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DAILY UPDATE: Current information as of 1 p.m. Saturday, March 28

 

 The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) tyesterday reported the first death of an individual who had tested positive for the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual was a man in his 80s from Cumberland County. Due to privacy laws, Maine CDC is limited in releasing further details.

 

"This is a sad day for the State of Maine. I know I join countless people in extending my condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time," said Gov. Janet Mills. "Our state is a family. And while we mourn the loss of a family member of our Maine family today, I find strength and solace in knowing that we will support one another and that, together, we willl get through this." 

 

There are 211 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maine, up dramatically from 168 yesterday according to the Maine CDC. This includes a total of 10 cases now in Penobscot County. Overall, 3,394 cases have tested negative.

 

There have been 105,573 cases across the U.S., and deaths have now reaching 1,711, up from 1,301 yesterday according to the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. Worldwide, infections have topped 622,000 with 28,794 deaths.

 

According to Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, two counties have been designated as "community" transmission counties, which are Cumberland and York counties. Cumberland County remains the hardest hit, with a total of 120 confirmed cases, followed by York with 38. Shah also said 30 are currently hospitalized. Two minors have tested positive. With the virus now present in 11 of Maine's 16 counties, Shah stressed that there is a strong likehood that the coronavirus is present in all counties and residents should act accordingly.

 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory distress. Individuals who exhibit those symptoms are advised to contact medical providers before going to a health care facility. Medical providers will make initial determinations about who should be tested.

 

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A note from our editor

Lockdown: Life in Maine grinds to a halt amid COVID-19 concerns 

AUGUSTA – Gov. Janet Mills elevated her previous state of emergency Tuesday and ordered all non-essential public-facing businesses such as gyms, hair salons, theaters, shopping malls and others to close at midnight Wednesday, March 25. The order is in effect for the next 14 days until April 8.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 11:37

A note from the editor

Written by Allen Adams

Dear reader,

Life is not normal at the moment. And as much as we might want to maintain a business as usual attitude right now, the truth is that it is not business as usual. It may not be business as usual again for a very long time.

As such, The Maine Edge’s print edition will be going dark temporarily following this week’s issue.

BANGOR – One of the most thought-provoking and exciting events on the area’s cultural calendar has arrived once again – it’s time for the Maine Science Festival!

Too often, we think of science as SCIENCE, something far-removed from our personal experience that has little connection with most of our everyday lives. We engage in intellectual projection, allowing ourselves to be intimidated by this notion that science is something far too complex for any but the most specialized among us to truly understand it.

And nothing could be further from the truth.

Science is EVERYWHERE, a fact that is celebrated annually by the Maine Science Festival. This year’s MSF – which marks the event’s sixth year – takes place March 18-22 at locations all over the greater Bangor area. We’re talking dozens upon dozens of events, all intended to bring science to joyful, relatable life – as well as finding those connections to the world we live in every day.

BANGOR – When terrorists struck the twin towers at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham was working at Getchell Bros., his family’s business in Brewer. His brother, Don, heard about the first plane hit on the radio and called Farnham. He then turned on the TV just in time to see a plane strike the second tower as the first one was burning.

“I said, ‘This is not an accident,’” he recalled. “One of the guys there in the office said, ‘Is this going to affect you in the Guard?’ I always remember that question because that completely changed everything for me. I wouldn't be doing this if it hadn’t been for that day.”

Maine has had a connection with the movies since, well … since there have been movies. More than 80 motion pictures have been set in Maine since the first one all the way back in 1910.

The Maine Film Center and 19 other arts and education organizations and independent cinemas have joined together to present “Maine in the Movies” from March 5-15, a statewide, 17-city festival of 35 films set in Maine. The festival serves as part of the celebration of the state’s Bicentennial

“Maine is a state of mind and imagination whose enigma and beauty have, from the very beginning, inspired writers, visual artists, and their natural descendants, filmmakers,” said Mike Perreault, MFC executive director, in a press release.

“Maine in the Movies” will showcase screenings for all ages, some accompanied by discussions with knowledgeable guests.

Over the course of the festival, audiences will see an expansive, sometimes unfamiliar, often surprising vision of Maine: fanciful and funny in some cases; down to earth and culturally revealing in others.

Among the festival’s films are those from the earliest days – movies like “Jean the Match-Maker” (1910) and “Way Down East” (1920) – to the most recent – last year’s “The Lighthouse” and “Blow the Man Down.” And the films on the program really run the gamut: there will be classic dramas, family movies, thrillers, fantasies, musicals and comedies. “Peyton Place,” “Andre,” “Dolores Claiborne,” “Aquaman,” “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel,” “How to Marry a Millionaire” – the list goes on and on.

Many of the movies here are based on literary works by such famous Maine authors as Stephen King, Richard Russo, Elizabeth Strout and E. B. White.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020 13:29

Over our skis: Wintertime fun beyond the slopes

Written by Allen Adams

Just about every conversation about outdoor activities in the winter here in Maine begins with skiing.

And understandably so. Skiing – both downhill and cross-country – is a huge part of Maine’s outdoor traditions. We have beloved destinations such as Sugarloaf, places that draw skiers from all over. And we have our smaller hills, recreational areas that are no less fun simply because they’re a little smaller – hit up Hermon Mountain and you’ll have a perfectly lovely time.

