5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, June 27

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, June 27.

(1) Florida voter purge hearing

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle will hear arguments on Wednesday whether to issue a temporary restraining order against Florida's plan to purge ineligible voters.

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking the restraining order, believing Florida is violating part of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. That law bars the removal of ineligible voters within 90 days of an election.

Florida is holding primary elections on August 16. The law would prevent the state from removing voters after May 16.

Governor Rick Scott says the plan to use a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles database to help identify ineligible voters is necessary to make sure only eligible people are allowed to cast ballots.

The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee.

(2) Hillsborough County budget presentation

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill will present his recommended fiscal year 2013 budget to the Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday.

Merrill's plan balances the budget without raising taxes, reducing services or tapping reserve funds.

Commissioners will hold a series of workshops and public hearing over the next few months to allow residents to give input on the proposed budget. A user-friendly explanation of the budget plan can be found online at www.hillsboroughcounty.org .

The budget presentation will take place at 10:00 a.m. in the 2nd Floor Boardroom of the County Center in downtown Tampa.

(3) FAMU Board of Trustees meeting

The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Wednesday regarding the school budget and rebranding plan.

FAMU officials want to spend $800,000 to pay for a new executive director of communications and an outside marketing firm. The money would be used in an attempt to restore the university's good name after the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion in November.

The budget plan includes an extra $850,000 for President James Ammons' office, part of which would be used to pay for two new anti-hazing positions.

The meeting will take place from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

(4) HART MetroRapid East-West project open house

HART is holding an open house for the MetroRapid East-West Project on Wednesday.

During the open house, HART officials will update residents about the project, which is now in the Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) Study phase.

MetroRapid will feature transit signal priority technology, which will hold green lights longer and shorten red lights for HART MetroRapid buses at signalized intersections. This will result in travel-time savings for customers and result in more frequent service with fewer stops.

East-West is a 16.4-mile corridor mainly running along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Hillsborough Avenue to connect customers from Tampa International Airport to the Temple Terrace area.

The open house will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Omar K. Lightfoot Recreation Center at 10901 North 56th Street in Temple Terrace.

For more information about this project, call (813) 384-6591 or visit www.goHART.org .

(5) National HIV Testing Day

June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. It is a nationwide initiative observed every year to raise awareness of the need to get people tested for the HIV virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 200,000 people nationwide are HIV-positive but are unaware of their status. Routine testing is encouraged for all sexually active individuals ages 13 to 64.

The Hillsborough County Health Department will offer free confidential HIV and STD testing from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the HCHD downtown location at 1105 East Kennedy Boulevard.

The Polk County Health Department and Walgreen's have partnered to offer a free health fair, including HIV tests, at the Walgreen's located at 311 East Memorial Boulevard in Lakeland from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

The Sarasota County Health Department will provide free HIV testing with same-day results from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the SCHD building at 2200 Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota.

The Pasco County Health Department is offering free HIV testing from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the second floor of the Dade City Health Department located at 13941 15th Street in Dade City.

The Tampa Bay Community Events Partnership (TBCEP) in collaboration with Walgreens Pharmacy is holding a free HIV testing event from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Walgreens Pharmacy at 2111 East Busch Boulevard in Tampa.

For a calendar of additional HIV testing dates and locations, check with your county health department.

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