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Jacksonville Bold for 7.29.16 — The business of Jacksonville is business

Not without problems, Jacksonville has the challenges found in any mid-sized or large southern city.

Race relations, gaps in equity of outcomes, infrastructural issues … Jacksonville has them all.

However, the center-right consensus that animates conservatives of the Jax Chamber – and the politicians who push their agenda – is one of a “rising tide lifts all boats.”

Job creation is the rising tide, and this week saw two huge coups for the Bold New City of the South.

Exhibit A: Amazon plans to open a local fulfillment center, creating 1,500 jobs; 500 of them over $50,000 a year, reports News 4 Jax.

This was not exactly a secret.

The Jacksonville Business Journal figured it out pretty quickly, and it was just a matter of waiting.

And it wasn’t free for the government either. The Jacksonville International Airport community redevelopment area paid up $3.1 million. The city public investment, total, could be as high as $13.4 million. QTI and REV grants are also in effect.

But for Jacksonville, it was a coup. Daniel Davis of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce tweeted it as the “Biggest jobs news in #Jax history.”

Big, indeed, even with incentive packages.

There was another piece of jobs news this week that would have been a marquee in any other news cycle.

Citibank is also bringing 800 more jobs to its location in town. Among them are customer service and management positions.

This is the second big job announcement from Citibank in less than a year.

Last August, Mayor Lenny Curry and Governor Rick Scott held a presser trumpeting 500 jobs, just hours after appearing together at the Enterprise Florida meeting in Ponte Vedra.

What is clear: the aggressive job creation efforts of the Scott administration, coupled with Jacksonville’s own commitment, has created a synergy that is benefiting locals in ways that just may have enduring impacts.

With companies like Amazon, IKEA, and even convenience store chain Wawa coming to town, it is clear that with every corporate move, Jacksonville becomes a little less Old South and a bit more cosmopolitan.

Such moves will have effects, over time, in the city. A little more social liberalism. A little more diversity. More likelihood, in time, of electing more Democrats citywide in races for mayor, sheriff and constitutional offices.

Jacksonville will grow despite what some locals might want. The open question for policy makers, however, becomes one of how do you get people who move to Northeast Florida for jobs to live in Duval instead of the other side of the county line?

***Southern Strategy Group is Florida’s powerhouse lobbying firm with a dedicated Jacksonville office, as well as locations in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Tallahassee. Our nearly 25 lobbyists work daily to get our clients and their issues in front of key local and state elected officials. Whether in City Hall, the State Capitol or somewhere in between, we’ll work with you to create and execute a strategy that moves your agenda from the starting point through the finish line. Every industry. Every interest. Powerful advocacy begins here. Call us today at 904-425-8765 or visit www.sostrategy.com to learn more.***

Seven years of recruiting finally landed Amazon.com deal” via Karen Brune Mathis of the Jacksonville Financial News & Daily Record – Armed with a 4-inch-thick, three-ring binder of information and ownership of 155 acres of entitled North Jacksonville property ready for sale, landowner Steve Leggett met with representatives looking for a deal. “We didn’t know who it was and were speculating it’s probably Amazon,” Leggett said … They were correct. Leggett had been contacted in January to show representatives the property. He met with the Cushman & Wakefield site selection committee and knew his land was on a list with five others “that were half the price.” Yet it was no question, he said. “Amazon wanted that one.” They made an offer. He countered. USAA Real Estate Co. paid $15 million a week ago for the Leggett group’s land at 12900 Pecan Park Road. Seefried Industrial Properties Inc. is the developer. In 2007, Leggett’s group bought the undeveloped property north of Interstate 295, at Pecan Park Road and International Airport Boulevard. That was before the real estate market crashed. He held on. “I never lost confidence in the site,” he said. He knew its value. It’s close to Jacksonville International Airport, specifically the air cargo functions, and it’s not far from JaxPort. “Amazon saw the same thing I saw in that site. I chose the site and it worked out,” said Leggett.

