Prosecutors Conclude Arguments Against Paul Manafort In Bank And Tax Fraud Trial

Prosecutors rested their case on Monday in the federal tax and bank fraud trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Over the past three weeks, through 10 days of testimony and more than two dozen witnesses, the government's lawyers told a story about how they said Manafort evaded taxes on millions of dollars that poured in from his political consulting work in Ukraine. After that income dried up, prosecutors say, Manafort lied to banks to get loans to continue the...

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Penn State Frat Hazing Death Trial Scheduled For February

Jul 19, 2018
The Beta Theta Pi fraternity house where Penn State student Timothy Piazza was fatally injured in Feb. 2017.
Min Xian / WPSU

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — Members of a Penn State University fraternity charged in connection with the death of a pledge after a night of hazing and drinking are scheduled to go to trial early next year.

Centre County Judge Jonathan Grine set aside 20 days for the trial involving 21 members of the now-closed Beta Theta Pi fraternity, starting Feb. 6.

Defendants are accused of hazing, reckless endangerment and other offenses after the death last year of 19-year-old pledge Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Cathy Wanner sitting
Anne Danahy / WPSU

President Donald Trump stunned many people this week on the question of Russian meddling in U.S. elections. While he later clarified his remark, the conflicting statements are continuing to stir controversy. WPSU’s Anne Danahy spoke with Penn State professor Catherine Wanner, a professor of history, anthropology and religious studies at Penn State and an expert on Russian and Ukranian politics.

Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna (middle) hosted a town hall in Philipsburg Tuesday night to address opioid addiction in the area. Cathy Arbogast (left) and Karlene Shugars (right) gave presentations as well.
Min Xian / WPSU

Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna hosted a town hall in Philipsburg Tuesday night to address opioid addiction in the area. Cantorna and other presenters want to remove the stigma surrounding addiction and provide resources for help.

“Someone has asked, ‘How as a family member do I help someone to get help?’’ Cantorna read and answered questions on index cards near the end of the town hall.

He said it’s important to engage the community when it comes to combating the opioid crisis, because the issue often has ripple effects.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program showcasing performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano by Andre Caplet, from the 2016 season of Music at Penns Woods; and the Symphony No. 3 by Franz Schubert, played by the Penn State Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein, in October of 2016. 

Brian Southwell is director of science in the public sphere at RTI International. We spoke with Southwell about communicating science, whether fact checking works and the idea behind his weekly radio show and podcast, “The Measure of Everyday Life.”  

WPSU Jazz Archive - July 13, 2018

Jul 13, 2018

An archive edition of the WPSU Jazz Show as broadcast on July 13, 2018 and hosted by Greg Halpin. 

The first hour of the program features all new jazz releases from Geoffrey Keezer, J.D. Allen, John Christensen, The Bernardo Casa Grande Quintet, The Stanley Clarke Band, John Coltrane, and more. 

The second hour of the program features jazz classics from the 1950s and 60s, as well as more recent recordings from Azar Lawrence, Human Motion, Oliver Nelson, Lester Young, The Vince Guaraldi Trio, Twin Danger, Jessica Williams, The Steve Kuhn Trio, and more. 

Pam and Toby Short with the letter they brought to State Sen. Jake Corman asking him to help pass redistricting reform.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Redistricting advocates in Centre County are making a last-ditch effort to change how Pennsylvania’s Congressional districts are drawn.

It’s a week past an unofficial deadline to keep redistricting reform on track for 2021. That’s when maps will be redrawn.

But a group from “Fair Districts PA—Centre County” went to Senator Jake Corman’s office in Bellefonte on Thursday to urge him to keep working. The state constitution says the bill must be passed and advertised in newspapers by August 6.

BookMark: "Where The Red Fern Grows" By Wilson Rawls

Jul 12, 2018

I first read "Where the Red Fern Grows" 36 years ago. It’s a coming of age novel about a young pioneer boy of strong character. I remember the night well. I was telling my then 13-year-old son good night when he told me about the great book he was reading for school, and then mentioned the book report was due the next day. I asked, “Have you finished reading the book?” He shook his head with a worried expression. “Well, how far are you?” He showed me—page 69. One-hundred and eighty pages to go, and it was already 9 o’clock on a school night.

