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

Outside view of empty Penn State HUB-Robeson Center
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State is telling most of its employees and staff to plan to work from home for the rest of the semester.

 

The university had already directed faculty and staff to begin working remotely as part of efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. That decision came in light of Gov. Tom Wolf’s March 19 order that businesses that aren’t life-sustaining close.

 

A view of the University Park campus after Penn State switched to remote learning in response to COVID-19.
Min Xian / WPSU

The first case of COVID-19 on the University Park campus has been confirmed, according to the university.

Penn State President Eric Barron, speaking Tuesday to an online town hall meeting, noted that campus is largely deserted, with most employees working from home. 

"So in that sense, the risk of transmission, community transmission, is limited," Barron said.

Still, Barron said, the Office of Physical Plant will follow all Department of Health guidelines to make sure buildings remain safe.

empty HUB-Robeson Center with one person walking
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State will not lay off employees at least through the end of April, although faculty and staff won’t get pay increases this year, university leaders said during a town hall Tuesday.

 

The university is also planning for the possibility of continuing remote learning through summer semester, as COVID-19’s reach across Pennsylvania and the country grows.

 

U.S. Representative Fred Keller is calling on the federal Bureau of Prisons to not transfer inmates from other states into Pennsylvania as the reach of COVID-19 continues to expand.

Keller wrote to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons asking it to stop transferring inmates, especially from the hard-hit state New York.

But on Monday, Keller said his understanding is prisoners were in transit to federal institutions in Pennsylvania. Specifically, the U.S prisons at Lewisburg and Canaan and the Federal Correctional Institution at Allenwood.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission logo
PUC

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has told companies they can’t turn off customers’ utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PUC’s action means utilities including electric, natural gas, water and telecommunications cannot be turned off if someone falls behind on their bills. It will last as long as Gov. Tom Wolf’s declaration of disaster.

Tanya McCloskey, Pennsylvania’s acting consumer advocate, said access to utility services will be critically important in the coming weeks, and the commission did the right thing.

Carol Kuniholm sitting in the radio studio
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Among the things Pennsylvania is known for in politics is being home to some of the most gerrymandered legislative districts in the country. Carol Kuniholm is one of the people trying to change that. Kuniholm is chairwoman of Fair Districts Pennsylvania, and she’s leading an effort to permanently change how voting districts in Pennsylvania are drawn. She spoke with WPSU's Anne Danahy about the group's push for change in time for the state's upcoming redistricting.

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

Two Penn State students who were traveling abroad have tested positive for COVID-19, the university’s president, Eric Barron, said.

 

Barron was speaking to the Board of Trustees Thursday morning during a telephone meeting.

 

A Penn State spokesman said the students have not been on campus. He said one student is back in the United States and has been asymptomatic. The other is still abroad. The university, he said, is “doing whatever we can to support the student, who we understand is feeling better.”

view of empty Penn State mall
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State announced today that it will not return to normal, in-person classes this semester, instead keeping the entire semester online.

The move comes in response to the coronavirus and efforts to slow the increasing number of cases of COVID-19. The decision means that spring commencement ceremonies are being postponed.

empty HUB-Robeson Center with one person walking
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State plans to announce Wednesday whether the rest of the semester will continue remotely in response to COVID-19. President Eric Barron made that remark during Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting while responding to questions.

“It is the best thing to say we will answer this question tomorrow,” Barron said when asked if faculty will be delivering classes remotely for the rest of the semester. “Because, we just don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, as we contemplate many, many different issues that are related to that decision.”

Centre County emergency dispatcher's computer monitors
Anne Danahy / WPSU

While there are no known cases of the coronavirus in central or northcentral Pennsylvania, COVID-19 is moving across the state, and emergency care providers say they are taking steps to be ready.

“911. What’s the address of your emergency?”

That’s Paige Redman, a Centre County 911 dispatcher, taking a call. The woman says her husband is having trouble breathing. After getting the woman’s address and her husband’s age, Redman asks her something else: “OK, has he been out of the country or been around anybody that’s been sick that’s traveled out of the country lately?”

