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Portland Sun publishes its final edition

The Portland Sun has ended its nearly six-year run. The free newspaper publishes its final edition with this issue, Dec. 23, 2014.
The Portland Sun, originally The Portland Daily Sun, began publishing on Feb. 3, 2009.12-23-14-final-cover
Initially a five-day-a-week newspaper, The Sun adjusted to a difficult economy, shedding first its Saturday edition and then more recently its midweek issues to become a twice-weekly.
Publisher Mark Guerringue announced the closure of The Sun last week, telling The Bangor Daily News, “Our execution could have been a whole lot better. But in any new venture, you need a little luck — or at least not bad luck.”
In an editorial in this week’s final edition of The Sun (see page 4), Guerringue explained the challenges that faced the startup, including a resurgence of the Portland Press Herald with fresh infusion of money from Donald Sussman.
Guerringue wrote, “By the time we launched in the winter of 2009, the economy was in free fall and the stock market was a few months away from the bottom of an historic swoon. Soon after the Herald was saved by Donald Sussman, and the paper improved dramatically.”
The Sun’s two full-time staff members, Daily Sun editor David Carkhuff and Daily Sun sales representative Joanne Alfiero, will join the staff at the Portland Phoenix, which The Sun Newspapers Group acquired in November, Guerringue explained. Jeff Spofford, who distributes The Sun, will begin distributing the Phoenix in January as well. On Wednesday, Jan. 7, the public can find the Phoenix in the red boxes that readers of The Sun have become accustomed to seeing, Spofford noted.
Guerringue told The Portland Press Herald that he sees an opportunity to make the Phoenix “a vehicle for in-depth journalism in addition to stories about arts, entertainment and culture.”
“Looking at the big picture, it just made a lot of sense to put all those resources from the Sun into the Phoenix,” Guerringue told The Portland Press Herald.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 December 2014 01:50

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Mallett Brothers pursue the natural with Maine recording

The Mallett Brothers ring in the New Year with a Port City Music Hall Show on Saturday, Jan. 3.

The five-piece alternative country rock band is comprised of the vocal and strumming talents of Luke and Will Mallett, Wally Wenzel on dobro and (more recently) accordion, Nick Leen on bass, and Brian Higgins on drums. They'll play songs from the latest creation, a 13-song album called "Lights Along the River," due out in February of 2015.12-23-14-TG-The-Mallett-Brothers-Band-from-left-Wally-Wenzel-Luke-Mallett-Brian-Higgins-Nick-Leen-and-Will-Mallett

This past September, they packed their 15-passenger van, a trailer, and a Honda Element with the musical gear and drove to Willimantic, at the head of Sebec Lake. They planned a recording session in nature at an old Girl Scout Camp there. The spot is boat-access only, and after five trips across the water, the guys hunkered down at the converted studio to create their fourth album.

"Our newest member, Matt Mills, had made the trip from his home in Nashville and we had failed to mention just how northern Maine feels in October, or that the camp was uninsulated," the band said on their blog. "From singing gang vocals at a microphone on the beach to cricket sounds and the wood stove crackling, this record genuinely feels like a living thing to us. It's as natural as we could make it, in a place that truly felt like home for the time that we spent."

The setting was truly inspirational for the band, and they feel some of their best music came out of their commune with nature.

"There was this great camp vibe," Higgins said. "I was recording drums out on the porch."

"We thought long and hard about this album," Luke said. "There's a definite theme running through it. We had sounds bouncing off the mountains behind us, guitar reverb coming back off the lake. And we ate bear meat."

The Mallett brothers are the sons of David Mallett, the legendary singer-songwriter. The boys have played on his albums, and he sits in with them from time to time.

"My dad's got 13 albums of original stuff," Luke said. "And he just put out an album of covers."

The senior singer "plays a quiet mandolin on one track" of the new MBB release, Luke says.

"He hiked out the three-quarter mile trail two times while we were out there," Luke said, "to the secret side of the lake."

Another secret the band is keeping is their next project, inspired in part by their time in the Maine woods and a book Will found on his parents' bookshelf. The band has been meeting each day for a few hours, to practice for the Port City show and to delve into some rich Maine history for new material, but they wanted to keep the lid on that for now. The band did talk about how their sound has evolved over their six years together, and how each musician influences the others.

Higgins, a longtime metal fan initially deadset against country music, added brush sticks to his drumming repertoire after he joined the band.

"And Brian's influence changed the way I played," Luke said. "I had to play louder."

"We have a metal drummer and a funk bass player," Leen said.

The musical variety of the band's individuals is what creates such a full, appealing sound, and the output has fans eagerly anticipating the February release.

"People say, 'You're from Maine? What are you doing playing country music?' They don't realize how rich the Maine musical history is," said Luke.

They are looking forward to spending a Saturday in the big city after so much time in the woods, and consider Port City "a killer venue. It's our first show in Portland since the summer at The State of the State," Will said. "That was a blast, but we want to make sure everybody that was out that night comes out again. We're pumped to be doing a hometown show. It's one of our favorite venues."


