Molly the dog barks at the camera on Monday, warning owners Sue and Lewis Warren of impending danger passing by their home in Lewiston. Credit: Andree Kehn / Sun Journal via AP

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

The latest on the coronavirus

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 172 new COVID-19 cases since Saturday. One new death was reported, bringing the statewide death toll at 898.

The highly-contagious delta variant makes up 48 percent of Maine’s COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday.

Health officials recommend vaccinated people wear masks in York and Piscataquis counties

A sign with a Maine reference for social distancing hangs on the door as shoppers enter Will’s Shop ’n Save in Dover-Foxcroft in November 2020.

While York has the second-highest overall case rate, Piscataquis, the state’s least populous county, was the last one in Maine where the virus was found in 2020 and has recorded more than a quarter of its cases since April 1 of this year.

PLUS: We want to answer your questions on how the latest round of federal recommendations will change things in Maine.

Nearly half of Maine’s schools lack fire sprinklers

Firefighters train hoses on flames leaping from the roof of the Dr. Levesque Elementary School in Frenchville Sunday morning.

But the state doesn’t know which schools have fire suppression systems or are unprotected.

Requests for new fire buildings reflect growing demands for emergency services

Fire departments in Howland and Corinna are planning new facilities to account for increased demand from the neighboring communities they serve.

Smaller towns are facing ever-growing costs for equipment and a lack of volunteers, forcing them to turn to their neighbors for fire protection.

Old Town wants to move its landfill 5 miles down the road

Old Town’s Transfer Station, where residents can drop off recycling and home of the town’s construction and demolition debris landfill seen from the hill that is the landfill.

Old Town officials want to completely unearth a pile of garbage and haul it down the road to another landfill.

GOP lawmaker pushes Maine election ‘audit’ at Belfast event put on by conspiracy theorist

Rep. Heidi Sampson, R-Alfred, wears a face shield in the Maine State House in Augusta on June 2, 2021.

Rep. Heidi Sampson’s concerns about voter turnout are easily disproved by the vote counts.

A Bangor woman is accused of helping her boyfriend escape prosecution, but no warrant for his arrest had been issued

Bangor police officers Ryan Brochu (left) and Jacob Sinclair stand outside 1702 Union St. in Bangor on Dec. 11, 2020.

When police in Georgia arrested a Bangor woman in February for allegedly helping her boyfriend escape prosecution for murder, the suspected killer was with her.

Climate change could make these smoky days more common

Haze blankets the Portland skyline on Tuesday. Western wildfires helped contribute to possibly unhealthy breathing conditions in parts of the state.

The fires have prompted the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to issue a health advisory for people with breathing difficulties or who might engage in strenuous outdoor activity while air quality is poor.

In other Maine news:

Penobscot Theatre will return to in-person performances in the fall

Vandals strike Maine town’s playground for 2nd time in 2 weeks

Environmental group wants stronger water protections for Norridgewock landfill expansion

Maine activates new text alert program after drug overdoses in Portland

Car failed to yield to dump truck in crash that injured 6 in Wilton, police say

Search for man who disappeared in LaGrange continues more than 40 days later

Shipyard unveils Pumpkinhead hard seltzer

Maine’s top court dismisses escape charge for man who served murder sentence

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.