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CONTENTS November 2014 | Volume 13 Issue 11 | focusplantcity.com

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Our local section is stocked full with great stories including event coverage on the Blueberry Stomp Mud Run and Romp in the Swamp as well as an event preview on the 12th annual Plant City Pig Jam, one of our community’s favorite gatherings. Also learn more about The Passion for Purple Walk, a special announcement from area band Clemons Road, and introducing our new column People of Plant City, among others.

49 Feature: Holiday Guide It’s that time of year again where we feature great items from area small businesses. Not only does shopping local support our community’s economy but you’ll also get to surprise loved ones with unique gifts. Check out what our local businesses have to offer!

66 Spotlight: An Evergreen Christmas Plant City’s own Charleene Closshey stars in the newest Christmas film, An Evergreen Christmas, as the talented Evie Lee. Leaving her seemingly glamorous Hollywood life on hold, Evie Lee is forced to return to her small hometown of Balsam Falls, Tennessee and her family’s once-thriving Christmas tree farm to attend her father’s unexpected funeral. Torn between pursuing her music career and saving her family’s legacy, she must decide what it really means to find her place in the world. Find out more about this heartwarming holiday story in this month’s spotlight.

71 Business: Alexander Woods Townhomes

• Much More!

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14 Local

Units are now available for purchase at Plant City’s newest luxury community, Alexander Woods Townhomes. Conveniently located in Plant City’s commerce district yet hidden under the shade of beautiful oaks, this neighborhood is within walking distance to local restaurants, businesses, and more, and just minutes from I-4. Alexander Woods Townhomes is a perfect community for first time homebuyers with closing cost assistance available for those eligible

92 Dining: City Pizza Grab a slice of paradise at Plant City’s newest pizza joint--City Pizza. Located in the heart of downtown Plant City, City Pizza serves up authentic thin crust New York style pizza and hearty homemade Italian pasta and salad favorites. They guarantee you’ll be delighted from the first sip of wine to the last bite of cannoli.

ONTHECOVER Photograph supplied by Charleene Closshey

Charleene Closshey

Stars in Inspirational Holiday Story An Evergreen Christmas


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10 NOVEMBER 2014 focusplantcity.com


LETTER FROM THE

PUBLISHER Hey Readers! Orange you happy for the cooler weather our Veterans Monument Park. And we’re shouting out and fun photos of costumed children with pumpkins? also for PCHS senior Blake Stafford’s “A Very Merry Veterans Christmas” donations drive. With your help, his Autumn colors make for great pictures, for sure, and team will create gift bags for all 566 Veterans at the James we’ve enjoyed viewing yours on social media. A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa. If you missed the Keep up the seasonal cheer! Stingray Chevrolet collection date, you can still contribute at Winn Dixie on Alexander Street through month end. Speaking of cheer, Fred’s Market was abuzz, even more than normal recently Thanks as well to participants in the causes benefited when WQYK radio hosted its “Dave by Blueberry Stomp Run (PC Chamber Foundation and Veronica Food Fund” show. Scholarship Fund), Romp in the Swamp (South Listeners brought canned goods Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation & PC Chamber for Feeding America Tampa Bay’s Foundation), and the Passion for Purple Walk (domestic work in our area and the morning violence awareness). Obviously, rigorous exercise is a big show celebrities welcomed a number hit here! of local notables. The PCHS cheerleaders even customized a We trust our annual Holiday Shopping Guide will inspire WQYK chant. State Attorney Mark you to buy local. This issue is also packed with reports Ober showed up in his jeans & Guy of our neighbors pursuing their passions. Because your Harvey t-shirt and Mayor Rick comments and suggestions are our best source for future Lott proclaimed Dave McKay an story ideas, we encourage you to interact with us on our honorary mayor for the day. The three Facebook pages: Focus Magazine, People of Plant NRG troupe and other clients of City, and Heather The Editor. the Fresh Picked Talent agency were there also to support actress/ Your input definitely impacts our focus. From our home to musician/vocalist Charleene yours, we wish you a Happy, happy Thanksgiving! Closshey and her new Evergreen Christmas DVD release. “Grandma Johnson” (Evelyn) even has a role in the music video filmed for the song, “A Tennessee Home.” Purchase your copy and help The Spring domestic violence shelter in the process. We may not have snow, but we know how to show up for cool causes.

Standing from Left to Right: Tonya Rogers, Verna McKelvin and Marilyn Robertson. Sitting from Left to Right: Alan Orr and Tammy Spurlock

A much-deserved thanks is due this month to Warmest Regards, the Plant City Woman’s Club for its wonderful Mike Floyd “Tribute to Female Veterans” on November 8 at

CREDITS Got a story idea? Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information. Floyd Publications, Inc. 702 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. Plant City, FL 33563 Office 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990 www.focusplantcity.com

Publisher Mike Floyd mike@floydpublications.com Sales Jennifer Chamberlain jchamberlain@floydpublications.com Jennifer Epps jepps@floydpublications.com Art Director Anthony Sassano asassano@floydpublications.com Distribution Tony DeVane

Standards of accuracy: The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-warming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us.

Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston | Brian West Heather Davis | Joe Bowles | Amanda Deck Deana Garrison | Darcie Jarrett | Taylor Thomas Charlotte Thompson

So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 707-8783 or e-mail editorial@floydpublications.com. The staff will fix the error in a timely manner.

Contributors Gil Gott | Derek Maul | Jo-An Lusk Nate Davis | Candy Owens | Natalie Sweet Gail Jones

FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.

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No matter what type of vehicle you’re looking for, we offer great, low-rate vehicle loans to meet your every need. Stop by and learn more about all our financing options.

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Talk Town of the

SUBMIT YOUR NEWS TO EDITORIAL@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AT FACEBOOK.COM/THEFOCUSMAGAZINE

PLANT CITY CHRISTMAS PARADE INC Plant City Christmas Parade Inc. announces that Plant City’s Home-town Christmas Parade will be held on Friday, December 5, 2014, beginning at 7:00 P.M., and they are proud to announce this year’s Grand Marshall for “Celebrate the Season – 2014” will be Bruce Rodwell. Plant City’s Home-town Christmas Parade is a family event, and everyone is invited to come out and enjoy the fun. Bring your family, friends and neighbors, and have a great time together. The parade route will start at Collins and Alsobrook Streets, travel north on Collins through downtown, turn right onto Reynolds Street, and end at the court house.

OPTIMISTS HONOR LOCAL STUDENTS Optimists Honor Local Students During Youth Appreciation Ceremony The Plant City Optimist Club recently held their annual Youth Appreciation Ceremony recognizing ten local high school students for their outstanding accomplishments. A banquet in their honor was held on Monday, October 27, 2014 at the Recreation & Parks Department administrative office conference room. Front row – L to R: Plant City High School Principal Colleen Richardson, Plant City High School College and Career Counselor Sherrie Mueller, Brittney Nesbitt, Carson Knox, Kellie Pernula, Jarrett Gillman, Carly Knox. Back row – L to R: Plant City Optimist Club President Jeff Ogden, Jackson Hardee, Cole Arn, Noelle Dietrich, Mary Futch, Reid Adams.

PLANT CITY REC. & PARKS DEPARTMENT / OPTIMIST YOUTH FLAG FOOTBALL TRI-STAR PUNT PASS & KICK FOOTBALL SKILLS CONTEST WINNERS

Front row – L to R: Brendan Smith, Aiden Beachy, Kayla Hall, Ayeniah Ghent, Anthony Palestrini Back Row – L to R: Shelby Jacobsen, Nick Strickler, Madison Osman, Martin Etcheverry, Joe Jacobsen, Jarrett Jacobsen 14 NOVEMBER 2014 focusplantcity.com

A CHRISTMAS SHOWING OF FINE ART 101 N. THOMAS STREET, PLANT CITY, FL. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2014 5PM - 8PM The public is invited to enjoy this FREE annual members’ Christmas show, and join local artists in a wine and cheese reception, with music and entertainment provided throughout the evening. This year’s Christmas art show and sale will be held at a new venue, Plant City Entertainment, Inc., known locally as the Community Theatre, at 101 N. Thomas Street, right in the heart of Plant City.

This will be a premier co-operative event, featuring local visual artists and performing artists in Plant City. We are looking forward forging a closer bond among these two artist groups and within the Arts Council of Plant City. Artworks created by members of the East Hillsborough Art Guild will be on exhibit for the evening, some of which will be offered for purchase. After all, Christmas is near!


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RALPH L. FEOLA, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF (813) 752 2556 1003 S COLLINS ST PLANT CITY a026519@allstate.com Availability varies by product type and is subject to availability and qualifications. Discount amount may vary by state.Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company: Northbrook, Illinois © 2009 Allstate Insurance Company.

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2013 Grand Champion Donny Bray of the Warren County Pork Choppers gathered with committee members (l-r) Jim Scott, Chris Sparkman, Jodi Stevens and Amy Nizamoff. The Warren County Pork Choppers came all the way from Bowling Green, Ky.

ANNUAL PIG JAM EXPANSIONS

for finalists up to 10th place. The Amateur Competition will also include prizes for its winners. As usual, residents can purchase Pig Bucks at both entrance gates—with a conversion of one Pig Buck for one real buck—and use those at the booths. If guests run out of Pig Bucks, they can always go and purchase more, Smith said. In the expanded children’s zone, families will be able to enjoy rock walls, bungee jumping and more. “It’s really a family day,” Smith said. For the Saturday performances, Ace Jackson & the Jump Kings will play on the main stage starting at 10:30 a.m., with the Double Barrel Band on the second stage at the same time. In the afternoon, the Dock 7 Band will start their set at 2 p.m. on the main stage, and The Candy Greene Band will play at the same time on the second stage. “We’ll have a stage on each side of the property, so no matter where you are, you’ll

be able to hear the bands perform,” Smith said. There will also be a raffle, with proceeds benefitting the Plant City Chamber of Commerce Foundation Scholarship Fund. The prizes include the Big Green Egg Outdoor Cooking Package and a 65 Quart YETI cooler, both donated by The Hay Exchange, and a $1,500 shopping spree to Southside Western and Outdoor Wear. Three tickets will be drawn on Nov. 22, with the first ticket holder choosing from the three prizes, the second from the two still available, and the third receiving the remaining prize. Tickets are $10 each, five for $40 or 12 for $100. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Plant City Chamber of Commerce located at 106 North Evers Street. “Between the barbecue and the good weather and the things that families can do together, it’s just the perfect combination,” Smith said.

PROMISE A GOOD TIME FOR FAMILIES BY KELSEY TRESSLER

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his year, the Plant City PIG Jam is going to be bigger and better than ever. According to Marion Smith, president of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, the 12th annual PIG Jam will expand to another day, feature a larger kids’ area and have a second stage for double the number of bands to play. The event will begin on Friday, Nov. 21, at 5 p.m. and continue through to Saturday. On Friday, the public can visit the vendors and get a preview of the booths that will be participating in the two-pronged barbecue competition on Saturday. Then, at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21, the locally up-and-coming Clemons Road Band will perform. DJs Dave and Veronica from WQYK 99.5 Tampa Bay’s Country Station will be on site Friday night, along with their street team.

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The Pro Competition, sponsored by Auto Owners/Poppell Insurance, and the Amateur Competition, sponsored by Southside Western and Outdoor Wear, will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22. Last year, there were a total of 84 competitors, and Smith hopes to achieve that number again this year. The teams aren’t just from Florida, she said—they come from all over the country, from Alabama to Arizona. The PIG Jam competition is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Competitors enter their barbecue into the competition from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. across four categories— Ribs, Pork, Beef Brisket and Chicken. The winners will be announced around 5:30 p.m. Professionals compete for a $3,000 Grand Champion Award, a $2,000 Reserve Champion prize, and cash prizes

Last year, Chuck Brinton’s Nacho Ordinary BBQ cook team from Lakeland competed in the PIG Jam competition.

