A man wears a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus while using his phone on a rainy day, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, in Portland, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the mid-60s with afternoon showers throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on coronavirus in Maine

Another Mainer died and 31 new coronavirus cases were reported in Maine on Thursday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are 622 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state and the death toll is now at 144. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

Mainers filed more than 2,400 new jobless claims for the week of Oct. 4-10, according to data released Thursday by the Maine Department of Labor. Additionally, Mainers filed nearly 50,170 applications to continue receiving jobless benefits, a slight decrease from the previous week.

Outdoor dining helped restaurants survive the summer, but Maine’s winter will be a new test

Sierra Villacci, manager at Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland, hands a customer his takeout order on Thursday. Owner Cara Stadler said the risk to public health and the low margin of profitability do not make re-opening the dining room worthwhile at this point. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

After a warm-weather season that was better than expected and helped greatly by expanded outdoor dining across the state, some eateries are concerned about keeping customers as temperatures drop and snow flies. People who may have felt safe eating outdoors might feel different about doing it indoors — especially in the winter.

Sara Gideon raises eye-popping $39.4M in 3 months, widens money lead on Susan Collins

Sara Gideon, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks in front of supporters after casting her absentee ballot, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Freeport, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

House Speaker Sara Gideon, the challenger to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, raised $39.4 million during the third quarter of 2020, placing her among a group of top-tier Democratic candidates who brought in unprecedented levels of money as Election Day nears.

Presque Isle has a $5M plan to turn its downtown into the region’s cultural center

Drivers make their morning commute on Presque Isle’s Main Street as they pass city landmarks, including the Northeastland Hotel. Credit: David Marino Jr. / The Star-Herald

City officials want to turn the Star City’s downtown into a commercial and cultural center for both Presque Isle and wider Aroostook County — as well as nearby Canadian markets — by making the area more aesthetically pleasing and promoting historical and cultural landmarks in the city. The plan proposes 18 projects for downtown costing a total of $5.3 million, including initiatives that would improve sidewalks and intersections, establish a development grant program for storefronts and financially assist landlords with renovating their properties. 

Brewer school board candidate was fired as a jail guard for sexual harassment

A sign for Troy Richardson’s Brewer School Committee candidacy sits on the side of Wilson Street in Brewer on Oct. 13. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

A candidate for the Brewer School Committee was previously fired from his job as a jail guard for sexual harassment and had been disciplined four other times during his tenure at the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth. He is running, in part, to tackle bullying.

Stonington chef accused of mistreating employees of his Chicago restaurant

Chef Ryan McCaskey, seen here working at his restaurant in Chicago. Credit: Contributed by Anthony Tahlier

A longtime Maine summer resident and Michelin-star chef is planning to reopen his Stonington restaurant for the winter even as he comes under fire for allegedly mistreating employees at his Chicago restaurant.

Recapping Thursday night’s Senate and 2nd Congressional District debates

Dale Crafts (left) and Jared Golden are pictured in August 2020. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Sen. Susan Collins and House Speaker Sara Gideon argued over the federal judiciary on Thursday night in a pointed third debate of the Senate race that remained policy-focused amid an increasingly nasty and expensive campaign.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Jared Golden and former state Rep. Dale Crafts clashed on the future of health care and split on the issue of state and local aid in the next coronavirus stimulus bill in their first debate. Golden, a Democrat, has opened up a wide polling and fundraising lead over Crafts in the race to date.

How to get this stink bug relative out of your house without setting off its smell

Western conifer seed bugs don’t do much damage in Maine, but they can be a real nuisance. Credit: Courtesy of Griffen Dill

As far as invasive insect species go, the western conifer seed bug is among the more benign. They are, however, related to stink bugs, which makes them a less than desirable house guest.

This mountain hike features a 400-year-old legend and great views of Camden Hills

BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki and her dog, Oreo, stands at the first major overlook on Hatchet Mountain Trail on Oct. 14, in Hope. Credit: Courtesy of Derek Runnells

Rising 1,103 feet above sea level, Hatchet Mountain features a wide, zigzagging trail that leads to open views of the Camden Hills and the ocean beyond. A major landmark in the town of Hope, the mountain was named after a local legend about two Native American groups in the region.

In other Maine news…

Infant dies after fall from horse-drawn buggy

CMP parent says top competitor is illegally obstructing $1B corridor project

Screw found in pizza from Saco restaurant

UMaine men’s hockey team returns to practice with season still in doubt

Trail cams reveal the wildlife lurking in the woods — and we want to share yours

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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...