5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, January 1

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, January 1.

(1) Florida increases minimum wage

The State of Florida is one of 13 states raising its minimum wage on Wednesday.

The minimum wage rises by 14 cents today to $7.93 per hour. Tipped workers will also see their minimum wage rise by 14 cents to $4.91 per hour.

The nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute estimates 416,000 workers will benefit from the pay raise.

Florida is one of eleven states that adjusts its minimum wage annually to keep pace with inflation.

You can find each state's current minimum wage in following interactive map:


(2) New Tampa red light cameras

The Tampa Police Department will begin issuing tickets on Wednesday for drivers who are caught on new cameras violating red lights.

The new cameras are located at the intersection of Fowler Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and at the intersection of Howard Avenue & Kennedy Boulevard.

Police say there will be no 30-day grace period for violators. Signs have been posted for months at the intersections warning drivers of the cameras.

People caught on a camera going through a red light in Tampa will be issued a $158 citation. The State of Florida receives $83 of that money, the remaining money is split between the city and the camera vendor.

The City of Tampa is planning on activating more red light cameras as soon as the middle of this month. For a complete list of red light cameras in Tampa, visit www.tampagov.net/dept_Police/information_resources/STOP_ON_RED_TAMPA/.

(3) Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus opens

The 144th edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus opens at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Wednesday.

What is tagged the Greatest Show On Earth features an all new show called Legends!

Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson invites guests to experience performers from around the world doing amazing acrobatic feats, live animals, and appearances by a unicorn, a pegasus and a wooly mammoth.

Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. There are also matinee performances on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and Sunday at 1:00 and 5:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.ringling.com or www.facebook.com/RinglingBros.

(4) 2014 Outback Bowl

Raymond James Stadium hosts the 2014 Outback Bowl on Wednesday.

The game will see the Iowa Hawkeyes from the Big Ten Conference go up against the LSU Tigers from the Southeastern Conference.

Fans can prepare for the game with a pep rally on the south place between gates C & D outside the stadium. There will be live music, food vendors and displays from various sponsors.

Stadium gates open at 11:30 a.m. A colorful pregame show beginning at 12:25 p.m. features high school and college bands, skydivers delivering the game ball and the coin toss by a special guest celebrity.

The two teams are led by first-year quarterbacks. LSU's Anthony Jennings replaces injured senior Zach Mettenberger.

Iowa's Jake Rudock returns to his home state for the bowl game. The sophomore is from Weston threw for 2,155 yards and 16 touchdowns during the regular season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.

(5) 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

The University of Central Florida plays in the first BCS bowl game on Wednesday night.

The 15th-ranked Knights are a 16½ underdog to the 5th-ranked Baylor Bears.

UCF will have to try to stop the Baylor's powerful offense. Bears quarterback Bryce Petty has a number of weapons at his disposal including wide receivers Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley, and tailback Lache Seastrunk.

The Knights are hoping quarterback Blake Bortles will lead them to a bowl victory. The junior from Ovideo threw for 3,280 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also scored 5 more touchdowns on the ground.

Kickoff for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be televised on ESPN.