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Sports briefs for March 7, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Els to build a Jupiter facility to aid children with autism

DORAL, Fla. — PGA Tour star Ernie Els of Jupiter, Fla., announced on Monday that his foundation has secured land to build a 30,000-square-foot school and resource center to help children with autism.

The Center of Excellence, which would include medical and other professional services, is to be built in the Limestone Creek area of Jupiter, north of Indiantown Road and east of I-95.

The 27-acre parcel is north of Indiantown Road and east of I-95 in unincorporated Palm Beach County. It is near Jupiter Community Park, a 94-acre public facility on Church Street.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valeche expects the center to attract international and national recognition.

Hamlin fined 25K for critical Gen-6 comments

Driver Denny Hamlin received a $25,000 fine Thursday for critical remarks about the new Gen-6 race car.

Hamlin’s comments, made after last week’s race at Phoenix, were deemed harmful to stock car racing by its governing body.

While drivers get “ample leeway in voicing their opinions when it comes to a wide range of aspects about the sport, the sanctioning body will not tolerate publicly made comments by its drivers that denigrate the racing product,” NASCAR said.

After a third-place finish Sunday in the second race for NASCAR’s new Gen-6 race car, Hamlin responded to a question about how he liked the vehicle. He said: “I don’t want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our generation five cars. This is more like what the generation five was at the beginning.”

Falcons, City of Atlanta agree on stadium deal

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and mayor Kasim Reed are expected to announce an agreement to build a new stadium in downtown Atlanta.

The deal was first reported by FOX5 in Atlanta.

Reed accelerated the city’s efforts to complete a deal for a stadium that will replace the Georgia Dome since Falcons team president Rich McKay made comments in early February that the franchise was open to relocating to the suburbs if the city couldn’t meet its needs.

Those needs specifically include a price tag of an estimated $1 billion for a retractable roof stadium that would help the city retain chances at major sporting events, including the Final Four, Super Bowl and other sports such as international soccer.

The Falcons and NFL, through a stadium expense program created to fund construction and renovation projects, would likely be responsible for as much as $800 million of the estimated bill.

Jordan applies for marriage license in Florida

NBA legend Michael Jordan filed for a marriage license Thursday at the downtown courthouse in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Jordan and his fiance, whose name was not disclosed — the former Chicago Bulls star was reportedly engaged to Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto in December 2011 — arrived at the courthouse around 8:30 a.m. for the marriage license. State law requires the application be made in person and stands for 60 days.

Jordan was divorced from his first wife, Juanita Vanoy, in 2006. They were married for 17 years before they split and have three children.

Jordan has a residence in South Florida and is a member to a prestigous golf club at which Tiger Woods is also a regular.

Brewers’ Melvin bit by scorpion

Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin was stung by a scorpion Wednesday night in his Phoenix-area condo and was forced to go to an area hospital.

“I spent three hours in an emergency room in Scottsdale,” Melvin told reporters Thursday morning the Brewers’ spring training complex. “My arm is still totally numb. It stung me right through the Kleenex. My arm started swelling and then the numbness started going up my arm, like when you hit your funny bone. I was wondering if it might go all the way up my arm and go to my heart. I got nervous when it got up to my shoulder, so I went to the emergency room.

“They gave me (pain medication) and just watched me for a couple of hours. They said your vision can go blurry from that. It was more an education on it, but my arm is still numb. First off, they tell you it’s not fatal. But you can have an allergic reaction to it and need an anti-venom injection.”

Suns’ Gortat out 3-4 weeks

Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat will miss three to four weeks after an MRI Thursday revealed a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot.

Gortat was injured with 34.6 seconds left in the first quarter of the Wednesday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors.

He told reporters Thursday that he doubts he’ll play again this season. The 29-year-old has appeared in 182 straight games since being acquired on Dec. 18, 2010, including 138 straight starts.

He has average of 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

NY Giants retain Webster, Baas

New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster and center David Baas agreed to reduced salaries to stay with the team, according to a New York Daily News report.

Webster will earn $4 million in the final year of his deal, instead of the $7.25 he was scheduled to receive.

Baas restructured his base salary of $4.25 million to $1.25 million for this season, according to the NFL Players Association website. Bass will recover the missing salary as a $3 million bonus, an NFL source told the paper.

The two deals gave the Giants $8 million to $9 million in cap space. The extra room might help the Giants tender restricted free agents like Victor Cruz, Andre Brown and Stevie Brown. The team also hopes to re-sign some of their free agents like Kevin Boothe and Martellus Bennett.

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