AUGUSTA – A London-based financial services company that opened a call center over the summer in Wilton plans to add 25 more jobs. Gov. John Baldacci said Barclays PLC now employs about 70 people and will add the 25 new jobs by the first quarter… Read More
    AUGUSTA – The average cash price of heating oil has dropped another dime in the latest weekly survey in Maine. The average statewide price of $2.70 per gallon is more than 90 cents cheaper than a month ago, and about $2 less than the average… Read More
    DOVER-FOXCROFT – No one submitted a bid Saturday for the purchase of the vacant Moosehead Manufacturing Co. plant. An auction was held to sell the 85,000-square-foot building overlooking the Piscataquis River along with the building’s contents, which consisted of about 200 to 300 lots of… Read More
    AUGUSTA – The Internal Revenue Service is warning the public of a scam that could be lurking in e-mail inboxes. “These ‘very official’ looking e-mail messages alert people about a refund owed to them, but when opened they can be dangerous to you and your… Read More
    BREWER – The Pretty Woman, a women’s clothing store based in Orono for several years, has moved to 39 North Main St. in Brewer. The store opened for business on Nov. 12. It features a full line of modern fine fashions for professional women, as… Read More
    BANGOR – Best Bib and Tucker, a men’s clothing store in downtown Bangor, has been cited by Esquire magazine’s “Big Black Book 2008; the Style Manual for Successful Men,” as an example of one of several independently owned stores in the U.S. where “some of the best finds… Read More
    BANGOR – Tethys Research LLC, a Bangor-based biotechnology company, said it has been awarded $749,728 from the Department of Energy under its Small Business Innovation Research Phase II program to further develop its new enzyme-based pretreatment for wood processing. Tethys said it discovered and is… Read More
    WINTHROP – NotifyMD, which provides messaging services to physicians’ offices nationwide, said Tuesday it will open a new “care coordination center” in Winthrop, creating hundreds of new jobs. The Tennessee-based company has six contact centers nationwide, including a center in Farmington. The new Winthrop operations… Read More
    SOUTH PORTLAND – Medco Health Solutions says it will close Maine-based IntelliCare Inc., a telemedicine subsidiary, by the end of February. Medco Health Solutions expects to keep about 35 to 50 of IntelliCare’s 250 employees after the company closes by the end of February. googletag.cmd.push(function… Read More
    PORTLAND – Maine’s highest court has sided with the state in its appeal of a ruling on media giant Gannett Co.’s liability for state income tax on its $2.5 billion gain from a national deal in which it sold its cable division in 2000. The… Read More
    BOSTON – The federal government says $5 million in disaster aid is available to the shellfishing industry in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire after this year’s red tide outbreak. NOAA Fisheries Service said Tuesday that Maine and Massachusetts are eligible for up to $2 million… Read More
    CAMDEN – Holiday lights in downtown Camden will wrap around the lamp poles on Elm and Bayview streets this year. In more lucrative times, holiday lights framed store doorways and windows instead. “We’ve got enough empty storefronts,” Janis Kay, a board member of the Camden… Read More
    AUGUSTA – The second quarter brought a slight increase in home foreclosures in Maine, but the state banking chief said Monday the number of foreclosures remains relatively small and poses no threat to the stability of state-chartered banks and credit unions. Superintendent Lloyd LaFountain III… Read More
    ELLSWORTH – After years of planning, construction is set to begin on the Super Wal-Mart project on Myrick Street. Wal-Mart officials announced Monday that construction will begin next Monday, Nov. 24. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes = [[300,250]]; var new_slot_sizes = [];… Read More
    LINCOLN – Planning board members approved a $500,000 office building connected to a proposed $130 million wind farm, but decided late Monday they needed another meeting to review the turbines. Poised to be the first governing body to approve the project, board members held a… Read More
    It has been two years since Mars Hill started receiving 20 years of $500,000 in annual payments from a tax increment financing deal connected to First Wind of Massachusetts’ 28-turbine wind farm, Town Manager Raymond Mersereau said Monday. The deal has helped keep the town’s… Read More
