In this Aug. 16, 2021, file photo, Larry Lewis of Auburn threads a worm onto his hook as AJ Mitchell, 12, casts his line in for another fish at the Lake Grove Park in Auburn. Credit: Andree Kehn / Sun Journal via AP

Today is Wednesday. Temperatures will be in the mid-80s, with mostly sunny skies throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another 363 coronavirus cases have been reported across the state since Saturday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. No new deaths were reported Tuesday, leaving the death toll stands at 924.

As schools battle surges of the virus, health officials worry that the reported destruction of a number of rapid coronavirus tests could hamper school reopening. Fort Fairfield and Limestone schools delayed starting their academic year until next week due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, while the Mars Hill school reported that two people have tested positive at the junior/senior high level.

Schools throughout the state show wide variation in COVID-19 vaccination rates as the school year starts. Vaccination rates are climbing among Maine kindergarteners ahead of a new law taking effect that eliminates most exemptions.

Delta variant detected in nearly all Maine COVID-19 tests checked in recent weeks

Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said that figure poses serious challenges for the state as cases continue to rise.

PLUS: Masks are now recommended in all Maine counties except Androscoggin and Sagadahoc regardless of vaccination status.

Hampden-area school board reinstates mask requirement for students

The new plan requires students in prekindergarten through sixth grade to wear masks and grant the superintendent flexibility to reevaluate masking guidelines.

PLUS: Belfast-based school district will require students and staff to wear face masks.

2 Aroostook hospitals no longer issue COVID tests for Canada-bound travelers

That means people in Central Aroostook County will have to travel an hour north or south to get the test required to enter Canada.

Maine’s new Border Patrol chief will face US-Canada smuggling issues

Several people in past years have attempted to smuggle items across the border, including Gabriel Wortman who committed Canada’s worst mass shooting in its history in April 2020. He had smuggled his weapons illegally into Canada after buying them in Houlton.

Bangor council OKs contract for bus hub that will cost double what city expected

The Bangor City Council on Monday unanimously approved a construction contract for a new bus hub in Pickering Square that will cost more than twice what the city had anticipated.

Jared Golden’s group inks deal with Nancy Pelosi to move infrastructure, budget bills separately

The compromise guarantees a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill by Sept. 27, ahead of Oct. 1 due date for the reauthorization of transportation funds included in the bill.

Wabanaki basket maker Jeremy Frey takes top honors at prestigious Native art show

Jeremy Frey, a Passamaquoddy basket maker, received the honor in the basketry category, for his double wall ash basket, “Malsom” (“Wolf,” in Passamaquoddy).

Judge says lawsuit claiming discrimination at Orono medical practice may go forward

David Ako-Annan sued EMMC in October 2019 alleging that a supervisor discriminated against him because he’s Black and male.

Conflicting Maine laws allow Old Town and Bangor to list candidates randomly on ballots

Revisions to state law nearly forced Old Town to change its charter.

Out-of-staters are more successful bear hunters in Maine

In a good year, 45 percent of nonresidents are successful in harvesting a bear.

UMaine women’s soccer team is fighting to end its 4-year playoff drought

Despite once making five straight America East tournament appearances, the Black Bears haven’t gotten that far since 2016. It’s easy to see why: they don’t score enough goals.

In other Maine news

Angus King improving after COVID-19 infection

Maine man to plead guilty to 9 counts of attempted murder

EMMC to offer pronoun buttons for staff and patients

2 of 3 finalists for Maine Teacher of the Year are from Hampden-based RSU 22

Man who shot relative in Shirley in 2019 found guilty of attempted murder

UMaine football will be paid $750K to play 2 high-level opponents in 2022

Body of missing Westbrook woman found

Falmouth Town Council votes to extend outdoor dining

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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.