Lewiston firefighter Pete Morrell rescues a cat stuck on the roof of an apartment building on Jefferson Street for nearly a week on Friday. Lewiston firefighters don't usually respond to requests for stranded cats but happened to be in the area training when they came to the rescue. Credit: Russ Dillingham / Sun Journal via AP

Today is Tuesday. Temperatures will be in the mid-80s to high 70s from north to south, with mostly sunny skies across 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 will report the latest coronavirus cases and deaths from the weekend by 9:30 a.m. today. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

All but two counties in the six-state New England region have high or substantial transmission rates of the coronavirus, prompting masking. The New England region, along with Hawaii, leads the nation in vaccination rates.

Five restaurants in Bangor closed temporarily over the past week due to staffing shortages and close contact with active COVID-19 cases. Similarly, a number of businesses and offices in Houlton have closed as virus cases spike.

Desperate to escape solitary confinement, a Maine man’s plight deepens

Zachary Swain is a rare example of a Maine prisoner who has spent most of his time behind bars in solitary confinement, even as the state works to reduce use of the controversial practice.

As Afghanistan collapses, Maine veterans say they have no regrets for their service

Maine veterans who served in the country during the U.S.’s 20-year military involvement there said they were disappointed but not surprised by the latest developments.

Susan Collins hits Joe Biden for Afghanistan ‘chaos’ with Maine delegation split over exit

“As the Taliban consolidates its sweeping control over Afghanistan, the opportunity exists for the country to once again become a safe haven for Islamist terrorist groups targeting our country,” the Maine Republican said.

Hermon schools will not require masks for students

That makes Bangor and Orono the only two school districts in the Bangor region on track to require masks this fall.

Ellsworth-area growth drives Hancock County’s population increase

Despite declines in several Hancock County towns, robust growth around Ellsworth helped the county’s overall population increase over the past decade.

CMP opponents launch effort to put utility takeover on Maine’s 2022 ballot

Proponents of a consumer-owned utility began a long-promised effort on Monday to bring a question directly to Maine voters after Gov. Janet Mills vetoed their landmark bill earlier this summer.

Giant rubber ducky appears in Belfast Harbor, charms the city

From humble rowboats to multi-million dollar yachts, Belfast Harbor Master Katherine Given has seen just about everything float by her office. But what she saw Saturday morning caught her off guard.

Try these 5 new Rockland-area eateries before the summer is over 

Whether you live in the area and are looking to try something new, or you’re just visiting and in need of a bite to eat in between itinerary stops, there’s no shortage of food options in the Rockland area this summer.

In other Maine news

1st high school football practice marks long-awaited return for linemen

The fallout to expect from Maine’s new vaccine mandate for health care workers

Maine Celtic Celebration in Belfast canceled due to rising COVID-19 numbers

Lobbying costs surpass $4M in Maine during the pandemic

Hearings set over deal that would fund mercury pollution cleanup in Penobscot River

Motorist sentenced for 2020 crash that killed passenger

Former Dexter girls basketball star Peyton Grant to play at NH prep school

Presque Isle angler nets five winning fish at Fort Kent Muskie Derby

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.