Max White, 9, of Turner explores underwater on the Saco River on Wednesday in Fryeburg. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the low 70s to low 80s with sunny skies throughout the state. Here’s what were talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another 390 cases of coronavirus have been reported across the state, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. No new deaths were reported Thursday, leaving the death toll at 926.

Penobscot, Piscataquis and Waldo counties are now COVID-19 hotspots, where cases are being seen in younger people. As the delta variant spreads throughout the state, requests for COVID tests have increased by nearly a third in the past two weeks.

The Old Town school district, along with schools serving all ages in Fort Kent, have become the latest to adopt mask mandates as the school year kicks off. Due to rising infections, masks are recommended in 14 of Maine’s counties regardless of your vaccination status.

Maine ‘near crisis’ in ICUs with COVID-19 surge

As of Thursday, Maine had only 34 unfilled critical care beds. It’s the first time since the start of the pandemic that hospitals have warned of an imminent shortage of ICU beds.

Unvaccinated Mainers say FDA approval won’t persuade them to get the shot

In Penobscot County, where more than 3 out of every 10 people age 12 and over haven’t received a single dose, many unvaccinated Mainers say the FDA approved the drug too quickly to know the side effects.

No, you should not take a livestock anti-parasitic to treat COVID-19

Ivermectin is not authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a COVID-19 preventative or treatment.

Maine’s congressional delegation reacts to Kabul suicide bombing

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation expressed condolences Thursday after 13 U.S. troops and dozens of Afghans were killed in a suicide bombing outside the primary airport in Kabul.

PLUS: The U.S. says further attempted attacks are expected ahead of the Tuesday deadline for foreign troops to leave, ending America’s longest war.

43-year-old Maine cold case killing examined in new documentary

Retired Portland newspaper editor Rik O’Neal, 72, started the project eight years ago. Along the way, he interviewed dozens of people who knew Tanner, even uncovering never-before-reported eyewitness details of her final night.

Janet Mills tacks carefully with Kennebec dam debate colliding with business’ future

She is walking a tightrope on pursuing restoration of a vulnerable fish to the Kennebec River and balancing concerns around the future of the nearby paper mill.

Survey ranks Maine 1st for small-business friendliness

It received a failing grade for the ease of hiring employees, however.

Overdose deaths continue to climb as text alert warns Penobscot County of local spike

So far this year in Penobscot County, there have been 53 confirmed or suspected fatal overdoses, compared with 50 in the first six months of 2020.

This strange mushroom launches eggs into the air

Tiny cups with grooved edges, the mushrooms looked like the paper cups that hold peanut butter cups or boxed truffles.

In other Maine news

Auburn woman whose husband died from COVID-19 in nursing home outbreak can’t understand vaccine opposition

Cyclist killed in Gorham crash has been identified

21-year-old woman found dead in Fairfield driveway has been identified

Bowdoin College is raising its minimum hourly wage to $17

Dexter-area school board votes for optional masking in classrooms

Washington Academy cancels its football season

Newman Center receives $1.25 million donation toward overhauling facility

Giant duck resurfaces along coast of Maine island community

The 1st podcast based on a Stephen King story debuts next month

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.