    AUGUSTA – Gov. John Baldacci is headed to Toronto later this week as part of a two-day trade mission to Canada. Baldacci’s visit Thursday and Friday is organized through the Maine International Trade Center, a nonprofit that provides trade counseling and technical assistance. googletag.cmd.push(function ()… Read More
    Now, a couple of words about over-the-counter and prescription drugs: advertising and disposal. One has a multibillion-dollar impact on our economy, plus far-reaching effects on our physical and emotional well-being. The other has the potential to unlock what we may believe to be our best-guarded… Read More
    BATH – The suspended president of the largest union at Bath Iron Works wants Maine’s congressional delegation to look into the award of a 10-ship contract to an Alabama shipyard. Mike Keenan of Machinists’ Local S6 wrote a letter asking that Maine’s congressional delegation to… Read More
    FAIRFIELD – “I am first and foremost a farmer,” Abby Holm of New Hampshire told farmers, backyard gardeners and community organizers gathered in Fairfield on Saturday for a fall agricultural marketing conference. Holm realized business skills could be applied to her organic farm to make… Read More
    ORONO – Dennis Carey worked his way through college waiting tables at Pat’s Pizza and, sometimes, ironing shirts for his fraternity brothers at 10 cents apiece. “My family didn’t have any money,” he said. “I did whatever jobs I could do to survive.” googletag.cmd.push(function ()… Read More
    BANGOR – A small group of disgruntled mail processors picketed outside the United States post office on Friday in response to recent changes that have resulted in less work for postal employees in eastern Maine. Marching outside the federal building in a light mist, the… Read More
    Federal officials said Friday that the massive blooms of red tide that closed much of the New England coast to shellfish collecting constituted a commercial fishing failure, a designation that opens the door for federal disaster assistance. Many shellfish beds along the Maine coast were… Read More
    In Maine, the economic downturn is a fact of life, compounded for many boat owners by the low prices being paid for Maine lobster. But local contacts said Friday that there is no evidence that boat owners are selling their vessels, defaulting on their loans or cutting their… Read More
    WASHINGTON – The Navy on Thursday awarded Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Ala., an expected $1.6 billion contract to build 10 high-speed military transport ships. The work could be a boon to the company’s facility on the Mobile River, which has about 1,000 employees and… Read More
    In this life, there are days it is better to lie low, days when everything you touch turns to compost. Most days I am building something. It is what I do. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes = [[300,250]]; var new_slot_sizes = [];… Read More
    Total energy use in the United States is as follows: Petroleum, 40 percent; natural gas, 24 percent; coal, 23 percent; nuclear, 8 percent; renewables, 7 percent. The renewable component (7 percent of the total) breaks down as follows: hydro, 36 percent; biomass, 53 percent; geothermal, 5 percent; wind,… Read More
    ORONO – The fact that it’s impossible to open a paper or watch CNN without being assaulted by more bad economic news may actually be a good sign, Key Private Bank Chief Economist Bruce McCain told bankers and others Thursday evening at the Penobscot Valley Country Club. Read More
    PORTLAND – An investment group has signed an agreement to purchase Blethen Maine Newspapers, which owns the Portland Press Herald-Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville and other media in the state. The prospective buyer, Maine Media Investment LLC,… Read More
    ROCKLAND – Two longtime newspapers on the midcoast will be combined into one publication serving Knox County. Citing the economy and demographics of the area, Richard Anderson, 67, chief executive officer of VillageNetMedia and VillageSoup Inc., said he would combine The Courier-Gazette of Rockland and… Read More
    BANGOR – Maine is in a tough economic spot, but a former state economist Thursday recommended focusing on opportunities instead of panicking. The global crisis could spur the state into making the kinds of decisions that ultimately could improve Maine’s quality of life, Laurie Lachance,… Read More
    BAR HARBOR – Despite some weather-related cancellations, Maine’s cruise ship season has finished with a record number of ships stopping at Maine ports, according to officials. That number, and the amount of money the industry generates in Maine, is on pace to be even higher… Read More
