Officials expect 7 to 9 percent tuition increase

By: Brad Bacon

CHATTANOOGA(UTC/The Loop)–Students should expect a seven to nine percent tuition increase to compensate for stimulus funding the university will no longer be receiving.

First reported by The University Echo, a final decision on the exact tuition percent increase will be reached during the summer months by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Governor Bill Haslam must also approve the changes.

According to Chuck Cantrell, assistant vice chancellor of university relations, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission has recommended a state wide seven percent increase, but the commission has also said that if any specific university thinks they will need more to prepare and bring a case to the commission.

“If I were guessing, I would say tuition would end up increasing seven to nine percent,” Cantrell said. “We really do try to keep it under 10 percent.”

Dr. Roger Brown, vice chancellor for finance and operations, has been presenting a tentative budget to various student and faculty organizations across campus. In his presentation, Brown presents challenges, changes, and opportunities.

Along with the proposed tuition spike, students should also expect an increase in parking. Cantrell also said parking decals haven’t increased in price in several years. According to Cantrell, general parking decals will increase by $16 a year, and reserved passes will increase by $32 a year. With the increases in tuition and fees and parking decal increases most student are worried about money.

“I never like to hear that tuition will be increasing,” Tyler Brown, a sophomore from Cumberland Heights, Tenn., said. “To hear I will be paying more for tuition and parking, that’s a double shot of bad news.”

Cantrell said understands why students are upset at the proposed increases all over campus due to lack of stimulus money.

“There is this idea, somehow, that the administration is unconcerned about the charges that students have to pay, and nothing could be further from the truth,” Cantrell said. “We are very aware that the students and their families are facing financial hardships. The economy is not great. As an institution, part of our mission is to be accessible and we realize that you can price yourself out of accessibility.”

For more information on the proposed budget and tuition increase be sure to visit

Zac Brown welcomes 4th daughter

By: Brad Bacon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/The Loop) — Zac Brown and his wife have welcomed their fourth daughter in four years.

A spokeswoman for the Zac Brown Band front man tells The Associated Press that Shelly Brown delivered Joni Mason Brown Wednesday morning at the couple’s Atlanta-area home.

The baby weighs 7 pounds, 14 ounces. She joins three sisters: 4-year-old Justice, 2-year-old Lucy and 1-year-old Georgia.

The Grammy-winning band is up for four Grammy Awards again later this month and just received five Academy of Country Music Awards nominations as a band. Brown got four nominations as a producer and composer.

After a short winter hiatus, the band hits the road again in March.

Brown said in a recent interview that he hardly has time to pick up his guitar when at home because of diaper duty.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Chattanooga approves incentives for

By: Brad Bacon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (The Loop/AP) — Chattanooga City Council members have voted unanimously to offer an incentives package to locate a distribution center in the city.

Representatives of the Seattle-based online company appeared for the first time before the council Tuesday night to discuss a payment-in-lieu of taxes agreement.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports is being offered more than $30 million in breaks to put centers in Chattanooga and Bradley County.

The centers would employ more than 3,900 full-time and seasonal workers during peak holiday shipping periods.

Chattanooga would give the company 80 acres near a new Volkswagen plant in an industrial park.

Company policy director Fred Kiga said there are still a few hurdles before the deal is complete.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Chattanooga’s best kept secret

In one of Chattanooga’s best kept secrets you’ll find boutiques, restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, salons and day spas, a park, and even one of the area’s most scenic photo opp spots. Where is this jewel of a place located, and what else can be done there? Read more to find out.

By: Brad Bacon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)–In one block you will be able to eat in an open air restaurant, shop at one of a kind stores found nowhere else in the world, play in a fountain in the middle of a park, and even ride a carousel. Sounds a lot like New York City right? Wrong, this one of a community is none other than Chattanooga’s NorthShore.

NorthShore, as the locals call it, offers 10 gift shops, six distinctly different restaurants, 10 arts & crafts stores, seven separate home and garden stores, Coolidge Park, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre and two unique bakeries & dessert shops along with about 1000 other shops and businesses. With so much to do in the area you will probably need a road map to the best stores and attractions.

