Nicholas Sambides Jr.

Katahdin Bureau

Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler talks with businesspeople at a Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce meeting in Millinocket on Thursday.

Cutler tells Katahdin-region business group not to rule out a national park, criticizes Cate Street

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 24, 2014, at 5:26 p.m.
MILLINOCKET, Maine — Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler promised Thursday to personally lead an effort to revitalize the northern Maine economy as governor that could include a Katahdin-region national park. He also expressed doubts about the New Hampshire backer of a plan to build a specialized pellet mill in town. …
Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC Pres. and CEO Keith Van Scotter

$7.8 million energy-efficiency plan will mean more layoffs at Lincoln paper mill

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 23, 2014, at 5:04 p.m.
LINCOLN, Maine — Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC’s plan to improve its energy efficiency by spending $7.8 million to retrofit its tissue production line will also result in some layoffs, a company official said Wednesday. Coming in response to an explosion last November that destroyed the mill’s ability to manufacture …
Representatives of Cate Street Capital, which is hoping to fund a pellet mill in Millinocket, listen during a meeting of the Finance Authority of Maine board of directors meeting on April 17.

Investor working to complete financing for Millinocket pellet mill despite FAME shortfall

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 23, 2014, at 11:05 a.m.
MILLINOCKET, Maine — The New Hampshire investment firm that could create a new market for the state’s forest products industries intends to proceed with its plans to build a $140 million pellet mill despite a recent $9 million reduction in a state bond, officials said Wednesday. Thermogen Industries leaders are …
Great Northern Paper Co., LLC in East Millinocket recently.

‘We would like to have a job’: Stress increases for workers laid off from Great Northern Paper Co.

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 19, 2014, at 9:42 a.m.
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — As the owners of a local paper mill negotiate with their electricity supplier on a revenue-sharing agreement and ponder whether to move forward with plans to develop a $140 million pellet mill with a $16 million state bond, some of the Katahdin region workers whose jobs …
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Forest Products Industry adviser Rosaire Pelletier (far left) and DECD Commissioner George Gervais listen to Cate Street Capital officials during a Finance Authority of Maine meeting on April 17.

FAME reduces bond for Millinocket pellet mill project to $16 million

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 17, 2014, at 1:33 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Finance Authority of Maine’s board of directors voted 8-5 on Thursday to approve a $16 million bond to build a $140 million wood pellet plant in Millinocket. The board’s action marked a $9 million reduction in the state-backed bond board members approved for a similar project …
The East Millinocket paper mill.

Restart of East Millinocket mill delayed as firms clash on electricity agreement

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 16, 2014, at 6:33 p.m.
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Negotiations between two companies over electricity sales that would help restart a local paper mill have devolved into finger-pointing and delayed indefinitely the mill’s resumption of production, officials said Wednesday. Brookfield Asset Management’s attorney said that Great Northern Paper Co. LLC officials have refused to divulge …
Department of Economic and Community Development Director George Gervais (left) and Finance Authority of Maine Treasurer Patrick Murphy (right) during a FAME meeting in Augusta on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013.

FAME considering whether IRS liens would alter $25 million loan guarantee for Millinocket pellet mill

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 14, 2014, at 3:49 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The state agency scheduled to re-examine this week a $25 million loan guarantee it approved for a $140 million pellet mil l proposed for Millinocket is reviewing whether the developer’s recent IRS problems should alter the agreement, an official said Monday. The Finance Authority of Maine learned …
Lincoln firefighter Shannon Clifford (right) pauses during mop-up operations at a trailer fire on Loop Road in Chester on Thursday.

Autopsy, investigation remain inconclusive in Chester fire case

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 14, 2014, at 1:31 p.m.
CHESTER, Maine — The cause of the fire that destroyed a Loop Road trailer and the cause of death of the woman whose body was found within it last week remain undetermined pending further investigation, officials said Monday. An autopsy was conducted on the body of Shirley Day on Friday, …
The East Millinocket mill.

IRS files $2.49 million in liens against Cate Street companies for not paying corporate income taxes

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 11, 2014, at 5:31 p.m.
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — The Internal Revenue Service became the latest entity claiming it is owed money from two Katahdin region companies owned by Cate Street Capital when it filed two liens totaling $2.49 million for nonpayment of corporate income taxes on Thursday. The IRS became the largest single creditor …
Lincoln firefighter Anthony Redmond in Chester on Thursday, April 10, 2014.

Investigators continue probe of Chester trailer fire in which woman’s body was found

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 11, 2014, at 12:14 p.m.
CHESTER, Maine — An autopsy was being done Friday on the body of a 77-year-old woman found after fire swept through the trailer on Loop Road that she was sharing with her grandson, officials said. Doctors at the chief medical examiner’s office in Augusta expect to finish the autopsy on …
Cate Street Capital project manager Dammon M. Frecker speaks at a Millinocket Town Council meeting during his slideshow presentation on Thursday.

