April 21, 2019
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Maine news you need to know for Thursday

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
The blades of wind turbines spin under the light of a full moon at the Saddleback Ridge Wind Project, early Wednesday morning, March 20, 2019, in Carthage, Maine. The first day of spring blew in with gentle winds and cold temperatures. Warmer and wetter weather is expected later in the week.

Good morning. Temperatures today will be in the mid-40s throughout the state.

Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Despite dogged opposition, developers of a proposed salmon farm in Belfast continue to move ahead with the project

Courtesy of Nordic Aquafarms
Courtesy of Nordic Aquafarms
Artist's rendering of the proposed Nordic Aquafarms land-based salmon facility in Belfast.

–Nordic Aquafarms, the Norwegian-owned company that wants to build one of the world’s largest land-based salmon farms in Belfast, is slowly moving forward with its permit applications and will hold another public information meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26.

“We realize that any new developments should result in questions and sometimes concerns in a community. We have truthfully answered questions and put information out there over the past year as it has become available,” the company’s CEO said. But that’s not likely to sway opponents, one of whom said, “They’re going to have another info session and they’ll tell us what they want us to hear. It doesn’t really account for any of the problems that we’ve been talking about.”

A bill that would have delayed the planned I-395 extension in Greater Bangor has died

–The Legislature’s transportation committee this week unanimously opposed a bill that would have required the Maine Department of Transportation to halt all work on the project temporarily while a private company hired by the state would conduct a new analysis of the project and recommend whether the state should continue the project that would extend I-395 through parts of Brewer, Holden and Eddington.

A large lake trout stole this teen’s ice fishing trap. Seven hours later, he got them both back

Courtesy of Brady Smith
Courtesy of Brady Smith
Cob van de Sande, 14, of Amherst, shows off the 30-inch, 9.5-pound lake trout he caught at East Grand Lake in February. Van de Sande lost his ice fishing trap early in the day when the fish hauled it under, the wound up "catching" the fishing line with another trap at the end of the day, hauling in the fish that had foiled him earlier.

–Cob van de Sande watched in disbelief as a fish dragged his ice fishing line and trap down through the hole. Hours later, when pulling his last trap, the teen from Amherst discovered that he was hooked onto another fishing line and the story of a lifetime.

Former inmates could help fill Maine’s workforce shortage

–State corrections officials, former inmates and coastal employers gathered Wednesday to tout the benefits of work release and other programs designed to help people who have completed prison sentences find work, avoid recidivism and become community assets.

“The one thing we all recognize is how difficult it is to make the transition. It is challenging to start from behind, especially if there is a stigma attached,” said Jason Constantine, president of Back Cove Yachts. “We believe in redemption as well.”

‘Construction inflation’ has blown a hole in Ellsworth’s city budget

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Prock Marine Co. of Rockland worker Alex Allen pours water on the deck to douse sparks from a girder being welded above him at Ellsworth Harbor Park and Marina in 2018. The crane is carrying a metal brace that will go between the girders.

–City officials last year expected the installation of diesel tanks and the replacement of gasoline tanks at Harbor Park Marina to cost $150,000, but had to increase their estimate to $336,500 because they couldn’t find a qualified contractor at the lower price.

A Bar Harbor cafe owned by a town councilor has received an eviction notice for late rent

–Matthew Hochman and his wife, Angel Hochman, have owned Trailhead Cafe since 2012 and, at times, have had difficulty paying the cafe’s rent. Its landlord is the Criterion Theatre. Hochman, the vice chairman of the Bar Harbor Town Council, plans to run for re-election in June, and he’s hoping the cafe will remain open at some Bar Harbor location.

Do this: Read the BDN’s new comment policy

Yuganov Konstantin | Adobe Stock
Yuganov Konstantin | Adobe Stock

–Thank you to the hundreds of readers who got in touch following our open call for input on our comments policy in recent weeks. The new policy would not have been possible without you. We know that not everyone will agree with all of our decisions. But we hope you will respect them, for the sake of making BDN comments a decent place, with decent people, having decent conversations.

The new policy in full is over here. A number of commenters also asked for an FAQ, which we’ve put together here.

In other news…

Maine

Maine doesn’t test enough kids for lead even when federal law requires it, report says

Iconic Maine amusement park is for sale for $14.2 million

Ellsworth teen charged with solicitation to commit murder after alleged online chatroom threats

Bangor

Man accused of robbing two Bangor banks around Christmas pleads not guilty

Brewer teen ties fishing flies to benefit Children’s Miracle Network

Season two of ‘Castle Rock’ will feature a family of Somali Mainers

Business

Northern Light board approves merger with Dover-Foxcroft hospital

Maine fishermen ask for temporary ban on aquaculture permits

California judge dismisses return policy lawsuit against LL Bean

Politics

What has to happen before Maine can use ranked-choice voting for president

Nick Isgro’s tweets on vaccines and immigration deepen split in Maine Republican Party

Federal judge casts doubt on Trump’s drilling plans across the US because they ignore climate change

Opinion

Riverview debt should not be a partisan football

Nick Isgro’s anti-immigrant words have no place in Maine GOP

You can help make Bangor a more welcoming place

Sports

Fort Kent driver close to finalizing deal to race at NASCAR’s highest level

Pearson highlights UMaine men’s Hockey East all-conference picks

Robert Kraft rejects prosecutors’ deal in prostitution case

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