Hispanic Caucus Calls For Investigation Into Migrant Child's Death

More than a dozen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for an independent investigation into the death last week of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl in U.S. custody, saying the absence of medically trained agents and a series of "disturbing systematic failures" prevented government officials from providing adequate care for the child. The delegation of Democratic Congress members and representatives-elect retraced Jakelin Caal Maquin's final days, first with a tour of the Bounds...

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A Penn State student died of an overdose earlier this year. Last Friday, the man who sold him those drugs received his sentence.
Min Xian / WPSU

A Penn State student died of an overdose earlier this year. On Friday, the man who sold him those drugs received his sentence.

William Denton, from Raleigh, NC, died of a multi-drug overdose in his campus dorm room in January. The 19-year-old Penn State sophomore had bought what he thought was heroin—but which an autopsy showed was a combination of drugs including methylfentanyl—from Mark Grover, of Verona, PA. Grover pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony of drug delivery resulting in death in October.

McCourtney Institute / McCourtney Institute

From gerrymandering to record voter turnout, it's been a busy year for democracy. This doesn't mean that everything has been positive, but there's certainly plenty to reflect on. This week, Michael Berkman and Chris Beem take a look a look back at some of the biggest democracy-related stories of the year and look at what's in store for next year.

An archive recording of the WPSU Blues show as aired on December 15, 2018 and hosted by Max Spiegel. In the first hour, hear tracks from Chuck Berry, Jerry Reed, The Black Keys, Jack White, Joesph Spence, Ry Cooder, Buddy Guy, Alabama Shakes, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Leon Redbone, Ben Harper, Yat-Kah, Rhianna, and more. In the second hour, hear Rory Gallagher, Dave Van Ronk, David Bromberg, The Blues Brothers, Gil Scott Heron, Larkin Poe, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rev. Gary Davis, The Soul Stirrers, and more.

Seria Chatters is the director of diversity and inclusivity for the State College Area School District.
Cheraine Stanford / WPSU

Seria Chatters is the first-ever director of diversity and inclusivity for the State College Area School District. She draws from both her personal and professional experiences to inform her work.

Before taking her current position, she was an assistant professor in Penn State's Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education. 

Chatters talked with WPSU about her first semester on the job and what she hopes to accomplish in the position. 

Narcan nasal spray
Anne Danahy / WPSU

By the time Jeanne Nearhoof, of Lycoming County, and her mother went to a naloxone distribution site Thursday, there wasn’t any left.

That site in Williamsport had run out of the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses. But, Nearhoof did leave with information about how to get it.

“It affects everyone," she said of opioid addiction. "It’s not just poor people or bad people. It’s everybody and anybody.”

That includes her family.

“It’s hell. It truly is hell," Nearhoof said. "It is definitely the devil’s drug.”

It's almost too obvious to be worth pointing out, but healthcare impacts everyone. And it seems like there's one thing everyone can agree on. Healthcare is expensive, whether we're talking about drug prices or insurance premiums. It wasn't always like this. The story of how healthcare got this way is the subject of Elisabeth Rosenthal's book “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back.” I'm always interested in current events, and with the battles over healthcare on the national stage, this book seemed particularly timely.

Chabad of Penn State hosted the university's 18th annual menorah lighting on the University Park campus on Wednesday.
Min Xian / WPSU

Chabad of Penn State hosted the university’s 18th annual menorah lighting on the University Park campus on Wednesday.

Runners on Musser Greenway path
Penn State

Penn State has announced that it is “investigating ways to conserve” a 365-acre property between Rothrock State Park and the future Whitehall Road Regional Park. 

That farmland could be home to passive uses like walking trails, under plans Penn State is developing with ClearWater Conservancy.

The university announced Tuesday it has committed to a passive-use, conservation-based approach for the property. A spokesman said the university plans to “return the land to a more natural state that helps to promote biodiversity and protect the water.”

Josh Woda helped lead the study into methane contamination linked to fracking.
Maddie Biertempfel / WPSU

Nobody wants methane in their water.

“They saw when it gets to about 28 milligrams per liter, it could start degassing to a point where it could explode,” Josh Woda said.

In Lycoming county, Woda and other Penn State researchers found levels of methane much higher than that in a recent study into the effects of Marcellus Shale drilling.

