just finished meeting with his attorney at the Cumberland County Superior Court after being arraigned on a drunk driving charge when three ICE agents grabbed him, pushed him against the wall and handcuffed him before walking him out of the court, according to his lawyer, Tina Heather Nadeau. The arrest is the first sign that that President Donald Trump’s more aggressive immigration enforcement policies are being implemented in Maine. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has come under heavy criticism for courthouse arrests elsewhere in the country and Maine immigration and civil rights activists worry that the tactic will discourage people from showing up to their court dates and undermine the justice process.  Ail has an “extensive criminal history that includes numerous misdemeanor convictions, including two convictions for assault,” according to ICE. — Jake Bleiberg

Portland city councilor battling credit union to keep her house — Jake Bleiberg reports:

City Councilor Jill Duson is reopening her five-year-old bankruptcy case to try to stop a credit union from seizing her Portland home.

Duson in March filed papers with a federal bankruptcy court seeking Chapter 7 protection from Trademark Federal Credit Union, which in 2012 got a court ruling allowing the county sheriff to take possession of her North Deering house to resolve nearly $19,000 in unpaid debt and damages.

Collins votes for ‘nuclear’ option to change Senate rules for Gorsuch — The BDN’s Christopher Burns writes:

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins on Thursday joined her Republican colleagues in the Senate to trigger the so-called “nuclear option” to secure the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republicans voted 52 to 48 to change Senate rules so that presidential nominees to the nation’s top court only need a simple majority rather than a supermajority of 60 votes to be confirmed.

From the USM Free Press to the New York Times — New York Times’ critic Neil Genzlinger graduated from USM in 1977 and edited the student-run Free Press while he was there. He’s coming back to campus April 13 to discuss his career, today’s newspaper business and maybe tell a few stories about hot wax and paste-up. The shindig will be hosted by David Pierson, professor of Media Studies. — Troy R. Bennett

Second Time Around closes — Everything is 50 percent off and on April 12, women’s consignment clothing store Second Time Around will close in Portland. An employee at the Exchange Street shop said the company, located in 12 states, is closing several locations. On an up note, the much larger Portsmouth Second Time Around will not shutter. Get in there and shop ladies! — Kathleen Pierce

Things to do this weekend

Spring is here (so the calendar says) so it’s time to get out and do stuff. Here’s what Kathleen Pierce says you should do:

First Friday Artwalk — It’s tomorrow, and you know the drill: Galleries, free access to the Portland Museum of Art, street performers, fire throwers and all kinds of mayhem in the streets. There are three cool photography shows featuring shutterbugs you should know. The work of Portland High School students are at Casco Bay Aristans, Space Gallery has a show called Black Ice and PhoPa features the intricate images of multi-talent Megan Magill. The walk goes from 5 to 8 p.m.

James Beard dinner at Union at the Press Hotel — Chef Josh Berry’s modern Maine menu, which wowed crowds at the James Beard House last month, is to be experienced. The five-course taste sensation puts new meaning into the term haute cuisine. The Maine native serves up his menu, with killer wine pairings, tonight through April 12. If you call yourself a foodie, run, don’t walk for clams, duck, beets, lamb bellies and a smoked spruce bud dessert like you’ve never had ‘em. Reserve a table at (207) 808-8700.

Saison day is Saturday — This weekend Allagash Brewing Company and Oxbow Brewing Company celebrate the season of the saisons in style. In homage to this style of beer’s varied flavors, colors, and ingredients, the breweries are throwing a party.

The doors to Oxbow, at 49 Washington Ave., open Saturday at noon for fresh draft beer and bluegrass tunes. Food is served at 2 p.m. and the festivities continue until 11 p.m. Both breweries are pouring rare beers for all.

Peeps Show — Peeps, the marshmallow treat you either love or hate, take on new meaning when placed in compromising situations. It must be the fourth annual Peep Show at Black Cat Coffee. Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m. dioramas of Peeps are on display and prizes awarded. May the best and brightest Peep win. The cafe is at 463 Stevens Ave.

Tweet of the day

From Jason O. Gilbert:

The Big Idea


‘Ancient Cannibals Didn’t Eat Just for the Calories, Study Suggests’ — The New York Times reports on some vital research from England:

Here’s some food for thought. How many calories would you get from consuming one whole human body? More than 125,000, according to a new study on human cannibalism that will either make you queasy or have you reaching for some fava beans and a nice chianti.

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.