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.

Ways to Connect

Maine’s nursing shortage is becoming critical, with some regions poised to lose about half of their nursing staff to retirement in the next 10 years, according to a new analysis released Thursday by the Maine Nursing Action Coalition.

Lisa Harvey-McPherson, a registered nurse and co-chair of the coalition, says that during the 2008 recession, many nurses due to retire chose to keep working. Now she says they’re getting out of the workforce, along with others nearing retirement age, contributing to a projected shortage of 3,200 nurses in the next eight years.

The Maine People’s Alliance has launched a campaign to put a universal home health care initiative before voters in 2018.

“There are far too many Maine families right now that are going broke because they can’t afford to care for their elders,” says Mike Tipping with the Maine People’s Alliance.

Tipping says the citizen’s initiative would establish a program to provide in-home services and support for those with disabilities, and for those over age 65. He says the program would be funded through a 1.9 percent payroll tax on incomes over $127,000.

A Hallowell man was killed Wednesday morning when he lost control of his motorcycle on I-95, as he was exiting on a sharp curve at exit 109 in Augusta.

Tropical storm Jose remains stuck off the coast of Cape Cod, and according to weather experts, doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to move.

While it’s far enough away for Maine to avoid lots of rainfall, the coast will still feel its effects with unusually high surf.

“These are what we call long period swells,” says Meteorologist Tom Hawley with the National Weather Service. “They’re 5-10 footers, probably 12-15 seconds between waves.”

Hawley says as tempting as it may be to go stand at the shore to watch the waves, doing so could be very dangerous.

The Department of Marine Resources says that a shellfish recall implemented last week has resulted in about 98 percent of the product in being surrendered.

According to the department, about 57,000 out of 58,000 pounds of mussels harvested from Frenchman Bay were destroyed this week. The shellfish tested positive for higher than allowable levels of the neurotoxin that causes amnesic shellfish poisoning.

Some 1,100 pounds of the mussels are unaccounted for.

In the wake of an algal bloom, the Department of Marine Resources says it is working to recall shellfish that was harvested on or after Sept. 10 from a stretch of the Down East coast.  

"We don't, at this point, have exact numbers or amounts of product that are affected by the recall, but we've had good compliance with dealers," says marine resources department spokesman Jeff Nichols.

Nichols says levels of domoic acid in shellfish harvested from an area between Mount Desert Island and Gouldsboro prompted the closure.

The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.8 percent for August was little changed from the 3.7 percent seen in July — and slightly lower than a year ago.

“Unless there’s some kind of a shock to the system, a financial shock or a 9/11 event, I would expect unemployment to remain very low for quite some time,” says state labor economist Glenn Mills.

Mills says Maine’s demographics have a lot to do with the persistent low rate of unemployment.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has filed a civil suit under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Jesse James Taylor in Portland Superior Court.

The case stems from an incident on July 29 when employees at Sisters Gourmet Deli in Portland called police after Taylor entered the premises and hurled abusive language and threats at the female employees there.

The incident was caught on tape.

“It’s more than name calling. It was threats — threats to kill people. There was a knife involved,” Mills says.

The University of Maine System is investing $1.3 million to expand a financial literacy program successfully piloted at the University of Maine in Farmington in 2013.

The Peer-to-Peer Financial Literacy Program trains students to help other students with financial decisions. University of Maine System spokesman Dan Demeritt says the program helps make students more aware of the long-term consequences of the choices they make now.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

Wednesday marks the the official start of leaf season in Maine.

“This seems like a typical year,” says Gail Ross, Maine’s fall foliage coordinator with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Ross says she doubts it will be an incredible year for color, but not a bad one either. She says many areas of the state did experience some stretches with little rainfall this summer.

“Which is why I think folks are seeing spotty trees here and there, that have either already turned or are completely defoliated,” she says.

Maine Holocaust survivor Kurt Messerschmidt has died at the age of 102.

Messerschmidt was born near Berlin on Jan. 2, 1915, and chose to remain in Germany, where he witnessed the rise of fascism. He described his ordeal to Maine Public Television in a 1993 documentary.


Nick Woodward / Maine Public

Since they first discovered the patterns of the sun and the moon, human beings have searched for more accurate methods of keeping time. Clockmaking developed into something of a fine art in the 18th and 19th centuries, but by the 1980s, the quartz clock movement rendered much of that mechanical knowledge a thing of the past.

PORTLAND, Maine – Portland Police are investigating what they say is a suspicious death. The body of a 54 year old man was found in the early Sunday morning hours in front of 19 Temple Street.

LISBON, Maine-  Maine Republican Senator Garrett Mason was expected to announce his candidacy for the Maine governor's race at an event in Lewiston Wednesday afternoon.  That event has now been cancelled due to the sudden death of Mason's mother. 

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

If you’re in the market for a length of steel chain, a hatchet or a decorative wrought iron fence, you just head over to the hardware store. But there was a time when crafted metal pieces could only be ordered at a dimly lit, blazing hot workroom known as the blacksmith’s shop — and a few real blacksmiths still exist in Maine.