Are Pennsylvania’s minimum wage earners likely to see a pay increase? What of Governor Tom Wolf’s current budget will make it through the Pennsylvania House—what won’t?   WPSU’s Greg Petersen talks about the next state budget with Democrat Mike Hanna, the house minority whip who represents Pennsylvania’s 76th district.    

It’s always a gamble to read a favorite author writing in a genre that’s not one of your favorites. But I had waited so long for Neil Gaiman to write another novel after 2013’s “Ocean at the End of the Lane” that I was willing to give his brand new book of Norse mythology a try.


Pennsylvania’s congressmen and senators are home this week for the district work period — regularly scheduled days when they leave D.C. to tackle constituent concerns. If representatives don't schedule town halls, sometimes constituents will.

At a people’s town hall in Washington, Pa., near Pittsburgh, an audience of about 45 listened to Leeann Howell talk about how repealing the Affordable Care Act would affect her. Howell said without the ACA, she’d have to quit her job in order to be her son’s 24-hour-nurse.

Bluesman Roy Bookbinder says that if he had been born 50 years earlier, he would have become a minstrel man.  

In his long musical journey through the rich American cultural landscape of the last half of the 20th Century, he’s been friends with the Rev. Gary Davis, Pink Anderson and Robert Lockwood. 

He’s toured with Arthur Big Boy Crudup, Hot Tuna, JJ Cale & Bonnie Raitt

He’s been featured on a PBS special and interviewed by Terry Gross on “Fresh Air.” 

He’s also a regular at Fur Peace Ranch, where he teaches along with Jorma Kaukonen. 

Margaret Krauss / WESA


Marian Spotts and her husband, Phil, rode a bus with other Trump supporters 350 miles from Erie County, to Washington, D.C. for Inauguration Day earlier this year.

After Trump’s speech, we asked Marian for some feedback.

“Very plainspoken,” she said. “And spoken to the Americans that wanna hear some encouraging words. So, yeah, it’s an encouraging time.”

Marian says immigration is an important issue for her.

Joseph Kaczmarek / AP Photo


More than 3,000 bridges throughout the state have been deemed structurally deficient.

Heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness. For some people, crossing a bridge induces the same physiological responses as those experienced by an animal frozen in fear, said Dr. Rolf Jacob, a professor of psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh.

“Just like having fear of flying because the airplane could crash, some people might avoid bridges because they are concerned about its structural safety,” he said.

Grace Bell /

An archive recording of the WPSU Blues Show as broadcast on February 18, 2017, and hosted by Max Spiegel. 

In the first hour, hear Mississippi John Hurt, ZZ Top, Taj Mahal, The Black Keys, Bob Dylan, J.J. Cale, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Idris Muhammed, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Catfish Keith, and more.

In hour two, hear David Bromberg, Bob Dylan and The Band, Etta James, Jimmy and Jeanie Cheatham, Chris Smither, Blind Gary Davis, john Long, and more.  

WPSU Jazz Archive - Jan. 17, 2017

Feb 18, 2017
Noop1958 / Creative Commons

An archive recording for the WPSU Jazz show as aired on February 17, 2017 and hosted by Rana Glick. 

In the first hour, hear Al Jarreau, Luciana Suza, La Luna, Art Pepper, The Buena Vista Social Club, Xavier Lemon, Cecil Paine Quartet. Blossom Dearie, and more.

In the second hour, hear Roman Diaz, Dizzy Gillespie, Al Jarreau, Carlos Para, Karen Allison, and more.   

Fraternity Charter Revoked Following Student Death

Feb 17, 2017
Old Main building at Penn State

Penn State has revoked the charter of fraternity Beta Theta Pi effective immediately. The ban will last at least five years and may become permanent based on the results of a criminal investigation into the February 3rd death of student Timothy Piazza.

Piazza fell down a flight of stairs at the chapter house, and was not taken to the hospital until 12 hours later. His death is the focus of a criminal investigation by the State College Police Department and an internal investigation by the Office of Student Conduct.


WPSU’s Greg Petersen talks with Republican Pennsylvania Senator Jake Corman about Governor Tom Wolf’s just-released state budget.  Corman represents the 34th Senatorial District, which includes all of Centre, Mifflin, and Juniata Counties and part of Huntingdon County.  Senator Corman serves as the majority leader in the State Senate.   


NPR Stories

It's been more than a month since Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, traveled to London on what was billed as two weeks' vacation — with routine medical check-ups. He hasn't been back home since.

