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While You Were Gone…

Whether you spent your summer traveling, getting a taste of corporate life through an internship, or grinding away at a part-time job, a lot happened while you were gone. Here’s your rundown on all the Penn State news you need to catch up on.

Saquon Bares All

Saquon Barkley may be off to the NFL, but perhaps the best thing he did all summer was appear in ESPN’s “Body Issue.” This probably goes without saying, but he looked pretty damn good.

Welcome Back, Skeller

The Skeller is back, baby… kinda. The famous prohibition-era bar reopened just in time for Arts Fest with a new name: Doggie’s Rathskeller & Garden. The bar might be open again, but drama still looms: The former owner of the bar is suing the new owners and the Herlocher family for the use of “Rathskeller” in its new name.

Goodbye Indigo, Hello Basement Nightspot

Indigo closed in mid-July, but fear not — your favorite Thursday night spot won’t be down for long.  The newly rebranded Basement Nightspot will open in its place on Thursday, August 23. As long as dollar teas are still around, we don’t care how unimaginative the new name is.

Even More Local Staples Close 

Outside of the Skeller and Indigo, several other popular nighttime spots and State College staples closed their doors over the summer. The Darkhorse Tavern and Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar each announced plans to close, and The Apple Tree ceased operations after 40 years in business.

Beta Theta Pi Case Continues

Charges were once again refiled against the former brothers of Beta Theta Pi, but two brothers pled guilty to their roles in the death of Tim Piazza. Ryan Burke was sentenced to three months of house arrest and 27 months of probation, and Joseph Ems will be sentenced in late September.


James Franklin was very busy on the recruiting trail throughout the summer. The Nittany Lions added 12 prospects to its recruiting class of 2019 while you were away. The headline commitments of the summer came from five-star linebacker Brandon Smith, four-star wideout John Dunmore, and Virginia tailback Devyn Ford.

Hack Escapes QB Hell

Congratulations, Christian Hackenberg! You are no longer stuck in the black hole of quarterback development known as the New York Jets. Gang Green traded you to Oakland after giving you zero (0) regular season minutes in two years. The Raiders may have waived you after three weeks, but you landed on your feet with the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles. Philly, Philly!

Penn State Hockey’s Next Great Goalscorer?

Hockey might not be the most active sport during the summer, but incoming freshman Aarne Talvitie put on a show when he hit the ice. He impressed at the New Jersey Devils’ development camp in mid-July before lighting up the World Junior Summer Showcase with four goals in five games. Andrew Sturtz may be gone, but the Nittany Lions may already have their next great goalscorer in the Finnish freshman.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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