Patty Wight

News Producer

Patty is a graduate of the University of Vermont and a multiple award-winning reporter for Maine Public Radio. Her specialty is health coverage: from policy stories to patient stories, physical health to mental health and anything in between. Patty joined Maine Public Radio in 2012 after producing stories as a freelancer for NPR programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She got hooked on radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and hasn’t looked back ever since.

Ways to Connect

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine wants the company that manufactures EpiPens to explain why the price has jumped 480 percent in recent years.

Collins, chair of the Senate Aging Committee, along with ranking member Claire McCaskill, sent a letter to the CEO of pharmaceutical company Mylan saying they’re concerned the lifesaving EpiPen may now be out of reach for some individuals. The cost for a two-pack has risen from about $100 in 2008 to a current price of $600.

Frenchboro island off of MDI
maine.gov

For years, residents of Swans Island and Frenchboro have depended on a mail carrier who not only brought them letters and packages, but other necessities from the mainland, like food and medicine. But as of this spring, that mail carrier’s contract with the postal service ended over a dispute about how he carried the mail with other freight items. Some residents fear the loss of the contract to their longtime carrier now jeopardizes other essential island deliveries and members of Maine’s congressional delegation have gotten involved.

U.S. Navy / Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

  At a press conference in Florida Friday, the National Transportation Safety Board said it will not make audio from the data recorder of the sunken cargo ship the El Faro available to the public, due to federal law.

Patty Wight / MPBN

We’ve all heard the flossing lecture. Once a day, we’re supposed to slide a waxy string between our teeth to remove food and bacteria. It’s a practice that dentists and the federal government have recommended for decades.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine Food Strategy has released a blueprint for strengthening the state's local food economy.  The organization's project director, Tanya Swain, says Maine has a strong local food movement, but there are challenges, such as farmers' wages.

File

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that the man known as the North Pond Hermit, Christopher Knight, does not have to pay police for expenses they incurred while investigating his crimes.

Knight was arrested in 2013 after living for nearly three decades in isolation in the woods near Rome. He was charged with burglary and theft of nearby homes and camps.

Maine State police had sought more than $1,000 in restitution to repair a private road they traveled on as they collected evidence from Knight's campsite.

Patty Wight / MPBN

As Donald Trump supporters lined up outside Merrill Auditorium to see the Republican presidential hopeful, protesters staged multiple rallies in downtown Portland.

Tuesday night the Saco planning board voted in support of a proposed ordinance that would require marijuana caregivers who grow outside their residences to operate within one of the city’s industrial zones.

That was a relief for Darrell Gudroe, board director of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine, who initially thought the ordinance sought to restrict caregivers who grow in their homes.

“We’re in favor of regulation, we’re just not in favor of overregulation,” he says.

Tuesday night the city of Saco is holding a public hearing on a proposed ordinance that would put restrictions on where commercial medical marijuana caregivers can be located.

The ordinance would require all new commercial medical marijuana caregivers to operate their business in one of Saco’s industrial zones as opposed to out of their residences.

Patty Wight / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland Police say a suspicious package left outside Planned Parenthood in downtown Portland poses no threat.

Portland Police closed off the street after the package was reported at around 1:00 pm today. The department deployed its explosive detection unit to X-ray and hand search the item. 

At a news conference, Chief Mike Sauschuck says the camouflage box included painting materials. "So, at this point, we'll be continuing our follow-up investigation to see why it was dropped off and who, in fact, may have been expecting it."

Susan Sharon / MPBN

A year ago this week a Chinese investment company called a news conference to announce big plans to convert a former Auburn shoe factory into a 5-star medical tourism facility.

The federal government is investing more than $7 million in Maine to help diversify and grow the economy. One of the target areas is the forest industry, in the wake of recent mill closures.

The forest sector will get additional support when a federal inter-agency team deploys to the state later this summer to help develop new economic strategies.

LEWISTON, Maine - Mercy hospital in Portland is offering early retirement to 99 employees. Spokesman Wayne Clark says the goal is to improve the hospital's financial position and reduce its workforce as it prepares to consolidate operations at its Fore River campus.

"That's our vision for a strong community hospital with a focus on primary care and preventive care," Clark says.

Clark says the shift to one campus will likely take two to three years. Mercy currently has more than 1,500 employees.

Tom Porter / MPBN file

Maine’s two largest hospitals have received two out of five stars under Medicare’s new rating system for quality.

MPBN file

It’s been six years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has inspected the former DeCoster Egg Farm in Turner, one of the largest producers of brown eggs in the United States. It’s a farm with a long legacy of health, safety and labor violations.

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