Maine Things Considered

By Maine Public

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Weekdays at 4 p.m. join host Nora Flaherty and hear Maine’s only daily statewide radio news program. Maine Public Radio'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.

Episode Date
With Labor Shortages Hurting The Bottom Line, Maine's Construction Industry Reaches Out To Women
Ask people in the construction industry about the problems they're facing, and one thing comes up more than just about any other: “There's definitely a construction worker shortage in Maine,” says Meredith Kirkman.
Jun 17, 2018
Maine Companies Are Feeling The Consequences of Trump's Steel Tariffs
North Berwick sports-seating manufacturer Hussey Seating is sounding alarms about the effect that President Donald Trump's steel tariffs are having on its bottom line – a concern Maine Senator Angus King says is widespread in the state and beyond.
Jun 15, 2018
Pingree Co-Sponsors Legislation To Stop ICE From Separating Children From Parents
Maine 1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree is co-sponsoring legislation that would prohibit the federal government from separating children from their parents at the country’s border. “Basically it says there should be no separation and there should be a primary, you know, process of family reunification any time a child is separated,” Pingree says. Pingree says she has heard from many Maine constituents who say they are outraged at the news that children are being separated from their parents when trying to enter the country. “The administration is currently taking kids away from their parents as they cross the border, putting them in separate facilities,” Pingree says. “Some of the kids are getting lost, they are not able to make contact with their parents. It’s inhumane, unthinkable.” The House legislation would bar federal agents from doing so under the Trump administration “zero tolerance” policy, which prosecutes anyone who enters the country illegally. Pingree says families should
Jun 15, 2018
Across the Aisle: Election Aftermath and (Of Course) Ranked-Choice Voting
It's Thursday, which means it’s time again for Across the Aisle, Maine Public’s foray into Maine Politics. This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney and former Democratic legislator; Meredith Strang-Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing who served in Augusta as a Republican; and economist Dick Woodbury, who served in the legislature as an independent all spoke with Keith Shortall.
Jun 14, 2018
Small Maine Town Feels Loss Of High Achieving Seniors To The City
Across Maine, thousands of high school seniors are graduating and preparing for the next chapter in their lives. But for many, particularly students in rural Maine, the future is uncertain. Graduating seniors in the western Maine town of Rumford told Maine Public how they imagine their own futures, and whether that future might include returning to their hometown.
Jun 14, 2018
CMP Finalizes Contract For Transmission Line Near Kennebec River Gorge
Central Maine Power (CMP) and utilities in Massachusetts are announcing the finalization of a contract for CMP to build a new transmission line through western Maine. The 20-year contract would bring hydro-electricity from Canada to customers in Massachusetts. The proposal is controversial as it is in the area of the Kennebec River Gorge, where CMP wants to site the high-voltage, direct-current power lines. The 145-mile project still must win state permits in Maine and Massachusetts, and faces federal review as well.
Jun 14, 2018
State May Increase Number Of Deer Permits For Hunters
Maine deer hunters scored their highest annual harvest in a decade during last year's hunting season, and state wildlife regulators say those numbers support a proposal to increase the number of any-deer permits. Mark Latti, spokesperson for the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said Thursday that last year's harvest of about 22,200 deer represented a 15 percent increase over 2016. “So last year we had over 66,000 any-deer permits and with a warmer winter in southern and central Maine we're going to increase permits again in southern and central Maine,” Latti said. Latti said the state has a responsibility to manage the deer herd. “An increasing deer population means more car-deer vehicle accidents, also higher incidences of lyme disease, so we'll issue a lot more doe permits or any deer permits in order to control the population in southern and central Maine,” Latti said. On June 26, the IF&W Advisory Council will hold a 6 p.m. public hearing at the Augusta Armory
Jun 14, 2018
Collins Seeks To Cut Red Tape In Food Program For Seniors
A bill authored by Maine Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, of Pennsylvania, has passed out of committee as part of the Senate Farm Bill. Collins' provision, known as the "Nourishing Our Golden Years Act," makes it easier for senior citizens to stay eligible for the need-based senior food box program. To get the food, participants have had to go through a detailed financial assessment every six months. "This lightens up the rules so we don't have to do it as often," says Jason Hall, who oversees the USDA program in Maine. Hall says for many participants on a fixed income, the six month recertification process was onerous. "A lot of these people are retirees, they have doctors appointments, they have other things they're trying to pay attention to," he says. "And to keep kind of grilling them on the finances is a burden." The bill reduces the recertification process to once per year. Hall says the improvement is welcome, but he says he hopes the program
Jun 14, 2018
The Surprises In Maine's Primary Election Results, And What They Portend For November
Now that the June primary is over - sort of - we turn to Maine Public's two political correspondents, Steve Mistler and Mal Leary, for some analysis of the results. They spoke with Maine Calling host Jennifer Rooks earlier about some of Tuesday night's surprises - including, says Mistler, the Republican gubernatorial primary in which Shawn Moody got the nomination.