Keep in mind the area I feel is the best covers about two square miles of NorthShore, but it is all close enough to see and do in a few visits.

Everyone loves shopping, and in NorthShore, you can spend your money on just about anything. When it comes to the outdoor enthusiast, no store can compare to Rock Creek Outfitters. According to the store’s official website’s “About Me” section “Rock/Creek is an independent specialty outdoor retailer based in Chattanooga, Tennessee with over 20 years of brick and mortar experience. With a dedicated staff of outdoor enthusiasts and gear experts, Rock Creek offers only the very best outdoor apparel and equipment to ensure that customers are comfortable and safe in the outdoors.” Anyone that has ever been inside one of the retail locations can vouch for the stores seemingly endless supply of any and everything outdoors.

Once visitors have had their fill of shopping, they can fill their bellies at one of excellent eateries. NorthShore offers a number of restaurants, but in my opinion hands down the best place to eat is NorthShore Grille Smokin’ Crabshack and Canteen. The restaurant offers an open air area where the bar is located, as well as a screened in porch for customers to enjoy on nice summer evenings.

“The Smokin’ Crabshack is my favorite place to eat,” Tyler Brown, a Chattanooga sophomore said. “I’m not old enough to drink yet, but all of my friends say the Grille makes the best all white Caucasian they have ever had. All I know is I love their hamburgers.”

After you have eaten some of the best food in Chattanooga, the day will be winding down and the sun will be setting. This will be a perfect time to take a stroll around Coolidge Park. According to the park’s official website, “Coolidge Park features a beautifully restored 100 year old carousel, a pavilion, an interactive play fountain, the Outdoor Chattanooga Center, and lots of open space.  It is a popular destination for concerts, movies-in-the-park, festivals, and special events.” With so many fun attractions Coolidge Park is a must-do destination for those who love to have a great time outdoors.

Another unique and hip place to visit in the NorthShore area is the store Greenlife Grocery. Greenlife is a shop that offers foods and products that have been raised in an environmentally friendly or “green” nature. Not only are the products sold inside the store organic and all around good for you, the building itself was constructed to have as little effect on the environment as possible. The building is LEED certified and even has an organic roof to reduce harm to Mother Earth.

Now that almost every aspect of NorthShore has been highlighted, the most logical end would be a dessert right? Exactly, and in NorthShore there and plenty of delicious shops to choose a tasty treat from. There is Clumpies Ice Cream Co. and Sweet CeCe’s Frozen Yogurt and Treats for those who something with a little chill, but the best place to grab a diet buster is Whipped Cupcakes.

“My friends and I have tried just about every cupcake shop in Chattanooga, and Whipped is by far the best,” Hayley Martin, a Franklin, Tenn. junior said. “They are the oldest, and they have the best prices, I mean what’s not to love?”

With so much to see and so much to do Chattanooga has a unique and easily accessible gem of community in NorthShore.

Students who want to visit NorthShore can by simply walking over the Market Street bridge, or by riding on Chattanooga’s Downtown Electric Shuttle. Parking can be paid for on a long term basis, and most shops have a few spots for patrons to use.

Visit the communities’ official website here.

Harrison Bay State Park allows all to reconnect with nature.

Harrison Bay State Park is an outdoor lovers’ paradise with enough activities to occupy even the most attention deficit child. But along with all the normal state park offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to walk with the bear.

By: Brad Bacon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)—Most of our visions of relaxation include one thing. Some people like watch television; some like plop down on a rocking chair and read the day away; and some, the more adventures sort, like to get out and enjoy nature.

If you fall into the last category, Harrison Bay State Park should be the top priority on your to-do list. The park offers a wide variety of outdoor fun and relaxation, in a very safe, extremely family friendly environment.

The park allows for year round access to the lake.

The park’s main attraction is the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay golf course designed by none other than the bear himself Jack Nicklaus. According to the parks website, the course is “one of the most highly recognized environmentally sensitive courses in the nation.”  The website also boasts that the course has been certified by Audubon International for its conservation and habitat practices, as well as being registered as the first Groundwater Green Guardian site in Tennessee.

