A Casco Bay Lines worker loads a crate of bananas destined for an island off the coast of Maine on Wednesday in Portland. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the high to mid-80s from north to south, with cloudy skies throughout the state and a chance for isolated showers. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Twelve more Mainers have died and another 182 coronavirus cases have been reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll now stands at 912.

As of Thursday, masks are no longer recommended in Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin and Kennebec counties because of reduced rates of community transmission. Masks are now recommended in 12 of Maine’s 16 counties.

The Maine Fire Chiefs’ Association has called on Gov. Janet Mills to revoke the vaccination mandate for health care workers, stating that it could lead to staff shortages among emergency medical service providers.

Husson University’s president, Robert Clark, is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19 during an international cruise.

Angus King tests positive for COVID-19

The 77-year-old independent who caucuses with Democrats took a test Thursday morning on a doctor’s recommendation a day after feeling mildly feverish.

PLUS: Angus King’s COVID-19 case underscores importance of vaccines for vulnerable people

Susan Collins and Angus King call on Joe Biden to expedite visas for Afghan allies

More than 50 U.S. senators including Susan Collins and Angus King are calling on President Joe Biden to do more to assist Afghan allies fleeing the country following the Taliban takeover.

Aroostook County day care has lost 23 teachers since the start of the pandemic

Staff working fewer hours by their own choice, coupled with lack of public funding subsidy, is endangering the availability of child care in Aroostook and other counties.

1st tenant at former East Millinocket mill would use 12,000 tons of wood chips a year

One study from an investment organization last year projected the negative emission technology industry could generate $800 billion in annual revenue by 2050. 

Maine’s underused back-to-work bonus reflects how hard it is to attract workers

Bangor’s Fork & Spoon will close for the month of September because of the shortage of workers.

5 Portland restaurants that closed their doors this summer

2021 hasn’t been any easier for restaurants in Maine’s foodie capital.

Maine’s islands have seen their populations surge over the past decade ago

But they still face myriad challenges in sustaining their year-round communities, jumped by nearly 8 percent between 2010 and 2020.

From new HVAC to social workers, Maine schools figure out how to spend millions in relief money

Maine school districts have tens of millions of dollars headed their way from the latest COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress in March.

Presque Isle lawmaker leaves Maine’s 2nd District race to endorse Bruce Poliquin

Trey Stewart announced Thursday that he is dropping his bid to challenge U.S. Rep. Jared Golden for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

In other Maine news

5-year-old boy conquers Appalachian Trail before kindergarten starts

Maine plans to deny key certification for Kennebec dam, extending dispute with its owner

WWII vets honored with tribute flights in 1942 plane over Caribou

Suspicious man carrying rope approached young women in Saco

2 children placed in state custody after drug raid at Bangor apartment

Calais boys basketball coach steps down after 5 years to focus on his family

Plane from Bangor makes emergency landing at Portland airport

Mainers mistake helicopter training for crash at Old Town airport

1 killed after vehicle veers into Kennebec River

Avatar photo

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.