In this Oct. 9, 2021, file photo, a passenger on a canoe photographs the brilliant fall foliage on South Pond in Bryant Point. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Today is Thursday. Temperatures will be in the low 50s throughout the state, with mostly cloudy skies in the north and partly sunny skies in the south. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Seven more Mainers have died and another 620 COVID-19 cases reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The statewide death toll stands at 1,154.

The number of people getting final doses or booster shots in Maine has continued to climb, and the Maine CDC announced on Wednesday that more than 75 percent of eligible Mainers, or those over the age of 12, have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

As state COVID cases continue to stay stubbornly high, despite Maine’s vaccination rate, the Aroostook County Jail reported that more than 70 people who are held or work at the facility have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Penobscot County schools prepare to play key role in vaccinating 5- to 11-year-olds

Many schools are already preparing for the shots, hopeful that they can keep students in the classroom during a year that’s been prone to schedule disruptions.

Hampden school board candidates are fielding questions about critical race theory

Accusations that educators are teaching the academic concept in the district’s classrooms have now taken center stage in RSU 22.

Cops, prosecutor and selectman among 13 charged in massive Maine pot operation

The documents detail a far-reaching scheme in which the head of the conspiracy allegedly gave cops ownership interests in his company and brand new “company” cars in exchange for confidential information that he used to benefit his business.

Odd political alliances define late fight over Maine’s low-key ‘right to food’ referendum

Hunters have joined an odd political alliance backing Question 3 that includes organic farmers and the Green Independent Party.

Homesteaders are finding creative ways to stop their goats from maiming each other

Homesteader Kara Buck didn’t want Sir Billy headbutting and injuring one of her children. So she found a solution: pool noodles.

Hardware manufacturer looks to build $1.7M facility in Rockland business park zone

Lowe Hardware has outgrown its existing facility and wants to construct a new building on Pleasant Street.

Bucksport junior sets state record for most goals in a girls soccer season

Ella Hosford has scored 59 goals, two more than previous record-holder Shelby Pickering (2003) from Lee Academy.

9-year-old hunter shoots 2 deer in barely a minute

Few hunters will be able to tell the kind of story Cameron Albert of Newburgh has from his first day of hunting deer.

In other Maine news …

Orono hopes new setup makes it easier to focus on recruiting firefighters and police

Falmouth man admits he pretended to work for Homeland Security to buy boats and car

Pittsfield Fire Department adopts cellphone service that replaces obsolete pagers

Jay officials vote to repair headstones at vandalized cemetery

Thorndike high school teacher arrested after brief chase with Waterville police

Fall nor’easter sends 6 boats adrift in Rockland Harbor

Conservation groups and feds appeal decision halting seasonal lobstering ban

Company behind controversial Frenchman Bay salmon farm names new CEO

Logger killed by falling tree in Temple

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.