Cargo conundrum faces Maine maritime officials

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The sudden shuttering of a weekly container cargo service between Halifax, Nova Scotia, Portland and Boston has left businesses that used the service scrambling and maritime officials looking into other opportunities.

Late last week, American Feeder Lines announced it would no longer be running its weekly container service between the three ports.  The company cited low container volumes and a loss of  private investment as the reasons for the move.

"The biggest impact is on the shippers that were using the service," stated John Henshaw, executive director of the Maine Port Authority. "Obviously they were only using the service if it was in their interest to do so.  They were either saving time or saving money and so those shippers will have to find other routes to market or to receive their imported goods in Maine."

5 deals changing business in Maine

(NEWS CENTER) - Five sales and moves of local businesses that will change Maine's financial future.

Downeast Energy has been purchased by an Oklahoma firm.

Barber Food announced the layoffs of 79 employees as part of a restructuring effort.

Lewiston's White Rock Distilleries is selling 2 brands to the makers of Jim Beam.

Downeast Energy being sold to Oklahoma company

BRUNSWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Downeast Energy, a family owned business with roots in Maine dating back more than 100 years, is being sold to NGL Energy.

Downeast Energy was founded as Brunswick Coal in 1908.  In 1931, Allen Morrell purchased the company and expanded the business to include building materials and energy products.  The company has operated under the oversight of generations of the Morrell family ever since.

"Eventually, something was going to have to happen to grow," stated Betsy Morrell, a member of the third generation involved in the family business.  "I guess we wanted to do it at a time when we didn't have to do it, so we would have the best deal for our employees and our customers."

Live Lobster Company sued for $3.4 million by bank

CHELSEA, Mass. (NEWS CENTER) -- There are more legal problems for the Massachusetts company that owns a lobster processing plant in Gouldsboro and several other lobster buying stations along the midcoast.

Live Lobster Company in Chelsea, Massachusetts is being sued by TD Bank for $3.4 million. According to court documents, TD Bank entered into a loan agreement with Live Lobster in June of 2008 for $4 million.

The suit alleges that Live Lobster has failed or refused to pay the bank the amounts that are owed. Toni Lillenthal, a spokesperson for the company confirmed the lawsuit Thursday afternoon. 

New ferry joins the State of Maine fleet

ROCKLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For the first time in almost twenty years, there's a brand new ferry working the waters of Penobscot Bay.

The Maine State Ferry Service on Friday christened the Capt. E. Frank Thompson, named for a veteran captain who piloted one of the ferries for twenty years.

The new boat is 165 feet long, and is bigger, stronger, and a little faster than her predecessor. Ferry Service workers say the new design allows the boat to carry more people and vehicles: up to 250 passengers and 22 cars and trucks.

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State ferry fleet gains first addition in 19 years

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine is adding a new ferry to its fleet that serves the state's islands.

Friday's event in Rockland marks the first time in 19 years the state ferry service will add a new ferry to its fleet. The Capt. E. Frank Thompson, named after a former long-time ferry skipper, is being christened at the Rockland Ferry Terminal.

State transportation officials say the new $10.3 million vessel can transport up to 250 passengers and 22 vehicles.

A number of family members of Capt. Thompson plan to attend Friday's event. His daughter, Than Hopkins, will christen the vessel.

Elected officials and their representatives will also attend.