    CHICAGO – The company that owns the Maine Mall in South Portland warns that it may be forced to file for bankruptcy if it can’t refinance or extend nearly $1 billion in debt due next month. General Growth Properties Incorporated, which is the nation’s second-largest… Read More
    PORTLAND – FairPoint Communications Inc. says it’s ready for the final step of completing its takeover of Verizon’s land lines in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The “cutover date” on which FairPoint assumes full responsibility for Verizon’s wired telephone and Internet business in the three… Read More
    PORTLAND – Gas prices have plunged 82 cents over the past month in Maine, and it appears that the downward plummet isn’t over. AAA says the statewide average on Tuesday was $2.38 per gallon, down from $3.20 a month earlier. The average price peaked at… Read More
    MILLINOCKET – The federal government approved a $527,465 emergency grant Wednesday to aid as many as 208 Katahdin Avenue paper millworkers due to be laid off by mid-December with job retraining and other services. The U.S. Department of Labor’s National Emergency Grant will supplement services… Read More
    OWLS HEAD – Cape Air officially cut the ribbon Wednesday inaugurating the airline’s newest passenger route serving Boston’s Logan International Airport. The new service actually began flying Nov. 1 between Boston and the Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define… Read More
    BOSTON – The cost of a gallon of regular gas in Maine continues to tumble with the average price statewide at $2.40. The AAA reported Monday that the price has fallen 85 cents a gallon in the past month and now stands at roughly half… Read More
    AUGUSTA – Heating oil prices continue to slide in Maine and are now nearly $2 a gallon cheaper than they were at their peak in July. According to the state energy office’s weekly survey released Monday, the average cash price for a gallon of heating… Read More
    RICHMOND, Va. – Circuit City Stores Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, heading into the busy holiday season with the hope that the move will help the nation’s second-biggest electronics retailer survive. The company said it made the filing because it was facing pressure from… Read More
    Regular readers of this column know that we at Northeast CONTACT are big fans of recycling. It just seems logical to make as responsible choices in the proper disposal of the stuff of our lives as we did in buying that stuff in the first place. Read More
    BANGOR – In many ways, Richard Allen of Robbinston is a creature of habit. He has worked at Lane Construction for 22 years and drives a 1992 GMC pickup truck. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes = [[300,250]]; var new_slot_sizes = []; var… Read More
    LINCOLN – Heidi Stevens had to choose between renovating and building anew, and her choice will soon leave the town with a new Subway sandwich shop and 2,000 square feet of much-needed office space, town officials said Friday. “It would be a good space for… Read More
    BONN, Germany – Deutsche Post AG is poised to announce thousands of job cuts at its DHL Express operations in the United States, possibly as early as today, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The source on Sunday said that the… Read More
    Room air velocities as low as 1 foot per second will be discernable and produce discomfort to a sedentary occupant. One great source of uncomfortable air velocities is an open stairwell. If upstairs bedrooms are not heated and the doors are open or do not fit, significant convection… Read More
    BANGOR – Maine’s only gaming facility is reorganizing staff in hopes of improving its financial picture in an increasingly weak economy, a process that could result in layoffs, a spokeswoman said this week. Amy Kenney, director of marketing and public relations for Hollywood Slots Hotel… Read More
    The big thing we get asked about all winter long is ice dams. Let’s stop them early this year. Most ice dams are caused by insulation problems in the roof. OK, next question! googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes = [[300,250]]; var new_slot_sizes… Read More
    BANGOR – In recognition of the success it saw during its first year of nonstop jet service at Bangor International Airport, low-fare carrier Allegiant Air is expanding its flights to Sanford, Fla., near Orlando. The expansion will result in the addition of nearly 20 flights,… Read More
    AUGUSTA – The Maine Public Utilities Commission’s winter restrictions that bar electric utilities from disconnecting customers who try to pay their bills take effect Nov. 15. The winter rules remain in force through April 15 and also apply to natural gas service. The PUC said… Read More
