Tylor Perry, owner of C&K Variety in Hermon, is hoping to build a new store behind the existing one. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 40s, with sunny skies in the south and partly cloudy skies in the north. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus

Another 1,286 COVID-19 cases were reported across the state on Thursday, along with 27 more deaths. The statewide death toll now stands at 1,405. Check out our tracker for more information.

With COVID-19 vaccination gaps widening, Maine has ‘more work to do’ in rural areas

Maine’s rural areas continue to lag in vaccine uptake, and COVID-19 infection rates remain high in areas with fewer people who are vaccinated.

Oil, gas companies want to cancel rebates for Mainers buying heat pumps

After a warning from ISO New England about possible blackouts this winter, several groups are calling on New England governors to stop incentivizing heat pumps.

Maine doesn’t have enough money to meet EV goals, a new report says

The new clean transportation roadmap says Maine has made progress since 2019 by increasing battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 90 percent to 5,577 vehicles.

39 old tires have been abandoned in a muddy Ellsworth streambed for decades

The tires behind Denny’s, which closed down during the pandemic and currently is listed for sale for $2 million, are scattered among a group of trees and most are lying or partially buried in the streambed.

Maine’s anti-corridor law takes effect Sunday after judge rules against CMP

In a 55-page ruling, Judge Michael Duddy found that the two corridor builders did not meet burden of proof for a preliminary injunction.

Midcoast retailers experiencing ‘record-breaking’ holiday shopping season as Mainers shop locally

Many people opted to skip supply chain issues all together this holiday season, and local businesses are seeing some of their busiest days since the onset of the pandemic.

Longtime Hermon store’s expansion runs into a roadblock as nearby residents object

The owner of C&K Variety is hoping to expand with a new 8,000 square foot building, but local residents worry it won’t honor the character of the original store.

America’s top skiers will compete at Sugarloaf for the 2022 US Alpine Championships 

The U.S. championships will be held shortly after the Beijing Winter Olympics, and a number of Olympic athletes are expected to come to Sugarloaf as well as many top racers on the U.S. team.

Denied a chance for a gold ball last season, Bangor girls seek their 1st state title in 40 years

The Bangor girls haven’t won a state championship since 1982 and have appeared in just one state title game since, a 60-45 loss to Catherine McCauley of Portland in 2013 in the A final.

In other Maine news:

Hunt for toxic ‘forever chemicals’ widens to 34 communities

Bangor’s ‘Hopeful’ new piece of public art, meant to send a message, is lit up

Majestic herons and pesky geese highlight this wildlife video

NCAA’s transfer portal has completely changed how colleges recruit basketball players 

Drug charges dropped from traffic stop by Maine trooper accused of racial profiling

Newport Select Board to pick environmental firm for watershed study in new year

Municipal group didn’t want company that misrepresented work to buy Hampden trash plant

Help group started by TikTok star comes to St. John Valley to aid struggling parents

Former UMaine goalie Jeremy Swayman among latest Bruins to enter COVID protocol

Alaska judge allows evidence about alternative suspects in Auburn man’s homicide trial

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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.