Maine Things Considered

4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

Weekdays at 4 p.m. join host Nora Flaherty and hear Maine’s only daily statewide radio news program. Maine Public Radio's award-winning news staff brings you the latest news from across Maine and the region, as well as in-depth reports on the most important issues.

With visas in hand, about 85,000 undergraduate and graduates students from overseas are pursuing their higher education degrees in schools around New England. That’s out of more than a million who come to study every year in the United States. Graduate students, in particular, are big business for colleges. But President-elect Donald Trump’s many anti-immigration stances have brought uncertainty into the classroom.

The Downeast Institute in Beals, a fully equipped marine research laboratory, will more than double its size with the help of $5 million in investment funding.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine said Thursday that he will vote against President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

At noon today, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public/file

AUGUSTA, Maine - The LePage administration is proposing A $7 million bailout of the Maine Military Authority. The proposal would help the authority satisfy the terms of a $19 million contract with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority to refurbish nearly two dozen commuter buses.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public file

Only about 60 percent of Maine public school students are considered “proficient” in science. Elementary and middle schoolers devote less than two hours a week to the subject, and barely half of middle schools have lab stations or supplies. But a new effort from some Maine schools seeks to help students by actually eliminating standalone science and social studies classrooms.

The basic school schedule hasn’t changed much from 10 or 20 years ago. Students still go from, say, math class in one period to English class in another. Then to science, social studies and on and on.

It’s Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on politics.

This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney and former Democratic lawmaker; Dick Woodbury, and economist who served in the Legislature as an independent; and former Republican state lawmaker Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing.

moondance38 / Flickr/Creative Commons

The residents of two remote Down East islands, Frenchboro and Swan’s Island, pay some of the highest electric bills in the nation, and they’ve proposed to abandon their local electric cooperative to join with the mainland customers of a large utility who enjoy cheaper distribution rates.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The secret behind Gov. Paul LePage’s weight loss is out. He recently revealed on local radio talk shows that both he and his wife Ann underwent bariatric surgery in order to lose weight.

An article in Wednesday’s Twin City Times by LePage Director of Communications Peter Steele says the LePages had a procedure called a sleeve gastrectomy.

Markus Schreiber / Associated Press

Volkswagen and its sister companies are shelling out billions of dollars to customers and states that were affected by its attempts to cheat on emissions tests.

A shortage of nurses in Maine may soon improve, thanks to a new grant to St. Joseph’s College.

The Harold Alfond Foundation announced Tuesday that it’s awarding a $1.5 million challenge grant to St. Joseph’s to expand its nursing program, which could position the school as the pipeline the state needs for one of its fastest growing industries.

Nurses account for more than 14,000 jobs in Maine and make an average wage of $31 an hour. It’s a good career, says Labor Department Commissioner Jeanne Paquette, and there’s plenty of room for more to join the field.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Hospitals, especially rural ones, are bracing for a possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act. If the 80,000 Mainers who have insurance through the marketplace lose coverage, hospitals say they will have to absorb more costs from patients who can’t afford care.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage has once again charged into the issue of race relations. On Tuesday morning he told a Bangor radio station Tuesday that civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis should thank Republican presidents for freeing the slaves and fighting Jim Crow laws.

A team of paranormal investigators in Maine has captured what it says appears to be the photo of the ghost of a woman at the City Theatre in Biddeford. Legend has it that a young actress who died during a performance in 1904 still haunts the theatre. Eva Gray received four curtain calls that night. But as Susan Sharon reported in this story in 2004, she never got the chance to enjoy her fame.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

In just over a week, tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to the nation’s capital in a show of solidarity for the rights of women and other citizens of the world.