In this Feb. 5, 2022, file photo, Linda Berney of Woodfield Farm drives horses Magic Mike (left) and Ace of Spades around SeaLyon Farm in Alna. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Today is Wednesday. Temperatures will be in the high 20s to low 40s from north to south, with increasing clouds throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Twenty-one more Mainers have died and another 10,968 coronavirus cases reported across the state since the weekend, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That jump in cases comes as the agency continues to grapple with a backlog of more than 50,000 positive virus cases. Check out our tracker for more information.

Maine saw COVID-19 hospitalizations continue their steep slide on Tuesday, falling more than 5 percent in the previous 24 hours.

What we know about Maine’s latest plan to send $500 relief checks

If approved, the relief checks could go out to Mainers as early as July.

Mainers shocked by skyrocketing electric bills

That’s prompting more Mainers to ask for help paying their electric bills.

Iconic rural Maine granola company reinvents itself after COVID rebound

Grandy Organics has spent 43 years elbowing its way onto breakfast tables across the nation. Now it’s planning major changes to soothe growing pains.

Dormant Bucksport railroad unlikely to see new traffic after pending Pan Am merger

Pan Am only runs one train a week on the line to help with the mercury cleanup at the former HoltraChem plant in Orrington.

Portland’s $135,000 pre-pandemic waterfront transportation study may have become meaningless

Two years ago this month, local stakeholders and officials finished a Commercial Street transportation study and draft master plan. So what have they discovered?

Aroostook astronaut Jessica Meir will be inducted into Maine Women’s Hall of Fame

“Her many achievements demonstrate that when a girl in a small town in northern Maine says she wants to be an astronaut she is not just dreaming.”

Maine DOT hard hat found 3,300 miles from home in a Norwegian fjord

A message in a bottle ending up 3,000 miles from home is expected, but a Maine DOT hard hat was a surprise no one could have predicted.

Basketball tournament workers welcome return after COVID-forced hiatus

Players, coaches and fans weren’t the only ones who were counting the days until the tournaments began.

Abbie Quinn’s ‘dominant presence’ fuels Bangor girls’ playoff dreams

She has scored in double figures in her last seven games.

Watch these young twin bucks make a trip to the ‘salad bar’

Eventually, these deer will be knocking heads as they compete for does. But for now, they’re getting along famously.

In other Maine news …

Surging UMaine women’s basketball team seeks its 8th straight victory

Sara Gideon donates $400k left over from campaign challenging Susan Collins

Portland worker claims Cumberland Farms fired him for refusing to serve maskless customer

Statue of segregationist judge disappears from Augusta courthouse

Old Town’s Riverfest set to make a comeback after 2 years of COVID cancellations

Tribes renew push for sweeping sovereignty bid with Janet Mills offering compromise

Thieves are stealing running cars in South Portland

Midcoast students involved in walkout say district has problem in how it handles sexual assaults

Piscataquis county lacks funds to upgrade its jail and courthouse

Augusta cops are now equipped with stun guns after a fatal shooting in 2021

Beloved jam band Phish to return to Bangor for July concert

Rare Russian eagle spotted again in midcoast Maine