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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Caregivers
5:48 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Easing the Burden of Caregivers: It Takes a Village

George and Janice Miller.
Credit Courtesy Janice Miller

HAMPDEN, Maine - We continue now with our three-part series on the challenges facing caregivers. A report by the AARP earlier this year found that family caregivers in Maine who give their time to look after elderly or ailing relatives contribute nearly $2.5 billion in free health care to the state every year. And it's a situation that's likely to get more critical, if you consider the demographic trend - namely that 50 Mainers are turning 65 every day, while the birth rate is falling at the same time.

 

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Your Vote 2014
5:29 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Rap Video of Michaud Creates Political Firestorm

Mike Michaud at a campaign event in November
Credit Ed Morin / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Just when you thought the race for governor might return its focus back to the issues, a flap being spread on social media has exploded onto center stage - at least for today. The ingredients include a video with some off-color rap lyrics, the Michaud for Governor Campaign and the Maine Republican Party, all mixed and churned by Twitter.

Tom Porter: "A.J. Higgins, MPBN's state house bureau chief, is with us this afternoon to help us sort it all out. Good afternoon, A.J."
 
A.J. Higgins: "Hi Tom, always a pleasure."

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Hard cider production
4:52 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

In Wake of Maine's Craft Beer Explosion, There's a New Beverage on Tap: Hard Cider

Apples growing at Ricker Hill Orchards in Turner.
Credit Nick Woodward / MPBN

The last three decades have seen a meteoric rise for the nation's micro-brewing industry:  More than 15 million barrels of craft beer were produced last year, a growth of 10 percent over the year before. But now, there's a new beverage on tap: hard cider. Maine apple producers and beer enthusiasts say it could be Maine's next big thing.

 

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Your Vote 2014
6:02 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Sen. Susan Collins Maintains Popularity as Fellow Moderates Disappear

Sen. Susan Collins talks with supporters at an event in June.
Credit Jay Field / MPBN

Maine Sen. Susan Collins has become one of the most popular and influential U.S. senators in the nation. She's one of the few moderate Republicans left in Congress, and is a politician known for working across the aisle - and occasionally bucking her own party - on key legislation. Collins' supporters say her inclusive style has its roots in her relationships with constituents back home, and, like other Maine Republicans who've served in the Senate, it's won her the consistent support of voters across the political spectrum.

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Across the Aisle
5:00 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Across the Aisle: Why Maine Reps Voted Against ISIS Measure

Earlier this week, Maine's two U.S. representatives voted against a measure that would give President Barack Obama the authority for the U.S. military to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS.

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Export-Import Bank reauthorization
2:31 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Maine Companies Keeping Close Eye on Fate of Export-Import Bank

Most people have never heard of the Export-Import Bank, but it's a critical entity for companies that do business globally. It's a federal agency that many private companies rely on to insure that they will be paid for exports to other countries. The authorization that funds that agency runs out at the end of the month and, if that happens, the effects could be felt here in Maine.

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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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Paper mill devaluation
5:33 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Mill's Steep Devaluation Leaves Madison Residents With No Good Options

A sign on a building at Madison Paper Industries.
Credit Jay Field / MPBN

MADISON, Maine - The adverse business climate facing the paper industry is increasingly putting the finances of Maine's rural mill towns, and the economic fortunes of homeowners, at risk. In towns like Jay, Skowhegan and Madison, local assessors have had to drop the tax valuation of paper mills and raise property tax rates to make up the difference. In Madison last night, local officials held an emergency meeting, where residents voted to allow the town to seek a $2.5 million line of credit to ease the burden of a projected 30 percent tax increase.

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LePage Vacation Policy
4:54 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Rivals Blast LePage Decision to Grant More Vacation Time to Political Appointees

Gov. Paul LePage.
Credit File photo: Mal Leary / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage is defending a little-known unilateral decision he made earlier this year to grant more paid vacation time to about 55 of his political appointees. The workers, hired by the executive branch, hold positions ranging from secretary to department commissioner. LePage says the policy is needed to retain good employees who take pay cuts to work in state government. But state workers and other critics say the governor's action smacks of elitism.  

 

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Scotland independence vote
4:25 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

USM Professor in Scotland to Witness Historic Independence Vote

USM English Professor Nancy Gish.
Credit Courtesy University of Southern Maine

Tomorrow is an historic today for Great Britain, as the Scots vote on whether to become completely independent from the United Kingdom, ending a union that goes back more than 300 years. It's a debate which ought to be of particular interest to Mainers, says University of Southern Maine English Professor Nancy Gish, because as compared to other states, Maine has the highest percentage of inhabitants who claim Scottish ancestry. Gish is a devotee of Scottish literature, and has gone to Scotland to witness events.

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