If Ben Petrick's career had gone the way the scouts expected, he'd still be in his prime — a star baseball player, maybe even a megastar. He came up to the majors as a catcher for the Colorado Rockies in 2000 with speed, power, a fine arm and maybe a better head for the game.
But the year before, at just 22-years-old, he learned that he had early-onset Parkinson's. He struggled to hide the symptoms, but, frustrated by his shaking and growing lack of mobility, he retired in 2004. Petrick has since focused on coaching, parenting and giving motivational speeches.
"I'm very sorry about Tyler," Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers student convicted of a crime for spying on his roommate, tells The New Jersey Star-Ledger this morning. "I have parents and a little brother, and I can only try to imagine how they feel. But I want the Clementis to know I had no problem with their son. I didn't hate Tyler and I knew he was okay with me. I wanted to talk to his parents, but I was afraid. I didn't know what to say."
A couple of really rich guys have decided to give even more money to health causes they care about deeply.
New York Mayor, media magnate and public health zealot Michael Bloomberg said he will give $220 million to fight smoking in the developing world. Bloomberg's charitable foundation has targeted tobacco use.
And the latest chunk of money, which is part of a four-year commitment, will bring Bloomberg Philanthropies' support of anti-smoking efforts around the globe to more than $600 million.
Things were not quiet again in Clintonville, Wis., early today.
As we reported Wednesday, folks there have been hearing booms and feeling vibrations this week and no one has yet been able to explain what's causing them. One of the latest theories is that unusually warm temperatures are causing underground ice to crack. A few homeowners think they've suffered some damages (cracked floors, for example).
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear challenges to the Affordable Care Act. In the first of a series of conversations about the case, host Michel Martin sits down with Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute. Cannon opposes the law and his group has filed four briefs with the high court, arguing that key parts of the measure are unconstitutional.