After freezing jobs expansion in North Carolina, Deutsche Bank moves ahead with Jacksonville expansion” via Lauren Ohnesorge of the Jacksonville Business Journal – German investment giant Deutsche Bank, which halted plans to expand its technology operations in Cary, North Carolina, over the passage of a law that has widely been viewed as discriminatory toward the LGBT community is moving ahead with plans to expand in Jacksonville. The banking giant has applied for two permits totaling at least $5 million in work at its Southside Jacksonville offices at Meridian Business Park at 5022 Gate Parkway. That’s as representatives say the bank is holding firm to an April statement that it’s freezing plans to create 250 new jobs in Cary. The Jacksonville location is the bank’s second largest U.S. operation trailing only the company’s U.S. headquarters in New York. The bank leases about 350,000 square feet of space at Meridian Business Park and another 200,000 square feet of space nearby at 5201 Gate Parkway where about 1,800 employees are now working.

Potential sale of EverBank good for stock price, bad for Jacksonville” via Derek Gilliam of the Jacksonville Business Journal – A Bloomberg News report that EverBank Financial Corp. could be for sale has sent the Jacksonville-headquartered company’s stock soaring more than 10 percent. The national news organization reported that the bank has been approached by an unnamed company, and that EverBank has been working with UBS Group AG gaging interest in a potential sale. EverBank has declined to comment on the report.

Why a kosher company is planning to expand in Jacksonville” via Alexa Epitropoulos of the Jacksonville Business Journal – Deborah Shapiro has spent her career educating grocery stores and food brands about what kosher consumers want at companies like Southeastern Grocers. Now Shapiro is bringing that education component to her new post as vice president of marketing and operations for Kosher Media Holdings, the company founded by Jewish food celebrity Jamie Geller. The parent company owns both the Joy of Kosher food and recipe website as well as its namesake magazine. Shapiro, who is from Jacksonville originally, will lead the efforts to expand the brand into Jacksonville, where it will also be headquartered. Although the company also has offices in New York and Jerusalem, Shapiro said expanding the company into Jacksonville is a move that makes sense. “Jacksonville is a big grocery and distribution town. Southeastern is here, Revlon has a big distribution center here,” Shapiro said. “I see Jacksonville as a culinary town and a food town because we have such a strong food history – we have a strong culinary background and we’re not afraid of our roots,” Shapiro said.

Judge orders Shad Khan’s company be paid $4.6M in Barnett Building foreclosure or structure to be sold at auction Sept. 14” via David Chapman of the Jacksonville Financial News & Daily Record – A circuit court judge has ruled in favor of Jacksonville Jaguars owner Khan’s Stache Investments in the lengthy foreclosure lawsuit with developer Steve Atkins over the Barnett Bank Building. In a final judgment of foreclosure … Circuit Judge James Daniel set the amount Barnett Tower LLC owed Stache Investments at $4.6 million. The amount consists of the $3 million loan Stache provided Atkins to purchase the building and $1.2 million in interest as of Thursday, along with other various fees and taxes. It will continue to bear interest until paid. A second loan of $165,764 to Atkins from Stache Investments was not addressed in the judge’s order. Daniel ordered if the judgment isn’t paid, the building will be sold at a public auction Sept. 14 to the highest bidder for cash or as electronic sales via city website allows. Proceeds would first go to Stache Investments.

Stein Mart building Downtown sells for almost $24M” via Karen Brune Mathis of the Jacksonville Finaincial News & Daily Record – Parkway Properties sold the Stein Mart building Downtown Monday for $23.7 million to Lingerfelt CommonWealth Realty Partners LLC. Jacksonville-based Stein Mart Inc. occupies more than half of the 10-story, 197,000-square-foot building at 1200 Riverplace Blvd. on the Southbank. Upon the sale, it was almost 96 percent occupied by about 20 tenants, including the Marks Gray law firm. Lingerfelt CommonWealth is based in Virginia and owns other Jacksonville assets, including the nearby Riverplace Tower at 1301 Riverplace Blvd. BankUnited of Miami Lakes issued a $17.43 million mortgage to LCP 1200 Riverplace LLC, the entity set up to buy the property. The Stein Mart building was developed in 1986. Its assessed value is almost $18.5 million.

