Holden Police Chief Chris Greeley fills gift bags Wednesday in the police station that he will be delivering as part of the department’s 25 Days of Kindness program. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the low teens to low 30s from north to south, with sunny skies across much of the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Four more Mainers have died and another 1,115 coronavirus cases reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The statewide death toll now stands at 1,472.

Recently, the Dionne Commons assisted living facility in Brunswick was cited for continuing to employ health care workers who had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized Merck’s pill as an at-home, over-the-counter drug to fight the coronavirus.

Ahead of the holiday weekend, experts recommend testing, small gatherings and masking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Maine won’t resume daily COVID-19 case counts with some fearing national data gaps

Only 926 cases had been reported in June. Almost 20,000 cases have been reported from Dec. 1 to Thursday, Dec. 23.

Some Belfast councilors want to require COVID-19 vaccines for city workers

“If I had my druthers, I would like everybody to be vaccinated,” Councilor Brenda Bonneville said.

Holden police deliver toys and cash to local residents

The Holden Police Department was able to give presents, cash, donations and other gifts to people over the past few weeks in the name of holiday cheer.

Mom of transgender teen who died at Long Creek settles lawsuit with state for $225,000

Michelle Knowles alleged that despite suicide threats and attempts, staff at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland showed deliberate indifference to the serious risk that her 16-year-old son would injure himself by placing him in a cell that was neither suicide-resistant nor free of protrusions.

Wayne Newell, who helped preserve the Passamaquoddy language, dies at 79

Wayne Newell was the longtime director of bilingual education at the Indian Township School and directed the first bilingual-bicultural education program for Maine Indian Education in the 1970s.

Newly conserved island is final piece of Owls Head’s effort to increase coastal access

Last year, the town completed a project to build its own pier that the public can use for myriad purposes — from paddlers launching a kayak to fishermen who need to get to moored boats.

Longtime Bangor-area journalist TJ Tremble dies at age 65

Timothy Joseph Tremble received awards from the Maine Press Association, the Maine Association of Broadcasters and the Maine Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

Real estate agent sues Bar Harbor over new vacation rental regulations

“The town has chosen the wrong path here,” Erica Brooks, a broker with the Swan Agency, said Thursday.

4 ways how you hunt in Maine could change in 2022

Challenges to Maine’s hunting seasons include “forever chemicals,” ticks, an overhaul of the any-deer permit system and the persistence of COVID-19.

In other Maine news …

MCI field hockey star headed to Bentley University

Remains found of man who disappeared in LaGrange

Animal tranquilizers are driving fatal drug overdoses in the Northeast

Pittsfield council OKs $27.5K in pandemic bonuses for town employees

Maine trooper carries missing elderly man out of ditch

CDC warns of 2 listeria outbreaks tied to packaged salad

Tractor trailer crash in Medway shuts down I95 ramp for several hours

Inmate at Maine State Prison dies

Avatar photo

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.