5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, December 3

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, December 3.

(1) Free flu vaccines

The Pinellas County Health Department is offering free flu vaccines to county residents on Monday.

The vaccines will be offered while supplies last from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Health Department's Flu Shot Clinic at its Mid-County location at 8751 Ulmerton Road in Largo.

The following groups would benefit the most from receiving a yearly flu vaccine:

  • Pregnant women
  • Persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years
  • Those who live with or care for infants less than 6 months old
  • Persons between the ages of 25 months and 64 years with medical conditions
  • that increase his or her risk for influenza-related complications
  • Health-care and emergency medical services personnel

To make the flu vaccine process easier, the required form is posted online at www.PinellasHealth.com . Bring the completed one-page form to the clinic to shorten the waiting time.

For more information, call (727) 524-4410.

(2) St. Petersburg Net Zero Energy office building opens

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster will officially open the city's first Net Zero Energy office building on Monday.

The building features rooftop solar panels window tinting, geothermal HVAC, rainwater harvesting, tankless point of use water heaters, green spaces with native landscaping, recycling facilities, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

The building's first tenants include the Sierra Club's state headquarters, Roundhouse Creative Studio, and boutique web agency Big Sea Design & Development.

The opening ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the building which is located at 1990 Central Avenue.

For more information, visit sierraclubnetzerobuilding.com .

(3) Automobile arson insurance fraud demonstration

Mercury Insurance's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) will intentionally burn a car to the ground in St. Petersburg on Monday to highlight how insurance fraud is determined.

The SIU combats insurance fraud by exposing thousands of false claims each year.

Three cities in the Florida rank top-five nationally for staged accidents: Tampa (#2), Miami (#3) and Orlando (#4). The Insurance Information Institute estimates auto insurance fraud will cost Floridians up to $1 billion in 2012.

The burned vehicle will be used by the SIU to teach local law enforcement and investigators how to identify signs of vehicular fraud.

The car burn begins at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Petersburg Fire Department Training Facility at 3200 22nd Street South.

(4) Sarasota National Cemetery amphitheater groundbreaking

Sarasota National Cemetery will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its multi-million-dollar amphitheater on Monday.

The Patterson Foundation, which is funding the project, will announce the name for the ceremonial amphitheater at today's ceremony.

"The ceremonial amphitheater will feature stunning artwork and shade and seating that will serve as a gathering site to honor veterans, inspire patriotism and embrace freedom," said Debra Jacobs, President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. "We hope the ceremonial amphitheater serves as a community treasure and our partnership with the NCA serves as a model for communities across the country."

The primary service area for Sarasota National Cemetery is a 75-mile radius, however, any veteran with other than a dishonorable discharge, their spouses and dependent children are eligible for burial in any Veterans Administration National Cemetery.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the National Cemetery which is located at 9810 State Road 72.

For more information about Sarasota National Cemetery, visit www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/sarasota.asp .

(5) Brittany Gordon jersey retirement

The jersey number of former St. Petersburg High School basketball captain Brittany Gordon will be retired on Monday.

Gordon graduated from St. Petersburg High in 2006. As a senior she was captain of the Green Devil's girls basketball team and also a team manager for the boy's team.

Four years after graduation, Gordon joined the U.S. Army.

Army Spc. Gordon was killed on October 13 from an improvised explosive device while serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan. At the time she was serving with a unit based Tacoma, Washington.

Gordon's #33 jersey will be retired at half time of tonight's girl's varsity game. Her parents, Brenda Gordon and St. Petersburg assistant police chief Cedric Gordon are scheduled to attend the ceremony.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m.

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