Pennsylvania

In his office on Penn State’s main campus, Sascha Meinrath, a professor of telecommunications, tested his internet speed.
Min Xian / Keystone Crossroads

In his office on Penn State’s main campus, Sascha Meinrath, a professor of telecommunications, tested his internet speed.

With an upload speed of 200 megabits and a download speed of 80 megabits per second, it blew past the federal definition of broadband.

“That’s way over the FCC definition,” said Meinrath.

But many in Pennsylvania aren’t so lucky.

In this file photo, a welder fabricates anchor bolts for roads and bridges at the custom manufacturer in Pennsylvania.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A study by Bucknell University’s Institute For Public Policy counts Pennsylvania as one of the states where residents are most skeptical of free trade agreements.

The study found especially negative attitudes in states where voters supported President Barack Obama in 2012 and flipped to President Donald Trump in 2016: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa.

AP Photo/MichaelRubinkam

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Colored bulbs cast an eerie blue glow in the restroom of a convenience store where people who inject heroin and other drugs have been seeking the relative privacy of the stalls to shoot up.

The blue lights are meant to discourage people from using drugs in store bathrooms by making it more difficult for them to see their veins. It's an idea that's been around for years but is getting a fresh look as a result of the nation's opioid epidemic.

Pennsylvania Has Budget Peace A Week Early

Jun 22, 2018
photo: AP

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Pennsylvania's budget legislation (all times local):
8:50 p.m.
Pennsylvania has budget peace, for now, and spending authorization intact a week early for the upcoming fiscal year.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday signed a $32.7 billion budget package, avoiding the partisan acrimony and protracted budget fights of his first three years in office.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

 (Harrisburg) -- Efforts to overhaul the state’s redistricting process are faltering.

Earlier this month, the legislature looked like it might be on track to approve a sweeping plan to establish a citizen’s commission to draw the maps — plus change how Pennsylvania elects judges.

Ashley Oleson, with the League of Women Voters of Maryland, carries signs of the state's districts, before oral arguments in Benisek v. Lamon in front of the Supreme Court, Wednesday, March 28, 2018.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The U.S. Supreme Court was expected to make a defining decision on extreme partisan gerrymandering this term. It took up two cases, one from Wisconsin, and the other from Maryland. But, in unanimous decisions, the court avoided the key constitutional question at stake in these cases: How much politics is too much when determining voting districts?

Instead, it ruled on technicalities.

The study showed a stark divide in employment recovery after the 2008 recession in different parts of the state.
"Pennsylvania Employment on the Move: 2001-17" study 

National unemployment levels are as low as they have been in years, but that rising tide isn’t necessarily lifting all boats. Penn State researchers say recent economic development in different parts of Pennsylvania varies dramatically.

Senator Lisa Boscola asks for support for her redistricting bill before the chamber's Appropriations Committee.
Katie Meyer / WITF

After more than a year of on-and-off negotiation, the state Senate has moved a congressional redistricting overhaul to the floor of the full chamber.

However, the compromise measure is expected to undergo significant changes before it heads to the House as soon as next week.

In this May 21, 2018 photo, a sign opposing an industrial hog farm is displayed at a home in Berwick, Pa. Residents who complain about foul smells from the nearby hog farm have taken their fight to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
AP Photo/Michael Rubinka

For several years, a hog farm in Luzerne County has been under legal fire for emitting a stench that people say can make the surrounding area almost unlivable.

A lawsuit is now awaiting consideration before the state Supreme Court.

But the outlook isn't good--and that's largely because Pennsylvania law makes it near-impossible to sue farms for nuisances like smells.

Gov. Tom Wolf signing an anti-discrimination executive order in April 2016.
Courtesy of Pa. Dept. of General Services

Should private schools that benefit from Pennsylvania’s tax credit programs adhere to the rules of the public system?

That debate often revolves around school accountability because the state does not require private schools to administer and publish the results of standardized tests.

