5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, February 7

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, February 7.

(1) Lawrence Dickey sentencing

Convicted murderer Lawrence Dickey is scheduled to be sentenced in Tampa on Thursday.

A jury convicted Dickey of second degree murder for beating his wife Beatrice to death with a baseball bat in September 2011. Beatrice Dickey was a high ranking Polk County Sheriff's deputy.

Prosecutors say Dickey attacked his wife in their Plant City home while she slept.

At the time of Beatrice's murder, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, "Bea was an incredibly special person to all of us at the Polk County. She was not just our colleague, she was our dear friend. This is a tremendous loss."

Dickey could be sentenced between 20 years to life in prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. at the Hillsborough County Courthouse in downtown Tampa.

(2) Rays exploration fee

On Thursday morning the St. Petersburg City Council is scheduled to discuss amending the lease with the Tampa Bay Rays to allow the team to search for stadium sites outside the city limits.

St. Pete Councilman Charlie Gerdes has proposed a $1.4 exploration fee. If the Rays would pay that amount, the ballclub would then gain the legal right to talk with other local governments in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties about a new stadium.

Currently, the Rays are contractually committed to playing at Tropicana Field through 2027. The team is also not allowed to negotiate to play at another site before then.

Even if the Rays find a suitable site for a new stadium, they would still be required to work out a deal with the City of St. Petersburg to break their lease.

The discussion of a exploration fee is scheduled to occur during the normal St. Pete City Council meeting which begins at 8:30 a.m.

(3) Tuskegee Airmen at Fantasy of Flight

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen will be at Fantasy of Flight beginning on Thursday to shave their personal experiences of wartime military service during segregated America.

The Airmen are appearing for the next three days at the Polk City attraction as part of the Legends & Legacies Symposium Series.

The Legends & Legacies: They Dared to Fly: Tuskegee Airmen event features open-forum/question-and-answer sessions. The moderator is Barrington Irving, the first African American to fly solo around the world.

Attendees to Fantasy of Flight will also be able to enjoy the attraction's Tuskegee Airmen exhibit and vintage aircraft collection, including the P-51C Mustang.

The Symposium Series is included in the price of general admission which is $29.95 for adults, $27.95 for seniors ages 55 and over and $15.95 for children.

For more information, call (863) 984-3500 or visit www.fantasyofflight.com .

(4) Rock the Park

Tampa's free monthly music series, Rock the Park, returns to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on Thursday night.

The concert series showcases the musical talents of Central Floridians from all types of genres.

Headlining tonight's concert is Orlando-based southern rock and soul band Thomas Wynn & The Believers. Thomas Wynn's moving vocals are supported by his sister Olivia's captivating voice.

The six-piece ensemble was voted Best Orlando Rock Band three times in a Orlando Weekly readers poll (2009, 2010, 2011).

Also performing tonight are The Groves and hip-hop rapper Mike Mass.

In addition to the live music, there will be food and beverages for sale in the park.

The concert is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.rocktheparktampa.com .

(5) 2013 Florida State Fair

Thursday is opening day for the 109th Florida State Fair.

With plenty of food, entertainment, exhibits, games and animals, there is something for everyone at the fair.

This year, the fair is celebrating Florida's 500th anniversary of the arrival of Ponce de Leon on the east coast of Florida with a Tampa Bay History Center curated exhibit.

Opening day is Heroes Day. All active, reserve, or retired military veterans, law enforcement, firemen and first responders are admitted free with I.D.

Admission is just $5 for everyone today after 5:00 p.m., and armbands are $20 after 3:00 p.m.

The Fair is offering a concert series this year featuring LeAnn Rimes, the Gatlin Brothers, the Bellamy Brothers, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, and more. All concert series shows require a separate ticket that does not include fair admission.

Fair admission prices Monday to Friday are $10 for adults 12 and older and $5 for children ages 6-11. Prices on Saturday and Sunday are $12 for adults 12 and older and $6 for children ages 6-11.

Midway games and rides may have additional admission prices.

For more information, call (813) 621-7821 or visit www.floridastatefair.com .

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