Maine Things Considered

4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

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.

Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant has admitted sending a sexually explicit photo of himself to a woman through text message, and is now facing additional allegations of improper sexual conduct by the union representing employees of the sheriff’s office.

The new allegations against Gallant surfaced late Wednesday afternoon in a published report in the Portland Press Herald. Gallant was first confronted about the sexually explicit photo by Portland TV station WGME on Tuesday, and in a statement admitted that it was taken in his office and that he was partially in uniform.

Bex Finch

John Hodgman is known for a variety of things — he was a correspondent on “The Daily Show,” he has written several books of funny fake facts and hosts the podcast “Judge John Hodgman,” as well as writing a Sunday New York Times Magazine column as Judge John Hodgman.

About 3.5 million people in the U.S. are living with hepatitis C. New, blockbuster drugs have transformed the treatment and prognosis for the deadly disease. But there’s a catch — they’re expensive.

A single course of treatment, which lasts about three months, can cost as much as $90,000. The sheer volume of patients combined with the price tag for treatment limits access.

Attorneys were back in federal court Tuesday arguing about a lawsuit brought by the Portland Pipe Line Corp. against the City of South Portland over its Clear Skies Ordinance.

In August, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock rejected the city’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. But the city says last month’s cancellation of a massive pipeline project in Canada has undermined the company’s case.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Gorham businessman Shawn Moody launched his second run for governor Tuesday, this time as a Republican.

Moody hit topics familiar to conservative audiences, including welfare, supporting veterans and a business approach to government.  Mainers are tired of just getting by," he said. "It's time to get ahead."

Moody, who finished fourth out of five candidates as an independent seven years ago, has enlisted several political advisors to Gov. Paul LePage to bolster his run.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Treatment for hepatitis C was at one time complicated, requiring weekly visits to specialists and harsh drugs that often came with severe side effects. And the cure rate was less than 50 percent.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Federal regulators are shutting down fishing rights for a significant portion of New England’s stressed groundfish stocks, such as cod and flounder. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says managers for a New Bedford, Massachusetts-based sector undermined conservation goals while disgraced fishing magnate Carlos Rafael was falsifying catch reports.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is being targeted by advertising and telephone campaigns as the political battle over the Republican tax plan heats up.

One TV ad airing in Maine urges Collins to vote for the Senate Republican tax plan, touting it as a tax cut. Another ad from a different political action committee denounces both the Senate and House versions of tax legislation.

“Thankfully, Sen. Susan Collins told us that she would say no to tax breaks for the wealthiest. Call her and tell her not to lose her way,” the ad said.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

The White House has declared opioid abuse a national public health emergency. But it’s also fueling another epidemic: a rise in hepatitis C.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

In Oak Hill High School’s efforts to implement new, proficiency-based graduation requirements, one department is held up as a prime example of what this new kind of education should look like. It’s not math, English or science — but physical education.

Mary Esch / Associated Press

This week, the Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory about kratom, an herbal supplement that’s used to treat pain, anxiety, depression and addiction.

The FDA warns that kratom has similar effects to the narcotics in opioids, and carries similar risks of abuse. But those who use the botanical say it’s a safe, alternative treatment that helps people.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King has called on the Senate to fund federally qualified health centers, a month after they lost 70 percent of their federal funding and amid talks about layoffs and cutbacks in services starting in January.

“If we leave at the end of the year and haven’t done this, it will be a tragedy for rural America, it will be a betrayal of rural America, it will be a betrayal of our constituents,” he says.

The lack of skilled workers facing Maine employers has become a crisis — so says a legislative task force charged with finding ways to improve the state’s labor pool.

The shortage of skilled workers applies to a wide array of both professional and support occupations, the task force has found. There are not enough doctors or nurses in Maine, and the state is also in need of more medical support staff such as phlebotomists.

About 50,000 Mainers would lose health insurance under the proposed Senate Republican tax bill, according to progressive-leaning state and national policy organizations. They say the tax bill’s provision to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate tugs at a thread that would significantly unravel the federal health law.

Addressing the state’s drug crisis has been an all hands on deck approach from the medical community, law enforcement to social workers.

But advocates are saying one missing player in all this – has been employers. And how they can be a part of the solution. Whether that’s offering jobs to those in recovery or simply changing how addiction is addressed and talked about at work.

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