Nora Flaherty

All Things Considered/Maine Things Considered producer/host

Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.

She holds a BA in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago and an MA in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. She’s received Associated Press, Public Radio News Directors, Inc., Association of Women in Radio and Television, and Edward R. Murrow Awards for her work.

Nora lives in Portland with her husband, their daughter and their two dogs.

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South Portland is once again attempting to regulate short-term vacation rentals in the city.

Tuesday night, the City Council passed a new, modified ordinance to replace a measure it unanimously repealed in April, after a successful petition drive.

Among other things, the new rules limit short-term rentals of houses to commercial zones, unless the owners can prove the house is their primary residence.

City Councilor Adrian Dowling opposes the restrictions. He says most landlords who operate "un-hosted" rentals are responsible neighbors.

For many in Maine, the border with Canada is an everyday fact of life. People cross the border for shopping, work or family.

But since September 11 — and, more recently, under the Trump administration — the border which used to be more porous is now hardened. For example, crossing is more formal. Stops within in the 100-mile "border zone" are increasing, and Trump administration policies have introduced a new friction into relationships between the two countries.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

With near unanimous support, lawmakers overrode the Governor's veto Monday of the broad reform bill for the state's medical marijuana program.

Maine lawmakers have passed a bill that allows doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend medical marijuana to any patient they think would benefit, not just those with one of several "qualifying conditions." 

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Independent gubernatorial candidate Terry Hayes is urging legislators to correct a typo that's preventing Clean Election funding from being released to qualified candidates.

Hayes, who is Maine's state treasurer, was joined today at a State House press conference by other publicly funded candidates who are urging that the funding be released.

"I think probably the most nefarious outcome, the most negative outcome, is that it signifcantly erodes the trust that people have in the people who are doing the governing," Hayes said.


Over the past several weeks, agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection have carried out random stops of people to question them about their citizenship, miles away from the nearest border.

On June 21, two Bangor Daily News reporters, recorded audio from a Maine checkpoint on I-95 and posted it on the paper's website.

The policy isn't new. It's based on rules put in place in 1952  that allow the agency to randomly stop people within 100 miles of any U.S. "external boundary."

Three southern Maine lawmakers are asking the Kittery Trading Post, to "take meaningful action" to restrict or end sales of assault-style weapons.

In a letter to the company, Democratic state Reps. Deane Rykerson, Lydia Blume and Patty Hymanson say that after the February school shooting in Parkland, Fla. in which 17 people died, large retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart either limited sales of those guns, or stopped them.

But Rykerson there's been no action from Kittery Trading Post.

Portland's City Council is working on a proposal that would levy a fee on new hotel rooms to support affordable housing in the city.

The proposed ordinance, sent last week from the council's Housing Committee to the Planning Board, would charge developers a fee of $5,000 per new room being built now or in the future.

The proposal is the result of a study that finds new hotels are being built in Portland much faster than the national average, and that the workers needed to staff them can't afford to live in the city.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont has introduced a bill that would shrink the "border zone" within which border agents can stop drivers and others and question them on their immigration status.

Under current rules, agents have broad authority to stop cars and search private land, under the auspices of patrolling the border, so long as they are within 100 miles of a land or water border.

The annual Kids Count survey of child wellbeing shows fewer Maine kids are living in poverty, but rates of child poverty vary widely across the state and by race and ethnicity.

In Piscatiquis County, 30 percent of children live in poverty; in Cumberland county, it's 12 percent. More than half of Maine's african-american and native american children live in poverty -- compared to 17 percent of white children.

Maine Children's Alliance executive director Claire Berkowitz says poverty can impact kids in a variety of ways as they develop.

State wildlife biologists use the harvesting of female deer to manage population numbers. A proposal that would allow Maine hunters to take more does this fall in southern Maine, while decreasing the number in the north, is up for public hearing Tuesday evening in Augusta.

Biologists with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife propose increasing the number of "any deer" permits by 28 percent. Any Deer permits allow hunters to harvest deer of either sex.

An immigration checkpoint set up on I-95 in Penobscot County Wednesday resulted in the arrest of a man with an outstanding deportation order, 10 drug-related seizures and a formal warning to an immigrant who was not carrying his green card.

It has also raised questions about U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) practice of making random checks so far inland.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Maine Republicans were out in Augusta Tuesday to show unified support for gubernatorial nominee Shawn Moody.

“I am so excited to be here, to be introducing our nominee for governor, and yes the republican party does have a nominee for governor for the great state of Maine,” Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas told the crowd, taking a swipe at the fact that the democrats do not yet have a nominee, thanks to ranked-choice tabulations taking place now.

At the rally, Moody said that LePage and Republicans in the legislature had done good work preparing a foundation in the state.

The organizers of the Lewiston-Auburn World Refugee Day celebration say they've decided to postpone the celebration, after two recent deaths in the community.

One of those deaths was the result of a brawl near the city's Kennedy Park that's been connected to perceived racial tensions. Many of the city's black residents are refugees or come from refugee families.

Fatuma Hussein is exectuive director of the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine, and is part of the planning committee for the celebration. She says this just isn't the right time for a celebration.

Concord Coach Lines

A little less than one month after a video taken by a passenger showed an employee of Concord Coach Lines telling a passenger in Bangor that they had to be a citizen to ride the bus, the company has released a statement saying it doesn't deny people passage based on citizenship, and that it never has.

Nora Flaherty / Maine Public

Ask people in the construction industry about the problems they're facing, and one thing comes up more than just about any other:

“There's definitely a construction worker shortage in Maine,” says Meredith Kirkmann.