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.



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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6:04 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Maine Maritime Academy: Not Your Typical Four-Year College

Maine Maritime Academy vessels dot the harbor in Castine.
Credit Courtesy Maine Maritime Academy

CASTINE, Maine - For most students, going back to school typically involves lectures, study halls, lab work - and, if you're enrolled at one particular college in Downeast Maine, jumping into the ocean.

(Splashing sounds) That's the sound of students at Maine Maritime Academy participating in the annual "ship jump," a 40-foot plunge into the ocean from their training ship, The State of Maine. It's a long-standing tradition - particularly for freshmen - that heralds the beginning of the academic year.

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Police recording arrest
5:53 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Maine Couple Sues Portland Police after Arrest for Cell Phone Recording

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Bar Harbor couple arrested in Portland last May after using a cell phone to record a police stop involving several officers. In their lawsuit against Sgt. Benjamin Noyes, Jr., the couple allege that the arrest violated their right to free speech, which includes the right to observe, photograph and record the police performing their work in public.  


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Natural gas expansion
5:49 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Maine Officials Cheer Plans for $3 Billion Natural Gas Expansion

Two of the region's largest energy firms have announced plans to expand natural gas in Maine and New England as a way to eliminate shortages during the winter months. Spectra Energy Corp. and Northeast Utilities will partner for the $3 billion project that is expected begin operation in November 2018.  


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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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