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This fall, Maine voters will be asked to vote on a new tax for those with incomes over $128,000. Money from the tax is intended to pay for a variety of home-based care programs for seniors and others. More than two dozen various business groups are opposing the ballot initiative.

All of Maine's metro areas had unemployment rates last month below the national and state averages. The unemployment rate in Bangor was just 3.1 percent in March, in Lewiston Auburn, the figure was 2.8 percent and in Portland-South Portland, the jobless rate was just 2.4 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in all three metro areas, the unemployment rates are lower than the national average, 4.1 percent. Bangor matched the state's 3.1 percent rate; Lewiston-Auburn and Portland-South Portland were lower.

GLOUCESTER, Mass. - Federal regulators are closing a key scallop fishing area off of New England for nearly 11 months.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration says it is closing the northern Gulf of Maine to a class of fishermen who fish under a federal permit starting Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. The closure will last until March 31, 2019.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's largest brewery says it wants to build a "bretwel'' - a hotel catering to lovers of craft beer.
The hotel project is a part of a large $65 million redevelopment plan by Shipyard Brewing Co. and the Bateman Partners. The Portland Press Herald reports the plan was made public Tuesday.
The proposal reflects the city's reputation as a destination for craft beer fans, renovating Shipyard's brewery building and making way for an adjoining 105-room hotel.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

A new fare structure from the Maine Department of Transportation is being challenged by Islesboro residents, who have been informed that their tickets to the mainland will more than double on May 21.

Some disgruntled islanders allegedly responded with threats of retaliation against DOT workers assigned to the state ferry service. That has prompted DOT Commissioner David Bernhardt to make some threats of his own.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA research permit #15488

A group of New England senators is calling on the U.S. government to speed up an analysis of Canada’s efforts to protect the endangered North American right whale, and to consider trade action if Canada’s rules do not prove as strong as in the U.S.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press File

If you’ve ever read a story in the news about elver fishing season, you’ve probably seen some variation of this line: “Maine’s the only state in the U.S. with a significant fishery for elvers.”

Maybe you thought that’s because elvers don’t exist in large numbers outside of Maine — that would be a reasonable assumption. But the real reason is somewhat more complicated.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The president of a Canadian-owned lumber mill that received shipments of timber cut from Maine public lands says he’s unaware of the equipment fire that Gov. Paul LePage has used to justify diverting those shipments away from another company whose owners have been critical of the governor’s stance on softwood lumber tariffs.

Milk To Flow Again At Shuttered Bangor Dairy Under Pineland Ownership

Apr 28, 2018
Lori Valigra / Bangor Daily News

Two 65-foot-long tractor trailer trucks maneuvering the tight turn from Hammond Street into Bangor’s Hildreth North Business Park in early April had folks buzzing at nearby Chase’s Family Restaurant.

Each truck carried a silo that could hold 30,000 gallons of milk.

Their destination: the former Grant’s Dairy, where Pineland Farms Dairy Co. plans to have milk flowing again by July.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says in a lawsuit that Walmart violated federal standards when it didn't reassign a long-term Maine worker to a new location after she became disabled while working at its Augusta store.

The commission says in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday that Walmart employee Veronica Resendez developed a disability that left her unable to work in her position as a sales associate in Augusta.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Advocates for paid sick leave rallied on the steps of Portland City Hall Tuesday night in support of a proposed ordinance that would allow all workers in the city to earn sick time off with pay. But at a public hearing immediately after the rally, some employers said the benefits of paid sick leave also come with significant costs to certain businesses.

Ten states and about 30 municipalities across the United States have adopted paid sick leave policies, and local supporters hope Portland will join the list.

Patty Wight / Maine Public/file

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's baby eel fishermen are on track to catch the entirety of their quota for the valuable fish after falling short in recent years.
The eels are sold to Asian aquaculture companies, and are part of the worldwide supply chain for Japanese food. Maine's the only U.S. state with a significant fishery for the eels, called elvers, and regulators limit them to 9,688 pounds per year.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Three more men were sentenced yesterday in the interstate baby eel poaching sting known as "Operation Broken Glass."

A leading Democrat hopes a new law will increase the number of highly skilled workers in Maine.

The law uses federal welfare funds to fund a new program to help low-income families pursue post-secondary degrees or credentials.

Individuals eligible for the program would have to have an income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The degree would also have to be in a field where the job outlook is at least average, as defined by the Department of Labor.

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon said the law will address Maine's pressing workforce shortage.

Men Sentenced In Portland For Roles In Elver Poaching Ring

Apr 20, 2018
AP Photo

The interstate baby eel poaching sting known as Operation Broken Glass has notched three more criminal sentences.

On Thursday, a federal judge in Portland sentenced three men who were together accused of poaching and selling as much as $1 million worth of baby eels, known as elvers, to a mix of probation, restitution and fines.