In this Sept. 8, 2021, file photo, a sailboat moves across windy Casco Bay at sunset off Portland. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the low 50s to mid-60s from north to south, with mostly sunny skies in the south and a chance of scattered showers in the north. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Maine reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic for the second day in a row, when 925 cases were reported statewide, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. No new deaths were reported Thursday, leaving the statewide death toll at 1022.

State data released on Thursday showed that 108 Maine schools have reported coronavirus outbreaks in the past week. Four hundred and eighty eight schools have reported COVID-19 cases over the past 30 days.

Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine CDC, said Thursday that the agency is seeking to expand testing for rural areas as the delta variant continues to spread throughout the state.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to push people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but also urges people to get their flu shots this year as the seasonally prevalent viral infection ramps up.

Worker shortage hampering small pharmacies in COVID-19 testing push

While some pharmacies are eager to participate in the program, they cited the national worker shortage as a barrier as they also conduct vaccine clinics and balance their other duties.

Deadline nears for Maine health care workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19

At Maine’s biggest health care organizations, vaccination rates are about 90 percent and rising.

Bad things keep happening to Maine man desperate to escape solitary confinement

Last week, prison guards pepper-sprayed Zachary Swain less than a day after he returned to isolation following a nearly 3-month stint in the infirmary after an attempt to kill himself.

Fallen Hancock County deputy remembered as humble man with love of life and service in Bangor funeral

One week after her husband, Hancock County Sheriff’s deputy Luke Gross, was killed on-duty, Lauren Gross said the loss of her husband, who she described as kind and dutiful, was incalculable. 

Remembering Deputy Luke Gross: Photos: Saying goodbye to fallen Deputy Luke Gross

She kept her business running after becoming widowed with 8 kids. Now she’s getting a historic marker.

Widowed in 1941, Toy Len Goon kept all her children in school, saw each one graduate and then go on to higher learning. Goon was even named the nation’s “Mother of the Year,” and met first lady Bess Truman in 1952.

Aroostook prosecutor wants courthouse to adopt dogs to comfort witnesses

Aroostook County could become the first district in Maine to employ courthouse dogs to comfort children and victims of violent crimes.

Bangor to debut new turf field Friday as football team faces winless Deering

The Rams will seek to bounce back from its 84-13 loss at Thornton Academy of Saco last Saturday.

On his 14th moose hunt, Maine man enters the woods in search of a trophy bull

The Fortins caught a beautiful bull that dressed out at 832 pounds and sported an antler spread measuring 46 1/2 inches.

Longfin squid the prime suspect as disruptors of Maine’s prized shrimp fishery

Scientists think they’ve found the chief culprit in the collapse of Maine’s prized shrimp fishery. They’re pointing the finger at a voracious species of squid that rode in on warming waters almost ten years ago.

The reason why you saw more bats this summer

Bats could be starting to get an upper hand on white nose syndrome.

In other Maine news …

Iconic Maine track and field official among inductees into Orono athletic hall of fame

Housing-crunched Belfast proposes changes that would allow more accommodations

Bangor man accused of sexually abusing 2 children over 8 years

2 separate threats shut down Old Town High, southern Maine schools

Portland man arrested in connection with shooting at South Portland High School

UMaine’s best basketball player chose not to transfer because he has ‘unfinished business’

Be prepared to pay more to go apple picking in Maine this fall

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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.