I was joking with my friend Angie Muhs the other day about the need for a blog-based collection of “only in Maine” news stories, and since the conversation took place via Twitter, a bunch of folks chimed in to agree. The next day, I started Maine, Obviously.
Some of the stories feel more exclusive to the state than others. (Take, for example, “Man arrested after stealing chainsaw, sander from unoccupied home.”) All of the stories—even the ones that could have clearly happened outside of the state—have been selected because when I read them as a Mainer and think, “Obviously that happened in Maine. Obviously.” The particular phenomenon might not be exclusive to the state, but for better or worse, it feels appropriate that it happened here:
- “Man claims kitty litter started fight” — Actual headline from Bangor Daily News, February 4, 2004
- “In 1996, McInnis broke into homes and stole 139 pieces of women’s clothing, including undergarments, swimsuits, prom, gowns, men’s magazines, photographs and some other items. Some of the homes were on his newspaper route.” — Man who stole women’s clothing returns to prison, Bangor Daily News. April 6, 2004
- “Dog groomer says her secret is love” — Actual headline from Bangor Daily News, April 22, 1983.
The blog is hosted on Tumblr so as to not favor stories from one paper or another. The source list is Bangor Daily News heavy, though, as the entire archive of BDN is available on Google News while those of other papers are not. Moving forward, I intend to sort this out, as I am sure every paper has its own particular collection of perfect “Maine, Obviously” stories.
I have enjoyed hunting these stories down, as it has provided a lens for my otherwise wild and limitless web browsing. It has provided a great opportunity for learning about the state. Further, some of the greatest contributions to the list have come from folks bringing stories I have not yet seen to my attention. The following, for example, have come from submissions
- “A Route 46 resident reported the theft of a gas grill, a box of lesbian pornography, yarn and a canoe paddle from her garage June 9. The woman later found the grill, which had been misplaced.” — Bucksport Police Blotter, Fenceviewer. June 22, 2009
- “Collision kills moose, hospitalizes woman, rescue vehicle kills a second moose” — Actual headline by way of Fiddlehead Focus, August 5, 2011
- “The motorist, thinking the abandoned leg might be human, called police, according to a summary of the incident written by Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Frost. Police responded and, with the help of the Maine Warden Service, determined that the large leg was not human. It was a moose leg.” — Roadside moose part mistaken for human leg, Bangor Daily News. November 28, 2012