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Severe weather brings hail to Northeast Florida

Severe weather moved through Northeast Florida Tuesday, bringing hail to portions of Baker, Duval, and Nassau counties.

GALLERY: Hail falls across Northeast Florida

THE PLAYERS 2018: What you need to know

One of the most well-known weeks in Northeast Florida is right around the corner.

THE PLAYERS Championship returns to TPC Sawgrass May 8-13th. Reigning champion Si Woo Kim will try to defend his title, with a $10.5 million purse at stake. 

The tournament is about more than just golf, with tens of thousands of people coming out every year, and an estimated $151 million economic impact on the region. THE PLAYERS also directly contributes millions of dollars to local charities each year. 

WOKV has put together everything you need to know if you plan to attend the event. 

Transportation and Parking 

There will be no parking passes sold at the tournament, instead, you have to purchase a pass in advance through THE PLAYERS website. If you are going to travel with four or more people in your vehicle, you can download a free parking pass on that website- but you must have at least four people in your vehicle when you show up at the tournament in order to use the voucher, and you must print a new voucher each day you intend to use this deal. 

Parking is free in the general lot Tuesday and Wednesday. Parking passes cost $30 Thursday and Sunday, and $35 Friday and Saturday. 

THE PLAYERS Championship is partnering with Uber to try to promote ride sharing, and therefore potentially cut back on some traffic and parking congestion. You can order an Uber through that app, with the destination being “THE PLAYERS Championship”. You will be dropped off at the Sawgrass Marriott Conference Center, where there will be a shuttle to the Davis Love III Entry gate to the tournament. When you’re ready to leave, the shuttle will bring you back to the Conference Center, where you can order an Uber home. 

The Downtown Jacksonville shuttles will also run again. Passes are available at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Lexington Hotel, and DoubleTree Riverfront front desks for $10, and all of these locations are shuttle stops. You can also buy a pass at the Omni, with pickup for that location on the Hogan Street side of the Jacksonville Landing. 

Additionally, THE PLAYERS has complimentary bike parking through the tournament. 

Tickets and tournament schedule 

Tickets are on sale on THE PLAYERS website and at select Publix locations. Tuesday passes are $25, Wednesday is $20, Thursday and Sunday are $60, Friday are $65, and Saturday are $70. A week long Stadium Pass for Tuesday through Sunday is $225. 

A ticketed adult can bring in an unlimited number of children under 18-years-old for free. A Family Plan is also available, which includes two adult Stadium Passes, unlimited youth admission, and two $10 concession vouchers. That option is priced at $120 for Thursday and Sunday, $130 for Friday, and $140 for Saturday. The Family Plan is available on THE PLAYERS website and at select Daily’s convenience stores. 

Active duty and reserve military members, as well as military retirees and dependents get complimentary admission.To redeem this, you must get a voucher online and bring that- with a photo ID- to the Military Ticket s trailers on site. Non-career military veterans are able to get discounted admission online.

Tuesday and Wednesday are practice days, with the gates opening at 7:30AM. The first round of competition is Thursday around 7:30AM, with gates opening at 6:15AM. The same times hold for Friday as well. Saturday and Sunday’s competition starts at approximately 8:30AM, with gates opening at 7:30AM. 

THE PLAYERS organizers say they’re taking over the PGA TOUR app during the tournament. The app will provide updates on what’s happening during play, live maps for concessions and other course features, and other information to help fans get the best experience possible. 

Fan safety and etiquette 

Only certain bags can be brought in to the tournament: opaque bags that are 6x6x6 or smaller, clear bags that are 12x6x12 or smaller, a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag, medically necessary bags, or diaper bags. Clear THE PLAYERS bags will also be sold at certain Daily’s locations for $5, which is donated to The First Tee of Northeast Florida. 

Infant and medical supplies will be allowed, following an inspection. The gallon bag can contain food that fans bring in, if the food is in clear wrap. Outside water bottles or beverages are not allowed in to the tournament, but there are stations throughout the course where you can refill an empty water bottle or cup that you get on site. 

Fans can be expelled or lose ticket privileges for violations of the code of conduct. Making rude or vulgar comments or gestures, verbally or physically harassing anyone, distracting players, disrupting play, acting unruly or unsafe, or failing to follow instruction from officials all qualify as violations. 

Fans can report on-site issues to THE PLAYERS by texting 69050. 

Attractions and food 

One of the new attractions this year is a Bier Garden presented by Hoptinger, which will be adjacent to the Couples Gate. It will feature a variety of craft beers. 

