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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.


Chambersburg, PA






Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.



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988 crisis hotline scheduled to be widespread soon — faces challenges

Almost all Americans should be able to able to dial 9-8-8 on their phones in the future if they are someone close to them is in a crisis. The 988 hotline is scheduled to go live in mid-July and for many mobile phone users, it’s live already and calls are coming into crisis intervention centers. However, they’re facing challenges in getting 988 up and running. That includes people to staff intervention centers and answer the phones, paying for 988 hotlines and just the infrastructure needed....


How to prevent fireworks accidents

Other than the nation’s independence, the Fourth of July holiday may be known most for fireworks and not just the ones that are scheduled for public viewing. The fireworks business is booming. Sales of fireworks more than doubled between 2019 and 2021 from $1 billion to $2.2 billion. It’s estimated more than 400 million pounds of fireworks were set off last year. However, fireworks that have been purchased and set off at home or at Fourth of July celebrations can be dangerous and a nuisance...


What is Christian Nationalism and is it growing?

“Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution is cited as the basis for the separation between church and state. However a growing Christian Nationalist movement in politics believes America was founded as a Christian Nation and should return to it Christian roots. Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado, said at a religious service Sunday: “The church is supposed to direct the government....


How does Supreme Court ruling on abortion impact Pennsylvania?

More than 32,000 abortions were performed in Pennsylvania in 2020 and that number may increase, as women from states where last week’s Supreme Court decision made abortion illegal, travel to Pennsylvania for the procedure. To be clear, the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision does not make abortion illegal nationwide. Pennsylvania is one of about 30 states where women can still get an abortion legally, although Dobbs has energized Republican lawmakers and candidates to...


Family-controlled business legacies

70% of all incorporated businesses in the United States are family controlled. One-third of all Fortune 500 firms are family controlled. Family firms account for almost half of the nation’s Gross Domestic Production. However, only 30% of family controlled businesses are transferred to a second generation. The S. Dale High Center for Family Business at Elizabethtown College addresses, advocates for and teaches about all these issues. We’re joined on Tuesday's Smart Talk by the High Center’s...


In PA., fewer hunters could mean more deer and more deer-related issues

The average deer hunter in Pennsylvania is a white man who is at least 51 years old. There were almost a million deer hunters in the state during the late 1980's. It's projected there could half a million by 2040. Deer hunting is not attracting younger or more people. The dwindling lack of interest in hunting is not the main issue, although it could be costly financially to some businesses where deer hunting has flourished in the past. Deer hunting is the only way to control the size of...


A fascinating look at U.S. presidents' homes

At the top of many American history buffs' list of places to visit are the homes and libraries of former presidents. The most visited are George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Virginia. In Central Pennsylvania are James Buchanan’s Wheatland in Lancaster and Dwight Eisenhower's farm in Gettysburg. Presidents from the last half century have been active in maintaining their papers and legacies in libraries. Our guest on Monday’s Smart Talk has taken his interest...


Pa. leads the nation in the number of preserved farms

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania protected more than 22 hundred acres on 32 farms in 18 counties from future development. That brings the total number of farms protected under the farmland preservation programs to almost 6,100 farms protected that make up nearly 614,000 acres in 58 counties. Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of farms preserved. What does it mean that a farm is preserved? Why is it important to preserve farmland? How much does it cost? What do the farmers get out...



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Navigating work zones safely

It seems that everywhere you drive in Central Pennsylvania, there’s a road under construction or some type of project. Although it may be an inconvenience and slow your trip down sometimes, maintaining and upgrading transportation infrastructure is a good thing and sign of progress. But what it also means is we’ll see those "crews at work" signs and bright orange flags cautioning motorists to slow down and be careful in work zones. Flagger Force is a short-term traffic control company...


Will judges get more protection after man charged with the attempted murder of Justice Kavanaugh?

Violence and threats of violence against public officials have become more commonplace in recent years. The U.S. Capitol Building was enclosed with more secure fences and security after the January 6th attack. Election administrators across the country have been threatened often since the 2020 presidential election. The U.S. Supreme Court building also is fenced in in anticipation of a decision on abortion or other rulings that could lead to massive protests or crowds. Something else that...


