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.


Fatal standoff
4:12 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Advocates: Officers Involved in Fatal Chester Standoff had no Crisis Training

CHESTER, Maine - Advocates for the mentally ill in Maine say three officers involved in a fatal police shooting over the weekend had not received Crisis Intervention Training.

Shad Gerkin, 34, of Woodville, was shot and killed Saturday, while wielding a knife during a standoff in Chester that lasted for several hours.

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Train track deaths
6:16 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Train Track Deaths Concern Amtrak Downeaster Officials

DURHAM, N.H. - An Amtrak Downeaster train struck and killed a woman in Durham, New Hampshire, Wednesday night. Local police say it was a suicide. There have been three similar incidents in Maine this year involving the Downeaster.

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PUC changes
3:53 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Maine PUC Chair to Retire Early

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Public Utilities Commission Chair Tom Welch is retiring early. Welch will leave his post in December, two years ahead of the end of his term.

Welch is leaving as the PUC confronts major issues, such as expanding natural gas in the state, modernizing the electric grid, and telephone regulation.

"I confess I do feel some twinges of guilt," Welch says, "sometimes some very large twinges, because I'm leaving some very important issues that we're still struggling with."

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Smart meters
3:12 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Maine PUC Commissioners: 'Smart' Meters Safe

A so-called "smart meter."
Credit Christian Haugen

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state's Public Utilities Commission has concluded that smart meters are safe. Commissioners were tasked with re-evaluating the health impact of smart meters by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court after health activists filed a lawsuit. But commissioners can't agree on whether to allow consumers to opt of the program without financial penalty. Meanwhile opponents are vowing to continue their fight.


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Your Vote 2014
5:45 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Cutler Assails His Opponents' Environmental Records

Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler touts his work on environmental issues at a Portland press conference.
Credit Patty Wight / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler wants to set the record straight on his environmental record - and those of his opponents. Cutler says Republican Gov. Paul LePage makes no pretenses about his environmental record, which environmental groups characterize as weak. But Cutler says Democratic candidate Mike Michaud claims to have a stronger record than history shows.


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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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