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Every weekday for more than three decades, NPR's Morning Edition has taken listeners around the country and the world with multi-faceted stories and commentaries that inform challenge and occasionally amuse. Morning Edition is the most listened-to news radio program in the country. Irwin Gratz and the Maine Public Radio News team bring you regional updates throughout the morning.

GORHAM, Maine — Federal investigators are looking into the death of a 43-foot-long endangered right whale that was found off the coast of Maine with fishing gear wrapped around her body.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the adult female whale was found Friday near Boothbay with fishing gear ropes wrapped around her head, mouth, flippers and tail. She weighed about 45 tons.

The whale was towed to a Gorham farm. A necropsy was performed Sunday.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s Congressional delegation has declined to release copies of its members’ 2015 tax records to a newspaper.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Congress issued a joint statement saying the members’ federally required financial disclosures provide enough transparency.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Independent Sen. Angus King aren’t up for re-election, while Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree and Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin face opponents this fall.

BANGOR, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he can’t be wrong 100 percent of the time but that’s how he’s portrayed in the media.

LePage used a Constitution Week Forum at his alma mater, Husson University, to take a shot at the news coverage of his administration last week.

He says news reporters are more interested in a catching him in "seven-second sound bite" than issues like fighting poverty and taking care of the elderly.

Chuck Grimmett / Flickr/Creative Commons

Over the past week, we’ve been reporting on Question 1, the ballot initiative that would establish a framework to distribute, tax and regulate marijuana sales across Maine. Today, in our final installment of “High Stakes,” we head to college, where students could play a critical role in determine whether the new initiative will pass.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says important legislation like a continuing resolution to prevent a federal government shutdown Oct. 1 and the National Defense Authorization Act are being held up by issues often unrelated to the bills.

“A perfect example is the National Defense Authorization Act, which my understanding is, is now being held up by the sage grouse,” he says.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

One of the big questions raised by the ballot initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in Maine is what effect it will have on the state’s medical marijuana program and the mom-and-pop economy it has created.

Patty Wight / MPBN

For some, the debate over whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine hangs on concerns related to criminal justice or economics. But for others, the central issue is public health.

Democratic leaders in the Maine House and Senate are sharing their vision for what they’re calling “A Better State of Maine.” Some of the ideas are a stark contrast to what Mainers have heard from Gov. Paul LePage at similar gatherings.

At a forum in Topsham Tuesday night, Democrats unveiled a general platform that calls for modernizing and repairing roads, bridges, ports and rail, expanded access to broadband, clean energy and investment in early childhood and K-12 education.

Patty Wight / MPBN

Maine’s law enforcement community is largely unified in its opposition to Question 1 on the fall ballot, which creates a framework for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

PORTLAND, Maine — The University of Maine System is going to ask state lawmakers for a 14 percent increase in state funding to aid growth.

Trustees have approved budgets that’ll grow over the next three years.

Those increases include an extra $7.2 million in the 2017 appropriation, the result of an agreement made with Gov. Paul LePage last spring. That was in exchange for continuing a tuition freeze, which has been in place for in-state students for five years.

In planning a framework to allow recreational marijuana sales in Maine, the authors of Question 1 looked to Colorado for inspiration. That state's law is now two years old, and there's a baseline of information that can be gleaned from the experiment. Some of it has been copied into Maine's proposed initiative, but there are also some key differences.

As we continue our weeklong series "High Stakes: How Legalizing Pot Could Affect Maine," A.J. Higgins takes a closer look at what those differences are.

MADISON, Maine — A Maine high school has turned to a computer program to educate its students after being unable to fill a vacant position for a foreign language teacher.

With money already earmarked for the job, The Morning Sentinel reports Madison Area Memorial High School opted to purchase the Rosetta Stone program to serve as its full-time French and Spanish teacher.

Principal Jessica Ward says the situation isn’t perfect, but Rosetta Stone was the best option moving forward this year.

Megan Verlee / Colorado Public Radio

When it comes to marijuana, Maine historically has been on the permissive side. It was one of the first states to decriminalize penalties for possession back in the ’70s and was one of the first to authorize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Maine is following the national trend of an improving economy, with household income up and the official poverty rate down.

James Mayall of the Maine Center for Economic Policy says median income in Maine is up.

“Median income went from about $49,500 in 2014 to $51,500, so an increase of about $2,000. That represents a 4 percent increase,” he says.

Steve Mistler / MPBN

Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine made an unexpected stop in Maine Thursday — he was here to attend a private fundraiser, but he also stopped at Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Portland to rally volunteers.

The stop underscores a tightening presidential contest in a state Democratic presidential candidates used to take for granted.

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