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Lawmakers in Augusta will consider a bill aimed at restricting how banks impose overdraft charges. 

The measure, proposed by Democratic state Sen. Mike Carpenter of Houlton, would prohibit banks from changing the order of transactions in order to maximize the amount of overdraft fees. 

Carpenter says there are reports of some banks in other states that use this practice, called resequencing.

Sales of single family homes in Maine were up 8 percent in October compared to the year before.  The median sales price for those homes was also up.

That's according to the Maine Association of Realtors.  The trade group says the median sales price last month was $205,000, 6.5 percent more than in October, 2016.    

Maine Association of Realtors President Greg Gosselin says while the inventory of homes for sale is still at historic lows, it is improving, though it might have leveled off in October.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Coveted Maine shrimp are likely off the menu again in 2018.

For the fifth straight year, federal scientists are recommending a moratorium on commercial fishing of northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine. The small, sweet-tasting invertebrates’ numbers and biomass in the gulf have been dropping steadily, reaching their lowest recorded level this year, according to Max Appelman, who coordinates the fishery’s management for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Ferry service between Maine and Canada may not return next summer.

Border security officials say they are closing their operations at Portland’s Ocean Gateway Terminal because it doesn’t meet federal safety standards for workers and passengers.

Keith Fleming, area port director for the agency, says the facility lacks adequate exits as well as up-to-date technology for reading license plates and detecting radiation.

Maine Lobster, The Most Valuable Species In US Seas, Hit By Trump’s Trade Stance

Nov 21, 2017
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Maine lobster has become more valuable than any other single species commercially fished in the United States, but trade policies pursued by President Donald Trump could reduce its annual worth for the first time in nearly a decade.

The federal government reported Tuesday that Maine’s economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the second quarter of this year.  

The Gross Domestic Product - or GDP - as it’s known, is the measure of all goods and services produced in the state.  Maine’s 2 percent figure was down from the 2.4 percent growth logged in the first quarter of this year.  In dollars, Maine’s GDP in the second quarter was $61.006 billion.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Federal regulators are shutting down fishing rights for a significant portion of New England’s stressed groundfish stocks, such as cod and flounder. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says managers for a New Bedford, Massachusetts-based sector undermined conservation goals while disgraced fishing magnate Carlos Rafael was falsifying catch reports.

A recent study indicates that more than 400,000 acres of Maine farmland will change ownership over the next 10 years as farmers age and retire.

That’s the focus of the third annual Farmland Access Conference taking place early next month and co-hosted by Maine Farmland Trust and Land For Good.

Ellen Sabina, outreach director at Maine Farmland Trust, says the daylong conference will take a look at what happens to that land and how to get farmers onto it.

Steven Senne / Associated Press

The Massachusetts-based grocery chain Market Basket is bringing a second store to southern Maine. It will be the anchor store for a large shopping development on a former industrial site in Westbrook.

The Market Basket store would be part of a half-million square foot shopping complex, located on the site of the former Pike Industries quarry. The chain, owned by DeMoulas Super Markets, has 79 stores throughout the Northeast, but only one in Maine.

PORTLAND, Maine - L.L. Bean, Good To-Go and Blaze Partners are among 26 businesses getting together to create a trade alliance named Maine Outdoors Brands.
The group will formally introduce itself at a news conference on Monday.
The group sees value in leveraging what Maine's best known for -the outdoors - to create a business climate that promotes outdoor product brands and the younger workforce they attract.
Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais is among those attending the event on Monday.

Maine’s unemployment rate fell slightly in October, to 3.5 percent. That’s down from 3.7 percent in September and 3.9 percent a year ago, state labor officials say.

Unemployment remains historically low in Maine, with the rate at or below 4 percent for 25 consecutive months, officials say.  During 2017, the number of individuals unemployed in Maine has fallen by 2,200, to 25,000.

Unemployment also remains low in other states throughout the New England region, ranging from a low of 2.7 percent in New Hampshire to a high of 4.5 in Connecticut.

CONCORD, N.H. - The U.S. Department of Energy has granted a key permit for a transmission project that would carry hydropower from Canada to energy markets in southern New England.
The awarding of a presidential permit Thursday would let the $1.6 billion Northern Pass project take hydropower across an international border and connect to the U.S. grid if the project is approved. It's the latest sign of progress for a 192-mile project debated for years.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Electric vehicles, or EVs, make up a tiny fraction of the cars sold in New England. But new state policies — and a big cash infusion from the settlement of Volkswagen’s pollution scandal — could speed the building of electric vehicle charging stations and help push the regional market for EVs to new levels.

The parent company of Hannaford has received a failing grade from a report that evaluates retailers’ policies on toxic chemicals.

Patrick MacRoy of the the Maine-based Environmental Health Strategy Center says its "Who's Minding the Store" report evaluated retailers on 14 criteria, including whether they have a public written policy about the chemicals allowed in the products they sell, and how they monitor their supply chain.

Jens Meyer / Associated Press/file

Maine’s Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting in Portland Tuesday night to present its plan for spending the state’s $21 million share of settlements with Volkswagen.

That’s in the wake of allegations VW deliberately violated nitrogen oxide pollution requirements for vehicles it sold or leased in the U.S.

The director of MDOT’s environmental office, Judy Gates, says the agency plans to spend some $3 million of that to finance installation of a robust network of electric vehicle charging stations.