Maine Things Considered

4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

Weekdays at 4 p.m. 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.

A view of some of the land donated by Roxanne Quimby to the Federal Government.
C. Schmitt

It appears that philanthropist and entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby is finally getting her wish. Nearly 90,000 acres of land she owns east of Baxter State Park have been transferred to the federal government as of Tuesday morning. Quimby has been hoping to create a national park, and more recently a national monument in Maine’s North Woods, for nearly 20 years.

An adult Puffin on Eastern Egg Rock, with a haul of young  Acadian Redfish in its beak.
Jean Hall

The biggest Atlantic Puffin colony in the Gulf of Maine is having a tough year. Scientists studying puffin on Machias Seal Island say almost 90% of chicks born there this summer have died - and they expect the rest won’t live out the year.

The island - where both the U.S. and Canada claim sovereignty - is home to some 5,500 nesting pairs of puffins, the colorful seabirds which have made a comeback since their near extirpation in the Gulf of Maine a century ago.

In the fourth and final installment of our series of profiles of Muslims who have made Maine their home, we neet Mohammad Khan, a first generation immigrant who has become active in his local community and his university. To read the first, about author and educator Reza Jalali, click here. To read the second, about Lewiston businesswoman Shukri Abasheikh, click here.

Some alert pre-teens who found a loaded gun near a South Portland playground are being credited for averting a dangerous situation.

South Portland patrol sergeant Todd Barlow says three young girls were playing in a local playground Sunday morning when they discovered what they at first thought was a toy.

The grandmother of one of the girl called police, who retrieved the weapon. Later that day, police received a report of a gun that had been stolen from a car in the same area, and they identified it as the same weapon.

Maine continues to see a record number of overdose deaths. The latest figures show 189 people have died of overdoses in the first six months of his year. That’s up from 126 during the same time last year. As Mal Leary reports state officials are worried the state is on track to see close to 400 by the end of December.

Frenchboro island off of MDI

For years, residents of Swans Island and Frenchboro have depended on a mail carrier who not only brought them letters and packages, but other necessities from the mainland, like food and medicine. But as of this spring, that mail carrier’s contract with the postal service ended over a dispute about how he carried the mail with other freight items. Some residents fear the loss of the contract to their longtime carrier now jeopardizes other essential island deliveries and members of Maine’s congressional delegation have gotten involved.

Maine DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew at a State House event on February 26, 2014.
MPBN File Photo

The LePage administration says it's scouring its welfare rolls to ferret out fraud and abuse by immigrants, and to ensure taxpayer money isn't flowing to would-be terrorists.

Fred Bever / MPBN

An epochal transformation in the way energy is made, delivered and used in the U.S. is under way, and in Maine an experiment in what’s called a “non-wires alternative” could disrupt electric utilities’ traditional business models by averting the need to build expensive new transmission infrastructure.

MPBN file

LEWISTON, Maine - A foundation created by philanthropist and entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby has donated nearly 100 acres to Acadia National Park. 

The park is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.  Next week the National Park Service itself will also turn 100. 

Quimby's son, Lucas St. Clair, is president of Elliotsville Plantation Inc., which put together the gift.  He says it includes 13 separate parcels contained inside or adjacent to the park's boundaries. 

AUGUSTA, Maine - The majority leader of the Maine House of Representatives is criticizing the LePage administration for not working with a federal team seeking to develop a plan to assist the state's ailing forest products industry.

Representative Jeff McCabe, a Democrat, said the governor should not stand on the sidelines while the industry continues to struggle.

Mainers know far less about what is being spent to influence their vote today than they did nearly a decade ago. The difference is dramatic, and it’s leaving even some candidates in the dark about whether their constituents truly support them.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is once again asking Maine lawmakers to consider new rules to address mining regulations in the state.

The Legislature has twice rejected similar proposals since 2011, and both times the debate over them has been contentious.

In a memo explaining the proposed rules, the state says existing rules on the books are inconsistent with state statute. In addition, the DEP says it has addressed environmental, technical and legal concerns expressed in previous proceedings by lawmakers and other stakeholders.

MPBN file

Gov. Paul LePage has pounced on the recent unsealing of court documents showing an Iranian refugee who resettled in Maine and later joined the terror group ISIS.

Several women’s advocacy groups announced their support of the fall ballot question raising the state minimum wage at a Bangor news conference Thursday.

“When we raise the minimum wage we boost our economy by making sure all workers have money to spend locally on food, rent, health care and other basic needs. This is vital for the financial security of women in Maine,” says Eliza Townsend executive director of the Maine Women’s Lobby.

Fred Bever / MPBN

More than a decade ago, Maine voters gave the green light to slot machine gambling in the state. In making their case to voters, supporters vowed that some of the revenues would prop up the state’s ailing harness racing industry. But recent data show that since then, more than $100 million dollars in slot machine proceeds have gone to the industry in Maine — and it’s still struggling.