A deer leaps through a field off Route 202 in Bangor on April 14, 2020. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Today is Friday. Temperatures will be in the mid 70s throughout the state, with partly sunny skies from north to south. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

The latest on the coronavirus in Maine

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 652 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, along with three new deaths. The statewide death toll stands at 979.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center reported that it had surpassed last winter’s record of 55 patients hospitalized with coronavirus, with 58 people in the facility with COVID-19 on Thursday. Maine continues to be a hotspot for the virus, and Maine CDC data show that the state has had the nation’s highest case growth rate over the past two weeks.

Travelers are putting stress on Maine’s testing system, and Penobscot Community Health Care announced on Thursday that it would no longer provide rapid or PCR tests for those seeking travel exemptions, as the supply of tests is running low.

State prison officials to announce leadership shakeup over troubled youth prison

The Maine Department of Corrections plans to announce major leadership changes at Maine’s troubled youth prison in the wake of reports that guards use dangerous tactics against kids.

Bangor-area coalition wants millions of federal dollars to be spent on addiction services

The coalition wants Bangor-area governments to devote some of the millions they’re receiving in federal relief funds to addressing addiction, homelessness and a lack of mental health treatment.

Stillwater Health Care in Bangor sees 1st outbreak since pandemic’s start

Outbreaks in long-term care facilities have grown precipitously across Maine in recent weeks amid the spread of the delta variant.

Old Town husband and wife die from COVID within days of each other

Robert Finch, 74, and his wife, Barbara Finch, 70, both died after they battled COVID-19 for about two weeks.

COVID-19 found in whitetailed deer

While the USDA said it is likely deer in other states have also been exposed to the virus, the discovery is not being actively investigated by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

New women’s soccer, field hockey and softball fields among next phase of UMaine upgrades

The upgrades were made possible by a $90 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation that will ultimately improve fields and facilities for all 17 university sports.

Nature Conservancy buys 13,500 acres in Hancock County

The land abuts an existing conservancy preserve to the immediate north of Tunk Mountain and the northwest corner of the state’s Donnell Pond Public Land.

Democrats, GOP fight over adding Waterville to Maine’s swing congressional district

The bipartisan commission is tasked with redrawing Maine’s congressional and legislative districts after most of the state’s population growth over the past decade occurred in a few southern counties.

Unemployed Mainers cite skills mismatches, COVID-19 concerns as top job barriers

A July survey of more than 2,600 unemployment insurance claimants and active job seekers found that 34 percent cited job and skill mismatches and 31 percent cited COVID-19 concerns.

Portland bar owner trying to reopen slapped with $18,000 liquor license application fee

It all comes down to Portland’s amusement permit fees.

In other Maine news:

Camden man accused of assaulting woman held hostage for more than a week

Canada’s election could affect how Americans cross the border

Maine high schooler dies while hiking in White Mountains

Big Al’s will close its doors by the end of year

Former Van Buren race car driver has a homemade NASCAR museum in his garage

Both the Fright at the Fort and the BSO’s ‘Nutcracker’ have been canceled due to COVID

Judge denies bail to Buxton man accused of threatening to kill Jews

Police: Biddeford man who shot landlord was about to be evicted

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.