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PA universities test new tuition pricing structures

The State System of Higher Education's Board of Governors on Thursday has approved four tuition pilots at three schools.

Bloomsburg University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania are the latest state schools to test charging students on a per-credit basis rather than a flat full-time undergraduate tuition rate, according to the news release.

So, the more courses students take the more they pay, PennLive.com reports. Currently, the full-time in-state tuition rate is $3,410 a semesters whether students take 12 credits or 18 credits, the website said.

Bloomsburg plans to implement the change this fall. Indiana University of Pennsylvania will also start the new tuition rate this fall but it will be phased in over three years, according to the news release.


The reasons for these tuition pricing experiments vary but they generally aim to increase enrollment, improve student retention and graduation rates and ensure students are paying the costs of operating the program and/or bringing in more money for the university, PennLive reports.

Original source: PennLive
Read the complete story here.

A winter-in-Pennsylvania photo contest

PennLive wants your wonderful winter snapshots for Frozen Pennsylvania: A Winter Photo Contest; winners will claim a selection of outdoor, nature, travel and gardening books and merchandise.

With their magnificent images of ice-covered waterways, icicled plants and the like, readers across Pennsylvania are demonstrating the worth of our Frozen Pennsylvania photo contest, which will continue to accept entries through Feb. 28.

Pennsylvania's cliffs, waterfalls, streams, lakes, rain gutters, statues, tree limbs and the like produce magnificent, natural ice sculptures at some point in nearly every winter...get out there in the brisk, winter air, capture a photo of your favorite icy scene and share it with our readers. Ice on lakes, ice along streams, ice hanging from home roofs, ice formations on cliffs, ice in caves, and ice in many other situations are all great for the winter contest.


Original source: PennLive
Read the complete story, view the rules and check out some of the entries here.

Rideshare company Lyft plans Philadelphia roll-out

Lyft, the rideshare competitor to UberX, is planning to launch in Philadelphia; it already operates in Pittsburgh.

Billy Penn reported on a Craigslist ad asking for drivers as well as Lyft signage at City Coho, a co-working space at 2401 Walnut Street.

After several controversies surrounding Uber, 
The New York Times Nick Bilton wrote the company is a “moral alternative.” Lyft costs about the same as UberX, the lower-cost alternative to Uber Black.

Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
Read the complete story here.

Pope's visit causes headaches for engaged couples

Pity the local couples who had selected September 26, 2015 as their big day:

Nearly everything was set by the end of August.

The church was chosen, hall booked. The groomsmen would wear gray tuxes and light blue dresses for the bridesmaids. At the reception, there will be touches of the Jersey Shore — the place where Brittany Lowell and Jeff Doney first went steady...

Everything was going smoothly and then last November planning hit a big roadblock: Pope Francis.

The leader of the world’s largest Christian church confirmed he'd make his first trip to the United States and spending three days in Philadelphia from September 25-27 to take part in the World Meeting of Families conference and deliver mass to some 2 million people.

“As soon as that happened I went into panic mode,” the 26-year-old legal secretary and dance instructor from Northeast Philly said.

It’s not the serious influx of visitors or the traffic or the increased security that is causing a snag, rather, finding a place for the newlyweds-to-be and their guests to stay.


Original source: NBC 10
Read the complete story here.

Tom Wolf sworn in as governor of Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth has a new governor -- the York County businesssman was sworn in on Tuesday.

Tom Wolf was sworn into office Tuesday as the 47th governor of Pennsylvania, telling a crowd of dignitaries and citizens at the state Capitol that he will devote his administration to the goals of jobs that pay, schools that teach and a government that works.

“With a large deficit, stagnant wages and a shrinking middle class, there is no question that our challenges are great,” he said. “But let’s remember — the last time that America went through a great transformation, it was Pennsylvania that led the nation through the great transformation, the Industrial Revolution. We led then — and we can lead today.”


Original source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Read the complete story here.

