Business and Economy

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LEWISTON, Maine - Poland Spring is proposing to expand its water withdrawal operations to Rumford.  The company pitched its plan to the Rumford Water District at a meeting Wednesday night. 

The plan calls for a long-term contract to withdraw up to 150 million gallons from two well sites in the Ellis River watershed.  Mark Dubois is the natural resource manager for the company. "We believe we can sustainably withdraw spring water up there while the district maintains its commitment to serve ratepayers."

PORTLAND, Maine - Federal figures indicate that Maine's economy grew just over half a percent between April and June of this year.

That's less than New England as a whole, and the U.S. as a whole, both of which grew between 1 and 2 percent.

PORTLAND, Maine - The U.S. International Trade Commission announced yesterday it will extend import duties on coated paper from China and Indonesia.  

Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King welcomed the news. "Maine's paper-makers can compete with anyone on a level playing field," the two say, in a joint statement.

The senators wrote that the import tariff will support companies - such as Verso Paper - that employ hundreds of Mainers.  Verso was one of the companies that petitioned the trade commission to extend the import tariff.

About 600 foreclosure notices from the city of Bangor went into the mail Tuesday to alert residents with outstanding balances that time is running out to make good on their debts to the city.

The outstanding balances on past due property tax payments and sewer or stormwater fees stretch back two years, when the city initiated property tax lien attachments. Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci says the city just wants its residents to pay their fair share.

PORTLAND, Maine - The company that's buying FairPoint Communications is likely to expand broadband to more customers and to compete with cable companies for TV customers.

Illinois-based Consolidated Communications already has video offerings in other markets, and an analyst says the network can support such service in northern New England.

Maine tourism officials say the state is poised to match and likely surpass last year’s record-breaking tourist season, which produced more than $5.5 billion in revenue. This, following a summer that was short on rain and long on savings at the gas pump.

As the LePage administration prepares a new two-year budget, tourism groups are releasing a series of new ads detailing the industry’s broad effect on Maine’s economy.

Anthony Brino / Bangor Daily News

By Darren Fishell, Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — Developers of one of the largest wind projects ever planned in Maine pulled their request for a state permit, after struggling to connect to the grid and find buyers for their power.

Pat Wellenbach / Associated Press file

FairPoint Communications is being sold.

Mainers are being fleeced through fraud and identity theft at rates far lower than in most other states, and they’re losing less money overall, according to a study released this week by consumer and finance data site, WalletHub.

The study found that Maine had fewer cases than average of identity theft, fraud complaints and losses through online fraud, and ranked dead last in the amount of money being lost through fraud.

Overall, Maine is ranked as the second safest state fraudwise among the 50 states and District of Columbia, just behind South Dakota.

LUKA LAJST / iSTOCK.COM

During his campaign, Donald Trump made headlines with comments about undocumented Mexican workers in the U.S., calling some of them criminals and rapists. And as president-elect, Trump has pledged to deport millions of illegal immigrants with criminal records. It’s unclear how many people fit this category.

By Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine utility regulators are expanding their investigation of FairPoint Communications for failing to meet minimum service standards for landline customers.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission has been considering a $500,000 fine against Charlotte, North Carolina-based FairPoint for failing to meet benchmarks in 2014 and 2015. FairPoint had asked regulators not to open an investigation into standards it failed to meet this year.

Eastern Maine Development Corp. has won a half-million-dollar federal grant.

Vicki Rusbult, director of re-engineering the region and planning, says the grant will help the corporation assist businesses in seven sectors of impact.

“Forestry and wood products, composites and boat building, emerging technologies, tourism and hospitality, bioscience and health care, agriculture and food production — and that includes aquaculture — and construction and skilled labor,” she says.

PORTLAND, Maine - A new class-action lawsuit claims that an electric company deceived Maine consumers and shorted them of $35 million.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland Nov. 18 claims that Electricity Maine used fraud and deception to enroll 200,000 Maine households and small businesses with the promise of substantial cost savings.

But attorney Benjamin Donahue says after a certain amount of time, consumers' rates went up to more than the standard offer, and they weren't given the advance written notice they were legally required to get.

Portland’s city council is moving closer to creating a new office aimed at helping immigrants, minorities and other economically hard-pressed residents connect with businesses and service providers.

KITTERY, Maine - U.S. senators from Maine say Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield has been awarded a nearly $29 million contract from the U.S. Navy to do structural repair work at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King made the announcement on Monday. The senators say the contract will support repairs and modernization of structures at a berth at the Kittery shipyard.

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