December 26, 2012

Maine/New England Dispatches

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Daisy, a 6-year-old Shih Tzu mix owned by Joe Corriveau of Saco, left, gets a greeting from Parker Roenick, 5, also of Saco, at the Young School playground in Saco on Sunday.

Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

AUGUSTA

Forums to seek public input on state of lobster industry

Maine fishery officials have scheduled a series of forums seeking public input about the state of the lobster industry and recommendations for the future.

The meetings come in the wake of this year's strong lobster catch and low lobster prices, and on the heels of a report that analyzes Maine's lobster licensing system.

Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said he hopes to get ideas from people in the lobster industry about the harvest, prices, Maine's relationship with Canada, the state's marketing strategy and the licensing system.

Sixteen meetings are planned in January in coastal towns from York to Machias.

The schedule is posted on the department's website: www.maine.gov/dmr/LobsterIndustry.htm.

GARDINER

Maine residents cautioned to beware of fake charities

Maine consumer protection officials are warning of bogus charities reported to be springing up in the aftermath of Sandy and the school shootings in Connecticut.

Commissioner Anne Head of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation encourages Maine residents to check the legitimacy of unknown charities, especially those that seem to quickly appear following a tragedy.

Consumers can check with the department on whether a charity is authorized to raise money in Maine and whether disciplinary action has ever been taken against the organization.

Information about charitable solicitations is available on the department's website at www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/charitable.

Information and other resources are also available from the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/charityfraud/.

RUMFORD

Paper mill's parent company no longer in bankruptcy

The parent company of a large paper mill in western Maine has emerged from bankruptcy protection.

NewPage Corp. has announced that it has completed its financial restructuring after receiving financial backing and a revolving line of credit 15 months after filing for bankruptcy.

NewPage employs about 900 workers at its mill in Rumford.

Headquartered in Ohio, NewPage has other mills in Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nova Scotia.

BOSTON

Georges Bank areas opened for clam, quahog harvesting

Regulators will allow fishermen to target Atlantic surf clams and ocean quahogs in areas of Georges Bank that have been closed to harvesting for 22 years.

The areas, which will reopen in January, have been closed since 1990 on the recommendation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which found high levels of a toxin there that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning in humans.

But officials said levels of the naturally occurring toxin have been low recently.

And the industry, regulators and academics have developed a testing approach for fishermen to check the shellfish for the toxins on board. Then, scientists at approved labs conduct further testing to ensure the shellfish are safe.

The two shellfish species support a multimillion-dollar East Coast fishery that had 47 active permit holders last year.

Mayor leaves rehab hospital with no decision about work

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has left a hospital just in time for Christmas.

The longest-serving mayor in the city's history was released Sunday from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. He told reporters from inside an SUV that it's great to be out for Christmas.

He joked that city government has been running well, even without him.

Menino spent about six weeks at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He was admitted for treatment of a respiratory infection that developed during a vacation in Italy.

While at the hospital, he suffered complications including a compression fracture in a vertebra in his spine. He also was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

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