BAR HARBOR

Cadillac Mountain access road opens a week early

The access road leading to Acadia National Park’s Cadillac Mountain has opened a week ahead of schedule.

The road opened to traffic on Saturday a week before a large portion of the 27-mile Park Loop Road and the park’s Hulls Cove Visitor Center open.

Park officials announced in March that the Park Loop Road, the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road and the visitor center would open a month later than their usual mid-April openings because of a series of automatic federal spending cuts that slashed $390,000 from the park’s budget.

Superintendent Sheridan Steele said the Cadillac Mountain road is opening earlier in response to concerns from the island’s business community.

Merchants offered to help out with trash removal and portable toilet service to ensure the early opening.

AUGUSTA

Transmission lines are inspected by helicopter

Central Maine Power Co. has begun its spring inspections of its transmission lines by helicopter. The flights help crews spot potential problems with equipment, as well as signs of unauthorized use.

CMP, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, owns nearly 2,500 miles of transmission line. Along with semiannual visual patrols and yearly infrared inspections, the utility does aerial checks when problems crop up.

The inspections also turn up unauthorized use of land along the power company’s rights of way. Spokesman John Carroll said there have been problems with people using CMP’s rights of way to dispose of old appliances, building materials and cars, and using them for ATV mud runs. Carroll said that’s bad for the environment and unfair to people who live nearby.

BREWER

HIghland Shoe Co. acquired by Texas manufacturer

Fort Worth-based Justin Brands Inc. said it has acquired Highland Shoe Co. LLC in Brewer for an undisclosed price.

The company said in a statement it will continue to employ all 35 employees at Highland Shoe and maintain the current production level of more than 400 pairs of hand-sewn shoes each week.

Highland Shoe makes private-label casual and dress shoes that are sold around the world.

Justin Brands is a leading manufacturer of western footwear. It’s owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.