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    Gun rights would be expanded at churches and other places of worship and for local government officials who want to carry firearms at meetings under two bills approved by a House committee Tuesday. Members of the House Criminal Justice Committee cited several shootings around the country as they supported the bills. While Florida doesn't prohibit guns in churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, many religious organizes worship on properties that also contain schools, ranging from preschools to universities, and guns are banned in those places. “I understand that sometimes gun issues are hotly contested in our society, but on this measure here, members, there really should be no contesting this. This is something we all should be voting for, because the truth is that those people who attend churches are in harm’s way,” said Republican Rep. Byron Donalds. Rabbi Zvi Konikov of Satellite Beach strongly urged committee members to support the bill. “Synagogues and all houses of faith are in a state of crisis. Law enforcement cannot be expected on our sites 24/7. Rabbis and all leaders of faith cannot be left unprotected,' Konikov said. “Law enforcement agencies have response times in minutes, but the violent criminals can take our lives in seconds.” If a religious institution is leasing, renting or borrowing the site where it worships, the property owner could still impose a firearm ban. Three of the five Democrats on the committee joined Republicans in supporting the bill. The other bill would allow county and city commissioners and school board members carry guns to meetings if they have a concealed weapons permit. Republican Rep. Mel Ponder cited shootings at government meetings around the country for sponsoring the bill. That includes a 2010 school board meeting in Bay County, where a gunman opened fire before being shot by a security guard and then taking his own life. Ponder is running for for a seat on the Okaloosa County Commission. Current Okaloosa Commissioner Graham Fountain spoke in favor of the bill. “Every day we get threats. We have people stalking our staff, our commissioners ... This protects us,” Fountain said. ”And for my good friend Mr. Ponder here, he’s fixing to sit next to me here in the near future as a county commissioner and he’s dang sure going to need that pistol.' Rep. Spencer Roach was the only Republican to vote against the bill, saying it didn't go far enough, and anyone with a concealed weapons permit should be allowed to take their guns to government meetings. “It sets a dangerous precedent when the exercise of your second amendment right, or any right, is conditioned upon your employment status, and even more dangerous when it’s conditioned on your membership in the government,” Roach said. “We are giving a superior right to government officials here that our constituents don’t have.” But Democratic Rep. Michael Grieco, a former Miami Beach city commissioner, said government officials should be able to protect themselves, and he found it strange that as a concealed weapons permit holder, he couldn't bring his gun to meetings. “At least twice, if not three times, I have had death threats. I've had to have police vehicles placed outside my home,” he said, adding that commission meetings can get contentious. 'There are plenty of places — city commission meetings, city council meetings — where you do feel unsafe and you are a target.' The measure was approved on an 11-3 vote, with two Democrats joining Roach in opposing it.
  • Private jet service, a personal butler, or how about a meal with former Patriots star Rob Gronkowski to top off Super Bowl weekend? From legendary nightclubs to exclusive parties, no place caters to the rich and famous quite like glitzy Miami. The city’s most luxurious hotels, clubs and restaurants are offering over-the-top packages to entice big spenders looking for action outside the end zone. One package includes a 4-day cruise around the Caribbean on a private yacht after the game for $720,000. On Location Experiences' Sam Soni says their top Super Bowl package last year in Atlanta went for $17,500. This year's top-tier packages in Miami are $20,000 to $35,000 and include game tickets, a pre-game party and show by Darius Rucker and a chance to mingle with football legends like Dan Marino and Marcus Allen. “We’ve seen just unprecedented sales for that product,' Soni said. “It's really a three- or four-day event for most of our clients. In Miami having so many options for entertainment and the weather all certainly come into play.' Not all of those enjoying the perks will be paying out of pocket, because many of the high-end packages are purchased by corporations. But On Location says many customers also are wealthy fans who just want to be a part of the experience. But it's not all gitz and glamour in Miami. Promotions will likely focus on luxurious waterfront skylines and not the poorer neighborhoods of Allapattah, Liberty City and Overtown, where more than three-quarters of residents are low-income or low-to-middle income. Many fans there won't be able to afford even the lower-end tickets priced at $4,400. Thousands of fans will descend on Miami just for the nightlife and never set foot inside the stadium. “There’s just going to be so many parties. And it’s going to take over the city,' said David Grutman, the man behind some of South Beach's most exclusive clubs and restaurants including LIV, Story and Swan. “Miami on its own is always over the top, then you put the Super Bowl on top of it and it’s the perfect recipe for decadence and extravagance.' Tables at LIV nightclub are booking for $20,000 during Super Bowl weekend — up from their usual cost of $5,000. Grutman said his steakhouse has more than tripled its order for steaks to 1,000 for Super Bowl week, along with crates of caviar. Here are some of the blingiest packages for high-rollers: 1. Tables on the patio at Swan restaurant, which Grutman co-owns with singer Pharrell Williams, are going for a minimum of $10,000. 