Articles by Darren Fishell

Traffic backs up in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Bangor in a 2014 file photo.

More cars expected on Maine roads for Memorial Day weekend

By Darren Fishell on May 27, 2016, at 6:18 a.m.
About 200,000 more travelers in the Northeast are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend.
The paper mill in Rumford is seen recently.

Indian papermaker moves to acquire Rumford mill owner

By Darren Fishell on May 26, 2016, at 5:06 p.m.
PORTLAND | Investors holding a majority stake in Canadian papermaker Catalyst Paper Corp. have agreed to a potential acquisition of the company by Kejriwal Group International, a move Catalyst said would mean new investment in its mills. The Mumbai-based Kejriwal agreed to acquire the British Columbia-based Catalyst at a …
Liz Graham, vice president of sales and service for Wayfair, detailed the company's international growth to an audience of about 460 people during the Maine International Trade Center's 2016 Trade Day. Graham said the company also has plans this year to incorporate 3-D imaging and virtual reality into its sales apps.

Wayfair exec lays out path to hiring 950 in Maine

By Darren Fishell on May 26, 2016, at 4:08 p.m.
Wayfair’s aggressive play to acquire loyal customers in the United States and faster-growing markets abroad motivates the demand for hiring at two customer service centers the online furniture sales firm plans to open in Maine this summer.

Houlton launches $35K business pitch contest

By Darren Fishell on May 25, 2016, at 1 p.m.
PORTLAND | The town of Houlton has joined at least two southern Maine towns in promoting a contest to attract new or expanding businesses, with a $25,000 forgivable loan and up to $10,000 in other services. The town, the Southern Aroostook Development Corp. and Machias Savings Bank on Monday …
Madison Paper Industries can be seen March 30 in Madison.

Madison Paper mill shuts down

By Darren Fishell on May 25, 2016, at 11:48 a.m.
The mill stopped production May 21, ending employment at the mill for 214 people and marking Maine’s fifth major paper mill closure in the past three years.

Maine unemployment is down from 2007. Underemployment is not.

on May 24, 2016, at 7:32 a.m.
The numbers show more people who are looking for a job of some kind are able to find it.
Workers leave at the end of their shift at Verso Mill in Jay.

Verso posts $110 million operating loss

By Darren Fishell on May 23, 2016, at 12:23 p.m.
The bankrupt owner of the Jay mill, Verso Corp., posted $88 million in losses for the first quarter of the year, with operating losses nearly doubled from one year ago.
A sign hangs in front of a house in Virginia, March 27, 2014.

Home buyers pounced in April, boosting sales 25 percent

By Darren Fishell on May 23, 2016, at 12:11 p.m.
Maine home sales rose about 25 percent in April, compared with last year, as prices remained relatively even with one year ago.
A woman pumps gas at a station in Virginia, Dec. 16, 2014.

Gasoline prices rise as Memorial Day weekend approaches

By Darren Fishell on May 23, 2016, at 10:26 a.m.
The price of regular gasoline jumped more than 4 cents in the past week, to $2.34 per gallon, as the prime summer tourism season nears.
Aside from the sounds of backhoes demolishing part of the structure, the former Verso Paper mill was quiet on the last day of February.

What kinds of jobs has Maine gained since the recession?

By Darren Fishell on May 23, 2016, at 6:25 a.m.
Things are looking up from 2007. In a relatively slow economic recovery, a tightening Maine labor market in 2015 prompted the first perceptible leap in wages, various indicators are up and the price of gasoline to fuel summer travel remains way down, to boot.
Mike Johnson (left) of Maine CareerCenter talks with an inmate at a career and college fair in Charleston in 2013.

Maine unemployment rate holds steady at 3.4 percent

By Darren Fishell on May 20, 2016, at 11:27 a.m.
PORTLAND | Maine’s unemployment rate remained at 3.4 percent as the estimate of people looking for work and those with jobs ticked up for the month of April. The rate of 3.4 percent for April was down from 4.5 percent one year ago. The national unemployment rate was also …
A tray of whole, unbroken scallops wait to be packed into a can outfitted with a time and temperature indicator at Bristol Seafood on Portland's waterfront on Jan. 29, 2014.

Seafood, bioscience get boost from latest Maine tech grants

By Darren Fishell on May 19, 2016, at 5:09 p.m.
The city of Ellsworth has landed a state grant to support development of bioscience businesses in the region, as part of a series of grant awards that will also give money to support seafood industry initiatives.
A photo illustration of the Downeast LNG facility as proposed for Robbinston in 2005.

Downeast LNG to put Robbinston project up for sale

By Darren Fishell on May 19, 2016, at 10:24 a.m.
The chairman of the board said the company decided that another industrial firm or infrastructure investor would be better suited to take on the project.
Bangor's population continued to drop in 2015, according to newly released estimates that show growth across the largest southern Maine communities and in Waterville last year.

Census: Bangor lost population again in 2015

By Darren Fishell on May 19, 2016, at 1 a.m.
The latest figures project Bangor’s population dropped by about 250 in the past year.

Overtime rule gets mixed reaction in Maine

By Darren Fishell on May 18, 2016, at 2:30 p.m.
A new law raising the salary level at which workers can claim overtime would directly affect at least 16,000 people in Maine, drawing praise from labor groups and criticism from the state’s retail association and others.
The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen in Mississippi, Oct. 4, 2013.

Maine’s largest Obamacare insurer draws $8 million from reserves in first quarter

By Darren Fishell on May 18, 2016, at 10:14 a.m.
The state’s largest Obamacare insurer in the first quarter of the year drew down less than one-fifth of a reserve fund it set aside to pay out 2016 claims.
Pan Am Railways Locomotive 503 pulls two Guildford Rail Systems locomotives and a long line of railroad cars north through Bangor Waterfront Park, Feb. 10, 2014.

Woodland, Sappi land freight rail grants to lower mill costs

By Darren Fishell on May 18, 2016, at 10:02 a.m.
Baileyville and Skowhegan paper mills will receive state grants for railroad improvements intended to make shipping and receiving from their facilities more efficient
Maine leapt to 9th place for adoption of clean energy technologies, a category that includes clean energy production, clean transportation and energy efficiency and innovation. The state ranked 18th overall, which was the lowest among New England states.

Maine advances in national clean tech rankings

By Darren Fishell on May 18, 2016, at 8:48 a.m.
Maine has cracked the top 20 in a ranking of states by adoption of clean energy and energy efficient technology.

Maine real estate index inches toward pre-recession level

By Darren Fishell on May 17, 2016, at 3:21 p.m.
Real estate activity in Maine continues to inch toward levels last seen before the housing market collapsed and took the rest of the economy with it.
Lumber is loaded onto a truck bed in Madison, March 30, 2016. Madison Paper Industries shuttered its mill in May.

As softwood prices tank, Maine gets $380K to help forest industry

By Darren Fishell on May 16, 2016, at 5:43 p.m.
The grant comes as pricing declined for softwood species used by shuttered mills, including Verso’s Bucksport mill, Great Northern Paper’s East Millinocket mill and the Madison mill, which closed this month.