September 25, 2018
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Maine news you need to know for Wednesday

Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN
Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN
A wading bird called Greater Yellowlegs hunts the shallows of Graham Lake on Sept. 9, 2018, in Ellsworth.
By Lindsay Putnam

Good morning. Temperatures will be in the mid 70s with partly sunny skies in the northern part of the state, with lower temps and rain farther south.

Here’s what’s happening in Maine today.

The high cost of recycling is hitting these Greater Bangor communities hard

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Julio Mejia pulls plastic bags from the recycling steam at ecomaine in Portland. The bags are recyclable but low in value and very hard for the automated machines to sort properly.

–Soaring recycling costs that show no sign of reprieve have forced at least five Greater Bangor towns to stop offering the service, and more are likely to follow.

Clifton, Dedham, Eddington, Holden and Orrington have opted to no longer pay for recycling services, which have increased 600 percent in some cases, officials in each town said. Except for Orrington, each town is landfilling its recyclables, along with other waste. Hampden is slated to discuss a similar course of action in the coming weeks.

A 183-year-old Maine company is bracing for another round of tariffs

–Gary Merrill, CEO of the North Berwick-based Hussey Seating Co., told the Bangor Daily News a new round of tariffs in President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China and other countries will “be a hit on the bottom line.”

All four members of Maine’s U.S. congressional delegation have signed a letter to a top administration trade official seeking exemptions from the tariff that would spare Hussey from the added costs, but so far, the pleas have been unsuccessful.

Merrill would not comment on how much the tariffs have affected the private company’s bottom line, but said he expects a ding in profits in the company’s fiscal year ending next March. He said the company still will be profitable and has no layoffs planned.

Tropical Storm Gordon blesses the coast with needed rain

Courtesy of National Weather Service
Courtesy of National Weather Service
A map of rainfall totals as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11.

–Remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon have likely alleviated drought conditions that have dogged coastal Maine for most of the summer.

Tuesday’s rainfall dumped 3 to 4 inches on most of Hancock and Washington counties, with a statewide high of 5.46 inches reported at Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, said Francis Kredensor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Caribou.

“It was mostly just a good steady soaking rain, which is what we like to see versus getting it all in just a few hours,” Kredensor said Tuesday. “This will replenish some wells. We will see if this knocks them [both counties] out of the drought categories. It will definitely help.”

Heavy rains close most of Maine coast to shellfish harvesting

–Nearly the entire Maine coast is closed to shellfish harvesting due to Tuesday’s heavy rain, and it’s expected to remain closed for at least several days.

The coast from Timber Point in Biddeford to Moose Neck in Addison was closed after 2 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period. Heavy rains can contaminate clams, quahogs, mussels, periwinkles and other shellfish that are harvested along the coast as food by washing pollution from land into tidal waters.

Normally, the earliest state officials reopen an an area to harvesting is 3 to 4 days because of how long it can take contaminants to drain, but this time of year it often takes longer because rainfall tends to be heavier, according to a state official.

Maine author chronicles outdoor adventures, tragic loss in latest book

–Hundreds of river miles have passed under Earl Brechlin’s canoe since he and a group of relatives and friends began staging elaborate Maine camping trips some 31 years ago.

There have been miscues — “They say you can’t call it an adventure if everything goes according to plan,” Brechlin explains — and tragedy. Friendships have been forged, tested and relied upon.

And at some point along the way, Brechlin, an award-winning journalist and founding editor of the Mount Desert Islander, decided there might be a few tales worth sharing.

Do this: Paddle on Graham Lake in Ellsworth

Courtesy of Derek Runnells
Courtesy of Derek Runnells
BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki paddles on the man-made Graham Lake on Sept. 9, 2018, near Ellsworth.

–A large, man-made body of water located on the lower portion of the Union River, Graham Lake in Hancock County was created in the 1920s to hold water for hydroelectric power generation and continues to serve that purpose today.

Like many man-made lakes, Graham Lake is quite shallow throughout, making it an ideal place for warm water fish species. Stumps and aquatic vegetation along the shoreline provide cover for fish like pickerel and smallmouth bass, according to a survey done by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and in the lake’s deeper areas, you can find white perch. Other fish found in the lake include brook trout, brown trout, salmon and smelt.

In other news…

Maine

Portland may become safe haven for cruise ships avoiding Hurricane Florence

Augusta man accused of robbing Walgreens pharmacy

Injured hiker had wandered off trail when boulder crushed her leg, Acadia officials say

Bangor

Brian Wilson to bring ‘Pet Sounds’ tour to Bangor

Kirk Francis re-elected as Penobscot Nation chief

Former Bangor High star, Boston College football captain Paul McCarty dies

Politics

Collins calls anti-Kavanaugh crowdfunding effort a ‘bribe’

Someone projected a giant anti-Kavanaugh message on Portland City Hall without permission. Mayor says it’s free speech

New Hampshire senators oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination

Opinion

Maine taxpayers deserve to know why DHHS keeps sidestepping the law

We expected the war on terror to unite us. What went wrong?

Water is a gift from our Creator. It’s our spiritual duty to protect it.

Sports

How Bangor won its first football game since 2015

Maine driver lands ride in Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas

Maine fighter gears up to cap whirlwind year with UFC fight in Argentina

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