Lobster embezzlement costs $4.5 million

A federal judge Thursday ordered a company allegedly set up to help facilitate a scheme to steal lobsters to pay a judgment of more than $4.5 million.

The ruling came in a civil suit filed by Sea Salt, a Saco restaurant and lobster wholesaler, against a former employee and part owner over lobsters allegedly shipped off the books and resold. The suit, filed last September, alleged that Matthew Bellerose of Scarborough shipped lobsters from Sea Salt without generating shipping labels or invoices so the company didn’t bill and wasn’t paid for the crustaceans. Sea Salt alleged that Bellerose, who had worked for the business since 2009, shipped nearly $1.5 million worth of lobster that he and a partner then sold.

Source: Portland Press Herald

Maine Fishermen Should Plan For Accelerated Ocean Warming

Climate change is triggering more and more surprise variations in temperatures in the world’s oceans, including off Maine, and those spikes are changing ecosystems in ways that looking at the past wouldn’t predict.

That’s one of the conclusions of a new study out Monday from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, which finds that the bigger-than-expected temperature swings are benefiting some species while hurting others, and that has effects that can be felt up the food chain by the humans that depend on those ecosystems.

Source:  | Maine Public

Company admits wrongful foreclosures in Maine

Ocwen Financial Corporation will refund or credit 24 Maine residents more than $50,000 in attorney’s fees they were assessed when their homes were foreclosed upon, and the company will pay $24,000 in civil penalties and $10,000 in investigative costs to the state of Maine, as part of a Consent Agreement signed last week.

Ocwen is a national provider of loan servicing for lenders. It is headquartered in Florida and has offices in several states. In its Consent Agreement with Maine’s Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection and Attorney General, Ocwen admitted that after July 2014 it pursued foreclosures against Maine homeowners based on paperwork which the state found to be legally defective.

Source: WAGMTV

Errors cited in challenge to new CMP line approval

In an appeal of that approval to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, NextEra Energy Resources accused the commission of ignoring state law requiring a third-party review of alternatives to Central Maine Power’s transmission line. NextEra also said the panel failed to follow the law in determining a public need for the $1 billion project.

Source: Portland Press Herald

Northern Maine only place in eastern US with clear night sky 

There are precious few places left in the United States where you can still view a “pristine” night sky, according to a new study in the Journal of Environmental Management. Situated far from the glare of city and small town lights, these places offer the same unimpeded view of the cosmos that our ancestors saw thousands of years ago, before electric lighting conquered the darkness.

Source:  Portland Press Herald

Windham rejects proposal for subdivision standards

The Planning Board voted Monday not to recommend proposed new subdivision standards to the Town Council that would have prioritized open space and kept the rural character of the town’s subdivisions.

The proposal was formulated by the Long Range Planning Committee, and Planning Director Amanda Lessard presented the new standards at a Town Council meeting June 4. The standards were then sent to the Planning Board for review.

Source:  Portland Press Herald

Maine downtowns that turned themselves around

Lately, downtown Bucksport looks a lot like this idealized picture of a downtown, but it wasn’t always that way.

In 2014, after over eight decades of operation, the Verso paper mill shut down in Bucksport. The town was devastated. Over 500 employees lost their jobs, the town tax base shrunk by 40 percent and the economic heart of the town stopped beating.

Source:  BDN Maine