Library ‘weeding’? Or ‘clear-cutting’?

Luis J. Gonzalez, dean of libraries at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in his Stapleton Library office, Sept. 7, 2017. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

By Logan Hullinger

INDIANA — More than a third of the books in Stapleton Library are scheduled to be removed in less than two years. But the library dean, librarians and faculty members aren’t on the same page about how – and whether — to do it.

Weeding — the process of culling uncirculated books from a library — will remove 172,161 of the 486,000 books in IUP’s library by spring 2019, library officials say. That’s the equivalent of clearing out the entire second floor of the four-floor facility.

The weeding plan responds to student demands for more study space in the library and a decline in book circulation, said Luis J. Gonzalez, dean of libraries, in a Sept. 7 interview in his office.

“Students for the last three years have wanted more study space,” Gonzalez said. “And we’re out of space in the library. I’ve even seen students sitting on the floor.”

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Another racist Snapchat stirs IUP campus

A panel addressed the latest racist Snapchat by an Indiana University of Pennsylvania student, the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, Sept. 6. Left to right: Theodore G. Turner, director of the IUP Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement Department; Kathleen R. Linder, associate vice president in the student affairs division; Yaw A. Asamoah, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Pablo B. Mendoza, assistant to the president for social equity. Photo by Cody Minich.

By The HawkEye staff

INDIANA — For the second time in less than two years, a social-media photo and caption seen as racist by Indiana University of Pennsylvania students and administrators has prompted calls for action against hate speech. But reaction to the latest incident was muted among administrators and absent from news media.

The offensive Snapchat image appeared on Sept. 4. It depicted a blackened sandwich with a caption reading, “How do you like your grilled cheese? The same as my slaves.”

The Snapchat image and message posted Sept. 4. Screenshot by Septima Simpkins.

The image was sent from an account in the name of IUP marketing student Garrett J. Baerg, whose name appears on the message. Baerg is listed as community outreach chair of the Student Marketing Association in the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology.

Baerg could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

A student representative of the group dissociated the organization from Baerg’s comment and asked him to step down from his position.

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A monument to a spirit of national unity

The steel 9/11 piece loaned to Indiana University of Pennsylvania by the Kovalchick Corp. will once again serve as centerpiece during a Monday morning memorial service. Photo by Logan Hullinger.

By Logan Hullinger

INDIANA — Every day, thousands of Indiana University of Pennsylvania students walk through the Oak Grove and pass a towering piece of scrap metal by Sutton Hall. The 13-foot hunk is a memento of the country’s most catastrophic terrorist attack.

The rusted piece of steel once formed part of an enormous beam that rose from the base of one of the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan. On Sept. 11, 2001, the beam came down along with the rest of the tower and its twin after two commercial airliners plowed into them.

The trident-shaped piece of beam came to the IUP campus when the Kovalchick Corp.,  a local scrap dealer, loaned it long-term to the university. The company purchased pieces of the fallen towers from a New Jersey recycler.

Since its Oct. 4, 2002, dedication, the remnant has served as the centerpiece of IUP’s annual 9/11 memorial service. The 16th anniversary service is scheduled once again for Monday morning, at the hour when the first plane struck.

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Eclipse 2017: Oak Grove light-and-shadow show

A pinhole-camera effect is produced naturally by leaves filtering eclipsed sunlight and projecting it in crescent-shaped shadows on the sidewalk outside Weyandt Hall, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Aug. 21, 2017. Photos by David Loomis.

By The HawkEye staff

INDIANA — The entrance to Weyandt Hall, home to the natural sciences at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, became an impromptu outdoor astrophysics lab on Monday afternoon as students and faculty members observed a partial eclipse of the sun.

By 2 p.m., small groups armed with instruments such as solar-eclipse glasses, camera-obscura cardboard boxes, pin-holed sheets of paper, welder’s hoods and cell phones had gathered near the building’s front door just east of Oakland Avenue.

Clouds were building for a brief thunderstorm after 3 p.m. But around 2:40 p.m., the sky above the Oak Grove was clear enough for a glimpse of the solar-lunar peekaboo.

Some scenes from the show:

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IUP’s per-credit tuition policy: a first-year review

A Civic Project story

Colleen A. Rorke, a 2015 Indiana University of Pennsylvania political science graduate, works at a “fair-paying job,” not in her field, to repay a student-loan debt of $40,000, she says. Photo submitted by Colleen Rorke.

By Cara Mehalek

INDIANA — In August 2013, Colleen A. Rorke, a petite, soft-spoken political science major from Tamaqua, Pa., transferred to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. To pay for her last two years of college, Rorke relied on grants, private and federal loans and part-time restaurant jobs. Her parents could not afford IUP tuition.

“Going to college in America is already astronomical in price,” the 2015 graduate wrote in a March 29 Facebook message. “I think more students would choose college if it was affordable and practical, but it isn’t.”

Now, Rorke said she must spend the next several years paying off $40,000 in student loans, a debt 30 percent deeper than Pennsylvania’s third-highest-in-the-nation average student debt of $31,675, according to the Keystone Research Center.

“It took me close to a year to find a fair-paying job (not in my field),” Rorke wrote.

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‘Never seen it this bad’

Landlord Dallas “Ray” Wood describes the June 22 flooding of the small brook just upstream from the neighborhood he owns at the northern border of Indiana borough. June 25, 2017. Photo by David Loomis.

Staff report

INDIANA — Dallas “Ray” Wood stood on the bank of the small stream he calls White’s Run. It flows south across Clymer Avenue toward the homes he owns in the out-of-the-way “little mining town” he calls Cicero. His sunny, grassy, 11-home neighborhood sits hard by the railroad tracks that slice southward at the borough’s northern boundary.

