Inside Lewisburg Prison: A Choice Between A Violent Cellmate Or Shackles

On Feb. 3, 2011, corrections officers at the Lewisburg federal penitentiary in central Pennsylvania arrived outside Sebastian Richardson's cell door. With them was a man looking agitated, rocking back and forth and staring down at Richardson, who at 4 feet, 11 inches was nicknamed "Bam Bam."The man, officers told Richardson, was his new cellmate. The two would spend nearly 24 hours a day celled together in a concrete room smaller than a parking space.Richardson, 51, didn't know his new...
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Toomey and McGinty at debate
AP Photo / Matt Rourke

GOP incumbent Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty met in Philadelphia Monday night for a second and final debate.

With two weeks to go until Election Day, the candidates in the country’s most expensive US Senate race are within two points of one another in an average of recent polls.

Tension between the two was high onstage at Temple University.

Ex-Attorney General Gets 10 To 23 Months In Jail

Oct 24, 2016
Kathleen Kane with police officers
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

The first woman elected Pennsylvania's top prosecutor has been sentenced to 10 to 23 months in jail for illegally disclosing details from a grand jury investigation to embarrass a rival and then lying about it under oath.

Former Attorney General Kathleen Kane was also sentenced Monday to eight years of probation. The judge told Kane her children were "collateral damages" of her own actions.

In the final year of her first term, the 50-year-old was convicted Aug. 15 of two felony charges of perjury and seven misdemeanor charges. She resigned the next day.

Jalylah Burrell / Creative Commons

An archive recording of the WPSU Jazz Show as broadcast on Friday, October 21, 2016 and hosted by Greg Petersen. 

In the first hour hear tracks from Cassandra Wilson, Christian McBride. Ryan Kauffman, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Ellis Marsalis, Norah Jones, and Wes Montgomery.

In the second hour, hear Branford Marsalis, John Pizzarelli, The Kenny Barron Trio, Maria Muldaur, Oscar Peterson, Al Grey, Gretchen Parlato, and Coleman Hawkins.

Eleanor Klibanoff / WPSU


Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine came to State College on Friday afternoon. Though he bashed Donald Trump and praised his running mate's debate performance, it was clear that Kaine knew what this crowd wanted to hear.

"I don't know if the college affordability issue is of concern to anyone at Penn State," Kaine joked as the crowd laughed — or groaned.

He laid out Hillary Clinton's plan to make post-secondary education accessible for everyone.


Eleanor Klibanoff / WPSU


Thursday night, a storm system swept across Centre County, dumping seven to eight inches of rain in under three hours. In the Bald Eagle Valley, basements, sheds and low-lying homes began to fill up with water.


County Commissioner Mike Pipe says by 3 a.m., Centre County decided to declare a disaster emergency.

“Evacuation of the Milesburg area occurred in the morning hours," said Pipe. "And it was not just residents in Milesburg, but also the personal care home Eagle Valley that was fully evacuated.”

Republican incumbent Glenn Thompson is seeking a 5th term in  Congress, representing Pennsylvania's 5th Congressional District.  The former health care administrator is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Conservation & Forestry. He also serves on the House Natural Resources Commitee and the House Education & Workforce Commitee.  

His Democratic challenger is Brookville Attorney, Kerith Strano Taylor, who is running against Rep. Thompson for the second time.  

BookMark: "Hope You Guess My Name" By Heather Harlen

Oct 20, 2016

Heather Harlen’s debut novel, Hope You Guess My Name, is a thriller that will make readers wonder what’s behind the veneers of their own communities. Marina Konyeshna, the book’s main character, is threatened after she discovers a human trafficking ring in her hometown in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at second debate
John Locher / AP Photo

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton face off in the final presidential debate Wednesday night at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

NPR's politics team, with help from reporters and editors who cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, is live annotating the debate. Portions of the debate with added analysis are highlighted, followed by context and fact check from NPR reporters and editors. 

(Photo: WPSU)

Senator Pat Toomey made a campaign stop in State College Tuesday to meet with a group of local farmers gathered at Hess Farm, just off Route 45.

