When I was little, my mom warned me time and again that if I became nearsighted, I’d only have my bad habit of reading under my comforter with a tiny flashlight to blame. I didn’t listen because in “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” there was no worrying about eye care. There was just traveling across the ocean through the eyes of an explorer and feeling page-long names of sea creatures swim past my fingertips. A whole bunch of things in that book were made up, but I loved it.

I believe in science fiction.

President Trump Silhouette
Chelsea Beck / NPR

President Trump is speaking for the first time about the shooting at a high school in South Florida that left at least 17 people dead.


Teacher Jon Kimmel in his classroom at Westtown School in Chester County, Pa.
Avi Wolfman-Arent / Keystone Crossroads

Viewed from a distance, Westtown School in Chester County, Pennsylvania seems like precisely the place you’d expect a conversation on redistricting and gerrymandering. The Quaker private school sits at the juncture of two especially contorted congressional districts — the 6th and 7th — and counts among its core values “peace and justice in community and in the world.”

Grad student rally
Anne Danahy / WPSU

"What do we want? Unions! When do we want it? Now."

That chant was part of the demonstration Penn State graduate student employees who want to unionize held Wednesday in front of Old Main, the university administration building. 

Among those clapping and cheering at a pro-union rally were faculty, employees and politicians.

Derek Fox, an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics, said graduate students have voted to unionize at other institutions and the sky hasn’t fallen.

State Representatives Hanna and Markosek are both stepping down, and want their sons to succeed them.
AP Photo

(Harrisburg) -- Two top Democrats are retiring from the state House this year--and have more in common than just their high-ranking positions.

Minority Appropriations Chair Joe Markosek and Minority Whip Mike Hanna both want their sons to take their place.

Markosek and Hanna are from Allegheny and Centre Counties, respectively, and have served in their leadership positions since 2011.

They announced their retirements and their sons' plans to replace them within a few days of each other.

Glenn Davis (courtesy of Altoona Community Theatre) / 7th Ave Photo, Altoona

For the first time ever, Altoona Community Theatre is presenting a Shakespeare play.  AS WPSU’s Kristine Allen reports this weekend's production of "Romeo and Juliet," which opens Thursday, will focus on  keeping the performance real and relevant, with modern costumes and music by the Talking Heads. 

In this Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 photo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at his office in Harrisburg, Pa.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Wolf has rejected a Republican-drawn congressional map designed to replace the one the state Supreme Court declared unconstitutional late last month. 

The Democratic administration says the map is still too partisan--though House and Senate Republicans maintain it follows the court's order exactly. 

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we’ll hear choral music in the African American tradition from Essence of Joy (“Striving after God” by Undine Smith Moore and “This is the Day” by Joe Pace); The Penn State Symphonic Wind Ensemble in a suite from the opera, “Mlada” by Nicolai Rimsky Korsakov (arranged by Dennis Glocke); And a Mozart concerto for two pianos from the Music at Penn’s Woods Festival, featuring pianists Christopher Guzman and Cecilia Dunoyer with conductor Gerardo Edelstein.


An archive recording of the WPSU Blues Show as broadcast on February 10, 2018, hosted by Max Spiegel. 

In the first hour, hear tracks from Rev. Gary Davis, Sweet Honey in the Rock, The Black Keys, Guy Clark, Harry Connick Jr., B.B. King, Bob Brozman, Mac Arnold, Sly and The Family Stone, Dave van Ronk, Josh White, Jim Burns and more.

In the second hour, hear T-Bone Walker, Taj Mahall, John Lee Hooker with Buddy Guy, Frank Hutchinson, Barry Levinson, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Nina Simone, The Kinks and more.   

Harold Shapiro

“Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America” is a book that looks at how African American leaders–with the best intentions–made choices that eventually helped create mass incarceration.


NPR Stories

Britain is accusing Russia of manufacturing and stockpiling a deadly nerve agent in violation of international law. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says he has evidence that Russia has been creating and storing the toxin, which was recently used to poison a former spy in England.

