Maine

Maine news

Dan Demeritt and Cynthia Dill in the MPBN studios in Portland.
Tom Porter/MPBN

The union endorsement of Sen. Susan Collins is the subject of this week's Across the Aisle, with Dan Demeritt, political consultant and former communications director for Republican Gov. Paul LePage, and Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate.

[A transcript is not available]

Maine's Department of Health and Human Services has selected new brokers to run the state's MaineCare ride program starting July 1.  The program was riddled with problems last year under the Connecticut-based broker Coordinated Transportation Solutions.  That company lost its bid for the next contract year, but another out-of-state broker, LogistiCare, won the majority of the new contracts.  As Patty Wight reports, some advocacy groups are concerned problems will continue under LogistiCare.

An artist's rendering of the physical manifestation of a Bitcoin
www.ricardo.ch

For many Americans, money means "worth", in more ways than one. According to one post-recession study by the Pew Research group, lower income and joblessness means not just a smaller bank balance for Americans, but fewer friends, and a loss of self respect. As the effects of the financial crisis linger, more people in Maine and around the world have been exploring so-called cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Proponents of this, and other, alternative currencies say that today's "too big to fail" market economy is driving some people to seek another way.

The Poacher's Son book jacket
Minotaur Books / Minotaur Books

Paul Doiron's debut novel The Poacher's Son won praise from critics as a well-written, well-paced mystery with well-developed characters. The main character is Mike Bowditch, a Maine game warden who learns that his father, a hard-living northwoods rogue, has been accused of killing two men, including a deputy sheriff. But the other prominent character is the setting. The book paints vivid pictures of Maine, the sights sounds and smells of the wilderness, and of the characters that call this home.

Guests:

The road up to the MPBN-TV transmitter in Mars Hill
Jeff Mahaney/Aaron Carter/MPBN

Snow fell in Aroostook County Thursday, April 24, more than one month after the official start to spring. Here's the view on Mars Hill mountain, just below Presque Isle where MPBN Technology Crew members Jeff Mahaney and Aaron Carter encountered winter-like conditions. The pair were checking in on the MPBN TV transmitter located on top of the mountain.

According to the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine the three inches of snow accumulated in Aroostook County is the biggest snowfall so late in the season since April 29, 2005 when 3.6 inches was observed.

A prisoner in solitary confinement inside the Maine State Prison.
FRONTLINE/PBS

On any given day in America, an estimated 80,000 prisoners are being held in solitary confinement, to either protect them from harm, or to prevent them from harming others. It's a controversial practice which critics say is counter-productive. Tomorrow night, television viewers across the nation will get a look inside the solitary confinement unit at the Maine State Prison in Warren, where the number of prisoners being held in solitary has been reduced by two-thirds in recent years.

The glass eel/elver fishery
www.maineeels.com / www.maineeels.com

A former Passamaquoddy tribal representative to the Maine Legislature and his two sons are among eight people who have been charged with three counts of felony possession of American eels, and conspiracy to commit a crime in the state of New York. Fred Moore of Perry, a vocal critic of the state of Maine's elver management plan, said the other six are members of the Unkechaug Indian Nation on Long Island. And he said were all arrested while trying to carry out the Unkechaug's own conservation plan for eels.

Patty Wight/MPBN

At a ceremony in Portland, a Maine soldier who fought in Afghanistan was reunited with a large piece of metal that saved his life. Sgt. Timothy Gilboe of Westbrook, who was decorated for his actions in combat in April of 2011, received the armor plate from the U.S. Army at the Portland Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, and shared his account of the attack that cost the life of a fellow soldier.

Tom Porter/MPBN

Look up the word "operetta" in the dictionary and it said something like, "short opera, usually on a light or humorous theme," not the kind of words you would necessarily associate with a subject like the Nazi Holocaust. Nevertheless, the University of Southern Maine Theatre Department is making that connection in its latest, ground-breaking production, called In The Underworld. It was written in French many years ago. In Gorham, USM is staging the English language world premiere of the work.

Sheep at Rambler's Way Farm in Kennebunk, Maine
foreverfarms.org / http://foreverfarms.org

What does it take to be a successful small farmer in Maine? Hear a discussion about the challenges of owning and operating a family farm in Maine. Learn about a surprising rise in the number of young farmers in Maine, and how agriculture here is changing. If you are a regular customer of a farm stand, CSA or farmer's market, you probably already know this, farming in Maine is hot.

The Maine State House in Augusta, Maine
Albany NY of English Wikipedia

The state's failure to require welfare recipients to meet work participation standards has triggered a $7 million fine from the federal Office of Family Assistance. Gov. Paul LePage and Republican leaders blame Democrats, saying that if GOP-backed welfare reform bills had passed, the state would not be in such a predicament. But Democrats say the penalty will be waived by the feds and that LePage's blustering is a campaign ploy.

FAME Scales Down Loan for Great Northern Owner

Apr 22, 2014
The Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket, Maine.
http://www.catecapital.com / http://www.greatnorthernpaper.com

There's more uncertainty surrounding the forest products industry in the Katahdin region today, after the Finance Authority of Maine approved a smaller-than-expected loan for a start-up business at the site of the old paper mill in Millinocket. Thermogen Industries wants to develop a wood pellet plant there. And its parent company, Cate Street Capital, originally secured a $25 million loan for the project. But Cate Street's ongoing financial problems prompted FAME's board to reconsider.

Portland Gets First Look at New Nova Star Ferry

Apr 18, 2014
Courtesy: City of Portland

Portland got its first look at the Nova Star cruise-ferry today. The 27,000-ton 530-foot vessel arrived at the Ocean Gateway Terminal at noon, having crossed thousands of miles of ocean in the last few weeks. After an absence of more than four years, daily round trips between Portland and Nova Scotia are due to begin the middle of next month.

Calais Regional Hospital is cutting hours for 90 employees and eliminating two special care rooms. The hospital faces a funding loss of more than half a million so far this year.

Chief Financial Officer Nancy Glidden said Calais Regional Hospital has seen a big drop in outpatient services in recent months, due to bad weather, a short flu season, and changes in reimbursement.

Overdose Antidote Bill Poised for Enactment in Maine

Apr 18, 2014
Narcan Kit for Drug Overdoses
Courtesy: The Press of Atlantic City

A bill that would expand access to a lifesaving drug used to prevent overdose deaths appears headed for passage in the Maine Legislature. And a new amendment that includes training for law enforcement has apparently eased some of the concerns of Gov. Paul LePage, who had previously threatened to veto the measure. The governor's spokeswoman now said her boss might let the bill become law without his signature.

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