Top Stories Category

June 18, 2013


The HawkEye has moved to a new address:

Our new site includes the entire archive of our old site. And the archive is searchable -- an upgrade. Other improvements include greater interactivity with our readers and contributors.


Please visit us at the new The HawkEye for more award-winning  public-service reporting and opinion focused on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus and the surrounding community and county.

The editors.

April 16, 2013

Johnson Zelko.jpg Aleda Johnson (left) and Abbey Zelko display their award certificates at the April 10 Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association luncheon at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. Photo by David Loomis.

IUP junior journalism students Aleda K. Johnson and Abbey M. Zelko were honored at the annual Pennsylvania Newspaper Association collegiate Keystone Awards luncheon on April 10 in Hershey.


Their award-winning Civic Project  story, co-authored with journalism student Charlene Adams, was published Dec. 21 in The HawkEye. The story won second place in the association's public service/enterprise reporting category.

March 26, 2013

By The HawkEye staff


The Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association announced March 4  that it will award one of its top collegiate prizes for watchdog reporting to three IUP Journalism Department students.

February 6, 2013

Mike's Hike

Mike Briggs.jpg

Mike Briggs


Editor's note: In 2012, chemistry professor Mike Briggs, Ph.D., retired from IUP. On Jan. 6, Briggs, 66, a wounded Vietnam War platoon commander and former tire-manufacturing plant manager in Morocco, set out from Flagg Mountain, Ala., on a northbound hike along the Appalachian Trail.  His goal is to complete a 2,185-mile trek to the trail's northern end in Baxter State Park, Maine, by Oct. 10 -- a rate of 15 miles a day, by his reckoning.


During the hike, Briggs plans to file occasional reports and ruminations to The HawkEye, composing on a Google tablet and filing from Wi-Fi hotspots at accommodations along the trail.


This is his first installment.


By Mike Briggs


DALTON, Ga. -- Why is it so hard to get something to work the first time you encounter it?  A change of place and perspective -- hiking all 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail -- prompts some thoughts during hours alone in the woods.  


Like most things in life, you can look at adversity from several perspectives. Readers can list the downsides. My purpose here is to list the benefits.


Adversity is hard in that it requires exercise of muscle, mind or tool in ways that are new or different.  For example, walking 15 miles should be easy. We know how to walk, and most of us walk some distance every day.  


January 7, 2013

A Civic Project story


Kelsey Elizabeth Bryner, an IUP art history major, says she will graduate in 2014 -- later than her peers -- because of class-scheduling problems. Photo by Amanda Miller.




By Amanda Miller


INDIANA -- When Kelsey Elizabeth Bryner came to Indiana University of Pennsylvania in fall 2009, she was convinced she would graduate on time in four years. Three years later, Bryner, a 22-year-old art history major, prepared to watch her friends graduate without her.


Bryner said she had planned to graduate in May 2013 at the end of what was supposed to be her senior year. Instead, she said she will be graduating in May 2014. The reason: Every academic year, she had trouble enrolling in classes required for graduation.


"I should be graduating with my friends," said Bryner, during an Oct. 12 interview at her home on School Street. "But now I have to suck it up and watch them graduate without me."


For the past four years, Bryner said she knew she needed to take science classes to graduate, like geoscience and biology. Every time she scheduled for classes, however, all of the science spots were filled.  This year, Bryner was prepared to make sure that she got into the science classes she needed.


But when she met with her academic adviser, she discovered that all of the science classes were already waitlisted, which meant the courses were already filled. Students who wanted to enroll had added their names to a waiting list on the University Records and Systems Assistant, or URSA 


December 27, 2012

A Civic Project story


Indiana University of Pennsylvania senior Isaac J. Samay waits outside the Indiana Schwinn Cycling and Fitness Center before the first Indiana Critical Mass bicycle ride on Sept. 28, 2012. Photo by Natalie Hotaling.


