White birch trees, mixed with poplar trees, line the Blueberry Ledges Trail in Baxter State Park, Dec. 23, 2016. Credit: Aislinn Sarnacki

Good morning. Temperatures will be in the low 30s, with snow throughout the state.

Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The mother of Ayla Reynolds is planning an announcement today

–Trista Reynolds, whose 20-month-old daughter disappeared seven years ago in what became the largest criminal investigation in Maine State Police history, has scheduled a news conference today in Portland to talk about the officially unsolved case.

Her daughter was declared legally dead last year, opening the door for what could be a wrongful death lawsuit against the child’s father, who was taking care of the girl when she went missing.

The Ayla Reynolds case captured headlines all over the globe, and investigators have said they don’t believe the child’s father has been fully truthful about what happened the night she disappeared.

A federal judge had his robing ceremony a day after rejecting Bruce Poliquin’s challenge to ranked-choice voting

–U.S. District Judge Lance Walker took his oath in mid-October shortly after U.S. Senate confirmation. His formal investiture ceremony took place Friday, where speakers including colleagues from throughout his legal career in Maine advised him to stay humble — despite the high profile of the cases he has been tasked with deciding as well as those to come.

Defensive woes, turnovers plague UMaine football as memorable season ends with FCS semifinal loss

Credit: Aaron Malmoe Photo

–The University of Maine’s unexpected and unprecedented run toward a potential Football Championship Subdivision national championship came to a screeching halt on Saturday afternoon.

Eastern Washington University had its way with the Black Bears’ defense, jumping out to a 28-0 lead on the way to a 50-19 victory at Roos Field in Cheney, Washington.

The company that plans a salmon farm for Bucksport is teaming up with USM for a first phase of workforce development

–Whole Oceans has teamed up with the University of Southern Maine to offer a class on land-based aquaculture for 25 students. The three-credit class — which can also be taken for no credit and doesn’t require prior training — does not guarantee a job at the Whole Oceans salmon farm. But it could be a first step for the salmon farm’s future workforce.

A proposed Belfast development that doesn’t involve fish still has people talking about fish

Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

–A project that could result in a Tractor Supply store opening in Belfast is under review. But the plan has townspeople talking again about development rules in general and how best to honor all sides of public debates over major projects such as a proposed salmon farm that has roiled some community members.

Maine Maritime’s Bucksport annex could be training sailors this spring

–Maine Maritime Academy could be training mariners in Bucksport as early as this spring.

That’s what academy President William Brennan told Bucksport Town Council members during an update Thursday night on the academy’s plans for its annex at the former home of Verso Paper. The annex will serve primarily as an expansion of Maine Maritime’s continuing education program.

Eat this: 8 recipes to keep you cozy throughout winter

Credit: Sarah Walker Caron

–It’s that time of the year. Whether it’s a full-on blizzard or simply gloomy and gray, there are days where going outside is not going to happen. That’s when you need to be equipped with some easy-to-make recipes for cozy dishes and drinks.

In other news …

Maine

Maine man fatally struck by car, tractor-trailer on I-95 identified
Kids with severe autism are being left out of studies, Maine researcher finds
New trails opening in 2019 in Katahdin Woods and Waters

Bangor

Dairy Queen at Bangor Mall to close Dec. 30
Told he would never finish high school, this Bangor man won 2 races on Election Day
Man charged in Newport shooting free on $10,000 cash bail

Business

Blue collar worker shortage turns US labor market on its head
Maine companies rake in more investment
Iconic Boothbay Harbor property sold to Lafayette Hotels

Politics

Susan Collins says Texas ruling on Obamacare will be overturned
Lauren LePage has a new job with the NRA
Poliquin ends recount bid in Maine’s 2nd District

Opinion

After warning from judge, contract for Bangor psychiatric facility should be put on hold
Democrats can win by giving Trump his wall
‘It’s the economy, stupid’ — good news turns bad

Sports

Undefeated North Carolina State cruises past UMaine women’s basketball team
Defense propels Hampden Academy boys basketball team past Lawrence
What’s next for Maine football coach Joe Harasymiak?

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