Penn State students load their belongings into cars to leave campus on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Penn State has switched to online classes for the next three weeks in response to the coronavirus. But students have a window of time to go to their dorm rooms to collect books or other things they need, and that led to at least one long line at University Park, raising concerns.

The image was posted on Facebook Sunday: a long line of Penn State students standing and waiting to access their dorm rooms. The concerns were obvious.

As the website Onward State, which posted the pictures, put it: “So much for social distancing.”

In her book, “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore,” Elizabeth Rush takes readers around the country to see rising tides . Rush talks with people around the country who have lost their homes and communities; with scientists who study what’s happening; and with conservationists trying to find ways to restore wetlands. Rush’s book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. WPSU's Anne Danahy spoke with Rush, who will be in State College March 23 to give a talk at 7 p.m. at Schlow Library to celebrate Earth Day.

Old Main
WPSU

Penn State announced that it is canceling in-person classes and switching to remote, online learning at least through April 3. Penn State is currently on spring break, and the university is discouraging all students from returning after the break, even if they live off-campus.

There are no known cases on any of the Penn State campuses. 

Penn State's Beaver Stadium is usually packed for "Whiteout games," but due to COVID-19 there will be no fans this Saturday.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Each year, the Blue-White game draws tens of thousands of people to the University Park campus. The scrimmage gives Nittany Lions fans a preview of the football players and serves as a popular social event.

But now, as the number of known cases of the coronavirus in the United States continues to climb, Penn State is reviewing its upcoming events, including the annual Blue-White Game, scheduled for April 18.

Woman standing in lab performing tests in Miami
Brynn Anderson / AP

As coronavirus continues to spread, Penn State University is planning for both the short-term and the long-run, including restricting some overseas trips. 

Spring break is next week, and Penn State Provost Nick Jones said the university is getting ready.

“At the end of the day it is difficult for us to manage the travel of thousands of students," Jones said. "That said, what we are trying to prepare for is the return of those students.”

Bill Doan is a professor of theatre at Penn State. The university selected Doan to be the 2019-20 Penn State Laureate, a role that spotlights the arts and humanities. For Doan, that means performances, drawings and talks focused on anxiety and depression and how art, science and health can work together. WPSU's Anne Danahy spoke with Doan about his work and his own struggles with anxiety, depression and loss.

Doug Wentzel, program director at the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, and retired Penn State researcher Greg Grove sitting in studio
Anne Danahy / WPSU

A recent study published in the journal Science found the number of birds in North America is plummeting. The bird population dropped by more than a quarter over the past 50 years. Grassland birds, shore birds and songbirds are all affected. WPSU's Anne Danahy spoke with Greg Grove, editor of Pennsylvania Birds, and Doug Wentzel, president of the State College Bird Club, about bird watching and those trends

Jenni Evans sitting in front of a microphone
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Wildfires continue to burn in parts of Australia. So far, more than 30 people have died and about 41,000 square miles have been burned. It’s estimated that hundreds of millions of animals have perished. WPSU’s Anne Danahy spoke about the fires with Jenni Evans, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science at Penn State and 2019 president of the American Meteorological Society.

Old Main
WPSU

Penn State has suspended a fraternity after a report of sexual assault that allegedly occurred there on Jan. 15. 

The university said in a statement Wednesday that the Office of Student Conduct has placed the Phi Sigma Delta Sigma chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity on "interim suspension" while the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response and State College Police investigate.

Underground cartoonist R. Crumb and Penn State Professor Jerry Zolten sitting in the WPSU studio
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Robert Crumb is best known as an underground cartoonist, whose work, including Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural, remains controversial. But Crumb is also a collector and celebrator of old blues records. Jerry Zolten is a professor of communication arts and sciences and integrative arts at Penn State Altoona. His work includes the book “Great God A’Mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music.” WPSU's Anne Danahy spoke with Crumb and Zolten about their love of old blues music and records.

Dave Bohner speaking at a podium at "Save Our Spikes"
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Playing ball is what the State College Spikes and their fans hope they’ll still be doing in 2021

But, that’s in doubt. 

Major League Baseball has proposed ending affiliations with 42 minor league teams, including the State College Spikes. But, Pennsylvania politicians and community leaders are pushing back, kicking off a campaign Thursday to save the Spikes.

