I hope it wasn’t lost on you that Lucy Li just qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship in Pinehurst, N.C., next month because when she averaged par in two superb rounds at the demanding Half Moon Bay course in California several days ago, it was quite a feat. Let’s face it, no other 11-year-old sixth grader has ever done it.
Lucy, who won’t turn 12 until Oct. 1, had rounds of 74 and 68 playing from the championship tees and will be paired against the top female players in the world June 19-22 at the Pinehurst No. 2 course. She beat second-place finisher Kathleen Scavo by seven strokes at Half Moon Bay, which was bittersweet because Scavo is quite a player herself – and she’s still a junior in high school at age 16.
Chattanooga’s Brooke Pancake is also among those who qualified.
* * *
A huge, 40-foot-deep sinkhole just ate part of the end-zone of the football stadium at Austin Peay State University. Located in Clarksville, Tn., no one was injured when the ground gave way and the sinkhole will not be as famous as the one that devoured six classic Corvettes at the Chevrolet assembly plant’s museum not long ago in Bowling Green, Ky.
Repairs are underway and school officials believe the damage will be easily fixed over the summer. The Governors’ first home game this fall is on Sept. 13 against UT-Chattanooga.
* * *
A recent report in the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges says that hospitals who ban smoking on their campuses – as many have done – may be guilty of discrimination. As unbelievable as that sounds, the reasoning goes like this:
“Smokers are only 18 percent of the adult population in the United States, but they make up 26.1 percent of those with incomes less than $35,000/year and 25.5 percent of those without a high school diploma," according to the report. Similar proportions are true in the health care professions.
"Smoking is uncommon among physicians and pharmacists but moderately prevalent among persons in most other health care occupations, especially service staff and licensed practical nurses," the study also read.
"In many urban settings where large medical schools operate, it is likely to be poorer individuals, including those from minority groups, who, under a ban on employees who smoke, will lose the opportunity to work for an employer that offers health insurance, long-term advancement, and retirement benefits."
Now do you see how discrimination works?
* * *
This is a Craigslist ad that actually appeared on the New Orleans site two weeks ago: “TO THE MOTHER AND DAUGHTER POSING FOR PICTURES WITH THE ‘DRUNK’ GUY … he was dead. He may have looked just drunk but he was indeed a corpse. You posed next to him thinking it would be a funny memory of your time in New Orleans and now you have a picture of the two of you with a deceased man.”
* * *
Baseball’s Southern League just announced its first full class into a new Hall of Fame and Frank Burke, who is reportedly in the process of selling the club, is Chattanooga’s pick. Last summer three former league presidents -- Billy Hitchcock, Jimmy Bragan and Don Mincher – were the first inductees, per the league’s Board of Directors.
Here is who will join Burke in this year’s group – each chosen by their home team: Reggie Jackson, representing the Birmingham Barons; Huntsville Stars administrative assistant Rosemary Hovatter, Jackson Generals outfielder Bo Jackson, Jacksonville Suns president and owner Peter Bragan Sr., Mississippi Braves outfielder Dale Murphy, Mobile BayBears outfielder Mike Darr, Montgomery Biscuits infielder Alan Trammell, Pensacola Blue Wahoos pitcher Tim Wakefield and Tennessee Smokies manager Ryne Sandberg.
* * *
CNN just wrote a dazzling piece about Chattanooga’s “super-fast publicly owned Internet." According to New York writer James O’Toole on CNN-Money: “Chattanooga, Tenn., may not be the first place that springs to mind when it comes to cutting-edge technology. But thanks to its ultra-high-speed Internet, the city has established itself as a center for innovation -- and an encouraging example for those frustrated with slow speeds and high costs from private broadband providers.
“Chattanooga rolled out a fiber-optic network a few years ago that now offers speeds of up to 1000 Megabits per second, or 1 gigabit, for just $70 a month,” he wrote. “ A cheaper 100 Megabit plan costs $58 per month. Even the slower plan is still light-years ahead of the average U.S. connection speed, which stood at 9.8 megabits per second as of late last year, according to Akamai Technologies.”
That’s quite a feather compared to many national stories generated out of Tennessee.
* * *
Officials at Archie C. Cole Middle School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, have just decided to cancel Honors Night, where individual students are recognized for academic and athletic prowess. The reason? "Members of the school community have long expressed concerns related to the exclusive nature of Honors Night,” read a message to the parents and students.
Seriously, an email send by the principals cancelling the ceremony read, “This will afford us the opportunity to celebrate the individual and collective successes of all students and their effort, progress and excellence.”
Does that discriminate against those who do their best?
A giant sinkhole swallowed part of the end zone at Austin Pay's football stadium in Clarksville, Tn., on Tuesday. Officials estimated it was 40 feet deep.