Washington State Strikes Down Death Penalty, Citing Racial Bias

The Washington Supreme Court has struck down the state's death penalty, saying that it is imposed arbitrarily and with racial bias. "We are confident that the association between race and the death penalty is not attributed to random chance," the justices wrote in a majority opinion. Gov. Jay Inslee issued a moratorium on the death penalty in Washington in 2014, and on Thursday he called the opinion a "hugely important moment in our pursuit for equal and fair application of justice." Thursday...

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WPSU Jazz Archive

Sep 7, 2018
William P. Gottlieb / Library of Congress

An archive recording for the WPSU Jazz show as aired on September 7, 2018 and hosted by Rana Glick. The program features tracks from  Ralph Sutton, Gerry Mulligan and Thelonious Monk, Art Tatum, David Murray Quartet, Joshua Redman, Abby Lincoln, Horace Silver, Lee Ritenour, Eddie Condon, Tom Browne, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Diane Krall & Ray Charles, and more.

BookMark: "Moby Dick" By Herman Melville

Sep 6, 2018

In my first teaching interview, I was asked what book I’d most like to teach. Without hesitation, I replied, “Moby Dick.” The interviewer probably thought I was trying to impress him, but it was true. I began teaching “Moby Dick” four years ago, and I hope I’ll be able to continue to teach it for the rest of my career.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. — sitting next to Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. — questions Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.
JACQUELYN MARTIN / AP Photo

Cconfirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are underway. You can stream them here.

In this file photo, Jim Piazza spoke at a press conference regarding the case on the hazing death of his son Tim. The Piazzas and national Beta Theta Pi reached a settlement on Tuesday.
Min Xian / WPSU

The parents of Tim Piazza, who died after a night of hazing and drinking at Penn State's Beta Theta Pi chapter, have settled with the national fraternity, according to their lawyer.

The amount for which Jim and Evelyn Piazza settled with Beta Theta Pi is undisclosed, family attorney Thomas Kline said.

Beta Theta Pi has also agreed to a 17-point program to make chapters safer and penalize groups for hazing, he said, reforms that will "help establish a baseline for the new norm" of fraternity life.

Maddie Biertempfel / WPSU

Shaver’s Creek is reopening this weekend after undergoing the largest expansion project since it opened in 1976.

Hundreds have already signed up for the grand reopening to see the new visitor center, classrooms and raptor exhibits. The nature center was closed for the past two years while it underwent $7.5 million in renovations. 

Joshua Potter has been there since the start. His dad started the nature center more than 40 years ago to give Penn State students an outdoor education field lab to put classroom learning into practice.

The cast of "Results Will Vary*" during a summer preview performance in Eisenhower Auditorium.
Patrick Mansell / Penn State

Penn State students are back at the University Park campus. Last week, nearly 300 freshmen attended “Results Will Vary*,” a theatre performance that put a new spin on student orientation. The show explored issues students might face and resources the university has to support them.

Sheldon Levy / Creative Commons

An archive edition of the WPSU Jazz show as broadcast on August 31, 2018 and hosted by Greg Halpin. 

The first hour of the program features all new releases from John Coltrane, Nick Costley-White, Enrico Pieranunzi with Thomas Fonnesbaek, the Tord Gustaven Trio, Snorre Kirk, Frank Cunimondo, Takayuki Yagi, and Steve Turre. 

This I Believe: I Believe In Talking To Strangers

Aug 30, 2018

This essay originally aired on December 7, 2017.   

On a crisp day in October, I was on my daily walk through the Arboretum at Penn State. I had discovered my passion for photography there, and I was on a mission to photograph the roving gangs of chipmunks devouring the decorative pumpkins and gourds the Arboretum puts out at this time of year.

Suddenly, a stranger approached me. And immediately I thought, “Ugh. Go away. What do you want?” I thought about pulling out my cell phone to act busy. A gut, automatic reaction. 

The Piazzas at press conference
Min Xian / WPSU

Jim and Evelyn Piazza, the parents of Tim Piazza, gave an anti-hazing presentation to fraternity and sorority members at Penn State on Wednesday. They said their goal is to end the culture of hazing.

The Piazzas named their presentation, “Love, Mom & Dad.” They asked their audience in HUB Robeson Center's Freeman auditorium to imagine the painful loss of a child, as they recounted the details of how Tim was hazed and fatally injured in 2017.

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NPR Stories

Lisa Spinelli loves small children — their innocence, their enthusiasm, above all their promise. But The Kindergarten Teacher's protagonist, achingly played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, knows that most 5-year-olds don't grow up to be particularly creative or even interesting. Exhibit A: herself.

The second Civil War will be fought over Thanksgiving. That's the devilish concept at the heart of The Oath, the new dark comedy from Ike Barinholtz that imagines families tearing at each other's throats over the latest machinations of the U.S. government. It doesn't have to imagine too hard. Written and filmed in a white-hot rage over the last year, The Oath barely bothers to mask the inspiration for its dystopia.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi vowed this week to demand President Trump's tax returns if Democrats win control of the House of Representatives next month.

Pelosi, seeking to regain her gavel as House speaker after elections in November, told The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board that the move "is one of the first things we'd do — that's the easiest thing in the world. That's nothing."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Human Retinas Grown In A Dish Reveal Origin Of Color Vision

In order to see the red of a sunset or the green of spring leaves, developing human eyes need to get the right hormone at the right time. That's the finding of a team of scientists who studied how color vision develops using hundreds of human retinas grown in the lab. The discovery, published Thursday in the journal Science , could help accelerate current efforts to cure colorblindness. It could also lead to new treatments for diseases including macular degeneration, the leading cause of...

