FDA Boosts Warning On Danger Of Combining Opioids And Anxiety Meds

The Food and Drug Administration is warning that patients and doctors should more fully understand the potentially life-threatening risks of combining anti-anxiety or sleep medications with prescription opioids.To that end, the agency is requiring that nearly 400 products carry a "black box warning" highlighting the risks from combined use, it said in a press release Wednesday. The risks include extreme sleepiness, respiratory depression, coma and death.The move comes after an extensive...
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Gov. Tom Wolf
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Governor Tom Wolf is saying he thinks more can be done to cut down on marijuana arrests in Pennsylvania.

In an interview on WITF’s Smart Talk, Wolf said in some municipalities, decriminalization is already underway. He noted that prosecutors are using their discretion to downgrade punishments for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

However, the governor said more “systematic” action still needs to be taken.

head shots of John Rafferty and Josh Shapiro
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

It’s been a bumpy few weeks for leadership in the state Attorney General’s office.

Kathleen Kane resigned, and her first deputy Bruce Castor has taken over. But Governor Tom Wolf has nominated his inspector general to the position.

The candidates for the November AG election are taking pains to distance themselves from the tumult.

Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican John Rafferty both independently called the Kane scandal a “sad chapter” for the state.

Public Domain

 An archive recording of the WPSU Blues Show as broadcast on August 27, 2016 and hosted by Max Spiegel. 

In the first hour, hear performances by Merle Travis, Professor Longhair, Leo Kottke, Mike Gordon, Blues Brothers with Ray Charles, Rev. Gary Davis, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Big Bill Broonzy, The Siegel-Schwall Band and more.

In hour two, hear Mississippi John Hurt, Louis Armstrong and His Hot 5, The Black Keys, Cat Stevens and more.   

McOleo / Creative Commons

An archive recording of the WPSU Jazz Show as broadcast on Friday, August 26, 2016 and hosted by Greg Petersen. 

In the first hour hear tracks from Dexter Gordon, Diana Krall, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Eddie Daniels, Ellis Marsalis, Kristen Gustafson and The Matt Nelson Trio.

In the second hour, hear Milt Jackson with Joe Williams, Paul Desmond & The Modern Jazz Quartet, Ray Brown, Louis Armstrong with Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, The Taylor/Grisman Jazz Quartet, Melissa Morgan, The George Coleman Quartet, and The Nat King Cole Trio.  

ethane cracker plant in Texas

Even in a down time for its oil and gas business, Shell has decided to build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker — which makes natural gas into plastics and chemicals — in gas-rich Pennsylvania.

Stephanie Orme at RNC
Gabrielle Mannino

Protests were a common sight during last month’s RNC and DNC. Penn State journalism students covered events outside and inside the convention centers.

“I am still processing," Stephaine Orme said. "It’s been a couple weeks and I am still breathing and getting things from that experience. But the more I think about it, I am really reminded of just how surreal it all was.”

Tipping Point is a page turner. It is the fifteenth novel in David Poyer’s acclaimed series of naval adventures featuring Captain Dan Lenson. But don’t worry if you don’t know anything about the modern Navy or haven’t read any of the first fourteen novels. This was my first of Lenson’s books, but I found it easy to follow the story. Tipping Point gives me renewed respect for our military personnel. The risks they take daily would be unnerving to most civilians.

In this photo combo, at left, in an Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, Penn State president Graham Spanier walks on the field before an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. At right, former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky l
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Prosecutors say former Penn State administrators should still stand trial for their involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. 

Based on documents made public Wednesday, the prosecution rejected arguments made by Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley that the charges against them should be dismissed.

One of defense’s arguments was the statute of limitations in the case had expired. In their response, the prosecution said that by not reporting the suspected child abuse in 2001, the two-year timeframe never started.

3D printer
Min Xian / WPSU

Researchers at Penn State's Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences are taking 3D printing from a novelty to an orthopedic tool. The team is developing a method of 3D printing with cartilage cells to create implants for joints such as the knee and elbow.

On a visit to his lab, Associate Professor of engineering Ibrahim Ozbolat showed several of his lab's bioprinters to physicians from Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, arrives at the Centre County Courthouse for an appeals hearing about whether he was improperly convicted four years ago, in Bellefonte, Pa. Friday, Aug. 12, 2016.

Tuesday's hearing called witnesses from the prosecution of Sandusky’s case.  Much of the questioning focused on whether Sarah Ganim, the journalist who broke the story, got her information from an illegal grand jury leak.

Two of the prosecutors said Ganim’s source could have been a grand jury witness. They were legally able to talk about the case to anyone.


