For the first time in weeks, the news from the Maine CDC is encouraging. No new deaths were reported on Sunday, the first time that's happened in nearly 3 weeks, and the number of cases is down significantly, with only 281 new cases, the lowest daily number since mid-December.

Senator Susan Collins' proposal to prevent surprise medical bills has been signed into law. Collins said the proposal was crafted because the last thing someone needs when they're recovering is a surprise bill, because they didn't know they received out-of-network services. The aim of the law is to establish a fair payment dispute resolution process.

Governor Janet Mills has released proposals for shoring up the current budget, along with a blueprint for the next two-year budget. Both plans contain no tax increases and no new programs, but focus on combating the COVID-19 pandemic through public health infrastructure improvements.

Maine Marijuana businesses are reporting brisk sales, even though the rollout happened during the pandemic, with sales exceeding $4 million. So far, Maine has 15 marijuana stores, 16 cultivation facilities, and 9 manufacturing facilities with active licenses, and more expected to be approved in the future.

Hospice of Hancock County will facilitate grief support groups online, starting later this month, to help anyone grieving the loss of a loved one to feel less isolated. Pre-registration is required by January 15th for the meetings that will begin on January 25th on the Zoom platform.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine is looking for 30 adult mentors to match with young people, who are known as 'littles.' They're also looking to train 70 college and high school students to become 'virtual bigs' to mentor area youth.

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