5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, March 18

TAMPA, Fla. - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Monday, March 18.

(1) Florida unemployment numbers

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO) will release the unemployment numbers for the State on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the FDEO release January employment and unemployment estimates as well as revised historical data every March. The revisions are done in order to produce more accurate historical data.  

Due to the processing time needed to prepare the annual updates, the January employment numbers and the annual revisions are not released until March. Today's release will occur at 10:00 a.m.

The unemployment rate for Florida in December was 7.9%, the lowest number in over three years.

Florida's February 2013 unemployment numbers are set to be released on March 29. After that the state's employment data for the previous month will be released on the third Friday of each month.

For more information, visit www.floridajobs.org.

(2) German delegation in Pasco County

A delegation from Germany is will be welcomed in Pasco County on Monday.

The group is from the southeastern district of Germersheim. The delegation includes its district administrator and members of his staff from education, economic development and tourism.

A dozen students from Germersheim are joining the group. The will spend time at River Ridge High School while officials attend County meetings and meet with their local counterparts.

The idea behind the trip is so the Germans can exchange ideas with county leaders and see how things are done in Florida.

After three days of meetings, they will use the remainder of their time here to explore the Bay Area on their own.

(3) Debbie Allen in Tampa

Actress-dancer Debbie Allen will be in the Bay Area on Monday to raise awareness for the national heart health initiative "Join the Pace Makers."

The campaign is aimed at empowering people with a slow heartbeat to get educated about their condition and get active in their healthcare decisions with their doctor.

Allen has a healthy heart, but because heart disease runs in her family and one of her closest friends has a pacemaker, the campaign is very dear to her.

She is scheduled to appear at the "Join the Pace Makers" event from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Town 'N Country Senior Center in Tampa.

To learn more about the initiative, visit www.jointhepacemakers.com.

(4) USF women's basketball NCAA watch party

The University of South Florida women's basketball team is inviting the public to attend their NCAA tournament watch party at the USF Sun Dome on Monday night.

USF is in position for first NCAA tournament appearance since 2006 and just second in school history.

The Bulls, who ended the regular season with 21 wins, beat two top-25 teams this season and won five of their last six road games. ESPN's Charlie Creme is projected USF to be a 10th seed.

Join the team in the club level of the USF Sun Dome and watch the NCAA unveil its tournament field live on ESPN.

The watch party will take place in the club level of the USF Sun Dome. Fans can park for free in Lot 6, and enter through Gate C beginning at 6:30 p.m.

(5) Flyers vs. Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to make it two wins in a row when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Monday night.

Tampa Bay ended a five-game losing streak, their first in four years, by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Saturday. Two Lightning players, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, scored their first NHL goals in the game.

Since opening the season with five straight home wins, the Bolts have struggled, going 2-7-0 at the Forum.

The Flyers have not been much better of late on the road, losing their last three games away from Philadelphia by a combined 12 to 4 score.

The opening face off for tonight's game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit lightning.nhl.com.

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