Articles by Whit Richardson

Andy Hazen (right) holds up a wall while working on renovations inside the Lobster Pound with Dick McLaughlin, Jim Tyler and Ben Hazen (background).  The Hazens, owners of Andrews Brewing Co., have gone into business with McLaughlin, owner of the Lobster Pound, and the new Lobster Pound Inc. will reopen in May with the brewery inside.

Iconic Lincolnville seafood restaurant to reopen as brewpub

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 24, 2014, at 7:40 a.m.
Dick McLaughlin knows The Lobster Pound restaurant inside and out. He began working odd jobs there in 1957, when he was just 15 years old. It’s where he met his wife, Patricia, who began working at the restaurant in 1960. In 1972, he and his brother bought …
Jeanne A. Hulit is hugged by U.S. President Barack Obama after he announces his choice to replace her as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration while at a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, January 15, 2014.

Falmouth resident to depart Obama cabinet to take banking position in Maine

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 24, 2014, at 5:26 a.m.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — After five years at the U.S. Small Business Administration, Jeanne Hulit on Thursday announced her departure from the federal agency to take an executive position at Maine’s Northeast Bancorp. Hulit, a Falmouth resident, has served for the past five months as acting administrator of the SBA, a …

‘It’s deja vu all over again:’ History repeats itself with MMA and GNP

on Jan. 23, 2014, at 5:25 p.m.
Sometimes current events mirror the past so closely it makes your jaw drop. That happened to me today (I’m writing this on Thursday afternoon). Let me tell you about it. This morning, Jan. 23, a federal bankruptcy judge in Bangor approved the sale of the bankrupt Montreal, Maine and Atlantic …
Miles Theeman, vice president and chief sales and marketing officer for Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, received the Norbert X. Dowd Award at the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce's 2014 annual awards dinner, held Wednesday at the Cross Insurance Center.

‘We’re truly at the beginning of everything’: Bangor chamber honors those who move community forward during annual awards dinner

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 22, 2014, at 10:36 p.m.
The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce honored members of the business community at its annual awards dinner Wednesday night at the Cross Insurance Center. The event, punctuated by remarks from U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, attracted a crowd of roughly …
Central Maine Power line worker Matt Beeler reconnects the service cable to a home in Bucksport recently.

Standard offer electricity prices jump more than 10 percent for CMP, Emera Maine customers

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 22, 2014, at 3:09 p.m.
HALLOWELL | Residential customers of Central Maine Power Co. and Emera Maine, formerly known as Bangor Hydro Electric, should expect to see an increase in their electricity bill come March. The new standard offer price for Emera Maine’s residential and small business customers will be nearly 7.6 cents per …

Lobster marketing wars? Canada launches effort to develop unique Canadian lobster brand

on Jan. 22, 2014, at 7:31 a.m.
When someone orders lobster at a restaurant in New York City, chances are the menu touts it as “Maine” lobster. Ask someone on the streets of San Francisco where lobster comes from, chances are they’ll refer to our great state. Lobster is to Maine as bourbon is to Kentucky. It’s …
Robert Keach is the trustee overseeing Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway as the company works its way through bankruptcy.

Source: New York investment firm wins auction for bankrupt MMA Railway’s assets

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 21, 2014, at 3:06 p.m.
PORTLAND | The winner of Tuesday’s auction for Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway’s assets is Fortress Investment Group, according to one source. The auction took place at the Portland office of Robert Keach, MMA’s trustee in the bankruptcy proceedings. The auction lasted 40 minutes and was well attended by …
Craig Gunderson, CEO of Oxford Networks

Oxford Networks’ shareholder calls proposed deal with Canadian firm ‘obscene’

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 20, 2014, at 6:35 p.m.
LEWISTON | Some shareholders of Oxford Networks are speaking out about the proposed deal revealed last week in which a Canadian private equity firm would acquire the telecommunications company. And the response is not all positive. Montreal-based Novacap has offered to acquire Oxford Networks for $50 million, which includes …

Miyake Diner opens

on Jan. 20, 2014, at 6:18 p.m.
Back in July 2013, I reported on Masa Miyake’s plans to open his third Japanese restaurant in Portland. After some delays, Miyake Diner will open Monday night, according to Miyake’s blog. The new restaurant joins the eponymous Miyake on Fore Street and Pai Men Miyake in Longfellow Square. Miyake Diner, though, is special …

Maine home to a growing number of millionaires

on Jan. 17, 2014, at 12:47 p.m.
In what could be interpreted as a good sign for Maine’s economy, there were 2,012 more millionaires in the state in 2013 than the year before, according to a new report by an international market research firm. In 2013, Maine had approximately 26,276 households with more than $1 million in …
Robert Keach is a Bernstein Shur attorney who was appointed the trustee overseeing Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway as the company works its way through bankruptcy.