2. VIP tables to the MAXIM magazine party where The Chainsmokers will perform on a private island run around $20,000 unless you want to grab 11 of your closest friends and hitch a ride on a private helicopter for $65,000. 3. Packages at Shaquille O'Neal's Fun House are going for $30,000 to $100,000 with the top package including 20 tickets to the game, a chance to hang with Shaq, your own private security and 30 bottles of champagne and liquor to wash away any buyer's remorse. 4. Hanging with former Patriots star Rob Gronkowski at Gronk Beach will also set you back six figures. His $100,000 package includes 20 game seats and all the amenities including table and bottle service afterward, plus he'll stop by your table for a chat. 5. The swanky 1 Hotel South Beach is offering a $1.5 million package for 20 that includes airfare, game tickets, a private butler, lodging at 10 oceanfront homes, a private dinner and a personal guru. Their cheapest package will set you back $200,000 and includes two tickets on the 50 yard line, a stay at a one-bedroom oceanfront home and field access after the game. 6. Private aviation company NetJets and luxury yacht charter company Northrop & Johnson teamed up to deliver what may be the most indulgent package of all, coming in at a whopping $720,000. Two guests will be flown to Miami in a private jet and put up in a suite at the Ritz Carlton to rest up before game day. After the game, a private jet will whisk you away to the Caribbean where you'll spend four days sailing the tropical islands on a 236-foot, six-stateroom private yacht.___An earlier version of this report had an incorrect spelling of David Grutman's last name.
  • These Florida lotteries were drawn Tuesday: Estimated jackpot: $141 million 5-4 (five, four) 5-9-6 (five, nine, six) 6-6-1-9 (six, six, one, nine) 6-6-8-6-5 (six, six, eight, six, five) Estimated jackpot: $394 million
  • The winning numbers in Tuesday afternoon's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Pick 5 Midday' game were: 6-6-8-6-5 (six, six, eight, six, five)
  • The winning numbers in Tuesday afternoon's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Pick 2 Midday' game were: 5-4 (five, four)
  • The winning numbers in Tuesday afternoon's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Pick 4 Midday' game were: 6-6-1-9 (six, six, one, nine)
  • The winning numbers in Tuesday afternoon's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Pick 3 Midday' game were: 5-9-6 (five, nine, six)
  • The PGA Tour is closing in on its next television rights deal, likely to be announced after the West Coast swing now that the digital side is coming together. Two people aware of the negotiations say ESPN has emerged as the winner of the streaming sweepstakes, which currently belongs to NBC Sports. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal is not finalized. Live streaming would be available on ESPN+. It would not be the first time ESPN+ has shown the PGA Tour. It had a portion of PGA Tour Live in 2018 — it was run by BAMTech, of which Disney had acquired a controlling stake the previous summer. PGA Tour Live moved to NBC Sports Gold for 2019 and this year. ESPN previously won the rights to weekday coverage of the PGA Championship starting this year at Harding Park and plans to offer supplemental feeds on ESPN+. Sports Business Journal previously reported that CBS and NBC (and Golf Channel) have agreed to terms that would keep them as the networks through 2030, with a rights fee increase of 60%. SBJ reported that CBS and NBC would alternate coverage of the three FedEx Cup playoff events. The PGA Tour announced two other partnerships last week. It is sharing with Pluto TV video-on-demand from PGA Tour Live, broadcast partners and featured hole coverage from 23 events. The tour also announced an agreement with Facebook to distribute daily highlights on Facebook Watch. That began from Torrey Pines. The tour plans to publish daily recaps and player highlights from more than 30 events. THE RACE FOR NO. 1 Rory McIlroy had a shot at getting back to No. 1 in the world. Now it's Jon Rahm's opportunity to get there for the first time. And much of it depends on the incumbent, Brooks Koepka. McIlroy needed to win at Torrey Pines to replace Koepka atop the ranking. Instead, he tied for third. McIlroy is taking a long view and figures if he keeps playing at this level, it will happen eventually. According to a world ranking guru who goes by “Nosferatu” on Twitter, Rahm can reach No. 1 if he wins the Phoenix Open this week and Koepka finishes outside the top four at the Saudi International. Koepka, who spent three months recovering from a knee injury, returned at Abu