Despite Rising Coronavirus Cases, Trump's Focus Appears To Be Elsewhere

President Trump, in a speech Friday at Mount Rushmore that lasted more than 40 minutes, focused on statues and "cancel culture" and accused his political opponents of fascism. But he spared just a few words for the pandemic that has killed 130,000 Americans, thanking "the doctors, nurses and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus." And that was it. He gave it a little more attention Saturday night at the White House before a crowd of first responders and their families, touting the...

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Eddie Adams / AP Images

An archive recording of the WPSU Jazz Show (from home edition) as broadcast on July 3, 2020, and hosted by Greg Petersen. The show features songs by Louis Armstrong who claimed he was born on the 4th of July in 1900.  Almost 15 yeas after his death in 1971, baptismal records revealed he was born on August 4. 

The first hour includes tracks by Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Diana Krall, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio with Wynton Marsalis and Jane Monheit, Matt Nelson Trio,  Pete Zimmer, Plas Johnson, and more.

Emily Reddy / WPSU



In some parts of central and northern Pennsylvania, arts festivals are a summer tradition. But 2020 has been a tough year for festivals. As the COVID-19 pandemic took shape, many such events were canceled.


Rick Bryant, director of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, estimates that 99% of arts festivals around the country are canceled this summer.  


This I Believe: I Believe In Nursery Rhymes

Jul 2, 2020
Britney Ubele
Britney Ubele

I believe in nursery rhymes.

First Penn State Student Dies From COVID-19

Jul 2, 2020
Penn State's Old Main administrative building.
Min Xian / WPSU


A Penn State student has died from respiratory failure due to COVID-19.

Penn State said in a press release that it learned of the Tuesday death of 21-year-old Juan Garcia, a student in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, through friends and family. He is the first known Penn State student to die from coronavirus.

Penn State Athletics Director Sandy Barbour taking off a face mask at the beginning of an online press conference Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Penn State Athletics Director Sandy Barbour said during a news conference Wednesday that no student athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 so far out of 102 tested.

Barbour said Athletics will report its results publicly every two weeks. She said that will happen at least until students return for the fall semester, and then will be reevaluated.

The university has said it will make its overall testing results data public.

State High building
Min Xian / WPSU

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, families in the State College Area School District will decide whether to send their children to school in person or have them learn online at home.

Like other school districts in Pennsylvania, State College is planning how it will teach students when the new school year begins in the fall. The board reviewed those plans during a meeting Monday night.

Courtney Witmer posed with her daughter, Arya, in their State College home in February. Witmer is glad Penn State will begin to offer four weeks of paid parental leave to its staff.
Min Xian / WPSU

Courtney Witmer and her husband are first time parents. They welcomed their firstborn, Arya, at the end of last year. Witmer, a social media marketing manager at Penn State’s World Campus, said being new parents is exciting, but challenging.

“We knew that those first few weeks are really the hardest,” Witmer said. “You're navigating a whole new world of lack of sleep and this little being that can't tell you what it needs. And its only form of communication is crying, and your brain is literally wired to light on fire when it cries. And so, you're trying so hard to adapt.”


You’re listening to WPSU’s Health Minute, a collaboration with Penn State’s College of Nursing.

Many young athletes getting ready to resume sports during the summer months. According to the CDC, more than 2.6 million children are treated each year for sports and recreation-related injuries. 

Safety tips for youth sports include: 

Old Main, the administration building, on Penn State's University Park campus
Min Xian / WPSU

In an online town hall on Monday, Penn State President Eric Barron talked with the co-chairs of the university’s new Select Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias and Community Safety about their plans for the commission. 

The university also announced the creation of scholarships to promote equity and diversity. Barron said Penn State will match up to $10 million in donations toward diversity and equity scholarships, and fund memorial scholarships named after George Floyd and Osaze Osagie.


NPR Stories

A third former Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd has been released from jail.

According to Hennepin County jail records, Tou Thao was released from custody with conditions on Saturday morning after posting $750,000 bond.

Protesters in Baltimore pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus and hurled it into the city's Inner Harbor on Saturday night, adding to the list of monuments toppled during nationwide demonstrations against racism and police brutality.

