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.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Historically, the dirty work of American democracy is done in the halls of Congress and state legislatures. But in more than half of U.S. states, activists who can’t get any traction for their policies in the state capitol have the option of turning directly to voters.

Caroline Losneck / Maine Public

An agreement reached between the Cumberland County district attorney’s office and a group of Black Lives Matter protesters fell apart Wednesday in a dispute over a required restorative justice session. Now it appears prosecutors will reinstate misdemeanor charges, which had been put on hold.

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s nomination of private charter school advocate Betsy DeVos to be education secretary has been put in jeopardy by Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Collins told fellow senators in a floor speech that she will not vote to confirm DeVos, even though she will support bringing the nomination to the floor for consideration. She says DeVos has been a good advocate for school choice, but still has reservations.

State regulators Tuesday approved new rules for the incentives received by Maine residents who install solar-power systems.

Susan Sharon

A little bottle is getting some big attention from the Maine Legislature.

“Nips” liquor bottles have moved from hotel minibars and airline service carts into convenience stores across Maine, and the discarded empties are piling up along the roadways. Lawmakers have proposed placing a deposit on the little containers.

Maine has joined eight other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing the recreational use of Marijuana as of Monday. But sales will not be allowed for another year as a special legislative committee develops rules for how those sales will take place.

Legally, you can now possess 2.5 ounces of pot and grow six mature plants in your home. Use of the drug can only be done in private, and retail sales are expected sometime next year. But first, the law allowing recreational marijuana needs to be implemented.

Susan Sharon / Maine

An Iraqi-owned grocery store in Hallowell was the setting Tuesday morning for a demonstration of small-town Maine’s support for immigrants and refugees.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

The Maine Education Association and others opposed to President Trump’s choice for education secretary delivered about 12,000 signatures to Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ Portland office Monday.

Opponents of Betsy DeVos say she’ll destroy public schools in favor of charter schools. But some elected officials in Maine think DeVos will improve education by allowing more choice.

Canal 5 Studio of Portland

A massive refrigerated warehouse proposed for Portland’s waterfront could help make the city’s port a regional and even world player — as ships sail, it’s the closest port to Europe, which could mean a boost in both imports and exports.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public/file

Lewiston Mayor Robert MacDonald met with Gov. Paul LePage Friday morning to alert him to what he says is a growing problem: too many asylum seekers. Figures show that over the past three years the number has more than doubled in Lewiston. The city gets help from the state, but the mayor says it’s not enough.

Jennifer Mitchell

Over the next few weeks, students from College of the Atlantic will be trekking across ice covered lakes and bushwhacking over frozen marshes on behalf of Acadia National Park. They’re on the trail of one of the park’s most fearsome predators.

The crystalline properties of the OG Kush strain of pot.

Gov. Paul LePage is in a standoff with legislative leaders over an emergency bill designed to ensure minors won’t have access to marijuana. The governor says he won’t sign it until the Legislature fixes other problems with the citizen-initiated law that legalizes the drug. But lawmakers say the governor’s request came late and the bill sitting on his desk already gives him part of what he wants.

A view from the James B. Longley Bridge between Lewiston and Auburn.
Susan Sharon/Maine Public

Tell someone in Maine you’re going to L-A and they’ll know right away you don’t mean Los Angeles. You’re talking about the other L-A: Lewiston-Auburn.

Sheryl Lee could be in Danger of Losing Access to Mental Health Care
Patty Wight/Maine Public

Some state-funded Medicaid services that support thousands of people with severe mental illness could disappear if proposed rate cuts are approved. Providers who help people say they can’t absorb a proposed 25% reduction in reimbursement rates. Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services says the rates aren’t final, but at least one provider is already cutting back.

Everyday tasks like going to the grocery store, can feel insurmountable for 63-year-old Sheryl Lee. She has bipolar disorder, anxiety, and PTSD.

Gov. Paul LePage on the dais at his town hall meeting in Biddeford on January 26, 2016.
Patty Wight/Maine Public

It’s Thursday, and time once again for Across the Aisle our weekly roundtable on politics.

This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney and former Democratic lawmaker…Dick Woodbury, and economist who served in the legislature as an independent and former republican state lawmaker Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing.