An air quality alert has been issued by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as the heat and humidity are causing dangerous conditions. The ground-ozone concentrations will reach high enough levels today to threaten, not only those with breathing disorders, but also healthy children and adults. Mainers are encouraged to stay in air conditioned buildings as much as possible today, and not to exert themselves when outside.

Organizers of one of Maine’s most popular events say that they’re facing severe backlash, including death threats, after the Lobster Festival Sea Goddess had her title stripped from her and given to the runner-up. Taylor Hamlin lost the crown after pictures of her smoking a marijuana cigarette and vaping were spotted on social media.

The Coast Guard is reminding boaters to label their kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards with their names and phone numbers, after an increase in the number of unmanned watercraft this summer. The discovery of one of these boats on its own starts a panic that the person may be in danger, when in reality, it may be a case of a boat that wasn’t stored properly and got away from the owner. ‘If Found’ stickers can be picked up at any Coast Guard unit.

Forgetting to take your sunscreen to the beach won’t be a problem soon, since the Maine Cancer Foundation is providing a grant to establish free sunscreen dispensers across the state. Jenkins Beach in Dedham now has one that’s loaded with Coppertone SPF 30, which provides coverage for about 80 minutes. Find more information on the dispenser program at impact melanoma dot org.

Penquis is once again collecting backpacks and school supplies, with more than fifteen hundred students registered this year for the program that serves Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox counties. Donations of backpacks and/or school supplies can be dropped off at any Penquis office or financial donations can be made online.

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