If you want to try taking your shot at the 17 hole, there’s a replica at Stadium Village, behind 18 green. Your first two shots are free, with an additional chance available for a $5 donation to The First Tee of North Florida. The Stadium Village is open to anyone with a stadium pass, and also features air-conditioning, a bar, open seating, and other interactive experiences. 

The PGA Fan Shop has been expanded to more than 21,000 sq. ft. It will feature new and exclusive merchandise, as well as a Golden Man statue designed by a local artist. 

A new fan area has been created near 9 green, 18 green, and the practice area, known as Palm Valley Village. There are several other specialty fan areas- some ticketed and some open to anyone- including The Benefactor behind 17 tee, The Turn overlooking 9 green, The Oasis overlooking 9 tee, and The Patio between 10 tee and 18 green/16 tee. 

Baptist Health is presenting a Family Care Suite, which is a climate controlled area for nursing, changing, getting first aid, and other needs for your young children. The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation Kid Zone also provide air-conditioned fun for families, with adult supervision required. 

Wine & Dine on 9, Trucks on 10, Tacos on 12, and Taste of JAX all return. Some of the restaurants and food trucks that will be featured include TacoLu, Hawkers Asian Street Fare, Mojos Kitchen, Zoe’s Kitchen, Bono’s BBQ, Brucci’s, M Shack, Tropical Smoothie Café, Firehouse Subs, Mama’s Food, Up in Smoke BBQ, Southern Soul BBQ, Tikiz Shaved Ice, and 4Rivers BBQ. 

Some of these areas will see expansion and more seating. The lower clubhouse lawn has been expanded to better accommodate trophy pictures. PGA Tour players have been asked to spend time in two designated autograph zones- the main player practice grounds/driving range and the scoring area behind 18 green- since fans are not allowed to solicit autographs on the course itself. 

There are improvements for fans on the course itself as well, including expanded fan bleachers of the holes on 12 and 13, and the removal off the 1 tee bleachers to give better access and views of the tee, fairway, and 2 hole. The Grove behind 17 tee and 16 green has been leveled and turfed, to provide more shaded outdoor seating and video boards broadcasting what’s happening on the course. 

Charity of the Day 

THE PLAYERS Championship will once again feature a different charity each day of the tournament, to help raise the profile of each organization. Members or the charities will be at the main entry gates to speak with fans and distribute giveaways. 

On Tuesday, the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation will be featured. This is a Jacksonville-based non-profit that partners with children’s charities across the region to provide project specific funding and programs. 

On Wednesday, Junior Achievement of North Florida will be highlighted. This organization reached almost 59,000 young children this school year, with volunteers teaching financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship programs. 

Thursday’s charity is Wolfson Children’s Hospital, which receives support directly from THE PLAYERS in order to provide top health services for children. 

Nemours Children’s Health System is featured Friday. The health system is based in Jacksonville and is dedicated to caring solely for children. 

Saturday spotlights the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation, which provides funding for community healthcare outreach programs across the region. 

Capping the tournament Sunday, The DONNA Foundation will be featured. The organization puts on a marathon to raise funds to end breast cancer by funding research at Mayo Clinic and meeting financial needs of those with breast cancer. Sunday, the course will also “PINK OUT” in honor of Mother’s Day and in support of The DONNA Foundation, meaning players and fans alike are encouraged to wear pink, there will be pink floral displays and flags, and special pink merchandise and a cocktail will be sold. 

Military Appreciation 

On Saturday, May 5th, from 10AM to 1PM, there is a Military Job Fair at the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost adjacent to 16 tee. Active duty, reserve, retired military, veterans, and military spouses can come out to this free event to meet with more than 50 companies that will be there with open hiring opportunities. 

Operation Shower is another annual event that continues this year. On Sunday, May 6th, THE PLAYERS and Birdies for the Brave will host a baby shower for 40 military moms-to-be- some of who are active duty and some have deployed spouses. This takes place from 11AM to 1PM. 

In addition to free or reduced price admission to the tournament, military servicemembers and veterans have access to the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost hospitality tent near the tee at No. 16. This includes complimentary food and beverage. It opens for the tournament on Military Appreciation Day, Tuesday May 8th, at 11AM. 

Military Appreciation Day also includes a ceremony at 5:30PM, featuring a flyover by the 125th Fighter Wing and a concert by country artist Luke Combs.

Four First Coast stores closing under Winn-Dixie parent’s new bankruptcy filing

Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers- the parent to Winn-Dixie, Harveys, and others- will close 94 locations as part of a pre-packaged chapter 11 bankruptcy case. 

