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Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press via AP

It’s been nearly five years since a runaway oil train derailed on a curve in the downtown of Lac Megantic, Quebec, which is not far from the Maine border. Several cars ruptured, their fuel exploding in a fireball that killed 47 people.

Since then, many in the town have wanted the railroad track to go away. Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau granted their wish.

CONCORD, N.H. - Gas prices are still climbing in northern New England.
 
GasBuddy's daily survey of gas outlets in Maine found that average retail gasoline prices in the state have risen 4.2 cents per gallon in the past week, to an average of $2.86 per gallon.

Irving Unveils Its Plans For 51,000 Acres In Fish River Lakes Chain

May 13, 2018
Land Planning Commission

The public gets its first opportunity to comment on a plan to rezone 51,000 acres within the Fish River Chain of Lakes at two public hearings later this month in northern Maine.

J.D. Irving’s proposed concept plan asks the Maine Land Use Planning Commission to allow new commercial and residential development around the lakes in addition to conservation plans and continued logging operations.

Lobster Industry Fears Weaker Shells, But Evidence Is Mixed

May 13, 2018
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

More people outside the U.S. are enjoying the New England tradition of cracking open a freshly cooked American lobster, and that experience hinges on one thing — the lobster getting there alive.

A Norwegian firm that plans to build one of the largest land-based salmon farms of its kind in Maine says it has confirmed that the site is suitable to host the facility.

Nordic Aquafarms wants to build a 40-acre inland salmon farm capable of producing more than 60 million pounds of fish per year. The firm says tests confirm that its planned Belfast site has ``clean, abundant and sustainable groundwater'' from test wells.

Chris Jamison / BDN

For the past two decades Maine’s lobster industry, which had $433 million worth of landings in 2017, has been lauded and envied as a model for how conservation practices can help a fishery thrive.

Veterinary technology company Idexx has broken ground on a major expansion in in Westbrook.

The project will cost the company $62 million. It will add a multilevel, 135,000-square-foot expansion to the existing global headquarters. It is scheduled to open late next year.

Spokesman Pete DeWitt says more space is important for the growing company.

“We’re adding all sorts of different types of talent, because with the growth of our business comes a need for more people, new scientists, new people in research and development, new marketers,” he says.

Chefs, fishermen, scientists and others are coming together in Maine to try to find a tasty way to solve New England's invasive crab problem.

The green crabs are a growing problem for New England's environment and economy, in part because they feast on marketable coastal shellfish. The crabs themselves are not worth much because there isn't a consumer market for them.

Courtesy of Nordic Aquafarms

BELFAST, Maine — You might have to squint through the trees to spot the world’s second largest salmon farm in Belfast, according to computer renderings unveiled Wednesday.

Nordic Aquafarms, a Norwegian aquaculture firm, says its due diligence, the process used to determine whether the project would be feasible, is about 90 percent complete, and is ready to start applying for permits.

Nordic hosted its latest information session at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast on Wednesday night.

A proposal for a 750-unit apartment complex in Westbrook is drawing attention in the area's real estate community.

The complex would be sited on an old quarry, and the plan is to keep some of that resource intact while developing retail and hospitality space.

“They have over 100 acres and they are really thinking really clearly about the project,” said Lynn Tillotson, president of the area promotional group Visit Portland. “They want to talk to people and find out from the residents what we want, what we need, and they're really doing a good job with keeping it mixed use."

In Japan, LL Bean Cashes In On Growing Yen For The Outdoors

May 10, 2018
Courtesy of L.L. Bean / via Bangor Daily News

The inside of a Japanese L.L.Bean store may look much like any U.S. store, but outside, customers including trendy “mountain girls” are turning their purchases into weekend escapes from their city jobs.

WATERVILLE, Maine - The downtown area of a Maine city will soon have free wireless internet for all.
 
Due to a partnership between Colby College and the Central Maine Growth Council, the Waterville service is expected to go live at the end of this month. Six hotspots have been dispersed throughout the outdoors downtown district, ensuring high-speed internet at public spaces.
 
The wireless signals will be strongest outdoors and are intended for use in primarily public spaces.
 

Another town in Massachusetts has banned the sale of small, single-use bottles of water.

Town meeting voters in Great Barrington approved the ban of bottles 1-liter or smaller this week. The Berkshire County community joins Concord and Sudbury.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Public Utilities Commission says it won’t elevate the investigation into Central Maine Power’s problems with its billing system.

The Portland Press Herald reports the PUC disagreed with Public Advocate Barry Hobbins’ call to pursue a "full investigation."

PUC spokesman Harry Lanphear says the commission’s summary investigation will be "thorough and comprehensive." Lanphear says the commission will decide whether further action is needed.

Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Maine's Public Advocate is calling for a more comprehensive investigation of whether Central Maine Power (CMP) overbilled customers in the early months of this year – and whether it covered up ongoing problems it knew were an issue.

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