Monday, March 10, 2014
More 2013 visitors to PressHerald.com read Eric Russell's Aug. 20 story on comments by Gov. LePage overheard at a Maine Republican Party fundraiser than any other story on the website.
The Associated Press
In a PressHerald.com poll, voters chose the capture of the North Pond hermit as the top Maine story of the year. Below are the full results from 1,665 votes:
North Pond hermit captured 17%
Alexis Wright and Mark Strong sentenced in Kennebunk Zumba case 15%
Former corporate and industrial lobbyiest Patricia Aho's questionable actions with DEP 13%
Portland legalizes marijuana 12%
Maine company involved in explosion in Lac-Megantic 11%
Gov. LePage says Obama hates white people 10%
Maine increases sale tax 7%
December ice storm causes power outages 5%
Frustration with MaineCare rides 5%
Mike Michaud announces he is gay 3%
Google barge comes to Portland 2%
When two Republican lawmakers said in August that they had heard Gov. Paul LePage say that President Obama “hates white people,” the story received national attention. LePage made the remarks at a fundraising event, according to two lawmakers who attended.
It wasn’t the outspoken governor’s only controversial comments of the year: He also received attention for saying that a Democratic state senator was “the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline” and for joking, while seated in a flight simulator, that he’d like to blow up the Press Herald building.
This February story told the tale of Robert Smith, aka “The Whistler.” He had been summonsed, arrested and taken to court for disorderly conduct for "loud whistling” until he and the city of Portland agreed that he would walk while he whistled.
3. Moss Appeal
Behold the power of Pinterest. This 2010 story by Ray Routhier appeared in the Sunday Home & Garden section and offered homeowners advice on how to cultivate decorative moss on patios and walkways. An accompanying photo of bricks with moss growing between them has become a sensation since on Pinterest, a social media site that allows users to “pin” and share images they like.
This March story was a follow-up to a Maine Sunday Telegram report that a captain at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham had been fired after using pepper spray on inmate who was restrained. After the story was printed, the state launched an investigation to determine how the press obtained video of the incident and documents about it.
The state Legislature this year passed a law requiring police to obtain warrants for location history of cellphones. Gov. LePage vetoed the bill, but lawmakers then overrode his veto.
In November, 67 percent of Portland voters approved an ordinance that allows people 21 and over to possess as much as 2.5 ounces of marijuana. The vote received national attention because Portland was the first city on the East Coast to take this action, and some saw it as another step toward legalization across the country.
Speculation became rampant over the ‘mystery barge’ in Portland harbor when it began to emerge that the highly secretive project had Google ties. It turned out the barge, being constructed by Cianbro, will be a floating showroom for the tech behemoth’s products.
Six-month-old Gabriel Blaney survived a January car accident in which he was ejected from his car seat and thrown 25 feet into a snowbank. The other driver heard his faint cries and found him there. "I honestly think the hand of God carried this baby from the vehicle and laid it on the snow," the other driver said.
Every year, the Maine Sunday Telegram profiles outstanding high school graduates. This year’s group included a poet, a Presidential Scholar, a rugby player and a Rwandan refugee, a future U.S. Navy officer, an opera singer and an aspiring entrepreneur.
The Androscoggin County community of Greene grieved in March after a local man accidentally backed over his 6-year-old son with his plow truck as he finished clearing the family’s driveway.
Brendan Conway was stricken in November while playing basketball. Friends and family remembered him as a ‘tender-hearted’ person who contributed much to the community.
Nunzio DiMillo, who grew up in South Portland, made an ‘incredible’ observation during his shift as an air traffic controller and prevented a plane and jet from colliding. He was honored in November by the Federal Aviation Administration for his work.
Doug Rafferty filed suit in March, saying the station discriminated against him after he suffered a stroke while on air. He and the station settled the suit later in 2013.
The mystery barge saga continued to unfold.
Two women drowned in July after they took a wrong turn and drove off a boat ramp into the ocean near Roque Bluffs State Park.