Robbie Feinberg

News Producer

Robbie grew up in New Hampshire, but has since written stories for radio stations from Washington, DC, to a fishing village in Alaska. Robbie graduated from the University of Maryland and got his start in public radio at the Transom Story Workshop in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Before arriving at Maine Public Radio, he worked in the Midwest, where he covered everything from beer to migrant labor for public radio station WMUK in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Ways to Connect

State agencies have distributed more than 4,000 rapid COVID-19 tests to schools as part of a partnership to assist with testing symptomatic students and staff.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public file

If approved, the stimulus deal reached in Washington this weekend will provide more money to schools, direct payments to people and extended unemployment benefits for those out of work. But one significant provision appears to have been left out: funding to local and state governments.

Molly Haley / For The Hechinger Report

Between remote and hybrid classes, the pandemic has drastically altered education for high schoolers this fall and left many students and parents frustrated and dissatisfied. And those feelings could be having a major impact on how many students — particularly those from rural Maine — may choose to go on to college.

Cumberland County has joined three other regions of Maine that are designated “yellow” as part of the state’s color-coded health advisory system for schools.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

In any other year, the storm that blasted through southern Maine on Thursday morning would have prompted a snow day in most school districts. Some did call off classes, but with thousands of students now being educated through “hybrid” and “remote” learning, some districts chose to go forward with online classes.

MaineHealth

As COVID-19 vaccines begin to arrive in Maine, one challenge facing health care providers is storage. Pfizer’s vaccine must be kept refrigerated at -70 C. Health care organizations, state agencies and universities are working together to acquire enough ultracold freezers to hold and distribute tens of thousands of doses across the state.

Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Three months into this a year, the vast majority of Maine’s public schools have managed to reopen classrooms, and health officials say they remain relatively safe — but as COVID-19 case numbers rise in Maine, schools are now facing shortages of teachers and other staff.

Three counties in Maine continue to have “elevated risk” of COVID-19 spread, and two other counties are being closely watched, as part of the state’s risk assessment system for schools.

Rick Bowmer / Associated Press file

About 8,000 fewer students are enrolled in Maine’s public schools this fall — a drop of about 4% from last year. That’s according to data from the Maine Department of Education.

The city of Portland has announced that it will not be using a space at the Cumberland County Corrections Facility as part of its plan to address homelessness this winter.

Maine Public file

Lewiston’s Bates College is delaying the start of its winter semester by more than a month due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

Lee Academy in Lee will transition to remote learning through at least the end of December as COVID-19 case counts continue to climb and four Maine counties have been classified as “yellow” in the state’s latest color-coded risk assessment for schools.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

The state has temporarily shut down the application portal for an economic recovery grant program after it crashed Thursday morning, leaving many business owners confused and concerned.

It’s been a hard year for Michelle Peacock, the co-owner of Camden’s Blue Harbor House Inn. She says pandemic-related restrictions and their economic effects have reduced business by 70 percent.

“That definitely affected our revenue. And pretty much anyone else that is in the lodging, or any kind of hospitality, industry,” she says.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press file

More than eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans are out of work, with many relying on federal emergency unemployment programs to stay afloat. But later this month, the programs could expire, potentially leaving tens of thousands of people in Maine with fewer benefits as many are already struggling to make ends meet.

Maine has seen a spike in people applying for social service benefits in the midst of the pandemic.

Pages