Business and Economy

Paper mill devaluation
5:33 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Mill's Steep Devaluation Leaves Madison Residents With No Good Options

A sign on a building at Madison Paper Industries.
Credit Jay Field / MPBN

MADISON, Maine - The adverse business climate facing the paper industry is increasingly putting the finances of Maine's rural mill towns, and the economic fortunes of homeowners, at risk. In towns like Jay, Skowhegan and Madison, local assessors have had to drop the tax valuation of paper mills and raise property tax rates to make up the difference. In Madison last night, local officials held an emergency meeting, where residents voted to allow the town to seek a $2.5 million line of credit to ease the burden of a projected 30 percent tax increase.

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Data center expansion
3:59 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Oxford Networks Expands Data Center

The largest data center in northern New England is now open at Brunswick Landing, the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. Oxford Networks says a more than $6 million expansion will allow the data center to better service the need of customers across the country to safeguard critical business information.

Toy manufacturer
12:25 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Lincoln Logs to be Manufactured in Maine

BURNHAM, Maine - Lincoln Logs will soon be manufactured in Maine.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage announced Wednesday that the iconic toy logs used to construct miniature buildings will be made at Pride Manufacturing in Burnham. The toys were previously manufactured in China.

Randy Dicker, senior director of manufacturing for Pride, said manufacturing could begin as soon as November and that the wood pieces, or 80 percent of the Lincoln Logs, will be made at the Burnham facility. Some of the toy's plastic pieces will still be made in China.

Business and Economy
11:32 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Maine Town Will Borrow, Tap Fund to Avoid Tax Hike

MADISON, Maine - A Maine town reeling from a drop in the valuation of its largest taxpayer will borrow money and dip into its reserve fund to stave off a projected tax increase.

The Morning Sentinel reports Madison residents approved a plan to establish a $2.5 million line of credit and use $800,000 of the town's savings account to avoid the projected 30 percent tax increase. The value of Madison Paper Industries dropped from $229.7 million to $80 million in August, leaving the town scrambling for a way to ward off the tax hike.

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Business and Economy
7:38 am
Wed September 17, 2014

LePage to Highlight Toy Brand Coming to Maine

BURNHAM, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage is praising a toy company's decision to manufacture in Maine.

LePage is visiting with Pride Manufacturing officials in Burnham on Wednesday to announce that an "iconic American toy brand" has selected the Maine company as its new manufacturer.

The governor, who is in a tough re-election fight, says the decision will create jobs and shows that Maine should be considered as a "top choice when looking to bring back manufacturing"

His office declined to provide further details about the toy brand.

Business and Economy
7:30 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Feds to Issue Recommendation on Cod Shortage

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Federal regulators are set to issue a recommendation about the future of the Gulf of Maine's declining cod fishery.

The federal New England Fishery Management Council's Groundfish Oversight Committee will meet Wednesday to discuss a recommendation, which could include shutting down the fishery or imposing a stricter quota.

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service says the amount of cod spawning in the Gulf is estimated at only 3 to 4 percent of its target level. That number represents a decline from 13 to 18 percent three years ago.

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Business and Economy
7:28 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Maine Communities to Share $1.2 Million in Grants

PORTLAND, Maine — The state of Maine is receiving more than $1.2 million in grants for community and economic development in distressed parts of the Northern Forest area.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King announced the Northern Border Regional Commission grants Tuesday.

They say the five grants represent significant investments in these communities and the programs will improve quality of life and help create and keep jobs.

Among the grants are:

— $250,000 to the Indian Township Passamaquoddy Reservation to build a maple processing facility in Jackman;

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Natural gas expansion
5:49 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Maine Officials Cheer Plans for $3 Billion Natural Gas Expansion

Two of the region's largest energy firms have announced plans to expand natural gas in Maine and New England as a way to eliminate shortages during the winter months. Spectra Energy Corp. and Northeast Utilities will partner for the $3 billion project that is expected begin operation in November 2018.  

 

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Business and Economy
7:28 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Maine Seeking Information About Hard-to-Fill Jobs

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine officials want to know which jobs businesses have a hard time filling.

The Department of Labor's Center for Workforce Research and Information is sending a survey to 3,500 Maine businesses this month. Officials hope the results will help the department tailor its worker training programs to ensure Mainers have the skills they need to get open jobs.

Employers are being asked about job openings this month and whether the positions are tough to fill.

Business and Economy
7:27 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Maine Makes Emergency Rule to Save Fishing Gear

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, Maine — Maine regulators are implementing an emergency change to fishing rules off of Mount Desert Island to prevent gear conflict between herring fishermen and lobstermen.

The state Department of Marine Resources says the emergency rule creates a temporary exception to the department's three lobster trap trawl limit. The rule went into effect on Sept. 12. Officials say the exception will apply to an area northeast of Mount Desert Rock where there is a high density of lobster gear.

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