Dhabi and tied for 34th. This is the second time Rahm has had a mathematical chance to reach No. 1. Two years ago, he needed to win the Farmers Insurance Open and was two shots out of the lead going to the 18th hole Saturday. He made double bogey and closed with a 77. Rahm, who already has nine victories worldwide that count toward the ranking in his three-plus years as a pro, has two wins and three runner-up finishes in his last seven starts around the world. DAY'S DELIGHT Jason Day had a good week at Torrey Pines, and his result was only part of the reason. In his first tournament in 10 weeks because of a tender back, Day tied for 16th in the Farmers Insurance Open. Even better was the company he kept. His mother, Dening, had come from Australia to Ohio for tests on her lung cancer, and Day said the scans came back “awesome.” She was diagnosed in early 2017 and was initially told she had 12 months to live. Being in the U.S. allowed his mother to join the family in San Diego for a rare occasion. His mother attended the Masters in April. The last regular PGA Tour event she attended? “It was the 2008 Honda Classic,” Day said with a big grin. 'She doesn't come out much. It's good for her to be over here. She hasn't seen the kids for a while, and the results on her cancer are nice.” Day described his mother as an introvert who likes to stay in her own space at golf tournaments. She doesn't need to work, but he would like to see her return because “it keeps her mind going, keeps her busy and focused on something.” “Sitting at home bored is not great,” he said. “At some point, we're going to get her over here.” BIG NUMBERS Rory McIlroy doesn't think majors are overrated as much as he thinks career victories don't get as much credit. That's why when asked whether he was more impressed with the Tiger Woods' 15 majors or his 82 victories on the PGA Tour, he didn't hesitate. 'So much the wins,' he said. 'It's relentless. A really good season these days is three or four wins a year, and he was doubling that year on year on year on year. It's relentless.' McIlroy has 26 victories worldwide, including his four majors. Which did he consider more impressive? This required a little more thought. 'That's a hard one because I'm very proud of the 26 wins, he said. “Yeah, it's always hard to not look at the majors and have some nostaglia about them and feel a different way about them. But again, from the outside looking in, I see what Tiger has done with ... 83 at some point and he might feel differently. He might say the 15 is more impressive.” GWAA AWARDS Patrick Cantlay first won an award named after Ben Hogan for being the best college player in 2012. He receives another one because he's still playing golf, and doing it well. Cantlay, who missed the better part of three years because of a back injury, was voted the winner of the Ben Hogan Award by the Golf Writers Association of America as a player who overcame a serious injury to remain active. “It's an honor to be associated with Mr. Hogan and join a long list of honorees who have greatly contributed to the game,” Cantlay said. “While the injury process was certainly difficult, I've learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of in the process.” The GWAA also voted for LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan to receive the William D. Richardson award for outstanding contributions to golf. His leadership and voice has invigorated the LPGA Tour, which in his decade in charge has nearly doubled the tournaments and sent prize money and TV coverage to record levels. “I'm proud of all that we are doing to leave the game even better for the next generation of golfers,” Whan said. The ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award goes to Adam Scott for his working relationship with the press. They will join other GWAA award winners at the annual dinner April 8 in Augusta, Georgia. DIVOTS Jordan Spieth fell out of the top 50 in the world for the first time since his playoff loss as a 20-year-old at the Wyndham Championship in August 2013. ... A notice posted in the locker room at Torrey Pines said caddies and their players can sign up for “Caddie Cam” during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am, which would be similar to the camera NFL referees wear on their hats. The idea is to present a different angle. There would be no volume, and caddies and players in the entire group must agree to it. ... Charl Schwartzel, sidelined for much of last year with a wrist injury, is playing the Phoenix Open for his first PGA Tour start since the RBC Heritage last April. The former Masters champion missed the cut in his two European Tour starts this year. ... Viewpoint Brewing Co. named a beer after Russell Knox last week in San Diego. It was called “Hard Knox Life,” described as a “Scottish wee heavy ale.” Knox was born and raised in Scotland. His father grew up in San Diego. STAT OF THE WEEK For the first time in his PGA Tour career, Tiger Woods finished in the top 10 without having the low score in his group in any of the four rounds. FINAL WORD “I've been to the biomechanics, and I've done the 3D stuff, and it's all good and it helps. But I think at this stage of my career, I know what works for me. If I'm hitting it good and I'm hitting it on the center of the face and I'm feeling comfortable, I know that everything's OK.” — Rory McIlroy.
