5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, July 20

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, July 20.

(1) Governor Scott jobs news conference

Florida Governor Rick Scott will discuss the Florida unemployment rate on Friday.

State officials will announce June's unemployment numbers today. Right now 8.6% of Floridians are out of work. That is a drop of 1.3% in the past six months.

However, some economists say the number is deceiving. The unemployment rate is going down they contend because people are dropping out of the work force, not finding jobs.

Economics say Florida's unemployment rate would be 9.5% if the number of workers in the state was the same as December 2011.

Governor Scott will speak about the jobs numbers at the Pasco Hernando Workforce Office in Zephyrhills at 10:00 a.m.

(2) President Obama in Florida

Update at 9:30 a.m.: In light of the tragedy in Colorado, President Obama is returning to the White House after his stop in Fort Myers. Therefore, the event in Orlando is canceled.

President Obama will conclude a two-day campaign tour across Florida on Friday with stops in Fort Myers and Orlando.

The White House says Mr. Obama will discuss the differences between his plan to grow the economy and the plan proposed by presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The President believes the only way to build the economy is from the middle out by paying down the national debt in a balanced way, investing in education and infrastructure, and growing innovation at home.

Mr. Obama will also repeat his call for Congress to stop a scheduled tax increase on 98 percent of Americans.

Today's first campaign event will take place at 11:20 p.m. at the Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers. The President will then fly to Orlando for a rally at Rollins College's Harold and Ted Alfond Sports Center at 4:10 p.m.

(3) Operation Trident

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will begin "Operation Trident" on Friday.

"Operation Trident" is a three pronged traffic initiative that will target habitual traffic offenders, aggressive and impaired drivers.

The primary focus of the operation is to apprehend offenders who are knowingly violating the law by driving in spite of legal sanctions. Many of these people have lost their licenses for a period of years due to the severity of their criminal driving history.

The initiative will also include enhanced enforcement of aggressive and impaired driving laws.

"Operation Trident" will occur on today and tomorrow and Friday, July 27, 2012 through Saturday, July 28, 2012. Extra deputies will be assigned to monitor identified habitual traffic offenders and to detect aggressive or impaired drivers during the days of the operation.

(4) Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays host the Seattle Mariners in the first of the three-game series Friday night at Tropicana Field.

The first 10,000 fans to the game will receive a free James Shields collectible t-shirt.

Tonight's pitching matchup sees Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound for Seattle and Shields starting for the Rays

For more information, call (888) 326-7297 or visit raysbaseball.com .

(5) 20th annual Celebrity Mascot Games

The 20th annual Celebrity Mascot Games returns to the Amway Center in Orlando on Friday.

Twenty-eight mascots from sports teams across the country are competing to the champion of the mascot world.

The mascots from Florida attending the games are: Albert and Alberta (University of Florida), Captain Fear (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Knightro (University of Central Florida), Rocky (University of South Florida), Sebastian (University of Miami), Ozzie (University of North Florida), Klaw (Orlando Predators), Shades (Orlando Solar Bears), ThunderBug (Tampa Bay Lightning), Stuff (Orlando Magic) and Stanley C. Panther -(Florida Panthers).

The annual event is a fundraiser for New Hope for Kids, a Central Florida non-profit organization that grants wishes to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

The competition at the Amway Center takes place today at 12:30 p.m. and continues on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.mascotgames.org .

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