Chattahoochee Chatter: Portion of 'Need for Speed' to be filmed in Columbus

April 3, 2013 

Those of us here in Chatterland are always looking for a little Speed.

It looks like Columbus might get a piece of the Dreamworks Studios film, "Need for Speed," an adaptation of the popular video game, according to Uptown Columbus Inc. Vice President for Community Relations Elizabeth Hurst.

A crew was in Columbus and Phenix City scouting locations last month. The production manager indicated at that time a portion of the movie would be filmed here.

Hurst has not talked with the crew since they left Columbus and has no information of possible production days here.

It appears Macon also has landed a big piece of the movie.

Location scouts have been working with the Macon Film Commission for months to secure shoot locations in the downtown Macon area.

"We cannot say anything about the exact locations," commission board member Elliott Dunwody said Tuesday. "The exact dates are still kind of shifty."

"Need for Speed" will be directed by Scott Waugh, who directed "Act of Valor" in 2012.

The cast includes actors Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad"), Dominic Cooper ("Captain America"), Imogen Poots ("Fright Night") and Michael Keaton ("Batman"). An estimated 200 cast and crew members will come to Macon as part of the production, which is scheduled to begin shooting in Macon in mid-April, according to the Macon Telegraph.

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Tired of cheeseburgers?

On April 11, the 2013 Hospitality Gala will be held in The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

This year's event features the culinary talents of world-renowned chefs Kevin Sbraga, Sean O'Toole, Marco Bustamante and Adams Thomas.

Sbraga, you might remember, won Bravo TV's "Top Chef" in 2010.

Famous winemakers and their wares will also be part of the evening. Agustin and Valerias Hunees, who are pioneers in the development of the Napa Valley, will be on hand as will Aurelion Montes, one of the founders of the Montes Winery which Wine Spectator Magazine calls the "best all-around winery of South America."

There will be a champagne reception at 5:30 p.m. CDT, where people will be able to chat with the chefs and winermakers, followed by a four-course dinner.

Items being offered in a silent auction include an African Safari and a week in Greece.

The event is a fundraiser for the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at Auburn University. Tickets are $150. For information, visit www.thehospitalitygala.com.

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This one comes straight from Chatterland's consumer corner.

The next time you purchase that piece of electronics or software or music at Best Buy, you better decide whether or not it's right for you -- pronto.

That's because the retailer, which has had its shares of financial struggles in recent years, has quietly slashed its return and exchange policy from 30 days to 15 days. That is, unless you're a premier Rewards Zone member, in which case it's 60 days.

The change, which went into effect March 3, runs counter to much of the rest of the industry. For instance, rival h.h. gregg has a general return policy of 30 days, while Target allows 30 days for most electronics and 90 days for music and other items.

Mega-retailer Walmart does mandate 15 days for high-tech items like computers, camcorders and tablets, although the take-it-back policy for televisions, stereos and unopened music is 90 days, according to its website.

The point here is that the fiercely competitive retail world is constantly evolving, and policies will continue to do the same. Just make sure you know the deadline for deciding if that new piece of equipment is a dream or a lemon.

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If you're getting on the water soon, it's a good time to take a personal watercraft and boating safety course.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 81 and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at West Point Lake have teamed up to offer a course from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. EDT April 16 and 18 at the West Point Project Management Office.

The course will cover a wide range of topics, including legal requirements, new boating laws, new navigation rules, preventing personal watercraft and boating accidents.

After completing the course, you will receive a certificate from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. A certificate exempts Alabama residents from taking the written exam to obtain an Alabama boating license.

In Georgia, the course meets state requirements for anyone 12 to 15 years old who wish to operate a personal watercraft or boat without adult supervision.

The course costs $15 which is collected on the first night. Space is limited to 40 students on a first come, first served basis.

You may preregister for the session by calling 706-645-2937.

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