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.


James Foley
5:33 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Executed New Hampshire Journalist was Steadfast in Face of Danger

James Foley in Aleppo, Syria in September of 2012.
Credit Photo:Manu Brabo /

ROCHESTER, New Hampshire - A New Hampshire photojournalist who was abducted by Islamic militants in Syria has been killed by his captors. James Foley disappeared two years ago while on assignment in Syria for the GlobalPost. Little information about him has surfaced since. On Tuesday, a video released by the Islamic State showed Foley being executed. Patty Wight has more on who James Foley was, and what happened to him.


Read more
Police militarization
5:47 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Are Police Becoming too Militarized? Maine ACLU Raises Concerns

PORTLAND, Maine - War-zone-like images of Ferguson, Missouri - where unarmed black teen Michael Brown was recently shot to death by a white police officer - are raising questions about the militarization of police. As violent protests have erupted, police armed in tactical gear have deployed military style vehicles and weapons to disperse crowds. Police departments across the country, including here in Maine, have obtained excess military vehicles since the 1990s. Now, some members of Congress are calling for an end to the practice.

Read more
Side Trips
4:18 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Side Trips: The Desert of Maine

Fiberglass camels mark the entrance to the Desert of Maine.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

FREEPORT, Maine - It was in the late 1800's that a small patch of sand - about the size of a tea cup saucer - appeared on a Freeport farm field. Within a year, that patch of sand had spread to cover 300 acres. The Desert of Maine was born, and ever since visitors have come to see this barren ecological anomaly in the most forested state in the nation.

Read more
4:39 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

LePage Meets with Legislature to Discuss Riverview, Alexander Report

For the first time since January, Gov. LePage met with the top leaders of the Legislature. In a closed door meeting he told them he won't seek a full refund from the consultant who produced a plagiarized report on Maine's Medicaid system. The meeting was described as businesslike — with some heat.

Read more
5:06 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Virtual Doctor Visits Considered Major Step Forward for Maine Patients

Anthem's Rory Sheehan demonstrates a video doc visit.
Patty Wight MPBN

Seeing the doctor is now only a few clicks away, thanks to new apps that allow you to do virtual visits on your computer, smartphone or tablet. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced today that it's covering video visits for most of its Maine members when they use the Internet tool LiveHealth Online. Many see the development as a major step forward in convenience and access to health care.

Read more
5:16 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

New Law to Increase Access to Chemotherapy Pills

Donna Brookings
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

Cancer treatment has traditionally involved intravenous chemotherapy. But that's starting to change. Research has shown that chemotherapy pills can be more effective. The problem is that chemo pills can cost thousands of dollars per prescription, which puts them out of reach for some patients. But a new law in Maine will soon change that.

Donna Brookings has fought cancer twice. The first time was in 2005. It was breast cancer, and once a week she would go to the hospital and sit in a chair for 3-4 hours while intravenous chemotherapy pumped into her veins.

Read more
5:42 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Court: Owls Head Residents Have Rights to Shore Near Private Property

A group of residents of Owls Head will continue to have access to a beach following a Superior Court decision this week. A New York couple who owns a house in Owls Head had filed suit against the town and their neighbors to try to limit access to what they believed was their own private property.

Read more
5:48 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Fake Patients Let Medical Students Practice on Underserved Populations

Third-year medical student Allie Tetreault (left) and standardized patient Gabrielle Nuki.
Patty Wight MPBN

Going to the doctor is not typically at the top of anyone's want-to-do-list, especially for teenagers, who are considered an underserved population in health care. But adolescence is considered a critical time for physicians to connect with young patients as they confront risky behaviors. To build stronger relationships with teens, medical students are increasingly training with simulated, or so-called "standardized patients" for practice.

Third-year medical student Allie Tetreault opens the door to an exam room at Maine Medical Center and greets her 16-year-old patient.

Read more
5:23 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Maine Advocates Rally for Public Hearing on Phthalates

Dr. Deborah Rice, former state toxicologist, testifies against phthalates at a public hearing in Augusta Tuesday.
Patty Wight MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine — The list of ingredients in cosmetics, lotions and soft vinyl plastics could soon have a new addition. The Department of Environmental Protection today took up a proposal to require manufacturers to report use of phthalates. Phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that can cause developmental and reproductive problems. More than 2,000 concerned Mainers say it's time consumers know what's in the products they're buying.

Read more
5:35 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

LePage: State Should Consider Giving Up on Riverview Certification

Riverview Psychiatric Center in August 2013.
Mal Leary MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage says in the wake of a recent failed bid to qualify for federal certification, Riverview Psychiatric Center here should consider operating without it. Riverview lost its certification last September due to safety issues, and along with it about $14 million in federal funding, according to state estimates. The hospital has been working to improve ever since, but problems persist.

Read more