A mallard eats a snack left out for it on the shores on Drew's Lake in New Limerick. Credit: Alexander MacDougall / Houlton Pioneer Times

Today is Wednesday. Temperatures will be in the high 70s to high 80s from north to south, with a chance for heavy rain and severe thunderstorms throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another 32 coronavirus cases were reported across the state on Tuesday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. No new deaths were reported, leaving the statewide death toll at 858. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

The Maine Hospital Association wants the state to mandate that all health care workers get the COVID-19 vaccination once the federal government grants full approval for the vaccines.

What the end of Janet Mills’ state of emergency means for Maine

In this March 12, 2020, file photo, Gov. Janet Mills speaks at a news conference at the State House in Augusta. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Maine’s 15-month COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency will end Wednesday at midnight, bringing Gov. Janet Mills’ long period of executive power to a close. Here is how things will change — or not.

Maine manufacturers survived the pandemic by producing protective gear. Now demand has dried up.

Kelsy Hartley of Flowfold assembles face shields for health care workers while keeping herself safe with a protective shield and gloves. At right is the industrial cutting machine used to make the shields. The company shifted from making wallets to face shields early in the pandemic. Credit: Courtesy of Flowfold

Even though positive public health outcomes prompted the change, it came swiftly and as another shock to businesses that ramped up quickly to produce essential goods.

Waldo County resident contracts rare tick-borne virus that can cause brain infections

This March 2002 file photo shows a deer tick under a microscope in the entomology lab at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Symptoms of the Powassan virus include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures and memory loss. More serious neurologic issues can occur, including infection of the brain and the membranes around the brain and spinal column.

PLUS: A Rhode Island man was diagnosed with the Powassan virus in Providence County, health officials said Tuesday.

The worst may be over for this year’s browntail moth caterpillar invasion

The tell-tale red-orange dots on the back of browntail moth caterpillars make it easy to identify them. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN

After sightings in all 16 Maine counties and countless Mainers itching the blistery rash, the worst may be over for the year’s browntail moth caterpillar infestation, experts say.

ALSO: A team of researchers at the University of Maine might have found a way to prevent outbreaks in the future by tricking the moths with their own sense of smell.

Northern Light’s work at 3 of its hospitals will cost more than $60M

Northern Light C.A. Dean Hospital in Greenville. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

After a year in which Northern Light lost tens of millions of dollars during the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital system is in varying stages of updating half of its 10 hospitals throughout the state.

Versant Power customers in Bangor Hydro District will see higher electric bills next month

Versant Power customers living in its Bangor Hydro District can expect a slight bump in their monthly electric bills starting next month.

For a customer who consumes about 500 kilowatt hours a month, that means a $1.23 increase from $84.93 to $86.16.

PLUS: Central Maine Power customers may see their bills increase by double-digits in August, thanks to a sharp rise in federally mandated regional transmission rates that will affect most electric utility companies in New England.

Family of slain Vinalhaven man wants AG’s office to be more transparent about investigation

Roger Feltis with the first halibut he ever caught.

Tuesday’s court filing doubles down on the allegations that the investigation was mishandled by law enforcement.

Watch these Maine cowboys shoot it out wearing 10-gallon hats

Dean “Dapper Dan” Stanton fires his shotgun during a Cowboy Action Shooting meet in Bewick on Sunday morning. The event was run by the Maine Marshals at the Sanford/Springvale Fish and Gun Club. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The Maine Marshals is the state’s only official Cowboy Action Shooting club. It competes in timed events, shooting a set pattern of targets, using period correct firearms while dressed as authentic cowboys.

In other Maine news…

Bangor’s Tri-City Pizza purchased by local fuel company RH Foster

Bangor lowers its tax rate, but homeowners can still expect a higher tax bill

Old Town man who was in day-long standoff with police is out on bail after being injured in jail

Maine man allegedly tried to pay his bail with counterfeit $100 bills

Maine man pleads guilty to spending $227K using boy’s Social Security number

3 sent to hospital after carbon monoxide scare in Freeport hotel

Woman seriously injured after collision with fully-loaded tractor trailer

Happiness outside of running key for Maine-born Olympian Rachel Schneider

Error sends dumpling machine to wrong Portland

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.