Hummelstown B&B named one of 10 best in the country

The Inn at Westwynd Farm in Hummelstown near Hershey has been named one of the ten best B&Bs in the country by BedandBreakfast.com. Finalists were chosen based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of traveler reviews from the past year, and winners were selected by an independent panel of guest judges. Check out an excerpt from one of those glowing reviews:

"First time in a B&B with a wonderful experience. We chose this B&B based on the many positive reviews, but the main selling point for us was the barn with lots of horses. Frank and Carolyn the innkeepers made us feel welcome and attended to all of our needs. Breakfasts were delicious and always a surprise! Our room was very clean, including the bathroom. The beds were covered with white clean and crisp linens and every time we entered our room we noticed how fresh it smelled. The dining room table was always covered with all kinds of complimentary baked goods. The guest fridge which is in the basement is stocked with complimentary bottled water and soda, plus additional snacks. Having snacks always available made it very easy with my son. Although we don't drink, I should mention there is also complimentary wine and beer. 

The barn is always open for guests at the inn. Everyone who works at the barn is super nice and so friendly. The owners come by everyday to tend to their horses and they are more than willing to stop what they are doing and chat with the guests from the Inn. We learned so much from them. Super nice people!! My son had a great time and probably spent more time in the barn than in our room. We will definitely be back! He enjoyed this place so much that he passed on Hershey park and most of the activities in order to get back to the Inn and his friends in the barn."?


Original source: BedandBreakfast.com
Read the complete list here.

Temple University's online MBA program ranked No. 1

U.S. News and World Report has named Temple University's Fox School of Business the nation's best online MBA program.

Temple, tied with Indiana University and theUniversity of North Carolina, scored a perfect score of 100 when judged on faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, student engagement, peer reputation and admissions selectivity.
Is it validation for Temple? "Absolutely, yes," said Darin Kapanjie, academic director of the online MBA program.

Temple's online MBA program launched in fall 2009 under Kapanjie's leadership. He came to Temple in 2003 as a faculty member in the statistics department, and actively took to integrating technology into the classroom...

The program has since developed an online and digital learning team, which has seven in-house instructional designers that help the Temple faculty organize and deliver their courses online most effectively. There are also two technology support specialists and two staffers in charge of video production. (The Fox school has its own TV studio, where faculty members can record their lectures).


Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
Read the complete story here.

Philly named No. 3 'Place to Go in 2015' by New York Times

Philly earns a coveted spot on this yearly list of "52 Places to Go."

"A series of projects has transformed Philadelphia into a hive of outdoor urban activity. Dilworth Park, formerly a hideous slab of concrete adjoining City Hall, reopened this past autumn as a green, pedestrian-friendly public space with a winter ice-skating rink (and a cafe by the indefatigable chef Jose Garces). Public art installations, mini “parklets” and open-air beer gardens have become common sights. The Delaware River waterfront was reworked for summer 2014 with the Spruce Street Harbor Park (complete with hammocks, lanterns and floating bar) becoming a new fixture, following the renovation of the Race Street Pier, completed in 2011, and offers free yoga classes on a bi-level strip of high-design decking and grass. The city’s other river, the Schuylkill, has its own new boardwalk. To top it off, this spring, Philadelphia will get its first bike share program, making this mostly flat city even more friendly for those on two wheels."

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete list here.

Amazing photos from the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Check out these awesome images from the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Original source: The Morning Call

Philly will be home to Forbes' Under 30 Summit for years to come

Forbes has announced that Philadelphia will play host to its yearly youth-oriented summit for the foreseeable future.

After a successful first yearForbes magazine's Under 30 Summit will be back in Philadelphia this October. The announcement came as the media company unleashed its newest 30 Under 30 Who are Moving the World list Monday.

The inaugural summit brought together about 1,500 young movers-and-shakers, mostly from past Under 30 lists, for educational panels, pitch contests, TED-style presentations, music and food festivals. Last year's speakers included Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate, who detailed her campaign for girls' education, and Monica Lewinsky, who talked about the culture of digital harassment. Also on the lineup were Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable; Neil Blumenthal, co-founder of Warby ParkerJosh Kushner, managing partner of Thrive Capital; and Steve Case, founder of AOL.

"While we have no multi-year contract, we have every intention of making Philadelphia our long-term home," said Wendy Furrer Egan, senior director of editorial publicity at Forbes.

This year's summit will take place Oct. 4-7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and other venues in the city...

Lane, from Forbes, told the Philadelphia Business Journal last year that the No. 1 reason he chose Philadelphia as the go-to destination was because of its location. He named its proximity to other major cities, like New York and Washington, D.C., as well as its simplicity to get to via public transportation — whether train, bus or plane.

Of course, Philadelphia's young crowd and "increasing entrepreneurial world view," he said, is a plus.


Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
Read the complete story here.