Fort Loudoun Market Fair this weekend is right out of the 18th Century

Central Pennsylvania has many fun events throughout the summer – each one different in it’s own way. The Fort Loudoun Market Fair in Franklin County scheduled for this weekend may be one of the most unique. On Thursday’s Smart Talk, we’re joined by Andrew Newman, who coordinates the Market Fair, to talk about the event and the rich history of Fort Loudoun. The Fort Loudoun Market Fair will be held Friday through Sunday at 1720 N Brooklyn Rd, Fort Loudon. Support WITF:...


Large voter turnout and shifting vote patterns in Pa. May primary

Last month’s primary election was a record setter and not just for the amount of money spent in the campaigns for governor or the U.S. Senate. Pennsylvania voters appear to have been energized. That’s according to reporting by the Philadelphia Inquirer that found more Democrats and Republicans voted than in any midterm election primary in the last 25 years. Who those voters are, where they live, and which candidates they supported for Senate and governor show how the state’s political...


Agnes -- Storm of the Century -- 50 years ago this week

June 1972 will long be remembered for one event in Pennsylvania -- flooding caused by Tropical Storm Agnes. It was one of those "I remember where I was and what I was doing" life-changing events. During this week 50 years ago, Agnes drenched Central Pennsylvania with over a foot of rain that led to record-setting and devastating flooding throughout the region and the state. The storm followed a path along the Susquehanna River which crested in Harrisburg at more than 33 feet – a record that...


Andrew Jackson -- the first populist

The word populist has made a comeback in American politics since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Trump ran and won the presidency by appealing to ordinary people who feel their concerns are disregarded by elite groups – the very definition of populism. But Trump isn’t the only politician who has spoken to this segment of the population. President Andrew Jackson may have been the first. In fact, a new book, The First Populist – The Defiant Life of Andrew Jackson identifies Jackson as...


Could the skills of formal debates lead to better arguments and less polarization?

Book Week continues on Wednesday's Smart Talk. America is a polarized country on political and cultural issues. There have been times in the past when Americans have been divided but one of the unique characteristics of the time we live in is that there often seems to be little appetite for compromise or even considering what someone is saying when there’s a disagreement. If you listen to Wednesday's Smart Talk guest, it may make for less polarization – even if there are disagreements. Bo...


Bestselling novelists Adriana Trigiani and John Searles

Book week continues on Tuesday’s Smart Talk and features a conversation with two bestselling novelists – Adriana Trigiani and John Searles. Both appeared last month at the Council of Friends of Lancaster County’s Public Libraries fundraising event. Trigiani is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Shoemaker’s Wife. Her books have been published in thirty-eight languages around the world. She is an award-winning playwright, television...


Books to read this summer

It's Book Week on Smart Talk. All our programs through Thursday will focus on books—mostly talking with authors of new books. Best-selling novelists Adriana Trigiani and John Searles, world champion debater Bo Seo and Historian David Brown are among the authors who will with us this week. However, we start this special week Monday with a show Smart Talk features every year in the first days of summer – books that you would enjoy or find interesting while on vacation or relaxing at home....


State Museum exhibit tells three civil rights stories

Juneteenth will be celebrated across the country a week from Sunday on June 19th. It marks the day when all enslaved people were free in the United States. The State Museum of Pennsylvania opens a Civil Rights Movement exhibition on Friday, June 17 that ties in with Juneteenth. It’s called A Place for All: Three Stories of Integration in Pennsylvania. The exhibit is comprised of A Story of Strength: The Myers Family Moves to Levittown, A Story of Bravery: Integrating Pittsburgh’s Public...


LGBTQ+ health in the spotlight during Pride Month

June is Pride Month to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots that marked the beginning of the fight for LGBTQ rights and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans. That involves all aspects of the lives of the LGBTQ community. Access to and affordability of healthcare is a major concern for LGBTQ people and there are some unique challenges as well. Next Thursday at 8 p.m. on WITF-TV, you can learn more from...