Business and Economy

Business news

HOWLAND, Maine - Summit Natural Gas of Maine is promising to reimburse customers who paid a contractor for work that was never done.

A spokesman for the natural gas company tells the Portland Press Herald that it feels strongly that reimbursing residents who lost deposits to the now-defunct Dave Ireland Builders it the right thing to do.

BUCKSPORT, Maine - The closure of a Bucksport paper mill that is expected to put more than 500 people out of work is being pushed back from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31, keeping employees on payroll for another month.

Verso Paper Corp.'s Bucksport mill was initially set to shutter on Dec. 1. Company spokesman Bill Cohen says that is now the day production at the mill will begin to shut down. He says production will be over by Dec. 4 and cleanup and mothballing will begin.

By Alanna Durkin, The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine - Hundreds of FairPoint workers in Vermont who have been on strike for weeks are getting unemployment benefits, but officials in Maine and New Hampshire have denied requests for such assistance.

Vermont Department of Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan says her office has processed more than 250 unemployment claims for the striking workers.

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine government survey says the average statewide cash price for heating oil dropped 3 cents in the past week.

The Governor's Energy Office says the average price according to the Nov. 24 survey was $3.03. The average kerosene price of $3.62 was the same as the previous week. Propane prices declined one cent to $2.82. Heating oil averaged $3.56 per gallon a year ago at this time, while kerosene dropped 34 cents in that time and propane rose 5 cents.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine officials are looking for people interested in participating in a new job training program.

The new program is focused on people who have been out of work for six months or longer and are looking for jobs in the health care sector. Officials say the program's first phase will begin in the Lewiston-Auburn area next month.