His government says the 74-year-old is in good health. But many Nigerians are not convinced and wonder whether their president is gravely ill — or worse.

Buhari's long absence comes amid Nigeria's worst economic crisis in years and other pressing national problems, including a famine in the northeast, the region badly hit by extremist Boko Haram violence.

In the 1950s and '60s, if there were any children's books in a house, at least one of them was likely to be a Little Golden Book. With their golden spines and brightly colored pictures, they begged to be grabbed off a shelf by a curious child — which is exactly what their creators intended. Those beloved books celebrate their 75th birthday this year.

First introduced shortly after the start of World War II, many of them — such as The Tawny Scrawny Lion, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, and The Poky Little Puppy — have become classics.

When Anna Taylor got her U.S. patent for false eyelashes in 1911, it's doubtful she could see far enough into the future to know that trying to make lashes look longer and fuller would turn into a multimillion-dollar industry.

Retirement parties have become frequent events at the State Department in recent weeks. So, too, are the warnings about where foreign policy may be heading under the Trump Administration.

On Friday afternoon, yet another experienced State Department official moved on. Daniel Fried was feted with champagne and cake at the end of his 40-year career as a diplomat who helped shape America's post-Cold War policy in Europe.

Get More NPR News

WATCH LIVE: DNC Chair Race Is Underway 12:24 p.m. ET: Former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez, the front-runner for DNC chairman, called for unity within the party, pledged to be an inclusive chairman if elected, vowed to fight Donald Trump, while striking a Trump-like tone. "We will turn this party around and get Democrats winning again," Perez said at the end of a short speech. Perez strained to talk with a hoarse voice. Perez said the party is "suffering from a crisis of confidence and...

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GOP Health Bill Draft Would Cut Medicaid, Emphasize Tax Credits

In recent days, several Republican lawmakers have faced crowds of constituents at town hall meetings around the country who are angry that they may be in danger of losing their health coverage. A GOP draft bill , recently obtained by Politico , would likely do little to assuage these concerns. The Feb. 10 document follows the broad policy outline released by Republicans last week just before they went home for a Congressional recess. It proposes cuts to federal payments to states that have...

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Deported With A Valid U.S. Visa, Jordanian Says Message Is 'You're Not Welcome'

Yahya Abu Romman, a 22-year-old languages major, had just graduated from university. To celebrate, he planned a six-week trip to the U.S., where his brother, uncles and aunts and more than a dozen cousins have lived for years. With good grades, an engaging personality and fluency in three languages — English, Arabic and Spanish — he had worked as a nature conservation ranger while studying, and had his pick of jobs with tour companies in Jordan, a strong U.S. ally. In 2015, Abu Romman was...

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Transgender Students, For-Profit Colleges And Changes To The SAT

Welcome to our second weekly roundup of notable national education news! (Missed us last week? Find it here. ) The biggest ed headline of the week, of course, had to do with: Transgender students and Title IX In technical terms, the departments of Justice and Education this week rescinded Obama-era guidance on the interpretation of Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. In symbolic terms, the Trump administration backed away from endorsing transgender civil rights...

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Trump And CPAC: A Complicated Relationship No More

President Trump's status with the Conservative Political Action Conference has gone from "it's complicated" to a full-on committed relationship. That turnaround was to be expected, given that the former reality TV star and billionaire businessman pulled off an unlikely upset last November that finally gave attendees at CPAC what they had been salivating over for more than a decade — control of the White House, Congress and a new conservative justice nominated to the Supreme Court. But to do...

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FCC Chairman Goes After His Predecessor's Internet Privacy Rules

The newly appointed Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is moving to scale back the implementation of sweeping privacy rules for Internet providers passed last year. Chairman Ajit Pai on Friday asked the FCC to hit pause on the rollout of one part of those rules that was scheduled to go into effect next week. This marks the latest in his efforts to roll back his predecessor's regulatory moves. Overall, the privacy rules would regulate how ISPs have to disclose to...

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David Oyelowo On The Real 'United Kingdom' Marriage And Its Diplomatic Fallout

A young woman meets a prince and falls in love. That sounds like the start of an old fashioned fairy tale, but in the movie A United Kingdom it's the start of a diplomatic firestorm. The film tells the story of Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama, who married in 1948. Williams was a typist in London; Khama was heir to the throne of Bechuanaland, or modern-day Botswana. Their marriage angered nearby countries that were part of the British empire, including South Africa, which had just banned mixed...

