Patty Wight

News Producer

Patty Wight joined MPBN after working as a freelance radio reporter. She has produced pieces for National Public Radio programs such as All Things Considered and Morning Edition. She produced a 5-part documentary series on Maine’s gubernatorial campaign for Maine Things Considered in 2010. Patty also taught at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, where she first got hooked on radio as a student herself in 2000. After graduating, she immediately sought an internship with MPBN. She’s very happy to return as a reporter.


MacArthur Fellow
5:44 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Portland Lawyer Wins MacArthur 'Genius Grant' Award

MacArthur Foundation Fellow Mary Bonauto.
Credit Courtesy Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders

A Portland attorney has been named a 2014 MacArthur Fellow. The fellowships - often called "genius grants" - recognize creative, high-achieving individuals who show promise for important contributions in the future. Mary Bonauto is a civil rights lawyer credited with breaking down legal barriers to achieve marriage equality across the U.S.

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Health insurance figures
5:47 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

U.S. Census: Percentage of Uninsured in Maine on the Rise

Consumer health advocate Jake Grindle, of Western Maine Community Action.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

Maine is one of just two states in the nation where the number of people without health insurance increased in 2013. U.S. Census Bureau data released today indicates that, in one year, the percentage the state's uninsured grew from 10.2 percent to 11.2 percent - an addition of 12,000 people. The figures provide a backdrop as the next enrollment period approaches for the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplace.

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Medical marijuana
5:54 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Caribou Doctor Reprimanded Over Dispensing of Medical Marijuana Certificates

ORONO, Maine - A doctor who operated a medical marijuana clinic out of an Orono inn last year has been reprimanded and fined by the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. The doctor saw nearly 60 patients over the course of two days to issue medical marijuana certificates, regulators say. State officials say that as Maine's young medical marijuana program evolves, the challenge is to ensure that physicians don't use it solely as a revenue-generating opportunity.  


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5:32 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

NASCAR Driver's Car Carries Maine Message: 'Open for Business'

Gov. Paul LePage poses for the cameras with Miss Maine, left, Miss Teen Maine, and NASCAR driver Austin Theriault, in front of Theriault's car.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - It's being billed as the first-ever public-private sponsorship of a race car. Today Gov. Paul LePage announced that the state of Maine will use Fort Kent NASCAR driver Austin Theriault's car as a billboard for the slogan, "Maine is open for business." The sponsorship cost the state $50,000. Some are celebrating the move, while others question whether it will drive business to the state.

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5:54 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Maine Insurers Take Different Approach to Paying Doctors, in Effort to Cut Costs

Dr. Jeff Holmstrom, a practicing family physician who is also the medical director at Anthem.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Insurance companies are starting to pay primary care physicians in Maine a little differently, in an effort to improve care, and reduce expensive hospitalizations. They're giving doctors reimbursements upfront, to cover the cost of outreach and forms of care that come outside a patient visit. Some health policy experts say these programs are another step in the right direction.

Years ago, Portland internist Dr. Tom Claffey says he noticed a problem with the way patients with chronic conditions were being treated. Their care was sporadic and reactionary.

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Hope Elephants
5:55 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Elephants at Maine Sanctuary to be Returned to Oklahoma

Elephants Opal, left, and Rosie, foreground, will be returned to a sanctuary in Oklahoma.
Credit Courtesy Hope eleph

HOPE, Maine - The two elephants from Hope, Maine, will return to their previous sanctuary in Oklahoma following the death of their caretaker, Jim Laurita. On Tuesday morning, Laurita was found dead in the animals' barn from a crushing injury to the chest caused accidentally by one of the elephants.  

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Elephant veterinarian dies
5:31 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Crushing Death of Hope Elephants Founder Leaves Community in Shock

Opal, left, and Rosie, foreground, were brought to Maine by veterinarian Jim Laurita.
Credit Courtesy Hope Elephants

Jim Laurita appeared on "MaineWatch" in September 2011. Watch above.

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Lewiston Job Fair
6:01 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Economic Signs of Life: Employers Out in Force at Maine Job Fair

Job seeker Susan Tiche at the Lewiston Career Center.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

LEWISTON, Maine - Plenty of people are looking for jobs in Maine - the unemployment rate is hovering at 5.5 percent. But that's a 1 percent drop from last year, and some Career Center managers say the job market is finally turning the corner since the recession. This morning, the Lewiston Career Center was packed with employers eager to fill positions. It may be a job seekers' market, but finding the right match can still be tricky.


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Carbon Emissions
4:35 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Advocates Press Sen. Collins to Support CO2 Emissions Limits

Taryn Hall of Environment Maine speaks at a Portland press conference today.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine environmentalists and some Maine businesses are urging Republican Sen. Susan Collins to support a proposed federal rule that would limit carbon emissions from power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency released its Clean Plower Plan in June and has faced opposition from many congressional Republicans, who say it will cuts jobs and increase energy costs. Collins has not yet taken a position.

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Minimum Wage
5:44 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Advocates Pressure Collins to Support Minimum Wage Increase

Sen. Susan Collins, right, chats with a worker at Bath Iron Works in June.
Credit File photo / MPBN

Advocates for raising the federal minimum wage are ramping up a social media campaign to urge lawmakers to take action when Congress resumes next week.  One of their targets is Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins.  Collins is seen as having a key role in bringing a filibustered bill back on the floor.  But election year politics may get in the way of any movement on the issue.  


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