Portland's City Hall, headlights and a row of fanciful snowflakes shine in the city on Tuesday. Credit: Troy R Bennett / BDN

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the low 20s to mid-30s, with a chance snow and cloudy skies throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another 1,460 coronavirus cases were reported across the state Thursday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That surpasses Wednesday’s previous single-day record for new infections. The statewide death toll now stands at 1,357. Check out our tracker for more information.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization for 16- and 17-year-olds to get a third dose of the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech — if it’s been six months since their last shot.

Accepting a request from the Mills administration earlier this week, FEMA will bring in 14 physicians, nurses and paramedics to assist staff at Portland’s Maine Medical Center who are caring for patients with COVID-19 and other serious illnesses.

Overwhelmed by COVID cases, an Aroostook hospital cuts elective surgery

Northern Light AR Gould has turned the day surgery unit into additional in-patient beds and the two local colleges have loaned their nursing program hospital beds to help the hospital handle the influx of COVID-19 cases.

At-home COVID-19 tests get harder to find just as Mainers need them more

Antigen tests are good for distinguishing between a cold and the coronavirus and the federal government is placing more emphasis on them as a way for people to screen themselves around winter gatherings.

Mask debate rages for Aroostook County school hardest hit by COVID

The debate resurfaces as Fort Kent Elementary School suffers the highest number of cases of any Maine school in the last 30 days.

If you haven’t gotten your $285 relief check, Maine is probably mailing it soon

The state still plans to send checks to roughly 525,000 Mainers before the end of the year, with about 25,000 going out per day.

A 1992 vote in Orland to allow drinking in bars on Sunday wasn’t valid

In 1992, 125 residents voted to allow establishments to sell liquor to be drunk on-premise on Sundays — but the vote wasn’t a secret ballot.

Maine providers question how Democrats’ social spending bill will help solve child care woes

The $2.2 trillion Build Back Better Act pending in Congress would provide the largest government investment in child care since World War II.

Cost and a tight deadline loom over Maine’s revived paid-leave push

If enacted, the law would allow paid time off for workers welcoming a child, recovering from a health issue or taking care of a loved one.

Sears Island identified as potential hub for the state’s offshore wind industry

The 940-acre undeveloped island also is a conservation and recreation area, and those who love it are not all in favor of building a port there.

These 12 vacant, former Portland restaurants are looking for new tenants

As the second year of the global coronavirus pandemic draws to a close, its effects on the Portland’s restaurant scene are still being felt.

Salamanders at a Bar Harbor lab may one day help people regrow missing limbs

The axolotl has an uncanny ability to regrow legs, or significant parts of its retinas, heart and brain, as well as other parts of its body.

Nonprofit ski area in Aroostook raising $2.9M to build bigger and faster chairlift

Aroostook County’s Big Rock Mountain has big plans to increase the number of skiers using its slopes.

In other Maine news …

Food pantry raises money to cover cost of new roof and water damage repairs

York County Jail will give ‘harm reduction bags’ with Narcan to every person released

New Mexico utility denies merger with CMP parent, citing history of penalties

Maine officials warn of ‘volatile’ long-term state revenues

Janet Mills to play role in campaign against domestic abuse

Why UMaine men’s basketball is ranked dead last among Division I teams

Defending 3-time regional champ Southern Aroostook intends to maintain its stranglehold on Class D North

Tight-knit Machias squad is gunning for the Class D boys basketball title this year

2 remote schools will open Maine’s basketball season Friday on neutral ground

UMaine men’s hockey looks to snap out of offensive funk against Union