FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — An international sled dog race that draws thousands of spectators to northern New England will not take place in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Races have been the top races of their kind in New England for almost three decades. Organizers said the event, which centers on Fort Kent, Maine, wouldn't be safe to hold this year.
The races would have also been complicated by border restrictions in place between the U.S. and Canada, the Bangor Daily News reported. Mushers from Canada would have been unable to participate at all unless restrictions were changed before the race.
The race was held in early March last year. It includes races of 30, 100 and 250 miles (more than 400 kilometers).
In other pandemic news in Maine:
The latest average positivity rate in Maine is 2.09%. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Maine the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test specimens using data from The COVID Tracking Project.
The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Maine has risen over the past two weeks from 2.01% on Nov. 10 to 2.09% on Nov. 24.
Maine public health authorities have reported 190 deaths and more than 11,000 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic.
A committee that reports to Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills has issued a report that says more federal stimulus money is needed for the state to recover from the pandemic.
The Governor's Economic Recovery Committee released its final report on Tuesday. Mills said she strongly agrees that more stimulus aid "will help sustain Maine people through these challenging times, allow us to continue fighting the pandemic head-on, and achieve our economic recovery.”
The committee also recommended growing new industries by investing in innovation and entrepreneurship. It said improving Maine's economic outlooks will require investments in education and broadband Internet.
MEALS ON WHEELS
The Mills administration also said Wednesday it would dedicate more than $500,000 in Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to extend home-delivered meals to older Maine residents and caregivers. The number of older adults and caregivers who receive home-delivered meals has doubled since the spring to more than 5,500 people in October, the administration said.
Mills announced the funding during a Thanksgiving announcement to the state in which she asked Mainers to remember the human toll of the virus.
“Every one of them is an individual with a story, like you and me,” she said.