Elementary students in RSU 29 returned to classes on Aug. 30. Credit: Courtesy of Houlton Elementary School

Today is Thursday. A cold front will keep temperatures in the 60s and low 70s while bringing rain from south to north throughout the day. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus

Six more Mainers died and 734 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, according to the Maine CDC. The statewide death toll now stands at 946. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

Houlton Elementary School is closing down effective Thursday and reopening on Sept. 20 as it deals with a high number of positive COVID-19 cases and students in quarantine.

A high demand for COVID testing in communities near the border with Canada has resulted in pharmacies from Calais to Madawaska selling out of take-home testing kits.

The Penobscot Nation will suspend its youth program and daycare on Indian Island by the end of the week to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Mainers are waiting longer for COVID-19 test results with demand rising

Maine has seen testing demand increase sharply in recent weeks after it dropped off in the early summer. The number of daily tests doubled since mid-July to a September high of just under 5,400 on one day last week.

2 Maine counties have higher COVID-19 transmission rates than most states

While Maine’s recent case rate is still 15th-lowest nationally, the divergence within the state becomes apparent when comparing county-level infection rates to other U.S. states.

Katahdin was brought to you by canned corn and cheap seasonal labor

With last week’s news of the B&M Baked Bean factory sale, the state’s long industrial canning tradition will soon come to an end.

Local potato experts expect high quality crop in 2021  

Local agricultural growers are predicting a higher quantity and quality of potato crop than was produced in 2020, due to the less severe weather this summer.

Man with assault conviction backs out after being offered town manager job on MDI

An Eaton Peabody consultant said he and the Southwest Harbor selectboard knew about Michael Patterson’s past.

Years after his mother’s death, a Maine farmer brings her beloved grape vines back to life

Scott Huber has no idea as to the variety of the grapes growing on his Itty Bitty Farm in Columbia Falls. He suspects they are a wine grape due to their thick skin and tart flavor. What Huber does know is that they are living, growing tribute to his late mother.

Milford looks to buy its own ambulance so residents can get to the hospital faster

An increase in emergency calls that’s left Old Town’s ambulance crews stretched thin has neighboring Milford taking steps to acquire and staff an ambulance of its own to provide faster service on its side of the Penobscot River.

In other Maine news:

Auburn councilor’s racist remarks over bridge renaming lead to calls for his resignation

Bangor’s latest recreational cannabis shop on track to open next year at former Amato’s

Buckfield father charged with murder in death of 2-month-old daughter

Hermon reaches deal to return home it took for back taxes while owner was in prison

Bangor hotel will remain a homeless shelter beyond September

COVID-19 testing site at Bangor airport reopening amid coronavirus surge

Former guard claims she was fired from Knox County Jail after being sexually harassed by co-worker 

Maine organizations awarded $2 million in grants to prevent opioid addiction and overdose

Old Town man arrested for alleged arson