Patty Wight

News Producer

Patty is a graduate of the University of Vermont and a multiple award-winning reporter for Maine Public Radio. Her specialty is health coverage: from policy stories to patient stories, physical health to mental health and anything in between. Patty joined Maine Public Radio in 2012 after producing stories as a freelancer for NPR programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She got hooked on radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and hasn’t looked back ever since.

Ways to Connect

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has suspended a York County probate judge for violating judicial conduct.

This is the third time Robert Nadeau has been disciplined.

Patty Wight / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Advocates for solar power say Maine is falling behind most other states in its ranking for solar capacity.

Environment Maine today released its fourth annual report on solar energy in Maine. Owen Mansfield is a campaign organizer for the group.

"In this year's ranking, Maine dropped to 27th in per capita solar capacity, and 34th in total solar capacity," Mansfield says, "after ranking 24th and 29th respectively in both categories last year."

Oregon Department of Transportation / Wikimedia Commons

Progressive Corp. wants to increase auto insurance premiums for Maine drivers older than 65. The Maine Bureau of Insurance initially rejected the request, but this month decided to reopen proceedings.

Patty Wight / MPBN

This is the time of year when more people are out walking and biking on Maine’s roads. That means there are more interactions between what are called “vulnerable users” and motor vehicles.

LEWISTON, Maine - The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine has placed Auburn cardiologist Dr. Robert Weiss on probation for professional misconduct. 

The board's Tim Terranova says the action follows a complaint that Weiss was irritable, hostile, and made inappropriate comments while treating a patient.

"The Board received a complaint from a daughter of a patient that Dr. Weiss had been unprofessional during his interactions with family members during the patient's hospitalization," Terranova says.

A group of activists is demanding that Portland’s police chief acknowledge that black lives matter.

The Portland Racial Justice Congress was expected to hold a rally in Portland’s Lincoln Park at 6 p.m. Friday to speak out against the killing of black people by police officers in other cities.

The organizers of the rally issued a list of demands for Portland Police Chief Mike Sauschuck. Among them is greater transparency by including community members in law enforcement oversight and policy committees.

USGS

According to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey, Maine is one of 11 states that has the highest prevalence of potentially corrosive groundwater, which can leach heavy metals like lead from old plumbing and fixtures. And that means more than half a million Mainers who rely on private wells should get their water tested.

On its own, corrosive groundwater isn’t necessarily bad, says Joe Ayotte of the USGS. It has a low pH, meaning it’s acidic.

Two Maine advocacy organizations are urging the town of Madawaska to reject a proposal to test General Assistance recipients for drugs.

Maine Equal Justice Partners and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine say the proposal is unconstitutional. But it’s a matter of fairness, says Madawaska town manager Ryan Pelletier, because some General Assistance recipients already undergo random drug testing.

Madawaska has a workfare program, where those who qualify for General Assistance and are able to work do so, for the town.

Terry Ross / Flickr/Creative Commons

More Maine veterans are getting medical care in a timely fashion, according to the director of the state Veterans Affairs health care system. The update comes as the national VA has come under fire in recent months for perpetual problems in ensuring veterans get appointments in days, not months.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The director of the veterans' health care system in Maine says 99 percent of patients can get medical appointments within 30 days.

Ryan Lilly says additional staff has helped reduce wait times. "We're up about 45 staff throughout this fiscal year, so that's since October first, we've added about 45 staff, most of those in direct care positions, serving patients, improving access."

Patty Wight / MPBN

Our identity is expressed in many ways, from the clothes we wear and to the way we do our hair to the traits we’re born with, like our voice. Voice communicates our thoughts and emotions. But what if you lose your ability to speak?

Sanford police responded to six suspected opioid overdoses last weekend, including one death.

The overdoses all took place from Friday to Saturday within about a half a square mile of each other. Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly says he suspects that the people who overdosed all purchased heroin from the same individual, and that it was laced with fentanyl, a highly potent narcotic.

Connolly says the spate is a reminder that the state needs to provide more access to medication assisted treatment.

LEWISTON, Maine - The court master who oversees the rights of patients at Riverview Psychiatric Center says he's concerned about a hiring freeze.

Gov. Paul LePage signed an executive order Monday for a hiring freeze in order to fund four legislative bills, including a bill that would give raises at Riverview.

Patty Wight / MPBN

The need for dental care in Maine is overwhelming. According to the state Center for Disease Control, only half of Maine adults have dental insurance. That’s about the same number who have also lost at least one permanent tooth for reasons other than trauma or orthodontia.

A Florida-based attorney who advocates on behalf of American workers says the Tennessee-based insurance company Unum, which has about 3,000 workers in Maine, plans to outsource hundreds of jobs. Unum is neither confirming nor denying the claim.

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