Ferry service
11:29 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Province to Seek More Support from Maine for Nova Star Ferry Service

The Nova Star ferry in Portland Harbor in April.
Credit Courtesy City of Portland

YARMOUTH, Nova Scotia - The Chronicle Herald of Nova Scotia is reporting that the province's economic development minister will travel to Maine to lobby Gov. Paul LePage for more direct support of the Nova Star ferry service.

Nova Scotia has put up $21 million to subsidize the restarted ferry service between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine. But, what was supposed to be seven years worth of subsidy money has all been used this year.

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Apple crop
10:50 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Maine Apple Growers Expecting Good Crop

Despite some significant winter deer damage at a few orchards - and more hail damage than usual in parts of the state - experts expect an excellent apple crop in Maine this year, with good size and color.

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7:05 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Maine Home Sales Up in July

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Sales of single-family homes in Maine, along with the median sales price, were up modestly in July compared to the year before. The Maine Association of Realtors is reporting that Maine home sales saw a two percent increase last month. The median price increased 1.4 percent to $181,500.

Maine Association of Realtors President Angelia Levesque says it appears that the market is steadying.

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6:48 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Review of Cod Decline Report Set to Begin

PORTLAND, Maine — Regulators are set to begin reviewing a report that says the amount of cod spawning in the Gulf of Maine is at an all-time low.

5:55 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Maine Hotels Facing Stiff Competition from Online Private Vacation Rentals

A view of the apartment Stephanie Dunn and Mark Smith rent out using Airbnb and VRBO.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Hoteliers, innkeepers and municipal officials in Maine and across the country are facing serious competition from a recent explosion in private, short-term, online vacation rentals. The main player is the Web site Airbnb, based in Portland, Oregon, which helps homeowners market their property - mostly for short-term vacations.

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9:12 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Maine's Apple Growers Expecting a Good Season

LIVERMORE, Maine — Maine's apple growers say they're expecting a good crop this season despite several hailstorms that caused damage at some orchards.

Rob Boothby, a sixth-generation farmer and owner of Boothby's Orchard & Farm in Livermore, tells the Sun Journal he was spared hail damage and is expecting a "better year than most."

Boothby's farm opened for the season on Aug. 16 and hopes to extend it all the way to Christmas. Paula Reds are ripening now and people are already arriving to pick them.

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6:57 am
Thu August 21, 2014

5 Maine Businesses Split USDA Grant

AUGUSTA, Maine — Five small Maine businesses that offer value-added food products are sharing a half-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One to market organic mushrooms in compostable packaging. Another is expanding the market for precooked and blast-frozen pocket meals.

Peter Arnold, with Maine Fresh Sea Farms in Bristol, says much of his grant money will be used to learn more about fresh seaweed, which he says is an unfilled niche.

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6:42 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Railway Administration Funds Safety Initiative For Smaller Railroads

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railway Administration is awarding two grants totaling $350,000 to help short line and regional railroads reduce the risks associated with shipping crude oil, propane and other hazardous materials.

Sens. Patty Murray of Washington State and Susan Collins of Maine proposed the Short Line Rail Safety Institute, which is being launched with the funding. They told Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a letter that there's no silver bullet when it comes to safety but that the institute could be part of the solution.

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Agriculture celebration
1:28 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Annual Maine Farm Days Celebration Underway

Gov. Paul LePage, right, and state Agriculture Commissioner Walter Whitcomb, center, talk with a consitutent at the annual Maine Farm Days celebration in Clinton.
Credit Mal Leary / MPBN

Hundreds of farmers, their families and agri-businesses have taken over the Misty Meadows Farm in Clinton for the annual Maine Farm Days celebration.

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb, a dairy farmer,  said it’s a celebration of Maine agriculture.

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Marijuana vote
5:40 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Efforts to Legalize Pot for Recreation Concerns Medical Marijuana Proponents

Legal marijuana growing in Colorado.
Credit Brett Levin

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - South Portland city councilors voted unanimously Monday night to put a measure on the ballot that would make recreational marijuana possession legal for adults in city limits. Similar questions are expected to appear on ballots in Lewiston and York this November. But the move is meeting resistance from medical marijuana caregivers in Maine, who are concerned that a broader plan to tax and regulate recreational pot statewide will affect their own livelihoods.


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