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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Politics
5:27 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

In Maine Political Debates, Which Candidates Will Be No-Shows?

Candidates for governor and Congress are picking and choosing their options for public debates, in what some political analysts are describing as a disturbing trend for voters. Republican Gov. Paul LePage has declined to participate in a number of debates — including an invitation to a statewide televised debate from MPBN in late October. And Democratic challenger Mike Michaud says that if LePage isn’t showing up, neither will he. Meanwhile, 2nd District GOP candidate Bruce Poliquin says he will not participate in any debate that includes independent challenger Blaine Richardson.

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Politics
5:25 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

2nd District Candidates Diverge on Ideas for Undocumented Children

The placement of eight undocumented children in Maine has forced candidates for governor and Congress to clarify how they would address the crisis on the nation's southern border. Whoever wins the election in Maine's 2nd Congressional District will have a say in how America's immigration challenges ought to be addressed. And the three candidates in the race all have different ideas about what to do.

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Politics
4:34 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

State Surplus Tops $49 Million

Maine has ended the 2014 budget year with a surplus of $49.1 million, with about half that from higher than expected individual income tax revenue.

Finance Commissioner Richard Rosen said the state surplus is made up of revenues above estimates of just over $39 million with the rest coming from unspent balances in accounts scattered across state government. He said it is good news and shows the state’s nonpartisan revenue projection process is working.

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Politics
5:52 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Shenna Bellows Strolls Through Bangor on Campaign Walk

Shenna Bellows in June
Mal Leary MPBN

BANGOR, Maine — Shenna Bellows, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, completed the first leg of her 350 mile walk across Maine this morning. Bellows is hoping her Walk With Maine for Jobs and the Economy will lead to a long-shot win in November — just as this grassroots approach did for the first Maine politician to use it in a high-profile race.

In 1972, Republican William Cohen walked 600 miles across the 2nd Congressional District on his way to an upset over a heavily favored opponent. But Bellows faces a much tougher task than Cohen did 42 years ago.

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Health
5:23 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Maine Advocates Rally for Public Hearing on Phthalates

Dr. Deborah Rice, former state toxicologist, testifies against phthalates at a public hearing in Augusta Tuesday.
Patty Wight MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine — The list of ingredients in cosmetics, lotions and soft vinyl plastics could soon have a new addition. The Department of Environmental Protection today took up a proposal to require manufacturers to report use of phthalates. Phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that can cause developmental and reproductive problems. More than 2,000 concerned Mainers say it's time consumers know what's in the products they're buying.

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Politics
5:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Maine GOP Confident in House Races Despite Incumbent Dropouts

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette tells reporters outside the State House that he is optimistic over his party's prospects for regaining control of the Legislature.
A.J. Higgins MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican leaders in Augusta say they're confident that this is the year the GOP will regain control of the Maine House of Representatives. They cite the fact that the party will field candidates in all but one of the House districts, and have more House candidates than the Democrats. But the House GOP caucus actually was dealt with something of a setback this year, as nearly 40 percent of incumbents eligible to seek re-election decided to bow out.

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Environment
4:48 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Maine Scientist: Wood Frogs at Risk after Unprecedented Die-Off

Nat Wheelwright
Tom Porter MPBN

BRUNSWICK, Maine — One of North America's most common species of frog could be under threat. A Maine biology professor has uncovered worrying evidence of a mass die-off of wood frog tadpoles. And it all happened virtually on his own doorstep, just a few short steps from his house.

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Arts
6:05 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Sedgwick Author: Demise of Books Overstated

Warren Lehrer

The demise of the book, as a delivery system for literature, is all but imminent in the minds of some futurists. But Warren Lehrer doesn't buy it. The writer and artist, a summer resident of Sedgwick, has been a pioneer in the art of the book. His most recent work, a novel, reflects his interests in expanding the possibilities of the book format as a way to tell stories. Keith Shortall caught up with Lehrer recently at the Rockland Public Library.

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Politics
5:45 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

LePage Pitches 'Welfare to Work' at Lewiston Homeless Shelter

LEWISTON, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage visited a homeless shelter in here Monday to make the case for his food stamp reform initiative that he's calling "Welfare to Work." The governor views the effort as a way to help people, not hurt them.

The governor says the initiative won't affect people with disabilities, single parents, or those with several children. But it will require able-bodied people between the ages of 19 and 49 to work or volunteer 20 hours a week.

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Health
5:35 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

LePage: State Should Consider Giving Up on Riverview Certification

Riverview Psychiatric Center in August 2013.
Mal Leary MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage says in the wake of a recent failed bid to qualify for federal certification, Riverview Psychiatric Center here should consider operating without it. Riverview lost its certification last September due to safety issues, and along with it about $14 million in federal funding, according to state estimates. The hospital has been working to improve ever since, but problems persist.

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