In this Oct. 12, 2021, file photo, fall foliage reflects on the Androscoggin River as Kathy Thorson rows a single scull in Brunswick. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the low 50s with sunny skies throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Six more Mainers have died and another 572 COVID-19 cases were reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The statewide death toll now stands at 1,160.

The University of Maine System announced Thursday that employees must be vaccinated or seek an exemption by Dec. 8. Chancellor Dannel P. Malloy said that more than 88 percent of the system’s employees are in compliance.

As of Thursday, 144 Maine schools reported outbreaks, and 527 schools have reported COVID-19 cases in the past 30 days.

Maine’s least vaccinated areas are seeing an uptick in inoculations

The increase is significant as Maine continues to see vaccination disparities between the state’s rural and more urban areas.

Salem’s executed ‘Witch King of Hell’ and his accusers were all from Maine

One person even testified the Rev. George Burroughs ruled hell, second in command to only Beelzebub.

Ellsworth candidate addresses past controversies with AG’s office and Christian school

John Linnehan, whose public profile is larger than other City Council candidates, has a string of well-publicized controversies in his past.

PLUS: 4 newcomers are vying for 2 seats on the Ellsworth City Council

Poll: Corridor opponents have big edge on CMP going into Question 1 vote

Roughly half of Maine voters plan to vote yes to block the construction of the Central Maine Power corridor while another 15 percent remain undecided.

PLUS: Joe Biden’s energy secretary wants Mainers to back the CMP corridor

How to make sense of Portland’s ballot question on the future of homeless shelters

The fate of Portland’s plan for a new shelter hinges on next week’s referendum.

A western Maine town manager is among the 13 charged in illegal marijuana operation

James McLamb is accused of tipping off two former Franklin County sheriff’s deputies that they were under investigation for their role in the marijuana operation and then destroying evidence.

PLUS: Lawyer: Feds ‘over-encroached’ on Maine laws in investigating $13M marijuana operation

Judge denies request to dismiss Belfast lawsuit involving brothel allegations

A Belfast mother and daughter filed a lawsuit in May accusing eight defendants of spreading false statements that they run a brothel and host sex parties.

Building that houses Greenville dental office to be demolished after 40 years

The dental office serves about 5,000 patients from Greenville, Jackman, Dover-Foxcroft and other nearby towns.

Firefighters dreamed up and built this new Orono training facility

It’s the product of a yearslong effort to develop a dependable facility for firefighters to go to for hands-on training.

What you need to know before converting your home to wood-fueled heat

While summer is the best time to install a wood heat system and prepare for winter, it’s not too late to convert.

Writing this column has turned me into a better birder

Bob Duchesne’s first “Good Birding” column ran on Nov. 26, 2011. Since then, he has learned a lot about birds — and even more about his audience.

In other Maine news …

Man accused of killing sister and brother-in-law to remain in jail without bail

Man charged in 3-vehicle Ellsworth crash that killed 80-year-old driver

Susan Collins casts record-breaking 8,000th vote

Bangor football will try to capitalize on late-season momentum at Oxford Hills

UMaine hockey looking for 1st win as it opens Hockey East play at Northeastern

Houlton broadband company gets $5.5 million for expansion into rural northern Maine

Maine corrections officer accused of drunken driving has been identified

System trustees accept USM president’s resignation

Former Columbine principal urges Caribou students to practice kindness and unity

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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.