Serving up some great barbecue last year was the Rebel Hogz BBQ Team, which included (l-r) Doug Watson, Brian Griffin, Billy Keel, Scott Stone, David Drawdy, Dustin Drawdy, Terry Jones and Dalton Jones.


Farm Credit Puts Its Profits in Your Pockets!

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Carols of the Season The Tampa Oratorio Singers present

December 13, 2014 at 3 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church

Since 1988, Farm Credit of Central Florida’s Board of Directors have declared patronage refunds, or profit-sharing exceeding $145 Million! This significantly lowers our Member/Borrower’s effective interest rate. Call today to see how you can get the Farm Credit Advantage!

404 W. Reynolds Street, Plant City, Florida Free will offering

813.719.7341 FarmCreditCFL.com

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With the Support of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.

Loans for land, homes & country living FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y NOVEMBER 2014

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L magnifiers, notepads, envelopes, stamps, pens, puzzles, word search/ word puzzle books, Q-Tips, disposable razors, shave cream, non-skid socks, sunscreen, toothbrushes, toothpaste, T-shirts (assorted sizes), electronic games, batteries, and MP3 players. On December 13, the group will distribute the gift bags to the Veterans. Surplus items will remain at the hospital for those yet to be admitted. Known for his dancing ability, the part-time Publix employee and PCHS Homecoming King serves the Raiders through Drama Club, National Honor

Society, Youth Alive, and Yearbook. He plans to attend Flagler College and major in Business Administration or Mass Communications and minor in Youth Ministry. He created this service project simply “to make a difference because Veterans have given so much for our freedom.” The team, which also includes Stafford’s mother, Krysta Johnson, and his grandmother Linda Lawson, will also be collecting donations in the parking lot at City Life Church, 8411 N. Dale Mabry in Tampa on Saturday, November 15 from 10AM to 3PM.

PCHS seniors Nancy Zenteno and Blake Stafford thanked Mrs. Dorothy Roberts for the gift of puzzles and games in the first donation of the drive on November 8 at Stingray Chevrolet.

A VERY MERRY VETERANS CHRISTMAS P BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

lant City High School senior class vice-president Blake Stafford has a special request for the local citizens: “Please give a little to those who’ve given a lot! Let’s help them have a Merry Christmas.” Stafford invites everyone to participate in “A Very Merry Veteran’s Christmas,” a countywide holiday gift bag drive to benefit hospitalized Veterans. With the help of classmates Jenny Mansilla, Caleb Meyers, Nancy Zenteno and others on November 8 at Stingray Chevrolet, Stafford began to collect enough for each patient at the 566-bed James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa to receive some Christmas cheer. And the first donation that morning was a beautiful thing to witness. Mrs. Dorothy Roberts, a

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woman whose brother had been an ambulance driver in Germany during WWII, arrived while PCHS senior Nancy Zenteno and Stafford were still setting up the display. She approached Blake to ask if he was the one mentioned in the Observer article she held in her hand. She thanked him for this effort, explaining “It made me cry when I read it, that someone so young would care about doing this for our Veterans.” Roberts then asked the students to help her unload all the puzzles and games she’d brought to contribute. The smiles in the photo illustrate the joy that donating for Veterans can bring. Great donations include: Books (may be audio), book lights, board games, CDs or cassettes, combs, cotton balls, deodorant, emery boards, flashlights, gift cards, hats/caps, lotion,

“Sherry” donated items to A Very Merry Christmas” after sharing the heart-wrenching story of her son’s death last year in Afghanistan.


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FUN FUN FUN AT THE BLUEBERRY STOMP MUD RUN

BY SHERRI ROBINSON

W

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hat better way to spend a Saturday than taking your favorite sport of running and turning it into something much more fun. Keel and Curley Winery/ Two Henry’s Brewing hosted their 3rd Annual Blueberry Stomp Mud Run on October 25th. It was a 3 mile run for all ages, beginner through expert. Four hundred participants made their way through a course that included two mud pits, a blueberry stomp pit, and a blueberry slide. Most people wore the regular exercise attire, but a few decided to dress up in costume for a little added fun. Registration began at 8am for the competitive category. For those under age 18 who were competing their start time was 10:30am. Anyone running in the 5K could pay a little more to stay and enjoy the Biertoberfest which began at noon. It was a beautiful day with perfect temperatures for getting a little exercise and helping a good cause. The event benefited the Plant City Chamber Foundation Scholarship Fund which awards

college scholarships each year. You can follow the Plant City Chamber of Commerce on Facebook where they will keep you updated on all the fun things they are involved in. Of course you can always check in with them at www.plantcitychamberofcommerce. org, drop by to visit at 106 N. Evers St., or call 813-754-3707. Besides rewarding the winners with trophies for the top three in all age groups of the competitive category, all participants received a souvenir glass and 1 free drink with the beer and wine reserved for those over 21. Costco was at the finish line with drinks and snacks and the Plant City Chamber furnished goodie bags. Ryan Keel took time out of his very busy day to talk with me. Thank you Ryan. He said everyone seemed to have a good time and they plan to continue to make this a yearly event. For more information on Keel and Curley Winery go to www. keelandcurleywinery.com, visit them at 5210 W. Thonotosassa Rd. in Plant City or call 813-752-9100.


Saturday, January 17, 2015 Plant City Family YMCA Proudly Presents

THE THIRD ANNUAL

DEAN’S RIDE: STRENGTH & HONOR

Opening Remarks: 7:45am Race Starts: 8:00am Start/End at HCC Plant City Campus Register: online at www. tampaymca.org, www.active. com, or in person at the Plant City Family YMCA

PLANT CITY FAMILY YMCA | 1507 YMCA Place Plant City, FL 33563 | 813.757.6677 | tampaymca.org

That’s Right ... Your Choice Any In-Stock Offer Expires 12-25-14

0003458925-01

752.0585

1701 S. Alexander St., Suite 102 (813) Plant City, FL 33566 M-F 10am-5:30pm • Sat 10am-12:30pm Village Plaza at Walden Lake FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y NOVEMBER 2014

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Supporters of the Tiffany Lamar family gathered at Marie B. Ellis Park for the Passion for Purple Walk and the Plant City Chamber’s ribbon-cutting ceremony recognizing the domestic violence awareness event.

2ND ANNUAL PASSION FOR PURPLE WALK FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

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he family of Tiffany Lamar desires that no others suffer as they have, in the loss of a loved one through domestic violence. The young mother of three was stabbed and bludgeoned in a heinous murder on September 30, 2013 by her boyfriend, David Coleman, Jr., who is now imprisoned for life. The next day she would have celebrated her 25th birthday. On October 25, 2014, approximately 200 friends and family members gathered to raise awareness of this issue so prevalent in the national news of late. The three-mile route for the 2nd annual Passion for Purple Walk began at Marie B. Ellis Park on Laura Street and extended east to Maryland Avenue before returning west on MLK, Jr. Blvd. “I can’t offer enough kind words about the support we’ve received from the Plant City Police Department,”

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praised Shirley Goodwine, organizer of the grass roots event. “Officer Jim Iverson even offered the opening prayer, and Chief Ed Duncan and Sgt. Alfred Van Dyne were so helpful in the whole process. The police escort meant a lot to us.” Goodwine, who is earning a Political Science degree at Valencia College, also served as a Victim’s Volunteer during the trial proceedings. She was pleased, through her non-profit Henceforth Foundation, to present Tiffany’s family with a $500 check to help with necessary legal fees or other expenses surrounding Tiffany’s death and an ongoing custody battle. “We expect that support for the event will grow more and more each year. We can imagine groups becoming involved, such as Teachers Against Domestic Violence or Law Enforcement Officers Against Domestic Violence. This issue affects

everyone in our society.” A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the park also welcomed the organization as a new Plant City Chamber of Commerce member. Following the walk, the

participating families and children enjoyed games, sports and food in remembrance of the Publix employee who is gone too soon. “My very family-oriented sister was a good mom and a hard worker,” explained sister LaToya White. “She loved her children and wanted to give them a good life.” Janice Lamar, Tiffany’s and LaToya’s mom, added, “The family brunches on Sundays after church will never be the same without Tiffany and her children.” “Although there is no communication now with David’s family,” Lamar offered, “we won’t ever give up the hope of seeing the children again.” She continued, “Everybody suffers in domestic violence situations. It takes too much toll. We want to encourage people to speak out against it and to report it. We have to teach our children that it’s not acceptable.” To offer assistance or to form a team for the 2015 Passion for Purple Walk, please phone Goodwine at 305-709-8376 or e-mail to shirleygoodwinepassionforpurple@ yahoo.com. All donations to the Henceforth Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation, are tax deductible and will be used to benefit families affected by domestic violence. “We are working to change our own village,” said Goodwine, adding “and we can always use more help.”

Plant City Police Department officers and vehicles escorted approximately 200 supporters of the Tiffany Lamar family on October 25 for the 3-mile Passion for Purple Walk.


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WOMEN’S SOFTBALL HALLOWEEN ALL NIGHT SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

BY WENDY BROWN

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he weekend of October 25th to 26th was an important milestone to many women’s softball fans. Plant City hosted the Women’s Softball Halloween All Night Softball Tournament to thirty-six teams coming from all over. Each team had a twenty player roster and was assigned the main division, 2nd division, or 3rd division to start. Teams remaining in the startup rounds competed in a double elimination playoff in the main

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division. According to Deborah Haldane, Program Manager with the Plant City Rec Department, “This was an established tournament known originally as the Cindy Shaw Halloween Tournament for 35 years. We wanted to continue the women’s tour because there are not a lot of places for women to come and play. They enjoy seeing each other once a year. We’re excited about the teams and looking forward to showing

off what Plant City has to offer.” Many of the softball teams stayed in the 55 camping spaces on site that even had power, while a few teams stayed in local hotels. The camping sites were decorated to the hilt for Halloween with spooky lights, spider webs, and creepy things in the dark that created a fun atmosphere. Campers had fun visiting with old friends, sitting around eating and sharing stories, and of course there was a competitive spirit roaming in the night. The perfect Florida October weekend in the low 80’s brought many families out to the Randy Larsen Four Plex. Concessions offered typical park food of hotdogs, hamburgers, drinks, and snow cones. Family atmosphere pervaded the park with men hooting positive encouragement to wives or girlfriends, the friendly banter of opposing teams, kids of all sizes, friends rooting for each other, and lots of babies in carriages. There were no set uniform rules, so Halloween ruled with a hot dog costume,

a whole team dressed like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, striped leggings like the wicked old witch, Halloween ballerinas in orange and purple tutus, crazy wigs, and the brightest pink, orange, and green t- shirts I’ve ever seen. These ladies meant business in their multicolored garb, competitive spirit, and urge to run the bases. Keeping with the Halloween theme were crazy team names: Deuces, The Despicables in Purple and Green, Ghost Busters, Lady Thunder, Toxic Candy, Out of Beer, What Ever We Want, Orange Crush, Nice Snatch, Krypt Keepers, Pop the Chain, Victorious Secret, Zookies, Scotties Sluggers, and even Taste It. Main Division champs were the Team Bitchezs and runner up was T.T.A.U. 2nd Division champs were the Deuces while the Alley Cats were the runner ups. 3rd Division Champs were the Simply Smurpy and runner ups were the Topp Notch Baddies. The Plant City rec staff organized a great weekend while Tim Williams, the umpire chief, kept the action flowing.


