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.

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Patty Wight / MPBN

Supporters of a public health clinic that faces closure rallied in front of Portland City Hall Thursday.

The man who became known as the North Pond Hermit is appealing a court order to pay restitution.

Christopher Knight garnered international attention after he was arrested in April 2013. He had lived alone in the woods for 27 years at North Pond, near Waterville, and committed an estimated 1,000 burglaries to sustain himself.

But his makeshift camp in the woods, it turns out, created an extra expense for state police to access the site, collect evidence and later dismantle it. The tab, says Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, is a little over $1,000.

Maine ranks near the top in the country for hospital safety, according to the Leapfrog Group, which has released its latest spring hospital safety rankings.

Maine has held the top slot in these rankings the past four times they’ve been released. This time around, says Leapfrog Group’s Erica Mobley, Vermont took the No. 1 spot for its percentage of hospitals with high safety scores, and Maine dropped to No. 2.

LEWISTON, Maine - The percent of Maine children with incarcerated parents is more than the national average and the highest in New England.

A report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that 8 percent of the state's kids have a mom or dad who has spent time in jail or prison.

The executive director of the Maine Children's Alliance, Claire Berkowitz, says that's 20,000 kids. "It's traumatic to them, at the same level of divorce or domestic violence, abuse, and substance abuse."

Courtesy, Maine.gov

It’s expected to be a banner year for browntail moths, according to the Maine Forest Service. The invasive insects can pose health problems for trees and insects, and stopping them is difficult.

Patty Wight / MPBN

Concerns over the possible closure of a Portland health clinic are intensifying.

Jay Field / MPBN

New Balance, which employs 900 people in Maine, has renewed its opposition to a trade deal that would allow cheaper imports from abroad.

Women in Maine get paid about $10,000 less than their male counterparts, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Courtesy of the McKeen family

We learned Thursday that our friend and former colleague Keith McKeen died this week of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He had just turned 73.

The Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to give individuals who will lose eligibility for certain mental health services more time to transition to other, less intensive services.

Those who receive care under what’s called section 17 had petitioned lawmakers to review a rule change by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services that could shift up to 8,000 people to different services.

PORTLAND, Maine - The city of Portland would close a public health clinic under a proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

The India Street Public Health Center operates a needle exchange, and provides testing and care for infectious diseases. Mayor Ethan Strimling says if the budget is approved, the city would partner with the Portland Community Health Center to absorb India Street's patients.

Because it's a federally-qualified health center, it receives higher reimbursement rates. But Strimling says there's more than cost-savings involved in the decision.

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that long-term use of antibiotics is not an effective treatment for people with persistent symptoms of Lyme disease.

Last year, Maine passed a law that protects physicians who use the controversial treatment from facing sanctions.

Some physicians say this new study puts to bed the question of whether long-term antibiotics should be used. But those affected by persistent Lyme symptoms say the study isn’t the last word on the issue.

Mainers worried about the loss of mental health services asked the Health and Human Services Committee Friday to block a change to eligibility requirements planned by the LePage administration.

Patty Wight / MPBN

Mental health advocates are raising concerns about a state Department of Health and Human Services plan that could result in the closure of several mental health peer recovery centers.

The Falmouth Library Ukulele Society performance in 2015.
FLUKES/facebook.com

Though some still scoff at what looks like a toy guitar, there are a growing number of ukulele enthusiasts. Sales of the small four-stringed instruments, popularized in Hawaii, have skyrocketed in recent years and playing groups are popping up across the country including Maine. The ukulele is is helping many of new players become something they never thought they could be — musicians.

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