5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, March 28
8:46 AM, Mar 28, 2013
9:12 AM, Mar 28, 2013
TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, March 28.
(1) Madonia bankruptcy hearing
The owners of the Red Rose Inn in Plant City are due to appear in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in downtown Tampa on Thursday for a bankruptcy hearing.
Batista and Evelyn Madonia and their companies have over $53 million in liabilities, according to the Chapter 11 petition filed earlier this month.
Besides the Red Rose Inn, the Madonias own the two agricultural businesses: the Circle M Ranch and Ruskin Vegetable Corporation.
According to their bankruptcy petition, both their liabilities and assets are between $53 and $130 million.
Chapter 11 would allow the Madonias' businesses to continue to operate while their debts are reorganized. The outcome of the bankruptcy case could determine if the Red Rose Inn, which closed in May 2012, might to reopen at some point in the future.
The hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Courtroom 9B at the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse in downtown Tampa.
(2) Southeastern American Kestrel nests
Florida Power & Light crews are scheduled to place new nesting houses for the Southeastern American Kestrel in the Duette Preserve in Manatee County on Thursday.
The nests will be place on new storm-resilient power line poles FP&L installed in the Preserve.
The Kestrel is a non-migratory bird that is listed as a threatened species in Florida. Their population is in decline due to a lack of nesting and foraging habitat.
The nesting installation project is being done in cooperation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(3) Big Cat Rescue Easter treats
The cats at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa will get an early Easter treat on Thursday.
Note: This is a media-only event.
Big Cat Rescue volunteers have created Easter treats filled with scents like cinnamon for each of the sanctuary's cats.
The Easter treats will be given to the animals starting at 11:00 a.m.
Big Cat Rescue is located at 12802 Easy Street which is across from Citrus Park Mall in Tampa. For more information, visit
(4) Marquette vs. Miami
The NCAA Men's basketball tournament resumes on Thursday with four Sweet Sixteen games.
Making this far in the tournament is nothing new for Marquette. The 3rd-seeded Golden Eagles are making their third straight appearance in the Sweet Sixteen and 16th in school history.
The 2nd-seeded Miami is another story. The Hurricanes are in just their second Sweet Sixteen game ever, their first coming in 2000.
It might be tough for the 'Canes, who will be the without center Reggie Johnson. The 6-10 senior underwent a minor surgical procedure earlier this week and did not travel with the team to Washington, D.C.
Earlier this month Johnson missed a month due to a thumb injury. While he was out the Hurricanes lost two games.
Tipoff for tonight's game is at 7:15 p.m.
(5) Bellator MMA at the USF Sun Dome
Bellator mixed martial arts action returns to the USF Sun Dome on Thursday night.
The night will see two $100,000 Tournament Finals fights in the Featherweight and Lightweight categories.
The Lightweight Final will see David "the Caveman" Rickels fighting Saad Awad.
"I've got all the respect in the world for Saad," Rickels said. "The guy has two huge knockouts in this tournament, but not too many men have been able to stand with the Caveman."
In the Featherweight Final, Emanuel Newton will take on Mikhail Zayats.
"I shocked the world once, and I'll do it again," Newton said. "After this tournament, everyone is going to know who Emanuel Newton is, and I'm going to be coming for that belt."
Also fighting tonight is world #1 ranked 115lb female MMA fighter Jessica "Jag" Aguilar.
Tonight's featured fights will be aired live on Spike TV.