Northeast Farmers Grapple With Worst Drought In More Than A Decade

When people hear the word drought, they likely think of California. But there's also an extreme drought in parts of New England. The Northeast is experiencing the worst drought in more than a decade.The Northeast has more than 175,000 farms that produce more than $21 billion a year in food, hay and flowers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But this year, many fields are bone dry — and that has many farmers thinking about how to manage their land, their animals and the water...
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Gov. Tom Wolf
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Governor Tom Wolf is saying he thinks more can be done to cut down on marijuana arrests in Pennsylvania.

In an interview on WITF’s Smart Talk, Wolf said in some municipalities, decriminalization is already underway. He noted that prosecutors are using their discretion to downgrade punishments for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

However, the governor said more “systematic” action still needs to be taken.

head shots of John Rafferty and Josh Shapiro
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

It’s been a bumpy few weeks for leadership in the state Attorney General’s office.

Kathleen Kane resigned, and her first deputy Bruce Castor has taken over. But Governor Tom Wolf has nominated his inspector general to the position.

The candidates for the November AG election are taking pains to distance themselves from the tumult.

Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican John Rafferty both independently called the Kane scandal a “sad chapter” for the state.

Public Domain

 An archive recording of the WPSU Blues Show as broadcast on August 27, 2016 and hosted by Max Spiegel. 

In the first hour, hear performances by Merle Travis, Professor Longhair, Leo Kottke, Mike Gordon, Blues Brothers with Ray Charles, Rev. Gary Davis, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Big Bill Broonzy, The Siegel-Schwall Band and more.

In hour two, hear Mississippi John Hurt, Louis Armstrong and His Hot 5, The Black Keys, Cat Stevens and more.   

McOleo / Creative Commons

An archive recording of the WPSU Jazz Show as broadcast on Friday, August 26, 2016 and hosted by Greg Petersen. 

In the first hour hear tracks from Dexter Gordon, Diana Krall, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Eddie Daniels, Ellis Marsalis, Kristen Gustafson and The Matt Nelson Trio.

In the second hour, hear Milt Jackson with Joe Williams, Paul Desmond & The Modern Jazz Quartet, Ray Brown, Louis Armstrong with Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, The Taylor/Grisman Jazz Quartet, Melissa Morgan, The George Coleman Quartet, and The Nat King Cole Trio.  

ethane cracker plant in Texas

Even in a down time for its oil and gas business, Shell has decided to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker — which makes natural gas into plastics and chemicals — in gas-rich Pennsylvania.

Stephanie Orme at RNC
Gabrielle Mannino

Protests were a common sight during last month’s RNC and DNC. Penn State journalism students covered events outside and inside the convention centers.

“I am still processing," Stephaine Orme said. "It’s been a couple weeks and I am still breathing and getting things from that experience. But the more I think about it, I am really reminded of just how surreal it all was.”

Tipping Point is a page turner. It is the fifteenth novel in David Poyer’s acclaimed series of naval adventures featuring Captain Dan Lenson. But don’t worry if you don’t know anything about the modern Navy or haven’t read any of the first fourteen novels. This was my first of Lenson’s books, but I found it easy to follow the story. Tipping Point gives me renewed respect for our military personnel. The risks they take daily would be unnerving to most civilians.

In this photo combo, at left, in an Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, Penn State president Graham Spanier walks on the field before an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. At right, former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky l
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Prosecutors say former Penn State administrators should still stand trial for their involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. 

Based on documents made public Wednesday, the prosecution rejected arguments made by Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley that the charges against them should be dismissed.

One of defense’s arguments was the statute of limitations in the case had expired. In their response, the prosecution said that by not reporting the suspected child abuse in 2001, the two-year timeframe never started.

3D printer
Min Xian / WPSU

Researchers at Penn State's Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences are taking 3D printing from a novelty to an orthopedic tool. The team is developing a method of 3D printing with cartilage cells to create implants for joints such as the knee and elbow.

On a visit to his lab, Associate Professor of engineering Ibrahim Ozbolat showed several of his lab's bioprinters to physicians from Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, arrives at the Centre County Courthouse for an appeals hearing about whether he was improperly convicted four years ago, in Bellefonte, Pa. Friday, Aug. 12, 2016.

Tuesday's hearing called witnesses from the prosecution of Sandusky’s case.  Much of the questioning focused on whether Sarah Ganim, the journalist who broke the story, got her information from an illegal grand jury leak.

Two of the prosecutors said Ganim’s source could have been a grand jury witness. They were legally able to talk about the case to anyone.


NPR Stories

A key Senate race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate is now set. And it's in the all-important state of Florida.

In the first results of Tuesday's Florida and Arizona House and Senate primaries, incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democrat Patrick Murphy easily won their respective parties' nominations.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


We are running out of ways to treat gonorrhea, the World Health Organization announced today.

The U.N. health agency released new guidelines warning doctors that it no longer recommends an entire class of antibiotics, quinolones, because quinolone-resistant strains of the disease have emerged all over the world.

