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Central Maine News: Auburn’s ‘Lost Valley’ & Volunteers Working on Plan to Hopefully Open This Ski Season

Scott Olson, Getty Images

These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.

A proposal to build what would be Maine’s largest energy-generating wind farm has received preliminary approval from state environmental regulators. That mean a final decision could come as early as Sept. 5. The deadline is Sept. 8. Blue Sky West has been seeking approval for the $400 million, 62-turbine project proposed for Bingham and surrounding communities since May 2013. The 206-megawatt project has faced legal challenges over financing and environmental impacts and if approved could be facing an appeal. (AP)

The state’s public advocate, who represents consumers in issues involving electricity and phone service, is warning people to watch out for big jumps in their electric bills.  The problem is variable rate electricity plans. Some of those contracts include an initial fixed-rate price, which then changes to a variable rate after several months. There has been a jump in complaints recently about dramatic jumps in some electric bills. The agency has scheduled a public hearing for next week to review the rules and see if they need to be changed or updated. Consumers also need to be aware and know what they are buying. (WCSH)

Maine’s Lost Valley ski area and community volunteers are pulling together a plan to try to reopen this winter. The ski resort, which first opened in 1961, announced in June that it was in financial trouble and would be unable to reopen. Since then there has been growing community support. A group that would be known as “Friends of Lost Valley” has been forming, and they would possibly become a non-profit organization. (AP)

The success of the Waterville residential curbside recycling program has proved to be a headache for some small businesses. According to the KJ, Shredding on Site, had been accepting residential and small business recyclables at no cost for about a year. But when the city launched a voluntary curbside recycling program July 21, that dropped back quickly. So much so, they stopped accepting the items. Waterville is now trying to find a solution to the void created for recyclables from small businesses. (centralmaine.com)

President Barack Obama has dialed back the possibility of imminent U.S. military action in Syria against the extremist group Islamic State. Before heading into a meeting with his national security team, the president told reporters that “clear plans” are needed and are being developed. The U.S. has already launched more than 100 attacks on Islamic State targets in Iraq. (AP)

Worsening tensions in Ukraine are sending markets lower, a day after the S&P 500 finished with its third straight all-time closing high. The developments in Ukraine are overshadowing an encouraging report on U.S. economic growth. European markets are also lower today. (AP)

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