Mike Holzer, president of the Allegheny Ukulele Kollective, tunes an instrument before a class
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Locals and visitors to State College had their choice of ways to welcome the new year Tuesday — from seeing art created out of ice to learning to play the ukulele. 

Ice was one of the themes at First Night State College — whether that was flying down a frozen slide or watching ice carvers do their handiwork.

“We start by building the wall. As you can see, this one has 20 blocks of ice in it," said James Kowalczuk, an ice carver for DiMartino Ice. He was making a bear family out of a giant block of ice on Allen Street as families stopped to see.  

Jessica Myrick, associate professor of communications at Penn State, pointing to Lil Bub website on her laptop.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

If you spend any time on social media, you’ve probably seen videos of cats being silly, being adorable or just being. That could be a  good thing: Research by a Penn State faculty member found those videos can actually boost your mood.

“I’m actually a dog person. I’m allergic to cats in real life.”

Jessica Myrick is an associate professor of communications at Penn State. While she may be a dog lover, she’s also something of a cat expert — at least when it comes to entertainment.

In this file photo from July 2018, Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna spoke at a town hall in Philipsburg on opioids.
Min Xian / WPSU

The Centre County District Attorney’s office is investigating three suspected drug overdose deaths that happened in the past week. While the toxicology results are still pending, District Attorney Bernie Cantorna is warning the public about the risk of lethal drugs being sold.

“The reality is, for those who have a substance use disorder, I want them to be aware and I want them to be concerned that there may be drugs being sold that might take their life, and it might only be one injection that does so," Cantorna said.

Tree outside Old Main
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Under a new Penn State policy, undergraduates who get a D or an F in a class, will be able to ask retake the class and, if they do better, have their higher grade count toward their GPA.

The university says the change — “grade forgiveness" — is part of a broader effort to help more students succeed.

David Smith, head of the Division of Undergraduate Studies at Penn State, said the university has been developing a systematic way of working with students struggling academically.

Molly Melching sitting in front of microphone
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Molly Melching first went to Senegal in 1974 as an exchange student from the University of Illinois. But, instead of returning to the United States, she stayed on, eventually creating a nonprofit organization to educate and empower women and communities. That organization Tostan created and implemented educational programs focused on human rights, health, literacy, financial management and childhood development. It may be best known for leading thousands of communities in Africa to end female genital cutting and forced childhood marriage.

Poster for Pennsylvania Game Commission event on chronic wasting disease
Anne Danahy / WPSU

The Pennyslvania Game Commission hopes to get feedback on its proposed plan to respond to chronic wasting disease, a disease that's fatal to deer and other cervids. The commission held a seminar on the disease Wednesday at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology in Centre County. 

An overview of plans for Penn State's west campus at University Park. The plan includes a proposed parking deck, along with buildings for the College of Engineering.
Penn State

Penn State’s plan for a new parking deck will be on the university board of trustees’ agenda this week.

The nearly $61 million dollar project is the first phase in plans for the west campus at University Park. Penn State says the new parking deck will consolidate parking and support new buildings.

The parking deck will go on an existing lot. It’s slated to have 1,653 parking spaces on six levels. Traffic will exit the parking deck onto White Course Drive and then Atherton Street. 

Penn State student and veteran Kyle Larson standing
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Monday was Veterans Day. And on Wednesday, the Penn State Veterans Organization will host a student panel discussion, "Stupid Things Good People Say." WPSU’s Anne Danahy spoke with the organization’s president, Kyle Larson, a Penn State student who served in the Marines. The event is co-sponsored by Student Disability Resources and is part of Penn State's Military Appreciation Week. It's open to the public and will take place 5:15-8:30 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library, on the University Park campus. A social hour will follow the panel discussion. 

An employee at Collins Hardwood in Kane, Pennsylvania, sorts and marks the wood.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Bo Hammond is hardwood sales manager for Collins Hardwood, a company based in Oregon with locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and California. Hammond is giving me a tour of the company’s operations in Kane. It’s located in McKean County off Hardwood Drive.

“This is the main entrance to the plant," he said. "We actually have a company house on the far backside that one of the owners lived in for years and raised his family here in northwest Pennsylvania.”

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