Posts tagged ‘Centre Daily Times’
This week is a good time to be a history buff, specifically one with an interest in the Civil War. The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg is in full swing. Even if I didn’t know the dates—the battle raged July 1, 2, and 3, 1863—it would be obvious from a quick scan of my Twitter feed, where many of the people I follow are linking to some really interesting stories.
I’m a newbie, I’ll admit it. I didn’t get interested in the battle until August 2012, when I attended the Penn State Alumni Association’s Civil War Study Tour, which toured Gettysburg for three days. I figured plenty of other media outlets would be writing about the battle when the anniversary came, so for my magazine story, I focused on the people who are regulars on the tour. I wanted to know why they keep returning to Gettysburg and what they could possibly still be learning about it after all this time, and I wrote a piece for our May/June issue called “The Visitors.” You can download a PDF of my story by clicking here.
Among the Gettysburg pieces I’ve read over the weekend, these stand out:
My former employer and hometown newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has published an interactive piece, “Gettysburg: Panic in Pittsburgh, Then a Nation Saved,” that has a lot of the characteristics of the New York Times’ Snowfall feature. This will take a substantial amount of time, but it’s worth it.
Donald Gilliand of The Patriot-News in Harrisburg also focused on why people keep returning to Gettysburg—but he took a different approach than I did. His piece focuses on the town, and it contains this great line, which one of my former students, Anna Orso, quoted on Twitter: “Gettysburg still resonates with Americans—despite, and sometimes because of, its roadside tackiness.” That pulled me in, and it was worth it.
My Centre Daily Times this morning featured this piece about the “Centre County Regiment,” the 148th Pennsylvania, that I’ve heard some people call the Penn State regiment (although it really wasn’t, of course). The 148th fought in The Wheatfield, one of the best-known and bloody parts of the three-day battle. For more about Penn Staters and Gettysburg, this piece by Matthew Swayne, a writer/editor at Penn State, tells the story of how Evan Pugh was trying to keep the school alive at the same time the soldiers were fighting for the union.
I also really enjoyed this Washington Post profile of William A. Frassanito, a historian who focuses on the photos of Gettysburg, and who is a true character. (Jim Roberts of Reuters (@nycjim) linked the story this morning; he’s got a wide range of interests and is a great person to follow on Twitter if you’re similarly inclined.)
If you’ve come across any others, please let us know in the comments. My reading list is long, but I’ve always got room for another Gettysburg story.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
I can’t imagine that by Monday evening, there’s not a Penn Stater on the planet who doesn’t know the news: THON set another fundraising record: $12.3 million dollars.
That’s more than $2 million more than last year’s amount, which shattered the previous record. This year’s total ($12,374,034.46, to be precise) raised the total amount that THON has raised for the Four Diamonds Fund to more than $100 million since 1973. No wonder Penn Staters, who have been saddened by so much of what’s happened over the past 14 months, were jubilant when the total was announced.
But we figured that you might not yet have caught up on the terrific THON coverage, starting with the cover of The Daily Collegian, which you can see here. If you want to get a feel for what it was like to be there, through words and pictures, you’re going to want to check out the following:
Click here to read the main story in the Collegian and for a chart with THON milestones over the years, and go to the Collegian’s home page for links to more stories and more photos. If you want a PDF of the paper, you can click here.
If you want to relive THON as it happened, click here for Onward State’s live blog. (Of course, you’ll have to scroll to the bottom and scroll up should you want to go through the whole 46 hours in chronological order.) There are links to videos, photos, and blog posts here, as well.
The College of Communications goes all-out on THON, too. (Someday I’m going to count the number of student journalists covering THON. But I digress.) You can click here to see how 15 student photojournalists, working in shifts, covered the whole 46 hours, and you’ll also find links to daily coverage, too.
And if all of this makes you want to relieve the highlights from 40 years of THON, check out this history piece, which appeared in the February issue of AlumnInsider, a monthly publication of the Alumni Association.
Let us know about your favorite THON coverage in the comments.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
If you’re into extreme sports, you’ve heard of Camp Woodward. It’s about 30 miles outside of State College, nestled into the hills along probably the most picturesque section of Route 45, and it’s become a top training ground for BMX racers, skateboarders, inline skaters, and the like.
