Kristine Allen

Program Director

Kristine Allen is Program Director of WPSU-FM.  She also files feature stories for WPSU on the arts, culture, science, and more. When she's not at WPSU, Kris enjoys playing folk fiddle, acting, singing and portrait-sketching.  She is also a self-confessed "science geek."  Kris started working in public radio in college, at age 17, and says she "just couldn't stop."

Ways to Connect

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Student activists around the globe skipped school on Friday, September 20 to call for action on the issue of climate change.

In State College, a couple hundred activists of all ages participated, including many students.  They gathered at the Allen Street gates and marched to the steps of Penn State's Old Main.  Many of them held homemade signs with slogans like "Save the Earth," "Unite behind science," and "There is no planet B."

Ken Baxter

Ken Baxter is a Central Pennsylvania singer/songwriter, originally from Boston. He lost his son, Alex, to suicide years ago. On Saturday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m, he’ll play a concert called "The Philosophy of Hope," at the State Theatre in State College to raise funds for the Jana Marie Foundation, a local group that works on suicide prevention.  Joining him on stage for the concert will be his other son, Nick Baxter, who’s a music producer in Hollywood. Ken Baxter talks about suicide, life lessons, and moving forward.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Last fall, Altoona Community Theatre lost their long-time executive director to a sudden illness. Their new theatre season begins September 19-22, with a production of Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers,” at Altoona’s Mishler Theatre. It’s an emotional time for the theatre group, as they remember an old friend, and welcome a new leader.

Steve Helsel was, for decades, the first and only executive director of Altoona Community Theatre, also known as “ACT.”  Members of the theatre speak of him as a leader, a whirlwind of creativity, and a good friend to everyone.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

September's Democratic presidential debate has been narrowed to one night only, as more candidates have called it quits altogether.

Ten candidates are on stage for three-hour event hosted by ABC News and Univision, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET. It's the third debate of the campaign and the first time that former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are all together.

Who will be the main target, what does it mean and what do the candidates stand for? Follow NPR Politics reporters for live analysis and fact checks.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Actor and playwright Charles Dumas has written a new play, to be performed in staged readings this weekend at Three Dots in State College. It tells the story of the police shooting of Osaze Osagie in March.

The title of Dumas’ play is “Osaze Remembering…” In excerpts from the prologue, read for us at WPSU by Charles Dumas and his wife, Jo Dumas, the audience is told up front that they’ll be exposed to various points of view on the death of Osaze Osagie.

Cumer Family / via AP

One of two mass shootings this weekend has claimed the life of a central Pennsylvania student. Nicholas Cumer, who was killed in the Dayton, Ohio shooting, was a graduate student at St. Francis University in Loretto. He completed his undergraduate degree at St. Francis, and was pursuing a graduate degree in the university’s Master of Cancer Care program

According to a statement from the president of St. Francis, Father Malachi Van Tassell, Cumer was in Dayton doing an internship with the Maple Tree Cancer Alliance.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Tonight is the first of two Democratic debates this week.  It begins at 8:00 p.m. on CNN.  NPR reporters will liveblog the debate right hear, beginning at 8:00p.m.  Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will share the debate stage for the first time tonight.  And because candidates were selected for each night by a random drawing, NPR reports, all of tonight's candidates are white.

Associated Press

Former special counsel Robert Meuller is testifying before the Senate Judiciary committee this morning.  Watch  live video of his remarks here.
 

Nancy VanLandingham

Saturday, July 20th is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the lunar surface.

Nancy VanLandingham of Warrior’s Mark was 14 years old in 1969.

“To me, it felt like it was pretty much the most important thing that had happened in my lifetime,” VanLandingham said.

As she remembers it, everyone back then was focused on space travel.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

On Tuesday, July 16, the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium at Penn State invited the public to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. They held a rocket launch event at the Ag Progress Days sight in Pennsylvania Furnace.

With a drone buzzing overhead to film the event, they launched 24 model rockets at 9:32am – the exact time of the Apollo launch 50 years ago.

Min Xian / WPSU

Fifty years ago, on July 16, 1969, a Saturn V rocket was launched from Cape Kennedy Florida (now known Cape Canaveral), sending astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on their way to the moon.

That morning, legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite was in a Florida studio near the launch site bright and early. The Saturn V rocket stood next to the launch tower on the screen behind him.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear Autumn Song by Felix Mendelssohn, sung by Discantus, a chamber choir from the Oriana Singers with Jane Glocke conducting and Svetlana Rodionova at the piano; then, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we hear some music inspired by heavenly bodies: "The Planets" by Gustav Holst, played by the Penn State Philharmonic led by Gerardo Edelstein.

NPR

It's Night 2 of the first primary debate of the 2020 election cycle. Ten more Democratic presidential candidates will face off live from Miami tonight at 9:00 p.m. on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.  The other ten candidates who qualified for the debates met in Night 1 last night. When the debate starts tonight, follow NPR reporters' live analysis and fact checks of the candidates' remarks here.