2014 PLANT CITY, FL 12TH ANNUAL NEW

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THE FANCY FLEA PRESENTS “SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE” BY HEATHER DAVIS

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oted one of the top vintage markets in the country and listed in Romantic Homes Magazine as one of the only Florida markets, The Fancy Flea, is gaining notoriety and making its mark in Plant City. Held twice a year in the spring and fall, The Fancy Flea made its start little over five years ago in the city of Lakeland with only twelve vendors in participation. Today The Fancy Flea is host to between 250-275 vendors and has transitioned for the second year to its new home at the Strawberry Festival Grounds in Plant City. Dave and Lori Powell were both instrumental in giving The Fancy Flea its start and have kept it going and “growing” ever since. “The streets of Lakeland were very tight and there was not enough parking, Dave explains. “But here at the Strawberry Festival Grounds we have wide open space, lots of parking and the people of Plant City have been very supportive.” The support was made evident by the throngs of excited shoppers and browsers

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out enjoying the cool, crisp opening morning of the Fancy Flea on October 31st. The Fancy Flea is a two day affair and this year was held on October 31st and November 1st. “Many vendors travel a great distance to be a part of The Fancy Flea, so it makes sense to make it a two day market instead of just a one day market.” Dave explains. The Fancy Flea is an upscale outdoor vintage market. Lori and Dave take great pains in selecting each year the right mix of vendors. The show offers something for everyone from shabby chic décor, garden art and plants, antiques, primitives, mid-century modern furnishings, salvage, original art, and tons of painted furniture. In addition The Fancy Flea also has on sight food truck vendors, baked goods, and live music. With the wide variety of vendors and shopping possibilities it is truly difficult to leave without finding something you can’t live without. Admission is only $5.00 and parking is free (what a steal). When you find those special items hand trucks

and wagons are available for free to haul your treasures around. For bigger items a porter service is available to load your items into your car for a fee of $10.00. If you find you have spent all your cash ATMs are located right on sight for your shopping convenience. Each year The Fancy Flea draws in the crowds of people, many coming as far away as Georgia and Alabama. Lori gets calls

from people needing accommodations and always refers them to our local hotels and even to a local B&B right here in town. We are truly blessed to have such an amazing event two times a year in our town of Plant City. For more information on The Fancy Flea or to become a vendor, you may visit www.fancyflea.net or call Lori at 863-7123278.


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BY MICHELE VANDUYNE

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mall towns are notorious for creating some of the greatest things on planet earth. Great home style cooking, a true sense of community and in Plant City’s case, some of the most amazing music you will ever have the opportunity to listen to. This place we call home is the true birthplace of a band known as Clemons Road, a name that many of us are familiar with. The band is celebrating the release of its latest album, Where the Water meets the Woods, whose very title is a tribute to the Florida we all know. Six of its twenty-one “When the fans connect with something we’ve created, that’s the best,” Brown admitted, “It gives us purpose.” They understand that at the heart of it all, it’s about the music and the connections

that can be made through it. They encourage new listeners, as well as diehard fans alike, to follow them on both Facebook and Twitter. The new album, Where the Water meets the Woods, is available for purchase through their Facebook page, as well as eventbrite.com or from the band directly, via their email ClemonsRoad@gmail.com. A Release Party is scheduled for December 13th at Uncle Mike’s Smokehouse Grill and tickets are available for both pre-order and on the day of the event, for $10 per person. They will also be performing at this year’s Pig Jam on November 21st and will be performing with Jo Dee Messina on December 10th. We encourage you to check them out because there’s just nothing better than a little piece of ‘home’.


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PLANT CITY CIVITAN INVITES TEENS TO ‘COME JOIN THE PARTY’ BY KELSEY TRESSLER

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he Plant City Civitan Club is calling for youth entries to the 2015 Civitan Strawberry Festival Youth Parade, set for Feb. 28 next year. The theme for the parade will be “Come Join the Party,” said Youth Parade Chairperson Pat Pogue. All schools, churches, groups and clubs involved with youth are encouraged to enter. The age limit for participants is 18 except for band directors and chaperones, the latter of which are required for all parade floats.

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Non-profit youth groups can also apply for a $300 float-building sponsorship through The Civitan Club, Pogue said. Twenty of these sponsorships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The sponsorships come from local businesses, and Civitan-provided signs for the sponsors will be placed on the corresponding floats. For groups in need of guidance, The Civitan Club also offers advice on float construction materials and where to purchase them. All floats must follow the theme of the parade

to be judged. Applications are due to the Civitan Club by Jan. 9, 2015 and can be found on the Strawberry Festival website. There are four float categories in the competition: Best Club/Group Float (non-professional), Best Church Float (non-professional), Best Marching Unit and Best Band Entry. The chosen winners in the first two categories both receive $100, a trophy and a rosette, while the latter two category winners receive a trophy and a rosette. Second and third place winners will

also receive rosettes to mark their achievement. Individuals, groups and junior high and middle school bands can enter the parade without participating in the competition, according to Pogue. The parade will begin at the Farmers Market on the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Alexander Street. It will run north down Alexander Street and West on Reynolds Street, passing the Strawberry Festival grounds and ending near Sammonds road. The judging stand will be at the South Florida Baptist Hospital. Judges are not from Plant City and will have no affiliation with any of the groups. The winners of each category will be announced in the Stingray Entertainment Tent at the Florida Strawberry Festival around 12:30 p.m. The Youth Parade is on the first Saturday of the Strawberry Festival, and children up to high school age get free admission to the festival on that day. “All the kids get in free—all the school kids and so forth—so that’s a big plus,” Pogue said. One student each from Durant and Plant City high schools will be named a 2015 Outstanding Youth, and both will serve as the grand marshals of the Youth Parade. Applications for outstanding youth are due to students’ respective College and Career Counselor’s offices by Dec. 17, 2014. Next year’s Youth Parade marks the 42nd year that the Plant City Civitan Club has coordinated with the Strawberry Festival for this youth-centered event. For more information, to apply and to sponsor a float, visit flstrawberryfestival.com or contact Pogue at 813-754-4680 and ppogue1559@aol.com.


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here couldn’t have been a more beautiful day to enjoy Keel and Curley’s 2nd Annual Two Henry’s Biertoberfest on October 25th from 12pm until 4pm. The property was outlined with vendors such as Costco who carry Keel and Curley Wine in their stores. HR Concessions cooked up ½ lb. burgers, fries and sausages and Hopcloth had great t-shirts with fun beer related designs. There were lots more to explore with all the food trucks, music, eating contest and other entertainment. Keel and Curley offered unlimited sampling of 15 beers, 20 wines and 5 ciders for $25. Beside their regular drink offerings, they served a lot of specialty drinks that they don’t ordinarily sell like Whiskey Barrel Stout, Blueberry Jalapeno Porter, Coconut Brown Ale, Pumpkin Spice Snowbird, Blueberry Vanilla Ale and so much more in the beer category. The special Cider category included Strawberry Fields cider, Oak Aged cider and lots more that would put you in the mood for fall with the first sip. It’s quite an adventure for the taste buds. Guests took home a 5 oz. glass from their

unlimited sampling. GFS sponsored the King of Wing Challenge with a donation of wings. The first one to finish all their hot and spicy wings received $100 cash and a gallon of beer from Two Henry’s Brewery. Entertainment was superb with live music from a local group Applebutter Express and the appearance of Henry Plant and Henry Flagler. To hear a sample of Applebutter Express tunes or info on where to buy their music go to www.applebutterexpress.com. They have a unique cool sound worth checking out. The Biertoberfest event is planned in the fall every year so they have time to provide the best possible time for their guests. Parking was only $5.00 which was a deal for all the fun to be had. For more info about Keel and Curley Winery and Two Henry’s Brewery log onto Best Florida Wineries | Keel and Curley Winery | Wineries in Florida or visit them at 5210 W. Thonotosassa Rd. in Plant City or call 813-752-9100. Retail store hours are: Sun. – Thurs. 11am – 7pm. and Fri. – Sat. 10am – 11pm


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SWEET SPOTS AND SLICES FOR SHOES BY WENDY BROWN

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hat do scramble, slice, sweet spot, and shoes all have in common? Three of those are really golf terms. When golfers scramble, the team members pick the ball in the best position, and then everyone plays from that spot. A slice is a ball that curves form left to right. A sweet spot is the point on the club face where if it is struck with an object, the clubface will not torque or twist. Essentially the spot on the club the player wants to hit the ball with. Of course, we all wear shoes, right? Most of us have many colors and styles and types of shoes in our closets, and then we only wear our favorites. Our local Plant City Junior Women’s Club was organized on February 22, 1940. Its mission: “To improve our community and ourselves through dedicated participation in fundraising, volunteerism, and educational endeavors.” Their motto: “The Berry Caring Hearts of our Community” is very true! The caring ladies of the Junior Women’s club have held various fundraisers to pay for sneakers, socks, and school supplies for underprivileged students at eastern Hillsborough county elementary schools. According to Kendell Jimenez, chairman of the 2nd annual Junior Women’s Club golf tournament, guidance counselors at fourteen elementary schools identify 50 children who need the basic essentials of shoes and socks. Then the 40 club members are able to size the children’s feet. Did you know that our local Payless Shoes store goes overboard supporting this program? Payless makes sure each

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child gets measured, and works tirelessly by giving the club BOGO and sales prices for each shoe purchased. As golfer Eric Steven emphasized, “We want every kid NOT to go shoeless.” On a perfect Plant City day at Walden Lake Golf and Country Club on Saturday, October 25th, 22 teams were feted to breakfast and lunch at O’Briens, and then golf. The three title sponsors were Star Distribution, Jarret Scott Ford, and Astin Strawberry Exhange. Each hole was sponsored: Chilies had chips and salsa, Beverages Plus sponsored the longest drive contest, Espositios Pizza offered samples, BBQ tacos from Johnson’s BBQ, and Blue Sun Homes offered beverages, snacks, and jello shooters. Angie Inzerillo of Blue Sun Homes said, “We’re having a good time while helping others. Taking care of kids is a great cause.” The longest drive was earned by David Lawrence. Commissioner Billy Keel earned closest to the pin. 813scapes team was first place this year, just like last year. They each won gift certificated to Fred’s Southern Kitchen and O’Briens. Kendelle Jimenez was incredibly pleased with the turnout for the second golf tournament. “The tournament raised enough money this year that we will be able to significantly increase the amount of shoes we purchase for children.” Needy children in the East Hillsborough area will greatly benefit from the Plant City Junior Women’s Club passion for helping others.

Gary, Pete, Shane, and Shawn golfed on the Southeastern Freight Line team and had great fun!

Left to right... Crystal Dukes, Kendelle Jimenez, Ilene Chaves, Stephanie Eisenbach, Sarah Lenhart, Angie Inzerillo.

