Voter Turnout Could Hit 50-Year Record For Midterm Elections

The 2018 elections could see the highest turnout for a midterm since the mid-1960s, another time of cultural and social upheaval. "It's probably going to be a turnout rate that most people have never experienced in their lives for a midterm election," Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who studies turnout and maintains a turnout database , told NPR. McDonald is predicting that 45 to 50 percent of eligible voters will cast a ballot. That would be a level not seen since...

Read More

BookMark: "Looking For Alaska" By John Green

6 minutes ago

When I was a senior in high school, a girl I dated introduced me to the work of John Green. But it wasn’t a book that she gave me. I was studying for AP European History, and she sent me a link to a Youtube video where John talked about the French Revolution. John Green and his brother, Hank, each post a video every week to a Youtube channel called vlogbrothers. I don’t know how much I realized it when I first started watching the channel, but I really needed something like vlogbrothers.

John Walcott and Jonathan Landay
Anne Danahy / WPSU

A Saudi Arabian reporter who went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month, but hasn’t been seen since, is the focus of international attention. Some reports suggest that Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and killed in the embassy, while his finance waited outside.


In a meeting room at the Unity Church in State College, a group of women gathered to rehearse the songs they’ll perform live on Friday night. These five women will use jazz, soul, R&B and hip-hop music to share their experiences as black women, sing through trauma, heal and have fun.

The idea behind Soul Space is to create a safe space for black women, by black women to tell their stories. Wideline Seraphin, one of the event organizers and performers, said in State College few of these spaces exist.

When Craig Murphy walks into the headquarters of the Red Lion School District just southeast of the city of York, the receptionist greets him with a friendly and familiar hello.

Within minutes, Murphy is talking about taxes. His basic take: there’s too many of them and they’re too high.

“I see it that I’m going broke,” he said. “Where do you say enough’s enough?”

In this file photo from March, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman released the details of the "Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law" with the Piazza family and Penn State president Eric Barron.
Min Xian / WPSU

An anti-hazing law passed its final vote in the Pennsylvania state senate on Monday. The bill was approved unanimously and is now heading to the governor’s desk.

The Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law is named after Penn State student Tim Piazza, who died in 2017 from alcohol hazing. 

The new law will create tiers for hazing charges, which means hazing resulting in serious bodily injury or death would be a third-degree felony, with a prison sentence of up to seven years.

Fair Trade Store In State College Holds Grand Opening

Oct 15, 2018
Ten Thousand Villages on South Atherton Street holds its grand opening week starting Oct. 19.
Maddie Biertempfel / WPSU

Joel Weidner, the Board Chairman of the State College Ten Thousand Villages store, showed off a bronze singing bowl made in Nepal.  

“They’re really cool. They can be used for meditation or just as beautiful pieces of art,” Weidner said.

The bowl is one of many fair-trade international goods sold at the nonprofit store that opened on South Atherton Street last month. On Friday, the store will kick off a welcome week to celebrate its opening.

Weidner says events will include a ribbon cutting, meditation sessions, a drum circle and musical performances.

Abdalaziz “Aziz” Alhamza is the co-founder and spokesperson for Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a group of civilian journalists who worked to expose the crimes of ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

We talked with Aziz about how life in Raqqa changed when ISIS came to power, why he continued this work despite increasing danger and what life is like in Raqqa today.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's top prosecutor is appealing to legislators to change state law so that criminal and civil cases can be pursued in court in decades-old clergy abuse cases.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro is holding a news conference Friday at the court complex outside Philadelphia where Bill Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.
A state grand jury in August found that some 300 Roman Catholic priests had sexually abused children in cases going back decades and that church leaders systematically covered it up.

Happy Valley Vineyard and Winery Owner Barbara Christ points out grapes that could be affected by the spotted lanternfly.
Maddie Biertempfel / WPSU

Happy Valley Vineyard and Winery owner Barbara Christ stands among ten acres of grapevines on neat rows of trellises.

She points to a post at the end of one row of vines as a perfect location for an unwelcome visitor.

“They would definitely lay egg masses on something like this," she said. 

Christ is a retired Penn State plant pathology professor whose research focused on plant diseases. As a vineyard owner, she’s keeping an eye out for the spotted lanternfly.

“It could be extremely devastating to an operation like ours,” Christ said. 

Participants rappel down the 12-story Fraser Center.
Maddie Biertempfel / WPSU

Rappelling down a 12-story building isn’t a typical way to spend a Thursday afternoon—unless it’s for a good cause.

“Oh my gosh, that was crazy. Yeah, I guess I’m not as afraid of heights as I thought I was,” Wendy Vinhage said.