Low taxes have hurt Jacksonville” via Ron Littlepage of the Florida Times-Union – Mayor Lenny Curry must buy into the idea if something is said often enough, it must be true. In making his pitch for his new sales tax plan to ease the city’s pension debt woes, he often concludes, as he did Monday during what was described as an angry news conference, that “there is no other choice.” But there is. The city’s property tax rate could be raised. Even a one mill increase would produce $50 million in revenue, money that could be used now to begin paying down the pension debt, instead of waiting 14 years for Curry’s sales tax to kick in, as well as meet some of the city’s other needs. And those needs are great. A backlog of $700 million of infrastructure work is evidence of that. So are the economic development projects that would move Jacksonville forward but sit idle because there is no money to get them started. What stirred Curry’s ire was a Times-Union report about a task force’s conclusion that while the sales tax plan is a step in the right direction, it’s not enough to sufficiently fund public safety and meet the city’s other needs.

First up for Hemming council committee: Is Friends the right group?” via David Chapman of the Jacksonville Financial News & Daily Record–  Before City Council determines whether Friends of Hemming Park should receive $250,000 to operate next year, it will have to decide whether to give the group $150,000 to finish out this year. Before even that, though, will come a more daunting question: Should Friends continue running the Downtown park at all? And if not that group, then who should take over? “That’s a big decision,” said council member Greg Anderson, head of the Special Committee on Hemming Park …  It will be a decision members have a more-informed opinion of since the last time Anderson convened a Hemming-related meeting June 10. Since then, the Council Auditor’s Office released a report and media coverage outlined expenses the nonprofit running the park made thus far in its $1 million contract. Many on the eight-member special committee said they were surprised by the expenses, which ranged from more than $10,000 in meals and snacks to close to $25,000 for paid musicians in the park. “I was disappointed in some of the spending patterns,” said council member Anna Lopez Brosche, who noted “a lot of meals” as one of her biggest surprises.

Duval school Board approves slightly smaller budget, lower tax rate” via Denise Smith Amos of the Florida Times-Union – Duval’s School Board voted on a $1.695 billion budget, down 2 percent or $40.6 million, from last year’s $1.73 billion budget. The board approved lowering the millage rate for county property owners to 6.8020 mills, down from last year’s rate of 7.117. The new millage rate will generate $393.45 million from local taxpayers for school operations, compared to the $393.14 million raised last year. Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said the local millage reduction is due to a decrease this year in the “required local effort” the state mandates for districts in order for them to qualify for state education funding. Taxable property values have incrased by 4.7 percent, or about $2.7 billion from last fiscal year. Even with that increase, the typical Duval County taxpayer will pay 0.95 percent less in school taxes because of the lower millage, Vitti said.

Riverkeeper moving challenge of St. Johns deepening to federal court” via Sebastian Kitchen of the Florida Times-Union – The St. Johns Riverkeeper withdrew its challenge to the state permit to deepen the river, arguing that process was incapable of protecting the river, and is moving its fight to federal court. The nonprofit filed a notice to withdraw, or voluntarily dismiss, its legal challenge to the Environmental Resource Permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the proposed dredging of the river. The Riverkeeper filed a petition in April seeking an administrative hearing to challenge the permit. “The responses from the Corps and the judge have made it abundantly clear that the state permit would not be enforceable, since the Corps would be immune from state laws,” St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said in a statement. “As a result, we will be moving our challenge to federal court to ensure that we have a fighting chance of protecting our river from the damage that will occur from the deep dredge.” The Army Corps welcomes the dismissal of the challenge, but disagrees with the statements about the state’s ability to regulate.

