5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, December 17

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, December 17.

(1) Electoral College meets and votes

Twenty-nine Democrats from across Florida will meet in Tallahassee on Monday to officially cast their electoral votes for President Obama.

The President defeated Republican Mitt Romney by 74,309 votes in Florida in November's general election.

Similar meetings will be held in every U.S. state today. The Electors meet to vote for President and Vice President on separate ballots.

The results will be sent to the President of the Senate, that state's Secretary of State, National Archives and the presiding judge in the district where the Electors meet.

The ballots must be sent to the U.S. Senate and National Archives by December 26. The votes will then be counted during a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2013.

Unless an chosen Elector is faithless, and votes for a candidate they are not required by their state law to vote for, it is expected President Obama will defeat Mitt Romney 332 to 206 in the Electoral College cote.

(2) Lawrence Dickey murder trial

The murder trial of Lawrence Dickey is scheduled to begin in Tampa on Monday.

Dickey is charged with first-degree murder after confessing to beating his wife with a baseball bat on September 18, 2011, who was a long-time Polk County Sheriff's Office employee.

According to a written police affidavit, Dickey had returned from an evening out with his wife, Beatrice Ann. Dickey's son was asleep on a couch not far from the master bedroom when he was awakened by Dickey who told him, "I love you." according to the statement.

The son then heard Dickey go into the garage and drop what sounded like an aluminum bat

Dickey then went into the bedroom and the son reported hearing three thumps, according to the affidavit.

Dickey then drove to the Police Department and told an officer, "Lock me up. I just beat my wife with a bat. She is hurt real bad."

Police say 44-year-old Beatrice Ann Dickey was found unresponsive in the bedroom of her Plant City home.

If convicted, Lawrence Dickey faces life in prison.

(3) Polk Transit expands MyRide Plan

Polk Transit expands the MyRide Plan on Monday in the northeast part of the county.

Beginning today, two new hourly routes start operating to make it easier for residents to get to jobs along US 27 and Walt Disney World.

Route 416 will be a non-stop express service between Hinson Plaza in Haines City and Cypress Parkway in Poinciana.

Route 427 will go from Hinson Plaza in Haines City to Cagan Crossing on US 27 in Lake County.

Passengers wishing to then go to Walt Disney World will be able to transfer to an Orlando-based Lynx bus at Cagan Crossing for service to the theme park.

Polk Transit will also begin a new shuttle service in Winter Haven on Monday. The dial-a-ride service will allow residents who are 65 years and older or disabled to get to medical appointments at more than seven area clinic or hospitals.

For more information about any Polk Transit service, call (863) 327-1300.

(4) Schenecker Memorial Fund donation

Liberty Middle School students, National Junior Honor Society, and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) will make a donation to the Calyx and Beau Schenecker Memorial Fund on Monday.

Students will present an oversized $6,000 check to Col. Parker Schenecker at the school today. Calyx and Beau's grandmother Nancy will match the donation.

In November the students held a cookie dough fundraiser to raise money for the memorial fund.

In 2011 the students raised $4,000. This year they exceeded their goal of $5,000.

The Calyx and Beau Schenecker Memorial Fund provides scholarships for promising leaders, athletes, and artists in the Tampa Bay area. It was established after they were murdered in January 2011.

Calyx was a cross country runner at King High, where she was enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program. Beau was a student at Liberty Middle, a soccer player, and a member of FBLA.

The check presentation ceremony will take place at 2:15 p.m. at Liberty Middle School.

For more information on the memorial fund, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Official-Calyx-Beau-Schenecker-Memorial/148239601901178 .

(5) Nicholas Trolli on Extreme Makeover Home Edition

North Port resident Nicholas Trolli will appear as Santa Claus on ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition on Monday.

Trolli is appearing on the show to assist with the building of the Friday family's home in Lincolnton, North Carolina. The family hosts 30 foster children.

In the show, Santa Claus uses Christmas magic to save the home from shenanigans caused by the Grinch. The two-hour Extreme Makeover Home Edition special airs tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Trolli is President of The Amalgamated Order, an International Fraternal Organization of Santa Clauses from around the world. He is the featured Santa Claus at the Bell Tower Shops in Ft. Myers and Channelside Bay Plaza in Tampa.

For more information on Trolli's

appearances at Santa Claus, visit InviteSanta.com .

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