Gary Ream ’76 transformed the camp from a gymnastics training center to its current incarnation, as we recounted in our Sept./Oct. 2008 issue. (See our opening spread, above.) And now, it seems, the camp is getting even bigger. According to this story in the Centre Daily Times, it was purchased by Powdr Corp., an investment company that owns nine U.S. ski resorts and is looking to expand internationally.
The CDT reports that Powdr CEO Jennifer Botter got interested in Woodward when the company purchased Colorado’s Copper Mountain ski resort, which includes a Camp Woodward-licensed facility. “We became quite enamored of the people — Gary Ream in particular — and really became aware of what the camp was doing for the action sports industry,” Botter told the newspaper, adding that Ream would be retained as president.
Camp Woodward is already among the biggest names in extreme sports. It’ll be interesting to see how much bigger it can get.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
One of the secrets to good reporting—and it’s not much of a secret, really—is connecting with people. So about five minutes into Ben Feller’s talk Tuesday night at the Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers, it was pretty clear how he’d risen from general assignment reporter at the Centre Daily Times (“you should read my bear-hunting stories—they’re awesome”) to chief White House correspondent for The Associated Press.
Feller ’92, who appeared on the cover of our May/June 2009 issue, talked about visiting his dad in his campus office, eating lunch with his mom at the HUB, and his favorite bar. “To this day,” he said. “If I could pick anywhere in the world to have a beer, it would be Zeno’s.”
And just as everyone on the Penn State football beat has a Joe Paterno imitation, Feller displayed not only a good Barack Obama, but a pretty darn good Bill Clinton, whom he never covered in the White House. Asked if he wanted to do George W. Bush, Feller said, “Not right now,” in the voice—and with the hand motions—of The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart imitating Bush.
A young woman sitting near me exclaimed, “That was awesome!” (more…)
Most wrestling coaches win a dual meet 30-7, and they’re pretty happy. Especially if the victory comes against a traditional rival.
Penn State coach Cael Sanderson, however, wasn’t all that enthused after the Nittany Lions beat Pitt 30-7 last Friday night. He allowed that the match was better than last season’s match against the Panthers, a tie that he had labeled “painful.” But in describing the victory over Pitt, he used words like “flat” and phrases like “70 percent” and “not our best night.”
He further explained, “We’re not looking at the wins and losses. We’re looking at the attitude, the facial expressions, the hustle. That’s what’s important to us.”
Which is a large part of the reason that the wrestling team is off to the best start in its history (13-0) and rose Tuesday to the No. 1 ranking. The ascent couldn’t be better timed, given that Penn State is wrestling the powerful Iowa Hawkeyes at 2 p.m. Sunday in Rec Hall—and the match is already sold out. (And that the NCAA Championships are right down the road in Philadelphia, although those tickets are already sold out, too.)
Much of the buzz surrounding the Pitt match was about Penn State’s probable rise to No. 1; the Nittany Lions had been ranked No. 2, and top-ranked Cornell had been upset by Lehigh the night before. So it was natural that one of the reporters asked Sanderson whether he thought the wrestlers had been thinking about that possibility as well.
Sanderson paused. “That would be a mistake,” he said. I was standing at the back of the media scrum, and I could practically feel the intensity radiating off of him.
As Guy Cipriano of the Centre Daily Times wrote, “It’s no wonder Sanderson never lost in college. His expectations are different than others.” It’s fascinating to watch that attitude rub off on Sanderson’s wrestlers.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
The Penn State men’s basketball team held its annual media day Monday afternoon, suiting up for interviews and pictures before running through an open practice. As you’d expect, the mood was good: These preseason gatherings tend to be optimistic, with players and coaches focused on the season’s potential and a schedule loaded with winnable games. But even by those standards, these Nittany Lions seem like an especially positive and confident bunch. That’s encouraging, and perhaps a little surprising.
Last season, (more…)
It’s absolutely beautiful in State College today: 78, sunny, and relatively dry, or about 15 degrees and 300 percent less humid than it was Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Saturday night’s result aside, I had a blast in Alabama, and I imagine most Penn Staters feel the same. I think it’s also safe to say we’re all glad to be home — even if, in my case, it took three planes, 11 hours and two ticketing snafus to get here.
