Jay Field

News Producer

Jay Field is a reporter for MPBN Radio based in the network’s Bangor bureau. In his reporting for the network’s flagship program, Maine Things Considered, Field enjoys exploring how real people’s lives are impacted by the unique policy challenges, economic, education, natural resource and otherwise, that come with daily life in a rural state.

Prior to joining MPBN, Field was based in Evanston, Illinois, where he filed freelance stories for NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Marketplace and The World, and worked as a staff reporter for WBEZ-FM in Chicago. At WBEZ, Field helped launch an education desk, spent four years reporting, in-depth, on the nation’s third largest school system and covered general assignment news. Field began his public radio career as an intern and contributing reporter at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, where he filed stories for KQED News and The California Report.

Field has received many honors and awards for his work. In 2012, his series on Maine’s prescription drug monitoring program was honored in the Public Affairs category by the Maine Association of Broadcasters. In 2007, Field won a national Sigma Delta Chi award for Radio Investigative Reporting for a series on overcrowding and disciplinary problems at a high school on Chicago’s South Side. That same year, Field was also part of a team of WBEZ journalists who contributed to the series Chicago Matters: Valuing Education, which won the Casey Medal for Meritous Journalism, which honors distinguished coverage of disadvantaged children, youth and families. In 2006, Field was honored with the national Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in the Radio Feature Reporting category for a two-month series on school truancy in Rockford, Illinois. In 2005, the National Headliner Awards honored Field for his ongoing coverage of school finance challenges in a poor suburb on south of Chicago, near the Indiana border. Field has been a finalist for the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize. His work has also been honored by the Chicago Headline Club, the Illinois Associated Press, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.

Field graduated from Colby College, earning a B.A. in English.

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UMS Funding
5:56 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

UMS Trustees Vote to Seek Funding Hike, as They Ax USM Programs

FORT KENT, Maine - The University of Maine System's Board of Trustees has given the final OK to a plan to eliminate three academic programs at the University of Southern Maine. At their meeting today in Fort Kent, system trustees also unanimously voted to ask state lawmakers to approve funding increases for Maine's public universities for the next two fiscal years. Trustees say the system needs more funding from the state in order to maintain a freeze on tuition rates. USM, meantime, may be facing another round of budget cuts next year. 

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Your Vote 2014
6:02 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Sen. Susan Collins Maintains Popularity as Fellow Moderates Disappear

Sen. Susan Collins talks with supporters at an event in June.
Credit Jay Field / MPBN

Maine Sen. Susan Collins has become one of the most popular and influential U.S. senators in the nation. She's one of the few moderate Republicans left in Congress, and is a politician known for working across the aisle - and occasionally bucking her own party - on key legislation. Collins' supporters say her inclusive style has its roots in her relationships with constituents back home, and, like other Maine Republicans who've served in the Senate, it's won her the consistent support of voters across the political spectrum.

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Paper mill devaluation
5:33 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Mill's Steep Devaluation Leaves Madison Residents With No Good Options

A sign on a building at Madison Paper Industries.
Credit Jay Field / MPBN

MADISON, Maine - The adverse business climate facing the paper industry is increasingly putting the finances of Maine's rural mill towns, and the economic fortunes of homeowners, at risk. In towns like Jay, Skowhegan and Madison, local assessors have had to drop the tax valuation of paper mills and raise property tax rates to make up the difference. In Madison last night, local officials held an emergency meeting, where residents voted to allow the town to seek a $2.5 million line of credit to ease the burden of a projected 30 percent tax increase.

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UMaine board nomination
5:59 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

UMaine Board Nominee in Spotlight for 'Feminizing Schools' Comments

Susan Dench, who has been nominated to serve on the UMaine board of trustees.
Credit Courtesy Informed Women's Network

AUGUSTA, Maine - At a confirmation hearing next week, state lawmakers are likely to spend time probing the views of one of Gov. Paul LePage's recent appointments to the University of Maine board of trustees. Susan Dench heads the Informed Women's Network, a Falmouth-based group that encourages women to join together and advocate for conservative ideals. Dench is also a former blogger for the Bangor Daily News, and it's a column she wrote on the influence of feminism in schools that's generating controversy.

 

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Maine
5:51 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

USM Students Criticize Decision to Move Trustees Meeting to Fort Kent

USM students protest proposed cuts at a Portland rally in April.
Credit Caroline Losneck

Students and faculty who've been fighting job and program cuts at the University of Southern Maine are criticizing a decision to move this month's UMaine System board of trustees meeting from USM to Fort Kent. The trustees are scheduled to cast final votes at the meeting on plans to scrap the American and New England studies, geosciences and the Lewiston Auburn Arts and Humanities programs at USM, and critics say they won't be able to attend if the meeting is held in northern Maine.

 

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MMA Railway
5:29 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

New Owner of MMA Railway Vows Safer, More Profitable Service

The Lac Megantic derailment site following the accident.
Credit Courtesy Transportation Safety Board of Canada

BANGOR, Maine - The new owner of the former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway is vowing to run a profitable, efficient and safe railroad by 2015. Fortress Investment Group paid $15 million to acquire the track and other assets, after the Lac Megantic disaster drove the MMA into bankruptcy. Key Maine industries have a lot at stake in the new company and its leader, John Giles.

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Hunger in the classroom
5:53 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Task Force Examines How Bangor Schools Buck Hungry Kids Stereotype

A child eats lunch at school.
Credit Ellsasizzle / Creative Commons

BANGOR,  Maine - Research shows that students who live below the poverty line often have a tougher time succeeding academically. There are, though, so-called outliers - schools and districts with large numbers of poor kids that still manage to produce impressive results in the classroom. In Maine, the Bangor School Department is one such outlier.

Members of a statewide task force to eradicate student hunger visited the city today to learn about the role food security and nutrition is playing in the district's success.

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Ferry service
5:48 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Nova Star Ferry Service to End Season Early, After Lackluster Debut

The Nova Star ferry.
Credit Courtesy Nova Star Cruises

The Nova Star ferry between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, will make its last trip three weeks ahead of schedule. Service got off to a slow start this season, the first for the Nova Star, after five years without a ferry between Maine and Atlantic Canada. Business has since picked up, with more than 20,000 passengers riding the ferry in August. But Nova Star wants to work on plans to attract more passengers in 2015.

 

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Casino study
5:41 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Study: Maine Could Support More Casinos

The interior of the Oxford Casino in Oxford.
Credit Susan Sharon / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine could support additional casinos in the southern and northern parts of the state, according to a study prepared for the Legislature. Lawmakers on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee will be briefed on the report next week by it's author, White Sands Gaming. Opponents of gambling expansion question whether the report, drafted by a casino management firm, can really be a sound starting point for a debate about the future of gaming in Maine.

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Formaldehyde Rule
6:01 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Maine Lawmakers Criticize Foot Dragging on Formaldehyde Rule

AUGUSTA, Maine - Lawmakers in both parties are renewing their criticism of the LePage administration's refusal to identify formaldehyde as a harmful chemical under the Kids Safe Products Act.  A proposed rule, dropped by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in April, would require manufacturers to identify the chemical in any products marketed to children. The department says it delayed action to give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency more time to complete a review of the risks proposed by formaldehyde.

 

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