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.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Summer school — it’s a long been a dreaded rite of passage for students who are falling behind. Movies have been made about it, and some districts now refuse to even call it “summer school” because of the stigma.

But now, some schools are finding that some of the traditional ways they’ve approached programs in the past aren’t working, particularly at younger levels. That’s forced some districts to make changes.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

Church bells still summon the faithful to the start of worship, and you can still hear them ring out on special occasions in certain town squares. But these days, the dulcet tones of handmade bells and chimes are increasingly being drowned out by electronic gadgets.

Patty Wight / Maine Public/file

The hearing for a man who claims he was falsely convicted of murder 25 years ago has been delayed till October.

Anthony Sanborn was released on bail this spring after a key witness in his original trial recanted her testimony, casting doubt on Sanborn's conviction of the murder of Jessica Briggs in Portland in 1989. 

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Two months after ruling out a bid for the U.S. Senate, Gov. Paul LePage suggested Thursday that there's a possibility he may challenge independent U.S. Sen. Angus King next year.

The Republican governor also acknowledged that he's being pressured to run by the Trump administration.

LePage told Portland radio station WGAN that he may reconsider if Auburn state Sen. Eric Brakey's Senate bid doesn't gain traction.

Child care advocates are voicing opposition to proposed changes in regulations governing in-home child care facilities.

The state Department of Health and Human Services says it wants to streamline an assortment of policies in order to increase access to affordable child care, particularly for parents in rural areas of Maine. The proposals are scheduled for a public hearing before a legislative committee Thursday evening.

It’s Thursday, and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on Maine politics. This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney and former Democratic legislator who writes a column for the Portland Press Herald, and Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, who served in the Legislature as a Republican.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

It’s been a year since Maine enacted the toughest opioid prescription limits in the country, which came in response to an addiction epidemic where, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription painkiller.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

This year the Land for Maine’s Future Program turns 30. Despite coming under fire from Gov. Paul LePage, who opposes most taxpayer-funded conservation projects, LMF has strong public support — since 1987 it has been bolstered by more than half a dozen statewide bonds that have helped conserve 600,000 acres and more than 150 destinations.

Those destinations are now part of a marketing effort to get Mainers to access and enjoy the properties they own.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Maine is the most rural state in the nation and, also, one with some of the poorest internet access. Out on the coastal islands, internet service ranges from lousy to nonexistent.

Darron Cummings / Associated Press

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says President Donald Trump’s controversial voter fraud commission should make sure ballot security doesn’t discourage voter participation.

Dunlap is one of four Democrats on a 12-member panel that critics say is engineered toward nationalizing Republican voter suppression efforts. The commission met for the first time at the White House Wednesday, and Dunlap used his opening remarks to offer some advice: to address claims of voter fraud.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says she will oppose efforts by Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell to repeal Obamacare before a replacement for the health care law is developed.

“I will vote 'no' on the motion to proceed to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement," she says. "I voted against this same proposal in 2015 and I do not think that it’s going to be constructive.”

And - as she did before - Collins says repealing without replacing will cause turmoil in the insurance industry and put many at risk of no coverage. 

This week Maine lawmakers will consider whether to make it easier for first responders to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

If approved, PTSD would be considered a work-related injury for police, firefighters and EMTs. Supporters say it would reduce stigma and make it easier to receive treatment. But the Maine Municipal Association says it’s a mismatched solution that fails to prevent PTSD.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

The view from the top is magnificent, but getting to the summit of Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park has been taking a little longer this year.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Maine schools have long said they need more money. One reason, educators say, is that they are taking on responsibilities they’ve never had before: providing extra food, medical services and even washers and dryers to clean students’ clothes. Schools in rural Maine need the most help, but often lack the tax base to pay for it.

Jim Boyle, a former state senator from Gorham, has announced his candidacy for governor.

Boyle served one term in the Maine Senate. Now he’s the sixth Democrat to jump into a race that has 11 candidates so far.

Boyle lives in Gorham and runs an environmental consulting company in Westbrook.

In the press release announcing his candidacy, Boyle depicted a Maine economy that’s leaving some behind and a dysfunctional state government.