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

Nick Woodward / MPBN

It's no secret that Maine's more than 100 nursing homes have been chronically underfunded. MaineCare pays the bills for about 70 percent of nursing home patients. But MaineCare rates don't cover the full cost of nursing care. And at some nursing homes, the shortage has become so serious that several have warned that they may have to close. Gov. Paul LePage and lawmakers can't agree on how to address the $12 million problem. In the meantime, nursing homes are struggling to provide shelter, food, and treatment for Maine's oldest citizens.

Maine's potato growers don't have a whole lot to celebrate at the moment; a major processing contract negotiated by a growers' bargaining council resulted in disappointingly low figures. Maine's spud crop last year was worth almost $170 million dollars and potato farmers cultivated some 54,000 acres, most of that in Aroostook County. But fewer acres will be planted this year, and with a chilly, wet spring in northern Maine, 2014 could be a tough one for many growers of Maine's iconic tuber.

Nick Woodward / MPBN

Most people probably know that the giant panda, the Siberian tiger, and the Northern right whale are in danger of dying out. But what about the Leicester Longwool, the Suffolk Punch, or the Mulefoot Hog? Those are farm animals that appear on a list of critically endangered domestic breeds. Biodiversity in the world's farmyards is shrinking, say experts, and that's not a good thing. But efforts are underway to - pardon the pun - take stock of these critters. And Maine's small farms might serve as an ark for them.

Jay Field / MPBN

Some disappointing news came today for the deep water wind project known as Aqua Ventus. That's the pilot project led by a University of Maine development team. Aqua Ventus was competing for federal development money. But, as Jennifer Mitchell reports, the project was not selected for full funding. So now, its fate is less certain. Meanwhile, environmental advocates are still lamenting a decision they say chased away another wind developer.

    This year two well-known Maine Republicans are vying for the nomination to represent Maine's vast 2nd District in Congress.  It's the seat currently held by Democrat Mike Michaud, who is running for governor.  But former state Senate President Kevin Raye and former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin have different styles, different priorities, and different reasons for entering the race.  Poliquin says he's running so that he can help the next generation.  Jennifer Mitchell has this profile.

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The Maine GOP convention was held in Bangor over the weekend where party leaders gathered in a show of unity ahead of the November elections. The theme of the convention was "United for Jobs, United for Freedom, United for Maine." Democratic and independent candidates responded to some of the attacks aimed at them over the weekend.

Governor LePage (R) said he's expecting a contentious campaign year.

"This will be probably the nastiest campaign you've ever seen in the state of Maine," LePage told the assembled crowd on Saturday.

Maine House of Representatives

As incumbent Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud departs his 2nd District seat to run for governor, he's opened the door for a host of candidates from both parties who are hoping to be sent to Washington. One of them is former state Senate President Kevin Raye, who is making his third bid for Congress. 

An artist's rendering of the physical manifestation of a Bitcoin
www.ricardo.ch

For many Americans, money means "worth", in more ways than one. According to one post-recession study by the Pew Research group, lower income and joblessness means not just a smaller bank balance for Americans, but fewer friends, and a loss of self respect. As the effects of the financial crisis linger, more people in Maine and around the world have been exploring so-called cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Proponents of this, and other, alternative currencies say that today's "too big to fail" market economy is driving some people to seek another way.

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