Sunset from the top of Bald Mountain in Dedham on Friday evening. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Today is Wednesday. Temperatures will be in the low 70s with rain and high winds throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another Mainer has died as 37 coronavirus cases were reported in Maine on Monday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are 567 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state and the death toll remains at 141. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

The pandemic-strapped hotel industry is on the brink of national collapse with Maine standing to lose two-thirds of hotels and direct lodging jobs if Congress doesn’t approve more aid soon, according to a survey released Tuesday by a national hotel association.

Maine health officials have discovered three new coronavirus outbreaks in inland York County, as well as new cases connected to an ongoing outbreak at Sanford High School.

Maine’s 1st openly trans person elected to office wants to keep Passamaquoddy culture ‘front and center’

Geo Neptune is a Passamaquoddy two-spirit artist who recently became the first transgender person to be elected to public office in Maine. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

Geo Neptune was surprised to learn that they had become the first openly transgender person elected to office in Maine. Though they can now add the title of elected official to their resume, Neptune’s life story includes many other identifiers: basketmaker, activist, drag queen, model, educator, storyteller, tattoo artist, homesteader.

Under pressure for plastic use, Poland Spring to work with UMaine on sustainable packaging

A pile of Poland Spring water bottles.

Water bottler Poland Spring said Tuesday that it is collaborating with the University of Maine to develop bio-based alternative packaging. The move comes as Poland Spring’s parent, the Swiss conglomerate Nestle, looks to sell the Maine company partly because of rising consumer resistance to its plastic bottles.

Key witness in Down East murder trial shares eyewitness account of shooting death

Carine Reeves (right) sits with his lawyers at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Sept. 24. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Quaneysha Greeley, 22, of Lewiston was the state’s key witness in the murder trial of Carine Reeves, 40. Reeves has been accused of shooting Sally Shaw, 55, to death in Cherryfield in July 2017. Her body was found by a passing motorist on Route 193, according to court documents. Greeley is also charged with murder in the case.

Bangor could soon ban discrimination based on gender identity

Bangor City Council Chairperson Clare Davitt is shown in November 2019. The Bangor City Council is considering an expansion of the city’s anti-discrimination protections to bar discrimination based on people’s gender identity. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

There is another hurdle lingering — two land-use lawsuits that are still pending in Waldo County Superior and U.S. District courts. Those cases are important: A judge’s ruling could force Nordic to find another path to the bay, thereby slowing or potentially stopping the project.

Top legislative Democrats hit Maine university system for retiree health care switch

Maine Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, listens to questions from the Caribou City Council in this 2019 file photo. Credit: BDN file photo

Top Democrats in the Maine Legislature asked the state university system this week to halt impending changes to retiree health care benefits, saying the changes were “callous” and made in bad faith during the coronavirus pandemic.  Retirees and union officials slammed the University of Maine System for making the changes without bargaining or public discussion.

Head north if you want to find grouse this Maine hunting season

A shotgun, fly fishing gear and a mug of hot coffee. The essentials before heading off on a cast-and-blast trip into the Maine woods for bird hunting and fishing. Credit: John Holyoke / BDN

On Monday, I drove north to Ashland to interview a few successful moose hunters on the first day of moose season. And every time I sidled over to another group of moose hunters, I kept hearing the same semi-whispered reports. “Man, it was hot out there,” someone would say. “But boy, are we seeing a lot of birds.”

In other Maine news…

Rockport claims school district disregarded its concerns about funding formula for years

Winds up to 50 mph forecast to hit Maine on Wednesday

Homemade pumpkin puree is easy and more flavorful

Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a news editor at the Bangor Daily News who oversees the newspaper's website and social media. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach...