We remember Col. Gerald Russell, a decorated Marine commander and devoted community volunteer. He died February 24, 2014, at age 97. We share our last interview with him from May, 2007. Plus, historian Jeffry Wert on the significance of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, which he delivered 149 years ago this week. Some say it’s his greatest speech.

Universities are testing the boundaries of online education with MOOCs, or Massively Open Online Courses. The courses are free and open to anyone and everyone who wants to take part. WPSU’s Emily Reddy takes a look at a Penn State MOOC that’s just wrapping up, about a year after the university first decided to try out this new educational format.

Looking for an older WPSU's Story Corps interview? Click here to find them.

Who are the Homeless in State College?

Feb 25, 2014
State College Homeless Shelter
Kate Lao Shaffner

Yesterday, WPSU's Kate Lao Shaffner talked to folks with Centre County's Out of the Cold and Hearts for the Homeless programs, which seek to provide respite for the homeless during the winter months. Here's the second part of the series, about the broader issues of homelessness in the Centre region.

Whitney Hunsinger is sitting in the living room of Centre House, a homeless shelter in downtown State College. Her daughters, who are two and four, are coloring and watching TV. Hunsinger is nine months pregnant.

Centre County Homeless Get Out of the Cold

Feb 24, 2014
Cot with quilt
Kate Lao Shaffner

For many of our listeners, the worst thing a colder-than-usual winter can bring is a higher heating bill.  But for the homeless, the frigid temperatures could be a matter of life and death.  How do Centre County residents who don’t have a home get out of the cold?

John Gaudlip in front of field with sprinklers.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

    

This week WPSU is taking a look at water issues in central Pennsylvania. Today, WPSU’s Emily Reddy explores the massive task of supplying and cleaning the water used by students, faculty, staff and visitors at Penn State University. 

A long, cold winter – like the one that is mercifully coming to a close – can be more than just an emotional drain. It can be a drain on home finances and the environment. As her home-heating bills piled up, WPSU’s Emily Reddy went in search of solutions for her energy woes. She found a program gearing up at Penn State to help homeowners just like her.

State Rep. Camille "Bud" George.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

We continue our PA People series with a new and intimate profile of one of the people who makes Pennsylvania so interesting. WPSU’s Patty Satalia talks with longtime state legislator Camille “Bud” George. The feisty lawmaker retired at the end of November after representing Pennsylvania’s 74th district for nearly four decades. 

Former FBI director Louis Freeh
AP Photo / Matt Rourke

The long-awaited Freeh Report is unambiguous. It assigns blame for mishandling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal to four men – Penn State President Graham Spanier, Senior Vice-President Gary Schultz, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Head Football Coach Joe Paterno.

Members of the Penn State board of trustees received the report they commissioned at the same time as everyone else yesterday. An hour later, former FBI head Louis Freeh – who led the investigation – spoke about the findings in the report.

This I Believe: I Believe In Vinyl Records

Jun 28, 2012

I place the wide, flat disc on the turntable, close the dusty lid and press “start.” The guitar slowly fades in, followed by a loud bell. Finally, the drums break into a groove. Then, as Brad Delp of the band Boston starts to sing, I close my eyes and slip away.

I believe in vinyl records.

I believe in the soft, warm crackles and pops before every song. I believe in paging through the album artwork while the music plays. But, most of all, I believe in the happiness those spinning discs bring to my family.

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NPR Stories

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., who has been haunted for two weeks by allegations of sexual harassment, said Saturday that he will not seek re-election in 2018.

Kihuen's announcement comes a day after the House Ethics Committee said it has opened an investigation looking into the allegations leveled at the 37-year-old freshman congressman by a former campaign aide.

In a statement, Kihuen reiterated that he had done nothing wrong and said he looked forward to being cleared of any allegations of sexual misconduct.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Washington Did A Lot This Week And America's Schools Will Feel It

Hello and welcome to another roundup of the top education stories. It has been a long week, and a lot has happened. Here is our recap. The FCC votes to repeal net neutrality regulations The Republican majority on the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to repeal Obama-era rules that restrict the power of Internet service providers to favor specific websites and apps. This dramatic reversal in favor of providers has propelled the once-wonky issue of net neutrality into the...

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GOP Releases Final Tax Bill As Rubio, Corker Boost Path To Christmas Passage

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET Congressional Republicans released a final draft of their tax bill Friday. With newfound support from two wavering senators, lawmakers appear to be on track to pass the measure and deliver it to President Trump for his signature by Christmas. Votes in the House and Senate are expected next week. "I know everyone's lives will be better off under tax reform," said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who played a lead role in crafting the bill as chairman of the House Ways and...

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Theo E.J. Wilson: What Happens When A Black Man Goes Undercover In The Alt-Right?

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Going Undercover. About Theo E.J. Wilson's TED Talk Youtube activist Theo E.J. Wilson wondered about the people posting racist comments on his videos, and where they were getting their facts. So he adopted a pseudonym and joined their conversation. About Theo E.J. Wilson Theo E.J. Wilson is a founding member of the Denver-based poetry team Slam Nuba , which won the National Poetry Slam in 2011. He is also the executive director of Shop Talk Live . The...

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How The House Tax Overhaul Bill Could Hurt Affordable Housing

With lawmakers in the House and Senate announcing that they've reached a deal, affordable housing advocates are anxiously waiting to see which version of the bill wins out with regard to housing. They say the House bill has a poison pill in it. "The effect would be devastating," says Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "It would mean a loss of around 800,000 affordable rental homes over the next 10 years." Critics of the emerging tax bill say it gives huge...

