All Things Considered with Nora Flaherty

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.

Southern Maine Health Care photos

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began in Maine on Tuesday. Frontline workers at Maine Medical Center in Portland and Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford were the first to receive doses. It’s the beginning of a massive effort to get the pandemic under control, and a bright spot for health care workers as the case and death count keeps climbing.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The first 2,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Maine Monday morning at Northern Light’s Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and Mercy Hospitals in Portland.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Vaccine preparations are underway at long-term care facilities across the country, where workers and the most at-risk residents are supposed to be the first to get the shots as early as next week.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Maine’s campaign to vaccinate residents against the coronavirus is starting to make progress, but it will still be months before many lower-risk Mainers will be able to get the shots in the arm that are seen as critical to ending the still-worsening pandemic.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The first shipments for a COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Maine next week, and the Mills administration announced on Friday that it has submitted a request for a second allotment.

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.

Murray Carpenter / For Maine Public

On Dec. 2, dock workers at the Mack Point cargo facility in Searsport spilled about 5,000 pounds of plastic waste into Penobscot Bay. It had arrived in a large shipment from Northern Ireland, bound for a waste-to-energy incinerator in Orrington.

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.

Courtesy photo

The Brunswick community is mourning the death of 16-year-old Spencer Smith, who died last week by suicide. His parents say their son had been struggling with the changes in his life brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press file

Cannabis has become the state’s most valuable agricultural products.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press file

Maine government workers have reduced their car travel by 1 million vehicle miles a week since the start of the pandemic, thanks to the rapid, wholesale adoption of telework policies.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

As a soaring COVID-19 caseload continues to stress the resources of the Maine Center for Disease Control, the agency announced on Monday that it’s further reducing case investigations and contact tracing to focus on people who are more vulnerable to the disease or at higher risk of spreading it.

Steve Parsons / PA Pool via AP

The Maine CDC released more details on Friday about how many doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine the state is expected to receive once they’re approved by the FDA.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

The owners of the Androscoggin Mill in Jay have terminated employment for more than 170 people this year, drastically reducing their workforce after an explosion that destroyed the paper mill’s pulp digester.

Some of those who lost their jobs have said they would look for work out of state — others chose to stay.

The Jay mill is almost idyllic in a light snowfall the week before Thanksgiving. There are few trucks to disrupt the low hum from the plant, which sprawls out along the backs of the Androscoggin River.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

As a new legislative session begins this week, legislative leaders have decided to continue rules passed last summer to combat the pandemic at the State House — with a few modifications.

The bottom line is the general public is banned from the building with access limited to legislators and their staff and essential third parties.

Maine Public reporter Mal Leary spoke with All Things Considered host Nora Flaherty about the start of the session.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Flaherty: Who are essential third parties?