State College mayoral candidates Democrat Don Hahn, Republican Michael Black and Independent Ron Madrid fielded questions for 90 minutes Tuesday  at the State Theatre. 

Hahn, an attorney who has served on the State College Borough Council and its planning commission, said neighborhood sustainability is key. He said students are a great contribution to the community, but he wants to keep non-students too. 

“I think we need to maintain a balance," Hahn said.

Hahn beat Black in the Democratic primary. But Black won the Republican nomination with write-in votes. 

Credit: National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet

NASA’s Swift satellite, controlled by scientists at Penn State, took part in a groundbreaking scientific discovery announced Monday: the first observation of two colliding neutron stars.

First, some background.

Last year, scientists at LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) first detected gravitational waves, or ripples in the fabric of space-time. Gravitational waves are caused by high-energy events in the cosmos, and fan out in all directions like a stone thrown into a pond.

Specialty Records publicity photo


An archive recording of the WPSU Blues Show as broadcast on October 14, 2017, hosted by Max Spiegel. 

In the first hour, hear tracks from Taj Mahal, Slim Harpo, Odetta, Seasick Steve, Erre, Jimi Hendrix, Mississippi John Hurt, Bukka White, Swamp Cabbage, The Yardbirds, James Cotton, Stefan Grossman, and more.

Janet and Dick Fravel.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

As a part of WPSU’s radio, TV and web project “The Vietnam War: Telling the Pennsylvania Story,” we’re bringing you oral history interviews with Vietnam veterans.

Janet Fravel talked with her husband Dick Fravel about how the Vietnam war affected him.

Russell Frank is a professor of journalism at Penn State, a contributor to and a former columnist for the “Centre Daily Times.” He has compiled a selection of his columns from the past 20 years into a book, “Among the Woo People,” which comes out on Sunday. WPSU’s Adison Godfrey talked with Russell Frank about his book.

AG: Thanks for joining me.

RF: My pleasure.

WPSU Jazz Archive - October 13, 2017

Oct 14, 2017

Cal Tjader, Latin jazz musician Edit | Remove

An archive edition of the WPSU Jazz Show as broadcast on October 13, 2017 and hosted by Dan Balton. 

In the first hour, hear tracks from Jimmy McGriff, Zoot Sims, Ronnie Foster, David McCallum, Grover Washington Jr., Jack Wilkins, Herbie Hancock, Lou Donaldson, and more.

Candidates faced off Thursday night in State College in a League of Women Voters debate. One of the most hotly contested races this fall is for the opening on the Centre County Court of Common Pleas.

Both Republican Ron McGlaughlin and Democrat Brian Marshall say they support a drug court and restorative justice. They agree on the need to address the opioid crisis. And both say the court system needs to be cleaned up.

This I Believe: We Believe In Getting Dirty

Oct 12, 2017
Joan Vohl Hamilton and Abbe Hamilton.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

JOAN VOHL HAMILTON:  When I was a child in the early 1960’s, my clothing fell into three categories: school clothes, church clothes, and the best clothes of all: play clothes. My play clothes were worn out get-ups that didn’t earn me a scolding if they got dirty or ripped. I didn’t generally wear shoes with my play clothes: in the spring, summer and fall, my bare feet got me where I wanted to go.

Fire Director Steve Bair stands in front of a fire truck
Min Xian / WPSU

The Alpha Fire Company in State College is proposing a huge increase in its annual stipend for volunteer firefighters. The proposal underlines the difficulty in recruiting volunteer firefighters across the state.

The 96 volunteer firefighters at Alpha earn a stipend of about $560 a year when they work a minimum requirement.

Fire Director Steve Bair proposes an increase in that stipend. If approved, the volunteers would get about $1,000 next year and around $5,000 a few years from now. The funding will come from local taxpayers.

Dr. Jill Biden speaks at podium.
Stuart Ramson / AP Images for UN Foundation


Many know Dr. Jill Biden as the former Second Lady of the United States. But during Biden’s talk last night at Penn State, she gave the audience a glimpse into her personal life.

Biden shared struggles like losing her son to brain cancer and a friend to breast cancer.

Nancy Chiswick says she was inspired by Biden’s stories.


NPR Stories

On most days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mary Grimes can be found pacing along a crowded street in Orlando, Fla., with clipboards in both hands.

"Can I have five minutes of your time?" the 58-year-old says to a parade of passers-by. Those who are in a rush, she quickly wishes well; the others, Grimes directs to a blue and yellow form, reciting her spiel and soliciting a signature from each.

A congressional candidate in Florida drew a little ridicule this week.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, one of the Republicans in the crowded field in Florida's 27th Congressional District, said in 2009 that she was taken aboard a spaceship when she was 7 years old.