But, because some methane can occur in water naturally, it’s been hard to say if its presence is a result of a natural process, or hydraulic fracturing – until Woda’s study.

Erin Murphy.
Erin Murphy

Erin Murphy, an English professor at Penn State Altoona, won the Brick Road Poetry Prize for her most recent poetry collection, “Assisted Living.” The poems in this collection explore the aging and caretaking processes, as well as what “assisted living” looks like throughout the lifespan.

WPSU’s Adison Godfrey talked with Murphy about the book.

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NPR Stories

Steven Falk still remembers the moment he first laid eyes on Lafayette, Calif., even though it was 28 years ago. He was driving there to interview for a job as an assistant to the city manager.

"I saw this amazing landscape of emerald-green hills and native oak woodland, with neighborhoods sitting in and among these verdant valleys," he says. "I loved it from the very first minute I got here."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Despite pressure from President Trump and members of his administration, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates for the fourth time this year on Wednesday.

Fed officials have signaled they're ready to raise their key borrowing rate to the highest level in a decade — to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent.

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Federal Panel Of Judges Dismisses All 83 Ethics Complaints Against Brett Kavanaugh

A specially appointed federal panel of judges has dismissed all 83 ethics complaints brought against Justice Brett Kavanaugh regarding his conduct at his confirmation hearings. The judges concluded that while the complaints "are serious," there is no existing authority that allows lower court judges to investigate or discipline Supreme Court justices. The complaints against Kavanaugh ranged from allegations that he had misled the Senate about some of his activities in the George W. Bush White...

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ICE Detained The Wrong Peter Brown

Peter Brown moved several years ago to the Florida Keys, and he's taken with the place. "It's the Keys," he says, "so it's a very different, very laid back place." Brown's life took an unexpected turn last spring. He tested positive for marijuana, violating his probation. He'd had an earlier run-in with police at a Key West bar and pleaded guilty to resisting arrest. After turning himself in to the Monroe County sheriff, he was thrown in jail. Then, deputies told him he was being held on a...

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Remembering Penny Marshall, The Director

Penny Marshall was famous as an actress first. She was the Laverne in Laverne & Shirley, one of what felt like so many '80s comedies with a catchy theme song, weird supporting characters, increasingly oddball plots and a messy last couple of seasons as contracts and cast changes interfered. But for years, she "schlemiel, schlimazel"-ed down a Milwaukee street with Cindy Williams, who played Shirley. Just a couple of single girls. It wasn't until she became a director that Marshall came into...

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Trump Foundation To Dissolve Amid New York Attorney General's Investigation

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has announced that the Trump Foundation will dissolve . The foundation was established by Donald Trump well before he ran for president. The news comes as her office continues its investigation into various questions about the foundation's conduct, including whether the foundation broke the law by coordinating with Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and whether it was truly functioning as a charitable organization. Underwood...

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Gulf Oyster Reefs Are Hurting. Now There's Help From Oil Spill Aid Money

Off Cedar Key on Florida's west coast, the water is some of the most pristine in the Gulf. The estuary there has long supported a thriving seafood industry. Sue Colson, a city commissioner in Cedar Key, says one of the best places to harvest oysters used to be the Lone Cabbage oyster reef, about a mile offshore. When the tide was really low, she says there were so many oysters that she and her husband could walk along the reef picking them up. "We would pull our children out of school on a...

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Giant, 'Extremely Dangerous' Waves Crash Into California Coast

Massive waves are breaking along the coast of California, and the National Weather Service is warning of "potentially life-threatening conditions" and urging people to stay away from the water. Forecasters began warning of high waves over the weekend, saying a swell would strike Sunday afternoon through Tuesday, with the peak on Monday morning. The NWS warned of waves that could reach "50+ feet at favored breaks." As of Tuesday morning, the surf in Los Angeles was at 16 to 22 feet, the...

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VA Still Arbitrarily Cutting Caregivers From Program, Even As It Aims To Expand

Chris Kurtz is trying to keep his sense of humor. Even after the VA told him last summer that he no longer needs a caregiver. "Apparently my legs grew back, I dunno," he says with a laugh, and sinks into his couch in Clarksville, Tenn. And then he mentions that he probably can't get out of the couch without help from his wife. In December 2010, a bomb blast ended his Army deployment to Afghanistan. He lost both legs above the knee and half of his left hand. Heather, then his fiancée, joined...

