A sensory wall at Heartleaf ABA, a center providing individualized behavioral therapy for young children with autism in Bangor, is seen in this March 23, 2022, photo. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

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

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Five more Mainers have died and another 454 COVID-19 cases reported across the since Saturday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That brings the statewide death toll to 2,200. Check out our tracker for more information.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a second Moderna booster for people over the age of 50, along with those who are at higher risk from complications if they contract COVID-19.

The omicron subvariant BA.2, known as “stealth omicron,” made up nearly 55 percent of national coronavirus cases on Friday, up from around 39 percent the week before, signaling a possible spring surge in cases. Some experts, however, note that while the subvariant is more contagious, it causes less severe infections.

Hampden Academy is quickly adapting to help students who thrived in remote classes

Hampden Academy has an innovative solution for students who thrived in remote classes, but are having a hard time adjusting to in-person learning.

Downtown Bangor bars and restaurants will pay higher fees for outdoor seating

Under the new rate, restaurants will pay $2.78 per square foot for outdoor dining space, up from 32 cents to $1.25 they paid the past two summers.

Maine’s craft brewers have nearly recovered from pandemic restrictions

Eighteen new craft breweries have opened in Maine since the pandemic took hold in early 2020, while only three closed and one was sold.

Wreaths Across America founder proposes $1B veterans’ historical park with world’s largest flagpole

The focal point of the park would be a 1,461 foot tall observation tower — slightly taller than the Empire State Building — that would double as a flagpole and fly an American flag the size of one and a half football fields.

Camden lawyer dies after collapsing during Zoom court hearing

Justice Daniel Billings, who was presiding over the Zoom hearing, called it his “most shocking experience” in his time as a judge.

Maine courts turn to retired judges to clear backlog of divorce cases

Maine’s court system has a backlog of more than 6,200 family law cases.

New Hampshire developer proposes 12-acre solar farm in Brewer

Maine has 3,765 solar installations in place statewide, but solar panels produce just below 3 percent of the state’s electricity.

Lawmakers seek funding for Maine’s 1st public defenders

Maine is the only state that employs no public defenders and relies exclusively on private attorneys appointed by the court.

Maine lawmakers poised to double vehicle inspection fees

The fee increase would help cover the implementation of a new electronic system that could make it easier for garages to log information.

This Aroostook County teen’s grandfather grabbed a 47-inch muskie by the snout when his line snapped

Wayne Bernier plunged his arm into the hole and snared the 47-inch, 26-pound muskie by the snout before it could escape.

Maine officials are considering a major change for next year’s basketball tournament

Next season, the Class AA basketball tournaments may be held entirely at one site, rather than at the home court of the higher seeded team.

In other Maine news …

Man dies after Lincoln fire

Actress Brooke Shields joins board of Maine farm and wellness company

3 of Maine’s top mixed martial arts prospects are returning to the cage

Rockland juvenile charged with selling drugs on school grounds

A 3rd candidate has joined the district attorney race for Hancock and Washington counties

18 birds killed after avian flu infects backyard flock in Washington County

Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson is Colby Commencement speaker

Troy Jackson bill to help fund veterans homes’ deficits gets initial approvals in Legislature

Foo Fighters cancel all upcoming concerts, including Bangor show this summer

Portland’s mayor calls on the rest of the state to help address homelessness

Cooper and Ace Flagg are leaving Nokomis to attend one of the best basketball programs in the country

River search continues for missing man in Clinton

Bangor rejects proposal to convert more historic houses into boarding homes

Fat Boy Drive-In set to reopen April 1

Advocates and researchers say a state registry could help crack the mystery of ALS

South Berwick man accused of threatening NH judge over child support order

Commissioners said no to funding, but Piscataquis County will move ahead with broadband anyway

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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.