A health care worker administers a COVID-19 test at a Maine Medical Partners drive-in clinic on St. John Street in Portland on Thursday Dec. 17, 2020. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Today is Thursday and the final day of 2020. Temperatures will be in the 40s with morning rain storms throughout the state. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another Mainer died as 590 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll now stands at 334. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

Each of the Mainers who died from the coronavirus in 2020 has a story

Leone “Kitty” Harriman, from left, Tom Coon and Lola Knight are three of the Mainers lost this year to COVID-19. Credit: Courtesy photos

They were good cooks, musicians and enthusiastic dancers. They were beloved parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, children and siblings. They were as idiosyncratic and special as the state where they lived, and the threads of their lives added color and weft to the fabric that makes up the communities and history of Maine. Here are just a few of their stories.

The record spending in Maine’s 2020 Senate race could be a sign of things to come

House Speaker Sara Gideon (left) and Sen. Susan Collins on the campaign trail in Maine on Election Day. Credit: Troy R. Bennett and David Marino Jr. / BDN

Sen. Susan Collins’ reelection this November followed a costly and grueling campaign unlike anything seen before in Maine politics. That sort of massive campaign may not be the new normal, but the state could see similar races as political spending nationwide continues to surge.

2020: The year of the virus

A glimpse at what the past nine months looked like during the pandemic. Credit: Composite photo / BDN

This year we learned how to make face masks, washed our hands more than ever and distanced ourselves from the people we care about most. We watched as the virus crept closer and closer to our communities and our loved ones. We lost 334 of our fellow Mainers to the virus. Look back at the critical moments that shaped the course of the pandemic in Maine.

PLUS: BDN writer Emily Burnham kept note of her highs and lows (mostly lows) throughout 2020. Here’s a look back at one weird, awful year that we’ll all be happy to say goodbye to.

Old Town residents revive iconic Johnny’s Restaurant

Sunny Patel stands outside of the newly opened Johnny’s Restaurant. Patel officially opened the restaurant Monday with help from some Old Town locals. Credit: Nina Mahaleris / Penobscot Times

When Sunny Patel’s regular customers stop by Tim’s Little Big Store, they usually tell him stories about Old Town. And more often than not, they talk about Johnny’s Restaurant, the small but legendary pizza joint just across the street that had disappeared over time. It gave him an idea.

Deadly coronavirus outbreaks in long-term care facilities getting more frequent

A sign on the door to a Portland building instructs visitors to wear a mask on Tuesday Dec. 22, 2020. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The coronavirus is again hammering Maine’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities, causing some of the deadliest outbreaks in elder care centers since the start of the pandemic and also reaching a wider range of places.

Big buck stares down an intruder in trail camera photo

A deer stands sentinel as it watches another animal, possibly a gray fox, retreat down the trail. Credit: Courtesy of Chris Ross

“Today’s offering is so special, I thought it’d be cool to let you provide a caption for it,” writes John Holyoke. So, tell us, what do you see? What’s going on? What happened before the photo was taken? What happened after? Give us a great caption.

In other Maine news…

State to boost internet capacity at 301 Maine schools

Wild creatures made working from home less lonely during the pandemic

South Portland among the most competitive cities in US for home buyers in 2020

A rare wren and gull made it into this Maine birder’s 2020 year in review

Man killed in Union Street homicide has been identified

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...