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Pretend You're An Elf In Santaland

David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries" has become a tradition on NPR. Listeners first met Crumpet the un-merry department store elf in 1992 when Sedaris' reading debuted on Morning Edition , and we've heard Crumpet's story many times since. Now, we want to hear from you: Pretend you're an elf who works at Santaland during the holidays, and in just one sentence, tell us something about your imaginary shift. What is your elf's name? What do you wear? How do you help Santa? Your imaginary elf could...

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Emily Blunt's 'Mary Poppins' Is As Magical And Mysterious As Ever

When Emily Blunt landed the title role in Mary Poppins Returns , she made a conscious decision not to rewatch the 1964 version of the film, which featured Julie Andrews as the iconic nanny. Instead, Blunt dove into the books by P.L. Travers , from which the film had been adapted. "I didn't want to sort of get compromised by the details of what Julie Andrews did so beautifully," Blunt says. "I knew it was going to be my version of her." Blunt says that Travers' books became "a very evocative...

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Bill Of The Month: $43,208 For Repeat Surgery To Replace Broken Medical Device

Sarah Witter couldn't catch a break even though her leg had gotten several. As she lay on a ski trail in Vermont last February, Witter, now 63, knew she hadn't suffered a regular fall because she couldn't get up. An X-ray showed she had fractured two bones in her lower left leg. A surgeon at Rutland Regional Medical Center screwed two gleaming metal plates onto the bones to stabilize them. "I was very pleased with how things came together," the doctor wrote in his operation notes. But as...

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Native American Adoption Law Challenged As Racially Biased

In 2014, Paul Buckley and his wife, Cheryl Becker, fostered a baby boy named Mason. They had seen other members of their Phoenix church community foster children and were inspired. "We both have a heart for helping children," Buckley explains. "And it seemed like a way that we could provide something to the community and specifically to children." After raising Mason for a year and a half, Buckley and Becker moved to adopt. It was straightforward until, late in the legal proceedings, the...

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A 2nd Brexit Referendum Once Seemed Unthinkable. Now Support Is Growing

Not so long ago, staging another Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom seemed almost unthinkable. But in recent weeks, as calls have grown louder, the unthinkable has begun to seem plausible. Last week, former Prime Minister Tony Blair said because of the current political chaos and future economic risks, the British should have another say on whether to leave the European Union if there are no other viable options. "Our knowledge of the consequence is a world greater than when we took the...

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Penny Marshall, Filmmaker And 'Laverne & Shirley' Star, Dies At 75

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET Penny Marshall, who became a household name as Laverne in the TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley and went on to direct several popular movies, has died at the age of 75. Marshall died Monday night at her Los Angeles home from complications of diabetes, family publicist Michelle Bega tells NPR. Marshall was born in the Bronx and studied in New Mexico before briefly marrying and having a child, then setting out for a career in show biz. As she explained in her memoir, My Mother...

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NPR's Favorite TV Shows Of 2018

Hundreds and hundreds of series air every year. They are good and they are lousy; they are new and they are old. There's too much television for a comprehensive ranking, so Glen Weldon, Linda Holmes and Eric Deggans round up 16 of their favorite shows from 2018. The Americans (FX) The final season of this slow-burn, serious-minded series about a pair of KGB agents planted in the U.S. to raise a family and spy on government officials had its fans worried. Could the show, which so intricately...

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AP / Associated Press

Holiday Specials 2018 On WPSU-FM

We hope you'll spend part of your holidays with WPSU this year, as we bring you a season of special programs. Enjoy the holiday offerings listed below with our best wishes!

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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.

NPR's Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2018's Great Reads

The Book Concierge is back! Explore more than 300 standout titles picked by NPR staff and critics. Open the app now! Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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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.

Stream NPR Music's 50 Best Albums Of 2018

Start with the top, if you must: Janelle Monáe 's human and heroic Dirty Computer is our No. 1 album of 2018 after all. But then we recommend hitting shuffle on this 40-hour playlist of the 50 best albums of the year and seeing where it takes you. Where else could you jump from Monáe's funk to the limitless sounds of Mexican vocalist Magos Herrera to Khruangbin 's instrumental chill to The HIRS Collective 's punk chaos to a true communion of Bartók 's violin concertos? For every Vince Staples...

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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.