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.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

Second chances often don’t come easily for those getting out of prison. Combine a criminal record with a history of addiction, and finding a job can seem impossible. But that’s where MaineWorks comes in.

A program aimed at providing veterans with timely and accessible health care has been properly designed but poorly implemented. That’s according to U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine who conferred with veterans services officials Monday at the Maine VA Medical Center at Togus.

Ed Morin / MPBN

The New York Times and other newspapers have picked up on speculation that U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine might be considered as a running mate for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. For her part, Collins has doubts.

Maine lawmakers voted Friday to override a number of Gov. Paul LePage’s vetoes, but House Republicans held firm on several votes to block enactment of other bills rejected by the governor, including one that would establish a statewide solar energy policy.

That bill generated some wide-ranging debate on the merits of solar energy, but the discussion quickly devolved into a partisan skirmish after House Republican Leader Ken Fredette accused majority Democrats of “parliamentary trickery.”

Workers at Idexx in Westbrook are getting their cars detailed courtesy of Calpine Corp., after that company’s neighboring power plant rained steel rust in an unplanned emission.

Calpine officials say maintenance work on the power plants earlier this month left a residue of rust that was emitted to the air on a rainy day earlier this month. The mixture fell on cars belonging to workers at the plant and to workers at Idexx, nearby veterinary medicine company.

Gabe Souza / Portland Press Herald

The number of kids playing sports in Maine and across the country is up — in fact, there has been a 22 percent increase in the number of sports programs at Maine high schools.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

When the Lewiston High School Blue Devils won the state championship in soccer last fall, it was a victory not only for a team made up of Somali, Kenyan and Congolese players, but for their community.

The players and their coach will be recognized Friday night at the Emerge Film Festival with the screening of a documentary and after-party at the Franco Center in Lewiston.

Titled “One Team,” it could be considered a metaphor of the benefits of integration.

Maine’s top utility regulators are considering a proposal to increase the region’s gas pipeline capacity — and who would pay for it.

Natural gas powers half of the region’s electricity plants, and three years ago rising natural gas prices and constricted supplies drove wintertime electricity prices to surprising highs.

That drove the Legislature to act, directing the Public Utilities Commission to study whether Mainers could benefit if the state secured long-term contracts for gas supply.

Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a measure that would license and regulate midwives, claiming the bill is unnecessary, represents an expansion of government and could become an unfunded mandate in the future.

Supporters, including the Republican sponsor, are urging fellow lawmakers to enact the bill over the objections of the governor.

Patty Wight / MPBN

Supporters of a public health clinic that faces closure rallied in front of Portland City Hall Thursday.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Over the last century the Gulf of Maine’s blue waters have yellowed. That’s what scientists at the Bigelow Laboratory in East Boothbay reported in a recent study this month, and it indicates trouble for the microscopic plants that are the foundation of the gulf’s food chain.

The man who became known as the North Pond Hermit is appealing a court order to pay restitution.

Christopher Knight garnered international attention after he was arrested in April 2013. He had lived alone in the woods for 27 years at North Pond, near Waterville, and committed an estimated 1,000 burglaries to sustain himself.

But his makeshift camp in the woods, it turns out, created an extra expense for state police to access the site, collect evidence and later dismantle it. The tab, says Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, is a little over $1,000.

Efforts by Assistant House Democratic Leader Sara Gideon and Gov. Paul LePage to reach a compromise over a bill that would establish a comprehensive solar policy for the state have failed and the governor has vetoed the measure.

In his veto message, LePage said he vetoed the bill because it would increase overall energy costs for Maine ratepayers and because Democrats would not negotiate in good faith on counterproposals.

Not surprisingly, Democrats says that’s simply not true.

Gov. Paul LePage has apologized to the president of the University of Maine Farmington and to longtime former UMF President Theodora Kalikow for what he described in a written statement as “the sequence of events on Tuesday.” Translation? For walking away from the podium during a dedication ceremony at the college.

LePage was addressing a building dedication ceremony in honor of Kalikow when two students in the audience quietly held up signs critical of the governor. He suddenly left the podium, calling them “idiots” as he walked away.

Most professionals in highly skilled careers already know where to go to look for a job — agencies, trade publications, job fairs or the organization itself. What comes after they land the job is less clear, but just as crucial.

Carin Sychterz of the networking group Maine Career Connect says all too often, a new hire is left to figure everything out on his or her own. So she helped organize a summit in Bangor to try to shed some light on the hidden challenges that newly arrived workers face when they come to Maine, or even switch communities.