The senator came to the farm to make a point about what he sees as overreach by the EPA in a recent rule aimed at protecting waterways and wetlands. He says the “Waters of the United States” rule places undue burdens on farmers.  Toomey said he also objects to such rules being handed down by unelected bureaucrats.

Few issues in contemporary democracy are so important as the future of public education. Democracy, our founding fathers believed, can thrive only if the citizens who consent to be governed are educated and engaged, and are capable of understanding the challenges that we all face together. When education fails, so does democracy. 


NPR Stories

Hillary Clinton's campaign has been dealing with the fallout from her choice to use a private email server while secretary of state since before there was even officially a campaign. Now, WikiLeaks has released private emails from March 2015 between Clinton advisers talking about how to handle the email mess.

Clinton's campaign says the email release is part of a Russian effort to interfere with the U.S. election. The campaign has chosen not to verify the authenticity of the emails hacked from the personal Gmail account of Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta.

If it's true that misery loves company, then the heartbreaking failures of the Chicago Cubs over the last century certainly cemented bonds through generations of fans.

The Cubs are in the World Series for the first time in 71 years, and they haven't won the fall classic since 1908.

That makes this year's success somewhat bittersweet for many fans in Chicago, who remember parents, grandparents, spouses and other loved ones who didn't live long enough to see this day.

Workers in California's hospitals and doctors' offices may be less likely to get hit, kicked, bitten or grabbed under workplace standards adopted by a state workplace safety board.

With simple beats and a breezy bass line, the quirky new pop cut from The Shins channels the band's vintage mix of wistful meditations and infectious melodies. "Dead Alive" is typically playful and tongue-in-cheek, but also slightly foreboding.

Huge crowds of demonstrators rallied in the streets of Venezuela's capital and in cities across the country, after authorities halted a campaign to hold a recall election intended to oust the country's deeply unpopular president, Nicolas Maduro.

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What's More Distracting Than A Noisy Co-Worker? Turns Out, Not Much

Sounds, particularly those made by other humans, rank as the No. 1 distraction in the workplace. According to workplace design expert Alan Hedge at Cornell, 74 percent of workers say they face "many" instances of disturbances and distractions from noise."In general, if it's coming from another person, it's much more disturbing than when it's coming from a machine," he says, because, as social beings, humans are attuned to man-made sounds. He says overheard conversations, as well as high...
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Novelist Paul Beatty Is First American To Win Britain's Man Booker Prize

For the first time, an American has won the Man Booker Prize, Britain's most coveted literary award. Paul Beatty will take home the award and the purse, 50,000 pounds (about $61,000), for his novel The Sellout, a satire about race in the U.S. Amanda Foreman, chair of the judges, called the book "a novel for our times," and said Beatty "slays sacred cows with abandon and takes aim at racial and political taboos with verve and a snarl."The Man Booker judges chose a distinctly American story for...
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Poll: Cost Of Child Care Causes Financial Stress For Many Families

Most parents have experienced sticker shock when they find out just how much it will cost to care for their infant or toddler full- or even part-time. For parents who have little choice, this can be a big financial strain.In fact, the most common challenge parents face when looking for child care is the high cost. That's the finding of a recent poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.The poll surveyed a nationally representative...
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What A Reporter Learned When He Infiltrated An Arizona Militia Group

Along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, armed groups on patrol — mostly men — look for illegal immigrants and drug traffickers. They're not U.S. Border Patrol, but regular people who've decided to take matters into their own hands.They call themselves militias. Groups such as these have been around for decades, but they exploded in number after Barack Obama was elected president. Today, there are 276 militia groups around the country, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.Shane...
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What's It Like To Be Rich? Ask The People Who Manage Billionaires' Money

What are the lives of the planet's wealthiest people really like?Several years ago, sociologist Brooke Harrington decided to find out.She knew she'd have a hard time gaining access to the world of the über wealthy, so she did something unusual: She took courses to become a wealth manager.In the course of this training, Harrington met other wealth managers, who agreed to be interviewed for her research.She discovered that, in order to manage money for the super-rich, these professionals learn...
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Can We Build Cities That Think Like A Planet?

