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.

Gov. Paul LePage has signed into a law a bill that supporters say will make it easier for first responders to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Until now, police, firefighters and EMTs in Maine who sought workers compensation benefits for PTSD had to prove that they developed the disorder from their work. This new law no longer puts the onus on first responders; instead, it creates a presumption that if they’re diagnosed with PTSD, it’s work-related.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Horses have been racing at Bangor’s Bass Park for nearly 135 years, but the sport’s future venue could be called into question if the Bangor City Council adopts the recommendations of a citizens advisory board.

A Maine Superior Court judge has taken the unusual step of finding that a prisoner’s lengthy stay in solitary confinement amounted to “an atypical and significant hardship.” The case, brought by Maine State Prison inmate Douglas Burr against the Department of Corrections, will now proceed to trial.

The Black Lives Matter protesters who shut down a section of Portland’s Commercial Street last summer are now legally off the hook.

After several go-rounds in court, the clock has run out on a deal that allowed disorderly conduct charges to be wiped out if 6 months passed without any of the protesters committing a new offense, and if protesters met privately with police to discuss their differences in an attempt at “restorative justice.”

“The case is over,” says John Gale, a lawyer for one of the defendants, Karen Lane.

Issa Oppenheim-Pressman

When Chandra Oppenheim’s debut album, “Transportation,” came out in 1980, it was quickly embraced by the tastemakers of the day. She played gigs at CBGB in New York and sold out shows in Berkeley, California, and she was only 12 years old.

Both of Maine’s senators voted against a Republican health care bill Tuesday, but their votes weren’t enough to block the Senate from moving forward to debate legislation that could dramatically reshape health care in the U.S. Health advocates are worried the proposal will be disastrous for Maine.

Only two Republican senators opposed the move to proceed. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was one of them, and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the other. Combined with opposition from Democrats, the tally was 50-50, and then Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie.

After years of encouraging solar development, Vermont seems to be attracting the attention of national solar companies.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is asking Gov. Paul LePage to end his practice of selectively deleting negative comments and blocking certain users from his official Facebook page.

Karen Knowlton / Waterville Humane Society via AP

Dakota the dog is no longer facing a possible death sentence, after a Kennebec County District Court judge approved a deal that spares her life.

The husky was ordered to be euthanized this spring after she attacked two dogs in separate incidents, killing one. Gov. Paul LePage took the unusual step of pardoning Dakota, though it was unclear whether he had the authority to do so.

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney says the agreement Monday satisfies all parties involved in the case.

Portland officials may take Big Pharma to court over super-addictive synthetic opioids.

Early next month city officials will hear a staff presentation on a potential lawsuit against opioid manufacturers or distributors. Mayor Ethan Strimling says the effort might be similar to suits some cities have brought against gun manufacturers for harm their products cause.

He says one goal would be to limit opioid marketing.

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.