News

Car crashes into Bruno's Restaurant


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A car accident Thursday morning sent five people to the hospital and an SUV into the side of a Portland restaurant.

The accident happened around 9 a.m. on Allen Avenue. Police said a Toyota RAV 4 was rear-ended by a larger SUV. Witnesses said a train was crossing the street at the same time and the Toyota RAV 4 driver swerved to avoid the train. The RAV 4 flipped on its side and slammed into the corner of Bruno's Restaurant and Tavern.

Officials said there was one person in the Toyota who had to be extricated and four people in the other vehicle. Medical officials took all five to the hospital. Police said none of the injuries are serious.

Department of Labor Re-examining Drug Testing Laws


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Department of Labor says less than two percent of all Maine businesses do any type of workplace drug testing and wants to know why?

"Do they want to drug test, but they don't because of the statute, or they don't because of other reasons?" asked Julie Rabinowitz, communications director for the Maine Department of Labor.

According to Rabinowitz, of the roughly 47,000 businesses in Maine fewer than 600 conduct drug tests. She says the majority of those that do testing only do them when screening applicants they are interested in hiring.

"We are an outlier in our law in some things and in some areas of the law," she said. "We believe there are some costs built in that may be prohibitive for smaller employers."

Casco Bay Lines cuts ribbon for renovated terminal


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- People taking a ferry from Portland out to the islands will notice come big changes.

The renovations started last September, and 4500 square feet were added to the space. Since the terminal was built more than 25 years ago, the number of passengers served has more than doubled, with about one million people taking ferries last year. Casco Bay Lines General Manager Hank Berg says the new design will help people see the ferries, and enjoy their time in the terminal.

"It's an open area, it's light, and there's a lot more room," Berg said. "It's really become a destination, not just a transit stop."

This is just phase one of the renovation project. There will be more upgrades over the next two years, paid for by a $2.5 million federal grant.

Mainers Provide Input on Clean Power Plan


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In June of this year, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a landmark proposal designed to curb carbon emissions from power plants. Now the EPA is soliciting input on their Clean Power Plan.

"This is a very interesting, thoughtful approach to dealing with emissions from power plants," stated EPA Regional Administrator, Curt Spalding. "What we want is we want the entire country moving forward on a program to reduce carbon emissions."

"First of all, it is a landmark move because the federal government has finally taken some action," explained Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

"Power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution, so we have got to address those first," she added.

Beer Camp Provides a Taste of What's to Come at Thompson's Point


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It has been four years in the making, but Thompson's Point - a $100 million redevelopment of a once blighted 30 acre parcel of land - is on its way to being transformed into a welcoming gateway in to the city of Portland.

While much of the work over the past few years has been focused on permitting and planning, the site is hosting its first major event, welcoming in thousands of people from across the country for the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America.

Developers say they have had construction crews working at a frenzied pace the past few weeks to get the outdoor pavilion ready to host the roughly 4,000 beer enthusiasts and brewers from across the country.

Amtrak's Downeaster back to full schedule


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Amtrak's Downeaster is back on a regular schedule following a month of train cancellations caused by track maintenance.

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority announced it's running a full schedule effective Friday, now that the maintenance and repairs are complete.

Executive Director Patricia Quinn says Pan Am Railways, which owns the track between Brunswick and the Massachusetts border, had to replace 2,000 rail ties.

The passenger rail service runs from Brunswick, Maine, to Boston.

READ MORE:

Amtrak's Downeaster wrapping up difficult month

Recent ranking finds Jetport most affordable in region


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The days of driving to Boston or Manchester for a cheaper flight may be over, as Portland International Jetport officials point to a recent ranking that found PWM to be the most affordable in the region, and the 13th most affordable in the country.

The website Cheapflights.com released its annual Airport Affordability Index, and put Portland above Manchester, N.H. (#16) and Boston Logan (#76).

The report found the average price at PWM in June was $308, down from $394 in 2011.

According to Jetport Director Paul Bradbury, prices have gone down because of increased competition.