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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Outdoors
6:03 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Bait, Hounds, Traps — A Look at Bear Hunting

Bob Parker puts out bait at one of his sites.
Susan Sharon MPBN

This week Maine hunters started setting out barrels laden with meat, pastries and other sweets in anticipation of the annual three-month bear hunt that begins at the end of August. The bait is used at regulated sites to attract bears, which are difficult to spot in the dense Maine woods. But if supporters of a statewide referendum are successful, baiting, trapping and the use of hounds to hunt bears will be outlawed except in special circumstances. And that possibility has state bear biologists and the hunting community on edge.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Across the Aisle: Maine's Political Debates

It's Thursday and time once again for "Across the Aisle," our weekly foray into Maine politics, with analysts Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic state legislator; Dick Woodbury, an economist and tax policy consultant to the campaign of independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler; and former Republican lawmaker Meredith Strang Burgess, who is CEO of Burgess Advertising and Marketing in Portland.

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Politics
5:29 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Maine Candidates Continue Debate on Appearing in Debates

The statewide debate over statewide debates entered its second day Thursday with the Poliquin for Congress campaign denying that it had declined an invitation to appear with his two 2nd Congressional District challengers on MPBN television this fall. Meanwhile, a short-lived alliance between conservative independent Blaine Richardson and Democrat Emily Cain fell apart after Richardson backed out of a joint pledge to boycott any debate that did not include all three candidates. A.J. Higgins has the latest developments in this ongoing story.

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Business
5:55 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Verso, New Page Merger Nears Reality

A merger affecting thousands of Maine paper workers is expected to move one step closer to reality tonight.

Verso Paper — a leading manufacturer of coated paper — wants to acquire rival New Page in a $1.4 billion deal.

Before the merger can move ahead however, Verso — which is over $1.2 billion in the red — must complete a debt restructuring deal to the satisfaction of its bondholders.

The deadline for the deal is midnight tonight, and at least one prominent paper industry analyst thinks it's likely to succeed.

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Health
5:48 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Fake Patients Let Medical Students Practice on Underserved Populations

Third-year medical student Allie Tetreault (left) and standardized patient Gabrielle Nuki.
Patty Wight MPBN

Going to the doctor is not typically at the top of anyone's want-to-do-list, especially for teenagers, who are considered an underserved population in health care. But adolescence is considered a critical time for physicians to connect with young patients as they confront risky behaviors. To build stronger relationships with teens, medical students are increasingly training with simulated, or so-called "standardized patients" for practice.

Third-year medical student Allie Tetreault opens the door to an exam room at Maine Medical Center and greets her 16-year-old patient.

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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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