Jun 14, 2018
His Law License Is Suspended, But Republican Seth Carey Still Won A Maine DA Primary
One surprise in Tuesday's election that may have gone under the radar is the unofficial victory of Seth Carey in the Republican race for the district attorney nomination in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties. Carey's apparent win is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that his law license is currently suspended.
Jun 13, 2018
These Citizens Won't Take 'No' For An Answer. And They're Budging Congress On Climate Change
Originally published 6: 30 p.m. June 13, 2018. This week more than 1,300 citizen volunteers have been in Washington D.C. to lobby for - wait for it - a bipartisan solution to climate change. You heard that right. In the face of political divisiveness and gridlock, volunteers from all 50 states are trying to find common ground on climate change policy. What's even more surprising is they say they're making progress.
Jun 13, 2018
Attorney For Woman Accused In Daughter's Beating Death Argues To Remove State Prosecutors From Case
The attorney for the woman accused in the beating death of her 10-year-old daughter, Marissa Kennedy, argued before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court Tuesday to have state prosecutors removed from the case. At issue are confidential records - including a psychological exam - that the defense attorney says the state improperly subpoenaed from Sharon Carrillo's former school.
Jun 12, 2018
Maine Utility Regulators Decide To Re-open Contract For Aqua Ventus Offshore Wind Project
Maine's Public Utilities Commission today re-opened consideration of consumer subsidies for a floating wind turbine project planned off Monhegan Island, potentially adding more delay to its development.
Jun 12, 2018
Opposed To Ranked-Choice Voting, LePage Says He Might Not Certify Primary Election Results
Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he will not certify the results of Tuesday's election because of his opposition to ranked-choice voting. But Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says the governor's threat is hollow, as certification isn't required in party primary nomination contests.
Jun 12, 2018
Appropriations Committee Announces Spending Agreement
Originally published 3:13 p.m. June 11, 2018. Lawmakers are making slow progress on addressing numerous bills and issues left unresolved from their second regular legislative session, which ended in early May. On Monday, the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee passed a $37 million spending package that could set the stage for resolving outstanding issues in a special session that could happen as early as next week. Most of the spending is for programs in the Department of Health and Human Services. Approval of the plan was swift and happened with little comment in public session. “They are really oriented towards providing services to people with disabilities, to seniors, to resolving or making some strides in solving the opioid crisis and Maine’s elderly,” said Westbrook Democrat Drew Gattine, who co-chairs the committee. Many of those programs leverage federal funds through the Medicaid program and address service backlogs in several areas. The match is nearly two federal dollars
Jun 12, 2018
Orrington Trash Facility Pins Hopes For Viable Future On Massive New Grinders
This story was originally published at 11 a.m. Friday, June 9. We walk on it, we drive on it. We even sleep on it. But when it's time to dispose of our old carpeting, tires and mattresses, it all becomes "oversized bulky waste" - or OBW. OBW is literally the fuel that fires trash-to-energy incinerators, including the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company in Orrington.
Jun 11, 2018
Officials Tour Hampden Biofuel Facility
Representatives from city and town governments that are part of the 115-member Municipal Review Committee got a chance Monday afternoon to tour the new $70 million Fiberight biofuel recycling center in Hampden. Although the facility is still under construction and is expected to begin receiving solid waste shipments early next year, Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul says nearly all of the plant’s key components should be in place within the next 90 days. “Essentially, all the sequential parts are working,” he says. “We don’t have any road blocks on the equipment, it’s being delivered as it should. The concrete’s going in as it should. We’re putting all the lighting in now. So all the things that need to be in the roof before people working underneath are going into the roof.” Stuart-Paul says Fiberight is also exploring the possibility of developing a regional glass processing facility on the grounds of the new complex. He says Maine currently sends its recycled glass to Connecticut for
Jun 11, 2018
Maine Will Issue Nonbinary Gender Driver's Licenses
As national pride month picks up steam, members of Maine’s LGBTQ community are celebrating a fresh victory. The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles will no longer require people getting IDs and driver’s licenses to select only male or female to indicate their gender.
Jun 11, 2018
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap Explains How Votes Will Be Counted Next Week
To explain how citizens will experience Ranked Choice Voting next Tuesday Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap visited Maine Calling. To clarify, as Dunlap noted, you can enroll with one of the two parties on election day if you are currently unenrolled, or have not registered to vote. But to change parties, you must do so 15 days before election day.
Jun 08, 2018
Ranked-Choice Means Primary Polling Is Even Less Reliable
Polling in primary elections has always been difficult, due to typically-low voter turnout. But experts say it is even more arduous when voters are surveyed about their preferences under the new ranked-choice voting law.
Jun 08, 2018