Today is Monday. Temperatures will be in the high 20s to mid-30s from north to south, with mostly sunny skies throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.
Another 221 coronavirus cases have been reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are now 3,401 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, while the death toll remains at 227. Sunday marked the first time in a week when Maine didn’t see at least one new death. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.
Gov. Janet Mills has extended curfews for certain businesses into the first days of 2021 as coronavirus cases continued to climb across the state. That requires all indoor and outdoor amusement venues, restaurants, casinos and movie theaters to close by 9 p.m.
In 2013, a father called police to report that an off-duty officer had struck his teenage son in the face. The officer, Scott Francis, pleaded not guilty. The Clinton Police Department still fired him, three years after the Washington County Sheriff’s Office had also fired him.
A troubling portrait of the officer also existed in civil court, where a judge acknowledged Francis had abused his ex-wife. The history was relevant to another agency that looked into Francis after his arrest: the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, which oversees the certification of all Maine police and corrections officers.
Francis’ assault case fell under the academy’s purview because it mainly penalizes officers accused of criminal behavior. The broader implications of Francis’ treatment of others, such as whether he had engaged in conduct unbecoming of a police officer, weren’t a basis for punishment by the academy. It can’t decertify officers for cruelty, moral depravity or human rights’ violations.
After the district attorney dropped the criminal case against Francis, saying it had insufficient evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, the academy did, too. Francis kept his certification.
Looking back, people questioned whether the academy has enough authority to sanction officers for misconduct that is difficult to prove as a crime but may still betray law enforcement’s code of ethics.
The governor’s office announced the negative test result late Saturday afternoon, using the announcement to credit mask-wearing — by both Mills and the security team member — for preventing the infection.
After going most of the pandemic with new and active daily infections below the statewide rates, Penobscot County saw both of those numbers top the state’s in late November. They have remained elevated as outbreaks have flared up at an assisted living facility in Bangor and at public schools in Bangor, Brewer and Newport.
As the landscape of the coronavirus outbreak has changed, so have Mainers’ habits. But people are making more trips outside the home compared to the start of the pandemic, when case counts were lower but economic restrictions were tighter.
Christopher Pickering seemed to be “declining” even more rapidly this year as the pandemic made it harder to access community services.
The art is not only therapeutic, but often educational or thought-provoking.
The increase may be a silver lining for some area tourism businesses, many of which have struggled as the pandemic has reduced foot traffic through their doors and resulted in the cancellation of Bar Harbor’s 2020 cruise ship season, which typically brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to Mount Desert Island every fall.
There’s a real temptation to reach for a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt everyday. But you might want to pull that special set of clothes out now and then.
It’s a simple video, but soothing in these hectic times.