5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, June 13, 2014

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Friday, June 13, 2014.

(1) Veterans Expressway converts to all-electronic tolls

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise will convert the Veterans Expressway to all-electronic, cashless tolling on Friday night.

The conversion process requires construction crews to work overnight to decommission all cash tollbooths and coin baskets at the Anderson mainline toll plaza, and the Waters and Hillsborough Avenue ramp toll plazas.

Following the conversion to all-electronic tolling, all traffic will continue to flow through the deactivated tollbooths for several weeks. Officials say motorists should not stop at the tollbooths or exceed the posted 25 mph speed limit.

The conversion will begin at 9:00 p.m. By Saturday morning, all motorists on the Veterans Expressway will pay tolls either using a SunPass or Toll-by-Plate.

For more details about all-electronic, no-cash tolling on Florida's Turnpike system, visit www.FloridasTurnpike.com .

(2) Vincent Jackson launches children's book series


Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson launches a new children's book series on Friday.

The book launch will occur during Jackson's second annual "Youth in Action" Camp. More than 100 children of military members will enjoy games, activities and lunch at One Buccaneer Place. Jackson will speak to the kids about the challenges of growing up in a military household.

Jackson's book is titled Danny Dogtags: Dealing with Deployment. It tells the story of Danny who has to cope with the news his father is being deployed. Danny meets a friend from the Buccaneers who surprises him with a trip to a game at Raymond James Stadium.

Danny Dogtags will be available for purchase through official team store at Shop.Buccaneers.com and also at local major book retailers. Proceeds will directly benefit military families who serve both at home and abroad.

(3) Boxing at Tampa Bay Times Forum

World class boxing returns to the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday night during “Thunder at the Forum”.

The feature bout is a 10-round fight between China "The Dragon" Smith and Mike Sheppard for the North American WBF Heavyweight Title. Smith, a native of Sarasota, holds an impressive record of 34 wins and 4 losses with 27 knockouts.

The co-main event will be a female match-up featuring local favorite "Fists of Steel" Chevelle Hallback. Ring Magazine recently recognized Hallback by placing her on their Top Ten Women's All Time Pound for Pound list.

Boxing matches are scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. Tickets for Thunder at the Forum start at $25. For more information, call (800) 745-3000 or tampabaytimesforum.com .

(4) U.S. Women's National Soccer Team practice

The United States Women's National Soccer Team holds a public training session in Tampa on Friday.

The practice will begin at Raymond James Stadium at 11:00 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Fans can park in Lot 6D and enter through Gate C.

At the session, fans will get a first-hand look at how the team prepares for a match the day before a game under new head coach Jill Ellis. The American squad will face France at Raymond James Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members in the Star Club and above will receive field level access at the training session.

Tickets for Saturday's game can be purchased through visit ussoccer.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.

(5) Amy Diaz CD release party

High School student Amy Diaz will hold a CD release party for her debut album, Mildly Psychedelic, on Friday night.

The 16-year-old Diaz, who is currently in the IB Program at St. Petersburg High School, has been playing on stage across Tampa Bay for the past five years.

Her album consists of eleven folk, indie, and rock and roll songs she wrote all by herself and recorded at NoiseMakers in St. Petersburg.

"She is a talented musician," said Gabe Whitney, owner of NoiseMakers."But it is her words and melodies that really amaze me. These new songs speak to everyone."

Whitney will host the release party for Diaz at his store which is located at is located at 5511 Central Avenue. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. and is free to attend.

Diaz plans to play at several local venues this summer and fall. For more information, visit www.reverbnation.com/amydiaz4 .
 

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