Highway History: How The Pennsylvania Turnpike Created And Destroyed Towns

Breezewood, Pennsylvania has been called the "town of motels," the "travelers' oasis," and, most colorfully, "an Emerald City to the Pennsylvania Turnpike's yellow brick road." Most people greet this town-turned-rest-stop after driving through the spectacular beauty of Pennsylvania's mountains, and it's a jarring sight. There are gas stations, truck stops, hotels, motels and a single church. The town exists to serve motorists. Breezewood is a creation of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which...
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Music from Ana Moura, Ian Tyson, Long Time Courting, Greg Brown, Aoife O'Donovan, Sam Lee And Friends, John Flynn, Abigail Washburn, Guy Clark, Spring Creek, Jonathan Richman, Lucinda Williams, Red Hen Stringband, David Mallett, Patty Griffin, Mary Gauthier, Crooked Still, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Bela Fleck, Pat Flynn & The Homecoming Jam, Leo Kottke, Joe Ely, Erin Condo, Danny Schmidt, Stan Rogers, John-Paul Peacefire and Jacob D.P., Richie Havens, Abigail Washburn, Peter Alsop, Dropkick Murphys, Jonathan Richman,   

Ray Holley presents some wonderful folk selections, a mix of Old Time, Zydeco, singer-songwriter, acoustic blues and bluegrass in a show that features some folk music icons such as Jimmie Rodgers, the Kingston Trio, Van Wagner and Iris Dement.  Hear the familiar and the not-so-familiar in a show you are bound to enjoy!


Music from Toby Walker, Hoots & Hellmouth, Bobby Long, Ellen Cherry, Dennis Stroughmatt, The Deep Fried Acoustiblasters, Butch Ross, Taj Mahal, Cherry Holmes, Doc Watson, Ed Miller, Michael Jerome Browne, Breaking Grass, Noel Paul Stookey, The Horeseflies, Linda Rondstadt with Laurie Lewis, Pesky J. Nixon, Norman & Nancy Blake, The Henry Girls, The House Band, Kukuruza, Doc Watson, Ricky Scaggs, Earl Scruggs, Sara Watkins, Paul Curreri, Nate Grower, John Smith & Jenny Pickle, Bruce Cockburn, Paul Rishell & Annie Raines, Rob Ickes & Jim Hurst




Breezewood, Pennsylvania has been called the "town of motels," the "travelers' oasis," and, most colorfully, "an Emerald City to the Pennsylvania Turnpike's yellow brick road." Most people greet this town-turned-rest-stop after driving through the spectacular beauty of Pennsylvania's mountains, and it's a jarring sight. There are gas stations, truck stops, hotels, motels and a single church. The town exists to serve motorists.

Chas shares a lively mix of folk music from many cultures.


WPSU is traveling to towns across central and northern Pennsylvania to collect oral history recordings. In July, we stopped at the Clearfield County Historical Society’s William B. Alexander Research Center. Denny Shaffner talks with his wife Sue about growing up on Mill Road in Lawrence Township. 

Hinton1994 / Creative Commons

An archive recording of the WPSU Blues Show as aired on October 5, 2015, hosted by Max Spiegel.

In the first hour, hear Etta James, Canned Heat, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Pinetop Perkins, Chris Thomas King, Jimmy Witherspoon, Blind Willie McTell, John Lee Hooker, Richard Ray Farrell, Ry Cooder, Joe Bonamassa,  and more.

In the second hour, hear Barbara Blue, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Amos Milburn, Josh White, Albert King, Charlie Musselwhite, Mississippi John Hurt, Doctor John, Lead Belly, Sister O. M. Terrell, and more.

WPSU Jazz Archive - October 2, 2015

Oct 3, 2015
Tom Beetz / Creative Commons

An archive recording of the WPSU Jazz show as broadcast on October 2, 201 and hosted by Greg Halpin.

It's all new jazz releases in the first hour of the program. You’ll hear music by the Christian McBride Trio, Caili O'Doherty, Perez Pattitucci Blade, Carlos Henriquez, Bob James with Nathan East, Tomeka Reid, George Cables, Antonio Sanchez, Joe Lovano & John Pattitucci.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo


It's back to school without a budget. In this week's city reads: school funding, affordable housing and the importance of volunteers.

School budgets

We are number two. Michigan is number one. The ranking reflects the number of school districts with credit ratings have been downgraded to "speculative." To blame? An "entrenched" budget stalemate in Harrisburg, charter school payments, and pension costs.


Obama Set To Visit Roseburg, Ore.

