5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.

(1) Cut for a Cure Charity Challenge

More than 200 people are scheduled to shave their heads on Wednesday during the 5th annual Cut for a Cure Charity Challenge.

Participants include Tampa Bay business leaders, 16-year-old cancer survivor MaKayla Muir, and a pony from Quantum Leap Farm.

The event raises funds and awareness for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation (PCF) and selected nonprofit organizations.

Previous head shavings to raise money for the PCF were done by the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning, Jet Sports Management and Chipper Jones, and Women's Care Florida.

"It is wonderful to see professional athletes and business leaders unite to support a common goal," said Nancy Crane, Pediatric Cancer Foundation executive director. "Last year's Cut for a Cure raised over $400,000 and we hope to exceed that number this year."

The head shaving event at TPepin's Hospitality Centre is not open to the public, but you are encouraged to make a donation to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation at www.pcfcutforacure.org .

(2) 2015 Budget eTownHall opens

Pinellas County opens its 2015 Budget eTownHall website on Wednesday. The site allows Pinellas residents to help shape the county's budget priorities.

The online event is part of the Pinellas County Fiscal Year 2015 Budget public meeting, which is being held tonight in the Digitorium of St. Petersburg College in Seminole.

Citizens can meet with county commissioners and the county administrator from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the meeting and then participate in the eTownHall from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

County residents can participate in the eTownHall by being a part of the live audience, or logging onto www.pinellascounty.org/etownhall to view the panel discussion.

(3) Clearwater ER groundbreaking

Largo Medical Center will break ground on its new Clearwater ER facility on Wednesday morning.

The $8 million center, located at 2339 Gulf to Bay Boulevard, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014. It will be provide comprehensive emergency care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The 10,600-square-foot building is expected to serve more than 18,000 patients per year. The ER will feature 11 exam rooms. Largo Medical Center plans to initially employ 41 full-time staff members and six full-time physicians at the facility.

The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. For more information, visit largomedical.com .

(4) TECO breaks ground on Polk Power Station expansion

Tampa Electric is scheduled to break ground on its expansion of the Polk Power Station on Wednesday.

The expansion will convert four existing simple-cycle natural gas units to a more efficient combined-cycle unit by 2017.

TECO says when the project will have two benefits when it is completed: nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced; and the plant will generate about an additional 460 megawatts, enough to power more than 100,000 homes.

The power station is located at 9995 State Road 37 South in Mulberry. The groundbreaking center is scheduled to occur at 9:30 a.m.

For more information, visit www.tampaelectric.com/company/ourpowersystem/powerstations/polk/ .

(5) Manatee opens Neal Preserve

Manatee Parks and Natural Resources is scheduled to open the Neal Preserve to the public on Wednesday.

Manatee County purchased the 120-acre preserve in 2005. It is located on the south side of Manatee Avenue, just east of the Anna Maria Bridge.

Neal Preserve features an observation tower overlooking Sarasota Bay, elevated platform-style boardwalks through salt marsh habitat, and railed boardwalks through mangrove forests. There is also a picnic pavilion and a hard packed shell trail.

The area was also once home to two Native American cemeteries. Part of the preservation efforts involved creating demonstration mounds to show where the cemeteries were located.

Officials say the preserve will be great for hiking, bicycling, kayaking and dog walking.

The public is invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at 4:00 p.m. There will be guest speakers, light refreshments, demonstrations of Native American tool use and naturalist-guided tours of the site.

Photos of Neal Preserve are posted at: www.flickr.com/photos/manateegov/sets/72157641873728324/ .

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