Maine news

Police are still investigating the death of a 43-year-old Portland woman who was hit by a Brunswick-bound Amtrak train early Tuesday morning as she crossed over the tracks.

As hurricanes ravage parts of the South, and we look ahead to storm season, we get advice on preparing for a natural disaster. We’ll discuss climate risk, the increase in more powerful storms, which leads to more flooding and wind damage. We’ll get advice on preparing your home and business, ways to reduce risk, how to make an emergency plan for family and pets, and pre- and post-storm risk mitigation/retrofitting.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

This week marks the start of a new academic year for most public schools in Maine. There are daunting challenges ahead for teachers, parents, administrators and a generation of children whose progress was stalled when the pandemic hit last spring.

Nick Schroeder / Bangor Daily News

The legal organization that represents the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford says Pastor Todd Bell and his family have received death threats. 

The man who started the Church of Safe Injection has died of a possible drug overdose.

via Gerry French

The return to the classroom this fall has been a major focus not only for parents, administrators and teachers, but also for the people who get up very early to deliver kids to and from school every day. As part of Maine Public’s Deep Dive: Coronavirus project, we spoke with one driver in the Belfast district who has spent a lot of time thinking about the challenges of keeping kids healthy, safe and in school:

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

When COVID-19 first hit Maine last March, school buildings quickly shut down - first for two weeks, then for the rest of the school year - as a way to slow the spread of the virus. Learning continued online, but many students faced a lot of challenges, from limited internet access to the loss of school-based services. Now, as the virus continues to spread, the vast majority of schools are still preparing to open their doors once again.

Courtesy South Portland Schools

South Portland Schools Superintendent Ken Kunin, like many educators, got an unexpected lesson last spring in remote teaching, "It's very different when you're standing in front of your class and you can help them navigate their way through a lesson, through material," he says.

Most small businesses in Maine have been struggling due to the pandemic. Governor Mills has announced a $200 million grant program offering financial relief to small businesses and nonprofits, with grant applications due Sept 9th. We'll learn about how small businesses are faring, especially during the summer tourist season, and how they can access relief funds and other aid during these difficult times.

Members of labor organizations are holding a caravan in Portland this morning led by a hearse as they demand stronger pandemic response.

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date August 17, 2020); no calls will be taken.

The solvency of Social Security is certain to be a major topic in the upcoming election.  We’ll discuss how and why Social Security was implemented 85 years ago (When FDR signed legislation enacting Social Security, on 8/14/1935, he said, “We have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”) We’ll learn how the social welfare program is funded, and how the recession/unemployment/the pandemic is impacting current (and future) beneficiaries of the program.

Troy R. Bennett / Bangor Daily News

A Black Lives Matter rally planned for Portland Saturday was canceled, although a number of people turned out for an independent demonstration anyway.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Portland Police Chief Frank Clark and other city leaders are asking those expected to take part in a planned protest Saturday to do so peacefully.

Maine Historical Society

As part of our ongoing coverage of topics related to Maine’s bicentennial, we explore the history of women in Maine. Our state has had a wealth of notable female leaders in diverse fields, from politics to the arts. We discuss some of these women and their legacies, and we look at how movements, such as suffrage, played out in Maine. 

Paul Sancya / AP Images

Maine agriculture officials announced Wednesday that the state has been given a green light by the USDA to continue managing its own fledgling hemp industry beyond an original sunset date of October 31.