5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, January 31

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, January 31.

(1) Mahaffey Theater ticket announcement

Bill Edwards will make a major announcement on Thursday regarding ticket prices at Mahaffey Theater.

Beginning on Friday, February 1, the Mahaffey will become the first performing arts center of its size in West-Central Florida to adopt a "no ticketing surcharge" policy. That means the advertised price for an event will be the cost a person pays.

"I subscribe to truth in advertising and full disclosure," said Bill Edwards, CEO of Big3 Entertainment. "The advertised price should be what the community pays."

It is standard policy in the industry for venues to apply additional fees for processing, handling, convenience and postage on top of the advertised price for an event ticket.

"We value our St. Petersburg community and strive to make quality live entertainment and the performing arts more accessible and affordable," Edwards added.

Tickets for Mahaffey Theater events can be purchased at the Mahaffey Theater Box Office, online at TheMahaffey.com or by calling (727) 893-7832.

(2) James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

Eckerd College will hold a grand opening event for the brand new James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences on Thursday.

The $25 million, 55,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will house the college's Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry programs. The building will be equipped with the latest in educational technology and scientific instrumentation.

The grand opening celebration will begin at 3:00 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony and live music by The Lotus Fire.

Attendees will be able to enjoy complimentary 'science fare' and be able to tour the building and its interactive laboratories.

The James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences is named for longtime Eckerd friends Tom James, executive chairman of Raymond James Financial, Inc., and his wife, Mary.

For more information, visit www.eckerd.edu .

(3) Battle of Belts Award Ceremony

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Community Outreach Division will hold an awards ceremony on Thursday for the Battle of the Belts awards winners.

In December 2012, twenty-six Hillsborough County schools participated in the initiative which aims to increase seat belt use by teenage drivers.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. 

Teenagers have the highest fatality rate in motor vehicle crashes than any other age group. They also have the lowest safety belt use rates of all drivers and the rate is even lower when there are multiple teens in a vehicle.

The awards ceremony, taking place at 9:30 a.m. at Lennard High School, will honor the following schools:

  • Highest percentage of seat belt usage: Riverview High School (98.25%)
  • Most improved seat belt usage: Brandon High School (26.17% improvement)
  • Best poster: Newsome High School
  • Best PSA: Lennard High School
  • Best Overall Campaign: Lennard High School

(4) Tampa to Trenton flights on Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines begins nonstop service between Tampa International Airport (TIA) and New Jersey's Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) on Thursday.

The flights between the two airports are scheduled for three times weekly: on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The new service will operate on a 138-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.

To celebrate the new service, Tampa International Airport will serve cake to arriving and departing travelers and a DJ will play music featuring New Jersey artists. Guests are invited to give the prize wheel a spin and test their knowledge of The Garden State with trivia questions. 

For more information, visit www.FlyFrontier.com .

(5) Magnolia Troop One proclamation commemoration

The Tampa City Council will make a special proclamation to an organization for girls on Thursday.

During their regular scheduled meeting, council members will present a proclamation commemorating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts Magnolia Troop One of Tampa. The troop is the second oldest Girl Scouts troop in the nation.

Magnolia Troop One was established in 1913 at Hyde Park United Methodist Church by Jessamine Link, a close friend of Girl Scouts' founder Juliette Gordon Low.

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida board members and executive staff will be on hand to accept the proclamation. The presentation will take place at 9:00 a.m. in the Old City Hall in downtown Tampa.

For more information on the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, visit www.gswcf.org .

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