Greg Jamison sports a black bear hat as he waits at the Bangor International Airport to help send off the University of Maine Black Bears football players on Thursday. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

Good morning. Temperatures will be in the high-30s throughout the state.

Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

UMaine hopes football team’s historic run will mean a boost in donations


–The UMaine football has generated plenty of excitement among its fans during its run to the Football Championship Subdivision national semifinals. The Black Bears’ success also should mean an increase in financial support for the football program and the UMaine athletics department.

And remember to tune in to bangordailynews.com at 2 p.m. Saturday to follow our live coverage as the UMaine football team takes on Eastern Washington in the FCS national semifinals.

Judge rejects Poliquin’s challenge to ranked-choice voting

–A federal judge on Thursday rejected U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s argument that ranked-choice voting is unconstitutional and the two-term Republican congressman’s request for a new election.

Now, the Republican’s only immediate hope of reversing the results of the November election he lost to Jared Golden rests on the recount of 2nd Congressional District ballots underway in Augusta overturning the outcome of last month’s election — an unlikely prospect.

Told he would never finish high school, this Bangor man won 2 races on Election Day

Credit: Gabor Degre

–John Hiatt, 36, wound up in a unique position after November’s election, when voters in Bangor elected him to the city’s school committee and Penobscot County voters also made him their county treasurer. But Hiatt’s position is also unique because he has autism.

LePage still plans to sign Bangor psychiatric facility contract after watchdog faults funding

–It’s unclear how Gov. Paul LePage’s administration plans to pay a contractor to run a new psychiatric facility in Bangor after a former Maine Supreme Court chief justice called it into question this week. But the administration still plans to move ahead and sign a contract with Correct Care Recovery Solutions, the Tennessee company that would run the facility for the state.

Meet Maine’s newest winter pest

–Opossums are fairly new to the state, having expanded their territory north into southern Maine over the past decade. More and more, Mainers are encountering this highly adaptable marsupial.

And despite the creature’s less than charming appearance, some have decided that they want opossums to stick around.

New owners of shuttered Old Town paper mill chosen for $12 million in tax credits

–As the company that purchased the shuttered Old Town paper mill in October tries to get it back online, its efforts are getting a boost from a state tax credit program that is meant to attract investment to low-income areas.

ND Paper expects to use the $12 million in tax breaks to create or retain about 130 direct jobs, along with 635 indirect or induced jobs.

Do this: Your Maine weekend guide

Credit: Troy R. Bennett

–This weekend, Maine’s own rapper Spose performs in Portland, a holiday-themed drag show strikes Bangor and a Grateful Dead/Phish night is planned in Searsmont. Meanwhile, there’s enough holiday theater throughout the state
to satisfy any taste, including “The Nutcracker,” “Elf: The Musical,” “The Santaland Diaries” and “A Musical Christmas Carol.”

In other news…

Maine

It’s time for Maine to take brook trout protection seriously

How a great black hawk became a Maine celebrity

Maine humorist behind groundbreaking ‘Bert and I’ stories dies at 87

Bangor

N.H. Bragg, a Bangor mainstay for 164 years, will sell to New York company

This Maine woman wants you to donate tampons to the homeless for her birthday

Why UMaine’s historic football season means more to these players

Business

Lobsters still topped the nation in fishery value last year

How the new medical marijuana law will change things in Maine

Maine’s first marijuana convenience store to open in Portland

Politics

Records show Maine has the money to pay for Medicaid expansion

Newly approved farm bill seen as an overall win for Maine farms

How lawmakers who don’t belong to a party see their role in Maine’s new Legislature

Opinion

Time’s ‘Guardians’ and the importance of trust in journalism

Yes, Santa, there is a Virginia. She’s in an American classroom.

Maine’s Bill Cohen signs letter calling on Senate to uphold rule of law

Sports

Maine’s remote schools are struggling to fill their sports schedules. Here’s how they plan to fix it.

UMaine freshman prepares for national semifinals after personal loss

Joe Kelly, Dodgers agree to $25M, 3-year contract

Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a senior editor for sports and features at the Bangor Daily News. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach native and Colby College...