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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Skills gap
11:19 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Expert: Workforce Striving to Keep Pace with Changing Technology

John Dorrer, a consultant with Georgetown University's Center on Education in the Workplace.
Credit Irwin Gratz

"A workforce with superior skills is the key to economic growth and innovation."  Those are the words of John Dorrer, found in the latest "Maine Policy Review."   Dorrer, a consultant with Georgetown University's Center on Education in the Workplace, says Maine must be prepared to compete in a worldwide marketplace.  Dorrer talks with Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

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Gas prices
9:56 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Gas Prices Falling in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Average gas prices in Maine have fallen 3.7 cents per gallon in the last week.  
    The average price of a gallon of gas in Maine on Monday was $3.68 a gallon _ down 4.8 cents from one month ago, according to       
    The average price for a gallon of gas nationally is $3.57 a gallon, which fell 3.3 cents in the past week. The price is down 10.7 cents per gallon in the last month and stands 10.4 cents per gallon lower from a year ago.       

Minimum Wage
5:04 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Progressive Vision Thrusts Maine Business Owner into National Spotlight

Jim Wellehan, the owner of Lamey-Wellehan Shoes.
Credit Patty Wight

President Obama recently thrust a Maine businessman into the social media spotlight. The president used Facebook and Twitter to link to an online video of Auburn businessman Jim Wellehan supporting a hike in the federal minimum wage. Wellehan has gained recognition for the way he treats his own employees at Lamey-Wellehan Shoes.

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Beef regulations
4:59 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Maine Beef Processors Keeping Close Eye on Proposed New Federal Regulations

Cattle that will eventually be slaughtered.
Credit Nick Woodward

Ground beef has been the subject of several high-profile outbreaks of food-borne illness in recent years, as well as product recalls. But tracing the source of such an outbreak is often challenging for investigators. Now, the USDA is proposing new rules for ground beef processors.  What's still unclear is how the rules might affect small processors.

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12:01 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

NH's Travel Division Head to Lead Regional Group

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) _ The director of New Hampshire's Division of Travel and Tourism has stepped down to head Discover New England, a tourism organization representing the region.
    Lori Harnois has worked for the division for 15 years. Her last day was Thursday. She starts at Discover New England on Aug. 1.
    She succeeds Sue Norrington-Davies, who held the position for the past seven years.