A herd of Rambouillet sheep run across a pasture on Oct. 5, at Shalom Orchard, an organic farm and winery in Franklin. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki

Good morning. Temperatures will be in the high 60s with afternoon showers in the northern part of the state, while farther south will see sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s.

Here’s what’s happening in Maine today.

These Maine parents lost their son 25 years ago, and they’re still fighting for change

Credit: Troy R. Bennett

–Seventeen-year-old Jeff Izer and three friends died 25 years ago today, when an 80,000-pound tractor trailer truck ran over their stopped car in the breakdown lane on the Maine Turnpike. The driver had fallen asleep.

His parents channeled their grief and rage into decades of action, founding an advocacy group that can be credited with getting those rumble strips installing along the highways and electronic, tamper-proof logbooks, among other measures.

Now, Daphne and Steve Izer have set their sights on requiring trucks to carry more life-saving technology.

There will be fewer flights out of Maine this winter

–JetBlue is dropping down to seasonal service out of Portland International Jetport, reducing the number of non-summer daily flights from Maine’s largest city to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

People who have booked flights with the airline after Jan. 7 will be contacted by a company representative for “rebooking or refunding,” a jetport official said.

Big rats are invading Maine

Credit: Courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo

–In June 2017, Pete Zuck of Belfast discovered his house was under siege by rats. But not just any rats. These were Norway rats, an omnivorous, wily rodent that can grow to be up to a foot and a half long and weigh as much as a pound.

Norway rats, also known as the brown or sewer rats, are believed to have originated in China (not Norway), and are now found on every continent except Antarctica. They can gain entrance to any building through any opening larger than half an inch across, and can gnaw through wood, drywall, electric cables, pipes, plastic and even metal. And in Maine during the last few years, it seems as if their numbers have exploded.

Sometimes comfort is not in religion but in the cat or dog, chaplain says

–A year after people protested the elimination of its chaplaincy program, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has hired the Rev. J. Bernard Richardson as head chaplain and director of Chaplain Services. Richardson plans to institute an accredited chaplain intern program, which will be the only one north of Portland. And he will work with Bangor area clergy to meet the spiritual needs of patients, their families and staff — needs which he says aren’t always religious, but sometimes as simple as reconnecting a patient with a family pet.

Why fans should expect UMaine men’s hockey to make an NCAA tourney bid

Credit: Courtesy of Peter Buehner

–The University of Maine men’s hockey team has the potential this season to make the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance since the 2011-12 campaign.

Ten of the Black Bears’ top 12 scorers, all but two defensemen and all three goalies, including Hockey East All-Rookie team selection Jeremy Swayman, return.

But if the Black Bears are going to vie for an NCAA tourney berth, they must significantly improve their penalty-killing and team defense, and reduce their penalty minutes.

Hancock County towns using workaround to handle Fiberight plant delay

–Construction delays with a $69 million recycling plant have forced the rerouting of trash from eight Hancock County towns to two landfills.

The workaround is nothing new. Municipal Review Committee “foresaw this possibility” — a delay in construction — three years ago, when Fiberight began planning its facility.

Do this: Go hike with your dog


–BDN Outdoors reporter Aislinn Sarnacki takes time to reflect on this past weekend’s Act Out: Women’s Adventure Expo in her latest blog post, and also reveals some of her insider tips on hitting the trails with your dog this fall. From the best dog hiking gear and dog-friendly hikes in Maine to what you need to know about Lyme disease and possible porcupine run-ins, here’s everything you need to know.

In other news…

Maine

Maine hunter bags 657-pound moose from 10 feet

Most expensive HS in Maine history opens this week

Longtime Rockland police officer takes over as chief

Bangor

Etna man gets 44 months in crash that killed ‘nurse in the neighborhood’

Northern Maine Development Commission working on Bangor to Fort Kent bike route designation

LifeFlight of Maine celebrates 20 years of life-saving care at dedication ceremony

Business

Mainers hit again with higher fuel prices this week

Rumford paper mill announces $111 million investment

San Francisco natural products company to hire 100 at new Portland site

Politics

Help the BDN monitor, report voting problems this election season

Maine Republicans give unenrolled Terry Hayes airtime in new attack ad

Democrats may need more than Kavanaugh vote backlash to defeat Susan Collins in 2020

Opinion

$1.2 billion in food headed to food banks might just mean more spoiled food

Home care referendum a necessity for Maine

Maine’s tourism industry is too important to forget

Sports

Red Sox hold off Yanks in Game 4, face Astros in ALCS

UMaine quarterback returns to practice field

Cleveland Indians donate $10,000 to Sockalexis Monument Fund

Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a senior editor for sports and features at the Bangor Daily News. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach native and Colby College...