Vinhage—now at ground level—is director of the nonprofit organization, Interfaith Human Services.

Her group, along with the FaithCentre, hosted “Over the Edge.” The event raised money for each group's mission to provide resources for Centre County residents in need.


NPR Stories

You know about A Star Is Born, right? One enormously famous and successful celebrity fades; one rises. But here's a question: What percentage of creative people will ever get to be either of those? What percentage will experience a great rise or a great fall? How many will simply work, often undervalued and insulted, sometimes praised, for a moment, before being shoved aside? What about the invisibility that follows even fleeting encounters with modest success?

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Prague 1968: Reforming A Soviet Communist Regime

21 minutes ago

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

"Thank YOU," writes Cara Christensen, a first-grade teacher in Washington State who read NPR's deep-dive into the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF). The reporting, she says, "made me feel not so alone."

We received dozens of e-mails, tweets and Facebook comments from aggrieved borrowers responding to news that, over the past year, 99 percent of applications for the popular loan-forgiveness program have been denied.

Get More NPR News

U.N.'s Syrian Envoy Steps Down As Civil War Continues

Lakhdar Brahimi will resign at the end of the month from his post as Syrian international envoy, after a failed two-year effort to end the conflict that has claimed more than 150,000 lives in Syria. Earlier this week, the forces of President Bashar al-Assad took full control of the city of Homs, which had been considered the capital of the revolution against him. Assad is also running for re-election next month, so there are questions about the future of the revolution. The BBCs Lina Sinjab...

Read More

Midterm Election Could Reshape Health Policy

Obamacare — as the Affordable Care Act is commonly known — won't be on the ballot next month. But the fate of the eight-year old health care law could be decided by which party wins control of Congress in November. "Medicare for All" — the progressive alternative to Obamacare — also stands to gain or lose ground. And the Trump administration will be looking for a green light to keep making health care changes of its own. Republican strategist Karl Rove wrote about what's at stake in a recent...

Read More

New York City Creates Gender-Neutral Designation For Birth Certificates

People who were born in New York City and do not identify as male or female can now select the gender-neutral designation of X on their birth certificates. Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the provision into law last week. In 2014, the city passed a law that removed the requirements of surgery and legal name-change for transgender people who wished to change the gender designated on their birth certificate from female to male or male to female. Now, gender nonconforming or non-binary transgender...

Read More

'Ruth Bader Ginsburg' Reminds Us Why The Justice Is A True Legal Icon

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a cultural icon, the subject of two movies in 2018 alone — and an opera and a workout book, among other things. She is the Notorious R.B.G., emblazoned on T-shirts, made into memes, and parodied on Saturday Night Live . There's even an action figure of her. Jane Sherron De Hart reminds us in her new scholarly biography, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life , just what got the ball rolling on all of this: Ginsburg is a true-blue legal icon. Though unauthorized, De...

Read More

Deep In The Desert, A Case Pits Immigration Crackdown Against Religious Freedom

In January, Border Patrol agents walked up to a ramshackle old building on the outskirts of a small town in Arizona's Sonoran Desert. They found three men. Two were Central Americans who had crossed the border illegally. The third was an American — a university lecturer and humanitarian activist named Scott Warren. Warren was arrested and ultimately charged with two federal criminal counts of harboring illegal migrants and one count of conspiracy to harbor and transport them. Warren has...

Read More

Former USA Gymnastics CEO Told Staff To Keep Alleged Abuse Quiet, Waited To Tell FBI

The former president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny , was dismissed from a hearing before a U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating the sexual abuse of athletes by ex-team doctor Larry Nassar on Tuesday after Penny refused to answer questions by lawmakers. Penny, who answered only one question, about how long he was employed by USA Gymnastics, was subpoenaed to testify but asserted his Fifth Amendment rights six times and made it clear he would not respond to the senators' queries. As...

Read More

Early Voting Changes In North Carolina Spark Bipartisan Controversy

North Carolina voters are once again dealing with changes to how the state runs its elections. At a time when early voting is becoming increasingly popular nationwide, a new law passed by the Republican-controlled legislature will result in nearly 20 percent fewer places to cast votes before Election Day. Democrats say the changes could disproportionately affect African-American voters, but some local Republican officials also complain about the changes, arguing they impose too much top-down...

Read More

White House Lawyer Quits After Helping Trump Put His Mark On The Federal Bench

White House counsel Don McGahn has left the job effective Wednesday. But his influence will live on for years, thanks to the dozens of conservative judges that McGahn helped President Trump put on the federal bench. The grueling confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh marked an explosive end to McGahn's White House tenure. But he's also worked more quietly in the last two years to put his stamp on the lower courts. With a flurry of confirmations by the Senate on Oct. 11, Trump...

