Buzz: Northbank Riverwalk Extension, Movies in Yulee, Red Light Camera Fines and More

A Little More Riverwalk

The Northbank Riverwalk will soon be extended from Riverside Arts Market under the Fuller Warren Bridge to Riverside Park in Five Points. The Jacksonville City Council approved the measure at its June 11 meeting, WJCT reported. Funding for the $5 million project comes from the city and a Florida Department of Transportation grant. The new area will include sidewalks, green spaces, benches, lighting and fountains. Some City Council members argued against the measure because of the cost, but the majority approved the upgrades, which have been planned for more than a decade.


Movies in Yulee

Nassau County commissioners have given preliminary site approval for a 10-screen movie theater to be built in Yulee. Terrell Mayton, director of Carmike Cinemas, told The Florida Times-Union the new theater will have three-story, 60-foot-wide screens, plush, high-back leather seats and top-notch amenities. County Planning Director Peter King said he expects ground to be broken in about 60 days. The 35,000-square-foot Amelia Station will be built in Lofton Square shopping center off Florida A1A and Amelia Concourse. Carmike also owns the only other movie house in the county — Amelia Island 7 in Fernandina Beach.


Red Light Cameras Rake in Greenbacks

Like little cash registers on poles, Jacksonville’s red-light cameras have collected about $477,000 in fines in four months. By the end of May, the 18 red-light cameras had caught about 9,900 drivers running traffic lights, The Florida Times-Union reported. Of the $158 fine, the city gets $75. Another $70 goes to the state’s general fund, $10 goes to the Department of Health medial services trust fund, and $3 goes to brain and spinal cord injury research. Two other communities, Green Cove Springs and Orange Park, also have red-light cameras. Some research shows the traffic control cameras reduce crash fatalities, but a Florida Public Health Review article said the cameras increase traffic deaths.


You Ought to Be in Pictures

If you ever wanted to be on the silver screen, a film being made in St. Marys, Ga., could be your big chance. Extras are needed for the movie “Preserve,” an apocalyptic story that takes place 170 years after a disaster has driven humanity underground. The Coastal Georgia Film Alliance seeks up to 75 extras, from ages 18 to 55, who are physically fit and can run. For the tryouts on June 23, wear your grungiest survival clothes. Interested? Email Barbara Ryan, talent coordinator and vice chair, at [email protected] to register. Applicants can familiarize themselves by going to the film’s Facebook page, The filming site is at 1000 Osborne Road, St. Marys. Call 912-729-1103 for details. By the way, extras are not paid.


HGTV Smart Home Draws Crowds

A total of 8,003 people toured the HGTV Smart Home 2013 in Jacksonville Beach and now some 40 million are awaiting the announcement about the winner of the home, a 2013 GMC Terrain Denali and $100,000. Officials are only saying the home in Paradise Key South Beach will be given away in mid-July. The Beaches Historical Society has already come up a winner, grossing $160,000 from tours it gave of the home.


The Fight to Save Silver Springs

Pollution and lack of water are destroying the world-famous Silver Springs. The St. Johns Riverkeeper is fighting plans of a major cattle operation, Adena Springs Ranch, to withdraw a million gallons of water a day from the aquifer and raise more than 15,000 head of cattle within miles of the landmark. St. Johns Riverkeeper and Sierra Club of Northeast Florida are urging the St. Johns River Water Management District to deny the permit. For more information, call St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman at 509-3260 or Sierra Club’s Janet Stanko at 208-1341.


Pilot Pipeline Agreement

Jacksonville University and American Eagle Airline are teaming up for a new Pilot Pipeline Program to help graduates gain experience and flight hours for careers as commercial airline pilots and ease their financial burden. Participants can be selected as early as their sophomore year. Upon graduation from the two-year program, graduates can become American Eagle employees, while serving as flight instructors in the university’s flight program. Those who sign a two-year commitment also receive a $10,000 scholarship, which can be used to pay back student loans. After they’ve logged enough hours operating commercial aircraft for American Eagle, they are guaranteed an interview for a first officer position with American Airlines. For details, contact Davis Aviation Center Director Juan Merkt at [email protected] or 256-7894.


Petition Targets ‘Serial Bully’

An online petition posted at calls on Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti to resign or remove the “serial bully” who Vitti wanted back in school after being suspended for fighting at Oceanway Middle School. The petition, with no official standing, has collected more than 200 signatures. The school fight left the victim with a concussion and a fractured skull. The petition was started by martial arts school owner Robert Ingram, an anti-bullying activist and a former victim of bullies. Originally, a judge banned the girl from all county schools, but that was lifted and the superintendent placed her in another middle schoo1.