Rain pelts the water of Fields Pond in Orrington on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday's forecast calls for sunny skies and a return to warmer weather. Credit: Gabor Degre

Good morning. Temperatures will be in the high 70s with sunny skies throughout the state.

Here’s what’s happening in Maine today.

American Folk Festival hopes to evolve along with its Bangor waterfront setting

Credit: Ashley L. Conti

–Twenty years ago, the Bangor waterfront was not much more than a dumping ground. Now it’s the site of a riverside park, a 16,000-seat concert venue, a marina and the corporate headquarters for one of Maine’s largest employers.

It’s also home to the American Folk Festival, the 14th edition of which kicks off this Friday. In fact, it was the festival that first made people in the Bangor area believe that the waterfront was not only worth reviving, but could also become a tourist destination.

But with the transformation of the waterfront area, has the folk festival — what used to be a once-a-year chance to enjoy world-class entertainment in the Queen City — become just another thing to do in an already packed summer schedule?

The University of Southern Maine wants to change its name — again

–The second-largest school in the University of Maine System — with campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston — is considering a name change in an effort to broaden its appeal to more potential students.

Previously, USM’s campuses have gone by the names Gorham State College and University of Maine at Portland, among other variations.

USM President Glenn Cummings warned in an email to alumni that the school is in the very early stages of considering a new name, and any change would only come after a “long and deliberative” process involving a number of stakeholders, including the system board of trustees and even the state Legislature.

Bangor drug treatment doctor: Addiction is a disease, and it should be treated with medication

Credit: Gabor Degre

–Dr. Trip Gardner likens the struggle with addiction to driving a car and attempting to pump a set of broken brakes.

A person suffering from addiction is able to recognize the harm they’re causing themselves and those around them, but the choice to use isn’t their own, Gardner told a crowd of about 50 people Wednesday night at a Dirigo Speaks event sponsored by the Bangor Daily News.

“Even if the person is thinking, ‘I don’t want to do it,’ the choice can be made, but there’s no reaction. Hit the brake, it doesn’t work,” said Gardner, who serves as chief psychiatric officer and medical director of Homeless Health Services at Penobscot Community Health Care.

This Maine man has built a tiny home and off-the-grid homestead from scratch

–Steve Rodrigue has 30 acres, but is only using a little bit of it for a house. His 320-square-foot home has a solar generator, composting toilet and a well he pumps by hand, and is surrounded by permaculture garden beds and fruit trees. And of course, he has his cat.

“My whole goal is to get my bills as low as I can,” he said. “That, to me, is true freedom.”

Gov. Paul LePage took a verbal swing at Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling over whether noncitizens should be allowed to vote

Credit: File

–In his weekly radio address, LePage blasted Strimling’s non-citizen voting proposal as “politically correct boondoggle.” The mayor of Maine’s largest city shot back Wednesday afternoon that the governor is reading “right out of the Republican playbook” by “scapegoating immigrants.”

The Portland proposal for a citywide referendum to ask whether noncitizens should be allowed to vote in local elections stalled at the City Council level earlier this month, and wouldn’t make it onto a ballot until after LePage leaves office.

‘Luxe’ apartments the latest addition to Ellsworth’s building boom

Credit: Courtesy of Jonathan Bates

–A $2.2 million apartment complex due to open next year overlooking Ellsworth Harbor Park and Marina got its start Wednesday as construction crews began clearing ground on the ambitious project. Called Washington Luxe, the two three-story buildings at 29 Washington St. should be finished by autumn 2019, said developer Jonathan Bates of Stone Park Properties LLC of Ellsworth.

And despite the $1,275 per month price tag for a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment, Bates is confident the 24 apartments will fill up quickly. “When we put something on the market in Ellsworth, within 24 hours it is usually spoken for. Elsewhere, it’s a struggle.”

The apartments are among more than 99 housing units under review or being built in Ellsworth, a building boom that city officials and developers believe is part pent-up demand and a reaction to the construction of a $200 million research-mouse breeding center in Ellsworth.

The Bangor High School boys soccer team is battling a rash of injuries

Credit: Ashley L. Conti

The Rams have brought home three state championships and four regional titles in the last dozen years, but they’ll need to overcome some untimely injuries in order to maintain that success in 2018.

Senior defenders Jack Bourassa and Josh Sherwood, as well as junior midfielder Alec Jansujwicz, are all hobbled by knee injuries.

The team also has to come up with some way to deal with the loss of graduate Garth Berenyi, who scored 32 goals last year on his way to a Bangor career record of 57.

Do this: Go see a play based on the works of one of Maine’s best-selling authors

–Before Maine had Stephen King, it had Ruth Moore.

Moore, a bestselling author with a tourist attraction home in rural Maine, was a literary star in the 1950s. She’s even been called “the Stephen King of her time.”

Now, Opera House Arts is putting on an original play based on a series of Moore’s short stories. BDN theater reviewer Judy Harrison writes that the production offers familiar Maine characters — with wit and emotion — but stops well short of tired stereotypes.

The play will be performed through Aug. 26 at the Stonington Opera House.

In other news…


More than 60 crates of live lobster lost in Brunswick crash

Goats seized as Brunswick animal cruelty case expands

Maine university professor sues over political stands taken by his union


Bangor board sends family shelter to council for final OK

The ‘complete nightmare’ of 2 men who lived in Maine emergency rooms

Tips for enjoying the three-day American Folk Festival


Maine single-family home sales, prices rise sharply in July

Aroostook Partnership director retires

Target’s sales are at a 13-year high due to demand for toys and home goods 


What to make of Susan Collins’ meeting with Kavanaugh

Group monitoring services for Mainers with disabilities down to 5 of 15 members

Trump lashes out at his former lawyer after guilty plea


Trump’s proposed pollution rules will cause more Americans to die. The EPA says so.

Quebec hydro project a bad deal for Maine

It is time for the Catholic Church to reflect the anger we feel


Theriault set for Sunday’s Oxford 250 

It’s up to these two UMaine running backs to fill void left after sophomore star transfers

Sports director leaving Bangor’s Channel 7-Fox 22

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Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a senior editor for sports and features at the Bangor Daily News. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach native and Colby College...