November 12, 2012

Local & State Dispatches

ORONO

Call center reverses course, says it won't hire workers

A call center in Orono has reversed course and says it won't be hiring hundreds of workers to take calls from people in other states affected by Superstorm Sandy.

NexxLinx of Maine said last week that it would hire 400 employees for a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance to people from nine mid-Atlantic and New England states and Washington, D.C., who were registering for federal disaster assistance or seeking relief program referrals.

The company announced Saturday that FEMA has canceled the contract after determining it had enough resources on hand and that the call center no longer needs to hire anyone.

NexxLinx has its headquarters in Atlanta and call centers in Maine, New York, North Carolina and Texas.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.

Mainers join other workers on Hostess plant picket line

Several hundred workers at a Hostess plant in northeast Philadelphia are off the job, honoring picket lines by the bakers' union at the bankrupt company's plants.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said about 330 workers at the Philadelphia plant have joined several dozen workers from Maine who arrived to picket. Hostess operates a bakery and distribution center in Biddeford, with about 370 workers.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union said Friday's walkout began after Hostess Brands Inc. imposed a contract that cuts wages and benefits by 27 precent to 32 percent, with an immediate 8 percent wage reduction.

Only some Hostess workers are free to strike, according to a union fact sheet, but the existing contract allows striking workers to set up picket lines at other plants, and workers at those plants can honor the picket lines.

Hostess, which makes Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Ding Dongs, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

ELLSWORTH

Jackson Laboratory ready to develop new campus

The Jackson Laboratory is ready to begin developing a new campus following the purchase of a former Lowe's store in Ellsworth.

The Bar Harbor-based biomedical research facility said it has completed the acquisition of the former big-box store, which closed late last year. The sales price was not disclosed.

The Bangor Daily News reported the laboratory will now begin planning and engineering the facility, which will be used for office and warehouse space and potentially as a site for mouse production.

Spokeswoman Joyce Peterson said it's going to take time to plan out the space and complete renovations, and that it could be four years before Jackson Laboratory employees report for work there.

AUGUSTA

Commemorative plate aims to mark Acadian Congress

The state of Maine will issue a commemorative license plate to mark the 2014 World Acadian Congress.

Event organizers say it's the first time since the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 that the state is issuing a commemorative license plate to mark a significant event.

The World Acadian Congress is held every five years in a region inhabited by Acadians. It draws more than 50,000 visitors from 44 countries and has an economic impact that exceeds $50 million.

In 2014, the congress will be hosted by the international region known as Acadia of the Lands and Forests, which incorporates northernmost Maine, northwestern New Brunswick and southeastern Quebec.

A commemorative license plate does not have any numbers or letters and cannot replace the legally issued plates.

Man suffers serious burns from gasoline in wood stove

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