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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.




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...


Cumberland Valley Civil War Roundtable group honors Black soldiers

The historic Lebanon Cemetery or Mt. Vernon Cemetery, west of Chambersburg, is the cemetery where many African-Americans from Franklin County were buried after the Civil War. It is the final resting place for more than 25 Black soldiers who fought in the war, including those of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Colored Troops. The Cumberland Valley Civil War Roundtable has plans to clean and restore the grave sites of the soldiers. The Roundtable’s Tracy Baer is on Wednesday’s Smart Talk to...


Would “red flag laws” reduce number of shootings?

The aftermath of the mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde Texas, Philadelphia and other places around the country the last two weeks have followed a familiar pattern. Shock, outrage, calls for expansion of mental health resources and, of course, new gun laws. After every shooting, there seems to be a sense of this is the one that will result in action. Most often, it doesn’t and another news story comes along and diverts the attention. One proposal that appears to have public support according...


Smart Talk Road Trip to Carlisle Ford Nationals - Extended Conversation

An extended conversation of Smart Talk's road trip to the Carlisle Ford Nationals. Support WITF: See for privacy information.


Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talks about grief and recovery after the death of her husband

Last week, Sheryl Sandberg announced she is stepping down as chief operating officer at Facebook’s parent company Meta. Sandberg oversaw Facebook’s spectacular rise to a company that generated $100 billion in revenue each year, but she also had to answer for several scandals involving Facebook. Sandberg became a feminist icon after her best-selling book Leaning In about women in the business world was released. However, it was a more personal story that Sandberg told in September 2020 when...


Huge climate change rally/event planned for Harrisburg June 11-13

What may be the largest environmental rally and campaign since right after the Three Mile Island accident is scheduled for this weekend in Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania Climate Convergence is staging the "Festival for the Planet" Saturday through Monday. It will include advocates and activists sending a message to “Gov. Wolf, lawmakers and regulators to step up” to fight climate change. The Festival will be made up of panel discussions, arts, music, theatre, rallies and a march on the...


Obscure state law could hold up broadband expansion

What was driven home the past two years to many Pennsylvania students, those who worked from home and businesses was how spotty or non-existent high speed internet service was. Expanding broadband internet became a priority. The $1 billion dollars in infrastructure money coming to Pennsylvania from the federal government for broadband expansion was thought to be an answer. But local communities that wanted to build their own broadband networks are facing another challenge – an obscure 2004...


Smart Talk Road Trip to Carlisle Ford Nationals

Smart Talk makes a road trip Friday to the Carlisle Ford Nationals. Carlisle Events stages some of the most popular events in Pennsylvania as some half million people attend their car related shows every year. For one thing, it’s evidence of just how many car enthusiasts there are. This weekend’s event at the Carlisle Fairgrounds will center on an American icon — Ford. On Friday’s program, we’ll talk about the unveiling of the new Shelby American, Ford’s plans for electric vehicles and meet...


Why is there a shortage of lifeguards this summer?

Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial start of summer. It’s when many public swimming pools and beaches open. A rare late-May heat wave helped to remind us there is a lot of hot weather on the way. However, along with so many other things, there is a shortage of lifeguards. The American Lifeguard Association estimates a third of the nation’s public pools may be closed this summer because there aren’t enough lifeguards. Several in Pennsylvania have already announced they won’t...


Manufacturing summer camps coming to Pa.

About 560,000 people work in manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania. Even though that’s 400,000 fewer than 30 years ago, there are thousands of manufacturing job openings right now. Many people who could fill those jobs don’t know about the openings or don’t have the necessary training. Pennsylvania is actively campaigning to find training for would-be manufacturers, including providing funding to six Manufacturing Summer Camps through Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs, a charitable foundation of the...