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Fred Bever / MPBN

Is Maine’s Seaweed Industry Facing a ‘Gold Rush’?

Maine’s seaweed industry is going through some growing pains. News this week that a state seaweed festival was being canceled is raising questions about how new markets for edible macroalgae from Maine should be developed, and whether the state’s wild seaweeds might be a resource at risk.
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Gage Skidmore / Flickr/Creative Commons

Why Donald Trump Came to Bangor

Somerset County Emergency Management Agency

Flash Floods Strand Residents of Small Maine Township

Sanford police responded to six suspected opioid overdoses last weekend, including one death.

The overdoses all took place from Friday to Saturday within about a half a square mile of each other. Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly says he suspects that the people who overdosed all purchased heroin from the same individual, and that it was laced with fentanyl, a highly potent narcotic.

Connolly says the spate is a reminder that the state needs to provide more access to medication assisted treatment.

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

59 minutes ago

For the past few years, my friends and I have noticed two trends when dining. First, seemingly every high-end menu rebukes factory farming with an essay about locally sourced pork belly, and second, just about every one of these restaurants looks so much like a factory – with exposed light bulbs, steel details and brick walls – that I'm constantly looking over my shoulder for the foreman.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Ethics Commission will not penalize a publicly-funded Democratic candidate for using a vague campaign finance rule that allowed his volunteers to pay for $1,800 worth of mailings.
 
Commissioners instead plan to clarify the so-called house party exemption, a rule meant to allow volunteers to pick up part of the costs of campaign events - up to $250 per election.
 
Rep. Ben Chipman, who won a Democratic state senate primary in Portland, had 10 volunteers pay a Portland mail house for a $1,828 mailing highlighting two house party events.

BANGOR, Maine - A final public hearing on the New England region's first ocean management plan is set for Thursday in Portland.

The Northeast Regional Ocean Plan was released in draft form a month ago, with public hearings in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine.

The plan comes as a result of President Obama's 2010 executive order establishing a National Ocean Policy. It's the first time such a policy has been attempted.

"Many fishermen don't know that this plan exists," says Ben Martens, of the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association.

Facebook says it's changing its News Feed, again. It says posts from friends and family will now come first, prioritized over posts from publishers and celebrities.

It's potentially worrisome news for media companies, whose traffic is heavily boosted by Facebook-driven clicks. But it's also only a small, vague peek into the black box that is Facebook's algorithm, which determines what version of the world is presented to the 1.65 billion people using the social network.

PORTLAND, Maine - Unemployment in Maine's three urban areas was lower in May than it was a year ago.  

Statistics out today from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Greater Portland's jobless rate was 2.8 percent, down just under a percentage point from a year ago.

Lewiston-Auburn was at 3.4 percent last month, also down just under a percentage point compared with the same time last year.

In Bangor, the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, a little over half a percent lower than last May.

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland officials are asking residents to write the headlines for the city's future. They are calling for public participation in building its next comprehensive plan.

The vision for the city's future is re-done every 12 years, under the state's growth management law. The project will include plans for historic resources, natural resources, transportation and the city's economy.

And, as city planner Jeff Levine notes, it will take a look at the hottest issue in the city right now - the housing crunch.

Environmentalists are demanding that one of the most prized fishes on the planet be listed as an endangered species.

Last week, about a dozen environmental groups — including Greenpeace, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and Earthjustice — formally petitioned the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service to consider listing the Pacific bluefin tuna as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. That status mandates the highest levels of protection from harm.

GREENVILLE, Maine - The Maine Warden Service has located a Massachusetts fisherman who had not been seen in a few days.

The service said earlier on Wednesday that it was looking for 68-year-old Donald Jones of Shirley. Jones came to Maine on June 21 for a fishing and camping trip and was expected to return home by Monday at the latest.

New England Cable News reports that Jones has been found safe and is returning home.

LEWISTON, Maine - The court master who oversees the rights of patients at Riverview Psychiatric Center says he's concerned about a hiring freeze.

Gov. Paul LePage signed an executive order Monday for a hiring freeze in order to fund four legislative bills, including a bill that would give raises at Riverview.

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