Alex Lynch steers her son Carson's remote control police car at the head of the Wilton Blueberry Festival Parade on Saturday morning in Wilton. Credit: Russ Dillingham / Sun Journal via AP

Today is Thursday. Temperatures will be in the low 90s to mid-80s from north to south, with a chance for rain and thunderstorms in the north. With the humidity, temperatures could feel like 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in places. Ozone levels will also be elevated along the coast. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 217 more cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday. No new deaths were reported, leaving the statewide death toll at 901.

Thomas College in Waterville has joined the growing ranks of higher education institutions asking students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the fall semester starts. That means nearly all Maine college students, staff and faculty will need to be vaccinated by September.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people who are pregnant get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the delta variant continues to drive infection rates across the nation.

Aroostook students begin returning to school as mask status remains uncertain

SAD 42 became the first district in Aroostook County to return to school Wednesday, without mandating masks and social distancing, although the future of statewide guidance remains uncertain.

COVID-19 guidelines for Maine high school sports expected to be released on Friday

With no statewide guidance issued yet, school districts are currently deciding individually whether to mandate masks in schools this fall.

Weekend shooting at Harlow Street night spot marks the latest violence at Bangor property

The shooting outside the Harlow Street nightspot follows a fatal stabbing in February 2020, another stabbing in 2017 and years of loitering and noise complaints.

Assistant principal will be Bangor High’s interim leader after principal’s OUI charge

Brian Doyle has been chosen to take on the interim principal role while Paul Butler is on administrative leave, Bangor Superintendent James Tager said Wednesday.

Bangor Board of Ethics alters guidelines on political speech from councilors

The new code is less ambiguous than the last, with the framers aiming to balance the First Amendment rights of Bangor officials with language that will maintain the city’s neutrality and not align it with viewpoints or organizations it doesn’t officially support.

Opposition grows to removing a 200-year-old dam that poses flood risk in Camden

Downtown property and business owners say the dam is a major part of Camden’s image, while town officials say it poses substantial risks, including flooding, that will only become more severe as storms intensify due to climate change.

Belfast says group opposed to salmon farm is ‘posturing’ in bid to avoid eminent domain

The Belfast City Council will vote tonight on whether to move forward with taking the land by eminent domain.

Maine extends back-to-work program after attracting fewer applicants than expected

The Maine Department of Labor is extending a program that provides up to $1,500 grants to businesses to attract workers after fewer-than-expected applicants signed on.

Legislative watchdog to probe issues raised by Maine child welfare ombudsman

A legislative panel on Wednesday authorized its watchdog agency to explore issues raised by Maine’s child welfare ombudsman, including whether protective workers can properly assess a child’s safety during initial evaluations of cases and during family reunifications.

This beetle found in Maine produces a blister-causing chemical that can kill a horse

The beetle releases a fatty material from its leg joints that can be fatal if swallowed because it will form blisters inside the body.

In other Maine news

Man charged with manslaughter in crash that killed 2 in Waterboro

Stephen King says Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ‘not the brightest bulb in the chandelier’

Bangor will open cooling centers during upcoming heat wave

Southern Maine braces for coming heat wave

Ozone levels will be elevated in parts of Maine

Maine recreational cannabis sales in July smash previous months

UMaine football will be penalized with a forfeit for any COVID-19-related game cancellations

Man killed in Portland fire identified

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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.