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.

The president of the largest union at Bath Iron Works says workers are reeling from news that another shipyard was selected for a $10.5 billion contract to build a new generation of cutters for the Coast Guard. The decision to award the contract to a competitor with no experience in military shipbuilding has surprised industry observers.

Nick Woodward / MPBN

In this turbulent political year, we’ve been exploring the stories of immigrants and their families in Maine. Today, we take you to Lewiston, where a community of African migrants is writing a new chapter in the story of Maine by breathing new life into old farmland.

More than 10 percent of Maine’s teachers and childcare providers have expelled students as young as 3 from their programs due to challenging behaviors such as hitting, pushing and biting, according to a new survey from the Maine Children’s Growth Council.

Advocates for children in Maine are concerned about what the statistics mean for those kids and their families.

For the third time in recent years, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection is considering new mining rules that are drawing strong opposition from around the state.

Similar rules have twice been rejected by the Legislature, staff from the department say the changes are needed to address gaps and inconsistencies in the existing law.

President Barack Obama has signed an order protecting a section of underwater mountains and canyons off New England's coast. It's the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly foray into the world of politics.

This week, Keith Shortall talks with Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic state lawmaker; Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Marketing and Advertising, who served in Augusta as a Republican; and Dick Woodbury, an economist and former independent state lawmaker.

Robbie Feinberg / MPBN

In much of Maine, it’s tough to find quality, high-speed internet. According to one estimate, Maine ranks 49th out of 50 states when it comes to broadband availability.

The problem is magnified when you head Down East, to rural, coastal towns such as Cherryfield and Isle au Haut.

The small fishing village of Jonesport is more than an hour and a half east of Bar Harbor. And if you go at night, past the corner store and the church, you might see a strange sight: lots of cars, with people inside, just parked outside the library.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Three recent polls show Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in a tight race with Hillary Clinton in Maine. The surveys have generated some national buzz because a Republican presidential candidate has not won here in 30 years, and Maine has never split its four electoral votes.

Maine Medical Center

Maine Medical Center announced Wednesday it’s planning a $512 million renovation and expansion. The project would modernize the facility and add more single-patient rooms, which hospital officials say are becoming the standard for care of patients with increasingly complex health issues.

When Dr. Joel Botler began practicing at Maine Medical Center 37 years ago, the patients who came through the hospital’s doors typically had just a single health problem that needed to be treated.

“Those days are over,” he says.

Neil Conway / Flickr/Creative Commons

You may have heard the recent news about two teenage boys who allegedly stole a front-loader parked near the Maine Turnpike in West Gardiner and led police on a low-speed chase for several miles.

During their drive — some of it the wrong way down the highway — the two boys did substantial damage to property, and deliberately hit two cars, one of which was a police car.

No one was injured, but on hearing the news, you may have wondered, “What on Earth were they thinking?”

New Hampshire voters had the biggest field of candidates for governor to consider  that they've had in twenty years--seven people wanted the job. But how much can a New Hampshire governor actually do, anyway? 

Steve Mistler / MPBN

About two-dozen environmental activists staged a sit-in at the Maine Public Utilities Commission Tuesday afternoon to protest the agency’s decision to have electricity ratepayers finance a potential expansion of natural gas capacity.

Maine regulators are proposing changes to the way the state’s solar power producers are compensated for excess energy they put on the grid, and it’s more generous than what Gov. Paul LePage has put forth.

The draft proposal from the Maine Public Utilities Commission would give existing solar power producers a 15-year “grandfather” period during which they can continue to earn the same rates for excess power they put on the grid.

That’s much longer than the three years LePage has proposed.

Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services is preparing to shift some responsibility for a welfare-to-work program to a private company. New York-based Fedcap Rehabilitation Services has been awarded the $63 million contract, but advocates for those on welfare say the company’s proposal raises red flags.

Wind Power Developers Look to Water Companies' Reservoirs

Sep 12, 2016
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Wind power is about to go big-time in New England, with the opening of the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., located off the Rhode Island coast.