Business, city leaders celebrate return of Pirates to Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Last season is one both the city and the Portland Pirates would like to forget. Construction and heated negotiations between the Cumberland County Civic Center's Board of Trustees and the team kept the Pirates out of the namesake city.

"Last year was a difficult year," stated Portland's Mayor, Michael Brennan. "It was a difficult year for the Pirates, both on the ice and off the ice, and it was difficult with the negotiations with the Civic Center. We worked through those difficulties. We are now at a better place, and we see a bright future for the Pirates in Portland."

Mayor Brennan says the team has a tremendous economic, as well as social, impact on the community.

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Boothbay Harbor man crowned Maine Lobster Chef of the Year

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2014 was crowned after this year's lobster cook-off competition held Friday at Portland's four-day food and wine event, Harvest on the Harbor. Chef Stephen Richards, of Boothbay Harbor, was crowned in a Competition at Harvest on the Harbor.

Chef Stephen Richards from The World Is Mine Oyster in Boothbay Harbor, prepared Pumpkin Powdered, Mascarpone and Chestnut Crispy Polenta Bar with Roasted Fig Gastrique, Brown Butter Froth, Peppered Pancetta Chip and 24 Hour Cold Smoked Lobster Claw for the attendees and judges, and was voted the winner.

Richards received $1,000 in prize money, public relations opportunities, and bragging rights for the year.

Copies of the chef's recipes can be found at

Lots of attacks in Second District Debate

(NEWS CENTER) -- Maine's candidates for the 2nd congressional district met in their final televised debate Thursday night.

Our Voice of the Voter Forum featured Republican Bruce Poliquin, Democrat Emily Cain, and Independent Blaine Richardson.

The debate covered a number of topics -- from tax reform, to Social Security to the Affordable Care Act.
But what viewers of this debate will remember... was how nasty it was.

Our political analysts Phil Harriman and Ethan Strimling also talk about the candidates' performance.

Clearing leaves can prevent drainage problems

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Several crews will be out Wednesday cleaning streets and making sure they're as open as possible for the onslaught of the rain.

Portland has already seen over 2 inches or rain and there is the possibility of another 2 - 4 inches through Friday. This nor'easter is happening just days before the City's organized Fall Curbside Leaf Pickup Program.

The City of Portland Public Works crews do their best to keep Portland's 4,000-plus storm drains working but with Thursday looking like the wettest and windiest of all the days, it's important to clear drainage areas near you. Residents and property owners are encouraged to open up their catch basins to minimize flooding.

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Maine Medical Center put Ebola response plan to the test

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - We are learning more about the case of a patient who was held for observation at Maine Medical Center because of Ebola concerns.

Concerns were raised because the man, who walked in to the emergency room, had a fever and had traveled to Africa. The man was placed in isolation. All doctors and nurses who went inside the isolation room had to wear special personal protective equipment, including a body suit, booties and a hood. The hospital staff went through 50 of the suits during the two days the patient was under observation

When doctors determined the man did not have Ebola, he was released. In reviewing the response, hospital officials found there were gaps in communication with the public and staff.

Portland schools receive major arts education grant

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Side x Side, a grassroots, arts education initiative, was awarded $1.9 million by the U.S. Department of Education to expand its programming.

"Side x Side believes that the best education has creativity at its heart," stated Beth Wilbur Van Mierlo, Side x Side's executive director.

The program has worked with elementary students at the Reiche School for the past two years, engaging them in arts projects designed to teach them about math, science and more. The grant money will allow Side x Side to eventually expand to four schools and reach more than 1700 students.

The University of Southern Maine will be a partner in the project, providing college students exposure to this teaching approach.

Regulators consider future of Maine shrimp fishery

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Federal regulators are gathering findings to determine if there will be a commercial season for the Gulf of Maine's northern shrimp next year.

Regulators closed the shrimp season for 2014 for the first time in more than 30 years because shrimp populations dipped to their lowest recorded levels. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Northern Shrimp Technical Committee is meeting in Portland on Wednesday to update the status of the shrimp stock. The technical committee's findings will be the basis for regulators' decision about next year's season.

The commission's Northern Shrimp Section will meet Nov. 5 to set specifications for the 2015 season. The fishery could also reopen with new restrictions.