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Jacksonville pastor to marry Donald trump aide, reality TV star Omarosa Manigault” via Beth Reese Cravey of the Florida Times-Union – The Rev. John Allen Newman, chairman of the Jacksonville Port Authority board, has become engaged to Trump campaign staffer Manigault, who also was on Trump’s television show “The Apprentice …  Newman proposed to Manigault Sunday in front of his congregation at The Sanctuary @ Mt. Calvary on King Road, according to the reports, including People magazine, Us weekly and the New York Post. The two met while she was teaching at Howard University and have been dating less than a year. Manigault, director of African-American outreach for Trump’s presidential campaign, also is a pastor at Weller Street Baptist Church in Los Angeles.

V.P. candidate Tim Kaine linked with St. Augustine’s 450th celebration” via Stuart Korfhage of the St. Augustine Record – The former Virginia governor and current running mate of Hillary Clinton was a lesser-known visitor to St. Augustine in September when Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia traveled here. The king and queen visited as part of the U.S.-Spain Council, of which Kaine was the honorary chair, and as part of the city’s 450th celebration. But according to Dana Ste. Claire, who served as the director of the St. Augustine 450th Commission, Kaine’s contribution to St. Augustine started much earlier. He said it was Kaine who was committed to making St. Augustine the host city for the Council. And without Kaine’s efforts, Ste. Claire added, it’s hard to imagine the king and queen would have come to St. Augustine. “He was instrumental in gaining us access to the king and queen of Spain,” Ste. Claire said. “He was primarily responsible for it (the visit). It probably wouldn’t have happened (without Kaine). You have to have higher-level political connections.”

JAX Chamber PAC endorses Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate” via Pressly Pratt of WJCT – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a federal political action committee associated with the JAX Chamber are endorsing incumbent Rubio for re-election … Rubio said the endorsement implies the support of workers along with business owners. “When you’re helping the Chamber of Commerce you’re not just helping the owners of these businesses, you’re helping the hundreds of thousands of employees of these businesses. And I say that to you as the son of immigrants from Cuba whose parents were always employed,” Rubio said.

NRA endorses Lake Ray in CD 4 race” – The National Rifle Association has endorsed Ray in the race to replace Ander Crenshaw in Florida’s 4th Congressional District.  Ray’s record in the legislature has always been one that supported pro-gun legislation and gun ownership in Florida. “As a member of the State Legislature, I fought for the rights of gun owners and helped protect the second amendment,” Ray said in a statement. “I am both honored and proud to be the only candidate in this race to gain the endorsement from the NRA. My proven record on supporting the Second Amendment shows that I am the strongest candidate to stand up to the liberal antigun politicians and lobbyists in Washington D.C.”

New Hans Tanzler ad hits airwaves” – “Compare” … draws a clear contrast between Tanzler and John Rutherford on taxes, spending and Second Amendment rights. “Northeast Florida voters want a true conservative representing them in Congress,” said Tanzler. “John Rutherford and I have very different records, and I think it’s only fair that District 4 voters see the contrast. I am proud of my “A” rating from the NRA, and I am committed to reining in out-of-control spending and government growth in Washington.”

Brandon Patty endorses Tanzler” – Patty is the former congressional candidate in Florida’s 6th Congressional District and a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. “Hans Tanzler is a constitutional conservative with a servant’s heart who understands the grave issues facing our country, from national security threats to an overbearing federal government and overreach,” Patty said in a statement. “I got in my race for the issues and am proud to support him as he will fight to keep us safe and take care of our veterans while also championing our regional issues like ending the red snapper ban.”

