Min Xian

Reporter

Min Xian is a reporter for WPSU and Keystone Crossroads, covering news and public affairs in Central and Northern Pennsylvania. She reports on issues facing Central PA cities and rural communities, involving infrastructure, education, immigration and more. Before joining as a staff reporter, Min was a news intern for WPSU for a year.

Previously Min worked as a part-time videographer and photographer for Penn State College of Engineering. She was also a contributing writer and freelance photographer for the Centre Daily Times. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Penn State University.

A native speaker of Mandarin and Cantonese, Min spends a lot of time coming up with headlines and puns.

Ways to Connect

Fire Director Steve Bair stands in front of a fire truck
Min Xian / WPSU

The Alpha Fire Company in State College is proposing a huge increase in its annual stipend for volunteer firefighters. The proposal underlines the difficulty in recruiting volunteer firefighters across the state.

The 96 volunteer firefighters at Alpha earn a stipend of about $560 a year when they work a minimum requirement.

Fire Director Steve Bair proposes an increase in that stipend. If approved, the volunteers would get about $1,000 next year and around $5,000 a few years from now. The funding will come from local taxpayers.

The Traveling Wall in State College
Min Xian / WPSU

Many Vietnam veterans have only seen their service recognized in recent years. But a traveling version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in State College gave them a chance to share their stories and heal. 

The names of more than 58,000 soldiers who died in the Vietnam War are listed and honored on the Traveling Wall.

Rex Johnson is an active duty national guard member from Milesburg. He rode among the Motorcycle Honor Escort last Wednesday, delivering the Traveling Wall from Bellefonte to Innovation Park.

The Traveling Wall in State College
MIN XIAN / WPSU

Over a hundred people attended the opening ceremony for the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall at Innovation Park on Thursday. 

Ryan McCombie shared the story of returning to the U.S. from Vietnam, saying that the first thing everyone did was to change into civilian clothing. A retired U.S. Navy Captain who served for 26 years and a Vietnam veteran, he said the country did not welcome the men in uniforms when they returned.

“Today, we welcome home again, all of our veterans,” McCombie said. A standing ovation followed.

Steven McKnight poses for a photo
Min Xian / WPSU

For those born and raised in struggling Rust Belt cities, it’s common to move away for job opportunities or a different lifestyle. The city of Altoona has steadily lost population since its height in the 1930s. But for some Altoona natives who have returned to the area, there are many appeals to working and living back home.

Steven McKnight is one of those people. He called himself a “boomeranger.”

“I’m actually a double boomeranger,” McKnight said.

Min Xian / WPSU

The city of Altoona officially came out of Act 47 on Wednesday, bringing an end to its distressed city status. Altoona's successful exit is a big win for its local government and their collaboration with the state.

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin officially announced the rescission in Altoona's downtown Devorris Center. 

“On behalf of Governor Tom Wolf and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I’m officially signing the order which allows the city of Altoona to exit Act 47 today,” Davin said.  

Timothy Piazza's parents as they entered the courthouse this morning in Bellefonte.
Min Xian / WPSU

A judge has dropped all involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault charges for the 18 Penn State fraternity members charged in the death of pledge Timothy Piazza. Some defendants are going to trial for lesser charges. 

The most serious charges of the case have been dismissed by Judge Allen Sinclair, but 14 defendants are still going to trial for hazing and furnishing. Seven also face reckless endangerment charges. 

Defense attorney Michael Engle says his client, Gary DiBileo, knows there’s no winner in the case.

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