Business and Economy

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Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Verso Paper says it plans to make technology upgrades to its No. 4 Paper Machine in Jay. The company says this will increase the machine's capacity to produce “release-liner paper.”

“Release-liner is the paper that's used as the backing for a wide variety of industrial and consumer labels, and my favorite example of that is the familiar ‘Hello My Name’ is label,” says Verso spokesperson Kathi Rowzie.

Rowzie says the investments will advance the company's plan to produce only specialty papers and packaging products in Jay.

Court Asked To Appoint Outside Manager To Handle Bangor Mall Finances

4 hours ago
Lori Valigra / Bangor Daily News

The Bangor Mall, awash in uncertainty since its owner defaulted on a loan last fall, is the target of July 5 court filings that aim to assign an independent person to handle the mall’s finances and property.

Murray Carpenter / For NPR

The feud over tariffs between President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has rattled many towns along the border, but few are connected as tightly as Madawaska, Maine, and Edmundston, New Brunswick. This is where these linked mills make pulp and paper along the St. John River. With a trade war looming, people on both sides of that river are mystified by the deteriorating international ties.

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland is going to continue its jobs-for-panhandlers program thanks to donations from more than a dozen businesses.
 
The Portland Press Herald reports that the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce delivered a check for $13,000, enough to fund the crew for 10 weeks.
 
The city launched the Portland Opportunity Crew last year to reduce panhandling on city streets, which has generated complaints from businesses, residents and visitors alike. The program restarted in May with leftover money, but those funds would dry up in July.
 

Class Action Lawsuit To Be Filed Against CMP For High Bills

Jul 18, 2018
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Three law firms plan to file a class action complaint in the Cumberland County Superior Court Thursday against Central Maine Power on behalf of customers of the utility who claim they were overcharged for electricity.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

A plan to relocate the high speed ferry service known as “the CAT” from Portland to its former port in Bar Harbor is being eyed cautiously.

Some Bar Harbor residents worry that the ferry operator may be taking on a greater expense than it can handle. During Tuesday night meeting of the Town Council, some critics expressed fears that local taxpayers could be stuck with a hefty bill, should Bay Ferries Ltd decide to terminate service to the community as it did nine years ago.

South Portland is once again attempting to regulate short-term vacation rentals in the city.

Tuesday night, the City Council passed a new, modified ordinance to replace a measure it unanimously repealed in April, after a successful petition drive.

Among other things, the new rules limit short-term rentals of houses to commercial zones, unless the owners can prove the house is their primary residence.

City Councilor Adrian Dowling opposes the restrictions. He says most landlords who operate "un-hosted" rentals are responsible neighbors.

The Portland City Council has voted to approve tax breaks for two senior housing developments. The council had originally approved selling city land for one of the projects with the understanding that it would be open to all ages.

Councilor Kim Cook spoke against the developer's move to restrict the age of residents to 55 plus.

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The agency that's redeveloping the former Brunswick Naval Air Station says about 500 jobs have been added over the past year, bringing the total to about 1,700.
 
Steve Levesque of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority says there are now 110 entities doing business at Brunswick Landing.
 
He said there are five new companies this summer and that more will be added by year's end. He said demand for former Navy housing remains strong, and that the Brunswick Executive Airport has seen a boost in operations, as well.
 

Caitlin Rogers / Maine Public

As many as 44 percent of faculty members at the University of Maine considered leaving the school in order to improve their spouse or partner’s career opportunities, according to a study dating back to 2009.

Hiring and retaining employees is a problem not only for the university but also for other Maine businesses, according to Michelle Hale, senior human relations partner at the University of Maine and project leader with the Dual Career Network.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage is asking a judge to toss a lawsuit challenging his executive order to halt wind turbine permits in western and coastal regions of rural Maine.

Advocacy groups challenged the constitutionality of LePage's January order, claiming it's causing uncertainty in the wind industry. A Cumberland County judge heard arguments Friday.

LePage says his order hasn't blocked wind projects. And his lawyer conceded that the executive order isn't being heeded by the governor's own administration.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

The first Somali-owned farm stand opened this week in Lewiston.

Two cooperative farms joined together to open the produce stand, which will also feature a food truck that serves Somali cuisine. The hope is that the new business at 996 Sabattus Street will help the farmers build capital and foster connection with the wider community.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Anxiety is growing in Portland’s lobstering community over the city's increasingly crowded waterfront. A traffic study that is in the works is calling the situation an "existential threat" to the city's marine industries, and lobstermen seem to agree.

Willis Spear fishes 800 traps from a Commercial Street wharf that also houses two restaurants, the Harbor fish market, and a major bait fish dealer. He says city officials are approving new developments too quickly, adding more and more cars to the downtown mix.

Return Of The Cat To Bar Harbor Expected To End Canadian Ferry Service In Portland

Jul 11, 2018
Troy R. Bennett / Bangor Daily News

The Cat’s days operating out of Portland are likely numbered, a city official acknowledged Tuesday.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Some Maine lobster dealers who have seen sales to China shoot up over the last decade are now suddenly shut out.

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