Don’t let the courses eco-friendliness fool you. With more water than the everglades and enough sand to make you feel like Jack Shepard from LOST it is wickedly tough even for experienced golfers. I highly recommend buying that extra sleeve of balls before heading out the first tee box.

The Bear Trace golf course was designed by Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers of all time.

For those who would rather not lose their sanity and $300 worth of broken golf clubs, the park also offers many alternatives. In one day anyone can easily hike one of the parks three trails; fish for large and small mouth bass, bluegill, and catfish; swim in the parks Olympic size swimming pool; play a game of basketball, softball, or volleyball; bike the park’s 4.5 mile paved loop; take a boat or jet-ski out on the lake; and then finish the day camping out on one of the park’s 149 RV or tent only camp sites.

“I love to fish off of the dock,” Chris Porter, an Ooltewah, Tenn. sophomore said. “Sometime the fish don’t want to bite, but that is where the skill comes in. You have to be patient and wait for the fish to come to you.”

Tennessee Fishing policies can be found here.

Catfish are only one of many marine life found inside the park's lake.

With so much to do, many can answer the call of the wild for no more than a three-dollar per person camping fee. Harrison Bay State Park might be the best-kept secret Chattanooga has to offer.

Auburn ranked third

By Brad Bacon

AUBURN, Ala. (UTC/AP) — It was the ultimate call-out for an offensive lineman.

No. 3 Auburn coach Gene Chizik told his most experienced group three weeks into the season they weren’t being physical enough. He hasn’t had to repeat that message.

The Tigers’ offensive line has bullied opposing defenses ever since, helping spearhead one of the nation’s top rushing attacks and string together 300-yard games against Southeastern Conference defenses.

“It was one of those things where we were being physical, but it was just he wasn’t seeing enough of it,” guard Mike Berry said. “He knew we had the potential to be one of the best offensive lines out there. He just called us out that we had the potential to be even greater. We stepped up to the challenge and put it on our backs.”

The Tigers (9-0, 6-0 SEC) are averaging 352 yards rushing with 18 touchdowns on the ground over their last five games against league teams going into Saturday’s game with Chattanooga. The lowest output: 311 yards at Kentucky.

The highest: 440 against LSU, which has the SEC’s top defense. The Tigers are running for 307.7 yards a game and no SEC team has averaged 300-plus since the 1985 Auburn team led by Bo Jackson.

Consider Chizik pleased.

“I don’t think there’s any question in my mind: everything has started with the offensive line playing much better than they did earlier in the year,” he said. “That’s what makes it go.”

It’s not just lip service paid to the guys who do the dirty work but get little of the attention, either. Auburn has four senior starters on the offensive line with a collective 145 career starts.

And the Tigers kept up the success against Mississippi when Newton mostly handed off to tailbacks Mike Dyer and Onterio McCalebb instead of trying to break free for his own yards. Dyer wound up with 180 yards and McCalebb had 99.

“The last three or four weeks, it’s been quarterback runs,” Chizik said. “Well, they took away the quarterback runs and now it became a tailback running game. I think the stabilizing force in there is not necessarily the quarterbacks or the tailbacks. It’s got to go back to the offensive line. I think it all starts with the offensive line.

“It’s been a great thing to watch the improvement of those guys over the last month.”

Chizik’s next talk to the linemen came in a meeting after the LSU game, but this time he came in praise. And Ziemba said that meant a lot because “he doesn’t toss around compliments very often.”

“We like to be appreciated for what we do,” Ziemba said. “Every day I turn on ESPN and see Cam making a huge run or throwing the football well, or somebody else doing some good things, that’s appreciation in itself.”

Besides, he can borrow one of coach Jeff Grimes’ lines: “Little guys follow the big guys.”

The line’s only open spot entering the season was right tackle. A.J. Greene won the job but was injured against Clemson in Game 3, and junior college transfer Brandon Mosley has started since then.

The 6-foot-8, 319-pound Ziemba assured that the line would be one of the team’s strengths when he bypassed the NFL draft to return for his senior season.