NPR Stories

As Sylvan Esso, singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn craft danceable pop songs that exude an ambivalent, searching quality. Sure, they're catchy as anything, and Meath — a veteran of the a cappella folk group Mountain Man — knows how to command a spotlight. But Sylvan Esso's songs also bear the weight of melancholy, even as Sanborn's springy arrangements send them soaring.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to reinstate a set of voter restrictions enacted by the Republican-controlled Legislature in the battleground state of North Carolina.

Last month a federal appeals court invalidated the restrictions, declaring that they were deliberately targeted at making it more difficult for African-Americans to vote.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


A $7 million, comprehensive census of African elephants has found that the population decreased by nearly a third between 2007 and 2014.

The Great Elephant Census was conducted over three years, and set out to effectively count every savanna elephant in 18 countries in Africa, accounting for 93 percent of the savanna elephants in those countries. The conclusion — that the population declined by 144,000 animals in just seven years — is sobering.

Editor's note: Reporter John Otis first covered Venezuela 19 years ago and has returned many times since. Today, the day before a planned opposition demonstration, he and other foreign journalists were stopped from entering the country. He filed this report while awaiting a flight out.

Get More NPR News

Mental Health In Schools: A Hidden Crisis Affecting Millions Of Students

Part One in an NPR Ed series on mental health in schools.You might call it a silent epidemic.Up to one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs or symptoms of a mental health disorder in a given year.So in a school classroom of 25 students, five of them may be struggling with the same issues many adults deal with: depression, anxiety, substance abuse.And yet most children — nearly 80 percent — who need mental health services won't get them.Whether treated or not, the children do go to...
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California Lawmakers Approve Mandatory Sentencing For Rape

The California Assembly unanimously passed a measure that requires a prison sentence for anyone convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious person.The 66-0 vote comes after a six-month jail sentence (and three years' probation) imposed in June by Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky on former Stanford student Brock Turner. He had been convicted earlier in the year of three felony counts of sexually assaulting an intoxicated and unconscious woman at a fraternity party. That sentence was...
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Test Of Experimental Alzheimer's Drug Finds Progress Against Brain Plaques

An experimental drug dramatically reduced the toxic plaques found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, a team reports in the journal Nature.Results from a small number of patients who received a high dose of the drug, called aducanumab, hint that it may also be able to slow the loss of memory and thinking."If that hint of a clinical benefit is confirmed, it would be a game changer in the fight against Alzheimer's disease," says Dr. Eric Reiman, executive director of the Banner...
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Their Masters' Voices: Dogs Understand Tone And Meaning Of Words

When you praise a dog, it's listening not just to the words you say but also how you say them.That might not be huge news to dog owners. But now scientists have explored this phenomenon by using an imaging machine to peek inside the brains of 13 dogs as they listened to their trainer's voice.The reward pathway in the dogs' brains lit up when they heard both praising words and an approving intonation — but not when they heard random words spoken in a praising tone or praise words spoken in a...
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Gonorrhea Is Becoming Untreatable, U.N. Health Officials Warn

We are running out of ways to treat gonorrhea, the World Health Organization announced today.The U.N. health agency released new guidelines warning doctors that it no longer recommends an entire class of antibiotics, quinolones, because quinolone-resistant strains of the disease have emerged all over the world.Instead, the health agency recommends using cephalosporins, another class of antibiotic. The new protocol replaces guidelines that had not been changed since 2003.According to the WHO,...
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Remembering Comedic Great Gene Wilder, Who Delighted Audiences For Decades

The great comic actor Gene Wilder died Monday at age 83 from Alzheimers disease.Known for his roles in such films as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, Wilders performances delighted audiences for decades.Here & Now pays tribute by revisiting host Robin Youngs 2005 interview with Wilder about his then-new memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger.Heres the raw audio from their interview:ArrayListen to a conversation between Robin Young and Gene Wilder at...
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Can Science Crack The 'Hardest' Question?

Opinions may diverge initially — but once we start to think about it, no question is harder than figuring out the origin of everything.The more popular phrasings go something like, "Where did the world come from?" or "Why is there something rather than nothing?" This is the question of creation, of how the universe and everything in it came to be. And, although we've made great progress towards understanding the universe and its history, we are still far from understanding its origin.In fact,...
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Chicago Police Dept. Moves To Fire 5 Officers Over Laquan McDonald Shooting

Chicago's police superintendent is moving to fire five officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald in 2014 — one who pulled the trigger, and four who are accused of giving false statements about what happened.McDonald, who was black, was shot 16 times by officer Jason Van Dyke. Other officers said that McDonald had lunged at police before he was shot. But dashcam footage of the incident — released under a court order — contradicted their testimony.Van Dyke,...
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WPSU proudly presents Vote ’16, a resource for election coverage, candidate information, events and important dates across central Pennsylvania.

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

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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.

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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.