You’ll be shocked by Maine’s top surnames. Actually… nah, you won’t., a popular genealogy website, has mapped out the most common surnames in each state, and well… it’s a pretty boring map.

In Maine, the top three surnames are Smith, Johnson and Brown, breaking sharply with nearby states like Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut, whose top surnames are… Smith, Johnson and Brown.

In fact, Smith makes the list for no fewer than 45 of the 50 states, and Johnson for 43 of them. Why they bothered putting borders between the states on the map is beyond me. (Brown, admittedly, is only a top surname in eight states.)

Thankfully, the news of the day is more interesting. Read on.

What we’re talking about

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce said he won’t detain inmates beyond their scheduled release dates to wait for federal immigration agents who don’t have warrants. He told reporters that holding inmates without a warrant to do so puts his office on questionable legal ground.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging a Maine law that blocks nurse practitioners and nurse midwives from performing abortions, BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell is reporting. Currently, only physicians can perform the procedures in the state, which the advocacy groups say harmfully limits access in rural areas where there are no abortion clinics and doctors are sparsely located.

The state task force charged with coming up with a plan to digitize court files is considering a draft proposal that would keep nearly all of those public documents unavailable to the general public online, the BDN’s Jake Bleiberg is reporting. The plan under consideration — which still may be changed in the coming weeks — would allow online access to most state court files only by attorneys and their clients. The court documents in question are currently only available to the public in hard copies at the courthouses.

A lot of development news in Falmouth. According to The Forecaster’s Kate Irish Collins, a development team led in part by a town councilor is seeking to build 151 new homes and apartments, as well as a 6,000-square-foot commercial building, on 52 acres off Mountain Road and Route 100. Elsewhere in town, neighbors are considering legal action to block a proposed 32-unit project off Blackstrap Road, which they say is too dense and would increase traffic in the area.

Tweet of the day

From You Had One Job:

The Big Idea

A new breed of real estate investor is destroying American cities, according to this deep dive by The New Republic’s Rachel Monroe. Often hidden behind layers of shell corporations, wealthy buyers remotely snatch up hundreds of derelict inner city buildings for pennies on the dollar and multiply their earnings by renting or financing resales to desperate, often lower income local residents. The practice blocks more community-minded developers from acquiring the properties and renovating them to reduce blight and revive neighborhoods.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email me at, or tweet @SethKoenig.

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