Read More

11-Year-Old Among Group Of Young People Suing Government Over Climate Change

In 2040, the year when the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts the planet will be irreversibly damaged by rising temperatures, Levi Draheim will be just 33. Hes one of 21 young people suing the federal government, saying it hasnt done enough to protect the planet from climate change. Here & Now s Robin Young talks with Draheim. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Read More

Race In American Schools: Is It Ever OK To Group Students Of Color?

A now-ended policy at the Little Red School House in Manhattan that grouped minority students in the same homeroom caused a stir. But was it the right thing to do? Here & Now s Robin Young discusses that question, and modern-day issues of race and racism in American schools, with psychologist  Beverly Tatum  ( @BDTSpelman ), former president of Spelman College and author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Read More

Khashoggi Disappearance Tests Ties Between Jared Kushner And Saudi Crown Prince

Entering the White House as a foreign policy novice, Jared Kushner has leaned on his personal rapport with foreign government leaders to help push the Trump administration's goals. Before joining the White House, Kushner was a real estate investor in New York City, where personal relationships can help cement deals. But that approach is now being put to the test in light of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Turkey more...

Read More

It's Legal. In Canada, Recreational Marijuana Gets Green Light

Starting Wednesday, the sale of recreational marijuana begins in Canada following a law passed over the summer. The law says anyone in Canada over the age of 18 is allowed to possess marijuana, provided it's less than 30 grams — just over an ounce. Canadians can also grow up to four marijuana plants in their home and buy from a provincially regulated retailer. The country had months to prepare for the law's launch. The House of Commons and the Senate approved legalization in June , and later...

Read More

What One Pennsylvania County Reveals About Trump's Election

Pennsylvania was a crucial swing state in the 2016 election. Within Pennsylvania, Luzerne County swung significantly for Donald Trump despite voting for Democrats for decades. In his new book The Forgotten , Ben Bradlee Jr.  profiles a dozen Trump voters in Luzerne County, and examines how the county is a microcosm of a divided America. Here & Now s Jeremy Hobson talks with Bradlee ( @BenBradleeJr ), a former investigative reporter and editor at The Boston Globe. Interview Highlights On...

Read More

WPSU's Fall Fundraising 2nd Pre-Drive Challenge

WPSU's fund drive starts Saturday, and we have until Friday to reach a 2nd challenge. As of 2:00pm Thurs, we still had $1985 left to go. Donate at the link below & Thank you!!

WPSU's Candidate Interviews

Election day is November 6th, and WPSU is talking with candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 12th, 13th & 15th districts. Click below for the radio & TV schedule.

November 6 is Election Day

Find candidate profiles, information on the newly drawn PA Congressional districts, resources on voter registration, and more on WPSU's Vote '18 web portal.

Listen to Morning Edition, weekdays from 5:00am to 9:00am & Weekend Edition, Saturday & Sunday from 8:00am to 10:00am on WPSU-FM.

The Great American Read

PBS asked Americans to name their best-loved novel, and they've compiled a list of the top 100. Hear WPSU listeners make a case for their favorites, then vote for yours at

The NPR Politics Show: Saturdays At Noon, Through Midterms Week

The Politics Show is the definitive guide to the 2018 midterms: a one-hour roundtable discussion airing for nine weeks that presents a deep dive on the major races & issues.

Get your NPR News Fix This Weekend!

Listen to the latest from NPR News this weekend on Weekend Edition, Saturday & Sunday mornings, 8:00-10:00am; and All Things Considered, Saturday & Sunday evenings, 5:00-6:00pm on WPSU-FM.

NPR's "Planet Money/How I Built This"

Saturdays at 7:00am: “Planet Money” and “How I Built This” are two half-hour shows that together make a one-hour weekly program on business and entrepreneurship from NPR.

Get The Free WPSU App!

Take public media anywhere you go with the WPSU mobile app available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and Amazon devices.

It's Folk Season

The Folk Show is back on WPSU-FM Saturday afternoons from 1-5pm, now through December, when the Metropolitain Opera Radio Season begins again.

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

Turn Your Old Car into Public Radio!

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

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.

Add your voice!

Write an essay for WPSU's This I Believe or BookMark.

On-Air Schedule

WPSU Podcasts

Subscribe to our podcasts and stay on top of your world with WPSU.

Reasons To Stay

In case you missed WPSU's Regional Murrow Award-winning series, "Reasons to Stay," which explores what keeps people in central Pa, check it out at the link below.