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. – FairPoint Communications is searching for a successor to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Eugene Johnson. The company, which has operations in northern New England, said it has no deadline to replace Johnson. His contract expires at the end of next year. googletag.cmd.push(function… Read More
    BOSTON – Fidelity Investments said Thursday it will cut nearly 1,300 jobs this month, with more layoffs to come early next year, in response to declining markets that have eroded mutual fund assets along with the fees Fidelity earns from its core business. Layoff notices… Read More
    LUBEC – Quoddy Mist Gourmet Sea Salts announced that it has been issued a patent on its process for creating all-natural sea salt. Clayton A. Lank and Melanie Bridgham, supplied with a seed grant from the Maine Technology Institute along with research supplied by Willis… Read More
    Christine Beacham has been named manager of KeyBank’s Camden branch. She has 12 years experience in the financial services industry, working in business banking, commercial lending and retail banking. She began her career with MBNA in Belfast. Beacham earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University… Read More
    CAMDEN – Bangor Savings Bank committed a $5,000 challenge grant to United Mid-Coast Charities to kick off its annual Making Miracles campaign. The bank will match donations made by Camden and Rockland businesses for Making Miracles. Participating businesses donate up to 10 percent of their… Read More
    BANGOR – Area teachers of grades two through 12 are looking for business volunteers to help deliver Junior Achievement courses on basic economics to their students. “The recent explosion in teacher requests for Bangor, Brewer, Old Town, Hampden, Levant, Holden, Carmel and Veazie is brought… Read More
    BANGOR – The Shaw’s Supermarkets Charitable Foundation recently contributed $10,000 to The Acadia Hospital’s Keep the Promise Capital Campaign. The donation will go toward the creation of a new Pediatric and Family Center that will house Acadia’s youth outpatient programs, as well as classrooms used for the education… Read More
    Heating fuel prices for week of Nov. 3 Area prices averaged from reports of local dealers. Statewide price of oil, kerosene and residential propane from Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security. Local price of kerosene from MaineOil. Com. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot… Read More
    WASHINGTON – The Navy is moving ahead with plans to award combat ship contracts to Lockheed Martin Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. by early next year. The service asked Lockheed and General Dynamics late Monday to submit bids to build five littoral combat ships, speedy… Read More
    RICHMOND, Va. – Circuit City Stores plans to close about 20 percent of its U.S. stores, but none in Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire is on the closure list. The No. 2 consumer electronics retailer made the announcement Monday. The Richmond, Va.-based company said closing… Read More
    A national magazine has ranked the Maine-based Hannaford supermarket chain one of the nation’s 10 most healthful grocery stores. The November issue of Health ranked the chain fifth out of the 10 in a survey, citing its standing as the largest certified-organic supermarket in the… Read More
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program has awarded a loan of $800,000 and a grant of $200,000 to Brewer-based Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems. “By reducing costs and enhancing treatment efficiency, these USDA Rural Development funds will help the Eastern Maine Healthcare System improve… Read More
    OLD TOWN – In the dim, smoke-filled Elks Club bar Monday evening, Del Brown finally got the phone call he had been awaiting for nearly half a year. It was the payroll clerk from the bankrupt Red Shield pulp mill. She wanted to let the… Read More
    OWLS HEAD – The new passenger air carrier serving Knox County residents took off from the regional airport runway for the first time Saturday bound for Boston’s Logan International Airport. With that first flight, Hyannis Air Service Inc., doing business as Cape Air, became the… Read More
    PORTLAND – The start of the new workweek is bringing lower gasoline prices to Maine motorists. According to AAA, a gallon of regular was averaging $2.56 on Monday. That’s down 3 cents from Sunday and 93 cents from a month ago, and is $1.58 a… Read More
    AUGUSTA – The state energy office says the average cash price for home heating oil has dropped 10 cents per gallon during the past week and now stands at an average of $2.83 statewide. Actual prices ranged from a low of $2.35 in southwestern Maine… Read More
