Centre Focus: Improving community life

Video posted May 9, 2012 in News by Centre Focus


In this edition of Centre Focus, recorded at Beaver Stadium, students in Comm. 466 public affairs reporting,  address a range of civic issues and efforts to improve community life.  

They examine the spending mood of alumni and other visitors in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case and the scandal’s economic impact on the boroughs of State College and Bellefonte, where the trial is taking place.

Beyond the drama of the Sandusky case, reporters explore community efforts to address the ongoing culture clash between college students and the surrounding community.  They also focus on statewide programs that can transform pound dogs into public servants providing a vital lifeline for the handicapped.

Finally students report on Penn State research and development of the electric car, including critical battery testing at the Penn State testing facility and the financial practicality of electric cars for the mass public.

Part One: The economic impact of the Sandusky scandal / local communities

In one of several reports on the impact of the Sandusky child abuse case, reporter Laura Schaaf and producers Nick Blake and Jessica Gold examine the financial impact of the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal on the larger State College community.

The financial impact of the Sandusky case on Bellefonte is the focus of a report by Allison Williams and producers Carmella Mataloni and Sean Davis.  While some downtown businesses say increased visitors and news media covering the trial have boosted sales, borough taxpayers are footing the bill for police overtime and suffering through downtown parking issues.

Part Two: The economic impact of the Sandusky scandal / alumni giving

Reporter Katie Bassett, along with producers Lucky Ukwa and Liz Derita, report on the spending mood of visitors to the Centre region during the annual Blue-White weekend.  Downtown merchants say spending has rebounded after overcoming a short setback earlier this year.

Penn State alumni giving is the focus of a report by Joncier Sloan and producer Tomorrow-Helton Ingram.  During the annual Blue-White weekend they found most alumni still willing to donate their dollars to Penn State and spend money while visiting the region.

Part Three: College town culture clash

Producers Allison Williams, Carmella Mataloni and reporter Sean Davis explore the public impact of student drinking in State College, and  heightened efforts to change that tradition through anti-drinking and community cleanup campaigns.

Part Four: The electric car

Could there be a million electric vehicles on the road in three years? A major push to cut down on petroleum use and to make electric vehicles the norm, is the focus of key research by Penn State engineers.

Reporter  Laura Schaaf and producers Nick Blake and Jessica Gold take to the track – the Penn State vehicle testing track – to see how university engineers are testing and developing electric vehicle batteries for use in future consumer vehicles , trucks and commercial buses.

Part Five: Pound dogs find a purpose

Every year in the Commonwealth, select individuals with disabilities are matched with special  canine partners to assist them in their daily lives.  Some are even recruited from animal rescue organizations.  This vital lifeline for the disabled, is the focus of a  special report by Liz Derita and producers Kathy Bassett, Lucy Ukwa and Carolyn Cohen.  The group traveled to  Harrisburg, Lancaster and other locations to examine some of the  most successful  canine training programs in the state.