Penn State

State College police truck
Anne Danahy / WPSU

There will be no charges filed related in the case of the 17-year-old from Erie, who died in State College in October, Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna said in a statement Thursday.

John “Jack” Schoenig died on October 19 in a West College Avenue apartment in State College after inhaling a dose of nitrous oxide from a whip-it dispenser, the statement said. State College Police and the county’s Coroner’s Office determined his death was accidental due to chemical asphyxiation. 

State College police truck
Anne Danahy / WPSU

The office of the Coroner of Centre County said the death of a 17-year-old who died at an off-campus house in State College last month was accidental. 

Deputy Coroner Debra Smeal reported on November 22 that an autopsy found that John “Jack” Schoenig died from chemical asphyxia due to nitrous oxide. The report also said a toxicology report did not detect any alcohol in the teen’s system.

Schoenig was a high school senior at Cathedral Prep School in Erie.

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, arrives at the Centre County Courthouse to be resentenced Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Bellefonte, Pa.
AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was resentenced Friday to 30 to 60 years in prison, the same penalty as before, for sexually abusing children.

Sandusky, 75, was sentenced by Judge Maureen Skerda at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte. He wore a yellow jumpsuit and entered court with his hands cuffed in front of him.

Sandusky again asserted his innocence, choked up twice in brief remarks to the judge and told his supporters he loves them.

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. 

Lisa Marie Mazzucco / courtesy of Mr. Perlman

World famous violinist, Itzhak Perlman will pay a visit to Penn State, University Park on Thursday evening, November 14. He'll talk about his life, share some photos and video, and play music with pianist Rohan da Silva in a progarm called "An Evening with Itzhak Perlman." WPSU’s Kristine Allen spoke with him by phone about his career and his upcoming performance.

You'll find more information on Perlman's performance here.

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. 

Liz Linder / courtesy of The Silkroad Ensemble

The Silkroad Ensemble, a diverse group of musicians from around the world, will give a concert Tuesday night on Penn State’s University Park campus. The group was founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1999.

“There were 60 musicians,” says Silkroad’s co-artistic director, Nicholas Cord.  “We premiered 15 new pieces. A beautiful cacophony is the best way I could describe it.“

“Silkroad was Yo-Yo’s brainchild in a lot of ways. And I think Yo-Yo had always had an idea in his life to do something of this magnitude.”
 

Old Main
WPSU

Penn State is investigating a new allegation of sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky.

The alleged sexual assault took place in the Lasch Football Building on the University Park campus between June 1, 2000, and September 30, 2010.

According to a Tuesday police report, the alleged victim was a visitor who knew the person they say sexually assaulted them.

The offenses are listed as rape or attempted rape and sex offenses 36B. That’s non-forcible statutory rape.

Jane Guerino, a survivor of sex trafficking, is with her service dog, Bailey. She says the public needs to recognize that human trafficking is happening across the state and beyond.
Min Xian / WPSU

In 2018, 127 cases of human trafficking were reported in Pennsylvania, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. At the 2019 Rural Human Trafficking Summit hosted by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health at Penn State Tuesday, advocates said that to target and stop trafficking, the public needs to first recognize the situation. 

Cathy Wanner head shot
Penn State

Catherine Wanner is a professor of history, anthropology and religious studies at Penn State. She is currently in Ukraine as a Fulbright Scholar, completing a book on the politics of religion in Russia and Ukraine. The book, "From Smoke Comes Fire:  Religion, Faith and Belonging in Ukraine," will come out next year. Wanner spoke with WPSU’s Anne Danahy about President Trump’s phone call with the new president of Ukraine and Ukraine's ongoing conflict with Russia.

State College police truck
Anne Danahy / WPSU

A Penn State fraternity has been put on “interim suspension,” after a 17-year-old died Saturday night at an off-campus house in State College. The university said Tuesday the West College Avenue house is allegedly occupied by Chi Phi members, although it is not the fraternity’s official house.

Erie News Now reported that high school Senior John “Jack” Schoenig was a student at Cathedral Prep School in Erie. Schoenig and friends were visiting State College. Erie News Now reported Schoenig is listed as a senior and forward on the Cathedral Prep hockey team. 

Shoba Wadhia
Penn State Law

Enforcing immigration law requires a complicated mix of government agencies whose direction can change from administration to administration.

Our guest this week, Penn State’s Shoba Wadhia, is an expert on immigration law and author of the new book “Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump.” She directs the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and has represented refugees and asylum seekers.

In Performance at Penn State is a monthly hour-long program that showcases performances from Penn State's School of Music. This month, hear the Penn State Philharmonic playing two Slavonic Dances by Antonin Dvorak; musicians from the Penn’s Woods Music Festival playing some of the Eight Pieces for English Horn, Clarinet & Piano by Max Bruch; and the Piano Concerto No. 2 in F by Dmitri Shostakovich with pianist Philip Edward Fisher, conductor Gerardo Edelstein and the Penn’s Woods Music Festival Orchestra.

