Reggie (center) receives pets from attendees of the Bangor holiday tree lighting downtown, Dec. 3, 2021. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

Today is Wednesday. Temperatures will be in the mid-30s, with partly sunny skies throughout the morning, while temperatures are expected to drop into the mid-20s with a mix of rain and snow in the evening. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus

Another 1,383 COVID-19 cases were reported by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention since Saturday, along with nine more deaths. The statewide death toll now stands at 1,376.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 800,000 on Tuesday, a once-unimaginable figure seen as doubly tragic, given that more than 200,000 of those lives were lost after the vaccine became available practically for the asking last spring.

How to find out if your property is contaminated with ‘forever chemicals’

Dangerous levels of the per- and ployfluroalkyl substances — called PFAS for short — have shown up in central Maine soils, well water, dairy farms, deer meat and chicken eggs. 

Restoration of famed Maine poet’s birthplace in Rockland enters final phase

The restoration has been underway for the last five years. Acquiring the funds for the extensive interior and exterior renovations has taken longer than initially anticipated though, which slowed the process.

Bangor residents demand change in homeless policy after deadly fire

The tragedy has drawn attention to the growing homeless problem in Bangor, with the hour-and-a-half public comment period drawing in activists, non-profit employees and current and former members of the city’s homeless community.

2 former UMaine players join Bangor High coaching staff as hockey team seeks 1st regional title

While head coach Quinn Paradis doesn’t expect his team to surrender many goals, offense will be his team’s question mark and that will determine how far his Rams go this season as they seek a first-ever regional title.

Portland lawmaker won’t seek reelection, setting off likely Democratic scramble for her seat

Sen. Heather Sanborn, D-Portland, a former lawyer who runs Rising Tide Brewery with her husband and has served six years in Augusta between the Senate and House, cited her family and the business in her decision to not run on Tuesday.

These Flying Santas with Rockland roots still bring aerial gifts to Coast Guard members

Founder William Wincapaw departed from Rockland on the first flight to deliver gifts to coastal families and Coast Guard members in 1929.

In other Maine news:

Superintendent of Ellsworth School District resigns

Hermon house a total loss after propane tank explosion and fire

Regulators to investigate claims against CMP parent in suit

2 new senior apartment complexes in Belfast expected to relieve housing crunch pressure

Jobless claims increase in Maine, remain below last year

Community comes together to rescue cat stuck in Skowhegan tree

Bangor’s deteriorating 60-year-old Broadway overpass is set to be replaced

2 seriously injured in head-on crash in Gorham

Closed Deer Isle nursing homes taps nonprofit to gauge its chances of reopening

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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.