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Penn State trustees discuss honoring Paterno

Plus: Democrats maintain control of the PA House after special election

This is Talk of the Town, a free weekly newsletter delivering top news from State College and the surrounding region.

February 15, 2024
Inside this edition: Penn State trustees talk honoring Joe Paterno, the Pa. activist responsible for false election claims, and Democrats maintain control of Pa. House.
Real quick: In private meetings, a group of Penn State trustees have argued for honoring former football coach Joe Paterno, who was fired in 2011 amid the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, Spotlight PA’s Wyatt Massey reports.

A little more: Penn State trustees and high-ranking university representatives met privately twice in January to discuss whether to name the football field at Beaver Stadium after former coach Joe Paterno, according to three people with direct knowledge of the conversations.

The meetings potentially violate a state law that requires governing bodies to conduct business in public view, and continue a decadelong pattern of the board convening behind closed doors.

A group of trustees is pushing to name the football field after Paterno, while board and university officials are hesitant, according to the three sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak openly about the discussions.

The board fired Paterno in 2011 during the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. A statue of Paterno outside the football stadium was removed, and the NCAA vacated more than 100 wins from Paterno’s record. The wins were later restored, and Paterno holds the record for most wins in NCAA football history with 409.

The trustees met for hours on Jan. 16 for a “briefing” on the matter — a gathering not previously disclosed to the public — and again on Jan. 29 in “executive session,” according to the sources. The meetings were held behind closed doors to avoid public discussions on the topic, the sources said.

When asked for comment on the meetings, an unnamed Penn State spokesperson wrote via email: “​​The Administration and the Board of Trustees have embarked on numerous change initiatives based on President Bendapudi’s vision and goals and are focused on these priorities to continue to provide a world-class academic and student experience for years to come.”

The full story: Read more here.
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» Former top Pa. lawmaker’s lobbying firm paid $41K by Game Commission in unusual arrangement
🤔 Can’t attend your local town meetings but want to keep tabs on what’s happening? Sign up for the new Centre Documenters newsletter. 

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Canada geese on the west branch of the Susquehanna River in South Williamsport, photographed by George Smeal, of Jacks Hollow Photography.

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» WPSU: Punxsutawney Phil will hit the road soon in Pa.
» Courier Express: DuBois group steps up to plan celebration
» CDT: Penn State faculty host teach-in on racial justice
» NCPA: Cancer-causing chemical found at Wawa site in Williamsport
» WPSU: Huntingdon Co. group plans to appeal DEP’s Rutter’s decision
» WPSU: PSU finishing overhaul of staff job classifications, pay scales
Want us to list your event? Send it to us.

» Feb. 15: Celebrate Huntingdon’s local art scene at its monthly art walk event.

» Feb. 16-18: Penn State students, children with cancer and their families, and supporters participate in THON, a 46-hour dance marathon that benefits Four Diamonds, at the Bryce Jordan Center in Centre County.

» Feb. 16-18: The Bradford Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts Vet Jam in McKean County featuring live music and supporting veterans.

» Feb. 17: Learn how to take photos of the night sky at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Potter County.

» Feb. 20: Johnny Cash — The Official Concert Experience projects video of Johnny Cash as a live band and singers accompany him on stage at Eisenhower Auditorium in Centre County.
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