In this Dec. 11, 2020, file photo, the sun rises over Chick Hill in Clifton. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Today is Thursday. Temperatures will be in the low to high 40s from north to south, with mostly cloudy skies throughout the state. Christmas Day will be stormy, with the potential for high winds, heavy rain and record-high temperatures. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Maine has seen yet another record-high increase in new coronavirus cases — 753 — while eight more Mainers have died, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are now at least 9,141 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state, and the death toll stands at 311. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

So far, 82 Mainers have succumbed to the virus this month, putting December on track to be the deadliest month yet in the pandemic.

Nirav Shah: Maine’s virus situation could be stabilizing despite record case numbers

In this April 28, 2020, file photo, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention speaks at a news conference in Augusta. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

“The pandemic, even though it is still with us and in every corner of the state, does not show signs right now in the recent days, or recent week, of accelerating. Indeed, if anything, it shows signs of stability, and maybe even a bit of contraction.”

Maine’s economic recovery relies on vaccines and a stimulus in 2021

In this Nov. 23, 2020, file photo, a woman wearing a mask walks by a window painting titled “We’re in this together” by Spenser Macleod on Portland’s Congress Street. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The Bangor Daily News asked five experts to talk about the biggest challenges in 2021.

Maine sees most new jobless claims since July as Trump puts stimulus in limbo

In Dec. 11, 2020, a sign in a Portland restaurant window asks patrons to wear a mask. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

About 30,500 people received benefits for two federal unemployment programs last week, while another 14,300 received state benefits. Both federal programs will end on Dec. 26 unless a stimulus bill, which passed both houses of Congress easily this week, is signed before then.

Maine holiday travel expected to be down 25 percent amid COVID surge

In this Jan. 23, 2020, file photo, cars and trucks travel on the Maine Turnpike near exit 48 in Portland. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Travel on the Maine Turnpike is expected to be down by about a quarter over Christmas compared to a typical year, as state officials have urged Mainers to avoid large gatherings after the state and nation saw a surge in coronavirus cases following Thanksgiving.

Belfast fish farm clinches final local permits

In this July 10, 2019, file photo, Belfast Planning Board members Geoff Gilchrest, left, and Declan O’Connor walk across a field at the northern edge of the Nordic Aquafarms project site in Belfast. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN

Before Nordic Aquafarms can break ground, it still must obtain a federal permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and resolve a land-use court case pending in Waldo County Superior Court around the ownership of the intertidal zone near the Little River where Nordic wants to lay pipes for its project.

Watch fuzzy baby seals on a remote Maine island

A young gray seal pup rests on Seal Island off the coast of Maine this year. The image is taken from a live web cam operated by the Audubon Society and Credit: Courtesy of Audubon Society and

December through February is prime seal-pupping time and cam-gazers can observe the miracle of birth and the fuzzy, big-eyed babies as they nurse and snuggle with their moms.

In other Maine news …

60 mph gusts and record warmth could hit Maine on Christmas Day

Maine will now text people who test positive for the coronavirus

Orrington man faces drug and gun charges after crashing into 2 houses in Brewer

Milbridge man dies in Jonesboro crash

Man at Charleston prison becomes 1st state inmate to die from COVID-19

UMaine women rally to upend Hartford and complete sweep