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U.S.G.S

A minor earthquake hit Central Pennsylvania Wednesday night. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 3.4, struck at around 8:31 p.m. The epicenter was located in Juniata county, Pa., about 11 miles south/southwest of Mifflintown. Reports of mild shaking came in to the U.S.G.S website from Altoona to Lancaster, and from State College to Hagerstown, Md.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, we have the Prelude and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 539 by Bach, played by the Pennsylvania Quintet; The Penn State Philharmonic, led by Gerardo Edelstein in the “Dances of Galanta” by Zoltan Kodaly; the song, “Spirit,” by Greg Simon, with a text by Walt Whitman, sung by The Penn State Glee Club; and the Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 78 by Johannes Brahms, played by PSU faculty members James Lyon, violin and Timothy Shafer, piano.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Rick Lombardo is the new is the Director of the School of Theatre at Penn State, hired last summer.

WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with Lombardo about bringing back the professional summer season of Penn State Centre Stage  in the summer of 2019 and about how his college pre-med plans were thwarted by theatre.  (Listen to the interview at the link above.)

You'll find more information on the Penn State Centre Stage summer season here.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

On opening day of Millheim’s outdoor farmers market, held under a pavilion on the grounds of the American Legion, Bill Callahan of Mifflinburg sold beef, pork and chickens. He is owner of a farm with the tongue-in-cheek name, “COW-a-HEN.”  He’s been farming for 38 years.

“And I’ve been doing the markets – farmers markets – for approximately 20 of those years,” Callahan said. He has seen the farmers market trend expand over the past couple of decades.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, the program is devoted to performances from the Penn’s Woods Music Festival: “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” by Claude Debussy; the “Carmen Fantasy” by Pablo de Sarasate, played by violinist Max Zorin and pianist Christophar Guzman, both of the Penn State faculty; and Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 in D.

Judge Throws Out Spanier Conviction, Pa. Attorney General Will Appeal

Apr 30, 2019
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Updated Wednesday, 12:11pm

Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced today he intends to appeal the judge's decision to overturn Spanier's conviction.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out former Penn State President Graham Spanier's child-endangerment conviction, less than a day before he was due to turn himself in to jail.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick in Scranton, Pennsylvania, issued a decision late Tuesday that gave state prosecutors three months to retry Spanier.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Artist Amy Frank is the winner of WPSU’s Art for the Airwaves Contest. She is also owner and founder of The Makery in State College. She won the contest with a collage painting of a stylized, Pennsylvania landscape titled “The Road Home.”

“It’s a long country road that’s kind of ebbing and flowing over several hills,” Frank says, “with kind of a patchwork field. It’s very candy-colored. It’s very bright, and very cheerful. So it doesn’t look like a traditional landscape. It’s kind of like a traditional landscape meets a candy store.”

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, the program is devoted to a single work: The Symphony No. 2 in E Minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff, played by the Penn State Philharmonic, with Gerardo Edelstein conducting

courtesy of the McCourtney Institute at Penn State / McCourtney Institute

NPR Political Commentator E.J. Dionne is also a Washington Post Columnist, and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He is an author of 7 books, and most recently co-author of “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported.”  Dionne says President Trump has flouted the norms of democracy and the presidency.  And he offers ideas about renewing civic engagement, and how the U.S. can move forward after the Trump era.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a suite from Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland, from the 2018 Penn’s Woods Music Festival; a song titled “The Snow,” by Sir. Edward Elgar, performed by the Oriana Singers; the Piano Concerto No.

Bruce Zinger / Tafelmusik

Thursday night at Penn State, University Park, the Baroque orchestra, Tafelmusik, teams up with Trio Arabica for a concert called "Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House." WPSU's Kristine Allen reports on the show's blend of European and Arabic music, images, and narration.

Elaine Meder Wilgus served as emcee for Nerd Nite (wearing a dress she made from a book).
Bill Arden / Bill Arden

“Nerd Nite” has come to Central Pennsylvania! The first event in a monthly series took place last week State College.

Semih Eser, a professor of Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering, started off the evening with Turkish music on guitar. He played to a capacity crowd, gathered for the inaugural Nerd Nite at Webster’s Bookstore Café.

“I’m at Nerd Nite because I want to be surrounded by my fellow nerds,” said Bill Arden of State College, a retired college astronomy teacher. He sat at a table in the back.

What does Arden think of when he hears the word “nerd?” 

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear a sonata in B-flat by Johann David Heinichen and the Piano Trio No. 2 in C by Johannes Brahms, both from the 2018 Penns Woods Music Festival; and the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Sens, played by the Penn State Philharmonic, Gerardo Edelstein, conducting, with Alma Bulibekova, a winner of Penn State’s concerto competition.

Sybarite 5 / courtesy of the artists

The eclectic string quintet Sybarite 5 plays at Penn State's Schwab Auditorium tonight at 7:30.  When the group played at Penn State in 2016, WPSU's Kristine Allen filed this report on the group.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

A vigil was held in downtown State College Monday afternoon for the victims of last week's mass shooting at P.J. Harrigan's and at a home near the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in State College.  More than 50 people attended, bundled against the cold, to honor those affected by the tragedy. 

Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

A weekend storm headed for Pennsylvania could pack a wallop of snow, followed by bitter cold, high winds and icy conditions, making travel hazardous and power outages possible.

The storm should sweep into western Pennsylvania on Saturday morning, tracking its way across the state by afternoon.  As of Friday afternoon, most of the state was under a winter storm warning from 1:00 p.m. Saturday through 1:00 p.m. Sunday.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Penn State’s School of Theatre is the first school in the country to host the #HereToo project. The project was co-founded by Barbara Pitts McAdams of the Tectonic Theatre Project. Tectonic is the group that created The Laramie Project two decades ago, the play about the murder of Matthew Sheppard, which is still widely performed today.

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