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Tuesday, September 27, 2005
photo Athletic, academic communities shocked to learn of Polk's death

The unexpected death of UA women's basketball player Shawntinice Polk has sent shockwaves of despair and sorrow throughout the UA community.

"She's the best. I think along with Hassan (Adams) and a couple other of our guys there's probably nobody in Tucson that's better known nor better liked than Polkey," said Jim Rosborough, associate head coach of the men's basketball team. "It's just a tragedy for her family, her basketball team, the department; she's just the best." [Read article]

Senior center collapses in McKale after blood clot travels to lungs

Arizona women's basketball center Shawntinice Polk died yesterday morning from an apparent blood clot in her lungs.

The 22-year-old basketball player, affectionately known as "Polkey" by her request, collapsed unexpectedly in McKale Center and was taken to University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, officials said in a press conference.

Members of the women's basketball team were told last night that an autopsy showed Polk developed a blood clot in the back of her knee, which led to her eventual collapse. [Read article]

photo Plan would revamp UA transportation

The Regional Transportation Authority visited the UA last night to collect public opinion on a proposed 20-year construction plan intended to expand transportation around the UA campus and other areas.

The key concepts of the plan aims to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and increase bike and pedestrian paths, which will have an affect on how students get around, planners said.

Ten percent of Tucsonans travel to the UA area each day to study, work and shop, said Shellie Ginn, a City of Tucson project manager. One way the city plans to improve transportation for this part of the community is by adding a new form of transportation, she said. [Read article]

photo Women's plaza to be dedicated Friday

Donors provided more than $818,000 in funds

Construction workers are putting the finishing touches on the Women's Plaza of Honor, located next to Centennial Hall, in preparation for a dedication ceremony Friday.

The plaza, a Campaign Arizona project that started in 2001, is one of only three plazas in the country to honor women on a university campus, said Virginia Healy, senior director of development for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and member of the Women's Plaza of Honor committee. [Read article]

Sans president, elected officers take over ASUA

Student officials are taking on extra duties this week to deal with the absence of President Cade Bernsen, sources said.

Bernsen, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, said he expects to be absent for at least a week so he can assess damages to his family's home in Beaumont, Texas, as a result of Hurricane Rita.

The presidential duties fell onto the shoulders of Erin Hertzog, ASUA executive vice president. Hertzog is taking Bernsen's place at cabinet meetings, speeches and Thursday's Arizona Board of Regents meeting. [Read article]

Safe Zone updates programming to include gender, sex courses

Newly created Safe Zone workshops geared to inform students about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning issues will be more effective if a larger number of people attend, organizers said.

Seven people attended yesterday's session, which focused on gay, lesbian and bisexual issues, and facilitators said they wished more people would attend.

"A lot of people who could be exposed to this information are the ones who typically won't come," said Corey Seemiller, a facilitator of the session. [Read article]

Campus Briefs

UA faculty, Gov. Janet Napolitano to speak at women's workshops

The governor and UA faculty will speak at a women's conference Friday that students can attend for a $95 discount.

The Arizona Women's Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Friday at the Hilton El Conquistador, 10000 N. Oracle Road, said Victoria Bohnsack, a marketing senior and intern for the conference.

Attendees can choose four of eight workshops that will address topics such as physical health, stress management, substance abuse and reproductive health among women, Bohnsack said. [Read article]

Polk loved children; smile was 'infectious'

She was the girl with the electric smile. Although most recognized as a prominent member of the women's basketball team, Shawntinice Sunday Polk, better known as "Polkey," was more than just a star center to many in the UA community.

Polk, who died at the age of 22 yesterday after collapsing in McKale Center, served as a role model for children with learning disabilities and eventually wanted to start her own day care center. [Read article]

Offbeat News: Man takes citizenship oath, wins lottery

DES MOINES, Iowa - A man who immigrated from Kenya to the United States found prosperity beyond his expectations on the day he became a U.S. citizen.

Shortly after Moses Bittok, of West Des Moines, took the oath of citizenship on Friday, he discovered he had a $1.89 million winning ticket from the Iowa Lottery's Hot Lotto game.

"It's almost like you adopted a country and then they netted you $1.8 million," Bittok said yesterday as he cashed in his ticket. "It doesn't happen anywhere - I guess only in America." [Read article]

Fast Facts

  • Emus cannot walk backwards.

  • The white part of your fingernail is called the "lunula."

  • The word "posh," which denotes luxurious rooms or accommodations, originated when ticket agents in England marked the tickets of travelers going by ship to the Orient. Because there was no air conditioning in those days, it was always better to have a cabin on the shady side of the ship as it passed through the Mediterranean and Suez area. Because the sun is in the south, those with money paid extra to get cabin's on the left, or port, traveling to Asia, and on the right, or starboard, when returning to Europe. Hence their tickets were marked with the initials for Port Outbound Starboard Homebound, or POSH. [Read article]

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