    BANGOR – Bill Buckley of Bangor, president of Coffee News USA Inc., has bought the Manitoba-based parent company of the “good news” publications distributed in restaurants around the world. Buckley bought Manitoba Inc. and its intellectual property rights for an undisclosed sum. googletag.cmd.push(function () {… Read More
    BUCKSPORT – Citing economic conditions, Verso Paper Corp. has decided to shut down one of its four local papermaking machines for November, according to company officials. In a press release issued Oct. 28, the company indicated that for the fourth quarter of 2008, it plans… Read More
    FORT KENT – Peter Pinette is not the least bit disturbed that his new pellet stove seems smarter than some people. In fact, he finds it a bit comforting. “It was created by some smart people,” Pinette said of the newly installed Bosch Thermotechnologies pellet… Read More
    When a useful publication comes along, Northeast CONTACT likes to let consumers know. Because seniors make up a sizable percentage of our clientele, we think that a new booklet from Maine’s Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection will be a great resource. It’s called the “Downeaster… Read More
    The thermostat may be set at 70 and produce a corresponding room air temperature, yet occupants may feel cold. A body loses heat not only to convection to the cooler air, but by radiation losses to cold surfaces. People may report “a draft” when sitting by a window,… Read More
    Autumn is the time that I start to think about finishing up outdoor projects and get my head into working indoors. Now that we are starting to use heat, I always start by tearing into my heating system. It just doesn’t seem like as much… Read More
    The statewide helicopter medical service LifeFlight of Maine has been named the top program of the year by the National Association of Air Medical Services. LifeFlight Executive Director Tom Judge accepted the award Oct. 20 at the organization’s annual conference in Minneapolis. The critical care… Read More
    NEWPORT – All of the drumsticks produced at Vic Firth are made from hickory imported in board form from Appalachia and dried in seven kilns at the Newport site. “A tree is 50 percent moisture,” explained Mike Gault, president of operations at Vic Firth. “We… Read More
    BANGOR – Because of a local increase in the railroad servicing business, AC Electric Corp. of Auburn is investing $1.5 million to double its facility at the Target Industrial Circle in Bangor. Company officials also plan to hire three new electric motor technicians to help… Read More
    The business of Hugh Reynolds’ company, Greenhead Lobsters, is to ship lobsters to faraway places. This winter, the Stonington businessman is hoping to get more customers from really far away – the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai. googletag.cmd.push(function () { // Define Slot var slot_sizes… Read More
    WASHINGTON – While Americans will be electing their next president on Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission is set to vote on a proposal that critics worry would cut funds to wireless companies providing cell phone towers in rural and underserved areas of Maine and other states. Read More
    SEATTLE – Computer makers are recalling 100,000 laptop battery packs made by Sony Corp. after 40 reports of overheating, according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notice Thursday. The voluntary recall applies to certain Sony 2.15Ah lithium-ion cell batteries made in Japan and sold… Read More
    WASHINGTON – Coastal Enterprises Inc., a Wiscasset-based community development organization, has received a federal allocation of $112 million that will allow it to help finance small businesses and development projects in low-income communities. “Coastal Enterprises continues to provide invaluable services to communities throughout Maine,” Sens. Read More
    CASTINE – Maine Maritime Academy’s Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics will hold a lecture by Jerry Bazata, vice president of global business banking for Bank of America, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, in Delano Auditorium in Leavitt Hall on the MMA campus. Read More
    LINCOLN – A citizens group that opposes a proposed $120 million wind farm on Rollins Mountain has acquired a headquarters, a Web site and is in talks with an attorney, leading members said Wednesday. The Friends of Lincoln Lakes hopes to use the Web site,… Read More
    BANGOR – The current large number of unemployment claims in Maine means that people are pretty busy at the Maine Department of Labor. So busy, in fact, that the department is hiring 10 employees to help handle its telephones, which are ringing off the hook… Read More