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The overhanging Oak tree on the Stadium Course's 6th hole is removed. The tree that affected tee shots since TPC Sawgrass opened, succumbs to age and disease on October 30, 2014 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
(Photo by Caryn Levy/PGA TOUR)
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, May 6, 201512:00 PM EST

City Notes: New look for hole at The Players

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The No. 6 tee box of the Stadium Course has a little less foliage, but a new handcrafted amenity.

A live oak just to the right of the start of the hole was decaying, causing both safety concerns and an obstacle for golfers. It was removed in the fall, but isn’t quite forgotten.

A bench crafted out of the tree’s trunk was placed there this week, as a reminder of the obstacle now gone.

Another bench was placed just outside the players’ locker room entry. Other parts of the tree were made into 180 commemorative pieces.

The Players begins competitive rounds Thursday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra.

Deaf Spark kicks off May 16 at UNF

Inspired by the annual One Spark crowdfunding festival, the University of North Florida will host the first Deaf Spark event from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. May 16 on campus.

The all-day event is dedicated to preserving, educating and appreciating American Sign Language and pays homage to Northeast Florida’s deaf community. Artists, filmmakers, storytellers and performers will take part. Activities are planned for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families.

The first event is an 8 a.m. 5K walk in parking Lot 100 next to Parking Services. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. and a $20 donation is welcomed.

From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., activities include an Eyes Alive! Film Camp, parent workshops, storytelling and an expo. The camp is for children ages 12-18 who have an interest in film/media and performance arts. Campers should be dropped off at 10 a.m. at Building 57, the Tom and Betty Petway Hall. Registration is required through [email protected] by Sunday.

Other activities are planned throughout the day.

For information, email [email protected], contact Sherry Shaw at (904) 620-2930 or visit the event’s Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/1chXrEq.

Deaf Spark is sponsored by the university’s ASL/English Interpreting Program, the Jacksonville Deaf Club and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.

JaxBiz updates endorsements for May 19

After staying out of the race for the First Election in March, JaxBiz is endorsing Democrat Joyce Morgan for City Council District 1.

The decision came after reviewing interviews with the candidates and their positions critical to the business community, according to a news release from the organization, the political arm of the JAX Chamber.

Ten of the JaxBiz-endorsed candidates already were elected in March, seven winning outright and three without opposition.

The rest of the endorsements are Lenny Curry, mayor; Mike Williams, sheriff; Lisa King, District 2; Scott Wilson, District 4; Reggie Gaffney, District 7; Pat Lockett-Felder, District 8; Anna Brosche, At-Large Group 1; and Tommy Hazouri, At-Large Group 3.

JaxBiz chose not to endorse in At-Large Group 5, saying it looks forward to working with either Ju’Coby Pittman or Sam Newby.

Baptist Medical receives top honor for stroke care

Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s top award for a commitment and success ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment.

The award, called “Get with the Guidelines — Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award” is eligible to those organizations that achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to guidelines for two consecutive years more and hit at least 75 percent compliance in five of eight measures.

In addition, the hospital was named to the Target: Stoke Honor Roll for its measures developed to reduce time between a patient’s arrival and treatment.

The quality measures of both help the hospital team provide current, evidence-based guidelines.

Children’s Chorus hosts auditions

The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus has open auditions for students in grades 1-12 for the 2015-16 season.

The days are: May 11, 12, 14, 19, 20, 26 and 27.

Prior musical training isn’t necessary to participate in the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus or Young Men’s Chorus, but an audition is required. Those selected will be placed in appropriate choir groups based on their skills, maturity and readiness.

Prepared audition pieces aren’t required, as the conductor will listen for a singer’s ability to match pitches, learn simple tunes and hold one’s voice against others.

To schedule an audition appointment, visit jaxchildrenschorus.org/audition.

Winn-Dixie launches coupon app

Winn-Dixie has launched a smartphone app and improved its website to deliver digital coupons to customers based on their shopping habits.

The grocer, owned by Bi-Lo Holdings, has partnered with coupons.com for the program. The app features virtual Winn-Dixie Customer Reward Cards allowing customers to redeem coupons, earn fuelperks! Rewards and track savings; create shopping lists with scan functionality; and view weekly circulars; among other benefits.

Personalized coupons can be accessed at coupons.winndixie.com and the My Winn-Dixie mobile app via the iPhone and Android stores.

A recent promotion allows those who sign up to clip a coupon for a free grocery item.

Ford receives 5-year deal, 4.6% raise

Jacksonville Transportation Authority CEO Nat Ford has the backing of the organization’s board after it unanimously approved extending his contract for five years.

Ford has led JTA since 2012 and led a reorganization and the route optimization initiative, overseen construction of a compressed natural gas fueling station and other successes.

Board chair Scott McCaleb in a news release said given Ford’s successes, he was the right choice to continue improving Northeast Florida’s economy through enhanced transportation.

The extension means Ford’s contract runs through Dec. 2, 2020. It increases his base compensation to $300,000, a 4.6 percent increase.

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie mini-camp Friday, Saturday

The Jacksonville Jaguars are hosting rookie mini-camp 1:10-3:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Both sessions are open to the public, but fans must register ahead of time at jaguars.com/rookieminicamp.

Court denies rehearing in pension ruling

The Police and Fire Pension Fund’s request for a rehearing and clarification on a recent court ruling regarding the 30-year agreement was denied last week.

Circuit Judge Thomas Beverly ruled in late March the 30-year agreement that dictated pension benefits through 2030 was void, based on it being forged in nonpublic meetings — a violation of the Sunshine Law.

The fund’s board in its April 20 meeting said it wanted to see the result of the rehearing motion before determining whether to appeal Beverly’s decision. It meets again May 17.

DIA special meeting Thursday

Downtown Investment Authority board Chair Oliver Barakat, Vice Chair Jack Meeks and member Jim Bailey will have a special meeting at 11 a.m. Thursday with CEO Aundra Wallace and staff members.

The topic of the meeting, in Conference Room C on the third floor of City Hall, is DIA operations.

JTA wins safety, security award

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority received a Gold Award for safety, part of the American Public Transportation Association’s Safety and Security Excellence Awards.

The authority was recognized during the association’s paratransit conference Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas. Association Chair Phillip Washington presented the award to Jacquie Gibbs, JTA vice president of external affairs, and Nat Ford, JTA CEO.

JTA received the honor for its “The Foundation of a Complete Bus Overhaul,” a safety program implemented before the authority’s route optimization initiative. The program focused on bus operator training, bus stop location and accessibility, as well as passenger safety.

Kantor joins Franklin Street

Franklin Street Real Estate Services has hired Whitney Kantor as a director in its Jacksonville office.

In the role, she’ll specialize in retail landlord representation across Jacksonville, North Florida and South Georgia. She most recently served as vice president of marketing and market research for Regency Centers.

Kantor has more than 15 years in commercial and retail real estate.

Franklin Street is a full-service real estate company with divisions in real estate, capital, insurance and management.

UNF hosts graduate school open house Downtown

Those interested in pursuing a graduate degree can take a glimpse at what the University of North Florida offers during an open house 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 19 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.

The museum, a partner and resource of the university, is at 333 N. Laura St.

Faculty and staff will be available to answer questions about programs. The university has more than 40 graduate degrees and certificates.

To RSVP, visit unf.edu/graduateschool or call (904) 620-1360.

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