In this Dec. 29, 2021, file photo, a family of snowmen stand in front of a home in Yarmouth. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Twelve more Mainers have died and another 1,526 coronavirus cases reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The statewide death toll now stands at 1,728.

On Thursday, the MaineHealth system based in Portland announced that, due to a limited supply of antigen tests, its workers would no longer have to test negative for the coronavirus before returning to work if they have completed a full cycle of isolation.

The Presque Isle sportsmen’s show is the second in the state to cancel this year’s event, after concerns about vendor and attendee safety were raised.

After being denied FEMA aid as individual facilities, four Aroostook County hospitals have banded together, and received federal aid to help combat the omicron surge.

Unvaccinated Mainers still face highest COVID-19 risk despite more ‘breakthrough’ cases

Maine data from the past month largely fit with studies finding the highly contagious omicron variant is better at evading protection from vaccines.

Major weekend storm could dump up to 18 inches of snow across Maine

The storm’s mix of heavy snow and winds gusting up to 55 mph could create blizzard conditions, where 1 to 3 inches of snow may fall an hour.

PLUS: What is a blizzard, and how you can prepare for one

Check this map to see if sludge linked to ‘forever chemicals’ was used near your property

If you’re concerned about so-called forever chemicals in your soil or groundwater, this map shows where the toxins have been found or are likely to be found.

Thorndike middle school principal charged with sexually touching a minor

David Holinger has served as the principal of Mount View Middle School, which serves almost 300 students in Regional School Unit 3, since 2019.

A Maine sheriff is asking for help make his office more transparent

Lincoln County appears to be the first Maine sheriff’s office to form a citizen’s advisory committee to help determine the future of the department.

Bradley town officials want to ‘phase out’ school choice due to rising costs

Eliminating school choice would save the town of Bradley thousands of dollars.

A Blue Hill startup that helps farmers sell food is expanding nationally

FarmDrop was created in 2011 in Blue Hill as an effort to get local food producers’ goods into consumers’ hands.

Jared Golden raises $2M in 2021 for likely showdown with Bruce Poliquin

Jared Golden’s total fundraising this cycle has risen to more than $2 million, or roughly $650,000 more than he raised in his last campaign.

Court finds Maine marijuana growers can be prosecuted despite congressional limits

The case came out of a 2018 raid on 20 properties in the Lewiston-Auburn area in which law enforcement seized more than 600 pounds of marijuana.

Maine photographer is finding winter’s bitter beauty frozen in ice before it snows again

Old Orchard Beach wildlife photographer and outdoor enthusiast Karl Ramsdells has been out every day, making pictures of the unique, icy beauty.

Deer in Aroostook County are getting help to survive the winter

The number of deer in northern Maine has been significantly reduced over the last 50 years due in part to commercial forestry operations.

In other Maine news …

Financers aren’t acting on an offer to buy shuttered Hampden trash plant

Maine poised to bar colleges from withholding students’ transcripts over smaller debts

Former Lewiston soccer star dies from injuries after being hit by car in Saudi Arabia

Car crashes in front of Brunswick Police Department

State cheerleading competition will be open to all Maine teams

Dump truck crash shuts down Route 1A for more than 2 hours

Pair arrested after trying to bail someone out of Auburn jail with fake money

Lewiston man whose arm was severed has been identified

‘Forever chemicals’ found in Kittery home wells

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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.