Event Details:
The Mallett Brothers Band
with Tigerman Woah
Saturday, Jan. 3 at 9 p.m.
Port City Music Hall
504 Congress St. Portland
$12 adv/$15 day of show

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 December 2014 01:51

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Bath man arrested after incident involving child at State Museum

Capitol Police reported that a Bath man was arrested after a "bizarre incident" at the Maine State Museum in Augusta Tuesday morning when a child was nearly abducted. Officers have charged 58-year-old James Cavallaro with assault and violating his conditions of release, police reported. Cavallaro was taken to the Kennebec County Jail.
Capitol Police were called to the museum just after 11 a.m. when they received a report from museum staffers that a man had grabbed a 2-year-old girl and attempted to leave the building with her, police reported. A museum receptionist saw the incident, intervened and the girl was released, police said.
The child was with her grandmother at the time. The woman had turned her back to hang up coats in the museum's coat room when the incident took place, police said. Capitol Police found Cavallaro in the parking lot and took him into custody without resistance, according to a Maine Department of Public Safety press release. Cavallaro was out on bail on an unrelated charge from Sagadahoc County, police said.
Capitol Police is the bureau of the Maine Department of Public Safety that provides security and police services to the State House and other state buildings around Augusta.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 01:14

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Teen arrested for terrorizing in wake of Windham incident

A 16-year-old male suspect was identified and subsequently arrested and charged with eight counts of class C terrorizing, one for each school evacuated as a result of a threat sent via email to schools in RSU No. 14 Windham Raymond school district Monday morning, officials reported.
An "unspecified threat" was emailed to the RSU No. 14 Windham Raymond school district Monday morning, prompting a lockdown and evacuation, officials reported. Schools remained closed Tuesday and Wednesay as police continued to investigate the incident, school officials reported.
The Windham Police Department along with members of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit attempted to identify the source of the emails Monday and Tuesday, according to Lt. James Boudreau
Windham Police Department.
By late Tuesday afternoon the investigation had focused toward a specific individual, and the investigators involved developed sufficient probable cause for the application and issuance of a search warrant, Boudreau reported.
On Tuesday evening at about 5 p.m., the officer's from the Windham Police Department and agents from the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit executed that search warrant, and as a result the 16-year-old was arrested, police said. The investigation has determined that the suspect, whose name was not released by authorities, is the author of both e-mails, Boudreau reported. The suspect is a Windham resident, but not a current student of RSU 14, police said.
Some of the evidence collected indicates there was a potential of danger for students and staff, Boudreau said.
In an apparently unrelated incident, on Thursday, Thornton Academy in Saco was in lockdown and the Saco Police Department was on site and secured the campus in response to a threat received by phone, officials there reported. All students were released early.
Thornton Academy is a coeducational boarding and day school serving grades 6-12.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 00:40

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School remains out in Windham amid email threats investigation

An "unspecified threat" was emailed to the RSU No. 14 Windham Raymond school district Monday morning, prompting a lockdown and evacuation, officials said. Schools will remain closed Tuesday as police continue to investigate the incident, school officials reported.
Police were involved immediately and began conducting an investigation Monday morning, said Cindy Kennie, executive assistant to the superintendent.12-16-14-prince-sanford-Windham
An alert was issued, which read, "We have received an unspecified threat and are dismissing school. There is an on-going investigation by the police. We are dismissing High School and Windham Middle School Students and Jordan Small Middle School at: 9:15 a.m. Raymond Elementary School will be dismissed at 10:15 a.m. Windham Primary School and Manchester School and will be dismissed at: 10:45 a.m. A decision will be made later on the status of after school activities, sports and Adult Education."
The threat did not indicate which school was targeted and students were already on site, so the district officials authorized a lockdown and then evacuation, Kennie said.
"We will certainly be updating our parents through our notification system," she said, which includes text messages, email and telephone calls.
Sanford Prince, superintendent,wrote to parents on Monday afternoon, "After reviewing the situation with law enforcement, we have mutually decided to allow more
time for the investigation to proceed; thus all schools will be closed tomorrow, December 16, 2014."
Police continue investigating the incident, with help from state computer crimes experts.
Two different RSU 14 school officials opened their work email and found emails, sent from different sources and of different wording, that were "of a threatening nature towards the school system," wrote Lt. Jim Boudreau with the Windham Police Department. The Windham Police with the help of the Maine Computer Crimes Force launched an investigation, which is ongoing, Boudreau reported Monday.
Prince issued a letter to parents, which reported that school staff, upon learning of the emails, "immediately notified the Windham Police Department. District Officials and Law Enforcement quickly enacted a plan and placed the schools in lockout. Several Windham Police Officers and the Cumberland County Sheriff's department were at the schools within minutes."

Prince wrote, "Please know that we take each threat seriously and our schools have emergency plans that are updated and practiced routinely."

For updates, visit http://www.windham.k12.me.us.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 03:37

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