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Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

The price of elvers in the first few days of the season, is being reported as the highest ever for the fishery.

Maine has the only significant fishery for the young eels, also called elvers, in the country. The Elver season started Thursday March 22, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources is reporting they're currently selling for just over $2,800 a pound.

Bath Iron Works Is Planning For An Expansion At Brunswick Facility

Mar 26, 2018
MARY SCHWALM / AP Photo

Bath Iron Works plans to build a 20,000-square-foot steel preservation facility at its Hardings Facility on Bath Road to replace equipment that has begun to fail and cause delays at its main shipyard in Bath.

Plans submitted to Brunswick’s planning department propose a new building on the 28-acre site to replace the existing “blast and paint” building, which prepares steel shapes for subsequent use in ships, according to the application. The current building and equipment are more than 45 years old.

PORTLAND, Maine - A decision whether to allow fishermen to harvest more of the baby eels that are highly prized in Asian aquaculture has been put off for a few months.
 
Maine has the only significant fishery for baby eels, called elvers, in the country. The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering allowing the fishery a higher quota in future years.
 

Only about 30 refugees have been resettled in Maine this fiscal year, according to the Associated Press. That's a huge drop, and it's part of a national trend that's a result of new Trump Administration policies.

Catholic Charities is Maine's only refugee resettlement agency. Spokeswoman Judy Katzel says the Trump Administration has lowered the cap on total refugees by almost half, from 642 in fiscal year 2017, to 375 this year.

Gas Prices on the Rise

Mar 26, 2018

Gas prices have gone up in northern New England.

GasBuddy's daily survey of gas outlets in Maine found that average retail gasoline prices in the state have risen 4.8 cents in the past week to an average of $2.58 per gallon. New Hampshire has seen an increase of 4.5 cents to $2.50 per gallon. In Vermont, average gas prices have gone up 4.4 cents per gallon, to $2.62. GasBuddy says the national average gas price has risen 4.7 cents per gallon in the past week to $2.60.

Danny McL / Flickr

The state legislature's investigative office has been tasked with another project: determining whether the LePage administration retaliated against Maine mill owners because the owners disagree with the governor's stance on tariffs on Canadian lumber.

The unanimous vote by the Government Oversight Committee to authorize the investigation came just two days after Gov. LePage tore into lawmakers for questioning his administration's abrupt decision to divert publicly-owned logs from mills owned by Jason and Chris Brochu to a Canadian-owned company.

Maine's U.S. senators say the federal government is providing more than $200,000 to three Maine counties to help with economic development in mostly rural parts of the state.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King say the grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration will also help support small businesses and job growth.

thestoredsolar.com

The lead Democrat on the Legislature's Energy Committee says he and other lawmakers might intervene if the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approves a $1.2 million subsidy for Stored Solar LLC.

China's hunger for American lobsters is helping keep prices high to U.S. consumers, but a tariff on the seafood does not appear imminent.

Federal stats say China imported a record of more than 17.8 million pounds of lobster from America in 2017, eclipsing the previous record of about 14 million pounds in 2016. The value of imports also surged from $108.3 million in 2016 to $142.4 million last year.

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Industrial space has become almost impossible to lease or buy in the greater Portland area, after cash-rich marijuana growers snapped up existing warehouses. That's helped to force vacancy rates way down and prices way up, just as conventional businesses are ready to expand.

Maine's Elver fishing season starts today – technically. But the valuable baby eels don't like the cold, so fishermen today are limited to staking out their spots on Maine's rivers and streams.

Darrell Young is the founder and co-director of the Maine Elver Fisherman's Association. He's staked out his spot in Ellsworth on the Union River, but he says right now, it's snowing sideways.

“The weather dictates everything, and right now we've got two feet of snow, and it's snowing now, we'll get six inches of snow today,” Young says.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Law enforcement advocacy groups estimate there are currently more than 100 vacant officer positions throughout the state of Maine, and that the pool of new applicants is small. The problem is even worse in small, rural departments where a job posting may only illicit a single response. Local departments are doing what they can to recruit, and retain, qualified officers.

Attorneys for unionized workers at the closed Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) in Machiasport are asking a judge to clarify her recent order requiring the LePage administration to keep the prison "operational" until the Legislature decides otherwise.

Attorney David Webbert says the administration disclosed Tuesday that it intends to recall five out of 55 workers who were laid off from DCF last month and return a "small population of inmates" who were abruptly transferred to other facilities in February.

A petition to roll back regulations restricting short-term rentals through services like Airbnb has forced a Maine city to reconsider the rules.

Petitioners in South Portland gathered more than 1,000 signatures in opposition to a new requirement that owners live in their rental homes. The successful drive forces the City Council to reconsider to its 6-1 vote approving the new rules.

If the council does not overturn itself, the public will be allowed to vote on the issue in a referendum.

M. Spencer Green / Associated Press File

State regulators are expanding their inquiry of complaints from more than 1,000 Central Maine Power customers who say they were overbilled during the winter.

In some cases customers say their bills doubled or tripled from the same time last year — more than can be accounted for by a recent hike in the price of electricity or by the plunge in temperatures around Christmas.

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