In 1950, less than 50 percent of the world's population lived in cities.As of 2014, more than half of people on Earth occupied space in urban areas. By 2050, it is expected that the city dwellers will grow to 66 percent.The tipping point has been crossed. More important, our rapid urbanizing comes at exactly the same moment the planet begins its transition to a new (and unknown) climate state.There are dangerous links between this climate change and our relentless city building. How resilient...
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What The Real Witches Of America Eat

What do witches eat? If you're thinking of blood and feathers and cauldrons bubbling with eye of newt and toe of frog, you couldn't be more off-menu.The correct, and disappointingly dull, answer is pizza, bread, fruit, nuts, granola bars, Cornish hens, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks coffee, leg of lamb, beer, cheese, Merlot, frozen cheesecake and other supermarket comestibles.The banal diet of the neighborhood witch is one of several stereotype-busting nuggets to be found in Alex Mar's book...
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Pentagon Halts Effort To Take Back Signing Bonuses Paid To National Guard Members

The Pentagon is suspending its debt collection program to claw back bonuses paid to thousands of California National Guard soldiers who re-enlisted to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Defense Secretary Ash Carter calling the current situation "unacceptable."Citing a duty to keep promises to service members, Carter said he's ordering the Pentagon's Defense Finance and Accounting Service to "suspend all efforts to collect reimbursement from affected California National Guard members" until...
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Simplified Study Aims To Quickly Test A Long-Shot ALS Treatment

Researchers have launched an innovative medical experiment that's designed to provide quick answers while meeting the needs of patients, rather than drug companies.Traditional studies can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and can take many years. But patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease don't have the time to wait. This progressive muscle-wasting disease is usually fatal within a few years.Scientists in an active online patient community identified a...
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Watch Andrew Bird And The National's Matt Berninger Cover Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day'

This intimate, completely unadorned cover of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" will warm your heart. Andrew Bird and The National's Matt Berninger recorded the song together in Bird's living room; Bird provided the instrumentation, his trademark whistling and violin gracefully looping together, and Berninger reads the lyrics from a sheet of paper on the floor."What do you think happens at the end of the [perfect] day," Berninger asks Bird at the end of the song. Bird says, "I think they go back to...
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2,500 Years Ago, This Brew Was Buried With The Dead; A Brewery Has Revived It

It's one thing to appreciate a 20-year-old fine wine. It is something else to brew up a 2,500-year-old alcoholic beverage.While sifting through the remains of an Iron Age burial plot dating from 400 to 450 B.C. in what is today Germany, Bettina Arnold, an archaeologist and anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and others uncovered a cauldron that contained remnants of an alcohol brewed and buried with the deceased."We actually were able, ultimately, to derive at least some...
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Researchers Clear 'Patient Zero' From AIDS Origin Story

It's one of the biggest medical mysteries of our time: How did HIV come to the U.S.?Scientists say they have figured out when and where the virus first arrived here by genetically sequencing samples from people infected by the virus early on. In the process, they have exonerated the man accused of triggering the epidemic in North America.A team of researchers at the University of Arizona sequenced the HIV virus taken from Canadian flight attendant Gaetan Dugas, the man called "Patient Zero"...
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Conversations Live: Election 2016

Thursday night at 8:00 on WPSU-FM & WPSU-TV: Host Patty Satalia and political analysts discuss the national and state races. Call 1-800-543-8242 or email with your questions.

Monday Night is Fright Night!

On Halloween Night, 8:00pm to midnight, WPSU-FM offers our annual eerie soundscape of eclectic music and stories. Listen if you dare.

Thank you for supporting WPSU!

WPSU-FM's Fall fund drive ended Friday with more than $130,000 contributed. Thanks very much for your support!

Find information about PA candidates, election news, and other valuable voter resources by visiting

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

Public Radio for Central & Northern Pennsylvania

Hear WPSU-FM on the radio at the frequencies listed above, or stream WPSU-FM and our two HD channels right here by clicking the LISTEN LIVE button.

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.

Add your voice!

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

On-Air Schedule

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.

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.

Turn Your Old Clunker into Public Radio

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

WPSU's Local Food Journey

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