5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, January 30
4:17 AM, Jan 30, 2013
8:31 AM, Jan 31, 2013
TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, January 30.
(1) Schnitt vs. Bubba closing arguments
Closing arguments in the civil defamation case between Todd 'MJ' Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem are scheduled for Wednesday.
The lawsuit states that Bubba implied Schnitt's wife, a former assistant state attorney, pushed for animal cruelty charges after Bubba killed a boar on a live broadcast.
Schnitt claims Clem encouraged his fans to antagonize him and he says this ruined his reputation. He is seeking more than $15,000 in damages.
Following closing arguments the case is set to go to the jury.
You can watch the court proceedings streaming live on ABC Action News Now! on the ABC Action News app for iPhone and android smartphones.
(2) Gus Bilirakis open house
Congressman Gus Bilirakis will celebrate the opening of his New Port Richey and Wesley Chapel offices on Wednesday with open houses at both locations.
At both events, the Congressman will deliver brief remarks to his District 12 constituents. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the Congressman and his staff, while enjoying light refreshments.
The New Port Richey open house will take place from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the office located at 7132 Little Road.
The Wesley Chapel open house will take place from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the office located at 5901 Argerian Drive, Suite 102.
For more information on Congressman Bilirakis, visit his official House of Representatives website at
(3) Big Brother Big Sisters Match 100
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County launches their new Match 100 campaign on Wednesday.
Through the campaign, the agency is asking the community to donate $100,000, remove 100 children from the organization's waiting list and recruit 100 new volunteers.
On average Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County serves 1,500 children each year in Pinellas, Hernando and Citrus Counties. Officials say because the cost of making and supporting one new match is approximately $1,200; the agency needs more money to serve deserving children.
The agency is kicking off their campaign with a fun event from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Largo Community Center Ballroom at 400 Alternate Keene Road in Largo.
Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse staff will start packing up for spring training on Wednesday.
Ballclub staff will load equipment and supplies onto to a truck at Tropicana Field beginning at 10:00 a.m. The truck will then be driven to the Rays spring home at Charlotte Sports Park in Charlotte County.
Rays pitchers and catchers will report for spring training on Tuesday, February 12. The full-squad reports on Saturday, February 16.
The Rays begin their fourth spring training season in Charlotte County on Sunday, March 4 against the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 p.m. Single-game tickets will range in price from $7 to $27 for all 17 games at Charlotte Sports Park.
NASA is scheduled to launch the TDRS-K spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Wednesday night.
The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System is a space-based communication satellite that provides tracking, telemetry and high-bandwidth data communication between satellites in space and ground stations. It is scheduled to operate in orbit for at least 15 years.
The TDRS-K is the first of three new satellites NASA is scheduled to launch in the next three years to bolster the TDRS network. The first TDRS satellite was launched in 1983.
The launch window is open from 8:48 to 9:28 p.m. You can watch the launch live or learn more about the TDRS-K mission at