6:57 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Talks Set for Fairpoint Communications, Union

COLCHESTER, Vt. — Contract talks are due to resume between FairPoint Communications and the largest union representing workers across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers business manager Mike Spillane tells WPTZ-TV FairPoint is determined to gut benefits.

The union represents about 1,800 FairPoint employees in the three states. Members have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if necessary.

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10:08 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Maine Gas Prices Keep Falling

PORTLAND, Maine — Average gas prices in Maine have fallen 3.5 cents per gallon in the last week.

The average price of a gallon of gas in Maine on Monday was $3.64 a gallon — down 9.6 cents from one month ago, according to

The average price for a gallon of gas nationally is $3.51 a gallon, which fell 4.9 cents in the past week. The price is down 16.5 cents per gallon in the last month and stands 11.7 4 cents per gallon lower from a year ago.

Gas prices in Maine are 12.5 cents a gallon lower than they were one year ago.

Farming innovations
8:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Maine Innovations: It's Not Your Grandparents' Farm

Farming in Maine has been rebounding. That's, in part, because of innovations in marketing, finance, farming techniques and new products made from Maine-grown ingredients. MPBN's Irwin Gratz talks about all that with John Piotti, executive director of the Maine Farmland Trust, and author of an essay on farm innovations in the current edition of the Maine Policy Review. Piotti says, despite what some may think, not all farming innovations are in the past.

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6:34 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Union: No Progress in FairPoint Contract Talks

COLCHESTER, Vt. — Unions representing FairPoint Communications workers in northern New England say the sides remain far apart in contract negotiations.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represents about 1,800 FairPoint employees in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. Mike Spillane, a Vermont member of the negotiating team, told Vermont Public Radio that he has little hope of progress when talks resume on Tuesday. Members have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if necessary.

Market Basket
5:30 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Maine Market Basket Workers Join Protest in Support of Ousted CEO

The Market Basket store in Biddeford.
Credit Tom Porter

About 100 employees from the embattled New England grocery chain Market Basket traveled from southern Maine this morning to take part in a huge rally at corporate headquarters in Massachusetts, where thousands of co-workers are calling for the return of an ousted former CEO.

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7:11 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Maine to Open Center for Migrant Blueberry Farmers

COLUMBIA, Maine — The Maine Department of Labor is joining with community service organizations to open a service center for migrant farm workers in Washington County.

The Blueberry Rakers' Center will open Aug. 4 and offer migrant farm workers and their families legal advice, medical care access, educational resources, and guidance in seeking other services. The center will be open Aug. 4 to Aug. 8, Aug. 11 to Aug. 15, and Aug. 18 and Aug. 19. The Maine Migrant Health Program will open a food pantry on the site on Aug. 3.

Heating fuel
12:44 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Maine Heating Fuel Prices Drop as Summer Heats Up

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A Maine government survey says the average price of heating oil in the state has dropped 5 cents from earlier this month to $3.46 per gallon.
    The Governor's Energy Office said Tuesday that the average statewide price for a gallon of heating oil ranged from $3.15 to $3.87. It also found the average price of kerosene dropped to $3.93 per gallon. The average propane price is now $2.82.

6:55 am
Tue July 22, 2014

South Portland Tar Sands Ban Enacted

A tanker makes its way recently into the harbor in South Portland.
Susan Sharon MPBN

The South Portland City Council has voted to ban the export of Canadian tar-sands crude through the city, effectively ending any attempt to bring the crude from western Canada through a pipeline into the city. While there are no such plans in the work, Portland Pipeline Corporation Vice-President Tom Hardison spoke against the proposal.

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New Brunswick agreement
5:51 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Maine Seeks to Strengthen Economic Ties with New Brunswick

Gov. Paul LePage hopes to encourage expanded economic ties with the province of New Brunswick through a memorandum of understanding signed today with Premier David Alward. The governor's office says the agreement is designed to strengthen relations between both regions by identifying areas for future job creation and cooperation in trade development and tourism. 

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FairPoint strike vote
5:49 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

In Wake of Strike Vote, FairPoint Vows to Maintain Service

FairPoint Communications says it's making preparations to keep telephone and Internet service up and running should some 2000 union workers walk off the job next month. 

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