5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Tuesday, July 8, 2014

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

(1) Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Communications Bureau Open House

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is hosting a Communications Bureau Open House on Tuesday for people interested in becoming a 911 dispatcher.

A communication 911 dispatcher answers calls from the public, coordinates the response of first responders and must remain calm in any emergency situation.

Minimum qualifications include having at least a high school diploma or G.E.D., no felony convictions or other negative law enforcement interaction, no illegal drug use in the past 36 months (or after the age of 30), and be able to pass writing and typing tests.

Applicants must pass two polygraphs, undergo a psychological evaluation and complete a through background investigation that includes financial and driving history.

The Open House will take place at 6:00 p.m. at the Falkenburg Road Jail's Assembly Road at 520 N. Falkenburg Road in Tampa.

If you think you are ready to "Answer the Call", you are asked to contact Senior Communications Supervisor Alex Diaz at (813) 247-8269 to RSVP your seat by leaving a voice mail with your name and intention to attend.

For additional information on job benefits, visit www.jobaps.com/hill .

(2) Sarasota Police Department's Coffee with a Cop

The Sarasota Police Department is offering city residents a chance to discuss community issues with police officers in an informal setting on Tuesday.

The Coffee with a Cop event allows law enforcement officers the chance to break down barriers, and speak one-on-one with people in a relaxed environment while enjoying coffee.

The community gets the opportunity to ask questions, raise concerns, and learn more about the department's work in Sarasota's neighborhoods.

Today's Coffee with a Cop event is being held from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. at Silver Star at 180 N. Lime Avenue in Sarasota.

The next Sarasota Police Coffee with a Cop event at Silver Star will occur on August 21.

(3) HART Route 51X revision public hearing

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) is hosting a public hearing on Tuesday to discuss proposed revisions to Route 51X, the New Tampa/Pasco Express.

The changes to the route, which would become effective in November, are intended to enhance and improve HART service in the New Tampa corridor.

There are three options HART is proposing.

  • Option #1 continues existing AM and PM express service between Pasco County and downtown Tampa with hourly midday service.
  • Option #2 would discontinue direct express service between Pasco County and downtown Tampa in favor of continual hourly midday service between the University Area Transit Center and southern Pasco County. Riders wanting to go downtown could use the HART MetroRapid service, HART route 6LTD, as an alternative.
  • Option #3 would discontinue direct express service between Pasco County and downtown Tampa in favor of continual hourly midday service between the University Area Transit Center and southern Pasco County and USF. Riders wanting to go downtown could use the HART MetroRapid service, HART route 6LTD, as an alternative.

HART is encouraging anyone to give comments on the options at today's public meeting which is taking place from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the New Tampa Community Center at 17302 Commerce Park Boulevard in Tampa.

Comments may also be forwarded to HART by contacting HART Customer Service at (813) 254-4278 or by sending an email to 51Xcomment@goHART.org .

Today's hearing on the proposed revisions is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. at the New Tampa Library. HART's Board of Directors are expected to make a final recommendation on any changes in September.

(4) Town & Country Hospital unveils new name

Town & Country Hospital will unveil its new name during a media event at the hospital on Tuesday.

The 201-bed hospital has been serving northwest Hillsborough and northeast Pinellas counties for more than 34 years.

The hospital was purchased by HCA West Florida in October 2013. The name change is the latest in HCA's improvement plan to upgrade the hospital so it better serves the community and its patients.

The name change will be announced at 10:00 a.m.

Town & Country Hospital is located at 6001 Webb Road in Tampa. For more information, visit www.townandcountryhospital.com .

(5) The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley opens

Universal Studios Florida opens its newest attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley, to the public on Tuesday.

The new area will double the size of the Harry Potter Hogsmeade attraction already in Universal's Islands of Adventure, expanding the boy wizard's presence across both theme parks.

Diagon Alley will feature shops, dining experiences and a new thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Guests will be able to enjoy experiences and places, such as the Knight Bus, found in and around

London in the Harry Potter books and films. You can then walk the streets of Diagon Alley and explore iconic shops like Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, dine in the Leaky Cauldron, or try to see if you can escape from Gringotts bank vaults.

Guests can board the Hogwarts Express train that will transport them from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade.

The cost for enjoy for both Harry Potter attractions with a park hopper pass is $136. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com .

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