In a Fourth of July speech aimed at commemorating the military on Saturday, President Trump hit on familiar divisive themes, condemning the "radical left" and the media, which he accused of "slander."

During the second annual Salute to America event held on the South Lawn of the White House, the president drew a comparison between historical American wartime victories and stopping the "radical left."

Long before the coronavirus pandemic, tabletop board games were having something of a renaissance, with popular games like The Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride becoming mainstream additions to family game nights.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word or phrase in which the only consonants are H and T — repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

Example: Eighth letter of the Greek alphabet --> THETA

1. Canine or molar

2. Give a share of one's income to the church

3. Lake straddling the California/Nevada border

4. Country sharing a border with the Dominican Republic

5. Island paradise in the South Pacific

6. Giggle sound

7. Tract of land with low-growing shrubs

8. Kind of yoga

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My Gym Is Reopening. Is It Safe To Work Out There?

Exercise is good for physical and mental health, but with coronavirus cases surging across the country, exercising indoors with other people could increase your chance of infection. So, as gyms reopen across the country, here are some things to consider before heading for your workout. Assess your own risk It starts with you, says Dr. Saadia Griffith-Howard , an infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente. "You have to make your own assessment of how risky it is based on knowing your...

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Experts Say Intel Should Have Reached Trump On Russian Bounty Program

President Trump has said he had not been told about a suspected Russian bounty program to pay the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Yet the president's critics, former intelligence officers and even some members of his own party have questioned this. They note that in addition to regular face-to-face security briefings, the U.S. intelligence community compiles a detailed, leather-bound book every weekday for Trump and his top advisers, known as the President's Daily Briefing . The U...

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Widespread Use Of Face Masks Could Save Tens Of Thousands Of Lives, Models Project

More widespread wearing of face masks could prevent tens of thousands of deaths by COVID-19, epidemiologists and mathematicians project. A model from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that near-universal wearing of cloth or homemade masks could prevent between 17,742 and 28,030 deaths across the US before Oct. 1. The group, which advises the White House as well as state and local governments, is submitting the model for peer review, says Theo Vos...

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The Kung Fu Nuns Of Kathmandu

Editor's note: This story was reported and photographed in January, before the global pandemic. The text has been updated to reflect the activities of the nuns aimed at COVID-19 prevention. Jigme Yeshe Lhamo squats in a powerful kung fu stance. As she raises her 18-inch sword, it flashes in the sunlight against the backdrop of the Himalayas. It's a crisp January morning at Amitabha Drukpa Nunnery in Kathmandu Valley, home to more than 800 Himalayan Buddhist nuns ranging in age from 6 to 80....

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States Shatter Coronavirus Records As Officials Eye Holiday Weekend With Alarm

The grim news has taken no respite this Fourth of July. On Saturday, just as residents across the country celebrated the holiday, state authorities once more reported a record-breaking number of new coronavirus cases. Florida and South Carolina on Saturday both reported passing their previous single-day highs, while Alabama , Texas and a slew of others continued to reel from recent records of their own. In Florida on Friday alone, there were more than 11,400 newly confirmed cases of the virus...

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With Fleets Of Planes, Artists Take To Skies Nationwide To Protest Mass Detention

As Americans celebrate Independence Day, a group of artists and activists are flying pro-immigrant, anti-incarceration messages in the skies. They hired fleets of airplanes to sky-write their slogans over 80 locations, including immigration detention facilities, jails, courts and the U.S./Mexico border. The performance artist who goes by the name Cassils flew was in one of the planes in a fleet that flew over the West Coast headquarters of Geo Group, which is one of the biggest operators of...

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50 Years After Mount Rushmore Occupation, Native Americans Are 'Still Fighting'

Native American groups are protesting President Trump's Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore on Friday, and some are even calling for the removal of the national monument. Fifty years ago this summer, the sounds of protest were also ringing through the Black Hills of South Dakota. In 1970, a group of Native American activists scaled Mount Rushmore and occupied it for months to demand the land be returned to the Sioux. Lehman Brightman , a Sioux activist and history professor, was one...

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