Andre Sewell and his family -- Victoria and Jaron, 8, of Hampden -- enjoy the warm weather while floating together on Hermon Pond Thursday afternoon. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the low to mid-80s around the state, with chances of scattered showers throughout the state later in the day. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus

Another 49 coronavirus cases were reported across the state on Thursday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Due to a review of vital records, 10 new deaths were also reported, leaving the statewide death toll at 877. 

Maine state employees will no longer be required to wear masks after July 26 as long as they provide proof of immunization against COVID-19, the state budget commissioner said in a Wednesday memo.

Four-fifths of Mainers aged 50 and older are now fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Canada planning to allow vaccinated Americans by mid-August

Currently, dual citizens and Americans with Canadian family members may cross the border, but they must produce a negative COVID -19 test result and download the ArriveCAN app to upload their proof of vaccination.

Spending in the political fight over the CMP corridor exceeds $42M

Energy companies gave more than $6.8 million to groups on both sides of the fight over the Central Maine Power Co. corridor ahead of a November referendum in three months as total spending in the past two years surpassed $42 million.

Belfast theater to honor ‘instrumental’ volunteer who died of COVID-19 with art show

After his death this January in Mexico of COVID-19, members of the Belfast Maskers, the community theater group to which Gary Hinte had been instrumental, decided to do something big to honor him.

In the 1950s, a Minot woman spent more than a year riding her horse from Maine to California

Annie Wilkins’ epic journey began on Nov. 8, 1954, when she set out from Minot with her horse, Tarzan, a former racehorse purchased from a nearby summer camp, and her beloved dog, a spaniel-dachshund mix named Depeche-Toi.

Maine Audubon’s annual Loon Count scheduled for Saturday

The information from the count is utilized to help biologists, state officials and the folks recreating on Maine lakes get a clearer picture of how the species, and the bodies of water they frequent, are doing.

Rockland residents hope closure of lively side street becomes permanent fixture  

“I feel like we are creating something interesting and vibrant and it’s colorful and it’s fun and it can be loud sometimes and it can be messy sometimes and it’s beautiful for all of these reasons,” said Rockland City Councilor Ben Dorr.

These 3 pests are thriving in Maine gardens this summer

Thrips, potato leafhoppers and Colorado potato beetles are thriving this growing season, much to the irritation of growers throughout the state.

Former Husson standout drops 30 pounds in bid to go pro after 4-year hiatus from basketball

After stepping away from the sport for several years, Trevon Butler has reemerged on the basketball scene this summer with the Rockland-based Midcoast Sternmen of the Pro Basketball Association.

In other Maine news:

Maine Democrats advance $983M plan for COVID-19 aid after talks with GOP bog down

Jared Golden wants Nancy Pelosi to expedite vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill

Old Town man who had 20-hour standoff with police back in jail

Portland ranked safest, one of the best places to live in US

Animal welfare officers seize 18 horses in Maine

Tropical storm didn’t end drought in parts of New England 

35 rescuers carry injured man off Appalachian Trail

Pipeline company drops court fight against Maine city

Rockland officers who beat porcupines sentenced to jail time

Scallop harvest to decline again this year, but still strong

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley and staying active in the Maine outdoors.