Hear "The Sounds Of Science" This Arts Fest

Jul 12, 2018
Penn State professor Mark Ballora turns datasets into sound and music.
Patrick Mansell / Penn State

Does scientific data have a sound? We’re accustomed to seeing data represented on graphs and pie charts, but Penn State music professor Mark Ballora uses sound to represent data.

“The sounds of science are really cool," Ballora said. "I’ve got some representations of tropical storms that give you an idea of how a tropical storm evolves. It sounds windy. It sounds swirly. It sounds ominous. I’ve got some sounds I’ve made from outer space. From datasets from cosmologists. And they sound pretty spacey and cool.”

Lance Shaner speaks out against the change in zoning code at the Patton Township council meeting.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

The Patton Township Board of Supervisors has approved a new mixed-use development zoning code. The change likely opens the way for the controversial Patton Crossing development to move forward.

For nearly three hours Wednesday night, residents voiced mostly concerns about the new Mixed-Use Overlay District, or MXD2. Patton Township resident Rick Maher objected that it seemed the zoning was created specifically for one development.

“This MXD2 ordinance is being tailored with the Patton Crossing property in mind," Maher said. "It’s not right and it stinks!”

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NPR Stories

I first saw Crazy Rich Asians at an advance press screening at a small, new-ish theater in Manhattan's Chinatown, and let me tell you: I arrived a little anxious and skeptical.

If you've spent more than five minutes with me, you'll know that I am predisposed to those two emotions. It did not escape me that the theater holding the press screening could be considered still another gentrifying force in rapidly changing Chinatown. The fact that, save for the friend I brought, we were one of the few Asian-Americans in the theater, also did not escape me.

The history of jazz in the 20th century is well known, but the course of the genre in the 21st century is still being charted. According to Nate Chinen, music critic for NPR Music and WBGO, jazz in the new millennium has enjoyed a type of Renaissance thanks to some key players.

Updated at 1:03 a.m. ET

Officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced Monday that a firefighter died battling the Mendocino Complex Fire. The firefighter's identity was not released and no other details were given. Officials tell the Los Angeles Times that "fact finding on the accident" is underway.

Kate Walbert's most powerful novel yet is a case study in the perversities of power imbalances. This slim but by no means slight novel continues Walbert's explorations of how society's sexual biases and constraints have hampered women, a theme that has driven all six of her books, including A Short History of Women (2009) and her most recent, The Sunken Cathedral (2015). But with a timeliness so acute it feels ripped-from-the-headlines, His Favorites amps up the outrage and packs a punch far greater than its weight class.

A long section of the towering Ponte Morandi suspension bridge completely collapsed in Genoa, Italy, on Tuesday, sending cars and trucks that had been driving on the A10 highway crashing down below.

About a dozen vehicles were likely on the bridge when it collapsed, Italy's ANSA news agency says. It adds, "Both carriageways have crashed to the ground for about one hundred meters [328 feet]."

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Congressman Accused Of Domestic Abuse By Former Girlfriend

A version of this story was first published by MPR News . Keith Ellison, a U.S. House member and deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, confronted allegations Sunday of domestic abuse from a former girlfriend. The allegation that the physical abuse was caught on video was posted to Facebook late Saturday night by the woman's son, days before Minnesota's primary election, where Ellison is facing off against four other Democrats for the open state attorney general's seat. Ellison...

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Tens Of Thousands Of Romanians Protest Corruption, Demand New Government

For three days in a row, throngs of protesters took to the streets in Romania's capital city, Bucharest, to protest what they see as a corrupt government and to call for new elections. Tens of thousands of people rallied Friday on the first day of demonstrations, which were largely organized by Romanian expatriates who came home to demonstrate en masse; some estimates put the crowd at 100,000. It ended in violence. Romania Insider reports that on Friday night, some aggressive protesters,...

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To Fix That Pain In Your Back, You Might Have To Change The Way You Sit

My back hurts when I sit down. It's been going on for 10 years. It really doesn't matter where I am — at work, at a restaurant, even on our couch at home. My lower back screams, "Stop sitting!" To try to reduce the pain, I bought a kneeling chair at work. Then I got a standing desk. Then I went back to a regular chair because standing became painful. I've seen physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and pain specialists. I've mastered Pilates, increased flexibility and strengthened muscles....

