Downtown State College

A line outside Doggie's Pub on Pugh Street in State College July 11, 2020.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

 

State College Borough Council voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance requiring mask-wearing in public and limiting most gatherings to 10 people in an effort to keep the COVID-19 pandemic in check after Penn State's fall semester starts.

Someone who violates the ordinance can face a $300 fine. 

Before the vote, Boalsburg’s Carla Myers said she hoped council would pass the ordinance ahead of students’ return to State College later this month.

A line outside Doggie's Pub on Pugh Street in State College July 11, 2020.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Young people, many not wearing masks, lined up outside several bars in downtown State College Saturday.

 

Those scenes — Penn State students socializing, but not social distancing — have many local residents worried about what the fall semester could bring. In response, the borough is looking into its options for enforcing mask-wearing in public places.

 

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.

A "now hiring" banner from before the coronavirus hit still hangs outside The Corner Room in downtown State College.
Min Xian / WPSU

 

In keeping with federal Centers for Disease Control guidelines, college students in Pennsylvania will be counted where they’re actually living and plan to live for most of the year — not their permanent home addresses.

 

That will help towns like Lock Haven, Bradford and State College — where Penn State’s main campus is — see if COVID-19 cases are climbing.

 

State College's First 'Pride Parade' Goes Virtual

Jun 11, 2020
Altoona held its first Pride parade on Oct. 11, 2019. Members of the Pride Alliance at Penn State Altoona carried a balloon display that said "PRIDE."
Min Xian / WPSU

 

On Saturday, State College will host its first-ever Pride parade. The parade, which originally would have gone through downtown, will be entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

More than a thousand people participated in a protest in downtown State College Sunday night as protests against racism and for police reform continued nationwide over the weekend.
Min Xian / WPSU

More than a thousand people participated in a protest in downtown State College Sunday night as protests against racism and for police reform continued nationwide over the weekend. Sunday’s protest, the second in two weeks, put its focus on local reform.

Protesters chanted “No justice, no peace!” and “Black Lives Matter!” as they gathered at the Allen Street Gate and marched through Penn State’s University Park campus and downtown. The crowd held a sit-in on Atherton Street briefly before ending the march in front of the borough municipal building. 

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

 

Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna, the Centre County sheriff, and police chiefs from State College and Bellefonte, Spring, Patton, and Ferguson Townships and Penn State released statements Thursday on racial inequities in the United States and a police officer’s oath to protect and serve. 

State College To Hold First Pride Parade This Summer

Feb 5, 2020
Altoona held its first Pride parade on Oct. 11, 2019. Members of the Pride Alliance at Penn State Altoona carried a balloon display that said "PRIDE."
Min Xian / WPSU

State College will have its first Pride parade this summer. The Centre LGBTQA Support Network is hosting the upcoming parade and festival from June 12-14. While the festivities will run all weekend, the parade itself is set to start on Saturday, June 13 at 11 or 11:30 a.m.

The Network’s co-chair, Susan Marshall, says the festival should be an opportunity for the whole community to learn something new.

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.  

Flavia Barger serving food at the Golden Basket opening round.
Evan Beebe / WPSU

A local cooking competition is underway across Centre County. The Golden Basket’s first qualifying round was on Saturday at the North Atherton Farmers Market, and the competition hopes to bring attention to locally grown food in Central Pennsylvania. 

3 Dots Downtown Celebrates Opening In State College

Jun 10, 2019
Community members celebrated the opening of 3 Dots Downtown Friday night.
Steph Krane / WPSU

Performances, refreshments and a temporary ball pit were among the many things welcoming visitors to the newly opened 3 Dots Downtown Friday night.

3 Dots’ Innovation Director Spud Marshall said the space can host everything from art galleries to musical performances.

“The scope of 3 Dots is pretty wide intentionally,” Marshall said. “Part of our broader hope is to generate culture in State College.”

Rendering of renovated Memorial Field
Image provided / SCASD

The State College Area School District is looking at revamping Memorial Field’s support facilities at an estimated cost of about $13 million.

Located next to downtown State College, Memorial Field is historic. But, it’s also short on many of the features most high school athletic stadiums have.

Ed Poprik, the school district’s director of physical plant, notes the field doesn’t have locker rooms, is lacking when it comes to public restrooms and doesn’t have a permanent area to buy food.

Participants rappel down the 12-story Fraser Center.
Maddie Biertempfel / WPSU

Rappelling down a 12-story building isn’t a typical way to spend a Thursday afternoon—unless it’s for a good cause.

“Oh my gosh, that was crazy. Yeah, I guess I’m not as afraid of heights as I thought I was,” Wendy Vinhage said.

Vinhage—now at ground level—is director of the nonprofit organization, Interfaith Human Services.

Her group, along with the FaithCentre, hosted “Over the Edge.” The event raised money for each group's mission to provide resources for Centre County residents in need.

building construction
Min Xian / WPSU

The development going on in State College right now is expected to increase the number of housing units in the borough by about 20 percent. And largely they’ll be downtown student rentals.

While many Pennsylvania municipalities struggle to sustain their downtowns and shrinking populations, the State College area faces a different set of challenges. The place that’s home to Penn State is seeing growth. But not everyone thinks it’s the right kind.

apartment building
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Aviva Franz, a sophomore at Penn State, is leaving her apartment in the Metropolitan on a breezy fall day. She moved into the new, upscale building in downtown State College at the end of August.

“It definitely offers more, but there are tradeoffs," Franz said. "Like, it’s definitely more expensive than some of the other places. We do have a gym in the building, even though it’s small, and we do have a study lounge.”

A portrait of a refugee child, Hanna, is on display in the window of the Corner Room in downtown State College.
Min Xian / WPSU

 

State College resident Penny Eifrig spends part of each year living in Berlin, Germany. As Berlin accepted refugees in 2015, Eifrig got involved in the cause. Her involvement led to the photo series “They Have Names,” which has been on display in downtown State College since Nov. 3. WPSU graduate assistant Adison Godfrey talked with Eifrig about the photo exhibit and her work with refugees.

Adison Godfrey: Thanks for talking with me.

Protestors at the Allen Street Gates in State College, Pa.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

On a chilly Saturday afternoon in State College, among busy downtown traffic, Salvation Army bell-ringers and even a wedding photo shoot, a group of about twenty people solemnly stood at the gates of Allen Street.  

The group gathered for a protest in the wake of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s deaths. This was the latest of several rallies in State College, some in support of law enforcement but most, like Saturday’s, to protest police brutality and institutionalized racism.