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PORTLAND, Maine - A decision is due about whether New England's long-shuttered shrimp fishery can reopen, but it looks like an extended shutdown is looming.
 
New England shrimp fishing is based in Maine and has been shut down since 2013. An arm of the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is meeting on Wednesday in Portland to decide if there will be a fishery this coming season.
 

Abukar Adan / Maine Public

A coalition of four privately owned bus companies is calling out the Portland Metro system for competing with private business.

The alliance is challenging a purported $4.5 million deal between Metro and the University of Southern Maine that would expand the public bus service to Gorham and offer students unlimited rides.

Jason Briggs, vice president of VIP Tour & Charter, says the contract should have sought bids.

Hundreds of web-based businesses, tech firms and trade associations used Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year, to highlight their support for net neutrality, rules designed to prevent large internet providers from blocking certain websites and charging tolls to access other content or to get faster service.

PATTEN, Maine — A Canadian mining company has purchased thousands of acres in northern Maine, and plans to begin test drilling next month.

Wolfden Resources Corp. announced on Nov. 16 it had finalized the purchase of 6,871 acres north of the town of Patten. The Portland Press Herald reports the Ontario-based mineral exploration business says it plans to gather additional information before drilling for a deposit of copper and other metals under Pickett Mountain.

If the area is eventually developed, it would be Maine’s first commercial mine in decades.

Meredith Corp., owner of Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle, has struck a deal to buy magazine publisher Time Inc., for an all-cash backed transaction of $1.84 billion, joining two vastly different media portfolios, that including the company's debt, is valued overall at $2.8 billion.

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.

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