The 1st place team was 813SCAPES, they were also our 1st place team at last years tournament


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TAKING THE SWAMP BY STORM BY MICHELE VANDUYNE

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n November 1st, while some people were still recovering from the previous night’s candyinduced hangover, other area locals were getting ready to take on the Swamp like never before. The refreshingly cool fall weather didn’t deter some four hundred and fifty runners, ages 5 and up, from lacing up their running shoes and heading out to Lakeside Station to partake in this year’s ROMP in the SWAMP. This was the second year the event took place and was hosted by The Foundation at South Florida Baptist Hospital and The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. The use of the property was donated free of charge by Sunrise Homes and offered over three miles worth of challenging terrain and a variety of obstacles, with varying degrees of difficulty. The course offered both new and improved obstacles, giving runners something to look forward to. It included two motorized favorites, the Alligator Death Roll and Dante’s Peak, both of which were huge hits with the run’s participants. Keeping the varying fitness levels of its racers in mind, modifications

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were made in order to accommodate even the youngest of runners. In addition to the race, there were also vendors and activities to include a D.J. and line dancing. Spectators were welcomed and encouraged to come and show their support for those who were actively involved in the run. An awards ceremony followed, complete with medals and trophies. Without the support of everyone who chose to participate in the event, the hosts could not accomplish as much as they already do, within our community. Funds raised by the ROMP in the SWAMP go directly to the advancement of healthcare in Plant City, as well as funding community events through the Chamber. “We’re happy they came out and supported us,” stated a grateful Jana Butler, speaking on behalf of The Foundation at South Florida Baptist Hospital. They look forward to hosting next year’s Romp along with the Chamber and hope to make it even better. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor or making a donation toward next year’s run are encouraged to contact The Foundation’s office at (813)757-8478.


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PEOPLE OF PLANT CITY

SHIRLEY GOODWINE OSCAR JOEL HERRERA BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

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hen Shirley Goodwine asked Vivian Ruis of Fred’s Market Restaurant if the rutabagas were available on the breakfast buffet, she heard, “Not until lunch.” Being resilient, she sampled something new instead: Cheese grits topped with sausage gravy. Oh, yeah! These are a must try. While savoring her morning meal in a corner booth near a John Briggs painting of the Johnson family, Goodwine recalled, “He was my art teacher.” The Plant City High School graduate also shared a life-changing lesson she learned from a horrific experience... and an “ah-hah moment” that’s become her focus. The 48-year-old community activist suffered a sexual assault at age thirteen which resulted in 30-plus years of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Did you seek help? Yes. In 2010 my therapist said, “Shirley, you can’t not be raped. It has happened and you cannot undo that fact. You can only move forward.” How did you begin to do that? I enrolled at Valencia College and should complete my Political Science degree in 2015. My goal is to become a lobbyist and to continue mentoring children. Right now I help 12 students with homework three days a week and teach them life skills as well. We also make educational field trips together.” She continued, “Education is the key.

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BY JUPITER JONES

The more we can stimulate curiosity and the desire to learn, the better. Fortunately, society attempts to protect children more now and holds parents accountable for their welfare. I just enjoy helping people any way I can. I’m not my own…I’m the people’s Shirley.” Would the Passion for Purple Walk you’ve organized be an example of your community activism? I hope to raise awareness of domestic violence and that message should be taught early. The 2013 and 2014 events were to benefit the family of Tiffany Lamar, a young mother murdered in September of 2013 by her boyfriend. Thanks to the Plant City Police Department, approximately 200 people of all ages made the 3K distance on October 25. What are the most important things we can teach our children? “In addition to the value of education, teach them to honor one another, to respect life, to be resilient and persistent, and to trust God. Teach them to hold onto their dreams; to never let anyone deter them from what each knows they’re called to be.” Did you learn that by example or experience? “Both, but my grandma, Ola Lee Blue, encouraged me to see the good in everything and give people the benefit of the doubt, even when they do you wrong.” (Note: As this conversation drew to a close, Ruis surprised a very grateful Shirley with a bowl of fresh-cooked rutabagas.) Any final remarks? “Oh, my! These taste just like my grandmother’s…delicious!”

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scar Joel Herrera is an amazing young man that loves life, hardworking people and is a great photographer. He hopes to go to USF to follow his dream in photography. Oscar loves his friends and family and refuses to “grow up”. This is Oscar Joel. He is People of Plant City. Why Plant City? “Well, we have been here for about three generations. My mom and dad have traveled for our congregation to many different places, but we always come back to Plant City.” What makes you stand out? “The way that I am with other people and my awareness. I am not into myself. I’m an empathetic person. My dad says I have so many feelings.” What is the dumbest thing you have ever done? “I’m not into pools or the beach, but I used to swim in school. Recently a friend of mine asked me to go with her to the Jacuzzi and I was very hesitant to join her, but I did, and not realizing where the steps were I slipped and fell in fully clothed!!” Any hidden talents that you have? “I have a talent on finding good music and my friends are always ask me about music. I also like to take clippings from a magazine and make them into a sketchbook.” What is your favorite song or music? “Lana Del Rey, she’s produced a new album by the Black Keys called Ultra Violet. I admire the way she has worked on her music and even though critics called her fake, she proved them wrong. I feel the same way with my photography, my art. I use music to inspire me.”

Best moment of your life? “When my nephew was born-seeing birth. Knowing that it is something I will never get to do. To see a life grow in front of you..its amazing!” Worst moment of your life? “Coming out to my parents. I wasn’t sure if they were ready for it. Parents have an idea how their child is going to be so they weren’t expecting this at all. But little by little they have understood that this is part of who I am. I came out to my friends first and they were there for me, but now we have all gone our separate ways. I now have new friends that understand me as well.” When do you consider yourself an adult? “Never! I am not an adult, nor do I want to be. There is so much responsibility, too much of don’t do this, do this, don’t do that, or your too old for that. This is why I am wearing a Disney shirt. I call it the Peter Pan syndrome.” If you had to give a child one piece of advice, what would it be? “Don’t forget about love. Not just romantic love, but platonic love. Friends are important just as partners. Love makes lots of good things happen in life.” How come things that make you happy don’t make everyone else happy? “Everyone has things that are important to them so what might be important to me might not be important to somebody else. Not everyone is going to like Lady Gaga, not everyone is going to like Andy Warhol, or hanging out until the morning with a bonfire. Everyone has different paths and we have to be happy with that.” Who do you admire the most? “I don’t admire just one person. What I admire is hardworking people. I gravitate towards that. Like my mom and dad who have worked hard all their lives and I love that. I try to learn from that. People that are picking strawberries… hard-workers that have earned their checks and are providing for their family. I admire that.”


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HENRY BRADLEY PLANT

REBUILDER OF THE SOUTH; LOST AND REGAINED CITIZENSHIP BY PLANT CITY PHOTO ARCHIVES & HISTORY CENTER

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ost people in the Plant City area know that the city was named after Henry Plant. And many know that Plant put the railroad through, joining the city to the rest of the world via the railroad and connecting steamboat lines. And he was a “Connecticut Yankee.” But few seem to know much about Henry Bradley Plant himself. There are a few good books on Plant and a number of articles, and after some review we find Mr. Plant a fascinating historical figure. Let’s take a look at Henry Plant’s humanity and his dedication to rebuilding the South after the War The Reverend George Hutchinson Smyth, D.D., who was the pastor of the Reformed Church of Harlem, a congregational church in New York City, was Henry Plant’s pastor and friend. Plant appointed Rev. Smyth his official biographer. Reverend Smyth’s book, The Life of Henry Bradley Plant: Founder and President of the Plant System of Railroads and Steamships and also of the Southern Express Company, was published in 1898. In his Preface, Smyth wrote of his dear friend. “The record of a noble life which, in its sphere of quiet duty, has accomplished much for the good of others, is a lesson in patriotism and a legacy to posterity. The best period of the history of the Cotton States could only be written by taking into account the share which the subject of this biography has had in their development. It is rare to find a man who has had dealings with so many of his fellows, and who, at the same time, has won the esteem and affection of his associates and employees, as has Henry Bradley Plant

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in every department of his great railroad system.” Smyth wrote of the Plant Day Ceremonies which took place at the Aragon Hotel in Atlanta October 27-28, 1895, in celebration of Plant’s 76th birthday. At the celebration Plant was honored by many statesmen, industrialists, journalists, and Southerners as the man who did more than any other to rebuild the South to a condition of great strength and promise. “He has shown us loyalty, fidelity, and love for the South by the work he has done for us,” they said. “We are pleased and honored to have him among us, and to call him one of us. This Southland owes to him much of gratitude. He has benefited every section of the Southeast, and done work which will last as a monument to his fame for years to come.” Clark Howell, prize winning journalist and editor of the Atlanta Constitution, praised him extensively. The Constitution printed “Mr. Plant is one of those remarkable men who masters all conditions and create environment, He is a builder – a creator. A whole State blossoms at the touch of his magic wand.” (October 28, 1895) And another said, “Mr. Plant, you have done more to bring the North and South together than any other man living.” How did this develop. Plant rose to top management at the Adams Express Company in New York City in the 1850s and later took over operations of its Southern operations, moving to Augusta, Georgia. As the war approached he acquired the Adams Southern Express Company, changing its name to the Southern Express Company.

The drum beat of Civil War turned to bullets on April 12, 1861, and Henry B. Plant’s express business had a complete new set of facts to address. And he did. In May 1861 Plant’s company announced it would carry packages of clothing and personal items for the southern soldiers free of charge. The Confederate government, through Jefferson F. Davis, President of the Confederate States, appointed Plant to act as collector of government tariffs on all shipments handled by the express company. Plant’s express company was also chosen to handle transfers of Confederacy monies from point to point. Additionally, the express company’s employees were exempt from conscription for military services. In 1863 Henry Plant was stricken with a serious illness and afterwards, on doctor’s orders, he spent most of the next two years traveling – England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, and then to New York City, where he was when the war ended in April 1865. He immediately returned to Augusta and went to work developing and expanding his express business in the south and rebuilding its infrastructure. When the war ended, however, so, too,

did Plant’s citizenship. As a prominent businessman in the South he was stripped by Congress of his citizenship and had to apply to be reinstated. Fortunately for Plant, he had made friends with James Johnson, a former Congressman from Columbus, Georgia, who, at the close of the war, was appointed Governor of Georgia by a former colleague, (they had served in Congress together), now President of the United States, and now relative, Andrew Johnson. Governor Johnson wrote to President Johnson in behalf of Henry B. Plant. The President pardoned Plant and he was again a citizen of the United States. An interesting turn of events to say the least. Following the construction of the grandiose Tampa Bay Hotel and the Spanish American War, in which Plant and his ships, his Port Tampa, and hotels played a prominent part, Henry Bradley Plant died June 23, 1899. He was both a Connecticut Yankee and a true friend of the South. Sources: George Hutchinson Smyth, The Life of Henry Bradley Plant, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1898; Kelly Reynolds, Henry Plant; Pioneer Empire Builder, The Florida Historical Society Press, 2003; Plant City Photo Archives and History Center collections.


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PLANT CITY RIBBON CUTTINGS

The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Dipa Shah candidate for Hillsborough County School Board, District 6, on October 22, 2014, at the Plant City Chamber. Dipa has her law practice in Valrico, where she lives with her husband, Dr. Shah, and two sons. Dipa has extensive experience in financial and legal matters, having worked with corporate restructures, business bankruptcy, and real estate law. As a small business owner, she understands financial and management issues. She is eager to bring her experience in financial issues, and a new level of professional, legal and fiscal experience to the School Board. Above all, Dipa pledges to be a voice for the kids. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Blue Thumb on September 23, 2014. Blue Thumb Computer Repair is a family owned business that takes pride in making sure that their customers are not only satisfied, but their expectations are exceeded. When they opened their computer repair shop, they had one goal in mind, they wanted to offer their customers honest and reasonable services. It they don’t fix it, they don’t charge you! Blue Thumb can help with any problem, from the complicated replacement of the motherboard, to something as simple as changing your homepage. They treat you like family and call you by name! Located in Downtown Plant City, at 116 West Reynolds Street. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on October 14, 2014 for City Pizza. Owners Jason Burroughs and Mike Milam, friends for years, have opened City Pizza in downtown Plant City. Having grown up in New York, Jason has been flipping NY style pies since he was a kid. Modeling itself after the traditional downtown NY Pizzeria’s, City Pizza is the best pizza you will find south of New Jersey. Come out and grab a slice, a full pizza or any of the traditional Italian favorites! The staff including Jason’s father Gary, will ensure it’s the best pizza you’ve ever had. Come enjoy the fun casual environment with big screen TV’s and dog friendly patio right in the heart of the downtown historical district, located at 115 East Reynolds Street, Plant City.

