Keith Shortall

Director, News & Public Affairs

Keith Shortall is MPBN's News and Public Affairs Director. He grew up in Thomaston, Maine and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1982, majoring in philosophy. He began his career in commercial broadcasting in Portland, before moving to MPBN in 1989. Keith's interests include music (if you consider drummers to be musicians), and theater.


The Last Ferryman
5:48 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Birthday Gift for Maine Bridge: An Opera

Soprano Donatta Cucinotta, right, is featured as historical figure Annie McGuire, along with community members Roger Green, left, and Sam Harrington, center, in Opera House Arts' original new musical The Last Ferryman.
Credit Karen Galella / Courtesy Stonington Opera House

STONINGTON, Maine - If you're going to celebrate the anniversary of a local landmark, why not write an opera? That was exactly the thinking that's given life to a production called "The Last Ferryman," which creators in the Downeast community of Stonington have dubbed a "popera." It features the music of a Grammy-award-winning pianist and composer, and professional singers from Boston and New York, as well as local talent. "The Last Ferryman" made its debut at the Stonington Opera House last night.

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4:03 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Healthy Eating on a Budget


We all know the value of healthy eating.  But who among us has the time, energy and resources to eat right?  We'll get answers to questions about eating well while on a budget.  We'll also get tips on not needing to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but still preparing good, nutritious food. 

Guests: Courtney Kennedy, Nutrition and Education Manager at Good Shepherd Food Bank - she works with their program Cooking Matters

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Your Vote 2014
1:57 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Senate Candidate Finishes Walk Across Maine

U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows greets supporters in Portland after completing her 350-mile walk across Maine.
Credit Keith Shortall / MPBN

Democratic Senate hopeful Shenna Bellows completed a 350-mile walk across Maine at noon today, greeted by supporters in downtown Portland.

"We started our 'Walk Across Maine' for jobs and the economy on July 20th, just three weeks ago. And this morning I took the last step of that walk on the bridge between Kittery and New Hampshire," Bellows told the crowd. "But rest assured, this isn't the end. This is the beginning."

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Marijuana petition
4:44 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Advocates Deliver Pot Petitions to Lewiston Officials

David Boyer, of the Marijuana Policy Project, delivers signatures to Lewiston Assistant City Clerk Erica Soiett.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

LEWISTON, Maine - Activists seeking to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Lewiston delivered a final batch of signatures that they say should ensure that the issue will be on the fall ballot. The Lewiston effort is the latest of several local marijuana initiatives in Maine this year.  


As members of the Marijuana Policy Project delivered the last of what they say is over 1,200 to Lewiston City Hall, the groups political director, David Boyer, explained to reporters what the initiative would, and wouldn't, do.

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Across the Aisle
1:49 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Across the Aisle: Parsing the Gubernatorial Poll

It's Thursday, and time again for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on Maine politics. Joining us this week: Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic state legislator; Dick Woodbury, an economist and tax policy consultant to the campaign of independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler, and former Republican lawmaker Meredith Strang Burgess, who is CEO of Burgess Advertising and Marketing in Portland. They spoke with MPBN's Keith Shortall.

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9:15 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Andrew Ian Dodge, 46, Dies of Colon Cancer

HARPSWELL, Maine — Maine tea party activist and former U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Ian Dodge has died. He was 46. Dodge's relatives say he died from colon cancer Friday at his home in Harpswell.

Dodge ran unsuccessfully for the Senate seat being vacated by Olympia Snowe two years ago. He told MPBN during his campaign that his interest in politics began while attending college in Waterville.

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5:48 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Across the Aisle: Maine's Political Debates

It's Thursday and time once again for "Across the Aisle," our weekly foray into Maine politics, with analysts Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic state legislator; Dick Woodbury, an economist and tax policy consultant to the campaign of independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler; and former Republican lawmaker Meredith Strang Burgess, who is CEO of Burgess Advertising and Marketing in Portland.

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5:48 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

PETA Plans to Fly Vegan Banner over Rockland Lobster Festival

ROCKLAND, Maine — An animal rights group says it plans to hire an airplane to fly over the Lobster Festival here tomorrow that will carry a banner reading "Keep your paws off their claws: Try vegan."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the plane will circle the festival every 15 minutes starting at just after noon, until 2:30 p.m. on the event's opening day, to highlight the organizations belief that lobsters feel pain and fear, and are killed in gruesome ways for human consumption.

6:05 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Sedgwick Author: Demise of Books Overstated

Warren Lehrer

The demise of the book, as a delivery system for literature, is all but imminent in the minds of some futurists. But Warren Lehrer doesn't buy it. The writer and artist, a summer resident of Sedgwick, has been a pioneer in the art of the book. His most recent work, a novel, reflects his interests in expanding the possibilities of the book format as a way to tell stories. Keith Shortall caught up with Lehrer recently at the Rockland Public Library.

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Maine Calling
1:21 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Protecting Maine's Wildlife

Piping plover.
Credit Don Freiday/USFWS

  Maine is home to a wide array of creatures, and some face challenges from outside pressures that threaten their very survival. Today we speak with two conservationists and about the latest on efforts to protecting nongame wildlife in Maine.

Keith Shortall speaks with:

  • Laura Minich Zitske, Wildlife Ecologist at Maine Audubon, and Director of Maine Audubon’s Piping Plover and Least Tern Recovery Project
  • Charlie Todd, Endangered Species Coordinator for Maine’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
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