President Obama will meet with the families of those killed and injured when a man opened fire at a community college in Oregon.Nine people were killed and nine others were wounded when Chris Harper Mercer, 26, began shooting in a classroom last Thursday.After the shooting, Obama delivered his most impassioned speech to date regarding the need for stricter gun control laws.As NPR reported, Obama urged Americans to support "common sense" gun laws and pre-empted critics who might accuse him of...
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Physics Nobel Awarded For Work On Neutrinos' Metamorphosis

Two scientists from Canada and Japan have won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 for opening "a new realm in particle physics," the Nobel Prize committee says. Working far apart, both Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald showed how neutrinos shift identities like chameleons in space.The revelation that neutrinos — the subatomic particles that are more numerous than any other in the universe except for particles of light — undergo a metamorphosis led to a second and shocking conclusion:...
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Death Toll in Record Carolinas Flooding Now At 13

Update at 4:30 a.m. ET Tuesday: Death Toll Raised To At Least 13Record rainfall is expected to taper off in much of South Carolina Tuesday, after severe flooding left houses in Columbia and elsewhere with water up to their eaves. But officials say the crisis is not over, and residents should stay away from dangerous roadways.At least 11 deaths were reported in the South Carolina and two in North Carolina.In South Carolina, some 40,000 people are without water. In addition, 70 miles of...
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U.S. General Says Afghan Forces Called For Kunduz Airstrike

The U.S. airstrike this weekend that hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 22 civilians, was requested by Afghan forces, according to the top U.S. general in Afghanistan.Gen. John Campbell, addressing reporters Monday at the Pentagon, said Afghan forces advised they were taking fire from Taliban insurgents and asked for U.S. air support. Campbell said he wanted to correct initial reports suggesting U.S forces were under threat and that the strike was carried...
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U.S., Other Nations Reach Agreement On Trans-Pacific Partnership

"We, the trade ministers ... are pleased to announce that we have successfully concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation," U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Monday morning, to a loud round of applause.Froman said the "historic" TPP agreement will "support jobs, drive sustainable growth, foster inclusive development and promote innovation across the Asia-Pacific region," while also raising living standards.The 30-chapter announcement means that a years-long process...
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Iraq's Fight Against ISIS Stalls

More than a year after the U.S. led the formation of an anti-ISIS coalition, the extremists still hold large parts of western and northern Iraq.In the west, ISIS took the desert provincial capital, Ramadi, four months ago. A much-anticipated counteroffensive never materialized.In a small area of Anbar Province that ISIS doesn't control, five Iraqi flags on bent brass poles mark out a parade ground bordered by a junkyard and dilapidated warehouse."We want to hear your voice!" yells an Iraqi...
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Stuff Happens, And The Way We Talk About It Matters

When discussing the Oregon shooting at Umpqua Community College last week, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush explained that "stuff happens," suggesting that such events can't be prevented and, by implication, that legislators — and gun control laws — are not responsible.When asked whether Pope Francis's controversial meeting with gay marriage opponent Kim Davis was the result of an intentional set up, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi's assistant responded: "No...these things...
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Hillary Clinton's Gun Proposals Expose Democratic Divide

This post was updated at 4:45 p.m. Hillary Clinton unveiled her gun-control proposals on Monday in New Hampshire, calling for what she sees as "common-sense approaches" to minimize gun violence less than a week after the latest mass shooting.After nine people were killed at an Oregon community college last Thursday, gun control has re-emerged as a top issue on the campaign trail. A visibly upset President Obama took to the White House podium after the shooting to bemoan perpetual...
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A Hunter On Gun Control: 'We Want Something To Change'

After Thursday's mass shooting at an Oregon community college, which left nine people dead and more injured, President Obama aired his frustration over gun laws in the U.S. At a news conference Friday, he called on voters to push their representatives to take action."You just have to, for a while, be a single-issue voter, because that's what is happening on the other side," Obama said. "And that's going to take some time. I mean, the NRA has had a good start."Not all gun owners agree with the...
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California Governor Signs Landmark Right-To-Die Law

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET.California Gov. Jerry Brown signed landmark legislation Monday, allowing terminally ill patients to obtain lethal medication to end their lives when and where they choose.In a deeply personal note, Brown said he read opposition materials carefully, but in the end was left to reflect on what he would want in the face of his own death."I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain," he wrote. "I am certain, however, that it would be a...
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The Surreal Reasons Girls Are Disappearing In El Salvador: #15Girls

In many countries, the decisions teens make at 15 can determine the rest of their lives. But, often, girls don't have much say — parents, culture and tradition decide for them. In a new series, #15Girls, NPR explores the lives of 15-year-old girls who are seeking to take control and change their fate. Warning: Some of the depictions and images in this story are graphic. It's our first morning in El Salvador's capital. We're eating breakfast and we get a call from a local reporter we know...
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Laws To Stop Bullying Can Protect Teens If They're Done Right

There's good news from the front lines in the fight against bullying: anti-bullying laws can help reduce aggression, both online and in real life.Bullying affects one out of every five U.S. high school students. But anti-bullying laws do make a difference, researchers reported Monday in JAMA Pediatrics – especially when those laws comply with guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education."It's kind of hard to believe, but about 15 years ago, we didn't have any anti-bullying laws," says...
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A Hidden — But Quietly Influential — Life In 'Rosemary'

Rosemary Kennedy was a beauty, a debutante, and the daughter of one of America's most glamorous families. She was born with a wealth of advantages as the daughter of Rose and Joseph P. Kennedy — but her mental development was flawed at birth, and never got beyond about a fourth-grade level.And at the age of 23, Rosemary Kennedy underwent a new neurosurgical procedure that a couple of respected doctors said might make it easier for her to function in the world: A lobotomy. The operation left...
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Taking The Heat: Is Foodie Culture Making Room For Female Chefs?