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The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on October 25, 2014 for Henceforth – “Passion for Purple” 3 K walk at the Marie B. Ellis Park in Plant City. This event is geared to raise awareness in our community about domestic violence, and while it is raising awareness about a very serious topic, the event was a fun day for families. Under the umbrella of Well Pavilion, Henceforth focuses on the areas of domestic violence, voting education, after school education, and the needs of the homeless. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on October 28, 2014 for ALD Veterinary Consulting at the Plant City Chamber. Owner, Dr. Amanda L. Donnelly, provides consulting services to veterinarians who want to grow their business and have their team look forward to coming to work every day. Her areas of consulting include client service training, human resources, marketing, financial management, and leadership coaching. Dr. Donnelly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, College of Veterinary Medicine, and she and her husband moved to Plant City in May 2014. The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting October 30, 2014 for Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail, with creator, Zach Glaros. The trail is a haunted walk through trail featuring several different scenes and characters designed to give guest the ultimate scare. The trail comes to life every October through the help of volunteer staff and actors. The Character Sir Henry, who the trail is named after, is a trickster skeleton who is full of surprises, much like the trail! This frightful trail is located at 2837 South Frontage Road, Plant City. The final evening of this event for 2014 will be Halloween evening from 7:00 PM until 11:00 PM. Make sure to look for Sir Henry in 2015 to see what he has scared up!

The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on November 6, 2014 for Automotive Development Group, located at 4701 Reece Road, Plant City. Automotive Development Group provides facility solutions for the service departments of new car dealerships for both new construction and expansion or remodel projects. They offer design, implementation, project management, warranty administration, and equipment service. In addition to all they offer, which is designed to keep the shop operating with minimal down time, they are also leading distributors for automotive related equipment, such as Rotary Lifts and Graco equipment.

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We offer tours every Saturday and Sunday at 1PM, 2PM, 3PM, & 4PM. The tour is $5 per person or $10 combined with a wine tasting. Enjoy Two Henry Craft beer, flights and growler fills available for your tasting pleasure. I-4 EXIT 17 • 5210 W. THONOTOSASSA BLVD. • PLANT CITY, FL • 813-752-9100 KEELANDCURLEYWINERY.COM • TWOHENRYSBREWING.COM • 48 NOVEMBER 2014 focusplantcity.com


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AN EVERGREEN CHRISTMAS: Charleene Closshey Stars in Inspirational Holiday Story INTERVIEW BY CHERYL JOHNSTON

With the DVD release this month of An Evergreen Christmas, Plant City native Charleene Closshey brings the holiday cheer to her hometown. She’s also sharing the good fortune with lots of local talent and a great cause. As the lead character, the multi-talented actress-vocalistmusician enjoyed working with Naomi Judd, Robert Loggia, Tyler Ritter, and Booboo Stewart in this heartwarming story of family reconciliation.

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Many family members were involved in the film, too. Closshey’s fiancé, Jeremy Culver, directed the production and co-wrote the story with his sister Morgen. Culver’s parents, Bob and Ricci, along with his aunt Janette Ellens, were extras. Morgen’s infant son Hawkeye played baby Thomas and husband Obed Vallejo were featured extras. Closshey’s mother Jennifer was executive producer and her dad Charles played the part of Pat, the bartender. Her aunt Yvonne Fry, with son Arie, 15, and daughter Barie, 9, had character roles as well. With encouragement from family and Fry’s help, a music video of one of the story’s songs, “My Tennessee Home” (written by Tammy Hyler and Shaye Smith) was filmed in Lithia with 150 extras from Fresh Picked Talent in August of 2014. Additionally, in February of 2013, Fry arranged for almost 23 Plant City actors, many who entertain in the local group NRG, to film in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to singing, playing violin and piano, and acting as Evie Lee in this film, Closshey also composed the musical score. For the scoring portion, she had three weeks, one computer, one microphone, one 24-key keyboard, and a fiddle. In the music video she played both the keyboard and mandolin. The age-old quests of self-discovery and finding one’s own voice and place in the world are central to the 98-minute storyline. “I can relate,” said Closshey, who has studied her craft at Julliard and NYU. “I’ve lived in New York and Los Angeles and traveled worldwide for my work, but there will always be a very special place in my heart for Plant City. Strong roots always bring me home.” Those roots are evident in An Evergreen Christmas. When Evie’s father dies unexpectedly, she is forced to forego her Hollywood dreams and L.A. lifestyle to become the estate’s executor in Balsam Falls, Tennessee. The inheritance tax due demands that Evie choose between pursuing her own music career aspirations in California or restoring the family’s legacy and oncethriving Christmas tree farm. One subplot features a young woman living with an abusive father. Evie and her family help her escape and prepare for a brighter future.

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Because the domestic violence awareness cause is one dear to the Clossheys, they are donating a portion of the DVD sales proceeds through Christmas at Fred’s Market and Johnson Barbeque restaurants. The beneficiary is The Spring of Tampa Bay, a non-profit certified domestic violence shelter for victims and their children. It serves to prevent domestic violence, protect victims and promote change in lives, families and communities. An expansion project will increase the number of available beds to 128 by July of 2015. In expressing appreciation on behalf of The Spring, President/CEO Mindy Murphy credited “the Closshey family’s long history of support.” Yvonne Fry, the immediate Past Chair of the Spring’s board of directors, continues to work closely with the organization. During our recent interview, Closshey added some personal insights. Enjoy her responses and do all you can to support this worthwhile cause. Share the good news! Focus: How can we keep connected with the film and its progress, Charleene? Closshey: We really want to have your reactions. Please add to our approximately 9,000 Facebook page “likes” (facebook.com/ AnEvergreenChristmasmovie) and then offer feedback after you’ve seen the movie. Invite friends and share our page as wells.Folks can also attend a screening on December 18 at the historic Tampa Theatre, followed by a Q & A session afterward. Focus: What portions of the story really struck a chord relating to your own life? Closshey: We dedicated the film to Don Culver, Jeremy’s recently deceased grandfather, who owned a Christmas tree farm in Northern Michigan. The story exemplifies the patriarchal and matriarchal strength


that helps families endure change. Evie’s goodness of heart kept her going as she showed concern for others. She was always trying to connect in the best way. The most difficult times in my own life have been when I’m not doing what I was meant to do. In essence, I think we all want to find those landmarks leading forward on our journey to awareness and peace…to realize the importance of everyone. This showed on our set, too. It was a place of camaraderie, connection, and collaboration. Focus: How did you involve a national chain like Walmart to market your DVD? Closshey: Arc Entertainment arranged with Walmart for the exclusive sales. Normally Walmart features 16 films for Christmas, but this year they’ll have only six. They also agreed to our fundraising efforts in various communities. Focus: What’s your home and holiday schedule for year-end family gatherings? Closshey: I’ll be traveling to Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta and Nashville before the December 18 screening with Q & A session at the Tampa Theatre. Then early next year I’ll be working on an extended-play album, among other projects. Focus: Tell a little about the great idea to involve locals in this project? Closshey: I am blessed with an innately creative family, but Kim Waltrip, the producer, suggested this idea. And with Fresh Picked Talent and NRG

students in our community, we were able to engage their help. Focus: In which North Carolina cities did filming take place? Closshey: The 28-day shoot took place in Charlotte, Belmont, Gastonia, and Lincolnton. Focus: What would you like your hometown folks to know about this movie? Closshey: I have such gratitude in my heart for those who have already been so embracing of this story. I think of what the film represents at its core— family reconciliation, love, kindness and finding your own voice no matter your age. It’s about community and I so hope that mine enjoys it.” For more information on the following, please visit: An Evergreen Christmas at http://www.anevergreenchristmas.com/ The Spring of Tampa Bay, Inc., at http://www.thespring.org/ Fresh Picked Talent at http://www.freshpickedtalent.com/ Fred’s Market Restaurant, 1401 W. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Plant City, Florida Johnson Barbeque, 1407 West Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Plant City, Florida FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y NOVEMBER 2014

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ALEXANDER WOODS TOWNHOMES

PLANT CITY BUSINESS PROFILE

payment and closing cost assistance to those eligible. Furthermore, the townhomes are exterior maintenance free, meaning no need for residents to mow lawns or spruce up the landscaping. “We offer a lifestyle for those who are looking to come home and relax, not come home and worry about what needs to be done to their home,” said Florida Home Partnership licensed realtor Nancy Griffin. A small monthly homeowners’ association fee of approximately $178 covers the exterior maintenance costs. “Our townhomes are also Energy Star certified, meaning low electric bills,” said Griffin. “We’re extremely conscious of reducing our carbon footprint.” Each townhome comes with Energy Star certified ceiling fans, dishwasher, and refrigerator with ice maker. Low flow kitchen and bathroom faucets, high efficiency central heating and air conditioning units, and fluorescent light bulbs also contribute to low energy costs for residents. Alexander Woods Townhomes boasts three different unit layouts. The Willow model measures 1465 square feet with 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a screened porch, and loft. The Magnolia features 3

bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1766 square feet of living space, and a large loft. Finally, the three-bedroom Persimmon model has 2.5 bathrooms, 1734 square feet of living space, a screened porch, and large outdoor storage closet. All models feature two floors, a master suite with walk-in closet, built-in work area, washer/dryer hookups, and fullsize kitchen with pantry, custom cabinetry, and breakfast nook. Sales prices start at just $100,000 for a newly constructed townhome! Make your dream of homeownership a reality. Alexander Woods Townhomes models are available for preview and Griffin is looking forward to showing you around the beautiful property. Also stop by to see if you’re eligible for first time homebuyer assistance.

Alexander Woods Townhomes 191 Alexander Woods Dr. Plant City, Florida 33563 Phone: 813-704-6880

BY AMANDA DECK

S

urrounded by beautiful branching oaks is Plant City’s newest neighborhood—Alexander Woods Townhomes. This gated, 6.58-acre community has much to offer its residents, including state-of-the-art energy saving features in all of its homes and enjoyable on-site amenities. In addition, Alexander Woods Townhomes is located right in the heart of Plant City’s commerce district—within walking distance of Plant City High School, restaurants, shopping centers, and movie theater—and is just minutes from other area schools, historic downtown, I-4, and SR 60. Through the help of Hillsborough County’s Affordable Housing Services and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Florida Home Partnership—a nonprofit homebuilder offering affordable

homeownership opportunities to first-time homebuyers—was able to acquire the property in 2012, and the fully completed community (anticipated for mid 2016) will feature 80 townhomes ranging 2 to 3 bedrooms and 2 to 2.5 bathrooms. Residents can enjoy the on-site swimming pool, sundeck, gated playground, pond, and picnic area with park grills. In other words, Alexander Woods Townhomes is the perfect place to comfortably accommodate individuals and small families. At the moment, the community is 50 percent complete and multiple units are available for purchase. Apart from its awesome amenities, what also makes Alexander Woods Townhomes a great place for first-time homebuyers is that it’s affordable. Florida Home Partnership, Inc., in partnership with Hillsborough County, offers down

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APARTMENTS FOR SENIORS One bedroom Apartments • Rent based on income

Plant City Towers 103 W. Mahoney St. Plant City, FL 33563 813.752.5116

Plant City Living Center 405 E. Damon St Plant City, FL 33563 813.659.2669

Applications available at each location

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Nate Davis, President NMLS #294701

DO YOU HAVE AN FHA LOAN? We can save you A LOT OF MONEY! With the recent increase in real estate values, there is a strong possibility that you can benefit by refinancing your mortgage into a conventional loan, saving you and your family’s hard-earned money. Refinance now and: Lower your monthly payment Skip a mortgage payment Receive an escrow refund from their existing mortgage Possibly shorten the length of their mortgage payments

Call today to see how much money you could save. Close your mortgage on time with one of our many loan products.

