(Augusta) – If you’ve had to venture out this morning, you’ve likely found that freezing rain quickly turns your windshield into a gooey mess making it next to impossible to see while driving. Letting your vehicle’s defroster get up to heat will help. Governor Janet Mills has ordered state offices closed for the day again – giving workers a 4-day weekend after yesterday’s federal holiday. The precipitation is likely to end tonight.
Art for a Cause
(Hancock) Almost 2,000 children are in foster care across the state of Maine. Comfort Cases provides backpacks filled with new and treasured items – pajamas, a stuffed animal, personal care items, and a book – so that first night in an unfamiliar home feels a bit less scary. Recently, Mike Nickerson’s fifth graders at Hancock Grammar School decided to get involved by making personalized watercolor bookmarks to go into those backpacks. Art teacher Janie Snider began the Zoom lesson by encouraging students to think about color and emotions. We’ve posted pictures of the bookmarks and comfort cases on the Star 97.7 Facebook page.
New Health Enrollment Window
(AP) If you don’t have health insurance through your employer, if you’ve lost coverage, couldn’t find a plan last year, or just aren’t happy with your current plan, you could be in luck. The Biden administration ordered government health insurance markets that ended their annual enrollment periods in December to reopen through May 15th. To apply, visit health care dot gov. Coverage purchased will start on the first day of the following month. There’s no charge for the COVID-19 vaccine, but health insurance is important to cover the costs of any COVID-19-related illnesses or complications.
CDC Stats – Monday
(Augusta) – The number of new Coronavirus cases in Maine remained below 200 for a 3rd straight day as the holiday surge appears to have calmed. The Maine CDC reported 148 new infections with no new deaths. Hospitals are treating 94 people with the virus, 25 are in critical care beds. Maine has recorded more than 42-thousand infections since the pandemic began last March.
Greenfield Man Charged in Wrong-Way Driving
(Houlton) A Greenfield man faces several charges after he was caught twice Saturday night driving the wrong way on Interstate-95. State police stopped 51-year-old James Ahern in Smyrna around 8 p.m. Saturday. He was driving south in the northbound lane in Houlton. Officers issued Ahern a summons for driving to endanger and released him. About an hour later, troopers received a report of a wrong-way driver in Medway. That car ran out of gas as officers were stopping the vehicle – which, again, turned out to be operated by Ahern. Police added more charges and took him to the jail in AroostookCounty
(Augusta) Houses of Worship in Maine now have more flexibility in gathering limits. Under a new order issued by Governor Janet Mills, sanctuaries may now accommodate five people per one thousand square feet of space, or up to 50 people – whichever is greater. Previously, the number of people who could gather in houses of worship was 50. The new square footage addition is the same as that allowed for retail space. COVID-19 Checklists for Performing Arts Venues, Seated Food and Drink Service, and Choral Guidance in schools have also been updated, effective immediately. The Mills Administration and the CDC are beginning to examine options to prepare for the spring and summer tourism seasons as well.
(Ellsworth) Democratic Representative Nicole Grohoski of Ellsworth has been appointed to serve on the New England and Eastern Canada Legislative Commission, established in 1986 to facilitate a relationship and strengthen cooperation between the Maine Legislature and legislative bodies in nearby states and Canadian provinces. She’ll serve with Representative David McCrea of Fort Fairfield, and Senator Mark Lawrence of Eliot, both Democrats, and Republican Senator Marianne Moore of Washington. Grohoski represents Ellsworth and Trenton and is serving her second term in the Maine House.
ECMI Offers Virtual Concerts
(Ellsworth) If you find yourself missing live concerts during the pandemic the Ellsworth Community Music Institute is offering the next best thing. From Beethoven to Bob Marley, the Institute’s on-line concerts offer a suite of pieces that span centuries and genres. ECMI’s next concert is set for Monday, February 22nd at 1 p.m. and can be accessed through their website or Facebook page. And mark your calendar now for monthly concerts on March 8 and April 12. Admission is free!
Swan Lake Grocery to Reopen
(Swan Lake) Swan Lake Grocery, which sustained major damage last Fall, hopes to reopen two weeks from tomorrow. Last October, 23-year-old Andrew McHugh’s truck slammed into Rob and Deb Newcomb’s grocery, setting the truck and the store ablaze, killing the New York trucker, and severely damaging the market. Since then, the Newcombs have spent months rebuilding, painting, and replacing meat and produce cases. According to their Facebook page, phone and internet installation takes place this week, and Swan Lake Grocery will open its doors again on March 3rd.
- The Bruins game last night against New Jersey was canceled.
- The Celtics host the Denver Nuggets tonight.
High School Boys Basketball
Lee Academy 39, Mattanawcook Academy 31
Nokomis Regional 52, Foxcroft Academy 48
Orono 36, Hermon 34
Piscataquis Community 50, Dexter Regional 49
Deer Isle-Stonington 62, Bucksport 25
Hermon 46, Orono 35
Narraguagus 62, Shead 29
Nokomis Regional 43, Foxcroft Academy 27
Stearns 72, Bangor Christian 19