TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, June 20.
(1) Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be auctioning off 38.6 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday for exploration and development.
The lease sale includes 7,276 blocks from three to about 230 miles offshore of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The water depths in the areas for sale range from nine to more than 11,115 feet deep.
"Holding this lease sale is one of the many administrative steps we are taking, at the President's direction, to increase U.S. production, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and (encourage) early production on leases that industry holds," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
Estimates are the areas contain close to 31 billion barrels of oil and 134 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that are currently undiscovered and technically recoverable.
The lease sale will take place from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. CDT in the St. Charles Room of the SuperDome in New Orleans.
(2) Atlas V rocket launch
An Atlas V rocket is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Wednesday carrying the National Reconnaissance Office's (NRO) classified NROL-38 satellite cargo for national defense.
The launch window is from 8:28 to 9:27 a.m today. The odds of acceptable weather at launch time are only 60 percent due to the possibility of strong winds and thick clouds.
Fueling of the rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 is scheduled to occur around 6:30 a.m.
The rocket was originally scheduled to be launched Monday morning but was delayed when an environmental control system duct that failed was located on Saturday.
Today's launch marks the second of four planned launches for NRO in 2012 and the first of three NRO launches in just six weeks.
For more information on the National Reconnaissance Office, visit www.nro.gov .
(3) Platt Street bridge project ribbon-cutting
Hillsborough County Commissioners will be joined by the City of Tampa and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on Wednesday to celebrate the completion of the Platt Street Bridge rehabilitation.
The bridge was originally built in 1926. It has outlived its normal life span and required major repairs.
The year-and-a-half long construction project replaced and reconditioned the electrical bridge control system; the mechanical bridge elements; and the bridge roadway deck grating, concrete and steel.
The bridge was also repainted and restored to its original functionality including period lighting fixtures. The total budget for the project was $13.8 million.
The ceremonies will begin at 10:00 a.m. in Tony Jannus Park on the northwest side of the Platt Street Bridge. The ribbon-cutting will occur near the center span of the bridge.
(4) Scotty McCreery in concert
American Idol season 10 winner Scotty McCreery will perform a free concert in Tampa on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old country singer will perform at the Dallas Bull at 7:00 p.m. You must be at least 18 years old to attend the concert.
McCreery released his debut studio album Clear as Day in October 2011. The album sold 197,000 copies in its first week, making McCreery the youngest man to open at the top of the charts with his debut release.
Clear as Day reached #1 on five separate Billboard charts: Billboard 200, Top Current Albums, Digital Albums, Internet Albums and Top Country Albums.
McCreery joins Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert as the only American Idol contestants to have a number one album.
To learn more about McCreery, visit his official website at www.scottymccreery.com .
(5) Summer begins
Despite temperatures in the Tampa Bay area around 90 degrees for the past week, summer in the northern hemisphere only officially begins on Wednesday.
The summer solstice occurs at 7:09 p.m. EDT when the sun will be as high in the sky as possible.
Today will be the longest day of the year in the planet's northern hemisphere while it will be shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere where today is the first day of winter.
Summer ends at 10:49 a.m. EDT on September 22 when the autumnal equinox begins.
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