Joe Paterno Memorabilia Still a Hot Item at Centre County Arts Festival

It was another rough week for Centre County, but it ended with a celebration of the arts. With music and food in the backdrop, more than 100 artisans displayed their wares at the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg over the weekend. The annual event near State College drew a large crowd, with many people still proudly wearing Penn State shirts, hats and other items just days after the Freeh Report cast a shadow on the legacy of former Coach Joe Paterno.

Joe Paterno memorabilia continues to be a top seller for Harrisburg-based “The Stadium Store”

Vendors displayed and sold handmade clothing, jewelry, pottery, furniture, artwork and numerous other items. Among the artist vendors at the festival were Jacob and Betsy Eisenhour of Harrisburg-based “The Stadium Store.” Items for sale in the Eisenhours’ tent included a large number of framed Paterno-themed works, which were predominantly displayed. The mother and son duo says Paterno items continue to be among their top sellers, and people who stopped by their festival tent this weekend have been “as supportive as ever” of the once-revered head coach. Betsy says she saw many emotional reactions to her son’s Paterno artwork this weekend, with some visitors crying and one woman kissing a picture of Paterno while saying “I love you, Joe.” Eisenhour also doesn’t shy away from her own continued support of Paterno and his legacy. She says she hopes that Paterno’s statue remains in its place outside Beaver Stadium. She visited the statue for the first time this past weekend.    The Jerry Sandusky scandal and the ensuing fallout at Penn State hit home for Jacob Eisenhour. In addition to being lined up to design what would have been Joe Paterno’s commemorative retirement coin, the talented artist had also been previously commissioned to produce original program cover art for The Second Mile’s retirement dinner for Jerry Sandusky. He says he met Sandusky multiple times but never suspected the horrific life the former defensive coordinator was leading in private. Eisenhour says he’s saddened that Paterno is now being “more villainized than Jerry Sandusky.”

Last week, former FBI Director Louis Freeh released the results of his 8-month independent internal investigation of Penn State University’s role in the Sandusky sex scandal. The scathing 267-page report linked Joe Paterno to attempts to cover up Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children in 2001. The former head coach died in January at age 85 before he could be interviewed by Freeh’s team. Former university President Graham Spanier was also criticized in the report, along with former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice-President Gary Schultz, both of whom are facing criminal charges for what prosecutors say was their failure to report Sandusky to authorities. Spanier has yet to be charged.

Jerry Sandusky is awaiting sentencing for his convictions on 45 counts of molesting young boys, most of whom he met through his Second Mile charity foundation. The former defensive coordinator was convicted in June and is scheduled to be sentenced in September.


Corbett Pleased with Recent Bipartisanship, Eager for More

While addressing upcoming talks of pension reform, on Radio PA’s Ask the Governor program, Tom Corbett emphasized that pensions are a bipartisan issue.  “There has been an outbreak of bipartisanship as far as I am concerned, not only in Harrisburg but across Pennsylvania,” he continued.

Gov. Corbett cites bipartisan votes on a host of budget-related bills, including new education and energy tax credit programs.  “We had labor and industry standing with me on the stage, prior to the budget, talking about the energy tax credit.  Republicans and Democrats.  I had to take a picture.  I’m going to frame it and put it on the wall.”

Corbett adds that he’s been working closely with Democratic Congressman Bob Brady on regulatory issues that are proving to be vital to efforts to save jobs at several idled oil refineries in southeastern Pennsylvania.

“I bring this up because, right now, Washington can’t do it.  Maybe the states need to lead the way as to how you get this done,” Corbett said of the bipartisan tone that he wants to carry over into the fall session.


Here’s the picture of Gov. Corbett standing with labor & industry, Republicans & Democrats. Not only does he want to frame it, but Corbett quips that it should wind up in history books.

Bike Ride Raises Obesity Awareness

The “Capitol to Capitol – ONE Ride” took 30-bicyclists and more than a dozen volunteers from the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg to the US Capitol in Washington DC this week.  “Yesterday my legs were pretty sore,” Kim Razzano said of the 155-mile trek.  But the president of the Pennsylvania State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PSAHPERD) expects to be back on her bike this weekend.

PSAHPERD has been planning the ride for a year now, all to raise awareness of the childhood obesity issue and to promote healthy living among our youth.  Razzano wants policymakers to understand the need for quality health and physical education programs in schools.  “Kids do not have the ammunition needed to fight our society’s way of living, which is really promoting obesity,” she explained in an interview with Radio PA.

Mother Nature kept the skies dry and the humidity down for the three-day ONE ride, which refers to PSAHPERD’s 2012 theme: “All for One – That’s how we roll.”  Razzano says the best part of the ride was the camaraderie of the riders & volunteers, and their arrival as ONE in Washington DC.