All of it was inundated on Thursday evening when the rain fell hard and fast, turning little White’s Run into Lake Cicero. In the county, the flash flooding claimed one life. In Wood’s neighborhood, the water damaged almost every one of the 75-year-old properties he said he has owned and managed since 1991.

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Postcard from Cuba: People connect, governments disconnect

Many old American cars in Cuba are used as taxis. Due to the U.S. embargo, many of the cars predate 1960, and the owners often have a difficult time obtaining parts to repair the vehicles. Photos by Lauries S. Miller.

By Laurie S. Miller

HAVANA — Sitting in his walker, waiting on his luggage at the Havana Airport, David Hiebert of Lawrence, Kansas, was looking forward to his second trip to Cuba – this time with six family members in tow.

Hiebert said one of his favorite things about the first trip was talking to people.

“I asked a 10-year-old boy what he wanted to be when he grew up,” Hiebert said. “He replied, ‘a tourist.’”

It’s not a surprising answer, considering that the average state salary is around $27, and many people don’t have the means to maintain what they own, said Miguel Coyula, an architect, urban planner and professor at the University of Havana. Cuba attracted a record 4 million visitors in 2016, an increase of 13 percent from 2015, according to Cuba’s tourism ministry. This increase is attributed to the resumption of diplomatic relations with the United States that occurred under President Barack Obama.

It remains to be seen how President Donald J. Trump’s policy changes will affect American travel to Cuba in the future. Trump’s new restrictions, aimed at tightening travel and commercial ties between the United States and Cuba, were announced June 16.

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The Russian connection: Macedonian politics, U.S. news

An Analysis

By Benjamin Shultz and Snezhana Stefanovska Shultz

Source: Alamy.com

Macedonia is in a part of world that is often overlooked. Approximately the size of Vermont and with a population of around two million, the country is impoverished, landlocked, and isolated in a corner of Europe that relatively few people visit.

While fellow ex-Yugoslav republics Croatia and Slovenia are now part of the European Union, Macedonia remains on Europe’s cultural, economic, and political periphery. As such, it is a country that rarely enters the international news cycle, much less that of the United States.

That changed in November 2016, when journalists descended upon the industrial town of Veles after a Buzzfeed investigation found that it was a leading hub of fake news production favoring the Trump campaign.

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Airport festival attendance soars

Ron F. Gorr and his 1942 Stinson L-5 Sentinel, Jimmy Stewart Airport, June 10, 2017. Photo by Alexandria Mansfield.

By Alexandria Mansfield

INDIANA – The annual aviation festival that landed last weekend at the Jimmy Stewart Airport  drew the largest crowd in the event’s two-decade-long history, an airport official said Tuesday.

“There were more people here this weekend than we’ve ever had before, mainly because of the weather,” said airport manager Tom A. Robertson. “It’s very seldom that we get two good days in a row.”

Events featured vintage and military aircraft, face-painting, balloon animals, food trucks and public-service booths and included an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, aerial demonstrations and a 1940s-themed dance. A new feature brought two speakers:

  • Dean Stewart Engelhardt, of California, a seaplane instructor, test pilot, Alaskan bush pilot, aerobatic airshow pilot and stunt pilot; and
  • Florence “Shutsy” Reynolds, of Connellsville, a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during World War II.

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What compensation for a wrongful conviction?

A Civic Project story

Lewis “Jim” Fogle and wife Deb dine at Wayne Avenue restaurant, Indiana, Pa., April 19, 2017. Photo by Nathan Zisk.

By Nathan Zisk

INDIANA – At his August 13, 2015, release from state prison after serving 34 years for a crime he did not commit, Lewis “Jim” Fogle said he wanted nothing more than a steak dinner. Now he wants more – compensation from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for his wrongful conviction.

In 1981, state police charged Fogle with the 1976 rape and murder of 15-year-old Deann Katherine Long of Cherry Tree. An Indiana County jury convicted him in 1982. He won release from prison two years ago after the Innocence Project, a New York- and Philadelphia-based non-profit that represents the wrongfully convicted, found DNA evidence exonerating him. Soon after, Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty, citing the new evidence, declined to re-try Fogle.

Today, Fogle, 65, is unemployed, but not unoccupied. He travels to tell his story, and he practices the artwork he discovered in childhood and developed in prison. He lives in a cluttered apartment on Oakland Avenue. It is dark, with concrete walls — just like prison, Fogle said. Sometimes when he awakens, he thinks he never left.

“I get panic attacks and very cold sweats,” Fogle said during an April 6 interview at his home. “Sometimes I’m so dizzy I can’t stand.”

While he was in prison, his mother and two brothers died. His relationships with his wife and family were fractured, he said, although he is close to his two granddaughters. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, Fogle said.

He is among 61 Pennsylvanians (2,033 nationwide) who have been exonerated since 1990 by DNA evidence that proves they did not commit the crimes for which they were convicted, according to the National Registry of Exonerations, a joint project of the University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School, Michigan State University College of Law and Northwestern University School of Law.

In Fogle’s case, the registry listed “perjury or false accusation” as contributing factors in his wrongful conviction.

In February, attorneys for Fogle filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful conviction. It cites two former Indiana County prosecutors – including current Court of Common Pleas presiding judge William J. Martin – and seven state police officers who investigated and prosecuted the cold case.

But the federal court is one of three avenues in Fogle’s strategy to win compensation from officials who took 34 years of his life. The other two approaches are the court of public opinion in the press and the legislative bodies of the state House and Senate in Harrisburg.

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