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PSU temporarily fills top post

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

PUBLISHED IN THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2011

BY ED MAHON

Rod Erickson, who’s been Penn State’s executive vice president and provost for 12 years, will have the top position at the university until the board of trustees picks a permanent leader.

As a top administrator, he has negotiated with students who staged a sit-in at the HUB-Robe-son Center in 2001. He pushed for bringing a Dickinson School of Law campus to University Park in 2003, 2004 and 2005. And he oversaw an initiative to cut $10 million from the university’s budget this past year.

Erickson, 65, of Ferguson Township, studied at the University of Minnesota and received a doctorate from the University of Washington in 1973. He joined the faculty at Penn State in 1977 and has taught geography and business administration.

He served in six administrative positions — including as a department head in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and as the vice president for research and dean of the graduate school — before being selected as the next executive vice president and provost in March 1999.

In 2003, he was one of six finalists for the top job at the University of Iowa.

According to the latest Right to Know report, which was released earlier this year, Erickson’s total compensation was about $450,000.

In 2000, five years into Graham Spanier’s tenure as president, Erickson described him as “a real visionary in higher education.”

“One of the things that sets Graham apart is his tremendous ability to see the big picture and the long-run implications of decisions and trends, while at the same time keeping a firm grasp of the detailed day-to- day working of the university,” he said.

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Categories: Breaking News, Penn State

Students raly for Joe Paterno all over campus

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

 

Caption: Penn State football coach Joe Paterno talks to the media and crowd of students who gathered outside of his home on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. CDT/Abby Drey 

PUBLISHED IN THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2011

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BY ED MAHON AND KEVIN CIRILLI

STATE COLLEGE — Students numbering 1,000 or more demonstrated in support of embattled coach Joe Paterno late Tuesday night, moving back and forth between downtown and the University Park campus singing the alma mater and chanting “We are Penn State.”

The demonstration appeared raucous but peaceful. Police from State College, Ferguson Township and Penn State were stationed at intersections downtown to monitor the situation.

The scene capped a day of pro- Paterno demonstrations by students that began with a rally by a few hundred students at Paterno’s home. At about 10 p.m., hundreds of students gathered downtown, holding signs that read “Remember Joe for 409” and “JoePa is not guilty.”

Decades later, vet gets Penns Valley diploma

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Caption: David Bowersox takes a look at his diploma after Penns Valley Area School District superintendent Brian Griffith presented it to him at the Wednesday, October 19, 2011 school board meeting. Bowersox left school in and did not graduate in 1949 as planned, because he went to serve in the Korean War. CDT/Christopher Weddle 

PUBLISHED IN THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2011

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BY ED MAHON

PENN TOWNSHIP — David Bowersox received his high school diploma in a small ceremony Wednesday evening.

He wore black pants, a red button- down shirt and no cap or gown. He was in the same room as thousands of books, two American flags, and one stuffed bear wearing a purple “Be Excited About Reading” T-shirt. He had more wrinkles than most graduates.

“If I could just say one thing,” the 80-year-old Bowersox told friends, family members and about 20 Penns Valley Area school board members and administrators gathered inside the Penns Valley Elementary and Intermediate School library. “It took me a long time, but this is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

More than 63 years ago, Bowersox left the now closed Miles Township High School without a diploma.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was serving as a courier in Japan when the Korean War began, and he was one of the first soldiers sent over to fight.

He wound up earning several honors, including the Bronze Star.

“I’d just as soon not talk about,” he said during an interview Wednesday night, briefly becoming emotional. “That brings back too many memories.”

Bowersox left the military in the mid-1950s and got a job installing phone lines. Later, he moved to the Gettysburg area for work, and he retired as the New Cumberland Army Depot maintenance chief in 1988.

Even though he earned his GED in 1972, he always felt that not having a high school diploma held him back.

In September, his wife, Sally, contacted the Penns Valley Area School District, after hearing that World War II and Korean War veterans who didn’t finish high school could be eligible for diplomas provided they were honorably discharged.

“She’s something else,” Bowersox said. “She likes surprises.”

The district has previously awarded a diploma to a World War II veteran.

But Penns Valley Area School District Superintendent Brian Griffith said Bowersox is the first Korean War vet to receive a diploma through the policy.

“He’s tickled. He really is,” his wife said. “And I’m tickled for him, because he’s a good man.”

The ceremony took place at the beginning of the school board’s regular meeting.

Griffith and a representative from the office of U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, RHoward Township, praised his service and handed him a diploma and flag.

Bowersox teared up. But after the ceremony and after hugging family members and friends, he was cracking jokes.

“I’ll tell people, ‘It took a long time. I guess they held me back a grade or two,’ ” Bowersox said.

Ed Mahon can be reached at 231-4619.

Bellefonte school board OKs $4.5 million land purchase for athletic facilities

October 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Caption: The Bellefonte Red Raiders run out onto the field through a tunnel of cheerleaders for the game against Penns Valley to kick off their season at Rogers Stadium on Friday, September 2, 2011. CDT/Abby Drey 

PUBLISHED IN THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES

OCTOBER 5, 2011

BY ED MAHON

BELLEFONTE — School board members approved buying about 107 acres of land behind the Bellefonte Area High School building, a $4.5 million purchase that the district’s been trying to make for years and which could clear the path for a long sought-after track facility.

“This is a bold, historical decision tonight you’ll be making tonight,” board member Keith Hamilton told his colleagues before the vote. “I think it’s a sound decision. I endorse it a hundred percent. … And it will give the community a wonderful new foundation to work with.”

The district said $2.5 million for the purchase will come from its capital reserve fund and $2 million will come from taking on new debt. The district plans to start a capital campaign to finance the land purchase and the construction of new facilities.

Exactly what those new facilities will be hasn’t been decided, and board members said they’ll seek community input.

The vote to approve the land purchase was 8-0 in favor with board member David Van Buskirk absent. Members then approved borrowing $2 million debt at a fixed interest rate of 2.75 percent.

The need for more land has been a point of contention in the district since at least the late 1980s.

Read more: Bellefonte school board OKs $4.5 million land purchase.

Emu escape ends bittersweetly

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

PUBLISHED IN THE CENTRE DAILY TIMES

SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2011

BY ANNE DANAHY AND ED MAHON

COLLEGE TOWNSHIP — Eddie Agostinelli spent most of this week chasing down emus — long-legged birds that resemble ostriches and are native to Australia. He bought them, hoping to turn a farming hobby into a profession.

But early Sunday morning, shortly after they’d arrived at his Shingletown farm, the two female emus and one male emu escaped.

The search ended somewhat sadly Friday afternoon, when the last nomadic emu was captured — but died shortly after, apparently from the stress and physical exertion of the chase.

Emu owner explains escape

Read more: Emu escape ends bittersweetly.

 

 

An emu trots along Branch Road in State College on Friday, March 25, 2011. CDT photo/Anne Danahy