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Michael Weakens After Historic Slam Into Florida Panhandle

Updated at 5:30 a.m. ET Thursday Tropical Storm Michael is weakening as it churns across south-central Georgia. On Wednesday, Michael was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the continental U.S. in more than a quarter-century, according to the National Hurricane Center . At least one person has died from complications related to the storm. Gadsden County, Fla., Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Anglie Hightower told NPR the man was killed after a tree fell through the roof of his home. In...

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Easy DNA Identifications With Genealogy Databases Raise Privacy Concerns

Police in California made headlines this spring when they charged a former police officer with being the Golden State Killer, a man who allegedly committed a series of notorious rapes and murders in the 1970s and '80s. Authorities revealed they used DNA from a publicly available genealogy website to crack the case. Since then, police around the country have started doing the same sort of thing to solve other cold cases. That prompted Yaniv Erlich, the chief science officer at the Israeli...

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A Woman's Rage: Songs About Being Fed Up

Some anniversaries are hard to celebrate. How should we greet the arrival of October, a year after the stories broke initiating the reckoning that soon became known as #MeToo? Since The New York Times and The New Yorker published their exposés — on Oct. 5 and Oct. 10 of last year, respectively — of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's long career as an alleged serial rapist, a new nationwide discussion has formed about sexual assault, abuse and harassment. Often, this ongoing reckoning feels...

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FACT CHECK: Trump's False Claims On 'Medicare For All'

USA Today published an opinion column by President Trump Wednesday in which the president falsely accused Democrats of trying to "eviscerate" Medicare, while defending his own record of protecting health care coverage for seniors and others. The column — published just weeks ahead of the midterm elections — underscores the political power of health care to energize voters. But it makes a number of unsubstantiated claims. Here are 5 points to know 1. The political context: Health care has...

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Chazelle's 'First Man' Chronicles Personal Losses Behind Armstrong's 'Giant Leap'

On July 20, 1969, an estimated 530 million people watched on live television as Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first human to step upon the surface of the moon. Nearly 50 years later, Academy Award-winning director Damien Chazelle revisits Armstrong's "giant leap for mankind" — but with a more intimate lens. First Man , starring Ryan Gosling, focuses on the personal sacrifices behind Armstrong's monumental step. Chazelle, whose previous films include La La Land and Whiplash ,...

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Father-Daughter Pilots Take To The Sky For Albuquerque's Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

One of the most iconic and colorful festivals of the Southwest is underway this week in New Mexico. Each year, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta draws hundreds of hot air balloons from around the world, and for some like pilots Troy and Savannah Bradley its a family affair. Here & Now s Peter ODowd speaks with the father-daughter duo about the event. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Democrats Enter Campaign's Final Stretch Flush With Cash

Not so long ago — the administration of President George W. Bush — $1 million could get you elected to Congress. Now, four weeks from Election Day, Democrats say 60 of their candidates raised that much or more , just in the last three months. Fueled by an energetic base of small donors, Democrats are going into the final stretch of the election with a substantial financial advantage, erasing Republicans' typical fundraising edge. The money is flowing to unlikely districts and is frequently...

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Three Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historians Aim To Put American Politics In Context

It's hard to make time for history books when there is so much history crashing down on us every single day — and especially when that history is divisive, aggressive and seemingly never-ending. Case in point: This book review was due a week ago. Rather than finish this assignment, I spent the week in Senate hallways and hearing rooms, watching in real time as the most contentious Supreme Court confirmation in a generation turned into a national flashpoint on sexual assault and gender...

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Light And Dark, Characters Shine In 'Blanca & Roja'

Sisters Blanca and Roja del Cisne have always known that one of them is doomed to become a swan. It's been this way for generations and generations of their family — there is always a "good" sister who will live out her human life, and the other, darker sister, who will fly away, never to see her family again. The strange and magical nature of their family keeps them apart from the rest of the town where they live, and it's so difficult for them to assimilate that their parents eventually...

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Emotional Support Squirrel A No-Go On Frontier Flight

Jokes aside about flying squirrels, nuts served on planes and bushy-tailed passengers, squirrels and planes do not actually mix. At least not on Tuesday at Orlando International Airport, where an unidentified passenger hadn't gotten the memo. She boarded her Cleveland-bound Frontier Airlines flight toting a cage containing the furry occupant. She did her due diligence by noting on her reservation that she would be bringing an emotional support animal, Frontier said in a statement. She even...

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'Florida,' 'Heartland' Among National Book Awards Finalists

The selections were winnowed down from 1,637 books. On Wednesday, the National Book Foundation announced the 25 books that remain in the running for the National Book Awards, now in its 69th year. The writers come from such places as Pittsburgh, Norway, Iran and Poland, and many of them have delved into some of the most pressing conversations of our time: racism, masculinity, addiction, the destruction of indigenous culture, class divides and corporations. And for the first time since the...

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WPSU's Fall Fundraising 2nd Pre-Drive Challenge!

Many thanks to everyone who helped WPSU make our first cake & icing challenge! Now a 2nd challenge is in effect: we raise another $10,000, it's capped with $5,000 by 3 anonymous donors!

Listen to Morning Edition, weekdays from 5:00am to 9:00am & Weekend Edition, Saturday & Sunday from 8:00am to 10:00am on WPSU-FM.

The Great American Read

PBS asked Americans to name their best-loved novel, and they've compiled a list of the top 100. Hear WPSU listeners make a case for their favorites, then vote for yours at pbs.org/greatamericanread.

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.

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.

The NPR Politics Show: Saturdays At Noon, Through Midterms Week

The Politics Show is the definitive guide to the 2018 midterms: a one-hour roundtable discussion airing for nine weeks that presents a deep dive on the major races & issues.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Add your voice!

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

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WPSU Podcasts

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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.