‘Multiple bids’ made in auction for Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway assets

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 17, 2014, at 11:46 a.m.
BANGOR | Multiple parties have made initial bids for the assets of the bankrupt Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway ahead of next week’s auction. The deadline for bids on the railroad’s assets was the end of the day Friday. Robert Keach, the railroad company’s trustee in its bankruptcy proceedings, …
Brick walls and chimneys are all that remain in November after a fire destroyed a hotel under development on Great Diamond Island in Casco Bay.

Developer plans to resume building Casco Bay island inn destroyed by fire

By Seth Koenig and Whit Richardson on Jan. 17, 2014, at 10:58 a.m.
PORTLAND | A multimillion-dollar project seeking to convert a former U.S. Army barracks on one of Casco Bay’s islands into a luxury hotel is back online after a massive fire gutted the historic structure nearly two months ago. Efforts to reclaim the long vacant former Fort McKinley building on …
People mingle during a BigGig event at Kosta's Bar and Grill in Old Town Tuesday evening. The event provides a opportunity and encourages entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas.

Make your best pitch at Big Gig, where local entrepreneurs compete, network

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 17, 2014, at 6:56 a.m.
ORONO | Christine and John Carney have built a business out of zombies and cupcakes. Out of an office in the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, the husband-and-wife team design and manufacture quirky acrylic decorative ornaments to stick on the top of cupcakes. The zombies were …

Defense spending package includes $11.5 million for Kittery shipyard upgrade

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 16, 2014, at 7:16 p.m.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is in line to receive $11.5 million for facilities upgrades and could benefit from the Navy’s contracting for two new submarines under a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill that won final approval from the U.S. Senate on Thursday evening. After the House voted earlier …

Federal aid request: Wilton call center laid off 92, moved jobs to Philippines

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 16, 2014, at 5:49 p.m.
When Sykes Enterprises Inc. announced late last year that it was closing its Wilton call center, it didn’t give any reasons or release details about the number of workers that would be affected. However, those details were revealed recently in a federal petition for job retraining assistance …
The Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC mill

Lincoln millworkers approved for federal job retraining assistance

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 16, 2014, at 10:44 a.m.
The 200 millworkers laid off in December from Lincoln Paper & Tissue have been approved to receive job retraining assistance from the federal government. The company on Dec. 16 filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor to request that the 200 affected workers be eligible …
Craig Gunderson

Canadian private equity firm to acquire Oxford Networks

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 15, 2014, at 3:23 p.m.
LEWISTON | Faced with a dire financial picture, Oxford Networks has agreed to be acquired by a Canadian private equity firm. Novacap, a private equity firm based in Montreal, would pay a total of $50 million for Oxford Networks, comprised of the equity and debt financing, according to a …
Olafur Grimsson

LePage to lead June trade mission to Iceland, United Kingdom

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 15, 2014, at 2:17 p.m.
PORTLAND | Gov. Paul LePage will lead a trade mission to Iceland and the United Kingdom this summer to explore opportunities for Maine businesses to increase exports to those countries, according to a news release from the Maine International Trade Center. The trade mission, scheduled for June 8-13, was …
Habib Dagher

UMaine’s offshore wind energy pilot project wins initial OK

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 14, 2014, at 12:13 p.m.
HALLOWELL | The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday morning approved in a 2-1 vote a term sheet for Maine Aqua Ventus’ pilot offshore wind energy project. The decision clears a hurdle for Maine Aqua Ventus in its path to receive electric ratepayer support as it tests new offshore …
Great Works Internet, commonly referred to as GWI, filed a lawsuit on Monday, Jan. 13, against Maine Fiber Co. over allegations the company misused federal stimulus funds intended to expand rural broadband Internet access. Fletcher Kittredge (center), CEO of GWI, announced the lawsuit at a press conference that same day in Portland. He is joined by Eric Samp (left), GWI's general counsel, and Laurie Boxer-Macomber, an attorney at Kelly, Remmel & Zimmerman representing GWI.

GWI sues Maine Fiber, alleges misuse of federal funds intended for statewide broadband expansion

By Whit Richardson on Jan. 13, 2014, at 5:41 p.m.
PORTLAND | Great Works Internet, commonly known as GWI, filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Maine Fiber Co., its CEO Dwight Allison and investor Robert Monks Jr. of misusing federal stimulus funds intended to expand high-speed broadband access in rural Maine. At issue is what’s known as the Three …