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans say they still support special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference even as the president continued his offensive Sunday against the investigation, as well as a recently fired high-ranking FBI official, Andrew McCabe.

Trump sent a flurry of tweets Sunday morning, in which he painted the Mueller-led special counsel probe as a politically biased witch hunt.

Turkish Forces Seize Syrian City of Afrin

3 hours ago

Turkish forces have seized control of the Syrian city of Afrin. A source in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office said in a statement, that as of Sunday morning, the Turkish military and its Free Syrian Army allies have seized control of the city center. The northwestern, Kurdish-majority city has been the target of a two-month Turkish offensive against a Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the People's Defense Units, or YPG, despite calls from Europe and elsewhere for the operation to end.

When Von Diaz was growing up, her mother sent her away from her home outside Atlanta to spend summers in Puerto Rico. Diaz was born on the island in Rio Piedras, but she found the trips back disorienting. She didn't speak Spanish well. She lay awake at night, pestered by mosquitoes and wilting heat. In her grandmother's kitchen, she found relief in grilled cheese loaded with ground beef picadillo, aromatic olive oil infused with garlic and oregano, and fried cinnamon donuts.

Love, Simon is your typical teenage romantic comedy: a boy, a mystery love interest, misunderstandings, treachery and annoying teachers. The title character Simon is, in fact, deliberately typical.

"I'm just like you," Simon says in his opening voiceover. "I have a totally, perfectly normal life. Except I have one huge-ass secret."

Simon's big reveal is revealed right away: He tells us that he's gay. All that is intentional, according to director Greg Berlanti, who spoke to us in an interview.

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All Victims Recovered In Miami Bridge Collapse, Police Say

Police say they believe all the victims killed in the bridge collapse near Miami are accounted for. "We believe that we've recovered the final two individuals, final two victims, from underneath the bridge," Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez told reporters late Saturday night. Five bodies were recovered from the wreckage Saturday, police said. A sixth victim died at the hospital. "We're pretty confident that no one's left," Perez said, though he said recovery efforts would continue. The...

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With Centrist Democrats' Success, Party's Identity Struggle Gets More Complicated

Democrats are having a moment. They managed to win a House seat in Republican-leaning, industrial Pennsylvania and a Senate seat in the deep-red state of Alabama. Party leaders say those back-to-back special elections are proof that GOP-friendly centrists can win as Democrats in some races, even as the party is welcoming a growing number of progressives. They hope that strategy will help them win control in Congress in 2018, but some Democrats worry a big tent identity will make it harder for...

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Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur Makes History As Longest-Serving Woman In The House

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Facebook Suspends Political Data Firm Used In Trump Campaign

Facebook has suspended the data analytics firm that the Trump campaign relied on during the 2016 election, saying the firm improperly received user data and then may have failed to get rid of it. On Friday, the social media giant announced that Cambridge Analytica; parent company Strategic Communication Laboratories; Christopher Wylie, who helped found Cambridge Analytica; and U.K.-based professor Aleksandr Kogan were all barred from Facebook pending an investigation. Kogan of the University...

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What You Could Take Away From 'David Bowie Is'

There is a wonderful irony in a career retrospective of a living artist that becomes so popular it outlives its subject. In 2010 — long before David Bowie Is travelled to ten other locations around the world, before it landed in Brooklyn earlier this month — London's Victoria & Albert Museum was approached by the rock icon's management to create an exhibit out of the singer's archives. At the time, the idea that such a show would be taken seriously, much less prove to be a success, were...

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Transgender Teachers: In Their Own Voices

NPR Ed has been reporting this month on the lives of transgender educators around the country. We surveyed 79 educators from the U.S. and Canada, and they had a lot to say – about their teaching, their identities and their roles in the lives of young people. We reported the survey findings here , and followed with this story about how educators are coming together to organize and to share their experiences in the classroom, and in their lives. We asked our survey respondents to send in a...

