Chunks of ice rise up on the bank of the Penobscot River in Brewer.

Good morning. Temperatures will be in the teens with mostly cloudy skies throughout the state. 

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

Old Town mill owner says last week’s steam signals step toward reopening

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

–Steam rose from a smokestack at the Old Town pulp mill last week more than three years after the mill that used to employ nearly 200 workers went idle. The property’s new owner, Chinese paper company ND Paper, has said it plans to restart the mill by the end of the first quarter of 2019, and it’s posted openings for Old Town jobs on its website.

Lawsuit claims police used excessive force in 2017 Vassalboro shooting that killed two

–A Kennebec County woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit that claims police used excessive force when they killed her daughter while investigating a burglary two years ago. The Maine Attorney General’s office cleared officers in the shooting, but Jessica Fagre wants punitive and compensatory damages from police for the loss of her daughter, Amber.

A small Maine city has begun reaping serious benefits from its solar power push

Credit: Courtesy of Sadie Lloyd Mudge

–Belfast’s new solar installation went on line in December. When it did, the 660-kilowatt project — along with two other solar projects built within the last few years — allowed the city to offset almost 90 percent of its municipal electric costs. “Every time we start getting meters clicking, we say to ourselves, that’s what’s supposed to happen,” said City Councilor Eric Sanders.

The new warden at Maine’s biggest prison wants to shift its focus to what happens after inmates leave

–Deputy warden Matthew Magnusson has been promoted to the top job at the prison in Warren. He and new Corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty plan to tap his background in probation and rehabilitation services to guide a transition to programs that lead the corrections department in the direction of preparing inmates for re-entry through educational and vocational programming.

Maine rescuers find about 8 times more stranded seals than usual so far this year

Credit: Joel Page | AP

–Around 70 harp seals have been stranded in Maine since the beginning of the year, according to rescue organization Marine Mammals of Maine.

Duprey, Gentle, Thompson headline BDN boys all-tourney teams

–These are the players who turned in memorable and impactful performances for their teams during the recently completed Classes B-C-D North tournament at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Their efforts have landed them on the BDN’s all-tournament teams.

Do this: Make a cake out of sweet potatoes

Credit: Sandy Oliver

— The moral of the story is if you have a hard yellow or orange vegetable you don’t know what to do with, make cake.

In other news …

Maine

How a new warden wants to change things at the Maine State Prison
Large Hancock County solar project wins state regulators’ OK
Combination of high winds and blowing snow shuts down much of Aroostook County

Bangor

Newly revamped Italian eatery Tesoro, ‘nice, but not fancy,’ has reopened in downtown Bangor
Bangor Council to continue weighing backyard chickens, Styrofoam ban after public hearing
Residents end recall effort as Orrington selectmen hire town manager

Business

CMP says it will eliminate backlog of late bills in 45 days
Maine shuts down scalloping areas as season winds down
Most economists predict a US recession by 2021, survey finds

Politics

The push to mandate paid sick leave is gaining ground in Maine
Maine’s chief justice doesn’t want money to fight opioid crisis to go to the courts
Janet Mills has yet to sign her first bill. History warns us not to expect anything exciting.

Opinion

Paid sick leave protects from the unexpected muppet attack
>Bangor pediatrics group will continue care for newborns
Federal abortion ‘gag’ rule will hurt poor women and waste taxpayer dollars

Sports

UMaine forward to miss rest of season after being injured on flagrant foul 

Field narrows for top high school basketball awards in Maine

UMaine basketball teams seeking series sweeps against UMass Lowell 

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