Maine Things Considered

Monday - Friday 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Weekdays at 5:30 pm hear Maine’s only daily statewide radio news program. MPBN's award-winning news staff brings you the latest news from across Maine and the region, as well as in-depth reports on the most important issues.

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Corrections Funding
5:42 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Rising Jail Costs Prompt Maine Corrections Board to Seek More Funding

AUGUSTA, Maine - The State Board of Corrections has voted unanimously to ask lawmakers in January for an additional $2 million, as the state’s county jails continue to face budget problems from higher-than-projected costs and more inmates than estimated.

 

For weeks, the Board of Corrections and its staff have been hearing from county officials about the budget problems facing the jails. They got a supplemental appropriation to get through the budget year that ended June 30, but higher costs of operation, driven by more inmates are continuing in the new budget year.

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Marijuana vote
5:40 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Efforts to Legalize Pot for Recreation Concerns Medical Marijuana Proponents

Legal marijuana growing in Colorado.
Credit Brett Levin

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - South Portland city councilors voted unanimously Monday night to put a measure on the ballot that would make recreational marijuana possession legal for adults in city limits. Similar questions are expected to appear on ballots in Lewiston and York this November. But the move is meeting resistance from medical marijuana caregivers in Maine, who are concerned that a broader plan to tax and regulate recreational pot statewide will affect their own livelihoods.

 

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Worst Road Contest
5:35 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

State's Route 15 Wins Dubious Honor: 'Worst Road in Maine'

A view of the winning road, Route 15, in the Camden area.
Credit Courtesy Maine Better Transportation Association

CAMDEN, Maine - The winner of the "Worst Road in Maine Contest" has been announced. The dubious honor, according to the Maine Better Transportation Association, is Route 15, and in particular, a 23-mile stretch that runs between Blue Hill and Stonington.

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Maine
4:29 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Maine Lawmakers Grill Riverview Superintendent

The new sign at what's now the Riverview Psychiatric Recovery Center.
Credit Mal Leary / MPBN

A violent assault over the weekend at the Riverview Psychiatric Center couldn't have come at a worse time for the troubled hospital, which is trying to win re-accreditation and recover $20 million in federal funding. And some members of a legislative oversight committee today grilled Riverview's superintendent about the sudden appearance of a new sign in front of the hospital, suggesting administrators are more focused on image than on fixing the problems that plague what is now called "Riverview Psychiatric Recovery Center."

 

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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.

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Your Vote 2014
5:43 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

King Endorses Fellow Independent Eliot Cutler For Governor

U.S. Sen. Angus King, left, endorses independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler at an event in Portland.
Credit Courtesy Cutler for Maine campaign

PORTLAND, Maine - Independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler got a boost today in the form of an endorsement from Sen. Angus King. King, who also backed Cutler four years ago, cites the candidate's centrist political philosophy and business background that he says will serve Maine at a time of serious economic challenges. One political analyst says the King endorsement will provide a much needed shot in the arm for the Cutler campaign, which has been flagging in the polls.  

 

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DHHS Delays
5:39 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Long Waits for Maine DHHS Services Blamed on Staff Shortages, Department Overhaul

Stephanie Wilburn and Mike Smith
Credit Susan Sharon / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - Advocates for the low-income, elderly and disabled say they are concerned by the barriers their clients are facing getting food supplement benefits and other assistance from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Some clients report having to wait for months to get timely help. Others are finding that they must spend more than an hour on the phone to get someone at the department to answer a question. Recent administrative changes are believed to be the culprit, along with inadequate staffing.

 

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Genetic disorder
5:11 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Doctor: Genetic Disease More Widespread in Maine's French Population Than Thought

Dr. Dervilla McCann has been deeply involved in researching the genetic disease known as FH.
Credit Josie Huang / MPBN

AUBURN, Maine - Back in February of 2012, MPBN reported a story about a rare genetic disorder that can cause sky high cholesterol and lead to early heart attacks, strokes, and death. The disease is called familial hypercholesterolemia - or FH - and, according to experts, it affects about one in every 500 people.

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Ferry service
5:53 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Ridership on Nova Star Ferry on the Rise

The Nova Star ferry docked in Portland in April
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Ridership on the Nova Star ferry between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia is picking up after a slow start to the newly-resumed service. Weak passenger numbers in June and July have forced the provincial government in Nova Scotia to give the cruise line $21 million this summer - subsidy payments that were supposed to be spread out over seven years. But trips in the first two weeks of August have already outpaced the total for all of July.

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The Last Ferryman
5:48 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Birthday Gift for Maine Bridge: An Opera

Soprano Donatta Cucinotta, right, is featured as historical figure Annie McGuire, along with community members Roger Green, left, and Sam Harrington, center, in Opera House Arts' original new musical The Last Ferryman.
Credit Karen Galella / Courtesy Stonington Opera House

STONINGTON, Maine - If you're going to celebrate the anniversary of a local landmark, why not write an opera? That was exactly the thinking that's given life to a production called "The Last Ferryman," which creators in the Downeast community of Stonington have dubbed a "popera." It features the music of a Grammy-award-winning pianist and composer, and professional singers from Boston and New York, as well as local talent. "The Last Ferryman" made its debut at the Stonington Opera House last night.

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