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Dubai's Self-Flying Taxis Have Some Hurdles To Clear Before Taking Off

[Youtube] Government officials in Dubai have announced plans for one-passenger taxi drones to begin flying in the city as soon as July. Despite low gas prices in the region, officials are hoping the drones could help solve traffic and air quality problems. But there are still many safety and technical issues to be worked out before they can truly begin flying in Dubai or here in the U.S. Here & Now s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Leslie Josephs ( @ lesliejosephs ), transportation reporter at...

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Black Muslims Face Double Jeopardy, Anxiety In The Heartland

Black parents across America have long instructed their children on navigating discrimination and avoiding its sometimes deadly consequences. But for black immigrant Muslims, this conversation takes on an entirely different dimension. Growing up, Ahlaam Ibraahim, a Somali-American student at the University of Washington, felt the dual struggles of being a religious and ethnic minority. "As a black woman, I'm scared of the police because I see people that look like me killed simply for being...

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In The 1800s, These Harvard Women Studied The Stars

Beginning in the late-1800s, women were employed by the Harvard College Observatory to study images of the stars that were captured by the observatory’s telescopes. Their analyses led to a deeper understanding of the nature of stars and the makeup of the universe. Dava Sobel tells their story in The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars , and joins Here & Now s Eric Westervelt ( @Ericnpr ) to talk about the book. Interview Highlights On how...

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A Taste For Pork Helped A Deadly Virus Jump To Humans

It was a balmy Sunday evening in early 1999, and Dr. Kaw Bing Chua hadn't had lunch or dinner. There wasn't time to eat. Chua was chasing a killer. And he thought maybe he had finally tracked it down. He slid the slide under the microscope lens, turned on the scope's light and looked inside. "A chill went down my spine," Chua says. "The slide lit up bright green, like bright green lanterns." Right there, in Chua's hands, was a virus the world had never seen before. And as he soon learned, it...

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Your Guide To NPR At SXSW 2017

Public radio fans, lend us your ears. NPR staff and journalists are once again journeying to Austin, Texas, for the South By Southwest 2017 Conference and Festival. Here's your one-stop guide to connecting with us at panels, meet-ups and our annual NPR Music showcase. NPR Music SXSW Showcase 2017 With Support From Blue Headphones On Wednesday, March 15, NPR Music takes over Stubb's outdoor stage and presents The New Pornographers, Joey Bada$$, Lizzo, Sylvan Esso, Hurray For The Riff Raff and...

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Naomi Oreskes: Why Should We Believe In Science?

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Spirit Of Inquiry . About Naomi Oreskes' TED Talk In school, we're taught we should trust science because the scientific method leads to measurable results and hard facts. But Naomi Oreskes says the process of inquiry doesn't end there. About Naomi Oreskes Naomi Oreskes is a professor at Harvard University . Her work focuses on the history of science and climate change. In 2004, Oreskes published an essay "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,"...

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Bounding Baby Bongo Born

The Los Angeles Zoo has officially announced its newest addition: a baby bongo. Eastern bongos are striped forest antelopes, with large ears and horns. They are found in the wild in East Africa and are critically endangered according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which maintains the so-called red list of species facing extinction. Only 75 to 140 wild bongos are thought to still live in Kenya. "This birth is a true testament to the work zoos are doing to sustain...

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A Film Editor In The Land Of Astrophysicists

Lawrence Weschler's new book Waves Passing in the Night: Walter Murch in the Land of the Astrophysicists is part scientific detective story and part reflection on science and its relation to its own history and social reality. It's also a celebration of the life and personality of its central character, the acclaimed 73-year-old sound and film editor — and polymath-extraordinaire — Walter Murch. Murch was a member of the film production teams that made THX 1138 , Gimme Shelter , the Godfather...

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A Difficult Childhood Inspires A Dad To Do Better

Michael Ryan, 45, is a juvenile judge in Cleveland, Ohio. And like many of the kids who end up in his courtroom, he didn't have an easy childhood. He adored his mother, he tells his son — also named Michael, 19, at StoryCorps in Cleveland, but she was addicted to heroin. "My mother and my stepdad, they were more concerned about that next high than necessarily whether or not we were going to school," he says. "I saw a lot of things that kids should not ever witness. I saw your grandmother...

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Enter WPSU's Art For The Airwaves Contest!

The winning work will be reproduced as a limited edition poster, offered as a "thank-you" gift during our April fund drive. The deadline is 5:00pm on February 28th.

WPSU Podcasts

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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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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!

Public Radio for Central & Northern Pennsylvania

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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.

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

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.

WPSU's Local Food Journey

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

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