In this Feb. 23, 2022, file photo, Darlene Conant and Nikayla Maheux slide down the hill at Chestnut Street Park in Auburn. Credit: Russ Dillingham / Sun Journal via AP

Today is Wednesday. Temperatures will be in the mid-20s to high 30s from north to south, with increasing clouds throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about today in Maine.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another Mainer has died, and 1,212 more COVID-19 cases were reported across the state since the weekend, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The statewide death toll now stands at 2,065. Check out our tracker for more information.

Despite working through the state’s backlog of positive COVID-19 tests, many of Maine’s counties are still experiencing a high rate of transmission and masks are still recommended in many communities.

As the Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft grapples with guidelines, the town has come under scrutiny for requiring students participating in the theater’s “Moana Jr.” production to be vaccinated.

More Maine students are returning from February break to schools where masking will no longer be mandatory. Meanwhile, the Lewiston School Committee voted to make masking voluntary in the city’s schools no later than March 14.

Almost a quarter of Mainers have likely contracted COVID-19

Data suggest Maine’s official count from February missed about 43 percent of the estimated COVID-19 cases.

Janet Mills plans to boost relief checks by $250 following new revenue projections

Those checks will begin to go out in July, if her supplemental budget is approved.

Russian Mainers have complex feelings on Ukraine invasion

Anti-Russian sentiments have long been common in the U.S. Maxim Glover hopes Americans can separate the Russian people from the actions of Putin’s government.

Financiers that paid $52M to build Hampden trash plant could regain only $1M in sale

That’s after payments to cover outstanding taxes, utility bills, maintenance and plowing.

Tropical Tastes market reopens in Bangor after a 2-year closure

Tropical Tastes and Styles reopened last week with a colorful interior facelift, but with the same array of West African, Caribbean and Latin American food.

Tacos, cocktails and fancy bar snacks on the menu at new Searsport restaurant

Hey Sailor! feels very different from the elegant, fine dining Kirk Linder and Charlie Zorich have become known for.

Penobscot County wants federal cash windfall to be used to support vulnerable communities

More than $29 million in federal funds is heading toward Penobscot County, and residents want it to help the at-risk communities.

CDs see a revival at record stores in Maine

The uptick in CD sales has some Maine record stores dusting off boxes in the storeroom and putting them back on the shelves.

Maine fishing lure artist relies on inspiration from God, or maybe the universe

When David Engel was younger, he figured he could make lures that were better quality than the ones he bought. Now he’s making masterpieces.

Brewer man turns passion for fishing into ‘Unique Lures’ business

‘Unique Lures’ emerged from Steve Alekshun’s love for fishing and his desire to share that passion.

Maine high school theater director takes his final bow after 21 student-written plays in a row

For two decades, Kevin O’Leary has empowered, inspired and nurtured student playwrights and actors at Morse High School.

Maine artist’s activists portrait series meant to inspire courage in young Americans 

By telling the uplifting stories of 260 activists so far who stood up for racial, social and climate justice, he hopes to spark something within people, a kind of courage and motivation, especially in the young.

Rat birth control could combat annoying rodent infestations

Given that one female rat is capable of producing 1,500 offspring in a year, promoting “safe sex for rodents” would seem like a no-brainer.

Take a look at the best moments from the Maine high school basketball regional finals

Take a look at the moments we captured over the weekend.

In other Maine news …

Fort Kent family still reeling over loss of 2 business and rental income after fire

Local women’s hockey trio will be crucial to help UMaine upset Northeastern on Wednesday

Maine agency supervising court-appointed lawyers is violating Constitution, lawsuit says

Saco’s drive-in theater has been sold

Janet Mills asks Portland airport to remove PETA sign attacking fishing industry

Woman shot by police in Topsham dies

Maine Veterans Homes says closure of Caribou and Machias facilities is ‘only course’

Brother accused of 2020 double murder expected to plea no contest

Recently appointed UMaine football defensive coordinator takes job with Dolphins

UMaine men’s basketball season ends with loss to Vermont

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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.