Hope Katz Gibbs


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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Divers find lake a haven for stolen cars [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Special to the Post-Gazette
February 5, 1987

MORGANTOWN, WV— When divers searched nearby Cheat Lake for articles lost in a 1985 flood, they did not expect to find a veritable underwater parking lot. “The cars were sitting right there on the bottom of the lake,” Kevin Koch said of 11 stolen vehicles—some from Western Pennsylvania—that he and a five-member dive team discovered recently. “They were in mud half way up to the tires, and there was no way you couldn’t tell what make the cars were.” At a depth of 40 feet, the water was muddy and the divers could only feel around for the vehicles. Eventually, inner tubes were fastened to the cars and inflated with 1,500 pounds of air to force the vehicles to the top of the lake.

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New president unfolds ambitious plans for WVU [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Special to the Post-Gazette

MORGANTOWN, WV—Neil S. Bucklew, the new president of West Virginia University, wants to use his tenure to make WVU a “nation-class” institution. The true test of his success, he said, would be an improvement in the state economy because of upgraded university standards and performance. To accomplish that, he plans to approach the state Legislature for money to increase faculty salaries, become more competitive for federal grants, toughen writing and math and course requirements for undergraduates, improve international awareness and increase minority student enrollment. “We are developing an overall strategy that will give us a focus to the goals we want to achieve,” said Bucklew, a native West Virginian and a former WVU student. “In five to six years I want to look back on what we’re doing now and be able to say we attended to some priorities.”

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Morgantown battles underage drinking [Post-Gazette]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Special to the Post-Gazette

MORGANTOWN, WV—The City Council and the police department have teamed up to close, at least here, a loophole created by the legislature in the state’s underage drinking law. Last summer a new state law took effect that forbids people under 21 to buy liquor but not to drink it. The measure met with outrage from law officials across the state. “It is just irresponsible of the legislators to forget to include such section [prohibiting consumption],” said Morgantown Police Chief John Cease. In Morgantown, the home of West Virginia University, police have reacted to the law by launching well-publicized “sting” operation against merchants who sell alcohol to minors. More recently, council passed an ordinance making it illegal for minors to possess or consume distilled beverages—closing the law’s loophole within city limits.

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Mountaineers field gone but not forgotten [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Special to the Post-Gazette
March 10, 1987

MORGANTOWN, WV—Old Mountaineer Field may be gone, but two entrepreneurs are trying to make sure it’s not forgotten. Home of West Virginia University football games between 1924 and 1979, the 32,000-seat stadium was demolished recently. For the past seven years, the school’s teams have played a mile away in new Mountaineer Field, which has 50,000 seats. Trying to cash in on the sentiments of diehard fans are Fred Fiorini, owner of the Morgantown Sports Center, and Mary Swim, a WVU graduate student, with independent efforts to sell wall plaques made from the stadium’s wooden bleachers. Fiorini bought some of the weathered bleachers from the company that dismantled the stadium. He them cut into 8- by 10-inch pieces and had an aerial photograph of the stadium were mounted on top. He has sold about 100 of the 2,000 mementoes in stock. But now that the stadium is little more than a vacant lot, he expects sales to take off.

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More Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Articles

"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.