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DO YOU HAVE AN FHA MORTGAGE LOAN? BY NATE DAVIS

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eople who bought or refinanced their home with an FHA loan may be in a position to save a lot of money. With the recent increase in real estate values, there is a strong possibility that they can benefit from what I am about to tell you, saving them and their families their hard-earned money. Most FHA mortgages carry something called “mortgage insurance,” which is paid monthly — with the mortgage payment. I have a way either to reduce, or remove the monthly mortgage insurance payment. Depending on the homeowner’s equity position, he or she may be able to convert the FHA loan into a conventional loan (without mortgage insurance) with no money out of pocket.

Additionally, when they refinance an escrowed mortgage loan (such as an FHA loan), not only do they have the opportunity to save on their monthly payment, but they also may be able to skip a mortgage payment. Furthermore, they may also receive an escrow refund from their existing mortgage (which is convenient during the holidays or to kick-start the upcoming New Year). If you or someone you know has an FHA mortgage loan from 2012 or prior, then they should call my team (813.707.6200) to see if they can financially benefit from this. We are your local mortgage professionals and will advise whether this is in your best interest (no pun intended).


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SINGLE FAMILY HOMES PLANT CITY 3RD QUARTER UPDATE BY JO-AN LUSK

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eptember Property sales were 54, the more of a Buyer’s market exists, a up 5.9% from 51 in September of ratio at or above 100% indicates more of 2013 and -26.0% lower than the a Seller’s market. The September 2014 73 sales last month. September 2014 Selling Price vs List Price of 97.9% was sales were at their highest level compared up from 97.3% last month and up from to September of 2013 and 2012. 94.7% in September of last year. September YTD sales of 510 are running The Total Inventory of Properties 17.8% ahead of last year’s year-to-date available for sale as of September was sales of 433. 265, equal to 265 last month and down The average Days On -2.6% from 272 in September of last Market(DOM) shows how many days year. September 2014 Inventory was at thePlant average Property is on the Market mid range compared to September of City 3rd Quarter Update – Single aFamily Homes before it sells. An upward trend in DOM 2013 and 2012. September Property sales were 54, up 5.9% from 51 in September of 2013 and -26.0% lower than the 73 sales last tends toSeptember indicate2014 a move towards morelevel compared to September of 2013 and 2012. September YTD month. sales were at their highest of 510 are running 17.8% ahead of lasttrend year's year-to-date sales of 433. of sales a Buyer’s market, a downward a move towards more of a Seller’s The average Days On Market(DOM) showsmarket. how many days the average Property is on the Market before it sells. An trendfor in DOM tends to indicate moveup towards more of a Buyer's market, a downward trend a move towards Theupward DOM September wasa 77, more of a Seller's market. The DOM for September was 77, up 2.7% from 75 days last month and down -1.3% from 2.7% from 75 days last month and down 78 days in September of last year. The September 2014 DOM was at its lowest level compared with September of 2013 and 2012. -1.3% from 78 days in September of lastTheyear. The September Selling Price vs Listing Price2014 revealsDOM the average amount that Sellers are agreeing to come down from their list The lowest lower the level ratio is below 100% thewith more of a Buyer's market exists, a ratio at or above 100% indicates more wasprice. at its compared of a Seller's market. The September 2014 Selling Price vs List Price of 97.9% was up from 97.3% last month and up September ofSeptember 2013 and 2012. from 94.7% in of last year. The Selling Price vs Listing Price The Total Inventory of Properties available for sale as of September was 265, equal to 265 last month and down reveals the272 average amount Sellers 2014 Inventory was at a mid range compared to September of 2.6% from in September of last that year. September and 2012. are2013 agreeing to come down from their list price. The lower the ratio is below 100% Market Profile & Trends Overview Month Median List Price of all $175,000 Current Listings

LM L3M PYM LY

YTD

PriorYTD PriorYear

Average List Price of all $200,743 Current Listings September Median Sales $123,282 $135,000 Price September Average Sales $137,558 $145,620 Price Total Properties Currently for 265 Sale (Inventory) September Number of 54 510 Properties Sold September Average Days on 77 78 Market (Solds) Asking Price per Square Foot $86 $84 (based on New Listings) September Sold Price per $78 $77 Square Foot September Month's Supply of 4.9 5.2 Inventory September Sale Price vs List 97.9% 97.1% Price Ratio * LM=Last Month / L3M=Last 3 Months / PYM=Same Month Prior Year / LY=Last Year / YTD = Yearto-date

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WALDEN LAKE REVIEW T BY NATALIE SWEET

he Walden Lake Community Association Board Meetings are the third Monday of each month at the Walden Lake Community Association office building on Griffin Boulevard in Walden Lake. The next meetings are scheduled for November 17th and December 15th at 7:00 PM. The meetings are open to all Walden Lake residents. Great news! Thanks to the fabulous work the HOA Board of Directors do at keeping costs in line, the Homeowner Association dues will remain the same as they have for the last 3 years. The dues for 2015 will be $213 Semi-Annual for Single Family Homes and $160 Semi-Annual for Condos. You can help keep our dues low by submitting your payment by the due date. It was all smiles on the faces of all who attended the Sixth Annual Kids & Kanines Howl-O-Ween party! There were lots of crafts, games, photos, food and prizes to be had and it was the best attended event Walden Lake has ever had. Thanks to Heather Updike, Bette Guarino and Marlene Merrin for putting together such a fun event for the Walden Lake families. At the October Board meeting, the Directors approved replacing the shrubs along the white fence at Griffin Boulevard; the path replacement at the Silverwood playground; and the painting of the two security guard buildings on Timberlane Blvd.

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The Board has also approved a motion to award the 2015 management contract to Greenacre Properties, with a start date of January 1, 2015. The security cameras in Walden Lake are from the 1980’s and need to be replaced. The Plant City Police Department needs these cameras to be updated to help them when a crime happens. Property Manager, Lee Weiss is still working on securing bids for this project. October was a quieter month for real estate transactions in Walden Lake. There were only 9 sales combined in Walden Lake and Walden Lake East with an average sale price of $250,200. The sales are as follows: 4126 Longfellow Drive $149,900 803 Sandalwood Drive $174,000 1903 Paddock Drive $180,000 2712 Golf Lake Drive $180,000 2813 Hammock Drive $199,900 2307 N Walden Place $208,000 2705 Forest Club Drive $275,000 2507 Clubhouse Drive $330,000 3201 Polo Place $550,000

There are currently 35 Active listings for sale with an average list price of $232,983 and there are 12 properties pending contract with an average list price of $158,433. Feel free to contact me about any real estate questions or about this article. NSweet@KW.com or 813-758-9586.


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SPONSORED BY CHILI’S

S 3001 James L Redman Parkway, Plant City, FL 813-764-8548 www.chilis.com

Plant City High School junior, Kendall Johnson, recently placed first in the District Golf Tournament.

KENDALL JOHNSON ATHLETE OF THE MONTH BY ASHLYN YARBROUGH

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t is said that seven is the perfect number. For Plant City High School student Kendall Johnson, this proved to be true when she recently

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placed an impressive 7th in the state golf tournament on October 28-29, 2014. As a 17-year-old junior, Kendall has played golf for only three

years. She mentions that her short game is her strong suit when it comes to this very challenging sport. “My favorite part about golf is the tournaments,” states

Kendall. “I like competing against other people, it makes me better.” On October 13, 2014, the PCHS girls’ golf team competed at districts. With a score of 77, Kendall placed first in the tournament overall. “It was very exciting for me when I found out that I placed first. It was so much fun even though I wasn’t very happy with the score of 77. I was proud to shoot a 74 at regionals,” Kendall describes. Becoming such an amazing athlete takes a lot of time and dedication. Kendall gives credit to Bryan Moran, her golf coach, who is the head golf pro at the Lone Palm golf course in Lakeland, Florida. She explains that he gives her private lessons and has taught her everything that she knows about golf. In addition to the golf course, Kendall spends part of her free time riding horses and being actively involved in the youth group at Bell Shoals Baptist Church. Kendall is also an exceptional scholar and is a member of the National Honors Society at PCHS. Upon graduation in 2016, Kendall aspires to attend a Division 1 college and play collegiate golf. “If I were to give advise to a new golfer, I would encourage them to never give up,” Kendall expresses. “Golf is a game of very high-highs and very low-lows. I would tell them to keep pushing to get through their lows.” Kendall Johnson is, no doubt, an amazing student athlete. Best wishes to her throughout the rest of her golfing career!


V a p a a ll N e y e O th e f c T n e a i m r e p p x a B E e ay om C Our Tasting Room & Gift Shop is open daily until 6PM Sample all of our wines for just $6. Host Your Next Special Moment at Keel & Curley Wedding Ceremonies & Receptions Showers, Parties, & Corporate Events

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Starting From Back Left :Coach Ryan Courtoy, Garret Johnson, Michael Sun, Devin Brewer, Josh Baerwalde (shoulders), Cody Facer, Eric Molina, John (Tanner) Chamberlain, Luke Whitmore, Nathan Jones, Jordan Waters, Ali Mhamdi, Coach Drew Martucci Bottom Left : Rachel Curci, Madison Manley, Hannah Stowe, Abby Miller, Kendra Molina, Keanua (Kiki) Guevara, Tracey Payne, Shelby Baerwalde, Cassie Highsmith, Coach Hannah Whitmore. Not pictured :Rigo Jurado, Dominique Cook, Lindsey Bowden, Rosemary De La Rosa, Ashton Russell, Michael Falkenstein, Gabriela Espaillat, Kendra Allen, Gustavo Bautista

PLANT CITY HIGH SCHOOL’S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM STORY BY ASHLYN YARBROUGH | PHOTO BY RYAN COURTOY

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he Plant City High School Cross Country team has blown their school and community away! These incredible student athletes have raced their way to a very successful season. Drew Martucci and Ryan Courtoy are the coaches of the PCHS Cross Country team. Captains Madison Manley, Shelby Barewall, Luke

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Whitmore, and Devin Brewer are the backbone of this dedicated team. The team never fails to place in the top ten in each of their meets, and usually finishes in the top five. Their best finish is 2nd overall. When asked what the key factor is to the team’s success, Courtoy replied, “hard work, smart training, a good attitude, believing you can be competitive, and consistency.

Those are the key ingredients for not only our team, but anyone wanting to be successful in this sport.” The training for cross-country is extremely difficult. A typical school week consists of two or three workouts, a long run (normally eight to ten miles), an evening run (six miles), and tempo runs. These runners are by all means some of the most disciplined and hard-working

athletes at PCHS! Abby Miller, a second year runner, describes the team as being very competitive with each other and continually pushing one another to be their best. Recently on social media, she posted the number “282”. Incredibly, this is the total number of miles she ran during this past summer while training for the upcoming season. It is said that there are some comedians on the team that make it a point to keep everyone smiling. “Our team is very unique,” explains Courtoy. “They are still very young with a very bright future; not only in cross country but also in every avenue of life.” On October 30, 2014, the team competed at the district meet. The guys placed 4th, and the girls placed 3rd, advancing them onto regionals. Courtoy states that the main goal for the team is to get the boys’ and girls’ teams to run their best time at the Regional Meet on November 8, 2014. “If everyone is on their “A” game and things fall into place, they could make it to the State Meet.”


