News

Mayor Brown speaks out on Springfield homeless resource center

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor Alvin Brown made a surprise visit to the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Center Thursday evening.

The Mayor wanted to reiterate his support for a pilot project to open a resource center for the homeless community, an idea that many neighbors did not support.

He told the council and residents in attendance he has made no recommendation for the center's location, and the former Armory, located at 815 N. Market Street, will not be considered for the site.

Controversy over homeless day center location

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Springfield residents are saying: "Not in my neighborhood."

The sentiment comes after the mayor revealed his plans to put a brand new low-cost, possibly free, homeless day center in the neighborhood.

There are the nine buildings in downtown Jacksonville the city is considering for the homeless day center, but it is the old armory building that has Springfield residents pushing back.

"Yeah a day center, something is desperately needed," said Sharon, who does not want her last name used.

Sharon has been homeless on and off for two years.

She is grateful to hear the city plans to open a new homeless day center.

"If you have an alcohol problem or drug problem, you can get in the programs really fast," Sharon said about other homeless shelters in the city. "But I don't have either one of those so I fall through those cracks."

Tuesday is final chance to register for November election

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tuesday is the final day to register to vote ahead of the November election.  Many Supervisor of Elections offices will have extended hours to help accommodate the last minute rush.

"We see this always in a Presidential cycle," explained Jerry Holland, Supervisor of Elections for Duval County.    "We'll probably have between 30 and 40,000 people that will have registered in the last 30 or 40 days and so, it's exciting to see this many people get involved in it."

Extended Hours:

Duval County-open until 7:30 p.m.

St. Johns County-open until 7:00 p.m.

Clay County-open until 5:00 p.m.

According to Holland, voters do not need to bring identification to register, but they will need a photo I.D. on Election Day.  As of Monday, the number of voters registered reflected a more conservative population than in the 2008 election cycle.

Preparing your home for a storm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Joe Wilson, a contractor and an emergency management officer, said there are simple things you can do to prepare your home before a storm.

"So preparing ahead of time is key," he said.

Wilson said it starts with common sense. For example, don't leave potted plants and debris around your home.

"These things turn into missiles in a sense, in event of any hard blowing winds," he said.

A couple of quick visual inspections and routine maintenance could also protect you. Start with surrounding trees. 

"Make sure is it in tact and make sure it's not in any danger of breaking or breaking down, because that's certainly a good example of something that can damage a home," Wilson said.

He also recommended checking stability of windows, doors and gutters.

First Coast Gears: Cruisers return to Main Street in Springfield

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hundreds were back out cruising Saturday night on North Main Street in Springfield. The first cruise was so successful that organizers decided to make it a monthly event.

"A number of them just didn't believe that it would be that big. So now everybody is talking about it. Everybody wants to come. We're actually getting emails and Facebook messages from all over the Southeast," event organizer John Wells told FCN anchor Phil Amato.

First Coast Gears: The Main St. cruisers are at it again

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The young and young at heart cruised up and down Main Street last month in their hot rods and classic cars.  The turnout for the first Historic Springfield Main Street cruise was lot bigger than expected.  So big, that organizers are going to make it a monthly event.  "A number of them just didn't believe that it would be that big.  So now everybody is talking about it.  Everybody wants to come. We're actually getting emails and Facebook messages from all over the Southeast," said even organizer John Wells.

It looks like this cruise won't be a one hit wonder.  Cruisers are hitting the Main Street strip again this Saturday night and every fourth Saturday of the month.  "It's a real cruise.  It's not just a car show or parade,.  It's a real cruise where you can get out and drive your cars," says Wells.

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.