But many of Auburn’s best runs have come behind center Ryan Pugh and guards Berry and Byron Isom, who are often called upon to do their version of a sprint downfield to take on a linebacker.

“It’s one of those things you’ve got to get on your horse,” Berry said. “Pulling 300 around isn’t an easy task. And you know (offensive coordinator Gus) Malzahn isn’t afraid to run the same play again. So you’ve got to be conditioned when your number is called.”

Defensive tackle Zach Clayton enjoys watching it happen.

“It’s always fun to see Mike Berry just pull around and cream somebody,” Clayton said.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Oregon Claims #1 Spot

CHATTANOOGA,Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)–Known for its ever-changing, often outrageous uniforms and a point-a-minute offense, Oregon now has a new distinction: No. 1 team in the country.

The Ducks climbed to the top spot for the first time Sunday, moving up one position during an off week after previously top-ranked Ohio State lost 31-18 at Wisconsin on Saturday night.

“We don’t have to talk about rankings with these guys,” Ducks coach Chip Kelly said in a telephone interview. “Whether we’re No. 1 in the country or 101 it won’t affect how we prepare.”

“But the only important thing is to be No. 1 in a month and a half on Dec. 5.”

That’s when the final BCS standings come out. The first came out Sunday night and had Oklahoma first with Oregon second and Boise State third.

In the AP poll, which is not part of the BCS standings, Boise State also moved up one place to No. 2. Oklahoma jumped three spots to No. 3, passing No. 4 TCU. Auburn moved up two spots to fifth, while the Buckeyes dropped to 11th.

Oregon becomes the 43rd team to hold the No. 1 ranking in the AP media poll, which dates to 1936. The last time a team was No. 1 for the first time was almost 20 years ago to the day, when Virginia rose to No. 1 on Oct. 14, 1990.

Ohio State’s loss came a week after then-No. 1 Alabama was beaten by South Carolina. Heisman Trophy contender LaMichael James and the Ducks will try to avoid three straight weeks of No. 1 losing when they play at home against UCLA on Thursday night.

The Ducks received 39 first-place votes and 1,471 points. Boise State had 15 first-place votes and TCU (three) and Oklahoma (three) also got votes as the top team in the country.

The rest of the AP top 10 was LSU at No. 6, followed by Alabama, Michigan State, Utah and Wisconsin, which jumped eight spots after its big win at Camp Randall Stadium.

The coaches’ poll had the same top nine as the AP poll.

Florida was one of four teams that dropped out of the poll. The Gators lost their third straight game Saturday — 10-7 to Mississippi State — and are unranked for the first time since the final poll of the 2004 season.

Also dropping out were Air Force, Nevada and Oregon State. Nebraska fell nine spots to No. 14 after losing 20-13 to Texas. The Longhorns moved back in at No. 22, along with No. 23 Virginia Tech and No. 25 Miami. Mississippi State is No. 24, its first ranking since 2001.

That was also a breakout season for Oregon. Under coach Mike Bellotti, quarterback Joey Harrington and the Ducks finished No. 2 and probably should have received a chance to play for the national championship. But they were squeezed out by a BCS formula that was later changed.

Bellotti took over the program from Rich Brooks after the Ducks went to the 1995 Rose Bowl and Brooks bolted for the NFL. It was Oregon’s first Rose Bowl appearance in almost 40 years, a major happening for a program that had spent decades as an afterthought.

The 1995 Rose Bowl trip was only the 10th bowl appearance in school history.

Under Bellotti and with the help of a multimillion-dollar deal with Nike, which is run by Oregon alum Phil Knight, the program bolstered its facilities and resources, and Oregon became a consistent winner and contender in the Pac-10.

“When I came here I considered Oregon a have. I considered Oregon a consistent top-20 team,” said Kelly, who was offensive coordinator at New Hampshire when Bellotti hired him in 2007.

Thanks to Nike, the Ducks have become the fashion plates of college football, seemingly breaking out a new eye-catching look every week. The Ducks donned all sorts of yellow, green, black, white and silver outfits, mixing and matching a multitude of combinations.