Tanzler endorsed by pro-life PAC” – Personhood FL ProLife PAC announced a list of more than 50 candidates in federal, state, and local races across the state, including Tanzler for CD 4 “Personhood FL ProLife PAC has endorsed candidates who have committed to protecting all innocent human life, without exception,” said PAC Chair Bryan Longworth. “It’s no longer sufficient to merely be against abortion in certain circumstances. Being prolife in the 21st century demands that we defend innocent human life in and out of the womb from beginning to end. I encourage prolife Florida voters to support these candidates with their votes, their time and their donations.” All candidates endorsed by Personhood FL ProLife PAC have signed a “Personhood Affirmation” indicating their agreement with the group’s comprehensive principles, including abortion, abortion funding, RU-486, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, fetal tissue research, and assisted suicide and euthanasia. Endorsed candidates agree to defend all innocent human life, including preborn babies, the elderly and the disabled.

Despite being among poorest members of Congress, Corrine Brown loans troubled campaign $50K” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida – The two loans, reported in June, were together the biggest contribution to her campaign during the past three-month period. Over that time, she raised only $64,197 from donors, and reports having $99,683 cash on hand, the most she’s had since July 2010. The first loan to her campaign was dated June 28; the second a day later …  On her 2015 financial disclosure forms filed in May, Brown did report a cash infusion of $65,500 in “gifts” given last year to her legal defense fund, money which is not counted in her overall net worth … Because members of Congress are only required to list a range of assets and liabilities, it’s not possible to determine exact net worth. What is clear is that in recent years Brown has not reported her net worth being near $50,000. And, over her 23 years in Congress, Brown has ranked among the poorest in the 435-member chamber. Members are not required to report personal residences for either asset or liability purposes. Roll Call … annually compiles a congressional net worth list that uses a member’s lowest possible net worth minus their lowest possible liabilities. Based on that formula, Brown was $460,000 in personal debt and ranked 520th in 2014 on their Wealth of Congress Index … Underscoring the difficulty in calculating the net worth of members of Congress, the Center for Responsive Politics, which closely tracks campaign finance, used a formula that found her net worth at no more than $3,500. Brown’s 2015 forms list her lone assets as two bank accounts worth between $2,000 and $30,000, the same as the previous year. Her reported liabilities include two mortgages between $100,000-$250,000 and another one worth between $250,000-$500,000. She also reported a new personal loan between $15,000 and $50,000 that she took out from VyStar Credit Union in March 2015.

Lawyers for Brown, chief of staff, want to move back trial” via Steve Patterson of the Florida Times-Union – Brown and Ronnie Simmons had been scheduled to be tried Sept. 6 on a 24-count indictment that accused them of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy and other crimes. Both could face prison sentences exceeding 350 years if they’re convicted of all the charges filed this month. But when they were in court, Brown’s attorney, Bill Shepard, said they still weren’t sure his firm would handle the trial. That needs to be decided quickly, U.S. Magistrate James R. Klindt told the Jacksonville Democrat before scheduling a follow-up hearing Aug. 9. “I’m very hopeful that this two-week period will allow you time to finalize your plans for representation,” Klindt told Brown, saying it’s critical for her defense to get that decision settled.

Associated Builders and Contractors endorses Al Lawson for CD 5” – ABC is a national construction industry trade association that represents nearly 21,000 corporate members, representing every segment of commercial construction. “We’ve known Senator Lawson for many years and worked closely with him during his terms in the FL House of Representatives and the Florida Senate,” said Gary Stout, Immediate Past Chairman of ABC of Florida. “Both the ABC North Florida Chapter and the ABC First Coast Chapter join in this endorsement.”

NRA endorses Ron DeSantis for re-election to CD 6” – The NRA also awarded DeSantis an “A rating” … “I’m proud to be recognized as a strong defender of the rights of law-abiding citizens and appreciate the support of the NRA for my campaign,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I will continue to stand with Florida’s gun owners and sportsmen and to defend our constitutional rights.”

