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PORTLAND, Maine — A shrimp research project in Maine this year will not yield extra shrimp for the public to buy as it has in the past.

The New England shrimp fishery has been shut down since 2013 because of a lack of shrimp reaching maturity. But fishermen from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have typically participated in a sampling project that has provided a small amount of shrimp to seafood markets.

AMITY, Maine — A Canadian company has purchased 120 acres in Maine and plans to lease an additional 1,000 acres as part of an industrial hemp operation.

The Portland Press Herald reports Future Farm Technologies’ operation in Amity will overshadow all of the state’s current licensed hemp farms.

While the company has not responded to requests for comment, recent announcements indicate it plans to use the hemp for cannabis oil. The non-intoxicating oil known as CBD is used for treating seizure disorders and alleviating symptoms for other diseases.

Darren Fishell / Bangor Daily News

Cate Street Capital, the firm that leveraged $16 million in public money for its failed restart of East Millinocket’s Great Northern Paper Co. mill, has another project for Maine. This time, it is backing two entrepreneurs who want to grow farm-raised fish, fed with insects, and use the fish waste to grow produce in nutrient-rich water, a technique called hydroponics.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Hundreds of people hoping to cash in on a jewelry store promotion that promised a refund if it snowed 6 inches on Christmas Day will have to wait for another year.
Springer's Jewelers offered a refund of purchases made at its New Hampshire and Maine stores between Nov. 24 and Dec. 9 if it snowed a half-foot in the Portsmouth area. A company that provided the official results found it snowed 4.3 inches on Christmas Day.

Cianbro workers

PITTSFIELD, Maine – The Cianbro Corp. is actively seeking 300 new workers for assignments at all levels of its operations. Peter Vigue, Cianbro’s chief executive office, said today that in addition to major construction projects underway in Bangor for the Bangor Savings Bank and at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, there are a number of other projects that will be announced soon.

RGGI Moves Forward as New Hampshire Debates Participation

Dec 26, 2017

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, has cut carbon emissions in New England and neighboring states to about half what they were in 2005. The program has a new, more aggressive goal for the next decade while New Hampshire lawmakers debate whether to stay or go.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Economic forecasters say there are early signs that rates of growth in Maine's economy this year have proved somewhat lower than in 2016.
The Revenue Forecasting Committee said despite this, gasoline and heating oil prices remain low, personal income continues to rise and mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures continue to decline.
Maine expects to see $3.4 billion in general fund revenue in the 2017 fiscal year and 0.3 percent growth in the 2018 fiscal year.

The city of Portland and federal customs officials are moving closer to a deal that could keep ferry service between the city and Nova Scotia alive.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Officials in South Portland have finalized recommendations for the city's former public works site.
The Portland Press Herald reports the reuse planning committee outlined multiple draft recommendations for the six-acre site earlier this month. According to the committee, the complex should be redeveloped into housing that is affordable, energy efficient and attractive.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

A new threat to New England’s shellfish industry seems to be establishing itself more firmly, and regulators are trying to stay ahead of potentially deadly blooms of toxic algae that may be driven by climate change.

The Maine Association of Realtors says sales of single-family existing homes increased 11.5 percent in November 2017 compared to a year earlier. 

According to an association report, 1,576 homes were sold in Maine in November. The median home sales price also increased in Maine over the past year by 4.2 percent, to $200,000.

In Bangor, Jon Dawson, designated broker for ERA Dawson-Bradford Company Realtors, says the numbers are pointing to a banner year for Maine home sales. 

Unemployment remains historically low in Maine.

The state Labor Department says the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 3.3 percent, down from 3.5 percent in October and from 3.8 percent a year ago.

Labor Department economist Glenn Mills says the state is about to complete its second consecutive calendar year with unemployment averaging below 4 percent.

“This has only occurred 2 other times on record: in 2000-2001 and then in the late 1950s. So we’re in a really healthy period,” he says.

State planners are throwing a roadblock up against plans for 133 new wind turbines in western Maine.

The Land Use Planning Commission on Tuesday denied a petition from Nextera Energy to expand the geographic area of a special zone where wind projects get streamlined permitting treatment. The Commission ruled that the requested 25,000-acre expansion in the Chain of Ponds area was not a “logical geographic extension” of the existing zone.

In the 6 years from 2010 to 2016, elderly Mainers lost some $28 million to financial exploitation, most at the hands of children, grandchildren or other family members, and the amount could be much, much more. That’s according to a new report produced by USM’s Muskie School of Public Service, based on an analysis of 864 cases.

Mainers' personal income rose half-a-percent in the 3rd quarter of this year. 

Nearly all of the gain came in the form of higher earnings, according to the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

As usual, the health care industry generated the biggest share of the gain in personal income.  Construction had a good quarter as well.  But income from farming and fishing fell slightly.