By Natalie Hotaling


INDIANA -- Snow lightly circles through the air on a chilly morning in mid-November. As a harsh wind picks up, Isaac J. Samay pulls his knit cap lower on his forehead. He steps his beat-up sneakers into the straps on his bicycle pedals and takes a deep breath.

His daily commute to campus begins.


Samay, 23, of Johnstown, is a political science major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The senior has been biking as his sole means of transportation since enrolling at IUP in 2009.


For Samay, the snow is not a deterrent to his commuting. The campus, on the other hand, is.

December 21, 2012

A Civic Project story


John A. "Hot Dog John" Minda at work in front of the county courthouse on Philadelphia Street, Nov. 14. Photo by Abbey Zelko.


By Abbey Zelko and Aleda Johnson


INDIANA -- On a summer evening in July 2004, John A. Minda visited his sick wife at Latrobe Hospital to show her his newly minted transient vendor license from the Indiana borough.


She took the license into her hand and smiled, Minda said.  A short time later, she fell asleep and never woke up.


After his wife's death, Minda, 66, of Saltsburg, told himself that he wasn't going back to work as an investigator for the Department of Aging offices in Westmoreland and Butler counties. He planned to start working as a hot dog vendor in downtown Indiana.


Minda, now known as "Hot Dog John," said in an Oct. 24 interview at a Philadelphia Street eatery that he has become an icon downtown.  He said he supports reading programs at the library in which he gives free hot dogs to the kids.  Minda also adds personal touches, like writing kids' names on their hot dogs in ketchup after they come out of the library.


December 20, 2012

A Civic Project story

LA Taco.jpg

Food vendor Walter F. Aguirre, right, sells tacos to customer Derek Grove, of Indiana, Pa., in a parking lot behind the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at 220 S. Seventh Street, Indiana, Nov. 9, 2012. Photo by Colleen O'Laughlin.


By Colleen O'Laughlin


INDIANA    Late one night early in the spring semester of 2012, Walter F. Aguirre, 28, a senior marketing major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was hanging out with his Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brothers when he got a craving for tacos. 

He didn't want pizza. He didn't want convenience-store carry-out. He wanted the food he grew up eating in the Hispanic neighborhoods of Los Angeles, where street vendors are plentiful and popular.


His friends didn't understand his specific hunger. At first.


"None of them really understood what I meant by that," said Aguirre in a November interview. "Then one night, I made some at home for my wife and kids.  This idea just kept coming back to me."

December 7, 2012

A Civic Project story

Alarcon and Peterson.jpg

Whitmyre Hall's head community assistant, Ignacio J. "Nacho" Alarcon, talks with community assistant Paige A. Peterson at an Honors College social event on Nov. 29. Photo by Emily Weber.


By Emily Weber


INDIANA -- In the middle of a class discussion about socioeconomic status, Ignacio J. "Nacho" Alarcón, 20, a philosophy major in Indiana University of Pennsylvania's  Robert E. Cook Honors College, found himself a minority in more ways than one. When the professor asked the 20 students seated around the long table in Whitmyre Hall's ornate Painting Room to evaluate the diversity of their peers, many turned to look at Alarcón.


"I was one of a few men," Alarcón said in a Nov. 2 interview in Whitmyre. "And the only person who wasn't white."

October 23, 2012

Creps fire.jpg 

Firefighters navigate a tangle of hoses and foam on the eastern side of the Creps United Publications plant on U.S. Route 422 west of Indiana, Pa., on Tuesday afternoon. The blaze spewed thick black smoke that was visible communitywide. Photo by Sean Yoder
















By Sean Yoder

INDIANA -- A fire tore through Creps United Publications in White Township on Tuesday morning, prompting 15 fire crews and two hazardous-materials teams to respond and sending four to the hospital.

Fire crews first got the call at 8:37 a.m., according to Indiana County 911.

Indiana Fire Association Rescue Squad Captain Ron Moreau said his was the second truck on the scene of a hot and smoky blaze at the publishing plant on U.S. Route 422/Philadelphia Street about a half mile west of Indiana borough.

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