The fan-shaped framework for the 1,200-seat auditorium, center background, is shown Wednesday at Edward Little High School on Harris Street in Auburn. Credit: Russ Dillingham / Sun Journal via AP

Today Thursday. Temperatures will be in the high 30s to mid-40s from north to south, with partly or mostly sunny skies throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another 184 cases of COVID-19 have been reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. No new deaths were reported Wednesday. Check our tracker for more information.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations have continued their weekslong slide, continued to falling 70 percent from the pandemic high of 436 set on Jan. 13. As of Wednesday, there are 131 Mainers hospitalized with the coronavirus, with 29 in critical care and 10 on ventilators.

The Old Town and Orono schools plan to drop their masking requirements for students later this month, in alignment with Maine’s guidelines that allow schools to drop masking. Meanwhile, the Maine Community College System announced Wednesday it will drop its mask mandate, leaving decisions over future mask policies to the presidents of the state’s seven community colleges.

Portland restaurants struggle to come back from pandemic slowdown

With some diners still wary of COVID and prices for basic supplies continue to rise, many restaurants are struggling to break even.

UMaine graduate in Ukraine: Freedom is worth the fight

“As someone living and fighting through these events, I can say that freedom has a high price, but it is certainly worth fighting for.”

Maine heating oil prices spike 87 cents per gallon in a week after Ukraine invasion

The price on March 7 reached $4.73 per gallon, up about 22 percent but remaining the lowest in New England.

Maine Army National Guard outlines reforms in handling of sexual assaults

But the proposal didn’t address how it would prevent them from happening or protect soldiers from retaliation.

Bruce Poliquin won’t say whether Joe Biden legitimately won 2020 election

Asked whether President Joe Biden was legitimately elected in 2020, the former Republican congressman noted that Donald Trump twice won the 2nd District.

Susan Collins signals she will likely back Joe Biden’s Supreme Court pick

Susan Collins has voted to confirm six of the Supreme Court nominees since she took office in 1997, only voting against Amy Coney Barrett.

Maine Democrats advance 2 election-law overhauls over GOP opposition

The bills would tighten ballot security rules and require candidates to file registrations and finance reports with Maine’s ethics regulator.

Bangor wants more authority to redevelop its problem properties

Despite a handful of blighted homes in Bangor, the city cannot take over the properties if the owners are up to date on taxes.

Downtown Bangor will get a market and deli this spring

James Gallagher, owner of Bangin’ Whoopie, hopes to fill a gap in the Bangor community with a shop that will offer local groceries and other sundries.

A ‘critical’ new sidewalk could connect Blue Hill’s schools to its downtown

That sidewalk would make it safer for the students and other pedestrians who regularly walk between Blue Hill’s two commercial centers.

What’s the path forward for UMaine’s lowly men’s basketball program?

UMaine has not won a conference tournament game since 2005 nor has it ever qualified for the NCAA tourney.

UMaine women’s ice hockey players share memorable Olympic experiences

Rahel Enzler and Amalie Andersen enjoyed skating against some of the best players in the world and thought they played well.

If you move to a farm with feral cats, be prepared to take care of them

Having a cat or two on a homestead is not a bad idea. But when your new homestead comes equipped with a feline, there are steps to take when it comes to the animal’s health and well-being.

In other Maine news …

Orono chooses 3 new councilors, voting out incumbent in local election

Local right whale advocates say they feel sidelined by the powerful Maine lobster industry

Camden Hills erupts in 3rd period to top Hampden for B North hockey title

15 years after dropping Stephen King’s radio station, hex on UMaine hockey continues

Bangor Symphony soars in concert featuring new work, a dulcimer concert and a firebird

UMaine defenseman who had few Division I prospects makes conference all-rookie team

Piscataquis County is pursuing major overhaul to fix chronic emergency radio problems

Angus King wants to bar Russia from selling gold to dodge sanctions

Environmentalists don’t want Sears Island to become a wind industry hub

Head of Maine’s leading environmental group announces upcoming retirement

Hancock County man accused of running over man and kidnapping woman

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.