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FBI Fires Peter Strzok, Political Lightning Rod Who Criticized Trump

Updated at 7:24 p.m. ET The FBI has fired an embattled special agent who was removed from the Russia inquiry after internal investigators discovered he had criticized then-candidate Donald Trump in text messages with another bureau official. Peter Strzok had remained on the FBI payroll until his employment finally was terminated on Friday, his attorney said Monday morning. The bureau's Office of Professional Responsibility had recommended that Strzok be reprimanded with a demotion and 60-day...

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How To Make A Civics Education Stick

How do you teach kids to be active participants in government? Or to tell the difference between real news and fake news? In their last legislative sessions, 27 states considered bills or other proposals that aim to answer these questions. Many of those proposals are rooted in popular ideas about the best ways to teach civics, including when kids should start, what they should learn and how to apply those lessons. Here's a look at some of those concepts. Start when they're young, go into...

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For Wisconsin's Dairy Farmers, Tariffs Could Reshape The Race For The Senate

Janet Clark hopes to keep her dairy farm in the family. She inherited Vision Aire Farms from her parents, and now runs it with her younger brother. The farm is idyllic, tucked away amid rolling green hills of corn and sunflower fields. One side of the farm holds a line of calves. They are individually fed by Clark's children and their cousins, playfully holding milk bottles for them to drink. It's here where Clark and her family begin work each day at 5:30 a.m., doing chores and milking cows....

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2 Koreas' Leaders Will Hold New Summit In Pyongyang Next Month

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plan to hold their third summit, announcing Monday that they will meet in Pyongyang sometime in September. "For peace and prosperity of the world as well as those of the Korean peninsula," read a short issued by South Korea's Blue House on Monday, after diplomatic delegations from the estranged nations met in the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss the idea of a new summit. The announcement comes two months after...

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Treating Teen Depression Might Improve Mental Health Of Parents, Too

An estimated 12.8 percent of adolescents in the U.S. experience at least one episode of major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. According to previous studies , many of those teens' mental health is linked to depression in their parents. But new research suggests there's a flipside to that parental effect: When teens are treated for depression, their parents' mental health improves, too. We tend to think of depression as affecting individuals. But Myrna Weissman...

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With Wit And Sadness, 'Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine' Has Echoes Of Salinger

I've been a fan of Kevin Wilson's writing since 2011, when I read his debut novel The Family Fang . That novel delved into the life of a husband and wife pair of performance artists who worked their young children into their pieces. Without being pat about it, Wilson drove home the realization that every family constitutes its own rag-tag troupe of performance artists and that children are mostly at the mercy of their parents' "acts." Family was also a concern in Wilson's second novel,...

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Ben & Jerry's 'Milk With Dignity' Pact With Farmworkers Seems To Be Paying Off

Some Vermont dairy workers say their wages and living conditions have improved, thanks to an agreement reached last year between the workers and Ben & Jerry's, a division of global consumer products company Unilever. Times are tough on dairy farms around the country, with milk prices declining for the fourth year in a row. But 72 farms that supply Ben & Jerry's earn a little more by agreeing to follow labor and housing standards. Enrique Balcazar is a former dairy farm worker and an activist...

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We Asked: How Is The Homeownership Crisis Affecting You?

People from nearly every state in the country responded to a request from NPR on social media to tell us about their experience trying to buy a home. From urban metro areas to distant suburbs, there were common themes of rising home prices coupled with limited options. In a series of stories NPR has reported on a variety of factors that are contributing to this new housing crisis: a construction labor shortage, rising costs of building materials, a shortage of undeveloped land, and an...

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An Iraq Veteran, Heroin Addict, Bank Robber And Debut Novelist

Nico Walker is in jail for robbing banks. He can use the pay phone for 15 minutes at a time, and then he has to wait a half-hour. It took a while to do an interview. That's also sort of the way he wrote his debut novel, Cherry — on a typewriter, with a hundred-or-so other guys looking over his shoulder. "It was something that I was doing when I was locked up," he says. "Something to pass the time. But I didn't — I wasn't planning to write a novel, you know, autobiographical or anything like...

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The Great American Read

PBS asked Americans to name their best-loved novel, and they’ve compiled a list of the top 100. Make a case for your favorite novel on the list through a BookMark review!

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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.

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!

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

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.

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WPSU Podcasts

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It's Folk Season

The Folk Show is back on WPSU-FM Saturday afternoons from 1-5pm, now through December, when the Metropolitain Opera Radio Season begins again.

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.

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.