SCOTT SIMON, host: Over the border in Vermont, it's still hard to get around because of flooding from Irene. More than 500 miles of roads and at least two dozen bridges are out. Earlier this week, reporter Nancy Cohen took a road trip in the southern part of the state, one of the places that was hardest hit.
NANCY COHEN: On route 112 in Halifax, a stretch of road is missing. The asphalt has caved into the North River. A guardrail is under water. But despite the conditions, Brianna Inman is forging north to Whitingham.
SCOTT SIMON, host: The Big Dipper has a shiny new sequin on its handle, it's a supernova, the magnificent last hurrah of a star. This weekend is a rare opportunity for amateurs to see a supernova from Earth. People all over the country will be able to catch a glimpse of the fireball from their backyards, as it reaches peak brightness over the next few nights.
Peter Nugent is an astronomer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, joins us from a studio there.
SCOTT SIMON, host: We've been motoring through the summer with our road trip Honey, Stop the Car. We're curious about those commemorative plaques and monuments in towns all over the country that honor local heroes or events. This morning - markers. Member station WSHU takes us to New York's Hudson River Valley and to a dramatic statue of a teenage girl from the Revolutionary War.
SCOTT SIMON, host: College applications contain a multitude of boxes to check. Potential students may be asked to disclose their race or their religion. Now, a college in Illinois is adding another check-box, inviting applicants to disclose their sexual orientation.
Elmhurst College is thought to be the first in the country to do this. Applicants who answer yes could get a scholarship worth up to a third of their tuition.
We're joined now from studios of WBEZ in Chicago by Dean of Admissions at Elmhurst College.