Penn State no longer recycles plastic bags, stretchy plastic film or miscellaneous plastics beginning the fall semester of 2019.
Min Xian / WPSU

Beginning this fall, Penn State no longer takes plastic bags, stretchy plastic film or miscellaneous plastics throughout the 15,500 recycling stations on University Park campus. 

It’s part of a plan recommended by the university’s Waste Stream Task Force to improve the overall quality of what they send to the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority.

Penn State professors Esther Obonyo and Erica Smithwick will be speakers at the Project Drawdown conference Sept. 16-18.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Penn State will host the Project Drawdown conference Sept. 16-18. It’s based on a book that outlines the 100 top actions to reverse climate change.

We talked with two conference presenters about “Drawdown” and the research they’re doing into fighting global warming.

In this file photo, Penn State head coach James Franklin responds to a question during the Big Ten Conference NCAA college football media days Friday, July 19, 2019, in Chicago.
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo

A former Penn State team doctor is suing the school, football coach James Franklin and athletic director Sandy Barbour, claiming he was ousted after complaining to school officials about being pressured to clear players to return from injuries.

Karen Muir, front, and Braxton Becker walked out of the Centre County Courthouse Annex in Bellefonte after the sentencing on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.
Min Xian / WPSU

The former house manager of Penn State’s now-banned Beta Theta Pi fraternity was sentenced to two years of probation on Wednesday for a misdemeanor charge. A Centre County jury found Braxton Becker guilty of “hindering apprehension” in May. 

Becker was found guilty of intentionally concealing evidence from a police investigation into the death of Penn State student Tim Piazza from alcohol hazing while pledging the fraternity. 

A new bill allows Pennsylvania youth in the foster care system to attend any college or university in the state tuition free.
Steph Krane / WPSU

Starting with the fall 2020 semester, Pennsylvania youth who have been in foster care will be able to attend any college or university in Pennsylvania tuition free thanks to a waiver program signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf this June.

Director of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State Jennie Noll says the waivers will benefit a population that often has bad outcomes.

Goldie Blumenstyk is a senior writer and editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education. She talks to WPSU about how colleges can better serve the growing number of adult learners.
Min Xian / WPSU

Goldie Blumenstyk is a reporter and editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education. She covers a wide range of topics and is known for her expertise on for-profit higher education, college finances and more. Her book, "American Higher Education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know," talks about changing demographics in colleges and the rising cost of higher education.

On Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 in Harrisburg, Pa., Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf shakes hands with Jim Piazza after signing anti-hazing legislation inspired by the death of Piazza's son, Penn State student Tim Piazza.
AP Photo/Marc Levy

Pennsylvania higher education institutions published their second biannual hazing reports on August 1. These reports are mandated under the state’s Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law, which took effect in 2018. 

 

Penn State published its biannual hazing report, detailing five hazing incidents that took place in the spring and summer semesters this year. Four of the incidents happened in Greek organizations and one in the Student Athletic Trainers’ Club. 

 

Jason Wright headshot
Jody Barshinger

Jason Wright is an associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State. Wright is also a champion of the search for extraterrestrial life. WPSU's Anne Danahy spoke with him about whether he thinks there is other life in the universe, how we might go about finding it and why it matters.

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.

Taproot Kitchen sold food made with vegetables started at the Penn State Student Farm during the farm's Summer Solstice Celebration.
Steph Krane / WPSU

It's not every day you hear people get excited over tofu. But tonight’s tofu dish, served by Taproot Kitchen, comes with a side of vegetables grown at Penn State’s Student Farm. 

Taproot Kitchen is a nonprofit catering company that employs adults with autism and intellectual disabilities to cook and serve quality local food, something customers at this year’s Summer Solstice Celebration found out for themselves as they ate everything from flatbreads topped with vegetables to sweet chili tofu with a side salad. 

This I Believe: I Believe In High Heels

Jun 20, 2019

I believe in high heels.

I can still remember prancing around the living room of my childhood apartment in my mother’s white satin stiletto sling backs. They were a gift from my father and she wore them for special occasions. When my mother took an afternoon nap, I quietly removed the shoes from their box, slid them over my small feet and stepped out across the parquet floor. I felt great. I couldn’t wait to grow up and wear heels every single day.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signs one of the nation's most restrictive abortion bills, banning the procedure on or beyond eight weeks of pregnancy, Friday, May 24, 2019 in Jefferson City, Mo.
Summer Balentine / AP Photo

There aren’t many students in Penn State’s HUB-Robeson Student Union this time of year, but the community members and students who are there have mixed thoughts about the abortion laws passed by almost a dozen states in recent months.

Aman Kaur from State College said women should be able to make their own decisions when it comes to ending a pregnancy.

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.

The original musical "The Last Day" runs June 12-22 at Penn State's Downtown Theatre in State College.
Penn State School of Theatre

An original musical opens Wednesday night at Penn State’s Downtown Theatre in State College.

"The Last Day" is the story of a college musical theatre student tormented by a secret he has never shared, until he’s dropped from the program and turns to his fellow students for help. 

Penn State’s musical theatre department commissioned Altoona native and Penn State football star Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger to write the play.  

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.

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