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VIDEO: For LSD, What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py0z_T1kH7s Psychedelic drugs are getting a makeover, with scientists exploring their potential in treating debilitating conditions like cluster headaches, addiction or anxiety, with promising results. That's despite the fact that very few researchers are legally allowed to study psychedelics, largely because of LSD's decades-old reputation as a counterculture drug that sparked bad trips. Back in the 1960s, LSD was touted as a tool to shed social conventions...

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Long Island Woman Charged With Using Bitcoin To Launder Money To Support ISIS

Authorities say a woman on Long Island, N.Y., stole and transferred more than $85,000 to support the Islamic State, using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, is charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering, according to a statement from the Department of Justice. She pleaded not guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, N.Y. Shahnaz is a U.S. citizen born in Pakistan. She lives in the town of...

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Caribbean Island Of Anguilla Bounces Back After Intense Hurricane Season

When Hurricane Irma swept across the Caribbean in September inflicting catastrophic damage to several islands, a 19-year-old radio reporter in Anguilla continued to broadcast during the worst of the Category 5 storm. Nisha Dupuis recounted the experience to Here & Now's Robin Young a few days after the broadcast. She stayed on the air and tried to reassure Radio Anguilla listeners during the hurricane as storm shutters covering the station building flapped in the background. Young checked...

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Hear A 'Hamilton' Outtake: Benjamin F'ing Franklin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVmVVkbx3jE It's no secret that there were many more songs conceived for Hamilton than hit the stage. Today, The Decemberists have released a song about Benjamin Franklin, with words written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. On its website , the band describes the song as "a first-person introduction" to the founding father: "Lin said that he'd wanted to include Franklin as a character in the show initially, but it just never quite worked something about not wanting to...

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This Is The Kit: Tiny Desk Concert

Effortless storytelling is at the heart of This Is The Kit . And the stories the band's only permanent member, Kate Stables, weaves are profound but sweet with a tone that quietly reels you in. "Bullet Proof" is the opening song at the Tiny Desk – and the opening track on her fourth album, Moonshine Freeze – a song that sees the darkest challenges in life as a way to begin again. "Everything we broke today/Needing breaking, anyway," Kate Stables sings as she's picking on her banjo with tides...

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PHOTOS: Animals That Could Disappear Because Of Us

Earth is facing an extinction crisis – and humans shoulder the blame. Wildlife poaching and illegal trade. Climate change. Urbanization. Mining. These are some of the myriad things we do that endanger animals and, in the process, damage our own well-being. Three-quarters of the Earth's estimated 8.7 million species are at risk, according to a 2011 PLoS Biology study. Of course it's not always our fault, but even the most conservative estimates, like one published in a 2015 Science study that...

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'Birdboy' Is A Dark, Beautiful, Boundary-Pushing Animated Film

Just how dark is Birdboy: The Forgotten Children , a trippy animated folktale from Spain about a bunch of talking animal adolescents searching for a better life? Well, even the tottering alarm clock seemingly there for comic relief wails to its owner, "Why do you always have to hurt me?" In fact, the bulk of the movie consists of adorable, anthropomorphic objects and critters getting hurt, often in some grisly fashion: an inflatable PVC duck who screams when he's deflated; a chirping bird who...

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Video Shows Trump Judicial Nominee Unable To Answer Basic Questions Of Law

A viral video making the rounds Friday has one of President Trump's judicial nominees in an uncomfortable spotlight. Matthew Petersen has been nominated for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, one of the nation's most important federal courts. Petersen is now a member of the Federal Election Commission. But his trouble began during Wednesday's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee when, among a panel of five nominees, he alone told Sen....

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In A Crisis Of Sexual Harassment, Whither The Office Romance?

Given that I work in a newsroom, maybe I shouldn't be surprised by how many office romances take place there in the movies: say, Broadcast News from 1987, or His Girl Friday from 1940. A real-life copy editor might have had these films in mind when she started a new job about 10 years ago. "I got to the paper and I noticed this really cute boy who was a senior editor," says Carolyn Huckabay. "That was Brian." Brian Howard — the cute senior editor — eventually married Carolyn Huckabay....

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An $846,000 Inheritance Got Lost In Transit. That Was In February

It has been more than nine months since a family in Canada realized that UPS lost a bank draft worth $846,000 (Canadian) that was sent to an inheritor. So far, the only money recovered is the $32 it cost to ship the document. The family's bank, TD Canada Trust, has delayed issuing a new bank draft. Lorette Taylor, who lives in Ontario, was distributing the proceeds from her late father's estate when she tried to send an inheritance to her brother, Louis Paul Hebert, who lives near Cornwall,...

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Here Come The Penitent Penguins: The Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards Are Back

Penitent penguins. A seal aghast. A turbocharged wigeon, a vain gnu and a kickboxing kangaroo. The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are back. This year's winners were announced Thursday morning. The annual awards are "ingeniously titled to avoid any confusion," according to their website , and recognize images that are "light-hearted, upbeat, possibly unpretentious and mainly about wildlife doing funny things." Like a fox pooping in one of the holes on a golf course , for example. Not a lot...

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Mediocre 'Ferdinand' Will Have Bored Parents Seeing Red

For a simple children's story about a pacifist bull in Spain who would rather smell the flowers than charge a matador, Munro Leaf's The Story of Ferdinand generated tremendous controversy, owing to its worldwide popularity and its date of publication, 1936, which found it caught in political crosswinds. It was banned in Franco's Spain. Hitler ordered it burned as "degenerate democratic propaganda" in Nazi Germany, though it was republished and distributed for free in the same country once the...

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Get your NPR News Fix This Weekend!

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.

NPR's Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2017's Great Reads

The Book Concierge is back and bigger than ever! Explore more than 350 standout titles picked by NPR staff and critics. Open the app now! Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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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.

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WPSU's Local Food Journey

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

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.

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!