A squirrel sits on a front stoop in Portland on Friday. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Today is Tuesday. Temperatures will be in the high to low 70s from north to south, with sunny skies throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and Maine

Another 177 coronavirus cases have been reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are 1,725 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, the highest yet, while the death toll remains at 152. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

The COVID-19 situation in Maine has worsened significantly in recent weeks, with the surge leading the state to continue setting records for new daily cases. Maine colleges and universities have also seen a spike in cases recently, particularly University of Maine System institutions.

A retaining wall is collapsing into Bangor’s Kenduskeag Stream

The retaining wall along the Kenduskeag Stream at Franklin Street downtown is falling into the stream and requires repair. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

The estimated cost of the repair could range from $200,000 to more than $700,000, according to City Engineer John Theriault. He said the city is now evaluating what options there are for a fix, with the less expensive one being the installation of a new wall in front of the current one, and the more expensive solution requiring a total replacement of that section of wall.

Joe Biden’s ties to Maine politicians helped set his course to the presidency

Then-Sen. Joe Biden with friend and mentor Sen. Edmund Muskie, D-Maine, at March 1974 water pollution control hearings at the Sheraton Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii. From left to right is Biden, the manager of a hotel, Muskie and the late Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye. Biden’s ties to Muskie and former Maine Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell helped set his course to the presidency. Credit: Courtesy of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library

President-elect Joe Biden’s interactions as a senator with Maine colleagues Edmund Muskie and George Mitchell helped shape a career that was reflected in his Saturday victory speech aimed at uniting a fractured nation. It was a fortuitous alliance that helped shape his focus on the environment and the ability to compromise that he rode to victory last week over President Donald Trump.

Calais hospital staffers plan to strike as labor dispute escalates

A car drives along the entrance road to Calais Regional Hospital on Aug. 21, 2019. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

It strike call ratchets up an ongoing labor dispute that included a recent demand for the hospital’s CEO to be fired and raising concerns about what they said has been a poor response to a coronavirus outbreak that recently infected six of their colleagues.

Penobscot County proposes largest budget increase in recent memory

The historic Penobscot County Courthouse. Credit: Scott Haskell / BDN

Penobscot County is preparing to grow its budget next year by 11 percent. That’s the biggest increase anyone in county government can recall.

Most of Hampden’s town council will change after no veteran members sought reelection

Hampden Municipal Building Credit: Alex Aquisto / BDN

The majority of the Hampden Town Council will be different in January when four new councilors elected last week to three-year terms take their seats on the seven-member panel.

Bangor council selects Dan Tremble as next chair

Dan Tremble walks down the hallway of City Hall after being selected as the new Bangor City Council chair on Monday. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

The Bangor City Council chose Councilor Dan Tremble to serve as its next chairperson after a swearing-in ceremony for two new councilors and one reelected incumbent on Monday morning.

Organized e-sports a new competitive outlet for Maine high school students

Maine Central Institute junior Tyler Strom plays in a Rocket League esports match at the Cianchette Math and Science building on the Pittsfield campus on Oct. 29. Credit: Ernie Clark / BDN

The Pirates are among 13 entries from Maine schools participating in the inaugural season of esports sanctioned by the Maine Principals’ Association.

In other Maine news …

Serbian man serving on Portland police force becomes US citizen

Bucksport woman sentenced in fraudulent DVD scheme

Mount Washington’s beloved Maine coon cat Marty has died

Maine’s lumber industry sees losses after Jay explosion and decline in paper use

Dexter school switching to remote learning for rest of the week after positive COVID-19 case