News

Cate Street Capital will receive a $16 million bond, not a $25 million bond.


MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The company looking to build a pellet mill in the Katahdin region suffered a major setback Thursday.

The Finance Authority of Maine board voted 8-5 to decrease a $25 million dollar bond to finance the project, down to $16 million. The board cited concerns about the amount of collateral.

Cate Street Capital, the company behind the mill project, said they were disappointed in the reduction and are unsure how the decreased money will affect the project.


'Thermogen' project in Millinocket faces uncertain future


MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A project that many hoped would bring jobs back to Millinocket now faces an uncertain fate as officials in Maine will once again have to consider whether they should approve state taxpayer-backed financing for the project

The Thermogen project has been years in the making for the town. 'Cate Street Capital,' which is the company that owns the site of the old Millinocket paper mill, has been looking to build the new plant since 2011.

'Cate Street' wants to make energy rich wood pellets called 'biocoal' on the site of the old mill. Yet now changes to the plant's production model could put it's funding in jeopardy.

How you might get a little extra time to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act

How you might get a little extra time to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act

If you're having trouble enrolling in a health plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you may be able to breathe a short sigh of relief. The deadline for open enrollment is next Monday, March 31, but the Obama administration has decided to allow extra time for some people who haven't been able to do so yet. Read more ...

'Power-shedding' bill to benefit East Millinocket paper mill moves on in Augusta


EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- The process of getting more than 200 laid off workers at Great Northern Paper back to work appears to be moving forward, as a major bill whose supporters say could end the shutdown at the East Millinocket mill was passed by a legislative committee on Tuesday.

Members of the committee unanimously passed LD 1792, which would essentially allow owners of the East Millinocket mill to 'power-shed' if it becomes law. 'Power shedding' is where the mill could power down at times sell back its excess power on the open market.

Supporters of the bill say current state law doesn't allow the East Millinocket plant to do that.

Yet even if the legislation is passed by the full legislature, Great Northern Paper would still need to work out a new agreement with Brookfield Asset management. That company is currently selling power to the mill.

Hello Maine Maple Sunday

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Today is Maine Maple Sunday!

Sugar houses all over the state of Maine are opening their doors to show you the process of maple syrup starts as sap and ends up on your breakfast table.

Follow this link to the Maine Maple Producers Association to find a sugar house near you.

LINK TO MAINE MAPLE SUNDAY EVENTS

We would love to see photos of your visits. Send a photo to photos@WLBZ2.com, post on our WLBZ 2 Facebook page or find us on Twitter @WLBZ2.

Millinocket schools pursuing partnership with Lee Academy

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Working with tighter finances is a problem schools in Millinocket have been facing for years. Now school leaders say they are trying to find new sources for revenue and ways to share costs by working with a private school.

The Millinocket school district has been having talks with Lee Academy. That school near Lincoln has a vast amount of international students and is currently looking to grow.

Millinocket school superintendent Kenneth Smith says he feels using Millinocket schools would be a good choice. He says not only would those students bring crucial tuition dollars into the district but if the schools decide to join Lee and become private, those students could stay in Millinocket for up to four years.

Wood pellet producers ramp up production as demand grows

STRONG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Despite reports of folks having a difficult time finding enough wood pellets to heat their homes, Maine's wood pellet producers say the issues have more to do with distribution than production.

At the Geneva Wood Fuels Mill in Strong, wood pellets are in production morning, noon and night.

"People are starting to embrace it a lot more," stated Jeff Allen, the plant manager.  "It's been steady.  Very, very steady."

Logs are brought to the mill and stripped of bark to help reduce the amount of ash created when the pellets are burned.  Then they are ground into chips and processed.

The wood chips are dried in a massive dryer before winding their way into machines that press them into pellets.