Catharine Skipp

Stories by Catharine Skipp

  • Gas Thefts on the Rise

    Thieves are finding ingenious ways to steal gas from stations, pumps—and your car
  • Color Blind at Schools That Aren’t

    Like most university recruiters who target Hispanic students, Christina Diaz crisscrosses the country, attending college fairs and chatting up potential applicants. Except in her case, there's a twist: she represents Grambling State University, a 107-year-old historically black college in Louisiana. And she's no anomaly. Other traditionally black institutions such as North Carolina A&T and Central State University in Ohio have also ramped up their Latino outreach. According to National Hispanic College Fairs, which organizes events at 50 locations nationwide, historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, now represent about 13 percent of participants, compared with virtually zero 10 years ago. Though Latinos account for only 2 percent of students at HBCUs, they're the fastest-growing group at some institutions.What explains the increase? HBCUs are increasingly losing African-American students to mainstream universities. And outside the top tier of black higher...
  • Inside FEMA’s Toxic Trailers

    Hurricane Katrina's victims cope with yet another ordeal--unhealthy residences provided by Uncle Sam.
  • Kidnapping Her Own Kids

    The strange saga of a mother who put her twins up for adoption, then changed her mind.
  • ‘Arthur Bremer Is Alone’

    The man who shot George Wallace is now out of prison, but questions about his stability remain.
  • Oral Roberts Shaken by Scandal

    Allegations of misuse of school funds, improper political activities and an Imelda Marcos-style closet full of shoes have led to a lawsuit and investigation at the evangelical university.
  • Lost at Sea: A Ghost-Ship Story

    A couple of men chartered the Joe Cool for a trip to the Bahamas. The boat was found floating north of Cuba, its crew missing—and feared dead. Two men are in custody. A ghost-ship story.
  • Mens' Looks: A 'Retrosexual' Comeback

    Measuring 6 feet 3, with chiseled pecs and a bushy beard, George seemed like a model of manliness. Yet two years ago the 47-year-old Virginia businessman (who declined to give his full name to protect his privacy) decided he didn't look quite macho enough. So he went to see Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a Miami hair-restoration surgeon, to have 3,000 hair follicles ripped from his scalp and transplanted into his face, chest and belly. He wasn't satisfied. So a year later he returned to get an additional 2,400 grafts done. "I could still have another surgery and not be completely covered," says George today. "I'm very pleased, but 2,400 grafts is not a very hairy chest."George's quest for maximum hirsuteness isn't as unusual as it may sound. He's part of a growing group of "retrosexuals"—men who shun metrosexuality, with its often feminine esthetic, in favor of old-school masculinity. Cosmetic and hair-transplant surgeons on both coasts report increases in patients seeking a more rugged look:...
  • Inside Wrestler Chris Benoit's World

    What made the professional wrestler snap? Authorities search for clues into the murders of his wife and child and Benoit's grisly suicide.
  • Cracking Down on 'Murderabilia'

    It's called 'murderabilia'—the buying and selling of items connected to grisly crime scenes. And it's a brisk business online. Inside the campaign to police the murder market.
  • Miss America on Catching Online Predators

    Last month, Miss America 2007 Lauren Nelson participated in a police sting operation targeting child predators. Because of her concern about Internet safety, Nelson, 20, agreed to help out the Suffolk County Police Department in New York. Also along for the ride: John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted,” which taped the bust and aired it on April 28. As part of the operation, Nelson posed as a young teen and chatted with alleged predators online and by phone. She arranged a meeting with a group of men at a sting house on April 20. When they arrived, cops closed in and ended up arresting 11 men. But Miss America’s participation didn’t sit well with the Suffolk County District Attorney who labeled it a publicity stunt. To learn more about Nelson’s role in the bust, NEWSWEEK’s Catharine Skipp spoke with the beauty queen. Excerpts: ...
  • Stalking Art

    Ninety minutes into the preview of the fifth annual Art Basel art exhibition in Miami Beach, Fla., Alan Lieberman joined the big leagues of photo collecting. Lieberman, 56, is a real-estate developer and South Beach hotelier who began collecting art 15 years ago. He started with signed prints and some originals by Picasso, Miro, Léger, Hans Hoffmann and Frank Stella. He and his wife, Diane, have been coming to Art Basel since its inception—but this is the first year they have gotten in with the first wave of collectors and buyers at the coveted noon preview on Wednesday before the public opening Thursday. “Last year we were in at three, the year before at five,” Lieberman says as he strides quickly through the main hall, where 200 galleries from around the world gather under one roof to showcase the work of more than 2,000 artists from the 20th and 21st century in a frenzied three-day exhibition that spills over into museums and galleries all across Miami. Lieberman hasn’t scouted...
  • Trouble at Home

    The first year of the deployment was bearable, at least. Jodi Velotta got by on the daily phone calls and e-mail exchanges she had with her husband, Brad, in Iraq. She sent photos of their fast-growing brood, while Brad, a 29-year-old Army captain, focused on keeping his men alive. But since August, when Brad's Blackhawk Company and the rest of the 4-23 unit of the 172nd Stryker Brigade were redeployed to the heart of Baghdad, the couple has grown more distant, like two planets spinning farther away from each other. "This is just starting to get old for all of us. The phone calls are getting stale," Jodi, 31, told NEWSWEEK. "Everything is getting frustrating; you don't know if you are saying the right things." They love each other deeply, but Jodi says her husband doesn't understand how the family has changed, how the two babies he remembers aren't babies anymore. "He doesn't know them as growing children. He hasn't experienced what is going on here."In Vietnam and Korea, the...

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