Four stores on the First Coast are among the closures. 

Southeastern Grocers says they reached an agreement with “key economic stakeholders” which lets them restructure financially. They’ve classified the stores that will be closing as “underperforming”. 582 stores will continue to operate under the Southeastern Grocers umbrella. 

“The agreement we announced today is an important step in Southeastern Grocers’ transformation to put our company in the best position to succeed in the extremely competitive retail market in which we do business,” says a statement from Southeastern Grocers President and CEO Anthony Hucker. 

Southeastern Grocers says this deal will decrease their overall debt levels by more than $500 million.

Three locations in Jacksonville and one in Orange Park will close: Harveys, 3000 Dunn Ave, Jacksonville; Harveys, 1012 Edgewood Ave N, Jacksonville; Winn-Dixie, 9866 Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville; and Winn-Dixie, 248 Blanding Blvd, Orange Park.

Will this change your grocery shopping routine? Chime in on Facebook:

GALLERY: Beautiful sunset falls over Northeast Florida

We were treated to a beautiful view for the drive home Wednesday, March 7th. WOKV listeners captured pictures of a beautiful sunset across Northeast Florida.

GALLERY: March 7th sunset

March 7th sunset across Northeast Florida

Officials: Georgia PE teacher resigns after accidentally showing porn in class

A physical education teacher in Georgia resigned after he accidentally showed pornographic images in class, WSB reported. 

>> Read more trending news

The sixth-grade teacher meant to show Sandy Springs Charter Middle School students an instructional video Tuesday from his personal laptop, WSB reported. 

Instead, officials said, “a few seconds” of porn were displayed on the screen. 

Fulton County Schools officials investigated the teacher, who eventually submitted a letter of resignation, WSB reported. 

“It is our expectation that teachers and staff maintain a safe and appropriate instructional environment for all students,” a Fulton County Schools official said in a statement to the news station. “Our focus will continue to be student achievement and the safety or our students and staff.”

The teacher’s name was not released

NE Florida federal employees impacted by government shutdown

Federal employees in the Jacksonville area are preparing for the impact of the government shutdown.

Our Washington Insider Jamie Dupree says the furlough resulting  from the government shutdown means non-essential personnel in the federal workforce are not working. Jamie says, generally, Congress will act to give these employees back pay once a budget or short-term spending plan is passed.

News 104.5 WOKV is updating a list of the agencies and impacts that are expected locally.  As we receive confirmation we will provide updates here.  Among the agencies we are working to hear from include the FAA and Federal Court.  

U.S. Navy

Civilian employees who are not-exempt from a furlough would not be able to work until a short-term resolution or budget is passed.  Locally that would impact thousands of people in Navy Region Southeast. The precise number is not clear.  

A spokesperson for Navy Region Southeast says they are providing clear guidance to employees as they get it.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville and their five branch health clinics continue to meet operational requirements, so hours of operation, appointment lines, and TRICARE Nurse Advice Line remain open. You may see longer than usual wait times for routine and preventive care and prescriptions because of the civilian furloughs.

Army Corps of Engineers 

Employees were still told to report to work Monday, in order to execute orderly shutdown activities. They are assessing any potential impact to ongoing projects.

National Weather Service

Meteorologist in Charge Scott Cordero says the National Weather Service is considered ‘essential personnel’ so there would not be a local impact.

National Park Service

The Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas Visitor’s Center are closed because of the shutdown.

Unlike the last shutdown in 2013, the grounds at these facilities are not be restricted from the public. You are, therefore, able to get on the lawn around the Castillo and the beaches at the Fort, just not in the physical structures themselves.

FBI Jacksonville

FBI Jacksonville says all agents and support personnel in field offices, including Jacksonville, are considered exempt from furlough, because their operations are directed toward national security and violation of federal law.

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette not injured in crash approaching Dames Point Bridge

Five days before the Jaguars play in the AFC Championship Game, running back Leonard Fournette has been involved in a crash. 

It happened on the I-295 East Beltway approaching the Dames Point Bridge today.  

Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dylan Bryan tells WOKV News that Fournette was not at-fault in the three-vehicle, chain reaction crash.  The driver who caused the collision will be cited for careless driving.  

A spokesman for the Jaguars says Fournette’s car was rear-ended and he was not injured. 

The Florida Highway Patrol thanked Fournette for thanking their trooper for his service and taking a photo with a boy who was involved in the crash.

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