LePage to visit tomato grower Backyard Farms

Gov. Paul LePage is helping Backyard Farms celebrate a new crop of tomatoes.

LePage will join plant officials Wednesday at the indoor farm, which is now back in full operation with 200 employees.

Backyard Farms, which operates a 42-acre greenhouse in Madison, twice destroyed nearly half-a-million plants over the summer – once because of an infestation of white flies and a second time because a batch of seedlings didn’t meet quality standards.

The farm typically grows about 450,000 plants that produce around 27 million pounds of tomatoes each year. The company sells to supermarkets across the region.



Agricultural exhibition to open at civic center

More than 5,000 people throughout Maine are expected to head to Augusta this week for an agricultural trade show.

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is hosting an agricultural exhibition Tuesday through Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.

The event will feature lectures, demonstrations and presentations on issues such as farm energy options and how to become a licensed cheese maker. There will be more than 110 exhibitions on agriculture products, equipment and services.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage is expected to attend the show’s opening on Tuesday.



Couple who lost lives in home fire identified

The State Fire Marshal’s Office on Sunday identified the couple who died when fire swept through their western Maine home as George Beety, 78, and his wife, Laurette, 79.

The Beetys were found dead after fire destroyed their Elliotsville Township home early Saturday morning.

Both bodies were found in or near the living room of the house and officials say they apparently were trying to escape the fire.

Fire officials say the home was engulfed in flames when they arrived at about 1 a.m. Saturday.


The fire marshal’s office says the fire originated in the dining room where a wood stove was located. The office said the extent of damage will prevent a determination of the fire’s cause.


Logging accident knocks out power to about 5,000

Maine utility officials say a logging accident knocked out power to about 5,000 Washington County customers early Saturday.

The officials said logging activity tripped a power line between Epping and Columbia at about 6:45 a.m. Saturday, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Emera Maine spokesman Bob Potts said Sunday that power was fully restored within about two hours.

Even though utility workers could not immediately determine the cause of the outage, they were able to reroute circuits in order to restore power during subzero temperatures.

There were no injuries during the accident or the restoration effort.

– From staff and news services

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