Linda Jordan and her son Xavier, 12, of Woodstock examine the buds of a beech tree on Wednesday in Auburn, during a winter tree identification walk hosted by the Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission. Credit: Andree Kehn / Sun Journal via AP

Today is Thursday. Temperatures will be in the mid-teens to low 30s from north to south, with a chance for snow throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Thirteen more people have died and another 909 COVID-19 cases reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That brings the statewide death toll to 2,078. Check our tracker for more information.

Maine drops mask recommendation for schools and day cares

Local school boards can still set their own masking policies, though a number have opted to pivot to optional masking in recent weeks.

READ MORE: Portland schools won’t unmask yet due to high transmission in the county

Ash Wednesday Mass in Bangor shows ‘things are getting back to usual’

“This brings all ages together,” Rev. Frank Murray said of Ash Wednesday services. “I think it’s just wonderful.”

This Maine girl who questioned war between US and Soviet Union became a celebrity 40 years ago

Samantha Smith serves as a reminder that children are curious, and often confused, in times of war and international conflict.

Maine’s congressional delegation remains leery of US military action in Ukraine

While they support sending weapons to Ukraine, delegation members acknowledged that doing much more — including imposition of a “no-fly” zone above the country — could spark a world war.

Piscataquis County theater’s movie screenings to benefit medical efforts in Ukraine

The Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft will host two screenings of the film “Red Dawn” next weekend to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders.

Rampaging moose shot after attacking 17-year-old’s sled dog team

Caleb Hayes and his team of eight dogs had nearly completed a 20-mile training run when the cow attacked and a 45-minute rampage ensued on a privately owned section of trail.

Demand for guns on the rise with illegal drugs flowing into Maine

Dealers have found they can charge more for their drugs in rural Maine than in more populated areas where opioids and other substances are easier to get — and that it often is easier to obtain guns here than in other states with stricter laws.

Man who killed Somerset County deputy seeks new trial based on arresting officer’s discipline

John D. Williams, 33, is currently serving a live sentence for killing Somerset County Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole in April 2018.

Bangor residents object to allowing boarding homes in more neighborhoods

More than a dozen residents expressed concern that boarding homes would lead to increased noise, crime and traffic.

Bill to revive buffer zones at Maine abortion clinics tries to avoid free-speech challenges

The bill would allow for a “medical safety zone” in front of health care and abortion providers’ offices to prevent patient harassment.

Maine drops controversial plan to close Wilton call center

A Maine Department of Health and Human Services call center in Wilton will stay where it is for another year after lawmakers lobbied against consolidating the jobs to a location an hour away.

Lobstermen worry looming deadline for new regulations comes ‘too soon’ to change gear

Depending on where they fish, starting May 1, lobstermen will have to use ropes that can break more easily if a whale becomes entangled in them.

In other Maine news …

27 Romanian citizens sent back to Canada after illegal crossing near Houlton

Man dies in police custody in Patten

James Doughty, superintendent known for improving Bangor schools, dies at 83

College of the Atlantic to build dorm to help shield students from runaway MDI housing prices

Down East high schoolers are learning how to raise tilapia and grow potatoes without soil

London tourney a homecoming of sorts for European members of UMaine men’s basketball team

Get a closer look at the All-Star list from Tourney!

Belfast man pleads no contest for 2020 killings to spare family a murder trial

Maine Legislature’s aggressive housing policy overhaul faces local resistance

Reopening of Limestone border crossing delayed until April 1

PHOTOS: Husson students soak in puppy love during high-stress midterm week

Freshman phenom has led Oceanside to its 1st girls state championship appearance

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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.