Jennifer Mitchell

News Producer

Jennifer Mitchell studied Music, English and Anthropology at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio. She has worked as News Director for Peninsula Public Radio in Homer, Alaska, and served as news producer in Bangor for Maine Public Radio in 2004. Most recently, she spent four years working in South Africa as a producer, as well as classical music presenter in Cape Town.

Jennifer is a fan of open source computing, and music of all types, including old Victrola tunes, Jazz, Folk, World, Goth and Metal. When not on the air, she can be found researching 19th century social history. Her idea of a good time is several hours in a dank basement looking at old patent applications, newspaper archives, and original recipes for intriguing Victorian delights such as sheep's head soup and shadow potatoes.

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Maine Public/file

FALMOUTH, Maine - Starting Monday at midnight, the speed limit along a busy stretch of I-295, will be going down, three years after it was increased.

Jennifer Mitchell /Maine Public

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's maple season seems to be off to a decent start, with no significant problems foreseen, as the state prepares to celebrate its 34th annual Maine Maple Sunday.

Maine’s unemployment rate fell by .3 percentage points between January and February to reach 3.2 percent.

State labor economist Glenn Mills says 13 of the last 16 months surveyed show an unemployment rate below 4 percent.

“So all the indicators of a fairly tight labor market are there. There are certainly pockets of weakness — in much of Northern Maine, the challenges in the forest economy and the like — but certainly from central Maine south it’s a fairly tight labor market,” he says.

Mills says there’s nothing very surprising in the latest numbers.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

BANGOR, Maine - Maine's maple industry seems to be off to a decent start, with no significant problems foreseen, as the state prepares to celebrate its 34th annual Maine Maple Sunday.

"Last year, you know, the season had  675,000 gallons, and that's up from 315,000 gallons in 2010," says Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry spokesman John Bott.

Bott says the trend for the last six years has been one of steadily increasing effort across Maine, with the number of taps increasing by 26 percent over the period.

Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

Finding a pack of blueberries these days is as easy as pie — they’re plentiful in both the fresh and frozen sections of the supermarket. But while the supply is high, the market price has taken a dive, and that has growers feeling blue.

Courtesy, Bangor Police Department

BANGOR, Maine - Authorities in Bangor say a 13 year old child with autism has been found safely, after disappearing overnight. Joshua Hogan went missing from his home on Griffin Road, some time around 12:30 AM Sunday. He was spotted by several people in Brewer late Sunday morning, walking with a suitcase, after police launched a search.

For the first time in Maine, some patients will be able to pay for their marijuana prescriptions without visiting the ATM.

A new mobile app called CanPay is available at the state’s largest dispensary, Wellness Connection of Maine. CEO Patricia Rosi says it’s a milestone for the industry, which has struggled for legitimacy due to ongoing federal restrictions.

Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Reaction in Maine to President Donald Trump’s proposed $1.15 trillion budget has been swift - and critical.

BANGOR, Maine - A new study suggests that as more people retire, inadequate personal savings means the taxpayers will have to take on more of the burden. 

"With an aging Maine workforce moving into retirement increasingly reliant on public assistance, that cost to the state it likewise increasing," says Amy Gallant, advocacy director for AARP Maine, which commissioned the study.

States and the federal governments must address the barriers to saving for retirement, says Gallant, or the burden on taxpayers will continue to grow.

Wikimedia Commons

As the growing season approaches, industry experts say Maine’s wild blueberry producers will likely have to slash production to keep the industry afloat. There’s been too much of a good thing, and prices are suffering.

BANGOR, Maine - With Americans sitting on an estimated $10 billion in loose change, a new Maine nonprofit is hoping to get those coins circulating again - and get more people involved in projects that will help their communities.

It's called World of Change.

"This is a vision that I've had that I'm super excited to finally be able to see it through," says Matt Hoidal,  of Falmouth.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

ROCKPORT, Maine -  The value of the Maine lobster fishery continues to grow, and landings continue to climb.

"Maine certainly is experiencing kind of a sweet spot in terms of its lobster fishery," says Jeff Nichols, of the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Nichols says Maine lobsters in 2016 were worth more than $533 million dollars - some $30 million more than the year before. It's the seventh year in a row that the catch value has increased. Nichols says not only are lobsters plentiful, but they're desirable for a number of reasons.

AUGUSTA, Maine - In a joint convention Thursday, members of Maine's House and Senate came together to hear how the state's public higher education institutions are faring.

University of Maine System Chancellor James Page told lawmakers that major streamlining and cost-cutting efforts mean that the university's projected budget deficit - once at $90 million - currently sits at less than $20 million, and should be totally eliminated by 2021. 

But Page cautioned that Maine industries such as engineering, computer science and especially nursing need more support.

BANGOR, Maine - Officials with the town of East Millinocket say they're relieved that a judge has granted a temporary restraining order that keeps buildings at the former Great Northern Paper Mill property from being demolished.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed," says Select Board Chair Mark Scally.

Scally says an investment group has been working to create a biofuels facility on that site, and any set-back, such as the loss of important infrastructure, would not have been good news for that project.

With new state standards in place designed to reduce blood-lead levels in children, the City of Portland is urging landlords and homeowners to apply for help with lead abatement in their homes.

“Maine has one of the oldest housing stocks in the nation,” says Mary Davis with the City of Portland Housing and Community Development Division.

Davis says there’s no way to make a pre-1978 home absolutely free of lead, but funds from a newly acquired, three-year federal Housing and Urban Development grant can help make older homes more “lead safe.”

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