5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, October 8

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, October 8.

(1) Kenneth Jackson murder trial begins

The trial for the man accused of raping, murdering and then burning a Seffner woman in 2007 is scheduled to begin in Tampa on Monday.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Kenneth Jackson.

Investigators say Jackson killed Cuc Thu Tran in September 2007 after she left her home at 5:30 a.m. for her morning jog.

Tran's burned body was located 2 1/2 hours later inside a burned-out 1993 Dodge minivan 13 miles away from her home.

Deputies said Tran was stabbed first and then set on fire in the van. Homicide detectives say a DNA sample Jackson agreed to provide linked him to the crime.

Just weeks before the attack, Jackson was released from prison after serving four year for grand theft.

The trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa.

(2) Anti-War Day of Action

Students at the University of South Florida will hold an anti-war rally on Monday.

The Anti-War Day of Action, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society, is taking place on the 11th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan.

Students will gather at Cooper Hall at 11:00 a.m. to express their opposition to the continuing war in Afghanistan and drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

After a number of speakers address the crowd, the students will then march to the CW Young building.

For more information, visit www.tampabaysds.wordpress.com .

(3) National Fire Prevention Week

The American Red Cross is offering fire safety tips for National Fire Prevention Week in an attempt to save lives.

"The best thing you can do to protect your loved ones is to install a smoke alarm and develop and practice a fire escape plan," said Linda Carbone, CEO of Florida's West Coast Region and the Tampa Bay Chapter. "Fires can spread very quickly, so everyone at home, school and work should know what to do when they hear the sound of a smoke alarm."

Other recommendations include:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.
  • Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Ensure household members know two ways to escape from every room.
  • Practice your household's escape plan at least twice a year.
  • Once you exit your house, stay outside and then call 9-1-1.

Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for additional fire safety tips.

National Fire Prevention Week continues through October 13.

(4) Pennies for Politics

Two Tampa Bay area charities are co-hosting a presidential straw poll fundraiser in St. Petersburg on Monday.

Pennies for Politics aims to raise funds for the Partners for Life Foundation and The Heroes of the St. Pete Police Foundation.

Supporters can cast a vote by adding pennies to their candidates' jar. The jar with the most pennies wins. Nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars will also be accepted.

Voting begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues until 9:00 p.m. at Feola's Italian Ristorante at 7110 5th Avenue North in St. Petersburg.

A booth will be set up should you desire to cast your pennies in private.

The event will include discounted breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts with all of the proceeds donated to the two foundations.  There will be games and entertainment for the entire family.

Partners for Life Foundation was created by Lorraine Yaslowtiz, widow of fallen St. Petersburg Police officer Jeff Yaslowitz. The mission of her foundation is to aid the families of victims of senseless acts of violence. 

The Heroes of the St. Pete Police Foundation mission is to assist the community in demonstrating its support and commitment to the St. Petersburg Police officers and their families.  The foundation is scheduled to unveil and dedicate a monument to all 15 fallen officers of the St. Petersburg Police Department on October 13th.

(5) "BOGO" Starbucks Mocha

Monday is the final day to take advantage of a great "wake up" offer at Target.

The retailer is offering people who purchase one Starbucks mocha an additional Starbucks mocha for free.

The buy-one-get-one free offer is good at any Target Starbucks location.

WFTS, Inc., ABCActionNews.com and Scripps Media, Inc. do not endorse any free offer and do not receive any financial compensation from the companies involved, unless otherwise indicated.

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