Senator King Joins Push To Boost Rural Broadband Access

A Maine senator says a plan to boost innovation and job growth in rural areas by providing money for broadband access would benefit his state, much of which is forested and sparsely populated. Independent Sen. Angus King says he’s getting behind the Revitalizing Underdeveloped Rural Areas and Lands Act, which is also called the RURAL Act. The proposal is supported by Republicans and Democrats and it would ensure access to government grants and assistance for tax-exempt electrical cooperatives.

Source:  Maine Public

Drunken behavior causes marina to close boat ramp

NAPLES — One of the marinas in town that provides launching services to noncustomers has closed its boat ramp to the public after Fourth-of-July revelers caused too much ruckus.

“The amount of intoxicated boaters that came off the lake this week has been scary. We are no longer willing to take the risk as a business to have these irresponsible boaters with us,” the owner of Moose Landing Marina Jason Allen said in a letter to the Naples Board of Selectmen.

“The crowd has changed and not for the better,” Allen wrote.

“Even with the added efforts to enforce laws it still isn’t nearly enough to keep everyone safe,” he said.

“I wanted to inform you folks that…our boat ramp will no longer be open to the public,” he said.

www.bridgton.com

Bucksport approves tax break for proposed salmon farm

The Town Council voted 7-0 on Thursday night to approve a tax break for a company that proposes to bring one of the state’s first land-based Atlantic salmon farms to the site of the former Verso Paper mill. Whole Oceans CEO Jason Mitchell told the council during its meeting that with the tax-increment financing deal approved, the company will apply to the town next month for a permit to build the aquafarm, with construction slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Source: BDN Maine

Rep. Golden’s bill would allow federal programs to help cannabis businesses

Maine’s junior member of Congress, 2nd District Democrat Jared Golden, is pushing a measure that would force the federal Small Business Administration to stop saying no to cannabis-related businesses.

Golden’s bill would prohibit a number of SBA programs, from the Veterans Business Outreach Centers to the Small Business Development Centers, from declining to help otherwise eligible small businesses solely because they deal in cannabis-related products.

Source: Portland Press Herald

Brower acquires publication catering to seniors

Reade Brower, owner of Masthead Maine and RFB Enterprises, has acquired MAINE SENIORS magazine. Masthead Maine and RFB Enterprises publishes six Maine daily newspapers and more than 25 Maine weeklies, as well as, TravelMAINE, Downeast Dog  News, The Real Estate Magazines for Mid-Coast Maine and Portland and other specialty publications.

Brower states, “I am excited to take over the reins of Maine Seniors. David Nealley has done an outstanding job building this magazine to be at the forefront of this important niche market. The feature stories and important information in each issue make this a must-read for Maine seniors and those who love them.”

Source:  Camden Herald

Summer labor crunch hits Maine businesses hard

Summer visitors to Maine eateries, inns and other seasonal attractions are likely to notice that service is slower, hours of operation are more limited and employees appear tired and stressed at some establishments.

That’s because the state’s labor shortage has become so acute that industry leaders say it now affects virtually every business and organization, especially those that staff up for the summer tourism season.

“In my mind, we’ve reached the tipping point … where our ability to provide the kind of service that Maine is known for drops, or we have to close places and cut back on hours and can’t serve the demand,” said Steve Hewins, president and CEO of HospitalityMaine, a trade group for hotels and restaurants.

Source: CentralMaine.com

15 Maine communities opt into legal marijuana

The number of cities and towns opting in to legalized marijuana is slowly growing in Maine as the state gets closer to accepting applications for licenses.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill in late June that sets up a legal framework for recreational sales. The state Office of Marijuana Policy plans to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana business licenses by the end of the year.

So far, at least 15 municipalities have opted into adult use marijuana, said David Heidrich, spokesman for the marijuana office. Those cities and towns have decided to authorize businesses that grow, process, test or sell marijuana.

Source: AP News

Men from Friendship charged with sinking lobster boat

Two Friendship men have been charged with sinking a fellow lobsterman’s boat late last year. Jason T. Weeks, 41, was arrested Monday afternoon July 1 and charged with Class C aggravated criminal mischief and Class B theft. He was taken to the Knox County Jail in Rockland where bail was set at $5,000 cash. He is scheduled to make an initial appearance Wednesday afternoon, July 3 in the Knox County court.

Source: Portland Press Herald

Police and motorists prepare for ban on handling phones while driving

Maine drivers accustomed to taking a call on the road or checking social media at a red light could be in for a rude awakening and a pricey ticket when a ban on holding a cellphone behind the wheel goes into effect this fall. As of Sept. 19, anyone caught holding a cellphone or electronic device while driving can be pulled over and fined at least $50 and up to $250 for repeat offenses.

Source:  Portland Press Herald

Woolwich residents to hear if recreational pot sales will be allowed 

The owners of Farley’s Cannabis Farm, a local medical marijuana dispensary, are waiting impatiently for Woolwich town officials to figure out what rules they want to set for marijuana sales in town. “We go to every town meeting and try to educate them because they don’t know what they’re doing,” said Kelli Small, co-owner of Farley’s Cannabis Farm. Small and her daughter Sayra have also given the board another town’s ordinance as a guide for writing Woolwich’s.

Source:  Portland Press Herald