Since the United Nations Volunteers program began in 1971, more than 50,000 volunteers have been mobilized around the world. Volunteers help organize and run local and national elections and support a large number of peacekeeping and humanitarian projects.  What does it take to become a volunteer—and are volunteers making a real difference?  WPSU's Patty Satalia talks about that and more with Jennifer Stapper, Communications Chief for the United Nations Volunteers program.

BookMark: "The Reformation" by Katherine Bode-Lang

23 hours ago

“To everything there is a season,” Ecclesiastes tells us. Katherine Bode-Lang, local poet and national winner of the Honickman First Book Prize, understands this deeply. In her award-winning collection, The Reformation, she gets her hands dirty with what matters: resistance and acceptance, regret and impenitence. “All day, my hands smell of remembrance,” she tells us. With fierce, lyrical poems, she digs up questions and plants experiences. She weathers through our physical and spiritual seasons. At year’s end, she arrives at love.

Gov. Tom Wolf
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

  

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf says the state will continue its plans to cut carbon emissions. That's despite a surprise move by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday that put a hold on Obama's initiative to force states to cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Pennsylvania has been on target to comply with the federal Clean Power Plan, and its target of reducing emissions 32 percent by 2030.

In the meantime, 27 other states opposed to the plan have challenged it in court. The Supreme Court has halted any further implementation of the plan until the court battle is over.

Pa. Senate Votes Against Removing AG Kane

Feb 10, 2016
Kathleen Kane
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane gets to keep her job -- for now. 

  A vote to remove her from office failed in the state senate.  

While a majority of Pennsylvania senators -- mostly Republicans -- were in favor of removing Kane from office, they fell short of the required two-thirds majority needed to invoke a section of the state constitution that hasn't been used since 1891.

2 Pennsylvania Women Test Positive For Zika Virus

Feb 10, 2016
mosquito
Felipe Dana, File / AP Photo

State health authorities say two female Pennsylvania residents have tested positive for the Zika virus.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health says the two had recently traveled to countries affected by the ongoing outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus.

Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy said officials are concerned about the health of those individuals and others who may be exposed, but the want to emphasize that the two cases "pose no threat to the public."

Gov. Tom Wolf giving budget address to full room.
Chris Knight / AP Photo

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf offered up some tough talk for the GOP-controlled state Legislature in his second budget address, scarcely mentioning the details of his proposed $33.3 billion plan.

“Usually this speech is an opportunity to lay out an ambitious agenda for the year ahead,” Wolf said. “But I can’t give that speech. Not under these circumstances.”

Wolf’s proposal calls for $2.7 billion in new and higher taxes to close a budget gap and funnel more money into education, human services, and mandated spending.

Gov. Tom Wolf Unveils 2016-17 Budget Proposal

Feb 9, 2016
Gov. Tom Wolf, with Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack behind him.
Chris Knight / AP Photo

Gov. Tom Wolf warned lawmakers on Tuesday that Pennsylvania's finances are a ticking time bomb amid a record-long budget gridlock, sending them a spending proposal for the coming fiscal year with no full plan in place for the fiscal year that began back in July.

Lock Haven Students Rally For State Funding

Feb 8, 2016
Pennsylvania State Capitol Building
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Students and faculty from state-owned universities across the state traveled to Harrisburg to advocate for increased funding for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Lock Haven University students and faculty wearing the school’s colors boarded a bus to the state capitol on Monday. The state system’s faculty union sponsored a bus for each state-owned university to send students, faculty and alumni to advocate for more state funding for higher education.

minds-eye

  

An archive recording of the WPSU Blues Show as aired on February 6, 2016 and hosted by Max Spiegel with special guest host Sister Sylvie of sister station WKPS-FM. 

 In the first hour, hear tracks from Guy Davis, The Black Keys, Maria Muldaur, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sunhouse, Etta James, Swamp Cabbage, Ry Cooder, Paul Kantner and Marty Balin, Jefferson Airplane, and more.  

In the second hour, hear Champion Jack Dupree, Doc Watson, Bob Weir, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Steve Miller Band, The Shack Shakers, The White Stripes, and more.   