Women have historically been told their place is in the kitchen — but not as chefs: According to statistics from the U.S. Labor Department, to this day, only about 20 percent of chefs are women.It all harks back to the fact that being a chef was not as glamorous as it is today, says Deborah Harris, a sociology professor at Texas State University whose new book, Taking The Heat, explores the issue.When you think of chefs nowadays, the first thing that might come to mind are boisterous,...
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Overtesting Of Employees Can Be A Side Effect Of Workplace Wellness

As health insurance open season heats up for businesses, many employees will discover that participating in their company's wellness program includes rolling up their sleeves for blood tests.Across the country, half of large employers offering health benefits have wellness programs that ask workers to submit to medical tests, often dubbed "biometrics," that can involve a trip to a doctor's office, lab or workplace health fair.While aimed at uncovering potential health risks early to head off...
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New Standards Issued For Treatment Of Detainees Along The U.S. Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued nationwide custody standards governing how immigrants are treated when in U.S. Border Patrol custody.The Associated Press reports that the regulations cover scenarios including "guarding an immigrant's personal belongings, properly using handcuffs and other restraints and setting thermostats."The new rules are announced a little more than a year after the Border Patrol's jails were overwhelmed by Central American children flooding into the U.S.,...
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Death And The Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson isn't through just yet. It is the end of a 12-hour press day where the Iron Maiden vocalist has been answering a multitude of questions, most concerning the iconic heavy metal band's 16th full-length album, The Book of Souls. It is a task that requires a kind of Zen-like patience, yet the 57-year-old is noticeably unfazed, excited to spend the better part of an hour talking about his passion for music — and for life. Since 1981, when Dickinson joined Maiden, he and his...
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Good Gourd! What's With All The Weird-Looking Squash?

When Virginia farmer Charles Martin first got into the pumpkin game a decade ago, he started small, with a half-acre plot of traditional round, orange jack-o-lanterns. Today he grows 55 varieties of gourds, squash and pumpkins, and he's always looking for something new.As he walks through his half-harvested patch, Martin points out an orange pumpkin covered in green bumps — the Warty Goblin. A few feet away there's a white-and-red-striped pumpkin called One Too Many. "It's supposed to...
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The Supreme Court's New Term: Here's What To Watch

The United States Supreme Court opens a new term Monday, and, as always, many of the most contentious issues facing the country — including abortion, birth control coverage, public employee unions, affirmative action in higher education, voter participation — are likely to be before the court.But there is a difference this term. Chief Justice John Roberts, despite his overall conservative record on the bench, has become a punching bag for candidates vying for the Republican presidential...
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Where There's A Will: Shakespeare Remixed In 'The Gap Of Time'

We often feature musicians who make cover albums — their versions of songs made popular by others. Now comes a project where writers — some of the most acclaimed of our time — cover Shakepeare's works, retelling the Bard in their own words. Jeanette Winterson's new novel, The Gap of Time, is a re-imagining of The Winter's Tale, and it's the first book in the series to be published.Winterson tells NPR's Rachel Martin that the project is perfect for Shakespeare, who didn't invent a lot of his...
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Swordswoman, Opera Singer, Runaway: 'Goddess' Chronicles A Fabled Life

You can run out of colorful adjectives trying to describe Julie d'Aubigny. She was, according to history, exquisite in appearance, a graceful and superb fencer, a sublime singer, a swashbuckling duellist, and lover of men and women, famous and cloistered — and that's just the beginning.Australian young adult author Kelly Gardiner has written her first novel for grownups about a character who seems to leave no adult passion untested. It's called Goddess, and Gardiner tells NPR's Scott Simon...
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How 'Forbidden' Black Rice Flourished For Millennia

In ancient China, black rice was considered so superior and rare, it was reserved exclusively for the emperor and royalty. These days the grain, also known as forbidden rice, has become the darling of gourmets and people seeking superior nutrition.These folks are onto something: The color of black rice is the result of plant pigments called anthocyanins, which research has linked to a number of positive health effects: from anti-inflammatory properties to healthier arteries and better insulin...
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An Intergalactic Adventure Winds To A Close In 'Ancillary Mercy'

"But I will sustain myselfWith nothing more than the perfume of jasmine flowers..."If you don't know the Ancillary series by now, you probably should. Ann Leckie's sociopolitical space opera almost singlehandedly breathed new cool into the stereotype of spaceships trundling through far-off systems amid laser battles. It helped that the spaceships in question were millenia-old artificial intelligences who used hundreds of reanimated corpses as ancillary bodies — which was an amazing visual, a...
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Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a contributing station.

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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.

WPSU's Local Food Journey

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

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.