But after that 2001 national title run, the Ducks slipped a bit on the field as Pete Carroll and Southern California dominated the Pac-10. In 2007, it looked as if the Ducks were breaking through again, beating the Trojans and reaching No. 2 with Heisman contender Dennis Dixon.

Dixon blew out his knee on a Thursday night against Arizona, though, and the Ducks went into a tailspin. After the 2008 season, Bellotti stepped down as coach and Kelly was promoted.

Oregon finally unseated USC atop the Pac-10 last season and returned to the Rose Bowl with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli leading the way.

Masoli was kicked off the team after legal problems, but the Ducks haven’t slowed down.

Quarterback Darron Thomas has stepped into the role of dual-threat triggerman and James leads the nation in rushing at 169 yards per game. Running a high-speed offense that leaves weary opponents gasping, the Ducks are averaging 54 points per game, tops in the nation.

Three times already this season, Oregon has faced a double-digit deficit and gone on to a double-digit victory.

“This group is very confident because of their preparation,” Kelly said. “They also know the game lasts 60 minutes.”

Find your inner wild side with the Chattanooga Zoo

By: Brad Bacon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)–So much to see, so much to Zoo. That is exactly what you will get if you head over to Warner Park to check out the Chattanooga Zoo.

The Zoo, located at 1254 E 3rd St, is a wonderful way to spend a lazy day, and an excellent way to enjoy the last of Mother Nature’s warmer side before winter sets in. At only eight dollars a ticket the value is unbeatable, and the environment the Zoo offers is a relaxed, non-crowded, educational, and above all fun atmosphere for anyone age five to 95.

“It’s definitely a nice environment,” Randy Riddly said as he walked his son around the park. “He [his son] liked the cougar. It was inside the train and he likes trains a lot so it was a good time.”

Along with the cougars and snow leopards one of the zoo’s featured residents is a 41 year-old chimpanzee named Hank. A board near Hank’s living quarters tells of his remarkable journey to his home at the Chattanooga Zoo, climaxing with a picture of Hank’s first contact with grass in nearly 20 years.

The zoo also features camels, coyotes, a wide variety of birds, snakes, turtles, and even an Africa pygmy goat petting zoo.

This Friday the zoo will host its largest annual fundraiser, appropriately named the Banana Ball. According to the mailer, all proceeds from the fundraiser will be used for capital improvements. The event will feature Jack Hanna, and tickets can be found here.

For eight dollars the Chattanooga Zoo offers fun and education for the whole family. For more information on the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park click here.

By Brad Bacon

ATLANTA (UTC-The Loop) — The Atlanta Braves got what they had hoped for from Tim Hudson and an unexpected lift from Eric Hinske.

Hinske hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Braves improved their wild card chances with a 3-2 win over the Florida Marlins on Tuesday night.

The Braves held a 1½-game lead over San Diego for the wild card after the Padres lost to the Chicago Cubs later Tuesday.

Hudson allowed seven hits, one run, walked four and struck out four in six innings.

“Hudson was outstanding. He had one of the best sinkers and moving fast balls I’ve seen from him all year,” said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox, who started the right-hander on three days’ rest.

As for Hinske, Cox said he knew his veteran left-handed hitter “was 0 for 10 against (Anibal Sanchez), but he got a pitch and he hit it.”

Trailing 1-0, the Braves rallied for three runs in the seventh off Sanchez (12-12), who had held Atlanta to three hits in six innings.

Melky Cabrera led off the seventh with a single and was sacrificed to second. Brooks Conrad tripled off the center field fence, scoring Cabrera. On the play, Florida center fielder Cameron Maybin was injured when he hit the fence attempting the catch. He hurt his lower back and was taken off the field in a golf cart.

“I thought it was his leg, but it was his lower back. We’ll see how it is in 2-3 days,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said.

After Rick Ankiel struck out, Hinske hit a 2-2 pitch well over the right-center field fence for his 11th home run and a 3-1 Atlanta lead.

“I hadn’t done much against him. I knew he had struck me out three times but I had hit some balls good off him,” Hinske said of Sanchez.

“I was mad that I didn’t swing at the first pitch he threw me, a change, that was up a little. I then got a fastball out over the plate,” he said of the home run pitch.

