1. Sen. Susan Collins met Monday with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss Congress’ next coronavirus relief legislation. Collins said, “I think it was an excellent meeting… we’re very appreciative the president chose to spend much time with us in a frank and very useful discussion.” The Republicans relief bill includes stimulus checks of $1,000 but to be eligible, an individual must not earn more than $50,000 per year. The president’s plan calls for checks of $1,400 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year. (PRESS HERALD)
2. The U.S. tops 26.3 million covid-19 cases with over 443,000 deaths. The Maine CDC reported 5 new deaths and 219 new cases on Monday bringing Maine’s death toll to 595. Nearly 39,000 Mainers have received both doses of their vaccination.
3. Despite the snowstorm, The Cross Insurance Center in Bangor opens as a mass vaccination center today. The Scarborough Downs vaccination site is scheduled to open tomorrow. (NEWS CENTER)
4. Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia retired on Monday. A four-time All-Star who spent all 17 of his professional seasons with the Red Sox organization, Pedroia played in two World Series and collected a third ring in 2018, when he was injured. Pedroia is the only player ever to earn Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove and MVP awards along with a World Series championship in his first two full seasons. (WGME)
5. Today is Groundhog Day! The legend goes that if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow we will have six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring will arrive early. Because of the pandemic there will be no crowd in attendance or guests present, but you can watch the ceremony on the internet via live-streaming. (CNN)