Kittery architect Solus4 links up with Connecticut firm

An architectural firm in Kittery has affiliated with a Connecticut company to offer clients specialty services, especially for projects in Middle Eastern and African countries.

In a release from Solus4 LLC, President Duncan Pendlebury said his company’s agreement with Fletcher-Thompson Inc. of Bridgeport will allow the companies to tap each others’ resources for future projects. The architectural firms recently worked together on a project in a new university in Iraq, and a hotel and clinic in Ethiopia. The agreement was signed Monday.

Solus4 was founded in 2010. Among its projects are office towers and hotels in Dubai, financial centers and hotels in the Boston area, and retail stores in Detroit. In Portland, the company designed the extension at Flatbread Pizza to accommodate water traffic and enhance year-round water views for diners.

Average gas price drops nearly a penny in last week

Average gas prices in Maine have fallen nearly a penny in the last week.

The average price of a gallon of gas in Maine on Monday was $3.67 a gallon – down 4.3 cents from one month ago, according to

The average price for a gallon of gas nationally is $3.63 a gallon, also down about a penny in the past week but up three-tenths of a cent per gallon in the last month.

Gas prices in Maine are 10.4 cents a gallon higher than they were one year ago.

McDonald’s U.S. sales slip again in May

McDonald’s says a key sales metric slipped again in the U.S. as it faced “ongoing broad-based challenges” in May.

The world’s largest hamburger chain said U.S. sales declined 1 percent at locations open at least 14 months. The fast-food chain has been struggling to boost sales amid heightened competition and changing eating habits. Many of its core customers are also struggling financially, which has forced McDonald’s to intensify its focus on value.

Executives at McDonald’s have also conceded that the chain introduced too many items too quickly last year, which led to slower service and inaccurate orders. CEO Don Thompson has said the company is working with franchisees to address those problems, in part by ensuring restaurants have appropriate staffing.

USS California submarine docks in Kittery for repairs

The USS California submarine is at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for maintenance.

The fast-attack sub and its crew of 115 enlisted personnel and 15 officers docked at the shipyard on Sunday.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the California is the eighth Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarine “built to excel in anti-submarine warfare” and other missions.

The sub’s homeport is in Groton, Connecticut. It was commissioned Oct. 29, 2011.