(Ditto all of this for snowboarding as well.)

As for cross-country, there are all manner of trails winding through the Maine woods – you can find great spots in Acadia National Park. Bangor Muni and the University of Maine both have good trail systems. And of course, tons more in both northern and southern Maine.

Confession time: I’ve never been on a pair of skis in my life.

That’s right, a Mainer by birth and by choice for some four-plus decades, and I have never strapped a pair of skis to my feet. And while I recognize that I am probably something of a relative rarity, I have to believe there are others out there like me – people whose exposure to snowy fun simply never included skis. I know that you’re out there.

This list is for us.

Let’s take a look at a few of the many other activities one might enjoy over the course of a Maine winter.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020 11:39

What is love?

Written by Allen Adams

It’s a deceptively simple question – what is love?

Only it isn’t simple at all, is it? There are so many different ways to define love. So many different ideas about what love is as well as what it isn’t. And so many different ways to approach the question.

And so, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought we might ask some extremely smart and talented people about answering that question via the lens of their personal area of expertise. There are folks from both the academic and artistic realms, people offering their thoughts regarding the oft-complicated answer to that one simple question.

There are a LOT of ways in which to respond. Little was given in the way of qualification – we simply asked the question and let them run with it. And run they did, with responses that ranged all over the map, from the ridiculous to the sublime. Thoughtful, beautiful, goofy … or all of the above. Every one of them a delight.

As it turns out, love is all a matter of perspective.

It’s Oscar time again!

This year marks the 92nd Academy Awards, with the ceremony set to take place starting at 8 p.m. on the night of February 9. Over nine decades of Hollywood’s biggest night of self-celebration and self-congratulation. Nearly a century of dazzling gowns and dapper tuxedos and impactful acceptance speeches and inane interviews on the red carpet. Generations of excitement and disappointment.

As someone who loves the movies, I love the Oscars. Yes, they’ve grown increasingly out of touch over the years, but so what? There’s something exciting about rewarding the best of the best – even if what seems like the best of the best today might not seem so great later on down the road.

This marks the 13th Oscar preview I’ve written for The Maine Edge. I’ve been doing this for a baker’s dozen years. You might think that means I know something. And maybe I do … but not that much. While I’ve gotten pretty good at determining just who is going to win, the reality is that there are always going to be some surprises. That’s the joy of it – you just never know.

Here’s a look at my predictions for the 2020 Academy Awards. I've included write-ups for the big ones and just winners for the down-ballot stuff. As always, bear in mind that my picks here are for who I think WILL win, not who I think SHOULD win; this year especially feels like one where there’s some disconnect between the two.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020 13:46

Breaking down Super Bowl LIV: Previewing Chiefs-49ers

Written by Allen Adams

About five months ago, the NFL regular season kicked off. All 32 teams – minus a wink-wink-not-tanking tanking team or three – set forth on a journey that only two could complete: a trip to the Super Bowl.

We’ve arrived at that place. The Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the San Francisco 49ers in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium on February 2. The Chiefs – led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and coach Andy Reid – make their way back into the big game for the first time in half-a-century; the last time K.C. was here, the NFL/AFL merger hadn’t happened yet. Meanwhile, the 49ers have a storied Super Bowl history, but other than the Colin Kaepernick-led 2012 run, San Francisco hasn’t made it this far since 1994. That’s 25 years without a championship.

A significant drought is ending, one way or the other. But for who?

Let’s take a stroll through the teams and break down some of the positional matchups to get a sense of which squad stands superior. Of course, the most talented team doesn’t always win. The most prepared team doesn’t always win. The team we think will win doesn’t always win.

You get the picture. Anyone who tells you they KNOW what will happen is a charlatan who is almost certainly trying to sell you something. No one knows how this will all play out, but here’s my best guess – the best guess of a guy who only just snapped the four-season winning streak put up by his prognosticating dog.

Breakdown time.

Maine radio listeners have a wide variety of options on Saturday night, but for a significant number of them, there is only one show and one voice - “The Original Country Gold” with Rowdy Yates.

The syndicated classic country hits request show airs on WQCB Q-106.5 from 7:00 p.m. to midnight each Saturday and has become a destination program for countless listeners in the car, those sitting around a campfire with friends and listeners at home who like to get a little Rowdy every weekend.

So how is it that a radio program that originates in the Lone Star State, and airs on 120 radio stations around the nation, has become so closely linked to the lifestyles of listeners in Maine? Q-106.5 program director Scott Miller has a few theories.

Miller’s radio career began in Canada and has taken him from town to town, up and down the dial, to markets small and large, including stations in Toronto, Chicago and Detroit. He believes “The Original Country Gold” with Rowdy Yates connects so well to Maine listeners because Rowdy is practically one of us.

“Even though Rowdy is a Texan, he lives the lifestyle of a Mainer,” said Miller. “All of his personal appearances here have been huge. He’s a very likable guy in person and on the radio. It’s the state of Maine – Saturday night, fire pits and Rowdy Yates.”

And that is very much a both-directions affection, as he made crystal clear during an in-depth interview, Maine and its people are very dear to Rowdy and his wife, Kim.

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