5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, November 19

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, November 19.

(1) Jennifer Mee hearing

A Pinellas County judge could decide on Monday afternoon whether Jennifer Mee will be tried separately from her co-defendants on a murder charge.

Mee gained national attention as the so-called "Hiccup Girl" in 2007 when she could not stop hiccupping for weeks.

She allegedly helped her two roommates, Lamont Newton and Laron Raiford, lure a 22-year-old to a dark alleyway in October 2010 where they allegedly shot the victim during a robbery attempt.

All three roommates are charged with murder.

The judge in the case could also set a trial date today.

The hearing is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at the Pinellas County courthouse in Clearwater.

(2) USF professors Autar Kaw returns home

University of South Florida mechanical engineering professor Autar Kaw is scheduled to return to Tampa this week after being honored in Washington, D.C.

Kaw, a USF professor for 25 years, is one of four professors to win the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award.

The award is considered the nation's highest honor for undergraduate teaching. It is given by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Kaw was selected in the category of Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year.

For more information about the U.S. Professor of the Year Award program, visit www.usprofessorsoftheyear.org .

(3) Sebring VA Community Clinic re-opens

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System re-opens the Sebring VA Community Clinic on Monday.

The new clinic building, located at 5901 U.S. Highway 27 South in the Beverly Center Plaza, is approximately two miles south of the old location. The new clinic will be more than twice as large as the old one.

"The new building will provide a patient centered environment and spacious accommodations for both Veterans and staff. It is an excellent location for us to be able to deliver high quality VA health care service in a comfortable setting," said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.

Patients who require health care services beginning today will be seen at the new clinic.

The clinics primary phone number will not change. Veterans can continue to call (863) 471-6227 for appointments and cancelations, pharmacy services, health care questions and more.

For more information about the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, visit www.baypines.va.gov .

(4) Pendás Law Firm turkey distribution

The Pendás Law Firm will be donating one thousand turkeys to Tampa Bay families in need on Monday.

The turkeys will be distributed beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the law firm's office at 816 West Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard in Tampa.

The Pendás Law Firm will also be giving away 1,500 turkeys at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday at its Orlando offices located at 625 East Colonial Drive.

For more information on the turkey giveaway, visit www.pendaslaw.com/turkey-give-away-2012.php .

(5) ABC Action News Angel Tree

ABC Action News begins our annual Angel Tree program on Monday. The Angel Tree Program collects and delivers gifts to children who would otherwise receive very little.

Last year over 10,000 children in the Tampa Bay area were helped through the program.

Here are the steps to follow for you to help out:

  1. Stop by the ABC Action News Studios located at 4045 North Himes Avenue in Tampa during business hours.
  2. Select a child off the Angel Tree.
  3. Shop for your child using their list (new toys and/or clothing totaling at least $25)
  4. Return the attached tag with the case number with your unwrapped gifts by December 19.

ABC Action News lobby is open weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (except Thanksgiving Day). Angel Tree participants will be entered into giveaways and drawings for great prizes to say thank you.

For more information, visit ABCActionNews.com/AngelTree .

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