Cate Street plugs pellet mill proposal, promises to pay overdue taxes

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 10, 2014, at 7:44 p.m.
MILLINOCKET, Maine — The developers of a $140 million pellet mill slated for the Katahdin Avenue industrial park gave a preview of its plans to town leaders Thursday and promised to pay the $2.3 million in property taxes its firm owes the town within three months. Cate Street Capital project …
One person is missing following a fire in Chester on Thursday morning.

Woman’s body found after fire swept through trailer in Chester

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 10, 2014, at 11:34 a.m.
CHESTER, Maine — A woman’s body was found in the rubble after fire swept through a trailer she shared with her grandson on Loop Road on Thursday, officials said. Shirley Day, 77, had just received her daily medications from 35-year-old Jason Ryder and was beginning to nap when Ryder left …
Rangeley, Maine Fire Chief Tim Pellerin greets Sen. Susan Collins in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday before he testified in front of the U.S. Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee. Pellerin spoke about the damage he witnessed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec last summer when he responded to a fire after a train transporting oil exploded, killing 47 people in the small town.

Rangeley fire chief tells Senate subcommittee people ‘vaporized’ in Quebec rail disaster

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 09, 2014, at 4:17 p.m.
Nothing in 33 years of firefighting prepared Tim Pellerin for the inferno before him. The fire chief from Rangeley, Maine, had just arrived in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last year in the early morning hours of July 6, five hours after a train pulling 72 tankers of light crude oil derailed and …
Smoke billows from a fire at the site of a train derailment in Lac Megantic, Quebec, in this July 2013 aerial handout photo.

Rangeley fire chief to testify before US Senate subcommittee on Quebec train disaster

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 08, 2014, at 5:10 p.m.
RANGELEY, Maine — The town’s fire chief will discuss what he found as a first responder to a train disaster that wiped out the center of a Quebec town last summer, killing 47 people, when he testifies before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on Wednesday. Chief Tim Pellerin and a team …
Gov. Paul LePage (second from left) shakes hands with employees at Great Northern Paper company in East-Millinocket after a press conference in Oct. 2011.

LePage signs bill to help restart East Millinocket mill

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 08, 2014, at 2:08 p.m.
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law a bill that would allow electricity sales to restore at least 200 jobs and re-energize a local paper mill, his spokeswoman said Tuesday. “This is a step in the right direction so that both parties can come to an …
A two-vehicle collision in the southbound lane of Interstate 95 just past the Newburgh Road overpass prompted police to close the interstate and reroute vehicles at the Coldbrook Road exit in Hermon on Sunday evening.

Two dead in head-on collision on I-95 in Hampden

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 06, 2014, at 7:17 p.m.
Update: Witness: SUV ‘took off going the wrong way’ on I-95 moments before crash that killed two in Hampden HAMPDEN, Maine — An SUV going the wrong way on Interstate 95 on Sunday slammed into a pickup truck, killing both drivers, state police said. Both drivers were male, and police were …

Grant program gives $152,104 boost to Katahdin region businesses

By nsambidies on April 06, 2014, at 2:43 p.m.
MILLINOCKET, Maine — Mechanic Nick Bell used a new press machine to repair a broken ball joint to a snowmobile and earned Jim’s Small Engine Repair and Auto about $225 on Friday, business co-owner Marlynda Faille said. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s an example of how …
Great Northern Paper Co. in East Millinocket in this January 2014 file photo.

Officials say Brookfield won’t agree to East Millinocket mill restart deal unless conditions met

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 05, 2014, at 11:07 a.m.
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — The company that supplies electricity to the idled local paper mill won’t sign a revenue-sharing contract with the mill’s owner unless more conditions are met, likely delaying the restart of the facility, officials said this week. Despite the Legislature’s unanimous approval of a bill Wednesday that …
The East Millinocket mill in this May 2011 file photo.

Lawmakers pass bill aimed at restarting East Millinocket paper mill; awaits LePage’s signature

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 02, 2014, at 3:41 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Legislature unanimously approved on Wednesday a bill that would allow electricity sales to re-energize an East Millinocket paper mill and restore at least 200 jobs. LD 1792, An Act To Protect Jobs in the Forest Product Industry, garnered 143 votes. Eight legislators were absent. Gov. Paul …
Lynn Beasley, interim CEO at Penobscot Valley Hospital of Lincoln, replaces David Shannon, who left in February for another job.

Interim CEO named at Lincoln hospital

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 01, 2014, at 5:18 p.m.
LINCOLN, Maine — A Florida administrator with 30 years of experience will oversee Penobscot Valley Hospital as the institution’s leaders search nationwide to replace departed CEO David Shannon, officials said Tuesday. Lynn W. Beasley served as chief executive officer for Hendry Regional Medical Center in Clewiston, Fla. He also served …
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