  • A woman who claims she suffered an electric shock at a Universal Orlando water park last year has filed a lawsuit, but the theme park resort is blaming the woman for negligence. Universal Orlando filed a response last month to April Carlino's lawsuit, saying she failed to use “reasonable care' for her own safety. Universal Orlando said any injury Carlino suffered was from a preexisting condition. Carlino had sued the Orlando-based theme park resort in November, seeking an undisclosed amount of money. She said she was shocked last June while at the Volcano Bay water park. Her lawsuit didn't detail her injuries. Last November, federal work-safety investigators said Universal Orlando wouldn't be cited because the resort was unaware something was wrong. A Universal official told investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that engineers measured 20 to 30 volts on a sidewalk. The cause was found to be electrical wiring damaged during construction that sent electrical currents through the ground, according to an OSHA report. A Universal spokesman on Tuesday said the company would not comment.
  • Jay Monahan was at Torrey Pines for the annual players meeting, most of it pertaining to the potential of a financial windfall for top players. Five days later, after so much chatter and speculation, the possibility had moved close enough to reality that the PGA Tour commissioner felt compelled to return. After all, Tiger Woods was five shots behind. Monahan thought he should be there if Woods were to set the record with career win No. 83. As for the rumors of a new golf tour targeting the top 48 players? Odds of that happening might be a bit longer. The concept of a world tour — the latest name is 'Premier Golf League' — has been around for the better part of six years. Talk was renewed late last year when the British-based World Golf Group began making the rounds in the Bahamas and Australia, this time with an influx of capital from various sources, primarily Saudi Arabia. Its idea is to invigorate golf by putting together 12 four-man teams that would be required to play 18 events — 10 of them in the U.S. — that feature 54 holes, no cut and a shotgun start to fit a five-hour broadcast window. Total prize money would be $240 million, and the top player could earn as much as $50 million. More pertinent were a few missing details. Is there a broadcast partner? Corporate sponsors? Any commitments from players? And the biggest question of all: Does it have Tiger Woods? Because without Woods, it doesn't stand a chance. Publicly, the PGA Tour and European Tour said they would not comment on any tour, real or imagined, except their own. Monahan, however, found it worthy enough to send his players a memo late Monday afternoon for those who weren't at Torrey Pines, or those who had never heard of the concept until a question was raised at the end of the meeting. In the memo, obtained by The Associated Press, Monahan says no one from World Golf Group has contacted the PGA Tour. The tour's information is from players who were, and from golf industry partners. Monahan mentioned the PGA Tour's financial strength and stability through longtime sponsorship and television deals that it will honor, and he reminded players of the releases required to play other tours. And then he made it clear the PGA Tour would not be working with Premier Golf League, as the group suggested was its intent. 'If the Team Golf Concept or another iteration of this structure becomes a reality in 2022 or at any time before or after, our members will have to decide whether they want to continue to be a member of the PGA Tour or play on a new series,' the memo said. Talk about risk and reward. The PGA Tour is wrapping up negotiations on a new broadcast rights deal that Sports Business Journal pegged at a 60% increase. One player was asked what came out of the meeting. He smiled and said, 'How much money we're going to be making.' Another player, speaking on condition of anonymity because it was a private meeting, said the tour outlined estimates on increased purses and bonus pools and projected the top performing player would soon be bringing in upward of $40 million. Phil Mickelson was contacted and said he was intrigued but needed more information before he could comment further. Mickelson, who staged a $9 million winner-take-all match with Woods in Las Vegas in late 2018, is playing the Saudi International this week. Rory McIlroy said the group first approached him in 2014. He didn't sound interested, talking about his traditional view of the tour, what it has meant to him and how much he would hate to lose a heritage built up over decades. Don't expect to see McIlroy involved. Just don't get the idea he's opposed to change. 'I love the PGA Tour,' he said. 'But these guys have exploited a couple of holes in the system, the way golf at the highest level is nowadays and how it's sort of transitioned from a competition tour to entertainment, right? It's on TV. It's people coming out to watch. It's definitely a different time than what it was before.' More telling was McIlroy ending his observation by suggesting the tour could do a better job rewarding the players people want to watch. 'I'm still quite a traditionalist, so to have that much of an upheaval in the game I don't think is the right step forward,' McIlroy said. 'But I think, as I said, it might be a catalyst for some changes on this tour that can help it grow and move forward -- you know, reward the top players the way they should be, I guess.' Stars always have driven golf, and there's no better example than Woods. He helped make everyone rich. That's one of the points the World Golf Group argued in a five-page manifesto: 'The best — the true global stars — subsidize the rest.' 'The League will re-balance the economics,' it said. 'The best player needs to compete, but not against 150 other guys every week — 47 will suffice.' Who are the top 48? And where does that leave everyone else, especially with so much influx of young talent with more to follow? Among many challenges facing Premier Golf League is the robust health of the PGA Tour — increasing prize money, stable sponsorship, a new broadcast deal. That might make it tough for any player to risk membership, and to risk the appearance of turning its back on the tour that helped make them famous.