Lee files for unemployment, despite payout
Former Hillsborough County Attorney Renee Lee got a payout of roughly $150,000 when commissioners ousted her last month in exchange for her going without a fight. That hasn't stopped her from seeking unemployment compensation, to which she may be entitled. The county got notice June 20 from the Agency for Workforce Innovation that Lee submitted a claim. If approved, she would get $275 per week. Lee did not return a call for comment.
Budget hearing at fairgrounds
Residents have lots of ways to weigh in on Hillsborough County's proposed budget. But the way that matters most is tonight's 6 p.m. public hearing, because it is the last one before commissioners make some of their biggest decisions next week. And it's in a different location than usual — the Florida State Fairgrounds, Special Events Center West, 4800 U.S. 301. Enter from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard entrance. Parking is free. Can't be there? Check out hillsboroughcounty.org/budgetmatters for other ways to be heard.
MOSI wants you to give your awe
The Museum of Science and Industry is holding a casting call Friday for people who want to be in a MOSI commercial. The museum is seeking people of all ages for the campaign. Those interested will have to pose for a photo with "expressions of awe, excitement, amazement or goofy faces." Stop by MOSI's auditorium, 4801 E Fowler Ave., from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants will get a free parking voucher and one free ticket for admission. A third party then will choose which faces make the cut. Those few will be invited back to MOSI for the filming next week.
Florida third-worst for air pollution
A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council ranks Florida as the third-worst state for toxic air pollution in the nation. The report, based on data from 2009, says the primary sources of Florida's dirty air are coal and oil-fired electric power plants, including the coal-burning units at Progress Energy's plant in Crystal River. The power plants emitted 33.4 million pounds of harmful chemicals and accounted for 68 percent of the state's pollution. Progress Energy spokeswoman Suzanne Grant said the Crystal River plant added clean air controls to two of its four coal-burning units last year, reducing emissions by 90 percent. The utility has agreed to shut down the other two coal-burning plants after its new Levy County nuclear plant goes online in 2018. The report is available online at docs.nrdc.org/air/files/air_11072001a.pdf.
Rays watch party at History Center
The Tampa Bay History Center is hosting a watch party Friday for the Tampa Bay Rays game, with a massive outside screen, extended museum hours and half-price gallery admission. The event coincides with the downtown Tampa museum's new Sports in Tampa Bay exhibit, which showcases the Rays' 2008 ALCS trophy and Buccaneers and Lightning memorabilia. The Rays game against the Kansas City Royals starts at 8:10 p.m. Friday. The museum also promises Rays activities and giveaways throughout the night.