Moody’s: BIW contracts give city of Bath revenue stability

Warship contracts that were awarded recently to Bath Iron Works will bring years of revenue stability to the city of Bath, which relies heavily on BIW’s tax revenue, according to a newsletter from Moody’s, a financial research firm.

“These contracts are credit positive for the city of Bath . . . and other nearby municipalities in midcoast Maine, given BIW’s significant contribution to the regional economy,” said Moody’s Weekly Credit Outlook newsletter, released Monday.

It said BIW is Bath’s largest taxpayer, accounting for 40 percent of the city’s assessed property value.

In late September, the Navy awarded BIW a $680 million contract to build an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The company, which employs 5,400 workers, also has contracts to build three Zumwalt-class destroyers.

The prediction comes despite looming Pentagon budget cuts. Moody’s believes the Navy is unlikely to cancel destroyer contracts given the government’s longstanding relationship with BIW and the Navy’s publicly stated intent to continue ordering Arleigh Burkes for years.


Owner of Keddy Mill asks for more time to study pollution

The owner of the Keddy Mill is asking for more time to assess the extent of contamination at the site in South Windham.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection had asked the mill’s owner, HRC Village at Little Falls, to submit a plan by Friday for testing the site for contaminants. The owner responded with a letter asking to extend that deadline until Dec. 16, said David Wright, director of the DEP’s remediation division.

Previous testing showed widespread toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, in the concrete of the mill building and in the ground throughout the property.

Wright said a more comprehensive assessment of the level of contamination is necessary to determine the best way to clean up the site. That cleanup, he said, may be led by the owner, the DEP or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

DEP officials were still considering Monday whether to grant an extension to the mill owner or move forward with a different plan.

HRC Village at Little Falls had planned to develop a condominium complex in the building, the former home of a paper mill and later a foundry, which closed 40 years ago. That plan was shelved in 2009 amid the recession and mounting environmental concerns.


City invites submissions for supplying the holiday tree

As Mainers think about the perfect costume for Halloween this year, the city arborist is already seeking the perfect tree for the holiday season.

“Each year we look for a stately and well-rounded tree within 10 miles of Portland that a resident needs to have taken down. If selected, the tree will be cut down and transported downtown at no cost to the homeowner,” said Portland Arborist Jeff Tarling.

The city is looking for a 40- to 60-foot-tall tree that will be decorated in Monument Square with hundreds of LED lights to usher in the holiday season.

Anyone who thinks they have the perfect tree should submit a photo, address and the phone number of the owner to [email protected] Submissions can also be mailed to Portland’s Downtown District at 549 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101.

Grant to help Maine police maintain officer numbers

Six police departments are getting $1.3 million in federal funds to hire and retain officers.

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe said the funding from the Department of Justice comes as the state’s law enforcement agencies deal with the growing use of so-called bath salts, a synthetic drug that can cause people to become violent and delusional.

The funding will go to six police departments, in Dixfield, Greenville, Limestone, Lincoln, Richmond and Scarborough. The departments will receive $165,000 to $410,000 each.

‘Gazillion Bubble Show’ cancels Merrill appearance

Citing a need to fine-tune technical elements of the show, the producers of the “Gazillion Bubble Show” have canceled a planned stop at Merrill Auditorium in Portland on Thursday. Wednesday night’s show in Orono has not yet been canceled.

For the past five years, bubble artist Fan Yang has staged the theatrical show in New York and elsewhere. Last week, the show began a national tour, produced by Tony Award-winning producer Jon B. Platt. Portland was to be the third stop on the tour.

For information about ticket refunds, contact PortTix at 842-0800.

Former Sen. George Mitchell to speak about Middle East

Former Sen. George Mitchell of Maine, who was special U.S. envoy to the Middle East, will be the featured speaker Wednesday night at the second annual Wright Express Leadership and Creativity Event.

Mitchell, who resigned as special envoy in May, will speak on “Understanding the Middle East and Its Significance on the World Stage.”

The event is scheduled from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Hannaford Lecture Hall on the Portland campus of the University of Southern Maine.

This will be Mitchell’s first presentation on the Middle East since ending his duties as special envoy.


Man admits hiding camera, taking pictures of young girl

An Ellsworth man has pleaded guilty to using a pinhole camera to take images of a female relative who was younger than 12.

Thomas King, 42, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to possession of child pornography.

The Bangor Daily News said prosecutors alleged that King put the camera in a clock on a windowsill in a bathroom that was used primarily by the victim.

King admitted Monday that he downloaded the images to his laptop computer. He has not been accused of sharing the images on the Internet.

King faces as much as 10 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.


Municipal officials to gather for annual MMA convention

More than 800 municipal officials from across the state are headed to Augusta this week as the Maine Municipal Association holds its annual convention.

Public skepticism, tight finances and the burgeoning social media are among the trends to be explored during the meetings Wednesday and Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Association President and Sanford Town Manager Mark Green said this year’s theme is “Leadership In Action.” MMA is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

A featured speaker is Brian Lee Crowley, a renowned economist from Canada who’s studied the effects of forced government consolidation.


New Hampshire summit focuses on medication abuse

New Hampshire’s community and business leaders are working with government and health care officials to address what they call an epidemic in the state — prescription drug abuse.

State officials say deaths involving prescription drugs have more than quadrupled in the state in the last 15 years.

That statistic and others prompted the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment to hold a summit Monday, bringing together groups working to reverse the trend.

The commission is expected to release a detailed prescription drug strategy in December.