“It was a good pitch. He probably was waiting for it,” Sanchez said.

“Hopefully, it’s contagious. It’s do or die time. We’ve got to win every game now,” Hinske added.

Dan Uggla hit a solo homer off Peter Moylan in the eighth to get the Marlins within 3-2. It was his 32nd of the season and his 100th RBI.

Craig Kimbrel (4-0) got the win with a hitless seventh, striking out the side, and Billy Wagner earned his 36th save with a scoreless ninth, giving up a walk and striking out three.

The only run off Hudson came in the third when Brad Davis doubled to left and came home on two soft infield hits to shortstop by Emilio Bonifacio and Maybin.

“It didn’t feel too different,” Hudson said of the short rest. “I’ve done it before. It didn’t bother me. I would have been sick if we had lost 1-0 giving up a couple of dribblers. Luckily, Eric got the big homer.”

It was the seventh time Hudson had gone on three days’ rest and was 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in three regular season starts and 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA in three postseason starts. His last regular season start on short rest was Sept. 17, 2006, against the Marlins, allowing three hits and one run in seven innings.

Hudson was 1-4 with a 6.10 ERA in five previous September starts after going 6-0 with a 1.43 ERA in his previous eight starts.

The Braves improved their home record to 54-23, tops in the majors.

Notes: The Braves have four games left — all at home — against Florida on Wednesday and three games with NL East winner Philadelphia beginning Friday night. … Atlanta LHP Eric O’Flaherty who last pitched on Wednesday, is not available. He said he has been suffering from lightheadedness, dizzy spells and blurred vision and is undergoing tests. It could be related to a spell of mononucleosis, which had him on the DL from July 10-Aug. 20. … Braves 3B Martin Prado will be out for the season after an MRI on Tuesday showed he had a hip pointer and a torn exterior oblique muscle after he injured himself while swinging at a pitch in Monday night’s 2-1, 11-inning win over Florida. The Braves will start Derek Lowe on three days’ rest on Wednesday. … Florida SS Hanley Ramirez did not start for the seventh straight game because of a sore left elbow and right elbow.

Chattanooga offers a football lovers dream

By: Brad Bacon

CHATTANOOGA,Tenn.(UTC/The Loop)–Neyland stadium, home to the University of Tennessee Volunteers. With a capacity of 102,459 the stadium ranks third non-racing stadium in the US and the sixth largest non-racing stadium in the world. The guest student ticket prices for this enormous venue are just as mind blowing as they can cost up to 70 dollars leaving even the Monopoly man penniless.

Chattanooga native and junior quaterback B.J. Coleman thanks fans for coming. After every game the team shows appreciation to the crowd.

Slightly smaller, but home to the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs is Finley Stadium. With a capacity of 20,668 the stadium cannot offer the shear size of Neyland, but what it lacks in volume, Finley stadium makes up in value. Students are able to attend football and soccer games free, and any general admission ticket will only cost 12 dollars.
“I love coming to the football games,” Jessica Chernak, an Ooltewah, Tenn. sophomore said. “Football is my favorite sport to watch, and our team is actually good this year.”
The Mocs have already hosted two home football games this season, and are scheduled to host three more including homecoming against SoCon rival Georgia Southern. Full football team schedule can be found here.

Another way students can get into the football spirit is by participating in the tailgating before every home game under the comfort of the First Tennessee Pavilion. Several UTC organizations and alumni groups host booths and events for students to partake in, including free food.

Crowds gather to watch the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Mocs take on EKU.

“I can’t believe they were giving away all this free food,” James Dalluge, a Marshalltown, Iowa graduate student said. “The people here are so nice and I’m excited to see my Mocs win with a full stomach.”

James Dalluge enjoys part of the free meal at the First Tennessee Pavilion.

The pavilion also hosts many other events other than tailgating for students and members of the Chattanooga community to enjoy. A list of First Tennessee Pavilion events can be found here.

With free admission to the football games, free food, and free entertainment Finley Stadium and the First Tennessee Pavilion offer everyone a great time no matter how light their wallet might be.