News

Skyway ridership rises over last six months

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- More people have been riding the Skyway than ever in the six months since it became free.  Now, the JTA board has to decide whether to keep it that way.

According to Clinton Forbes, Director of Mass Transit for JTA, the ridership numbers have consistently been sixty percent higher than they were when the system cost fifty cents per ride.

"For transit, that is huge and so I think our customers and the community has, has recognized and now appreciate what a great community benefit the Skyway has become," said Forbes.

Forbes said he has heard from many people who have used the system for the first time since it became free.  He said projections show that ridership would go back down if fares were reinstated.  

Movie lovers flock to see Dark Knight one day after shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Movie goers were flocking the area theaters to see the Dark Knight Rises Saturday, despite the Colorado theater shooting just one day earlier.

Employees at the San Marco Theater said even their matinee showing of the movie was crowded with more than a hundred people buying tickets.

The small theater can only show one movie at a time, so if Batman fans had stayed home, it would have been a big financial blow. 

People at the theater said they did have some concerns about going to the movie so soon after the tragedy in Colorado. 

"I think everybody had that thought going through their head a little bit," explained Michael Lefevre, who saw the 3:15 p.m. showing.   "There were some jokes we could hear someone saying when we walked out. Someone said, 'At least we didn't get shot,' but that's in poor taste and if you thought that way about everything you'd probably never leave the house."

Bolles Swimming continues its Olympic tradition in 2012

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Just 10 more days until the Opening Ceremony and as we watch the Games, all of us on the First Coast can be proud of a local connection to the Olympics.

It's a pretty well-known fact that Bolles produces Olympic swimmers, and the numbers don't lie. Since 1972, Bolles has had 44 students or alums participate in the Olympics, representing the United States and 23 other countries, from Canada to Brazil to Spain to Zambia to Thailand.  
  
And this year, Bolles is sending six Olympians to London.

Check out the video above. Jeannie Blaylock talked to swimming coach Sergio Lopez and Ariana Kukors, who's headed to the Olympic Games in London and has been training in Jacksonville.

Wanted: Olympic portraits by kids

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- We're counting down to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

As we get closer to the games, we want your kids to get involved. Have your child draw and color his or her favorite Olympic Portrait. Portraits can include the rings, the torch, a favorite athlete or even the new Olympic Stadium in London.

Beginning July 23, 102, we will feature a different portrait each day on Good Morning Jacksonville though the closing ceremony on August 12th.

Simply email your child's photo to olympicportraits@firstcoastnews.com and be sure to watch Good Morning Jacksonville at 5:20 a.m. and 6:20 a.m.

Blue Bell Celebrates National Ice Cream Month


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Blue Bell Ice Cream will be celebrating National Ice Cream Month for the month of July by hosting ice cream parties at Gates Convenience Stores.

Blue Bell events trailer will be on location at each of the stops below sampling their newest flavor, summer strawberry pie.

Wednesday, July 18 they will be at five Gate Store locations throughout Jacksonville:

Gate Store 1115 located at San Jose and Sunbeam Road at 12:00pm

Gate Store 1211 located at Racetrack Road and State Road 13 at 10:00am

Gate Store 1216 located at Old St. Augustine Road and I-95 at 2:00pm

Gate Store 1202 located at Palm Valley Road and US 1 at 4:00pm

Gate Store 1158 located at Us Hwy 1 to Callahan at 6:00pm

Last day to register to vote for primary election

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Today is the last day to register vote if you want to participate in Florida's August 14 primary election.

Monday is also the last day you can change your party affiliation.  Since Florida is a closed primary state, voters may only vote for candidates from the political party in which they are registered.

All registered voters are eligible to vote in nonpartisan and primary offices.

Although today is the final day to register and be able to participate in the primary election, registered voters can update his or her signature, change the address of his or her legal residence or submit a name change up until and including primary election day on August 14.

To check your voter status, view a sample ballot, check early voting locations or request an absentee ballot click on your supervisor of elections office.

MOSH to host Fossil I.D. Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you think you may have the world's next greatest fossil discovery sitting in a shoebox at your house, then bring it MOSH's Fossil I.D. Day for identification.

MORE: Sneak peek of T. rex named Sue

On Saturday July 21 at the Museum of Science and History, a panel of scientists will be on hand to help determine if your find is a prehistoric fossil or just a really neat looking rock.

The Fossil I.D. Day is being presented by MOSH as a complement to one of their current exhibits: A T. rex named Sue.

The scientists will be identifying fossils from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fossil I.D. day is included with museum admission.