Business News Dec. 19-25, 2014

Posted Dec. 17, 2013, at 8:26 a.m.

Device Workshop

AREA — U.S. Cellular is offering a free Device Workshop 9-10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at 403 Wilson St. in Brewer, and 8-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at 33 Mid Mall Boulevard in Bangor, where current or potential smartphone users can learn more about the features, tips and tricks of their specific device. At the workshop, U.S. Cellular associates will offer attendees hands-on assistance to get the most out of the features of smartphones and tablets.

The workshops are open to all. To RSVP, call U.S. Cellular in Brewer at 989-3291 or 942-5218 in Bangor.

New cell site

BANGOR — U.S. Cellular has established a new cell site in Bangor. The site will increase company’s capacity in the Bangor area and is one of more than 375 sites it has built across the state.

“We want our customers to have a great experience every time they use their devices, and this new cell site will help customers stay connected to friends, family and the information they need,” said Matt Kasper, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England. “At U.S. Cellular we know your phone simplifies and enhances your life, so we provide cutting-edge devices and a high-speed network that has the highest call quality and network satisfaction of any national carrier.”

In addition to the new tower, U.S. Cellular customers have access to 4G LTE speeds in Bangor, which provide an enhanced wireless experience with fast Web browsing, smooth video streaming, video chatting and speedy app downloads.

To select locations for new cell sites, U.S. Cellular has teams of system performance engineers who drive through the company’s network coverage area, sometimes hundreds of miles a day, to test the signal strength and call quality.

“The customer experience is a top priority for U.S. Cellular and we listen to customer feedback to help identify the communities that would benefit from another cell site,” said Kasper.

Grant to Challenger Learning Center

BANGOR — Middle school students from the service area of Bangor Hydro Electric Company and Maine Public Service area will transform into astronauts and mission control specialists at the Challenger Learning Center of Maine in Bangor, thanks to funding in the amount of $15,000 for the next three years, for a total of $45,000, awarded by the two Emera companies.

“Thousands of Maine students will have the opportunity to apply their skills in science, technology, engineering and math by flying space science missions,” said Jennifer Therrien, education director and center coordinator at Challenger. “While they are at the Challenger Learning Center of Maine they will engage in hands-on learning that complements their in-class work and provides activities that are not possible in the classroom.” In addition to meeting education standards, they will be required to solve problems, communicate effectively, make good decisions and work as a team to achieve success.

“Bangor Hydro Maine Electric Company and Maine Public Service rely on a workforce that has skills in engineering, science, technology and math. Because Challenger is inspiring their future workforce, this investment is a natural fit for our organizations,” said Susan Jonason, executive director. “We are excited to have the opportunity to highlight a variety of employees from the two power companies, providing actual role models for students to learn where a good education can lead them. Whether they want to pursue becoming an astronaut, or working closer to home for a terrific company like Bangor Hydro-Maine Public Service, we will be providing students with the pathways to success.”

The Challenger Learning Center is located at 30 Venture Way. For information, call 990-2900, or visit challenger.org.

Reappointment

BANGOR — James S. Nixon has been recommended by the judges of the United States District Court for the District of Maine for reappointment as National Criminal Justice Act Panel Representative for the District of Maine.

Nixon has served in that position since 2010 and his reappointment will extend his term through 2016.

Nixon is a shareholder in the Bangor law firm Gross, Minsky & Mogul, P.A. He serves on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure and the United States District Court’s Local Rules Advisory Committee. He is the former secretary and treasurer, vice president and president of the Penobscot County Bar.

Big Gig event

OLD TOWN — The second of four “Big Gig” events for the 2013-2014 season was held Dec. 10.

Several innovators pitched their ideas to a standing-room-only crowd at Kosta’s Bar & Grill in Old Town and received constructive feedback from a panel of “Big Wig” experts. For their vote-winning “Thick & Thin Designs” business project, Christine and John Carney got $100, the attention of entrepreneurship promoters, media coverage and an invitation to compete in the April Big Gig Finale for a $1,000 grand prize.

Big Gig, a partnership between Orono, Old Town, the University of Maine, Husson University and Blackstone Accelerates Growth, is staging the series to help foster a network of entrepreneurs and innovators, and to encourage them to develop and implement their ideas.

The next Big Gig event will take place at 5:30 pm, Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Dyke Center for Family Business at Husson University.

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