My travel travails kept me from posting a follow-up on Sunday, but here are a few final thoughts, images, and links on a memorable weekend and forgettable game…
Did I Mention the Atmosphere? I think I might have, but it’s worth mentioning again what a great setting Tuscaloosa is for a big college football game. From the hospitality and tailgating to the noise and color inside the stadium, Penn Staters who made the trip will know we aren’t the only ones who know who to prep for and celebrate a big home game. Here’s a bit more from the pregame tailgating scene, which takes over the heart of campus on game day (click to enlarge).
That’s the crowd on part of The Quad, with the iconic Denny Chimes in the background. About 100 yards to the left of where I shot this stands Gorgas Library; it, too, is in the heart of the tailgating crowds. Here are shots I took from the top of the library steps, looking left…
…straight out from the steps…
…and looking right.
Can you imagine the mall in front of Pattee & Paterno Library covered with tents on a Saturday morning? Now that I think of it, (more…)
Ben Heath didn’t do us any favors yesterday, rendering slightly out of date the profile we’re running on him in our next issue. But he does have a great reason: Heath, the junior catcher who last month broke Penn State’s single-season home run record, was chosen by the Houston Astros on Tuesday in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft. Heath’s selection is the highest for a Nittany Lion non-pitcher since Greg Vogel ’76 was picked in the first round 34 years ago, and the highest ever for a Penn State underclassman. With a year of eligibility remaining, Heath could postpone his pro career, but he told the Centre Daily Times that he expects to sign with the Astros soon and link up with their farm system. (The status of incoming recruits Kyle Redinger of Lebanon, Pa., and Austin Urban of Windber, Pa. — drafted yesterday in the 11th and 27th rounds, respectively — is unclear.)
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at our profile of Heath, already out the door as part of our July/August issue — click for a larger (and hopefully readable) image.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Penn State student-athletes aren’t in season right now, but there’s plenty to keep Nittany Lion sports in the news. A quick primer:
-Ben Heath, who went from role player to All-American candidate over the course of a terrific junior season (and who you can read more about when our July/August issue hits mailboxes in a few weeks), is hoping to hear his name called in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. The MLB draft is notoriously hard to call, but given his skill set— a solid defensive catcher who hits for power and average—he has a shot at being Penn State’s highest-drafted non-pitcher in more than 30 years. The draft starts tonight at 7 p.m., continues Tuesday, and wraps up Wednesday.
-Sunday’s Centre Daily Times had an interesting story about how Nittany Lion wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and the program’s boosters are hoping to make University Park a training destination for the best American wrestlers. Given the sport’s popularity in central Pennsylvania, Sanderson’s icon status, and the quality of the facilities at the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex, that goal seems well on its way to becoming reality.
-Last but hardly least, Big Ten expansion talk has gotten a lot more complicated. The league had proposed a slow, deliberate approach to the question of adding a new member (or members), but reports over the past few days mean the Big Ten might have to act fast. As the New York Times reports today, the Pac-10 is considering annexing half of the Big 12 (including potential Big Ten target Texas), a move that would force the hand of Big Ten targets Missouri and Nebraska, not to mention coveted longshot Notre Dame. It all means that Joe Paterno might soon see his hopes for a bigger Big Ten come to fruition, and that the college sports landscape might be on the verge of dramatic change.
Or, as the Times story points out, nothing at all might change. Either way, we should know sooner than later.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
We’ve been getting lots of letters on the subject of the Nittany Lion Club’s Seat Transfer & Equity Plan, aka STEP, the overhaul of the Beaver Stadium seating plan aimed at generating more revenue for the University’s self-sustaining athletic department. Most of the letters come from long-time football season ticket holders, and their letters are pretty critical. As a season-ticket holder myself, I understand why those fans — many of whom face the possibility of moving from their long-held seats, or paying substantially more to keep them — are upset. But as someone who’s covered major college athletics for most of my career, I also understand the economic realities faced by a department that expects to compete at a national level in dozens of sports without taking a penny from the University’s budget.
The STEP announcement produced quite a bit of a media coverage, too much of which was knee-jerk reaction, and too little of which was balanced explanation of the fans’ gripes and the reasoning behind Penn State’s decision. Thankfully, some of that was provided in this piece by Jeff Rice ’03 in Sunday’s Centre Daily Times. The story (which might require free registration to access) is reasonable and informative. If you’re one of those fans, I hope you’ll check it out.
Ryan Jones, senior editor