5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, March 6, 2014

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

(1) David Lewis sentencing

A former Veteran Affairs employee will be sentencing on Thursday for allegedly stealing the identifications of multiple veterans.

Federal prosecutors indicted David Lewis in July 2013 on twelve counts of wrongful disclosure of health information, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to court records, Lewis sold the identities of patients at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital for crack cocaine. The people who bought the data then used it to file fraudulent U.S. income tax returns and obtain fraudulent tax refunds.

Authorities say the data theft occurred during the summer of 2012. One of the victims scheduled to testify during today's sentencing hearing is a soldier who was injured in Afghanistan.

The federal government is asking Lewis to repay the $105,000 he is accused of making by selling the patient information. He could be sentenced to serve more than 50 years in federal prison for all the charges.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Tampa.

(2) USF Health hosts Health Insurance Marketplace outreach event

The University of South Florida is hosting an outreach event on Thursday for people who want to learn about their enrollment options in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

The free, public "Nav-Lab" event is taking place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the USF Health Computer Lab at the Faculty Office Building at 13220 USF Laurel Drive in Tampa.

Representatives from Enroll America will be on hand to offer education about the Marketplace.

Navigators from USF Health, Florida CHAIN and Covering Tampa Bay will help sort out the coverage choices and guide those interested in enrolling through the application process.

"We can help people navigate the Marketplace to find a plan that provides the care they need and fits their budgets," said Jodi Ray, project director of the Florida Covering Kids & Families in the USF College of Public Health.  

The deadline this year to enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act is March 31.

"Nav-Lab" walk-ins are welcome. Visitors parking on the USF Tampa campus are required to purchase a daily parking permit.

For more information, call (813) 974-0176 or e-mail mchavez1@health.usf.edu .

(3) Future of Mann Wagnon Memorial Park meeting

Hillsborough County is hosting a meeting on Thursday night to discuss the future of Mann Wagnon Memorial Park in Sulphur Springs.

The county wants to level the three 1920s bungalows at the park which house Community Stepping Stone and two other nonprofits.

In its place officials want to create a park and erect a brand new building on an adjacent lot.

County Commissioner Les Miller claims the bungalows are in terrible shape and need to come down.

"It's going to cost us twice as much to get those buildings up to code and get them to a place where they can utilize them compared to building a brand new building," said Miller.

Miller says it would cost at least $500,000 to rehabilitate just one of the three bungalows.

Tonight the Sulphur Springs community will have a chance to give their opinions on the county's plans for the park. The public meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Springhill Community Center.

(4) Buy a Sandwich, Donate a Meal

Chick-fil-A locations across the Tampa Bay area will help out nearly 40 charities on Thursday.

For every Chicken Sandwich purchased through the restaurant's drive-thru today, Chick-fil-A will donate one Sandwich Meal to a charity of the store's choice.

In St. Petersburg, the Chick-Fil-A restaurant on 4th Street North will be donating the meals to the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg.

"The YMCA promotes youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility," said David Neely, Owner of Chick-fil-A Fourth Street. "This is a perfect partnership because both organizations’ values align so nicely."

Chick-fil-A representatives estimate over 400 meals will be donated to the YMCA through the promotion.

Today's event runs from 10:30 a.m. until closing.

To find the nearest Chick-Fil-A store near you, visit www.chick-fil-a.com/Locations/Locator .

(5) Buffalo Sabres vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning will have a new look when they take on the Buffalo Sabres at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Thursday night.

The Lightning will be without Martin St. Louis. The team's former captain was traded to the New York Rangers on Wednesday for Ryan Callahan and draft picks. St. Louis had played for Tampa Bay since 2000.

Tonight's game will also see the return of Steven Stamkos. The All-Star center broke his right tibia on November 11. Doctors only cleared his to play in a game on Wednesday. Stamkos had 23 points in 17 games before the injury.

Callahan was the Ranger's captain. This season he has 25 points in 45 games. The 28-year-old was selected in the 2004 NHL Draft by the Rangers.

He represented the United States in both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Lightning beat the Sabres in their first two contests by the same 3-2 score in October. The teams will meet once more time this year on March 29 in Buffalo.

Tonight's game begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit lightning.nhl.com .

Print this article Back to Top