While the ride may be over, the group is still raising money.  “We’re trying to raise $10,000 to donate to the Pennsylvania affiliate of the American Heart Association, which will be earmarked for educational programs that combat childhood obesity and promote lifelong wellness.”  Razzano thinks that small amount of money can make a big impact for a first-year ride.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 17% of all children and adolescent are overweight in the United States.

RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 07.13.12

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week. Professionally produced and delivered every Friday, Roundtable includes commercial breaks for local sale and quarterly reports for affiliate files.

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PSU Independent Investigation Report Released (Update)

From 1998 – 2011, former FBI Director Louis Freeh says the “tone at the top” of Penn State was “completely wrong.”  Freeh was tapped by the Penn State Board of Trustees, last November, to conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.  More than seven months later, Freeh has dropped a 267-page bombshell in the form of his findings.  The report includes 119-recommendations to help the school create a more open and compliant culture.

Freeh says the most saddening and sobering finding is the, “total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State.”  Referring to ex-President Graham Spanier, former administrator Gary Schultz, Athletic Director Tim Curley and the late Joe Paterno – Freeh says the most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14-years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.

The internal investigation uncovered a proposed action plan following Mike McQueary’s 2001 report of seeing Sandusky in the locker room showers with a young boy.  That action plan initially included reporting the allegations to authorities.  “After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno, however, they changed the plan and decided not to make the report to the authorities,” Freeh explained at today’s news conference.

Freeh also says the four men cited in his report – Spanier, Schultz, Curley and Paterno – knew about a 1998 criminal investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by Sandusky, but did nothing.  He calls it a callous and shocking disregard for child victims.

Schultz and Curley are currently awaiting trial on perjury charges; Spanier has not been charged; Paterno passed away in January.

Today’s report marks the beginning of a process for Penn State, according to Freeh.  He says it’s critical that the University never forgets these failures and commits to an open, compliant and sensitive environment.  In a q&a with the media in Philadelphia, today, Freeh did say that parents should feel comfortable sending their children to Penn State.  He believes the institution has made considerable strides since November 2011.

The Penn State Board of Trustees is holding its regular meeting in Scranton later today.  Penn State President Rodney Erickson is expected to offer remarks at that time.


Jerry Sandusky is currently locked up in the Centre County Correctional Facility. He will appeal the conviction.

Jerry Sandusky awaits his sentencing hearing from the Centre County Correctional Facility.

Officials Mull State Park Smoking Ban Pilot

Visitors’ complaints about cigarette butts on lakes and beaches have the Bureau of State Parks considering a smoking ban pilot program.  “We have swimming beaches at many of our beautiful state parks with our lakes, and often you have these cigarette butts washing up.  You have cigarette butts in the sand,” explains Department of Conservation and Natural Resources spokesman Terry Brady.

“We pride ourselves in trying to keep these swimming beaches clean of both goose excrement and cigarette butts,” Brady says.  However, with parks personnel already stretched thin, the manpower used to pick up after some smokers could be better used elsewhere.

Brady notes that visitors’ concerns are driving consideration of the pilot, and that public sentiment will ultimately decide whether any trial run becomes permanent or statewide.

None of Pennsylvania’s 120 state parks has been identified as a smoking ban pilot site yet, and Brady tells Radio PA there’s no timetable for implementation.  “It remains to be seen where this will go, but certainly our Bureau of State Parks will look into it.”

Tuition Increase for State System Schools Kept Around Inflation Rate

After the state budget kept funding level for the 14 state owned universities, the board of governors is keeping the tuition increase around the rate of inflation for the upcoming academic year.

Tuition will rise by 3%, marking the 5th time in the last 8 years the State System of Higher Education has held the increase at or below the rate of inflation. It means students will pay $188 more a year to attend classes at the schools.

Spokesman Kenn Marshall says the board and universities have worked hard to keep costs under control. He says they’ve made about 230 million dollars in cost savings over the last several years through a number of cost savings initiatives.  Last year, tuition rose by 7.5% on the heels of an 18% reduction in state funding.

There will also be an increase in the technology fee;   10 dollars for resident students and 16 for out of state students.   Other fees, such as room and board and meal plans,  are set on a campus by campus basis.

Out of state students will also pay 3% more for tuition, but those rates vary from campus to campus and program to program.

Marshall says the Governor’s original budget proposal called for another 20% reduction in state funding.  He says the system worked with the Governor and legislature over the last few months to get funding restored back to last year’s levels. He says without that, they would not have been able to hold tuition as low as they did.