Aroostook County, Maine, is home to the largest 3D model of the solar system in the Western Hemisphere

Aroostook County, Maine, is home to the largest 3D model of the solar system in the Western Hemisphere

US News and World Report recently named Aroostook’s Maine School of Science and Mathematics one of the best high schools in the country and if this has your inner science nerd excited, watch a local scientist lead us on a tour of the solar system.


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MATHEMATICS HELPS IT SHINE. >> MORE FROM THE JUST HOW FAR IS IT FILE. FOLKS LIVING IN PRESQUE ISLE, AROOSTOOK’S BIGGEST TOWN, ARE FARTHER NORTH THAN HALF OF ALL CANADIANS, THE MAJORITY OF WHOM LIVE ALONG CANADA’S SOUTHERN BORDER. A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL WOULD SEEM AN UNLIKELY CANDIDATE FOR NATIONAL ACCLAIM. MAIN SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS. RANKED THE SECOND BEST PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY BY U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT. >> YOU’VE GOT

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$240M university gift / Return of theater / History of pot in Maine

Today is Thursday. Temperatures will be in the high 40s to the high 50s from north to south with partly sunny skies throughout the state and a chance for scattered showers in the north. Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus in Maine

Another 48 coronavirus cases were reported in Maine on Wednesday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There are 582 active confirmed and “probable” cases in the state and the death toll remains at 142. Check out our COVID-19 Tracker for more information.

Bangor students will not have snow days this school year, even when inclement weather makes it unsafe for them to travel to school.

Takeaways from Wednesday’s vice presidential debate: Pandemic looms over a more civil fight

Vice President Mike Pence listens as Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris speaks during the vice presidential debate
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$240M gift to Maine university system the largest ever given to New England public educational institution

The University of Maine System said Wednesday it will receive $240 million from the state’s largest philanthropy, making the public university system the recipient of the largest investment ever made in a public educational institution in New England.

The $240 million gift is the largest one out of $500 million the Harold Alfond Foundation pledged on Tuesday to a variety of higher education and research institutions around the state as part of a long-term initiative to create future jobs and improve Maine people’s skills.

The investment over 12 years will allow the University of Maine System to establish a $75 million College of Engineering, Computing and Information Science that serves multiple campuses in the university system. It will pay for new undergraduate engineering programs at the University of Southern Maine, improvements to the engineering education infrastructure at the University of Maine in Orono and graduate engineering programs offered by USM

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Email points to ban on masks in coronavirus-stricken jail linked to Maine wedding

ALFRED, Maine — An email points to an outright ban on masks in housing units in a Maine jail dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that’s linked to a wedding and reception that made national news.

The York County Jail became a coronavirus hotspot after an employee who attended an August wedding more than 200 miles (320 kilometers) away in the Katahdin region spread the virus. The number of cases associated with the jail was approaching 90 as of Friday, and the number of cases linked to the wedding and reception has topped 170 with eight deaths.

The email obtained by news outlets said inmates were not permitted to bring masks into any housing unit, a policy that likely exacerbated the outbreak. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advocates mask-wearing to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“Inmates are allowed to remove the masks from their faces when in

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Pastor Who Led Maine Superspreader Wedding Must Wear Mask at Son’s Nuptials, N.H. Church Says

PBS Wedding chairs

The pastor who officiated the Maine wedding that turned into a COVID-19 superspreader event linked to at least eight deaths will be required to wear a mask when he is at his son’s nuptials at a New Hampshire church later this month, a church official said.

Rev. Todd Bell, a pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford, Maine, led the Aug. 7 wedding ceremony at a nearby church, and the 65 attendees were in violation of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions on crowd size and its mask mandate. The ceremony, along with the subsequent reception at Big Moose Inn, has now been linked to at least 180 infections and eight deaths, primarily in people at a nearby nursing home who did not attend the wedding.

Bell has ignored social distancing practices and Maine’s mask mandate at his church and encouraged his congregation to trust God rather than the

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Pastor linked to superspreader wedding in Maine told to wear mask at son’s marriage

A Maine pastor who presided over a wedding-turned-superspreader event that has been linked to at least eight Covid-19 deaths and over a hundred more infections will be taking part in another wedding next month — his son’s.

The Rev. Todd Bell’s son is tying the knot on Oct. 17 across the state line at the South Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the church confirmed.

And if Bell refuses to wear a mask at this ceremony, he could get the boot.

“I hope Pastor Bell will wear a mask,” church official Jennifer Leyden told The Maine Monitor. “To ask another person of faith to leave is an incredibly hard thing. But unfortunately, I have to be a hard-ass. If you’re not wearing a mask, you’re not coming in.”

Pastor Todd Bell, of the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford, Maine, is shown in Alfred, Maine on Jan. 19, 2017.Tammy Wells /
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Defiant Maine pastor’s family planning wedding events across state line amid virus outbreaks

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. — The family of the defiant Baptist pastor linked to Maine’s largest COVID-19 outbreak after officiating a wedding near Millinocket in August will gather next month for another wedding and reception, just a few miles from virus hotspots in York County.

It is unclear whether Todd Bell, head of Sanford’s Calvary Baptist Church and a religious school, will conduct the ceremony between his son and a New Hampshire woman at an indoor service on Oct. 17 at South Church, a Unitarian Universalist church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. But a “family minister” will officiate the ceremony, said Jennifer Leyden, a spokesperson for the church.

About 50 are expected to attend the 20-minute wedding in a sanctuary designed to hold 525 people, Leyden said. It will be “an in-and-out service” that won’t include a choir. Attendees are expected to wear masks, provide names and phone numbers for contact tracing and

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