She does not mean at Disney World.

"I went in," she says in a 2009 Spanish language interview that appeared on YouTube this week. "There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship, not like airplanes.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Spain's prime minister says he'll fire the government officials of Catalonia and hold new elections there within six months. Spain's Senate will have to approve that plan next week.

The wildfires in Northern California cut across a wide swath of the state — including dozens of school districts, hundreds of schools and hundreds of thousands of students. At one point, classes were canceled for 260,000 students in 600 schools.

And while schools are slowly coming back on line, there remain many that may not resume classes for days or even weeks.

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Body Cam Study Shows No Effect On Police Use Of Force Or Citizen Complaints

Having police officers wear little cameras seems to have no discernible impact on citizen complaints or officers' use of force, at least in the nation's capital. That's the conclusion of a study performed as Washington, D.C., rolled out its huge camera program. The city has one of the largest forces in the country, with some 2,600 officers now wearing cameras on their collars or shirts. "We found essentially that we could not detect any statistically significant effect of the body-worn...

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Why It's So Hard To Turn The Lights Back On In Puerto Rico

Nearly a month after Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, almost 80 percent of the territory is still without power. While nobody expected a quick restoration of Puerto Rico's badly outdated power grid , officials have estimated that it could take at least six months . Puerto Rico's slow restoration is in stark contrast to Florida after Hurricane Irma hit. Within 24 hours, 20 percent of the power that had been knocked out by Hurricane Irma in Florida had been restored. Nearly half had...

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From #MeToo To #HowIWillChange, Stories Of Harassment Spill Out Online

In a piece in The New York Times on Thursday, Lupita Nyongo became the latest high-profile actress to speak out against her experiences with Harvey Weinstein and sexual harassment in Hollywood. The hashtag #MeToo  spread on social media this week, and the movement also spawned other hashtags, like #HowIWillChange a thread of men talking about how they can do more to prevent this type of behavior. Here & Now s Robin Young discusses with Femi Oke   ( @FemiOke ) of Al Jazeera English. Copyright...

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55 Years Later, What Is Still Misunderstood About The Cuban Missile Crisis?

Fifty-five years ago this week, the world came to the brink of nuclear war in what became known as the Cuban missile crisis. In October 1962, President Kennedy responded to reports of the Soviets setting up nuclear ballistic missiles in Cuba with an order to blockade the island. The standoff lasted nearly two weeks. Here & Now s Jeremy Hobson talks about what we can learn about todays international conflicts from the Cuban missile crisis with Timothy McKeown , a professor of political science...

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Do Men Have It Easier? Your Politics Might Determine How You Answer

Americans are divided along political lines — and by categories such as gender, age and education — on whether they think men have it easier than women today. A new report by the Pew Research Center looks at views of changing gender roles in the United States among 4,573 adults interviewed in August and September. There is broad consensus across most demographic groups about the principle that women deserve to have equal rights with men, said Kim Parker , Pew's director of social trends...

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Troubled By Flint Water Crisis, 11-Year-Old Girl Invents Lead-Detecting Device When the drinking water in Flint, Mich., became contaminated with lead, causing a major public health crisis, 11-year-old Gitanjali Rao took notice. "I had been following the Flint, Michigan, issue for about two years," the seventh-grader told ABC News. "I was appalled by the number of people affected by lead contamination in water." She saw her parents testing the water in their own home in Lone Tree, Colo., and was unimpressed by the options,...

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Tony Award-Winning 'Fun Home' Is Staged Across The Country

The Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home is touring the United States. Its based on the graphic novel by cartoonist Alison Bechdel and tells her story of growing up in a small Pennsylvania town and becoming aware that she is a lesbian. Her father was also gay but remained in the closet his entire life. Kate Shindle  ( @kateshindle ) stars as the adult Alison, and talks with Here & Now s Jeremy Hobson about the role and the show . Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

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To Reduce Risk Of Recurring Bladder Infection, Try Drinking More Water

Urinary tract infections cause painful urination and are unfortunately widespread. Scientists estimate that somewhere between 40 percent to more than 50 percent of women will get a UTI in their lifetime, and one in four will get a repeat infection. Left untreated, they can lead to kidney problems. Cranberry juice is a common at-home preventative measure, but the science behind relying on the bitter fruit is pretty mixed. Some research has shown evidence that compounds in cranberries could...