Instead, the health agency recommends using cephalosporins, another class of antibiotic. The new protocol replaces guidelines that had not been changed since 2003.

The California Assembly unanimously passed a measure that requires a prison sentence for anyone convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious person.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


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Remembering Comedic Great Gene Wilder, Who Delighted Audiences For Decades

The great comic actor Gene Wilder died Monday at age 83 from Alzheimers disease.Known for his roles in such films as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, Wilders performances delighted audiences for decades.Here & Now pays tribute by revisiting host Robin Youngs 2005 interview with Wilder about his then-new memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger.Heres the raw audio from their interview:ArrayListen to a conversation between Robin Young and Gene Wilder at...
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Their Masters' Voices: Dogs Understand Tone And Meaning Of Words

When you praise a dog, it's listening not just to the words you say but also how you say them.That might not be huge news to dog owners. But now scientists have explored this phenomenon by using an imaging machine to peek inside the brains of 13 dogs as they listened to their trainer's voice.The reward pathway in the dogs' brains lit up when they heard both praising words and an approving intonation — but not when they heard random words spoken in a praising tone or praise words spoken in a...
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Cannabis Growers Seek Blue Ribbons For Their Buds At Oregon's State Fair

Whether you're in Maine or Michigan, state fairs have their own smell — a mix of hot oil from the curly fries, and that unmistakable livestock tent.One exhibit at this summer's Oregon State Fair, though, has a particularly distinctive funk. It's the one introducing a new crop: marijuana."It was this year that the state legislature designated cannabis as a farm crop. And the general public should know what it's all about," says Don Morse, the head of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council.And...
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A New School Year Brings Renewed Focus On Attendance

Like many schools, Gibson Elementary in St. Louis had big problems with attendance — many students were missing nearly a month of school a year.So Melody Gunn, who was the principal at Gibson last year, set out to visit homes and figure out why kids weren't showing up. Her biggest discovery? They didn't have clean uniforms to wear to school.Many families, she found, didn't have washing machines in the home, and kids were embarrassed to show up to school in dirty clothes. The result was that...
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Maker Of EpiPen To Sell Generic Version For Half The Price

Treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions is about to get a little cheaper.Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen, said Monday that it will launch a generic version of the device for half the price of the brand-name product.The company says the generic will hit the market in a few weeks and cost $300 for a two-pack. That's less than half the price of a two-pack of brand-name EpiPens, which are available at pharmacies operated by CVS inside Target stores for about $630, according to GoodRX.The...
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Jollof Rice: West Africans Dish It Up With A Hefty Serving Of Smack Talk

A holiday celebrating a dish beloved of many West Africans, World Jollof Day, was marked last week.Jollof is a celebration dish. You eat it at parties, naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals — you name it, you will see the familiar and comforting pot of steaming jollof rice.But jollof is also war – of the deliciously friendly variety.I come from Ghana, am based in Senegal and travel on reporting assignments all over West Africa. Almost every one of us from the region has grown up with fluffy,...
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In Philadelphia, Neighbors Learn How To Keep Shooting Victims Alive

When a young African-American man dies in the city of Philadelphia, more than half the time there's one main reason why, says Scott Charles."It's because somebody pointed a gun at him and pulled that trigger. It's not because of cancer; it's not because of car accidents; it's not because of house fires. It's because somebody pointed a trigger," he says.Charles is trauma outreach coordinator at Temple University Hospital. The medical center now offers bystander first-aid training, called...
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Your Gut's Gone Viral, And That Might Be Good For Your Health

Everywhere you turn, it seems, there's news about the human microbiome. And, more specifically, about the bacteria that live in your gut and help keep you healthy.Those bacteria, it turns out, are hiding a big secret: their own microbiome.A study published Monday suggests some viruses in your gut could be beneficial. And these viruses don't just hang out in your intestines naked and homeless. They live inside the bacteria that make their home in your gut.These particular viruses are called...
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WPSU proudly presents Vote ’16, a resource for election coverage, candidate information, events and important dates across central Pennsylvania.

Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a contributing station.

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Reasons To Stay

WPSU's series "Reasons to Stay" explores what keeps people in central Pa. On the radio during Morning Edition, and on our multi-media website.

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On-Air Schedule

It's Folk Season

Now that the Metropolitain Opera radio season has ended, The Folk Show is back on WPSU-FM Saturday afternoons from 1-5pm, now through the end of November.

WPSU's Community Calendar

Find out what's happening in Central & Northern PA on WPSU's Community Calendar! Submit your group's event at least 2 weeks in advance, and you might hear it announced on WPSU-FM.

Turn Your Old Clunker into Public Radio

Got an old car? The Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program will take it, and turn it into great public radio programs on WPSU-FM. To donate your car, visit the link below or call 1-866-789-8627. Thanks!

WPSU's Local Food Journey

Our Local Food Journey blog explores what it means to eat local in Central and Northern Pennsylvania.