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Only 10 hours left to donate during Centre Gives!

Support Spotlight PA State College's investigative and public-service journalism in Centre County

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

May 9, 2024
Inside this edition: There are only 10 HOURS left to donate to Spotlight PA State College in Centre Gives! ⭐
Progress bar showing Spotlight PA has raised $10,166 so far during Centre Gives.
Almost two years ago, Spotlight PA announced a historic local expansion of our award-winning investigative and public-service journalism — starting with our first regional bureau based in State College. The results have been astounding, but there is much more to do.

We’ve exposed systemic problems in Penn State’s misconduct reporting structure, resulting in improved transparency. We’ve delved into how rural communities are served (or not) by state agencies and lawmakers. And we’ve fought for and won public records in the local court.

These and dozens of other stories likely would have never been written without Spotlight PA. But we’re just getting started, and the future of this vital effort depends on you.

We’re thrilled to participate for the second year in Centre Gives, a 36-hour online fundraiser hosted by Centre Foundation on May 8-9, to continue our public-service mission. Make a gift in support of Spotlight PA State College right now.

Your support powers our nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. A few examples:

In July, Penn State Investigative Reporter Wyatt Massey, in collaboration with Centre Daily Times reporter Josh Moyer, published a yearlong investigation into the university’s highly touted misconduct reporting system and reforms implemented after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The reporting revealed deeply rooted flaws and distrust in the structure. 

Since then, the university has launched a redesigned misconduct reporting website to ease the process of submitting a complaint. In March, the Office of Ethics and Compliance publicly released misconduct reporting data for the first time in six years.

In December, in partnership with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Spotlight PA sued the university’s board of trustees in the Centre County Court of Common Pleas for allegedly violating the state open meetings law. 

In addition, Penn State has filed suit in Commonwealth Court against our newsroom to block the release of internal records that the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records determined should be made public.

Massey’s work is vital to ensuring such a large, influential institution — and a pivotal part of our community — operates with transparency and in the interest of those it’s supposed to serve.

Since her hire in August, Marley Parish has provided unique coverage of rural communities. She’s highlighted how Snow Shoe finally received help from their lawmakers in Harrisburg after years of hardship; why eminent domain disadvantages farmers; how a proposed solar project prompted Rush Township to face its mining past; and much more.

With your support, Parish can continue offering a thoughtful, informative perspective on our neighbors who don’t always make headlines.

Min Xian, our local accountability reporter, covers municipal government like no one else. Through deeply reported stories, she explains what goes wrong in small towns when no one is watching, and how those issues affect communities all across Pennsylvania. Her work makes local government more accessible for the residents it serves.

With your support, Xian can continue keeping our local elected officials honest.

At Spotlight PA, we believe everyone should have access to critical news and information — no matter where they live or what they can afford. That’s why our essential journalism is free for everyone. We also share our work, at no cost, with more than 100 news outlets across Pennsylvania, including the Centre Daily Times, WPSU, and StateCollege.com.

Ensuring this vital public service continues depends on your generosity today. Visit spotlight.org/centre to make your donation. Also, stop by and say hi at our booth at Centre Gives Fest, 5-8 p.m. May 9 at Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte!

Sarah Rafacz, State College editor
» Penn State offers to pay Commonwealth Campus employees to resign amid budget cuts

» Elk County residents look for ways to bring birth services back after Penn Highlands shutters maternity unit

» Stuck between high fees and low wages, how much money will it take to fix PA child care staffing crisis?

» Where Pennsylvania has lost Democrats since 2008, and what it means for the November election

» Gov. Josh Shapiro uses Pennsylvania’s state plane much more than his predecessor

» Group that doesn’t disclose its donors paid $12K for Shapiro to attend Phillies games, other sporting events
A throwback to a fall 2023 morning at the Millennium Science Complex on Penn State’s campus, via Gina L.

Have a north-central Pennsylvania photo to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
A fall 2023 morning on the campus of Penn State University at the Millennium Science Complex.
Our brand new ‘Now Brewing the Truth’ coffee/latte mugs are here! Matte black with white inside, perfect for every day use or as a gift! Proceeds from the Spotlight PA store benefit our nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. 

Please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping. Have an idea for a product you'd like to see? Send us a note at membership@spotlightpa.org

» Express: Low-altitude training proposal over PA Wilds abandoned
» WPSU: Mental health service to expand in St. Marys
» SC: College Twp. drops lawsuit after developer pays $285K in late bills

» CDT: Judge won’t throw out lawsuit brought by former PSU majorette
» Mirror: State revokes Blair CYF’s license
» Courier Express: Sandy Twp. fires police officer, drops consolidation suit

» CDT: How often do Penn State trustees attend meetings?
Want us to list your event? Send it to us.

» May 9: Enjoy live music, activities, and local food at Centre Gives Fest as nonprofits count down the final hours of Centre Gives at Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte, Centre County.

» May 11: The Galeton Area Chamber of Commerce hosts King of the Wing, its fourth annual chicken wing cook-off, in Potter County.

» May 11: Spruce up your spring garden at the Centre County Historical Society’s 29th Annual Plant Celebration sale at Centre Furnace Mansion.

» May 11-14: AAUW State College hosts its popular Used Book Sale at Penn State’s Snider Agricultural Arena in Centre County.

» May 12: Take mom on a guided Wildflower Walk at Spring Creek Canyon in Centre County, hosted by Centred Outdoors.
An anagram is a word, phrase, or name formed by rearranging the letters of another. For example, “spotlight” also forms “stoplight.”

Decode the anagram and send your answer to talkofthetown@spotlightpa.org. We’ll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA State College swag.

Good luck!

Last week’s answer: Roses

Congrats to Claudia W., who will receive Spotlight PA State College swag! Others who answered correctly: Rick W., Rena Z., Don H., Frederick H., Leslie B., Leann T., William L., and Neil W.
Do you have events, community shoutouts, questions about our region, or tips on stories that we should pursue? Email our team.
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Our State College bureau depends on your support.

Help us power investigative journalism in our communities that gets results by becoming a member now.

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

Copyright © Spotlight PA. All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
PO Box 11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


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