Maine news

Sixty-four people died in Portland while homeless in 2020. That’s according to the human services nonprofit Preble Street, which is holding its annual vigil virtually on Monday.

The recent Supreme Court decision that lifted strict Covid-19 restrictions on houses of worship has raised questions about religious gatherings and public health during the pandemic. We talk with representatives from the legal, health and religious perspectives about how the law intersects with public health, and how these conflicts are playing out in Maine.

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.

Kevin Mazur

Noel “Paul” Stookey of the iconic folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary has produced an album showcasing musicians who focus on social change, the mission of a nonprofit that Stookey founded, called Music to Life. We hear from Stookey, who lives in Maine, about his work in promoting social activism through music. Two Maine-based activist-artists join him,and we’ll hear some examples of their music.

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.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

An unexpectedly heavy nor’easter is covering southern Maine and much of the Northeast with light, dry snow.

At this point in the pandemic, frontline health care workers are dealing with exhaustion and stress. They face a new onslaught of Covid-19 patients to care for, while simultaneously dealing with challenges ranging from child care to isolation and anxiety. We’ll discuss why some frontline caregivers are suffering from burnout, and how hospitals and health care facilities are helping them cope.

  This program has been edited for content.

The use of facial recognition by law enforcement has raised concerns about privacy and the bias it reinforces against people of color. Use of the technology has been banned in many cities across the country, most recently in Portland. But the same technology is already used in our daily lives, such as in social media and for self-driving cars. We discuss how facial recognition works, and whether there is potential for it to be channeled for good.

Michael Kebede, policy counsel focused on civil rights, ACLU of Maine


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.

Maine Public

Dr. Nirav Shah, director, Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, joins us to discuss the arrival of the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Maine and how they will be administered, as well as the state’s response to the escalating pandemic. As always, Dr. Shah will answer listener questions about safety, face coverings, testing, contact tracing and more.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

In Falmouth, a tradition of caroling at local nursing homes was replaced on Sunday with “car caroling” held behind the church.

After Maine passed legislation last year clearing the way for community solar, Maine residents have been fielding offers to participate in community solar energy opportunities. We’ll learn about how community solar works, the benefits and drawbacks, and the role of solar power in Maine’s energy future.

Dan Burgess, director, Governor's Energy Office

Barry J. Hobbins, public advocate, State of Maine

Fortunat Mueller, president & co-founder, ReVision Energy

Maine-Made Finds: Our 9th Annual 'Made in Maine' Gift Guide

Dec 11, 2020

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show, (original air date Nov. 24); no calls will be taken.

With the economic distress that the pandemic has caused, supporting the local economy has become even more vital. Seeking out holiday gifts from Maine-based sources is one way to do that. We’ll hear from craftspeople, artists, authors, small store owners and Etsy business operators about what they produce and where to find it. These products and services reflect the depth of innovation and entrepreneurship in Maine.

Click here to download the guide.