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

Students entering high school this year in Maine will be the first in the country to graduate with a new kind of diploma. Instead of amassing a set number of credits, they’ll need to show that they’re “proficient” and meet certain standards.

It’s a change that’s been nearly a decade in the making. But some educators are still worried about what it will mean for students and teachers.

Supporters of ranked-choice voting were back at the polls on Tuesday, just one day after Maine’s secretary of state approved their petitions for a people’s veto of a law that delays implementation of ranked-choice voting until 2021.

“We have 90 days to collect 61,123 valid signatures. Upon submitting those signatures, we freeze the law in place as it was approved by voters in Nov. 2016,” says Kyle Bailey, manager of the campaign.

Kevin Bennett / For Maine Public

For the first time in about three years, the Land for Maine’s Future board is considering funding for more than two-dozen conservation and water access projects around the state.

The projects range in size from a boat landing in Lubec and a 129-acre farm in Arundel to the 23,000-acre Bix Six Township in remote Somerset County on the Canadian border. But funding is limited, and the competition is fierce.

A key witness whose testimony helped secure bail for Anthony Sanborn as he fights a decades-old murder conviction was back on the stand Tuesday in Cumberland County Superior Court.

Last spring, Hope Cady recanted her testimony from the original trial, that she had witnessed Sanborn murder Jessica Briggs on a Portland pier. Cady still maintains that she didn’t see Sanborn commit the crime.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The next time you buy a pass to drive into Acadia National Park, the price may have nearly tripled. The Trump administration is proposing a substantial increase in fees at Acadia and 16 other national parks, in part to help address an estimated $11 billion in infrastructure needs within the system nationwide.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

For the past several weeks, “new” Mainers have been breaking bread with longtime residents of Lewiston and Auburn, swapping stories about their families and breaking down stereotypes about immigrants and refugees.

It’s part of a national initiative to address the uptick in hate crimes. One focus of the sessions is to teach bystanders how to safely intervene in a bias incident before it escalates.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Fishermen up and down the New England coast say it has been decades since they’ve been able to catch so many Atlantic bluefin tuna, so fast. Once severely depleted, populations of the prized sushi fish appear to be rebuilding.

Gov. Paul LePage says he will allow a bill that delays implementation of ranked-choice voting become law without his signature.

“I encourage the people who want to have a people’s veto to bring it in. The Supreme Court has already said it is unconstitutional, so let the courts decide,” he says.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a measure aimed at regulating the retail sale of marijuana in the state.

Murray Carpenter / For Maine Public

Marijuana farmers in Maine who grow plants outdoors have recently brought in their harvest, and many have been sitting around tables painstakingly trimming buds with scissors — a process that is tedious and, one Midcoast farmer says, obsolete.

On a warm fall day, King Bishop is harvesting the medical marijuana plants from his farm in Morrill. After he stacks the stems onto a table in his shop, he feeds them into a small machine.

“All of those nuggets, or what would be the buds, have all got to be removed from the stem, and so that’s what that machine is doing,” he says.

Electric crews continue to make progress toward restoring power to some 80,000 customers of Emera and Central Maine Power who have been without electricity since a wind storm tore through the state Sunday night and Monday. 

That's down from about half a million customers at the height of the storm. 

"We are at the slowest part of this - and the slowest because you might have four or six bucket trucks on a road that are going to pick up two customers," says Sara Burns, CEO of CMP, Maine's largest utility.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

From public radio shows such as The Moth to local storytelling groups, there are more chances than ever to tell a personal tale in front of an audience. This weekend, an event called This Is My Brave comes to Lewiston, inviting people who have experienced mental illness to take center stage at the local Franco Center and share their story.

Corinne Pratt, 39, has struggled with mental illness for most of her life. For a long time, she didn’t think she could open up about it.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Gov. Paul LePage was on Capitol Hill on Thursday to testify against a House bill designed to support working waterfronts. HR 1176 is sponsored by Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District, but LePage takes issue with the role the federal government would play.

Abukar Adan / Maine Public

Maine’s two major power companies say they are making headway in restoring service to homes and businesses after Sunday night's storm.

Central Maine Power is reporting about 122,000 outages and Emera Maine has reduced the number of without service to 24,000. 

On Monday, those numbers were close to half a million. Still, CMP President Sara Burns says the steady progress is no solace to those who are still waiting in the dark.

A coalition of environmentalists and power generators is calling for the creation of a regional cap-and-trade market for carbon emissions from the transportation sector. They’re modeling the market on a successful effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation.

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