Greg Petersen

An archive recording for the WPSU Jazz show as aired on February 5, 2016, produced and hosted by Craig Johnson. The recording features a Jazz@ThePalmer recording of the Dan Yoder Quartet, as performed in August 2015. 

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NPR Stories

With Valentine Day’s weekend approaching, we wanted to check back in with the Modern Love podcast, co-produced by The New York Times and Here & Now member station WBUR.

In this episode, director Judd Apatow – of “Trainwreck” and “Knocked Up” fame – reads Brian Gittis’ essay “At the Hospital, An Interlude of Clarity.”

Although Americans consume 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate every year, they may not think about where their chocolate comes every time they take a bite. One Missouri chocolate maker wants that to change.

With the impending Valentine’s Day-inspired boost in chocolate consumption, Suzanne Hogan from Here & Now contributor KCUR in Kansas City has the story of the “bean to bar” chocolate maker Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield, Missouri.

Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill came face to face Friday in Havana, Cuba — the first time leaders of the two churches have met since a schism 1,000 years ago divided Christianity.

The religious leaders "embraced and kissed one another three times on the cheek as they met in a wood-paneled VIP room at the Havana airport," The Associated Press reports. The news service adds that Francis said, "Finally!" when he embraced Kirill, and "We are brothers." Through an interpreter, Kirill told the pope, "Now things are easier."

Find your binoculars and fill up the bird feeders, because the Great Backyard Bird Count starts today.

The annual event invites bird watchers of all levels to count the birds in their backyard, wherever that may be, and submit the data to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, which launched the project in 1998.

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Money May Not Buy You Love, But It Sure Helps

A candlelit dinner, a bottle of bubbly Champagne and a beautiful date. You tear your gaze away for a second to glance at the check your waiter just gave you. Your heart skips a beat at the sight of the three-digit number. But never mind, the stunning smile across the table is worth it.Right?Relationships come with sweet romance and accelerating heartbeats, but money, unfortunately, is often a crucial ingredient in the mix as well. Think about it: Weekly date nights, vacations, wedding, honeym...
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Ready, Set, Watch: The Great Backyard Bird Count Starts Today

Find your binoculars and fill up the bird feeders, because the Great Backyard Bird Count starts today.The annual event invites bird watchers of all levels to count the birds in their backyard, wherever that may be, and submit the data to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, which launched the project in 1998.This year, the four-day event runs from Feb. 12 to Feb. 15. To participate, you simply need to sign up online and then tally the numbers and kinds of birds you...
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In Iran, A Poet's 700-Year-Old Verses Still Set Hearts Aflame

Just ahead of Valentine's Day, we visited the tomb of a poet who wrote often of love.The 14th century Persian poet Hafez is buried in Shiraz, the city where he lived almost 700 years ago. He remains venerated in Iran, even though he wrote of romance and other topics that are not obviously embraced in the modern-day Islamic Republic.One of his lines: "Oh Cup-bearer, set my glass afire with the light of wine!"We reached the tomb of Hafez — the pen name for the man born Khwaja Shamsuddīn Muhamma...
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History-Making Philae Lander Faces 'Eternal Hibernation' On Comet

Exactly 15 months after it completed a seemingly impossible journey to land on the surface of a comet, the Philae lander now faces "eternal hibernation," as officials at the European Space Agency say the craft doesn't get enough sunlight to power its batteries."The chances for Philae to contact our team ... are unfortunately getting close to zero," says Stephan Ulamec, Philae project manager at the German Aerospace Center, DLR. He added, "We are not sending commands any more, and it would be...
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Einstein, A Hunch And Decades Of Work: How Scientists Found Gravitational Waves

On Thursday, researchers announced the discovery of gravitational waves --wrinkles in the very fabric of space-time.But behind the headlines and news conferences were decades of hard work, hundreds of scientists and more than a billion dollars in taxpayer funds."It's profoundly satisfying that it came out the way that we intended, we'd hoped, we'd dreamed," says Kip Thorne, a gravitational theorist at Caltech who co-founded the project.The idea of gravitational waves started 100 years ago, wh...
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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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