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A Florida-based health care company that could receive a $60.3 million state contract to run a 21-bed Maine residence for some psychiatric patients is fighting to keep its proposal secret.

All this week we’ve been reporting on how evictions are financially and emotionally costly for landlords and tenants. Both parties generally want the same thing: the rent to be paid in full and on time. But as housing costs and rents continue to rise faster than wages, low income advocates say policy changes are necessary to support thousands of at-risk Mainers.  This is the fifth in our series, "Eviction: Life Unpacked." 

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Having averted a strike, two unions representing about 1,000 Consolidated Communications workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have approved three-year contracts.

A nursing home in West Paris that cares for 72 residents has announced that it will close in 60 days.

The business manager of Ledgeview Living Center, Roger Wilday, says insufficient Medicaid reimbursement rates are the driving factor.

"At this time our challenges are, you know, MaineCare reimbursement system doesn't cover what our expenses are for the facility,” he says.

MaineCare is the state version of Medicaid. Wilday says Ledgeview is contacting other nursing homes to find placements for residents.

Jerald Horst / Flickr

Fishermen in Maine are on course for the best catch of menhaden in decades, the baitfish commonly known as pogies.

A recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition finds that for every 10 Maine families seeking affordable rental housing, there are fewer than 6 units available.

Many of these households spend more than half of their incomes on housing and utilities. They may qualify for housing assistance such as Section 8, but there's often at least a three-year wait. And there are other barriers that can get in the way of help.

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Every week in Maine, landlords try to evict more than 100 tenants through the courts. Others work out informal agreements to have tenants leave by a certain date. Either way, it can be a confusing and frustrating process for both sides.

(To read the text version of this story, click here)

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State regulators are taking a new look at just how much money Central Maine Power's (CMP) shareholders earn from the company's customers and whether the amount may be excessive — or too low.

In a notice published this week, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) says that it will investigate whether CMP's profits from delivering electricity are "just and reasonable." The inquiry was prompted by a request from a group of ratepayers who noted that in 2016 CMP shareholders earned a return-on-equity of more than 11 percent — and earned 13 percent last year.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The quota for Maine's most valuable fishery by weight won't be increasing. The board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted down a proposal to increase the amount of elvers fishermen could catch by about 20 percent.

The vote comes after the elver season ended early this year because of illegal sales of the baby eels. Maine Department of Marine Resources Jeff Nichols says the quota will stay at just under 10,000 pounds.

WESTBROOK, Maine - Idexx Laboratories in Maine say in a lawsuit that two former employees stole secret business plans and took them to a rival firm in Portland.
 
The Westbrook-based veterinary services lab alleges two employees took confidential planning documents and training materials to Vets First Choice, in alleged violation of a noncompete agreement.
 
The Portland Press Herald reports the federal lawsuit filed Friday alleges VFC is "incentivizing'' Idexx employees to misappropriate trade secrets and violate their agreements with Idexx.
 

In Maine and around the country, evictions are taking a heavy toll — on landlords, tenants and their communities. For landlords, there's the challenge of covering bills when rent isn't paid. For chronically poor tenants, getting evicted often leads to homelessness. And for neighborhoods, studies show, high eviction rates contribute to instability and, with it, increased crime.

(To read the text version of this story, click here)

PROSPECT, Maine - A Maine businessman has revived a 100-year-old recipe for keeping the flies away.
 
The Bangor Daily News reports Ken Theobald III's Ole Time Woodsman has the same distinctive odor as the product that was used by Maine loggers in the 1800s.
 
Theobald says his father bought the recipe from a New York man in 2008. He then bought the company from his father in 2010 and removed "fly dope'' from the description.
 
Since he started selling the product, Theobald says many former customers have shared memories of its unforgettable scent.
 

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Consolidated Communications — the company that acquired FairPoint a year ago — has reached a tentative contract agreement with employees’ unions in Northern New England.

The CEO of Consolidated Communications says the agreement reflects improved relations between unions and the company. The president of the Communications Workers of America Local 1400, Don Trementozzi, says negotiations were respectful.

“We did have a viable conversation back and forth, and they did negotiate, although their initial goals were much different,” he says.

In Maine and around the country, evictions are taking a heavy toll — on landlords, tenants and their communities. For landlords, there's the challenge of covering bills when rent isn't paid. For chronically poor tenants, getting evicted often leads to homelessness. And for neighborhoods, studies show, high eviction rates contribute to instability and, with it, increased crime.

(To read the text version of this story, click here)

Maine may have record low unemployment, but a new report says the state will create fewer than 100 jobs by the year 2026.

The report by the Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information is further evidence that the state is in an extended rut in terms of economic growth.

Overall, it predicts a net growth of just 94 jobs in Maine between 2016 to 2026. That’s about nine new jobs each year.

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