Max White, 9, of Turner keeps cool in the Saco River on Wednesday in Fryeburg. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Today is Thursday. Temperatures will be in the high 80s to low 90s, with sunny skies and a chance for evening thunderstorms and scattered showers across the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Two more Mainers have died and another 287 coronavirus cases reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll now stands at 926.

As cases continue to rise throughout the state, Maine hospitals have seen the highest number of critical COVID-19 cases in four months, with 290 of the state’s 329 intensive care beds occupied.

The coronavirus continues to disrupt the start of the school year, and Caribou High School has become the second to go remote. Schools in the County, which open before other Maine districts, have been hit hard and Presque Isle has joined a slew of other schools who have implemented mask mandates.

National religious group sues Janet Mills over vaccine mandate for health care workers

A national Christian organization has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Janet Mills and several of the state’s largest health care organizations over Maine’s requirement that health care workers get the COVID-19 vaccine or risk losing their jobs.

Penobscot Nation leaders concerned about low COVID-19 vaccination rate and surge of cases

The number of breakthrough cases identified within the tribe combined with a low vaccination rate could create the perfect conditions for the virus to rip through the community.

Aroostook’s chaotic start shows Maine schools may not be ready for COVID-19

The County’s schools are the first ones in the state to return, but already they show that in all likelihood, schools across the state will have to mask students in order to keep them in the classroom.

Unvaccinated athletes at Husson and other Maine colleges will have to play in masks

The mandate in a conference that includes Husson and the University of Maine at Farmington is the first that will require student-athletes at any level in Maine to compete in a mask.

Penobscot County considers mobile jail made from semi-trailers to ease inmate overcrowding

While the exact cost of a mobile unit is not known, it is expected to cost far less than the $65 million to $70 million needed for a new 250-bed jail.

People who rushed to buy Maine homes face steep bills and long waits for repairs

Anecdotes abound of buyers, particularly from out of state, waiving inspections and paying over asking price to get an edge on other house hunters, only to find more expenses lie ahead for repairs and upgrades.

Top Maine Democrats break with Janet Mills in fight over Kennebec River dam

Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, have proposed a bill meant to block the administration of Gov. Janet Mills from enforcing strict fish-passage standards there.

Maine has added 6 new breweries already this year, with more to come

While Maine’s ever-growing craft beer scene understandably slowed down a bit during 2020 and early 2021, it’s come roaring back to life since the spring.

Watch the dog that can sniff out a potato crop disease

In case you needed more proof that dogs are our best friend, now they are saving our potatoes.

These 2 deer are acting as though something’s up in the woods

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there aren’t predators out to get you.

Mainers should be on the lookout for spotted lanternflies

Lanternflies poop out streams of a sticky substance called honeydew that promotes the growth of a sooty mold.

In other Maine news

Public can testify tonight about proposed Bangor Natural Gas rate hike

Truck carrying live lobsters causes 6-car crash in Brunswick

CMP critics want Maine voters to bar foreign government spending in state races

Body pulled from Penobscot River in Bangor identified

Bangor preseason football game rescheduled

CMP hires new CEO as longtime leader steps back due to cancer diagnosis

Morrill man wants to become 1st 4-time winner of Maine’s most prestigious auto race

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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.