Voters ask Florida high court to take up suit to open State Attorney primary to all voters” via Daniel Ducassi of POLITICO Florida – A group of Jacksonville area voters, who lost their lawsuit and appeal to open the Republican primary to all voters in the Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney race, are now asking the Florida Supreme Court to step in … The suit accused a write-in candidate of being in cahoots with Fourth Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey to close the primary, calling the write-in candidacy a “sham.” The plaintiffs say that family law attorney Daniel Leigh is “a Corey ally and supporter” and that he filed as a write-in in order to keep the primary closed to Republican voters, presumably making it easier for Corey to win. Under the state’s Universal Primary Amendment, approved in 1998, all voters, regardless of party, may vote in any party’s primary election if the winner faces no opposition in the general election. A circuit judge in Duval County had dismissed the lawsuit as “legally insufficient,” and a panel of appeals court judges upheld that decision unanimously.

Wesley White says Melissa Nelson tried to pressure him to drop out of race against Angela Corey” via Larry Hannan of the Florida Times-Union – The Office of State Attorney Corey has recused itself from investigating a dispute between the two people challenging her re-election in which White says Nelson tried to intimidate him into dropping out of the race. White wrote to Corey asking her to investigate the campaign of Nelson. Corey is running for a third term, and former Assistant Attorneys Nelson and White are both opposing her in the Aug. 30Republican primary. White says Nelson and some of her supporters tried to intimidate him during an April meeting to drop out and that if he didn’t, it would necessitate “the publication of knowingly false information regarding my personal and professional character,” according to his letter. Nelson spokesman Brian Hughes said White’s allegations were false and found the timing interesting with the latest polls showing Nelson ahead. Nelson also did not enter the race until May, although it wasn’t a secret in the legal community that she was pondering a run against Corey. White’s letter does not say if any false information has been published against him.

St. Johns County officials say campaign signs aren’t causing problems this year” via Jared Keever of the Florida Times-Union – The abundance of political campaign signs lining roads and highways in the county hasn’t translated into a spike in complaints about improperly placed signs, St. Johns County officials are saying. The bulk of the calls that St. Johns County Code Enforcement Officer Karen Bruner said her office has received have had to do with complaints of signs placed in public rights of way. “We just did a small sign sweep in the 206 (and) U.S. 1 area,” she [said]. They also picked some up near County Road 305, she said, and had just recently received a call about some signs near the Palm Valley Bridge. But other than that, the election season has been fairly uneventful as far as sign complaints go, she said.

Chickens on front lines against disease in St. Johns County” via Allie George of WJCT – Dubbed “sentinel chickens,” these birds act as an early warning system for diseases such as West Nile fever or eastern equine encephalitis, which are carried by the insects. Blood taken from the chickens on a weekly basis can give health departments throughout the state a clue about what diseases are making their way through local flocks. The sentinel chickens are checked for diseases that often affect birds first before a different type of mosquito allows it to cross into the human population. Though the chickens can receive viruses that make people sick, they can’t pass them to people directly and don’t experience symptoms themselves. In fact, the chickens fight off the viruses so quickly that the blood tests can only detect traces of the chickens’ immune response. Otherwise, the chickens lead pretty normal lives in coops located throughout St. Johns County. Last month, chickens in the northern part of the county tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, which affects the brain of horses and can be fatal, prompting the Health Department to issue an advisory. No human cases have since been reported. In the case of the Zika virus, sentinel chickens aren’t the best means of detection. The mosquitoes that carry the virus prefer human hosts, Bibbs said. For monitoring the Zika, mosquito control collaborates with the health department.

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Sylvia Burwell in Jacksonville boasting Medicare ‘bundles’ via Christine Sexton POLITICO Florida – U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell held a roundtable meeting with health care executives, doctors and patients who have firsthand experience with Medicare ‘bundles’ … sharing insights on how the new reimbursement method can improve quality of care and lower costs for Medicare.

What Aaron Bean is up to – Tuesday, Aug. 2, Jacksonville Republican Bean will participate in the Jacksonville Kids Coalition’s 2016 Candidate Connection where he will share his vision and goals for Florida’s children. Event begins 1:30 p.m. at the Jessie Ball duPont Center, 40 East Adams Street in Jacksonville. Thursday, Aug. 4, Bean will address the Annual Conference for the FL Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects at 6 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, 225 E Coastline Drive in Jacksonville. Thursday, Aug. 11, staff members will hold “mobile office hours” at the Mandarin Branch Library starting 10 a.m., 3330 Kori Road in Jacksonville.

