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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Side Trips
6:01 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Maine Museum Preserves Relics from Golden Age of Public Transport

One of the cars at the Seashore Trolley Museum.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - Now we look back to what many describe as a golden age of public transport in America. I'm talking about an era when trolleys, streetcars, trams and electric cable cars ruled the road. Think Judy Garland in the classic film "Meet Me in St. Louis." As Americans increasingly relocated to cities and towns in  the early 20th century, street trolleys became the dominant way for ordinary Americans to get from A to B - at least until about 75 years ago.  And that, incidentally, is when the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport was established.

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Marijuana vote
5:59 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Third Maine Community to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana for Recreation

YORK, Maine - As of today, the town of York will put marijuana legalization on the ballot this November. The Marijuana Policy Project submitted more than 900 signatures to town officials this afternoon, more than enough needed to qualify for a citizen initiative. It's the third municipality in Maine to send the issue to voters, which is a growing concern for opponents.

 

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Racism concerns
5:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Michael Brown Killing Stirs Debate about Racism in Portland

Portland residents, left to right, Howa Mohammed, Hamdi Hassan and Hani Ali.
Credit Susan Sharon / MPBN

Nearly 200 people turned out in Portland Tuesday night to discuss the racial implications of Ferguson, Missouri in one of the whitest states in the nation:  Maine.  Many say the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer has raised the curtain on institutional racism in the U.S.  And blacks and whites at the meeting say they're committed to rooting it out.

 

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Your Vote 2014
5:54 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Cutler Unveils Welfare Reform Plan

Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler today unveiled a welfare reform plan that would require some former recipients with jobs to pay back part of their income.  Cutler's plan also creates a tiered system so that benefits are reduced over time after someone finds a job, instead of being immediately cut off. The plan is already drawing fire from his opponents.

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Your Vote 2014
5:49 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Michaud Unveils Plan to Boost Maine Agriculture and Fishing

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud at a campaign event in November.
Credit Ed Morin / MPBN

Building on his comprehensive "Maine Made" plan outlined earlier this year, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud says he wants the state to become the food basket of New England through a series of new initiatives aimed at revitalizing the state's farming and fishing industries.

Bonds and grants to provide the capital for farmland and waterfront acquisitions are part of Michaud's plan. But Michaud also hopes to persuade state and municipal institutions to purchase more of their food from Maine producers.

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Casco Bay study
5:42 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Maine Scientists Launch Long-Term Study of Marine Life in Casco Bay

Scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland are trying to better understand how the ecosystem of Casco Bay is changing. This summer, they launched a comprehensive survey of marine life in the bay that will unfold over the next 10 years. MPBN's Jennifer Rooks caught up with some of the researchers.

 

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Mosquito-borne viruses
5:40 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Maine Lab Tracks Progress of Dangerous Mosquito-Borne Viruses

A female mosquito.
Credit Joaquim Alves Gaspar / Wikimedia Commons

SCARBOROUGH, Maine - Lurking in Maine's forests, swamps and even backyards are potentially serious diseases. Deer ticks are a source of at least five diseases in the state. Mosquitoes are the source for two others: West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE. Their incidence in humans is rare in Maine, but researchers at Maine Medical Center's Vector-borne Disease Lab know they infect animals around us. As Patty Wight reports in the second part of her two-part series, their job is to find out why, and to detect when the viruses emerge in humans.

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Contract disputes
4:22 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Contract Disputes Lead to Demonstrations on Mount Desert Island

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, Maine - Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are demonstrating on Mount Desert Island this afternoon to draw attention to ongoing contract disputes with three area towns. Workers in Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert and Bar Harbor complain that they're being asked to accept reduced health benefits, as part of any new contract deals with the towns.

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Tick-Borne Diseases
5:47 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Ticked Off: Maine Lab Tracks Growing Impact of Disease-Carrying Pests

A deer tick.
Credit File photo / MPBN

SCARBOROUGH, Maine - Twenty-five years ago, a critter about the size of a poppy seed grabbed the attention of a few researchers at Maine Medical Center. It was the deer tick - a tiny creature that carries a potentially devastating illness: Lyme disease. The researchers formed the Vector-borne Disease Lab to learn more about where deer ticks occur in Maine and about how they spread disease. A quarter of a century later, the lab is as busy as ever. Patty Wight has the first of two stories on the work being done there.

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Plumber shortage
5:36 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Plumber Shortage: Too Few Plumbers in Maine Pipeline

Master plumber George Doughty, of Brunswick, gets his work van ready for another busy week of 10-hour days.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

BRUNSWICK, Maine - If you've had trouble recently being able to find someone to unblock your kitchen sink or fix a broken pipe, you're not alone. Maine has a shortage of plumbers, and the state Labor Department is actively encouraging people to take up the trade. But that's often easier said than done.

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