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Trump's Attorney Seeks $20 Million In Damages From Stormy Daniels

President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is asking a federal court to enforce a nondisclosure agreement signed by Stormy Daniels, claiming that the adult film actress violated that pact and is liable to pay $20 million in damages. The court filing was made through the limited liability corporation Essential Consultants that Cohen first established in 2016 to pay Daniels $130,000 to keep secret the details of her affair with Trump before he became president. For the first time,...

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Imagining — Yet Again — A New Disney Heroine

Meg Murray from A Wrinkle in Time and Wakandan princess Shuri from Black Panther are a far cry from the typical Disney heroine. In Meg and Shuri, we have two outspoken black girls. This, in itself is a dramatic change for the company: in the past, Disney has rarely celebrated black girls for being smart or self-assured. Shuri invents the gadgets that her brother T'Challa (aka Black Panther) uses to save the people of Wakanda. Think about it: how would the Black Panther repel all the blows he...

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Source: Fired Deputy FBI Director Took Memos, Notes About Interactions With Trump

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'Love, Simon' Is Your Typical Glossy, Hollywood, Teenage, Gay Rom-Com

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Episode 454: The Lollipop War

Sugar costs more in the U.S. than in the rest of the world. If you're in the candy business and make millions of lollipops a day, that's a big deal. On today's show, we visit a lollipop factory in Ohio, whose fifth-generation owners want U.S. sugar to be cheaper, and a sugar-beet field in Minnesota, where fourth-generation farmers want it to be expensive. The two are fighting over one of the largest and oldest and most notorious price control systems in the country. Music: " Something New "...

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Paul Thorn Revisits His Gospel Roots

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Report: Russian Hackers Had The Ability To Shut Down U.S. Power Plants

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In Daniel Mallory Ortberg's Version, The Little Mermaid Inhales Souls

The Merry Spinster is one of the most anticipated books of the spring. Author Daniel Mallory Ortberg has recast classic tales, including "The Little Mermaid," The Velveteen Rabbit , "Beauty and the Beast," and even parts of the Old Testament, to make them resonate with new takes on romantic love, property rights, abusive relationships, gender roles and the stuffed animals we hold dear — and their unsparing lack of sentimentality. Ortberg is the co-creator of The Toast , an important website...

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FEMA Drops 'Climate Change' From Its Strategic Plan

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal government's first responder to floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, has eliminated references to climate change from its strategic planning document for the next four years. That document , released by FEMA on Thursday, outlines plans for building preparedness and reducing the complexity of the agency. "Disaster costs are expected to continue to increase due to rising natural hazard risk, decaying critical infrastructure, and...

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Hidden Brain: The Pursuit of Happiness

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WPSU's 2018 Election Coverage

Find candidate profiles, information on the newly drawn PA Congressional districts, resources on voter registration, and more on WPSU's Vote '18 web portal.

The new map of Pennsylvania Congressional districts, released February 19 by the PA Supreme Court.
PA Supreme Court

Pa. Supreme Court Dramatically Overhauls State’s Congressional Map (Clickable Map Included)

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has enacted a new congressional district map that onlookers say is much more favorable to Democrats, replacing one the court overturned and deemed an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander last month. Justices described the new map in their 48-page decision as “superior” to other proposals filed for their consideration. It’s more compact, they wrote, and splits only 13 counties — fewer than half the number divided in the 2011 map drawn in a process controlled by...

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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.

Announcing The 2018 Tiny Desk Contest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2Pf41N5Rqo It's time to crank up the amps, warm up the drum machines, dust off the sax (or whatever your instrument of choice is) and enter the Tiny Desk Contest . When we started the contest in 2014, we did it for one simple reason: We love discovering new music. And since then, this contest has been an amazing way to do just that. I've been thrilled to discover new artists from around the country and hear some unforgettable music through your videos. I've...

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Get The New Free WPSU App!

Take public media anywhere you go with the WPSU mobile app available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and Amazon devices.

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

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The Folk Show on WPSU-FM

Hear locally-hosted acoustic music on The Folk Show, Sunday nights from 10pm to midnight on WPSU-FM, and Saturdays from 1-5pm on WPSU 3 (to stream it, click LISTEN LIVE above, then select WPSU3).

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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.

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!