5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, January 9
9:03 AM, Jan 9, 2014
11:42 AM, Jan 9, 2014
TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, January 9.
(1) Florida lawmakers discuss Charlotte's Web
The Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee is holding a workshop in Tallahasse on Thursday to discuss the merits of decriminalizing certain strains of marijuana.
The types of marijuana under discussion have no euphoric effects but can reduce the number of seizures people with epilepsy have.
Among the proponents of legal use of such marijuana are the parents of Charlotte Figi. The Colorado toddler started having violent seizures at three months of age.
Her parents found a marijuana grower who extracted oil from the plant that has a low THC content, the chemical that gives cannabis its intoxicating ability, and high in CBD, an active ingredient in controlling seizures.
After ingesting the oil, she her seizures came to a near halt. That strain of marijuana is now called Charlotte's Web.
After hearing of the Figis' story, Democratic State House Representative Katie Edwards called for Florida lawmakers to discuss medical marijuana issues.
(2) Sgt. Michael Nicholson receives smart home
Marine Sgt. Michael Nicholson (ret.) will receive the keys to his new smart home on Thursday.
Nicholson lost both his legs and left arm when an improvised explosive device went off while he was on foot patrol in Afghanistan on July 6, 2011.
The South Tampa house has been customized to easy the veteran's daily challenges and help give him back some of the independence he lost due to his disability.
The smart home features retractable cook tops, cabinets and shelving, elevators and more, all accessible via an iPad.
Building for America's Bravest, a joint program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers and the Gary Sinise Foundations, and other donors helped contribute the funds required to build the home.
Sgt. Nicholson will receive the keys to the home at a ceremony which begin at 10:00 a.m.
(3) City of Tampa discusses Lowry Park Zoo upgrades
The Tampa City Council is scheduled to discuss upgrades to Lowry Park Zoo on Thursday.
Zoo officials would like the city to borrow up to $6.5 million to build a new veterinary hospital and feeding center. Both yet-to-be built features has been scheduled to open by October 2012.
The Zoo is worry it will lose the Association of Zoos and Aquariums accreditation if the facilities are not operational by early next year.
The new veterinary hospital would replace the current 25-year-old hospital which is considered outdated.
(4) Crystal River nuclear power plant decommissioning open house
Duke Energy is hosting a public open house on Thursday regarding its plans for decommissioning the Crystal River nuclear power plant.
The purpose of the meeting is increase awareness of the decommissioning plan Duke submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in early December.
The plan includes the decommissioning schedule, a cost estimate and the strategy Duke will use for storing spent nuclear fuel.
The open house is free and open to the public.
It will take place from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Magnolia ballroom at the Plantation on Crystal River at 9301 West Fort Island Trail in Crystal River.