Cecil Airport improvement project wins top honors from the Florida Department of Transportation” –  The Jacksonville Aviation Authority announced that Cecil Airport has won General Aviation Airport Project of the Year from the Florida Department of Transportation for development of the eastside of the airport. The purpose of the Eastside Roadway and Taxiway was to open up the east side of Cecil Airport to future development. The taxiway, designed for the largest aircraft anticipated to use the airport, extends 1,000 feet east and 3,000 feet north from the end of Runway 18L. The roadway, located 1,500 feet east of the taxiway, extends 1,200 feet south from 103rd Street. The roadway work also included extension of utilities. The Eastside Roadway and Taxiway Project also included 150 acres of clearing between the two facilities for future development. The total project cost for the taxiway was $4.1M, and was funded at 88 percent by the FAA, 6 percent by the FDOT and 6 percent by JAA. The roadway and clearing cost was approximately $3.8M, and was funded by FDOT at 41 percent and JAA at 59 percent.

New UNF degree seeks to merge gap between leadership, media” via Alexa Epitropoulos of the Jacksonville Business Journal – The University of North Florida is launching a new master’s degree in communication management. Communication Department Chair John Parmelee said the new program comes as a result from input from both media professionals and students, as well as projected job growth for graduates with skills the major will provide. The program won’t be focusing on just journalism or public relations – it will be filling in the gaps between media-centric roles and leadership. It could apply to a public relations professional who is promoted to the head of department and finds themselves overseeing other employees for the first time, or even a reporter who is promoted to editor. Parmelee said there are significant career possibilities in the field for the foreseeable future. UNF was also interested in the program because of how different it is from programs at public and private colleges in the rest of the state. The master’s program will be the first of its kind in Florida, allowing students to put their own curriculum together. Communication management students will be allowed to specialize in fields like business, public health, leadership and nonprofit or public management, and will be allowed to take classes at other schools, like the Coggin College of Business.

Jacksonville’s own Firehouse Subs reaches 1,000 franchises, picks up philanthropic efforts” via Drew Dixon of the Florida Times-Union – [The] first one was in Mandarin’s Crown Point Plaza 22 years ago. But Robin and Chris Sorensen just opened their 1,000th shop this month in Rowland Heights, California What started as a family hankering to make oversized submarine sandwiches has morphed into one of the largest fast food chains in the country and has branched out into a substantial philanthropic wing that has contributed millions of dollars to first responder causes and charities. Firehouse Subs has now entered rare territory with those 1,000 franchises. There are only about 40 other brands in the U.S. that have that distinction.

Pokémon Go after dark at The Jacksonville Zoo” – Want to take your Pokémon Go experience to the next level? Come take a 2.5-hour tour through the zoo after hours to catch as many Pokémon as you can. This behind the scenes tour will consist of up close animal encounters along with the opportunity to catch multiple Pokémon and stopping at all of our Pokéstops behind the scenes. Ages 5 and up. Must have 6 in tour or will be canceled. Available dates: Monday, Aug. 8Wednesday, Aug. 10Tuesday, Aug. 16Thursday, Aug. 18Monday, Aug. 22Wednesday, Aug. 24Friday, Aug. 26, (Limited Availability); Tuesday, Aug. 30Thursday, Sept. 1Friday, Sept. 16, (Limited Availability). Time: 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at the zoo’s Education Campus; cost is $30/person. To register, call 904-757-4463 ext. 501 or email mcculliont@jacksonvillezoo.org. Limited spots available.

Written By

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist, editor and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range included covering news, local government and entertainment reviews for Patch.com, technical articles, and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine as well as advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached at phil.ammann@gmail.com.

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