5 things to start your day: Hoverboard ban, Cruz Plaza’s over 100-year-old tree chopped down, Winter Storm Jonas and more


Marin Guta , Digital Editor

On top of old oaky

You’ve may of noticed that Cruz Plaza is a little less shady, or the fact that there’s a mound of dirt near the bear statue. Well, Mercer’s ground maintenance team cut down an over 100-year-old Swan Chestnut Oak tree as a safety precaution because the tree was rotting, according to the university’s Superintendent of Grounds Carol Hodges. I guess that explains the mound of dirt. During the construction of Cruz Plaza, concrete was poured over the tree’s roots which led to its demise. Hodges said that for the past few years her team tried to save the tree and “certainly didn’t want to cut it down.” However, Hodges and her team was left with limited options since the rotting tree posed a serious safety concern. The university plans to plant another oak tree in the same location.

Hoverboards to roll out of all Georgia colleges?

Right now it’s looking like a possibility based on news headlines from the AJC and The (Macon) Telegraph. It’s clear that the self-balancing devices are not so popular with college officials. Why? The devices have been reported to catch on fire in isolated incidences thanks to its lithium-ion batteries. Earlier this month, Mercer added itself on the list of college universities to ban hoverboards because of fire safety concerns from Mercer’s Residence Life. In fact, over Winter Break, Mercer sent out an email to students, warning them that the devices were prohibited on campus.  

Mercer to host leadership conference

Mercer University will host its inaugural Service Leadership Conference on Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m., on the Macon campus. The event will feature presentations by undergraduate and medical students exhibiting their commitment to community engagement. The program’s aim is to address health, educational and socioeconomic disparities in Macon, Savannah and Columbus.

Augmented art in Macon

This past weekend, the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences opened a new exhibition called “Augmented” featuring many local and national artists. The artwork delves into the idea of living in an augmented reality and explores the connections on how the modern digital age creates a greater out-of-life experience. The exhibition will be open at the museum of arts and sciences until Feb. 21.

Just ‘Hold On’

This weekend, the northern region of the United States was forced to brave the aftermath of Winter Storm Jonas, which left behind icy roads, snow-covered runways and blocked train tracks. The storm killed at least 15 people, grounded thousands of flights and shut down travel in many of the nation’s largest cities, according to CNN. There were signs of some relief Sunday as residents shoveled snow and cleaned up flooding debris.