5 things you need to know happening in Florida
Jan 19, 2013
(1) Pinellas County discusses Rays stadium
The Pinellas County Commission will discuss the Tampa Bay Rays stadium issue with team officials at the commission's regular scheduled meeting on Tuesday.
Last week Rays representatives spoke with the Hillsborough County Commission.
The Rays are seeking a new ballpark that would more centrally-located.
Tropicana Field's largest problem is population. Of all the Major League ballparks, the Trop has the fewest number of people living within a 30-mile radius.
Potential new stadium sites include the Gateway area of St. Petersburg, downtown Tampa or the Florida State Fairgrounds.
The two major issues blocking a new stadium for the Rays: money and its lease. The Rays are required to play at Tropicana Field through 2027. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster says he will make sure the Rays fulfill that requirement to play in his city.
The Commission is expected to discuss the lease issue today. Foster and the St. Petersburg City Council have been invited to attend the meeting, but have not indicated whether they will do so.
The meeting begins at 2:00 p.m. at the Pinellas County Courthouse in Clearwater.
(2) Batman visits Bay Area
A caped crusader will make appearance at the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa and the TradeWinds Island Grand in St. Pete Beach on Tuesday.
Baltimore, Maryland businessman Lenny Robinson made national headlines in March 2012 when police pulled him over in his custom black Lamborghini Batmobile because the license plate was the Batman symbol.
Robinson was dressed head-to-toe in a full Batman costume.
Police learned Robinson had been visiting sick children at Baltimore hospitals for over a decade and changed out his real license plate for the Batman symbol as part of his routine.
This year Robinson is venturing out on a year-long nationwide trip in his $300,000 1966 replica Batmobile.
He will appear as Batman at the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa beginning at 11:00 a.m.
From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at TradeWinds Island Grand you can have your photo taken with Batman and his Batmobile in exchange for a new gift to be donated to Shriners Hospital.
To learn more about Robinson adventures as the Dark Knight, visit www.superheroesforkids.org .
(3) National Meat Cutting Challenge
Twenty-eight professional meat cutters from 15 states will be in Tampa on Tuesday to compete in Round 2 of the Texas Roadhouse National Meat Cutting Competition.
Each participant will receive 30 to 40 pounds of beef, consisting of two sirloins, 1 filet and one ribeye to cut. Cutters are judged on quality, yield and speed. The winner is the meat cutter who yields the most steaks with the highest quality cuts in the least amount of time.
To assure the best, freshest quality meat, all cutting will be done at a chilly 38 degrees at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. Today's competition takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Florida meat cutters participating today include: Chris McDermott (Milton), Tony Caro (Ocoee) and Shawn Haynes (Palm Bay).
Eight challengers from today's competition will advance to the semi-finals on March 27 in Dallas, Texas.
Seven finalists will be chosen to compete in the National Meat Cutting Challenge on May 5 in Maui, Hawaii. The national winner receives a grand prize of $20,000.
(4) Billy Elliot the Musical
Billy Elliot the Musical is coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Tuesday.
Winner of ten 2009 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Billy Elliot shows one boy's journey to make his dreams come true.
Billy stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a talent that inspires his family and changes his life forever.
The musical is based on the internationally acclaimed film, Billy Elliot, and is brought to life with music by Elton John. The New York Times calls John's score "show-stopping and electric."
The show is appropriate for children 8 years or older as it contains strong language with some scenes of confrontation between policemen and miners.
Billy Elliot will be performed tonight at 8:00 p.m. and shows on Wednesday at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call (727) 791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com .
(5) Nik Wallenda walks over Sarasota
American aerialist, daredevil and high wire artist Nikolas "Nik" Wallenda will take a walk 200 feet above the ground in Sarasota on Tuesday.
Self-described as "The King of the Wire", Wallenda has previously walked a high-wire over Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon.
Beginning around 11:00 a.m. Nik will walk untethered across U.S. 41 from the Kissing Sailor to Marina Tower.
U.S. 41 between Ringling Boulevard and the John Ringling Causeway in downtown Sarasota will be temporarily closed for about one hour beginning around 10:45 a.m.
Spectators are encouraged to walk to the event or park their vehicles in the Palm Avenue Garage. A free trolley also will
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