Maine

Maine news

They relied on a patchwork fix of deep cuts, layoffs and savings, but the trustees for the University of Maine System were still unable to develop a plan that will completely close a $36 million-dollar structural gap in next year's $529 million operating budget. Instead, the board voted to use one-time money from reserve accounts to buy the administration a little more time to develop a budget fix that addresses declining enrollments and higher operating costs at the system's seven university campuses.

  A discussion about the just released Maine Food Strategy Report. It details the food choices and buying habits of Mainers, including where they shop, how they define "local" and what influences purchasing decisions. What is the potential for Maine's farmers and fishermen?

Jay Field

Walker School in Liberty made impressive gains over the past year. The school's grade on it's 2014 state report card jumped from a D to a B. Thanks to budget cuts, Walker now shares its principal with another elementary school in the district, Regional School Unit 3. Troy Central School moved from an F to a D this year. According to the state, it's still struggling. But a visit to Troy revealed the same kind of energy and programs in place that eventually allowed Walker School to become more successful.

The latest round of school report cards, released today by the Maine Department of Education, show a majority of schools still struggling to meet the LePage administration's standards for improvement. More than 150 Maine schools received lower grades from the state this year versus last, while nearly 100 schools boosted their scores at least one letter grade.

Overall this year, there were fewer As and Bs and more Ds and Fs, while the majority of schools got a C.

When last year's grades came out, educators across the state railed at Gov. Paul LePage. The governor, they complained, was labeling schools as failing - without offering enough context on the challenges, socio-economic and otherwise, that can get in the way of learning and contribute to low test scores.

Events in Africa

May 15, 2014

An update on some of the recent events in Africa. The latest news on the search for the abducted school girls in Nigeria, the civil war in South Sudan and the crisis in the Central African Republic.

Host Jennifer Rooks speaks with:

Confronting the 'Boogie Man' of Ocean Point

May 14, 2014

Every community in America seems to have its own legends, its own eccentric personalities - the outcasts, the weirdos. Sometimes we integrate these people into our communities. Sometimes, we isolate them. But what happens when the outcast is considered dangerous? Even the well-to-do seaside community of Ocean Point, near Boothbay, has its own boogie man. His name is Bobby Moore. Galen Koch produced this profile for the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland.

Wikimedia Commns

One-hundred-fifty years ago this week, soldiers from Maine were among those taking part in one of the bloodiest clashes of the Civil War: the battle of Spotsylvania Court House. For one Vermont resident, it's an historical event bought to life by a recently-discovered cache of letters written by her great-great-grandfather who was there - and captured an enemy flag before being wounded. Tom Porter has more.

Tasha Wallis says her interest in this historic event began a few months ago when a family gathering took an unexpected turn.

There was a time when the Maine State Police would see thousands of applicants for state trooper openings. These days, they might see a hundred. Those close to the ranks of the state police say pay might be one reason for the change. But they also point to societal factors, and to the stricter screens used to weed out the applicant pool.

Earlier this year, Jon Brown, a trooper from Piscataquis County, told members of the Legislature's Appropriations Committee that he sometimes takes road kill home to feed his family.

Tom Porter / MPBN

A published news report is linking a Maine street gang to the gun that was used last year by one of the Boston Marathon bombers. According to the L.A. Times, the 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol used to kill a Massachusetts Institute of Technology security officer, and seriously wound another officer, was purchased at Cabela's in Scarborough, and passed along to a Portland drug dealer, who is believed to have given it to the alleged bomber.

Remembering the Labors of Mothers

May 12, 2014

This Sunday, families everywhere will be celebrating the special mothers in their lives. Young and old, living and dead, mothers' roles evolve over a lifetime.  Essayist Kirk Read remembers the labors of the mothers in his life.

  Kirk Read is a professor of French at Bates College.

(A transcript of this essay is not available.)

Your Vote 2014 Profile: Troy Jackson

May 10, 2014

Lots of politicians, in both parties, talk about lifting more Maine families out of poverty and into lives filled with steady work and reliable health care coverage. Many though, don't have Troy Jackson's intimate experience with what it means for families when those things are out of reach.

Your Vote 2014 Profile: Emily Cain

May 9, 2014
Maine Senate Democrats Office

Maine has a reputation for sending trailblazing female politicians to Washington. Two of those women, Republican  Senators Margaret Chase Smith and Olympia Snowe, first entered national politics by winning election to Maine's 2nd Congressional District.  This fall, another promising female politician from Maine hopes to take this same route.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

The Maine Manufactured Housing Board has revoked the license of a Richmond trailer park owner and ordered him to pay the maximum fine possible for raw sewage and two other violations that resulted in the temporary eviction of his tenants. It's the first time the board has taken such an action. Russ Edwards is now negotiating to sell the beleagured park to a potential buyer. But as Susan Sharon reports, the tenants are still hoping to take it over themselves.

Susan Sharon / MPBN file photo

  It's the time of year when we all are itching to plant in the garden. Maybe you are thinking of trying a new vegetable this year? Maybe you're thinking of putting in a hedge and want something hardy and beautiful? Or maybe you're wondering what kind of edibles do well in pots? Learn about annuals, perennials, vegetables, sun, soil, or pests.

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