Business and Economy

Business news

Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - A new grocery store opened in Portland Wednesday morning. It's not another chain store, but instead a community-owned model that's seen growth in other parts of the state in recent years.  

"One of the things about a co-operative is it is truly a community-owned market," says Kevin Gadsby. Gadsby is manager of the Portland Food Co-op, which started out as a local food-buyers club and is now a full-service market with 20 employees focusing on locally-produced products.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican Gov. Paul LePage is raising concerns about the proposed sale of a Maine paper mill to a Canadian scrap metal recycler and is weighing actions the state can take to ensure the mill remains whole.

Verso Paper Corp. recently announced plans to sell its Bucksport mill to a subsidiary of American Iron and Metal for $60 million. A spokesman for the scrap recycler didn't immediately return a call seeking comment on Wednesday.

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network has announced a new, "platform aware" format for their news website,, providing website visitors with an enhanced user experience when accessing the site. Just launched earlier this summer, continues to evolve to meet the needs of Maine's media and news consumption preferences.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — Maine's Sugarloaf has named a successor to the resort's retiring president and general manager.

The ski mountain announced Tuesday that Karl Strand will take over when John Diller retires in April.

Stephen Kircher, president of Boyne Resorts' eastern operations, said Strand is familiar with "Sugarloaf's unique DNA" because he's been skiing there since 1987.

Diller said Sugarloaf is dear to his heart and that retiring will be difficult. Strand has held leading roles at Sugarloaf and Sunday River for the past 10 years.

Maine House and Senate leaders from both parties have written letters to Verso management expressing their concern that the company is delaying severance payments to several hundred Bucksport mill workers who were recently informed of the mill's closure.

Charles Beck / MPBN

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Officials in Bucksport and Augusta are expressing dismay at Verso Paper's decision to sell its idle Bucksport mill to a Canadian scrap metal recycler.

PORTLAND, Maine - A utility and a transmission company are joining forces to try to make a 300-mile power cable tapping Maine wind power and Canadian hydropower a reality.

The Maine Green Line proposed by National Grid and Anbaric Transmission would be buried on land in Maine and then run across the ocean floor to greater Boston. The companies say it would help New England states meet green-energy goals while lowering electric costs for consumers.

Charles Beck / MPBN

Verso Paper Corp. has reached an agreement to sell its Bucksport paper mill and power plant to a Canadian scrap metal recycling company for $60 million in cash.

PORTLAND, Maine - The price of heating fuel continues to drop in Maine.

The governor's energy office said Tuesday that the current statewide average cash price for heating oil is $2.93 per gallon, dropping another 6 cents this week. The average for kerosene, at $3.53 per gallon, was also 6 cents lower.

Last week, officials said the average statewide heating oil price had dropped to its lowest level since 2008, when global financial markets collapsed. A year ago, heating oil averaged $3.64 and kerosene $4.04.

Maine is one of eight states leading the way in developing clean energy economies.

BUCKSPORT, Maine - Maine lawmakers and officials are urging a company to quickly issue severance pay to hundreds of workers losing their jobs.

Maine Department of Labor officials say that state law requires Verso Paper Corp. to issue severance pay within one regular pay period after employment ends Dec. 31. That means they'd have to be paid by Jan. 8.

PORTLAND, Maine - The average retail price of gas in Maine fell 5.3 cents per gallon in the past week to an average of $2.84 per gallon.

Website GasBuddy's survey of 1,228 Maine gas outlets found the state's average dropped less than the 6.7 cent decrease in the national average. The average nationwide price is $2.69 per gallon.

GORHAM, Maine — A Gorham farm will receive a $97,000 federal grant to promote local food production.

The Cumberland County Commissioner's Office says Plowshares Community Farm is receiving the money through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Local Food Promotion Program. The money will be used to expand the farm's store, which markets local food.

Courtesy: Old Town Fuel and Fiber

It's been a tough week, in a tough year, for Maine's paper industry. But today brought a bit of good news.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick is urging Verso Paper Company to provide severance pay to workers at the Bucksport mill, as required by state law.

Eves says he is upset at reports the company may delay payments until next year. The mill, which employs about 500, is scheduled to shut down at the end of the month.