Head to the Pennsylvania Farm Show, January 10-17

This annual Harrisburg event has something for everyone -- especially those who love tasty treats.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show, running Saturday to Jan. 17, is a nearly 100-year-old Keystone State tradition. It's the largest indoor agricultural expo in the nation, with nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits.
The PA Preferred Culinary Connection is one of the most popular attractions at the Farm Show. On the live stage, chefs from top restaurants as well as a few celebrity chefs will demonstrate dishes, fitting a theme for the day and using Pennsylvania-produced ingredients. If you're there to watch, you'll get the opportunity to ask the chef questions, and get a copy of the recipe and sample the dish.

Samples are a big part of the draw of the stage's events. Samantha Snyder of the state Department of Agriculture says 10,000 samples are produced for visitors to enjoy over the duration of the event.


Original source: The Morning Call
Read the complete story here.

The Barnes Foundation finds new executive director

After an exhaustive search, the shifting Philly institution has found a new leader.

The Barnes Foundation — now in its third year in its gleaming new home in downtown Philadelphia after a contentious relocation — announced on Wednesday that it had chosen Thomas Collins, a longtime museum leader and curator, to become its new executive director and president after a search of almost a year.

Mr. Collins, known as Thom, has served for nearly five years as director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, previously known as the Miami Art Museum and renamed in 2012 to recognize a multimillion-dollar gift of art and cash from the developer Jorge M. Pérez. Under Mr. Collins’s leadership, the museum constructed a new building designed by the firm Herzog & de Meuron that opened in December 2013 and attracted 300,000 visitors in its first year, far exceeding expectations...

Asked his opinion about the Barnes’s relocation from the suburb of Merion — permitted in a 2004 court decision that circumvented the charter and bylaws of Barnes, who had stipulated that his collection could not be lent, sold or moved from its original home — Mr. Collins said: “To me it seems like an unqualified success. I have no reservations now about it at all, and I wouldn’t be going there if I did.”


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

Wharton student -- and founder of four companies by age 21 -- reflects

The New York Times spoke with Daniel Fine, a serial entrepreneur and Wharton student who's staying in school.

Daniel Fine is the founder and chief executive of Glass-U, a two-year-old, 10-employee maker of foldable sunglasses bearing the licensed brands of universities, music festivals like Lollapalooza, and the World Cup soccer tournament last summer. He arranges for the manufacture of the glasses in China and their distribution around the country. He’s also a senior in college.

Mr. Fine financed Glass-U, which operates out of off-campus housing, in part with proceeds from a tutoring company, NexTutors, that he started right after high school. He has also founded Fine Prints, a custom apparel company he started during high school, and Dosed, a health care technology company that is working on a smartphone app to help diabetics...

Q. You considered applying for a Thiel Fellowship, a $100,000 grant to forgo college and pursue your dream?
A. I made it through the second round, but I didn’t complete my application. At Penn, I’ve absolutely learned in the classroom, but it’s been a much greater benefit being here and growing as a person and learning who I am, what I’m becoming and what I’m hoping to be.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

PA 'Secret Santa' pays for 100 layaway items at Wal-Mart

A good samaritan near Harrisburg shelled out $50,000 to buy 100 people their layaway gifts at Wal-Mart. 

The anonymous donor mysteriously dropped off a check at a Silver Springs Commons store on Monday morning, reports The Patriot-News.

The "layaway angel" — as he's been dubbed — didn't want his name to be revealed and said he should just be called "Santa B."
Tanisha Burton, of Harrisburg, was astonished to find the $200 she had left to pay for toys for her daughter already covered when she went to the store later that day.

"It was definitely a surprise, and a blessing," she told The Patriot-News.


Original source: New York Daily News
Read the complete story here.

Pennsylvania and Washington tops in Bigfoot sightings

Turns out Pennsylvanians have been having quite a few run-ins with the big guy. CityLab explores in its "Year in Bigfoot."

Washington tied with Pennsylvania as the year's leading state in Bigfoot sightings, according to CityLab's count of BFRO reports.

The Pacific Northwest has historically led the nation in cryptozoology, but the number in Pennsylvania marks a recent rise in Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch, Yeti, or Skookum) reports throughout the Ohio River Valley, central Florida, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the Mississippi River Valley. Overall sightings are on the decline, however, especially compared to 2000-2009, when spottings spiked.


Original source: CityLab
Read the complete story here.
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