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
6:03 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Side Trips: Fort Fairfield Block House Preserves Era of Conflict in Northern Maine

The Fort Fairfield Block House.
Credit Nick Woodward / MPBN

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine - There are lots of reasons to take a trip to Aroostook County: pretty scenery, poutine - and a side trip to Canada is just minutes away. But for some history buffs, the town of Fort Fairfield is an essential stop for its role in an old border dispute that flared up in the late 1830's. At the center of that conflict stood the town's block house fort. While the original structure was mostly dismantled, the old fort was rebuilt and restored to its original appearance about 40 years ago. It now serves as a museum, detailing two centuries of life along the border.  

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Airbnb
5:55 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Maine Hotels Facing Stiff Competition from Online Private Vacation Rentals

A view of the apartment Stephanie Dunn and Mark Smith rent out using Airbnb and VRBO.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Hoteliers, innkeepers and municipal officials in Maine and across the country are facing serious competition from a recent explosion in private, short-term, online vacation rentals. The main player is the Web site Airbnb, based in Portland, Oregon, which helps homeowners market their property - mostly for short-term vacations.

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Your Vote 2014
5:44 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

GOP Attacks Michaud Over 12-Year-Old Vote for Unanimously-Passed Measure

Democratic candidate Mike Michaud with supporters in Millinocket in 2012.
Credit Nick Woodward / MPBN

Maine Democrats are asking the Republican Party to retract campaign mailers that they say falsely accuse Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud of sponsoring a bill 12 years ago that laid the groundwork for the loss of jobs at Great Northern Paper. The GOP's position is complicated by the fact that the party's current chairman, Rick Bennett, was the president of the Senate when the unanimous vote was taken.

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Food stamp changes
5:41 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Plan to Restrict SNAP Benefits in Maine Meets Strong Opposition

AUGUSTA, Maine - Advocates for the low-income, veterans and the homeless turned out in Augusta to express their strong opposition to a proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services to cut off food stamps or SNAP benefits to able-bodied, childless adults after three months unless they work 20 hours a week, volunteer or undergo job training. Advocates say the proposal establishes an "unrealistic and unachievable" expectation that will overwhelm food pantries and soup kitchens and create hardships for people, especially young veterans.

 

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Aging at home
5:39 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Maine House Speaker Unveils Plan for Helping Seniors Age at Home

Maine House Speaker Mark Eves unveils his "KeepMe Home" plan.
Credit A.J. Higgins / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - House Speaker Mark Eves says the state must do more to ensure that senior citizens can remain in their homes as they age. To that end, he rolled out his so-called "KeepMe Home" initiative today, which would send a $65 million bond package to the voters for the construction of new housing units, among other things.

Every day, about 50 Mainers turn 65. And Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves says their living options for the distant future are, at best, uncertain. But what many of them really want, Eves says, is what is own 91-year-old father wants.

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Pay Dispute
5:35 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Maine Gov Clashes With Attorney General Over Pay Increases, AG's Role

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills just don't see eye-to-eye on the role of the AG's office in representing the governor and other parts of the executive branch of government.  The dispute has become quite vocal, as both Mills and LePage seem willing to make their feelings known.

 

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James Foley
5:33 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Executed New Hampshire Journalist was Steadfast in Face of Danger

James Foley in Aleppo, Syria in September of 2012.
Credit Photo:Manu Brabo / www.freejamesfoley.org/AP

ROCHESTER, New Hampshire - A New Hampshire photojournalist who was abducted by Islamic militants in Syria has been killed by his captors. James Foley disappeared two years ago while on assignment in Syria for the GlobalPost. Little information about him has surfaced since. On Tuesday, a video released by the Islamic State showed Foley being executed. Patty Wight has more on who James Foley was, and what happened to him.

 

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Corrections Funding
5:42 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Rising Jail Costs Prompt Maine Corrections Board to Seek More Funding

AUGUSTA, Maine - The State Board of Corrections has voted unanimously to ask lawmakers in January for an additional $2 million, as the state’s county jails continue to face budget problems from higher-than-projected costs and more inmates than estimated.

 

For weeks, the Board of Corrections and its staff have been hearing from county officials about the budget problems facing the jails. They got a supplemental appropriation to get through the budget year that ended June 30, but higher costs of operation, driven by more inmates are continuing in the new budget year.

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Marijuana vote
5:40 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Efforts to Legalize Pot for Recreation Concerns Medical Marijuana Proponents

Legal marijuana growing in Colorado.
Credit Brett Levin

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - South Portland city councilors voted unanimously Monday night to put a measure on the ballot that would make recreational marijuana possession legal for adults in city limits. Similar questions are expected to appear on ballots in Lewiston and York this November. But the move is meeting resistance from medical marijuana caregivers in Maine, who are concerned that a broader plan to tax and regulate recreational pot statewide will affect their own livelihoods.

 

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Worst Road Contest
5:35 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

State's Route 15 Wins Dubious Honor: 'Worst Road in Maine'

A view of the winning road, Route 15, in the Camden area.
Credit Courtesy Maine Better Transportation Association

CAMDEN, Maine - The winner of the "Worst Road in Maine Contest" has been announced. The dubious honor, according to the Maine Better Transportation Association, is Route 15, and in particular, a 23-mile stretch that runs between Blue Hill and Stonington.

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