People wearing masks cross State Street in Bangor to go into Mexicali Blues on Thursday.    Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the low to high 20s from north to south, with a chance of snow showers. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus and Maine

Another Mainer died and 218 more coronavirus cases were reported across the state on Thursday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll statewide is now 655. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

Northern Light Health has coronavirus vaccine appointments available at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor this weekend for Mainers age 70 and over, state health officials said Thursday.

Maine sees fewest COVID-19 hospitalizations since November

A masked man walks by a sign outside of Bagel Central on Central Street in Bangor on Thursday. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

The continued decline in hospitalizations comes as new virus cases have dropped by three-quarters after a mid-January peak. The national vaccination campaign has also accelerated, with the weekly number of first doses administered in Maine up about 70 percent compared to a month ago.

More Mainers died from drug overdoses in January than in any month over the past year

Narcan nasal spray is pictured in Bangor in this 2016 file photo. Credit: Micky Bedell / BDN

Fifty-eight people in Maine died of fatal drug overdoses in January, according to the report. Half of those deaths are confirmed to be caused by drugs while the other half are suspected drug deaths. The 502 drug overdose deaths seen in 2020 marked the highest number seen in Maine in more than a decade.

Maine is discouraging COVID-19 vaccine waitlists. Some hospitals still have them.

A woman walks past the former Scarborough Downs horse racing track, where MaineHealth set up a 30,000 square-foot makeshift COVID-19 vaccination clinic, in this Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

State health officials said on Thursday holding off on registering people until they are eligible helps manage expectations, couching it as an effort to maintain trust in the system as supply remains mostly static. But it may bring peace of mind to many and hospitals say keeping a list of interested people helps them gauge vaccine interest and manage requests for appointments.

Lincoln, a Poland Spring water source, doesn’t know what to expect from company’s sale

Chris Palmer, owner of East Coast Explorations, takes a sip from a freshly pumped test well in Lincoln in 2017. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

As Nestle confirms that it will sell Poland Spring to two private equity firms, the future of the company’s operations in Lincoln remains unclear three months after it stopped purchasing water from the town’s water district.

Brunswick aerospace company developing next biofueled rocket

bluShift Aerospace CEO Sascha Deri and his team take apart the Stardust 1.0 rocket to analyze the status of three payloads following a successful launch at the Loring Commerce Centre. Credit: Chris Bouchard / Aroostook Republican & News

The Brunswick-based aerospace company is in the early stages of developing the Stardust 2.0, which will improve on the history-making Stardust 1.0’s design.

Calvary Chapel renews challenge of Mills’ religious gathering limits after Supreme Court ruling

Pastor Ken Graves speaks to his congregation during an outdoor service at Calvary Chapel in Orrington on May 10. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Calvary Chapel’s renewed motion, filed Thursday, seeks to have a judge lift Mills’ 50-person limit on indoor gatherings that was replaced last week with a new guideline for places of worship that is the same as the one for retail stores — five people per 1,000 square feet or 50, whichever is greater.

ALSO: The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland blasted Gov. Janet Mills’ recent order dialing back restrictions on indoor religious gatherings as “totally unacceptable.”

This white songbird found in Maine may be a chickadee with a feather condition

A leucistic songbird, possibly a black-capped chickadee, perches on a branch in mid-February in Warren. Credit: Courtesy of Shelley Martin

In late fall, Shelley Martin was looking out a window of her home in Warren when she spied an unusual, ghostly songbird. Perched in the evergreen trees not far from her birdfeeder, the small bird was bright white. She’d never seen anything like it.

Birch syrup could be the next big thing for Maine food producers

Birch syrup stand. Credit: Courtesy of Michael Romanyshyn

Birch sap is used throughout the world, mainly in eastern European and Baltic countries, as both a drinking tonic and as a syrup. It has a distinctive taste and is touted for its medicinal properties, like high amounts of vitamins and antioxidants.

Big bucks show up for a free dinner in this trail cam photo

Deer show up for a free lunch at this feeding station. Credit: Courtesy of Kenneth Coffey

Sometimes, kind landowners decide to feed their neighborhood deer in order to give them a “hoof up” during the wintertime.

In other Maine news…

Livestreaming transforms high school basketball scouting and coaching

Maine docs remind parents to catch up kids on shots amid pandemic

3 new national scenic byways designated in Maine

Androscoggin commissioners reject anti-mask resolution

Private investment firms to buy Poland Spring as part of $4.3 billion deal

Maine jobless claims decline for 6th straight week

Portland won’t barricade Exchange Street in 2nd pandemic summer