Civic Center renovation campaign gets underway

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- On November 8th when voters in Cumberland County go to the polls they'll be asked if they approve of a major overhaul of the aging civic center.

Today county commissioners, civic center trustees and business owners and leaders gathered outside the building to show off some of the improvements. The building would have a new look on the outside with glass enclosed entrances on both free and spring streets.

Inside there will be expanded concourses, more concession stands and bathrooms. There will also be club seating and other upgrades to modernize the building. Supporters of the project say the Civic Center is a vital part of the community and the local economy.

"We have a choice, a choice between investing $33 million in this facility to keep it viable and competitive for years to come or doing nothing and allowing it to become physically and economically obsolete", said Civic Center Trustee Neal Pratt.

The Salt Exchange and Portland Ovations


A printable version of the recipe for Mussels by The Salt Exchange can be found in the 207 Kitchen section of our webpage.

The Salt Exchange is one of several restaurants participating in the 16th Annual Epicurean Auction Benefit which takes place on Tuesday, September 20th at 5:30 PM at Merrill Auditorium.  Join them for an evening of food and wine, silent and live auctions, and dessert and coffee all served at Merrill Auditorium.  Proceeds benefit Ovations Offstage, Portland Ovations community based arts programs.

For more information on the Epicurean Auction Benefit click here:  PORTLAND OVATIONS

Call center industry still very viable for Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For much of the past two decades, economic development officials have been courting companies hoping to have them establish call centers in communities in all corners of the state.

Citing low labor costs, a ready and willing workforce, and affordable land and facilities, the push to bring company's support services to Maine has yielded several large companies establishing customer support and technical service centers in the state.

Labor experts estimate that at its peak a couple years ago, about 7,000 Mainers worked in the teleservices industry.

Economist Charles Colgan says Maine is well positioned for continued growth in the industry. 

"Call center business held up as good as you could expect in a recession," stated Colgan.  Colgan says most of the changes in employment have been the result of shifts in corporate ownership.

Win Four Tickets to the Sylvania 300 @ the New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Win Four Tickets to the Sylvania 300 @ the New Hampshire Motor Speedway
SYLVANIA 300 Sunday, September 25, 2011 2:00pm Oval - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series


The cars and stars of NASCAR race their way back to New England for the SYLVANIA 300 and the second race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Sunday, September 25. As part of NASCAR’s 10-race playoffs, this 300-lap event is sure to be pivotal in deciding the series champion.

Portland commission looks at boat groundings

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Officials in Maine are taking a look at boating safety in Portland harbor following three charter boat groundings in the past 13 months.

The Portland Harbor Commission says it's interested in meeting with charter boat operators to discuss the matter.

The Wendameen, a 59-foot two-masted schooner, ran aground twice this summer in the harbor. The 88-foot Bagheera ran aground last summer. Both are owned by the Portland Schooner Co., which did not respond to the Portland Press Herald's requests for comment.

Bill Frappier III, who owns three tour boats, said he'd be glad to meet with harbor commissioners. But he said the problems of one company shouldn't trigger new regulations.

He said it comes down to how familiar boat captains are with the waters of Casco Bay.




Second child dropped off alone prompts changes

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The first week of school has been especially hectic at Portland's East End Community School, after two children were bused home and dropped off alone when they were supposed to be at after school recreation programs.

The incidents were separate from each other, happening on Tuesday and Friday of last week.  Both children were found safe and sound, but the issue has drawn a lot of attention on how the school proposes to avoid similar situations in the future.

"I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't think straight," recalled Meaghan Ross, who's 8 year old daughter was dropped off home alone on Friday.  "I was very upset and concerned."

Ross says she has met with school officials and hopes communication between parents and the school will improve in light of recent events.

One Longfellow Square

One Longfellow Square in Portland is celebrating its transition to a non-profit organization.  Its new mission will be to make youth development and arts education an ongoing part of its programming.  One Longfellow Square will also be working with other area non-profits to offer programs throughout greater Portalnd.

This Saturday night, One Longfellow Square will welcome Catie Curtis.  She has just released a new album, "Stretch Limousine on Fire."  Curtis will perform at 8:00 PM.  Tickets are $20.

For more information on One Longfellow Square click here:  ONE LONGFELLOW SQUARE