Anne Danahy

Reporter

Anne Danahy is a reporter at WPSU. She was a reporter for nearly 12 years at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, where she earned a number of awards for her coverage of issues including the impact of natural gas development on communities. 

She earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and a master's degree in media studies from Penn State.

Before joining WPSU, she worked as a writer and editor at Strategic Communications at Penn State and with the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute before that.

She hosts a Q&A program for Centre County's government and education access station and teaches a news writing and reporting class at Penn State.  

Ways to Connect

U.S. Senator Bob Casey arriving at Ag Progress Days
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Every year, politicians and political hopefuls turn out for lunch at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days in Pennsylvania Furnace, Centre County.

This year, that included Democratic Senator Bob Casey and Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta.

Casey urged those at the lunch Wednesday to push both parties to make the Farm Bill not just a bipartisan effort, but one that gets passed on time.

road construction signs
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Road construction in Centre County shows no signs of stopping, but some of it will be slowing down for upcoming events.

Penn State student move-in, Grange Fair and Ag Progress Days are all on the calendar for August. PennDOT and local officials said they know that and they’re trying to keep traffic moving. That includes on Atherton Street.

Marc Maney, with PennDOT, said that project is slated to be finished by Thanksgiving 2019.

workers installing land fencing
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Drivers on Whitehall Road in the State College area may encounter lane closures once work begins on the Toll Brothers project. The company is slated to build a student housing development on land it bought from Penn State.

According to a Toll Brothers spokesman, the company is on schedule with the project and plans to begin site work "in the coming weeks." 

Part of the Toll Brothers project is installing a sewer line.

Rendering of new nursing home
Centre Care

A ground breaking for the new Centre Care nursing home is slated for this fall, with a goal of opening the $39 million facility in Benner Township in November 2020.

The new nursing home will be about 137,000 square feet.

“Our architect keeps telling us this is a large building. It takes up about 15 acres of the plot of land,” said Andrew Naugle, administrator of Centre Crest, the current home in Bellefonte.

The State College Area School District had begun the process that could have led to the shut-down of Wonderland Charter School. But before a hearing could be scheduled, Wonderland announced it was closing.

The school district’s attorney, Scott Etter, said the school district had begun the process of revoking the school’s charter because of what he described as “systemic, institutionalized and long-standing” failures, particularly in special education.

County leaders stand with PennDOT secretary
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Politicians, business leaders and Centre County officials came together Tuesday to celebrate a $35 million federal transportation grant that will go toward the Interstate 80 and 99 interchange project.

PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said the federal money will be the catalyst to get the entire project moving forward.

“It is not often that we get tens of millions of dollars in federal funds to help us with a major project," Richards said. "That’s exactly what we’re celebrating here today.”

building construction
Min Xian / WPSU

The development going on in State College right now is expected to increase the number of housing units in the borough by about 20 percent. And largely they’ll be downtown student rentals.

While many Pennsylvania municipalities struggle to sustain their downtowns and shrinking populations, the State College area faces a different set of challenges. The place that’s home to Penn State is seeing growth. But not everyone thinks it’s the right kind.

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.

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.”  

construction on Route 322
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Construction is underway on PennDOT’s Potters Mills Gap project, which will extend the four-lane highway from the Centre and Mifflin counties border to west of Potters Mills.

“Right about where that yellow truck is dumping, that will be the bridge, and the roundabout will be just to the right of that where you see that pick-up truck," said construction manager Greg Sidorick on a tour of the project that will eventually mean smoother driving on Route 322 through Potters Mills.

Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program — known as ARD — is meant to give participants a “fresh start.” If they complete the program, they can get a clean record.

Under a new Pennsylvania law, someone charged with a sex offense against a child can not qualify for the state’s first-time offender program. 

State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff said ARD was set up for non-violent offenses — maybe a first-time DUI.

“I don’t think it was ever intended to be used for sexual offenders, especially sexual offenders of minors," Benninghoff said.

park plan drawing
CRPR

“This is the master site plan that was updated in 2014,” explained Pam Salokangas, director of Centre Region Parks and Recreation.

She was looking at a sketch of the future park Whitehall Road Regional Park in the State College area. 

“Those two things right there — the pavilion and the playground — are their centerpiece," she said. "The fields are around that. And, of course the park includes about a 15,000-linear foot walking trail.”

A group of Penn State trustees is calling on the entire board to reject the 2012 Freeh report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal. They said they’ve done their own in-depth review and are asking the board to release it.

That group met on the University Park campus today. But there weren’t enough board members to hold an official meeting.

In the middle of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, Penn State hired former FBI director Louis Freeh to conduct a review. His findings have been the source of controversy.

Traffic at a standstill
Anne Danahy / WPSU

  

If you’ve driven on Route 322 where Centre and Mifflin counties meet recently, you may have sat in traffic at a standstill.

The delays have come from work on an $82 million project that will eventually mean easier — and safer — driving on Route 322. 

“We’re going to be improving the roadway from a two-lane roadway to a four-lane roadway, and that will alleviate congestion, a lot of traffic to move more safely and freely through that Potters Mills Gap area,” said Brent Lykens, construction services engineer with PennDOT.

Vincent Tedesco brings a wreath to the Traveling Wall.
MIN XIAN / WPSU

These stories made up WPSU's submission for the Public Radio News Directors Inc. award for Best Multimedia Presentation. WPSU won first place in PRNDI's Division C for stations with 1-to-3 full-time news staff members.  

