5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, April 18

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Thursday, April 18.

(1) Tampa synthetic drugs ban

The Tampa City Council is scheduled to vote on Thursday to ban the sale of synthetic drugs.

The proposed ban differs from state laws which have outlawed specific chemicals used in synthetic marijuana. The city's ordinance would outlaw products which meet a minimum of two conditions:

Products which have a name similar to a street drug term; products which are not used for the advertised use or sold by stores that normally don't sell those type of items; products which say a user will experience a high; and products with misleading directions.

People selling such items could face a misdemeanor charge and face up to 60 days in jail or a fine up to $500.

Selling the synthetic drugs can be punished by a fine up to $500, 60 days in jail, or both.

( 2) Fort Stewart soldiers honored

Five soldiers killed in a March helicopter crash in Afghanistan will be honored at Fort Stewart on Thursday.

Among those killed were Spc. Zachary L. Shannon of Dunedin and Staff Sgt. Marc A. Scialdo of Naples.

The soldiers will be honored with a tree planting at the Warriors Walk Living Memorial. One eastern red bud trees will be planted for each of the soldiers. The trees were selected because they bloom in April and are symbolic of the first 3rd infantry division casualties received in the war in Iraq.

There are more than 450 trees planted in the Warriors Walk memorial.

Today's ceremony will take place at 9:00 a.m. The families and comrades of the fallen soldiers have been invited to attend the event.

(3) 8th annual Sunscreen Film Festival

The 8th annual Suncreen Film Festival opens in St. Petersburg on Thursday. This year the festival is being sponsored for the first time by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Sunscreen will showcase a number of small, independent films as part of the primary attraction. There will also be workshops for actors, producers and writers.

The 2013 featured films include: Hecho en Mexico, Girl in Progress, The Victim, Treachery, Confine, Silent But Deadly, Cordoba Nights, The Story of Luke, Good Men and Surviving Mommie Dearest.

All movie screenings will take place at the Muvico Baywalk 20 in Downtown St. Petersburg.

For Festival VIP passes, workshop schedules and other information, visit www.sunscreenfilmfestival.com.

(4) Lewis Black: The Rant Is Due

Often outraged, unusually uptight and normally nettled comedian Lewis Black brings his acerbic brand of humor to Tampa on Thursday night.

Black is a passionate performer who is more of a pissed-off optimist than mean-spirited curmudgeon. He gets his audience to laugh while making compelling points about the absurdity of our world.

Black came into prominence in his appearances on The Daily Show in 1996. Since then he's starred in numerous Comedy Central specials, produced multiple comedy albums and written a number of best-selling books.

Black appears at the Straz Center tonight at 8:00 p.m. A limited number of tickets are still available. Prices start at $39.50. The show is for mature audiences only.

For more information or tickets, call (813) 229-7827 or visit www.strazcenter.org.

To learn more about Lewis Black, visit his official website at www.lewisblack.com.

(5) Wanee Music Festival

The 3-day Wanee Music Festival gets underway at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and Campground in Live Oak on Thursday.

More than 30 groups and artists are participating over the three days.

The popular festival features a star-filled lineup that is headlined by Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic.

Other bands performing include Gov't Mule, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Boombox, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Galactic & Friends, Electric Hot Tuna, and Maceo Parker.

General admission tickets are available for $215 online. For more information including a complete schedule and directions to Live Oak, visit www.waneefestival.com.

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