5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, February 11
8:46 AM, Feb 11, 2013
10:15 AM, Feb 11, 2013
TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, February 11.
(1) Jim Greer trial begins
The trial of former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer is scheduled to begin with jury selection in Orlando on Monday morning.
Greer faces charges of fraud and money laundering.
Prosecutors allege he secretly set up a shell company and used it to funnel $125,000 from the Republican Party into his own accounts.
Among the politicians who could be called to testify is former Florida Republican governor turned independent, turned democrat, Charlie Crist.
Other politicians on the witnesses list are former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, House Speaker Will Weatherford, former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos and former Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon.
If convicted, the 50-year-old Greer could get receive to 75 years in prison.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. The trial is expected to last two weeks.
(2) Paul Beasley Johnson re-sentencing trial begins
The fourth jury is being chosen on Monday to decide the fate of Paul Beasley Johnson.
The now-63-year-old Johnson was originally tried in 1981 for the deaths of three people, including a Polk County sheriff's deputy.
The jury sentenced Johnson to death, but the Florida Supreme Court ordered a new trial because jurors had not been properly sequestered while deliberating his fate.
A second trial in 1987 ended in a mistrial.
A third jury found Johnson guilty in 1988 and again sentenced him to death. However, in 2010 the Florida Supreme Court ruled a new jury is needed to decide his punishment.
A jailhouse informant who testified he was asked by authorities to gather information about Johnson later said he lied in his testimony that Johnson was acting crazy to avoid being punished for the murders.
The Supreme Court ruled Johnson's conviction would remain, but a new sentence was required.
Jury selection is scheduled to be start at 8:30 a.m. at the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow.
(3) Wells Fargo grant announcement
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Wells Fargo Regional President Carl Miller will announce a major grant initiative on Monday for non-profit organizations that support homeownership and neighborhood stabilization.
A total of $800,000 will be awarded to 6 local nonprofits as par of Wells Fargo's NeighborhoodLIFTSM program.
The local grant recipients will assist the city in five key areas: transitional and permanent supported housing, shelter and support services for the homeless; homeownership, affordable housing construction, rehabilitation, and counseling for low- and moderate-income residents; neighborhood beautification and improvement; workforce development programs; and small and micro-business assistance.
The 11:00 a.m. announcement will be made at 109 West Adalee Street in Tampa, one of the homes in need of critical interior and exterior repairs that will benefit from the funding.
(4) March voter registration deadline
Monday is the deadline for Pinellas County voters to register who wish to vote in the March 12 municipal elections.
Elections will be conducted March 12 in Belleair Bluffs, Gulfport, Kenneth City, Madeira Beach, Oldsmar, Seminole, South Pasadena, Tarpon Springs and Treasure Island.
Registration is required for new voters by today in order to participate. Anyone who is already registered to vote does not need to re-register.
You can register to vote or update your voter information at any Supervisor of Elections office, public library, Tax Collector office or government office handling social services.
Address changes from another Florida county made at the polls will require the voter to vote a provisional ballot, except for active military voters and their families.
For more information, call the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office at (727) 464-8683 or visit www.votepinellas.com .
(5) 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Dog owners from across Florida are in New York City on Monday for the start of the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Of the 2,721 canines competing in the dog show, 114 are from Florida.
For the first time ever, this year's competition has dogs from all 50 states competing in 187 breeds and varieties.
The categories with the most dogs are Golden Retrievers (61), Labrador Retrievers (54), and Rhodesian Ridgebacks (50).
Television coverage of the hound, toy, non-sporting and herding groups will be broadcast from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. tonight on CNBC.
You can see the sporting, working, terrier groups, as well as the Best in Show on USA Network on Tuesday night from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m.