Motorcycles Escort Vietnam Memorial Wall to Penn State

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

These stories made up WPSU's submission for the Public Radio News Directors Inc. award for Continuing Coverage. WPSU won second place in PRNDI's Division C for stations with 1-to-3 full-time news staff members.

Fraternity Charter Revoked Following Student Death

Penn State Fraternity And 18 Members Charged In Student's Death

Old Main building at Penn State
WPSU

In-state students at Penn State may be spared a tuition increase in the upcoming school year. 

Part of the state budget that’s on the table is a 3 percent increase in funding for Penn State and the other state-related universities. The university says it will keep tuition flat if it gets a 3 percent increase in funding from the state.

Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman says he expects the Senate to take up the budget Friday. The state House approved in Wednesday.

people at immigrant holding facility
U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector / Associated Press

At least two Centre County municipalities are speaking against the Trump administration’s policy that separates families who enter the U.S. illegally. Leaders in State College and Ferguson Township voted to contact U.S. Congressmen urging them to take action.

Evan Myers, president of State College council, said the borough wants to be a welcoming community, one that believes diversity and inclusion make it stronger.

Myers said the Trump administration’s so-called “zero tolerance” policy separating children from parents who try to enter the country goes against that.

Old Main building at Penn State
WPSU

Penn State’s Values and Culture Survey was sent to all faculty, staff and students in fall 2017. It followed up on one done in 2013.

Among the findings are that more faculty, staff and grad students reported observing some type of misconduct in the past year.

This time, a third of faculty saw “abusive or intimidating behavior that creates a hostile environment,” such as bullying. That’s up from 27 percent.

Seventeen percent of grad student respondents said they saw that type of misconduct.

student getting vaccine shot
AP

Penn State has seen about 30 cases of mumps at the University Park campus since January. Of those, all of the people affected had been vaccinated.

Shelley Haffner, infectious disease manager at Penn State, said no vaccine is 100 percent effective for 100 percent of the population.

“There are a lot of unknowns still with this," Haffner said. "We’re working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health who is also working with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) to look at this because we’re seeing more mumps outbreaks on college campuses in recent years.”

River
Min Xian / WPSU

The Keystone Central School District is laying off 34 teachers at the end of the school year. WPSU’s Anne Danahy reports the district says the decision was made in response to declining enrollment.

Interim superintendent Alan Lonoconus said the Keystone Central School District was overstaffed. In the past six years, the number of students has gone down about 10 percent.

That decline led the school board to approve laying off 34 teachers effective June 4.

“It’s probably one of the darker moments in my 38-year career,” Lonoconus said.

Marc Friedenberg sitting
Photo provided

In a very tight race, a Penn State professor has won the Democratic primary for the 12th Congressional district. 

Democrat Marc Friedenberg beat Judy Herschel by 223 votes, according to unofficial results Wednesday afternoon.

He said his win in the primary came from work by volunteers — getting results in places they put the effort.

Now, he has his eye on the general election where he will face Republican incumbent Tom Marino.

Marino beat challenger Doug McLinko, winning 67 percent of the vote.

Political candidates in a row
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Republican candidates trying to win their party’s nomination for the U.S. House, 13th district, fielded questions Monday night. The 13th district stretches across southcentral Pennsylvania, including Blair and Huntingdon counties.

The forum by Blair County Republicans drew a full house to the American Legion in Hollidaysburg.

States’ rights, smaller government and experience getting results were some of the themes covered during the forum.

Three faculty in radio studio
Emily Reddy

Academic freedom and free speech have been in the spotlight. Penn State faculty members Michelle Rodino - Colocino, interim president of the American Association of University Professors, Penn State Chapter; Michael Bérubé, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature; and Cynthia Young, head of the department of African American Studies, talked with WPSU's Anne Danahy about academic freedom in and out of the classroom.

Susan Boser and Wade Jodun
Photos provided

About 50 people turned out at the Smethport fire hall to hear Susan Boser and Wade Jodun, the candidates competing in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania’s 15th district. The winner will likely face Republican incumbent Glenn Thompson in November.

The candidates spoke, answered questions and mingled with the McKean County voters.

Jodun said the night’s turnout out in a Republican stronghold shows people want to be heard. He pointed to the economy as a major issue.

Bernie Washabaught
Photo provided

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional district, one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. House. One of those candidates is Bernie Washabaugh. WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Washabaugh about why he’s running for Congress.

WPSU invited all candidates in competitive races for U.S. House seats in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional districts for interviews. 

Doug Mastriano
Photo provided

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional district, one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. House. One of those candidates is Doug Mastriano, a retired army colonel who lives in Franklin County. 

WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Mastriano about why he’s running for Congress and what he considers government overreach.

John Joyce
Photo provided

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional district, one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. House. One of those candidates is John Joyce. WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Joyce about why he thinks his career as a doctor would help him in Congress.

WPSU invited all candidates in competitive races for U.S. House seats in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional districts for interviews. 

Ben Hornberger
Photo provided

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional district, one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. House. One of those candidates is Benjamin Hornberger. WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Hornberger about why he’s running and what he thinks of Donald Trump’s presidency so far.

WPSU invited all candidates in competitive races for U.S. House seats in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional districts for interviews. 

voting sign
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Graduate assistants at Penn State voted no to unionizing, according to the results that were announced Tuesday.

Grad student organizers say they’re disappointed. Jerome Clarke, co-president of the Coalition of Graduate Employees, pointed to what he called divide and conquer tactics by Penn State. That includes the university saying international students’ visas could be affected if there was ever a strike.

“We do believe that our primary antagonist in this campaign was fear,” Clarke said.

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