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WHAT IS THE SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR LIFE?

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BY DEREK MAUL

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he other day, my daughter, Naomi, posted the following invitation on my Facebook page: “Dad. America’s Got Talent is having auditions in Richmond, November 6. Wanna try for a million bucks as a father/daughter duo?!?! Well, we would split it, so it’d be $500,000…” Playing and singing with Naomi has always been a lot of fun; and her idea – something we’re not doing, by the way - made my think about the music that’s inspired, nurtured, and even helped to define me over the years. You know what I’m talking about, it’s “The Soundtrack of My Life,” and I’m sure that we all have one. Thinking about my life’s soundtrack makes me imagine The Derek Maul Story as a stage production, and begs the question, “What kind of music would be the best fit?” How about you? Would your story be a comedy, a drama, a tragedy, an inspirational celebration, or a documentary? Maybe a little content drawn from each? For me, my first impulse would be to say that James Taylor should hired to write the score; his music has always spoken volumes. But then there would need to be some hymns, plus some praise music – not to mention some serious rock and roll. To be practical, I guess any representative production would have to be an eclectic sampling. So, better than commissioning one songwriter to come up with a matched set, wouldn’t the soundtrack of my life be better illustrated with period pieces, contemporariness to the age I was at the time? This is what comes to mind

immediately: In 1956, the year I was born, Elvis Presley released “Love Me Tender.” And that really is how my life began, nurtured in a loving family atmosphere, where “Love me tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfill” pretty much described life those first few years on Cherry Garden Lane. The 1960’s would be a combination of The Beatles on Radio Luxembourg, and then Sunday evening hymns at the Folkestone Baptist Church; “Abide With Me,” “And Can it Be,” and “How Great Thou Art.” For me, the 70’s started with “Your Song” from Elton John’s eponymous album, hit full stride with “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart, completely changed course with Larry Norman’s “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?” and then came to an eventful conclusion by way of “Devil Woman” (Cliff Richard), “When I Need You” (Leo Sayer), and “Take My Life and Let it Be,” the benedictory hymn at my wedding to Rebekah, and the purposed pattern for our life together. I can’t begin to cover the next four decades without trying to fit an entire novel into one column. But the idea has given me a lot to think about. So, skipping forward to 2014, I’ll wrap this up by borrowing from a Steven Curtis Chapman song that Rebekah and I claimed as our own twenty-plus years ago. But it still makes the best soundtrack for this amazing year. “As I look back on the road I’ve traveled, I see so many times He carried me through. And if there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my life - My Redeemer is faithful and true. My Redeemer is faithful and true, everything He has said He will do; and every morning His mercies are new; my Redeemer is faithful and true.”

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WEDNESDAY

Happy Hour 11:00am – 7:00pm Customer Appreciation Night 7:00pm – Close Kids Eat Free w/purchase of Entrée Cheap Beer Night 7:00pm to Close $2.00 Domestic Drafts $4.50 Import & Crafts $3.50 House Wines Free Live Entertainment Open Mic Night 8:00pm to Late

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FRIDAY

Happy Hour 11:00am – 7:00pm 7:00pm to Close $4.00 Smirnoff Vodka (All flavors) $4.50 Smirnoff Bombs $4.00 SO CO Lime Shots Live Acoustic Entertainment starting at 5:30pm Live Bands starting at 9:00pm

SATURDAY

Happy Hour 11:00am to 7:00pm • 7:00pm to Close $7.99 Bud Light Pitchers $4.50 House Wines $4.50 1800 Silver $5.00 1800 Johnny Vegas Live Band begins at 9:00pm

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Happy Hour 11:00am to 7:00pm Trivia 7:30pm to 9:00pm Ladies Night 9:00pm – 11:00pm Free Domestic (Ladies Only) $2.75 Wells (Ladies Only) $5.00 Jager Bombs / Irish Car Bombs $2.50 Miller & Coors

O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Family Restaurant 1701 S. Alexander Street, Plant City, FL 813-764-8818

www.obrienpubs.com | facebook.com/plantcityobriens FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y NOVEMBER 2014

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CANDY’S CORNER BY CANDY OWENS

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ome to Fairyland...a world set apart, alive with childhood dreams... an enchanted woodland of elves and fables, of nursery rhymes, and fairy tales. Soft shafts of sunlight filtered by moss-draped oaks strike bright colors from flower-bordered walkways. At each turning, a long remembered page of Mother Goose swings open. The Three Pigs sit secure in their snug brick house...Little Bo Peep searches for her sheep...a spider spins his web above a frightened Miss Muffet...Humpty Dumpty sits on a wall...and the Three Men in a Tub sit just beyond a real Wishing Well! There are many, many, more realistically reproduced in a continuing panorama of myth and imagination. Captivating! If you haven’t figured it out by now I am reminiscing about one of my most favorite places to visit as a small child back in the early 1960’s. I am writing with great affection about Tampa’s very own Fairyland at Lowry Park Zoo and Safety Village. Lowry Park was named in 1925 in honor of Dr. Sumpter L. Lowry, a prominent Florida businessman and insurance company executive. He was a long time member of the Florida National Guard and took part in the organization’s service on the Mexican border in 1916, followed by service in Europe for the First World War, and in the Pacific for the Second World War. Dr. Lowry was also a city commissioner who persuaded the city to purchase property for a public park on the banks of the Hillsborough

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River near downtown in 1937 and consisted of a small collection of indigenous animals such as raccoons, alligators, and a variety of exotic birds. As the collection grew, the animals were moved to the more centrally located park at Sligh Ave. & North Blvd. in 1957, by Mayor Nick Nuccio, where it was maintained by Tampa’s Park’s Department. In 1960, General Lowry gave the Zoo it’s most prominent animal, Sheena an 18-month-old Asian Elephant. One day in 1960, a man approached General Lowry and asked him to buy an elephant. Lowry asked “Why should I?” The man said “because the children of Tampa have never seen one.” Lowry agreed to buy it, but only on the condition it could be here by Christmas. He asked, “Where is the elephant?” “Well, India.” was the reply. Sheena was the first elephant to fly in a jet. When my sister Karen and I came along back in the early 1960’s our parents were young, new, and energetic. They loved to take us to fun, safe, and educational places. Tampa’s Fairyland at Lowry Park was the perfect place. It was located a short distance from downtown Tampa and was spread over 15 acres of beautifully wooded area on the Hillsborogh River. Admission to the park was free, there was a small charge for some rides in the park and was open seven days a week from 9am to 9pm. That was just perfect for a young couple with two small children. At that time, there was no Walt Disney World, Sea World, or LegoLand, or even the thought of something like that. My parents along with my grandparents on my mother’s side actually took my sister Karen to Lowry Park back in 1960. Karen was just a toddler at that time, but she was one of the first lucky children to see, touch, and ride Sheena the elephant. My mother still has photographs of my grandfather walking beside Sheena, Karen , and the elephant trainer that year. I can remember arriving at Lowry Park with such excitement. The first thing that you would see was the beautiful Rainbow Bridge

that adorned the entrance to Fairyland. The bridge itself sparkled a myriad of colors in the sun as you crossed over a pond complete with fountains, fish, and flamingos. Once inside Fairyland a fun time was sure to be had by all. There was a playground complete with slides, swings, and see-saws. There was a real Mississippi stern-wheeler named: The Fairy Queen, that chugged its way up and down the scenic Hillsborough River. There was a 36 hole kiddie putting course. There was an old P2V-2 Navy bomber named: “Fairyland Song Bird” parked on the grounds for airplane enthusiasts. There was a Ferris Wheel for kids and a Ferris Wheel for adults. There were chain link fenced cages that held seals, alligators, bears, goats, and my favorite of them all...the chimpanzees. There was a miniature railroad that wound through the grounds of Fairyland along with its fascinating game reserve and mock African Village complete with thatched houses and tree huts. There were refreshment stands with kid’s level service windows. There was a roller coaster and sprint car go karts, and there was storyland, where nursery rhymes were recreated. I can remember strolling past The Little Old Lady that lived in a shoe that was actually 20 feet high. Humpty Dumpty who was perched on the castle wall and all the King’s men were standing by as he teetered on the edge. Across the lane was the home of the Little Red Hen and nearby, the Three Men in a Tub...the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker...floating in a sea filled with goldfish. Live Wooly Lambs lived in the front yard of Mary’s Little Red Schoolhouse. Peter Rabbit lived in a stump under toadstools four feet high and Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet as a big spider tried to frighten her away. On the drawbridge to the Castle, Goosey Gander stood guard while Rapunzel leaned out, hoping to be rescued. I remember how my sister and I were super excited to walk up to and enter the mouth of Willie the Whale who had a giant tank of tropical fish in his tummy. I can also remember waiting in line to take a drink of water from the water fountain that was inside a Pelican’s open mouth. My mother always dressed my sister and I in matching sun suits, lacy socks, hair ribbons, and cat eyed sunglasses for our trips to Lowry Park because back in those days, if you were going to Lowry Park, Fairyland, and Safety Village...you were going somewhere!!! In fact, my father filmed us with his 8mm movie camera several times because it was so much fun for our family and was so cutting edge for the time.

I also will never forget going on a field trip with my Kindergarten class to Tampa’s Safety Village U.S.A. The kiddie-size town was designed to train pre-school, first, and second grade children in traffic, home, personal, and fire safety habits. It was a complete city with sidewalks, paved streets, working street lights, along with buildings that included a hospital, a school, and a fire station. Safety Village U.S.A. was the City of Tampa’s 1965 Christmas present to the children of Tampa, was located right next to Fairyland, and was named: “The World’s Largest FREE Safety School for children. As they say: “Time changes things!” Some 45 plus years have passed since my trip to Safety Village U.S.A. and I am sad to say that the beautiful Rainbow Bridge that sparkled a myriad of colors in the sun was torn down back in 1988 by the City Parks Department due to safety concerns. The land that my sister and I strolled through known as Fairyland was demolished, and is now the Florida Environmental Education Center (or Zoo School) which services: children, teachers, and parents with environmental education programs year round. (Now that is a good thing!) Safety Village U.S.A. is also no more. There is now a bronze elephant statue located at the entrance of the Asian domain within the zoo, and is intended to serve as a memorial to Baby Sheena , the elephant that was donated to the zoo back in 1960 by Gen. Sumter L. Lowry as a gift to the children of Tampa. Sheena died in January of 1986 in an African Lion Safari in Canada where she was sent to wait out the zoo renovations. The bronze elephant was installed as a visual remembrance of her in 1987. I give my heartfelt thanks to my parents, to the City of Tampa, to former Mayor Nick Nuccio, and to Gen. Sumter L. Lowry for their love of children and for happy childhood memories of Lowry Park, Fairyland, and Safety Village U.S.A. that will never ever be forgotten.