But the question has also cropped up in recent weeks around an entirely different issue — employee discrimination.

Ashley Oleson, with the League of Women Voters of Maryland, carries signs of the state's districts, before oral arguments in Benisek v. Lamon in front of the Supreme Court, Wednesday, March 28, 2018.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

 

This month the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to deliver two highly anticipated decisions on cases involving partisan gerrymandering — one from Wisconsin and the other from Maryland.

The central question in both cases is: How much politics is too much when it comes to drawing the boundaries of a voting district?

In the past, the court has said it couldn’t answer that question.

Pennsylvania’s population is on the rise again.
Source: Pennsylvania State Data Center

Pennsylvania’s population is on the rise again, after declining in 2016 — but growth remains concentrated in certain spots, and most communities keep losing residents.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates show the state lost people during 2016, but added more than 18,000 last year, the most since 2012, according to a Keystone Crossroads analysis of the latest statistics.

(AP Photo/Marc Levy)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the Pennsylvania primary election (all times local):

10:19 p.m.

John Fetterman has won a five-way Democratic Party primary race for lieutenant governor, making Lt. Gov. Mike Stack the first holder of the office to lose in a primary election.

The Braddock mayor's victory in Tuesday's primary election means he will run on a ticket with Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall. Pennsylvania first started allowing lieutenant governors to serve a second term in the 1970s.

Braddock had made a failed bid in 2016 for the U.S. Senate.

photo: courtesy of Scott Sackett & Paul Lamont

On Thursday, January 4 at 8:00pm, WPSU-TV will broadcast the PBS documentary, “Lake of Betrayal: The Story of Kinzua Dam” about the history of the Kinzua Dam in Warren County, Pennsylvania. 

First Transgender Candidate Wins in Pa.

Nov 8, 2017
photo: Tyler James Titus / Tyler Titus for Erie School Board Facebook

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania school board has a new, openly transgender member.

The Erie Times-News reports Tyler Titus won one of four open seats on the Erie School Board on Tuesday.

The Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to electing openly LGBT people, says 33-year-old Titus is the first openly transgender person ever elected in the state of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and his wife, Frances
Marc Levy / AP Photo

Governor Tom Wolf says he has been diagnosed with a “mild” case of prostate cancer and will undergo treatment beginning in the next two weeks.

The governor says a routine checkup last fall gave him the first indication of cancer, and follow-up tests afterward confirmed it.

He wouldn’t detail the extent of the cancer, nor the treatment he’ll receive for it, but he says he won’t need chemotherapy. He doesn’t expect his treatment to interfere with his duties as governor.

jakecorman.com

WPSU’s Greg Petersen interviewers Pennsylvania State Senator and Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre County) who talks about the prospects for an on-time budget, pension reform, state liquor reform, his support for a higher minimum wage in the Commonwealth, and work to close a tax loophole that currently allows hundreds of Marcellus Shale companies to avoid taxes by registering in Delaware.
 

Kristine Allen

Actress and filmmaker Anna Martemucci grew up in State College.  She was a contestant on the STARZ reality show called “The Chair” which filmed her as she directed her own film, “Hollidaysburg.”  It’s about college freshmen from Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania who come home for a Thanksgiving holiday.

WPSU’s Kristine Allen talks with Martemucci about her career, her film, and what it’s like to be on a reality show.

Julia Kasdorf
Penn State Univeristy

Julia Spicher Kasdorf is Professor of English and Women's Studies at Penn State University, and an accomplished poet.  She took a sabbatical last year to visit areas of Pennsylvania affected by Marcellus Shale development, and is now completing a collection of documentary poetry based on her interviews with local residents.  WPSU's Kristine Allen speaks with Kasdorf about her recent foray into "docupoetry."

Centre County Issues Gay Marriage Licenses

May 21, 2014

After a flood of complaints, the Register of Wills' office in Centre County is issuing gay marriage licenses.