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Chef José Andrés Has Served Nearly 1.5 Million Meals To Hungry Puerto Ricans

The Coliseo is the biggest concert hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico. But since Hurricane Maria devastated the island a month ago, it's become the center of a massive effort to feed tens of thousands left hungry by the storm — an effort led by celebrity chef José Andrés. "We're about to reach the million and a half [meals] served — a vast majority of them hot meals," says Andrés, who is known for his upscale restaurants in Washington, D.C., and for canceling his plans to open one in Donald Trump...

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Switching To Middle School Can Be Hard On Kids, But There Are Ways To Make It Better

"I'll be famous one day, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." That's harsh language from the downtrodden sixth-grade narrator of Diary of A Wimpy Kid, a blockbuster series of graphic novels. But it speaks to a broader truth. A large body of research suggests that students who go to middle school or junior high do worse academically, socially and emotionally, compared to the young teenagers who get to be the oldest students at schools with grades K-8. A new paper in...

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Rural Hospice That Spurns Federal Funds Has Offered Free Care for 40 Years

Rose Crumb can't even count the number of people she's helped die. The former nurse, 91, who retired in her mid-80s, considers the question and then shakes her head, her blue eyes sharp above oval spectacles. "Oh, hundreds," estimates Crumb, the woman who almost single-handedly brought hospice care to the remote Pacific Northwest city of Port Angeles, Wash., nearly 40 years ago. But the actual number of deaths she has witnessed is likely far higher — and Crumb's impact far greater — than even...

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California Fires Leave Dozens Dead, Communities In Ruins

Toting up the damage and lessons learned from the deadly, devastating California wildfires.   Its embers now in Northern California.  Occasional flames.  And lots of cold ash in what remains in mile after mile of destroyed homes and dreams.  Fabled names – Sonoma, Napa – scarred and scourged by the most deadly wildfires in California history.  Thousands of homes and buildings down.  Forty-two dead.  Many escaped by the skin of their teeth, leaving everything behind.  This hour, On Point:  We...

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Webcast: Can The World Finally Wipe Out Polio?

Editor's note: The archived video of the polio panel discussion will be posted next week. The world is incredibly close to wiping out polio. This year the number of polio cases has shrunk to fewer than a dozen. And those cases are in just two countries- Afghanistan and Pakistan. "We are definitely encouraged by the decline in number of cases," says Dr. Rana Safdar, the national coordinator for polio eradication in Pakistan. His country has seen the number of reported polio cases drop from...

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'Our Democracy Is At Stake,' Obama Says Of Virginia Race For Governor

Former President Obama returned to the campaign trail for the first time since leaving office Thursday campaigning for the Democratic candidates for governor in New Jersey and Virginia. He put the Virginia race, where he was campaigning for Ralph Northam, in the starkest terms. "We need you to take this seriously, because our democracy is at stake," Obama told a crowd of 7,500 at a packed convention center, "and it's at stake right here in Virginia." The former president bemoaned the divisive...

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Moonshine Makes A Comeback in Virginia. And This Time, It's Legal

In 1620, the Rev. George Thorpe sent a letter from a plantation near Jamestown, Va., to England describing a "good drinke of Indian corne" that he and his fellow colonists had made. Historians have speculated that Thorpe was talking about unaged corn whiskey, and that his distillation efforts on the banks of Virginia's James River might have produced America's first whiskey. Nearly 400 years later, Belle Isle Moonshine, just 30 miles away, up the river in Richmond, is again producing unaged...

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WATCH: Paul Ryan Roasts Trump At Charity Dinner House Speaker Paul Ryan is careful not to criticize President Trump publicly, but on Thursday night he found the right forum to do it. The annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner gives politicians a chance to crack jokes about themselves, their opponents, the media and the political system. Ryan was the keynote speaker and took several lighthearted jabs at President Trump. "Enough with the applause, alright? You sound like the cabinet when...

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CIA Trainee Washes Out Of Bomb Detection, Reassigned To Living Room

Some jobs are just not a good fit. That seems to have been the case for a certain canine trainee named Lulu at the Central Intelligence Agency. The black Labrador was in an intensive course of study to learn how to sniff out bombs. But Lulu just wasn't that interested. "[It's] imperative that the dogs enjoy the job they're doing," the CIA writes in a news release on Wednesday announcing Lulu's reassignment to her handler's living room. If you're a dog, sniffing out explosives is apparently...

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WPSU's Local Food Journey

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NPR One: An Award-Winning Cross-Platform Experience

Since launching NPR One in 2014, we've been working to deliver a news and storytelling experience that meets users in all the places they are now and will be in the future. For the Digital Media team, this has meant designing and building focused, yet flexible apps for smartphones, smart TVs, car infotainment systems, wearable devices, voice platforms, and more. That's why we were honored to learn that Google has named NPR One the winner of the 2017 Material Design Award for Platform...

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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!

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