NewPage Corp. laying off 45 workers at Rumford mill

A paper mill in western Maine is set to lay off dozens of workers, as the mill’s parent company makes cuts nationwide due to a decline in demand.

NewPage Corp. said it’s laying off 45 workers at its mill in Rumford. The layoffs will include both salaried and hourly workers and will happen over the next couple of months.

The Sun Journal reported that the layoffs are part of broader cutbacks. NewPage has announced it will lay off 300 people across the country, cutting 5 percent of its work force.

In December, NewPage announced that it had completed financial restructuring and emerged from bankruptcy protection.

Farmington hospital cutting 35 to 40 posts due to losses

Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington will eliminate 35 to 40 positions because of mounting losses, said hospital President and CEO Rebecca Ryder.

The cuts will come mostly from nonclinical and other positions in the 850-employee hospital, Ryder said.

The hospital has lost about $500,000 a month for the last seven months and operated at a loss in the last financial year for the first time in more than a decade, she said.

The financial setbacks are compounded by the $15.4 million owed to the hospital from the state in MaineCare payments, she said.

The hospital is the second-largest employer in the county, behind Verso Paper operations in Jay, according to Maine’s Department of Labor.

Google taking applications for new $1,500 eyeglasses

Google Inc. is ready to let more people try out its Glass project, but becoming an early adopter won’t come easy or cheap.

The Silicon Valley company began taking 50-word applications on social media from users who want to become “Glass Explorers” and try out Google Glass: eyeglasses with small screens attached to give them smartphone-like capabilities.

Users who apply using the Google+ and Twitter social networks must include the hashtag “.IfIHadGlass” and explain what they’d do with the gadget. If 50 words aren’t enough, Google is also letting users include up to five pictures and a 15-second video.

Users must live in the U.S. and be at least 18 years old.

Google said those selected will have to cough up $1,500, plus tax, for their Glass Explorer Editions. Additionally, they must pick up the device in person in either San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles so they can “attend a special pick-up experience.”

Yahoo’s redesigned site has changes that make it faster

The website Yahoo began rolling out a major redesign Wednesday to U.S. users.

Yahoo.com users will be greeted by a new news-feed feature that allows them to scroll down continually for more news articles that have been gathered based on their interests and preferences. Users can also log into Yahoo using their Facebook account to gain a more personal experience.

Besides the news feed, Yahoo also said it has newly designed home-page applications. That includes applications for stock quotes, sports scores and the Flickr photo service.

One of the biggest changes with the site, however, isn’t visible. The company said it has made “under the hood” improvements to make Yahoo.com faster and more uniform on a computer, phone and tablet.

Boeing CEO presenting plan to fix 787’s batteries to FAA

Boeing has developed a plan that it intends to propose to federal regulators to temporarily fix problems with the 787 Dreamliner’s batteries that have kept the planes on the ground for more than a month, a congressional official said Wednesday on the condition of anonymity.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner is expected to present the plan to Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, on Friday, the official said.

Rate of home construction is third-highest since 2008

U.S. home builders began work at a slower pace in January than in December. But the decline occurred in the volatile area of apartment construction, which sank 24 percent. By contrast, the rate of single-family home building rose 0.8 percent.

Even with the overall decline, the pace of home construction in January was the third-highest since 2008 and was evidence of continued strengthening in residential real estate.

And in an encouraging sign for the rest of the year, applications for building permits, a signal of future construction, topped December’s rate. Applications for permits are at their highest point since mid-2008.

– From staff and news serices