A pair of joggers make their way around the top of Portland's Eastern Prom on Thursday Jan. 14, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the 30s with sunny skies throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Eight more Mainers died and another 808 coronavirus cases were reported across the state on Thursday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll now stands at 461. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

We want to hear from people associated with long-term care facilities and how the vaccination effort is affecting you or a family member.

EMMC’s COVID-19 patient numbers are declining because they’re dying

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

The number of coronavirus patients at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor has continued to fall over the past week even as the state has seen record-high hospitalizations. But the drop in Bangor might not be cause for optimism.

Eastport council votes to reinstate fired police chief, but he’s not sure he wants the job

A snow drift covers the back end of an Eastport Police Department cruiser parked outside the local public safety building in this 2015 file photo. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

The Eastport City Council has voted 4-1 to reinstate Peter Harris back to his job as the local police chief after he was terminated by the city manager last fall, but Harris is not sure he wants the job back.

“[The city manager] went out of his way to make my life difficult,” Harris said. “I believe he was abusing his authority.”

Rockland planning board refusing to honor city’s settlement with cell tower company

A plan for a cellphone tower on Route 1 in Rockland is causing worry among neighboring residents. Credit: Lauren Abbate / BDN

The planning board says the settlement requires them to act with authority it does not have and to approve project elements that violate city code.

Now, the cell tower company is asking a federal judge to hold the city in contempt of court for failing to adhere to the terms of the lawsuit settlement agreement.

Maine wants to pay landowners to fight climate change with their trees

Denny Gallaudet of Cumberland walks through the woodlot behind his house where he’s lived for 40 years on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The Maine Climate Council called for the formation of a group to develop a voluntary forest carbon program that would provide financial incentives for the state’s 86,000 woodland owners with between 10 and 10,000 acres to “increase carbon storage in Maine’s forests.”

What Maine small businesses need to know to get a new federal loan

A man walks by the former location of BRGR Bar on Brown Street in Portland on Friday Jan. 8, 2021. The empty restaurant location is one of almost 50 sitting idle in the city. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The first Maine businesses could start applying for a new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans on Monday, but the rollout is happening in phases and the process this time is different, with some required to give financial information and other details for a second loan.

Wearing masks in an empty gym defines season opener for Bangor basketball team

Bangor’s Andrew Szwez takes the ball past Madden White of Nokomis during Thursday’s game action. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Opening night for the Bangor boys basketball team was like no other in school history. There were virtually no cars in the parking lot, and the doors to Red Barry Gymnasium led the few people allowed inside to empty bleachers where typically up to a thousand fans might show up to cheer on the home team.

Deer share a tender moment in trail cam video

One deer licks another deer’s face in this trail camera image. Maine’s deer biologist says the behavior is common among deer that are related to each other. Credit: Courtesy of Garrett Murch

“After a couple months of looking at your trail camera submissions, I’ve had the opportunity to check out some big bucks, a bathing bear and odd interactions between all kinds of critters,” writes John Holyoke. “Today’s submission, from Garrett Murch of Mount Vernon, is a video that shows a tender moment shared by a couple of deer.”

In other Maine news…

Yankee Candle to close at Bangor Mall

Before a Unity woman allegedly set her house on fire, she spoke about it being an option

Bangor assisted living facility that saw 7 COVID-19 deaths in 2020 has new outbreak

12-year-old Auburn girl accused of stabbing her father

Dental spa and massage studio to open in redeveloped downtown Bangor building

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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...