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WANDA’S WORDS OF WISDOM

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL… BY WANDA “LEWIS” ANDERSON

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ere’s a tip worth repeating. For the juiciest turkey, bake your turkey with the breast on the bottom. This is opposite of how you see a turkey usually shown when baking. All the wonderful juices from the dark meat will drip down into the white meat and you will have one juicy and delicious turkey to serve to your friends and family. I love baking pies but often the juices will over flow onto the bottom of the oven. If this happens, simply sprinkle salt on the juices to take out the odor and the smoke. When baking apples prick the skin of the apples with a pin and they will cook without bursting. I like to sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on them and enjoy eating them served warm. I think everyone at some point has experienced a cake sticking to the pan. Next time that happens try placing the cake pan on a wet cloth for 5 minutes

then remove cake from pan. Have you ever made mashed potatoes and added too much milk? An easy fix is to add a little instant mashed potato to thicken them up. I always add a little mayonnaise too which adds to the flavor and makes them taste creamy. If you reach for the milk to use in a recipe and find that it has just slightly turned sour or changed, it can be sweetened and rendered fit for use again by stirring a little baking soda in it. Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t stop and think about just how precious each day is and those we share them with. A great way to preserve holiday memories is to place a journal out and ask all your family and friends to write something special in it. When you put away your decorations store the journal until the following year and repeat year after year. As the years go by it will bring you great joy to look back and reminisce on times shared with loved ones. Until next time relax, enjoy and be thankful…

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SENIORS OF THE MONTH

KELLEN MORRIS DAVID PEQUENN BY ASHLYN YARBROUGH

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BY GRESHAM STEPHENS

n high school, it’s fairly difficult to juggle school, sports, volunteering, and extra curricular activities. With the help of her parents, Melinda and Trey Morris, and her brother, Cleyton (21), Kellen Morris is doing an outstanding job at these challenging, yet rewarding tasks. With a GPA of 5.32, Kellen is ranked 35th in her senior class. This outstanding Plant City High School student is a part of the National Honor Society and is even a member of the PCHS 1290 club with a 1300 SAT score. Throughout her high school career, Kellen has consistently made the Academic Honor Roll and has received an Academic Letter for the past three years. Not only is Kellen a brilliant scholar, she’s a dominating athlete as well. She has lettered in basketball for two years and in flag football for three. Kellen currently leads the Raiders as their quarterback and is a team captain for the highly competitive PCHS flag football team.

In addition to academics and athletics, she is also actively involved in various clubs and organizations all over town. Kellen has been a part of Students Against Destructive Decisions that helps bring awareness to the fatal consequences of drinking and driving. Kellen is also a member of the PCHS Yearbook Staff. “I have gained business skills, time management skills, people skills, and have met and gotten to know so many of my fellow classmates through this program,” she explains. Outside of her busy schedule, Kellen makes it a point to give back to the community. The majority of her volunteer work is through the Civinettes Service Club at PCHS. She has participated in Relay for Life, United Food Bank Canned Food Collection, “Empty Bowls Project,” and many more. Upon graduation, Kellen would like to attend the University of Florida and study Architectural Engineering. With the hard work that she exemplifies now, there is no doubt that she will achieve her goals.

FAVORITES School Subject: Math Book: The Husband by Dean Koontz Hobbies: Painting, making jewelry, doodling, and shopping Store: Francesca’s Band: Switchfoot Song: “I Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot Movie: Rango TV Show: anything that features a baseball,

football, or hockey game Food: Sushi Quote: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched—they must be felt with the heart.” –Helen Keller Restaurant: Carabbas Hangout spot in Plant City: The Strawberry Festival Sports Team: Buccaneers, Packers, Rays, and Tampa Bay Lightning

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avid Jeffrey PeQueen, known to everyone as D.J., is our Senior of the Month. D.J is the son of Carol and Jeff PeQueen, and the big brother of Danny and Will. D.J. has earned a 5.96 GPA and is in the top 3% of his graduating class. He ranked number 12 out of 425 seniors. D.J. is an active member of his school and the Plant City community. D.J. is also an active member of the Plant City High School FFA chapter, and has been for the last four years. In those four years he has held a chapter office including: Secretary, Sentinel, Reporter, and is currently the Treasurer. Throughout his involvement with FFA he has participated in various Career Development Events with his Veterinary Assisting Team advancing to the state-level competition. When looking around our community you can see things that D.J. has

touched. He has been a referee for the Plant City Parks and Recreation Departments Flag Football League, participated in Relay for Life with Plant City FFA and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, volunteered at Cork Elementary labeling and barcoding textbooks, and helped plan and volunteered at the Plant City FFA Alumni Classic Cattle Show. Aside from his FFA and community involvement, D.J. is actively involved in his church, St. Peter’s Episcopal, as an Acolyte and Lay Eucharistic Minister. D.J. is busy making our community a better place and he still finds the time to be a scholar. His schedule includes many AP classes and by the end of the school year he will be a Certified Veterinary Assistant. D.J. works hard and is most deserving of the honor of Senior of the Month.

FAVORITES School Subject: Math Hangout spot in PC: Movie Theatre Book: Into the Wild Sports Team: Florida Gators Hobbies: FFA, College Football Quote: “If you don’t try you’ll never succeed” Store: Best Buy

Band/Artist: Brit NIcole Song: Stand TV show: Big Bang Theory Food: Steak Restaurant: Fred’s


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GOOD “GOURD ALMIGHTY” BY HEATHER DAVIS

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ften times as artists we look to nature for inspiration. For some artists they take this a step further and they will incorporate items found in nature into their art. For example, Jerry Taylor of Gourd Almighty, uses raw natural gourds to create beautiful statements of art. As an artist, gourds are the very foundation and inspiration for what Jerry creates. The gourd is a plant found within the family of the pumpkin, squash, and melon, however the inside is found to be bitter and inedible. Therefore since the beginning of history the dried shell of the gourd has been used for food containers and implements, kitchen tools, toys, musical instruments, and decoration. Today gourds are commonly used for a wider variety of crafts, including jewelry, dishes, utensils and decorations using carving, burning, and other techniques. Jerry first fell in love with the idea of using gourds for art at a pumpkin festival he attended. He was inspired from the festival to create his first birdhouse, which is a popular thing to

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do with gourds. Shortly after Jerry came upon a woman who had a garage full of gourds and related art supplies for decorating gourds that he acquired. The rest was history – and Gourd Almighty was born. Today, Jerry still creates bird houses but has branched out to make many different types of art with his gourds. The whole process begins with two trips a year to the gourd farm in Georgia to hand-pick out his gourds. Since a gourd is an item of nature they come in an unlimited number of shapes and sizes so the possibilities are endless. The gourds take 180 days to grow and 180 days to dry out. Once they are dried out they have a layer of dust and mold that needs to be washed and scrubbed off. “The most exciting thing about the gourd is when you wash them clean and see the natural beauty that lies underneath.” Jerry explains. It is the natural beauty underneath that further serves to inspire how the gourd will be finished. “I prefer to leave my gourds more in their natural state, by bringing out their traits by cleaning and polishing them.” Jerry turns his gourds into beautiful pieces of art by creating snake gourds, by burning in designs, or incorporating other found pieces such as feathers and leather into his gourds for embellishment. No part of the gourd is unused as leftover pieces and seeds get turned into jewelry. In the world of gourds the sky is the limit in what you can create and a gourd in the hands of Jerry is sure to become a piece of art. Jerry can usually be found with his gourds at art events and markets held locally throughout the year. Currently he is showing at the Wednesday evening Farmers Market held in downtown Plant City. You may find out more information about Gourd Almighty on facebook at facebook/gourd-almighty.


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CITY PIZZA

AUTHENTIC AND TRADITIONAL “NEW YORK STYLE” PIZZA COMES TO PLANT CITY BY HEATHER DAVIS | PHOTOS BY JUPITER JONES

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ity Pizza is family owned and operated by a family that goes three generations deep in having restaurant and culinary experience. Owners, Jason Burroughs, his father Gary Burroughs, and Michael Milam, recently just this past month opened up City Pizza in the heart of downtown. I must warn you this is “not” your average pizza joint. Jason, along with his father, Gary use their combined experience to create a dining experience that takes pizza dining to another level. City Pizza offers authentic and traditional “New York style” pizza along with Italian cuisine. Very few establishments can say they make a true “New York style” pizza. In fact there are no places in Plant City doing so. What exactly makes a New York style pizza authentic? Jason explains that is has to do with several factors such as the dough preparation, mixing process, and the rising process. The water is another important factor, so the water that is used to make the dough goes through a

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special filtration process. When we sat down to dine, Jason started out by saying he was going to serve us pizza the way a “pizza snob” would eat their pizza. Meaning to get the true flavor of the pizza, a “pizza snob” would first order only a piece of cheese pizza in order to experience the true flavor of the crust, cheese, and sauce before adding any additional ingredients. I must say that we never did add any ingredients because the flavor of the crust, cheese, and sauce were superior. “We spend more than 1/3 more on cheese then most pizza places and all of our sauces are homemade.” Jason explains. Although the pizza is to die for, don’t let it stop you from coming in for the other “Italian Cuisine” items found on the menu. For starters, the bruschetta was prepared on bread imported from New York, topped with the perfect amount of tomato, mozzarella, spices, and garlic- melt in your mouth delicious. Another tasty appetizer is the panko

breaded calamari sticks that are served with fresh lemon and homemade marinara sauce. The “famous family recipe red sauce and meatball with pasta” dish lives up to its name. It is called such because the red sauce is the exact same recipe that was created by Jason’s great-grandfather with a few tweaks. The red sauce calls for over 42 different ingredients which when combined together create a full-bodied, flavorful, tangy sauce with a touch of sweetness. Add that to the meatballs which are prepared using a 3-day prep process along with the pasta, and you have an amazing dish that is sure to be “famous”. The fresh baked chicken parmesan came out tender and breaded with the delicious sauce and mozzarella cheese melted on top, another must try. Also, the chicken wings (were the best we have ever tried), but don’t say you heard it from me, try them yourself and be the judge. If you managed to save room, or you can just take them home for later like we did, don’t forget about desert. The cheesecake served the NY way, is covered in fresh strawberries and the cannolis are all made fresh to order. Also made in house by Jason’s wife, are the cupcakes that come in a variety of flavors of the day. Every menu item that is prepared at City Pizza is prepared with great attention to preserving the process,

City Pizza 115 E. Reynolds St., Plant City 813-754-CITY (2489) Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11:00am-9:00pm freshness, and ingredients in order to create the ultimate flavor. The vegetables all come from a local market here in town providing the ultimate in freshness. City Pizza also has another addition in the form of Jason’s wife, Tanya and daughter, Kylee. Tanya and Kylee both operate MJ Cakes, a bakery out of the kitchen of City Pizza, providing to the customers fresh homemade cupcakes of all kinds of flavors. MJ Cakes also makes custom cakes for special events. City Pizza caters to kids, offering a kids menu, as well as planning to host kid-themed events such as dough throwing night. City Pizza is also deeply involved in the community and supports local organizations such as the Plant City Rec. Baseball and the Plant City High Soccer team. For more information on City Pizza you may visit their website at www. citypizza-plantcity.com. Catering for events is also available by emailing City Pizza at citypizza_plantcity@yahoo.com. For more information on MJ Cakes, please visit the website at www. buymjcakes.com.


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CRUST: 1 family sized bag of plain salted potato chips (I used Kettle Chips) 5 tbsp. melted butter

CHOCOLATE ORANGE PIE WITH POTATO CHIP CRUST M BY SAVANNAH JONES

y father has the biggest sweettooth of anyone I’ve ever met. Sugar in nearly any form is his kryptonite. However, he has a particular penchant for chocolate with orange. To make his ideal birthday dessert, I decided a chocolate orange pie was the way to go.

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The filling has a fudge-like consistency, and as for the potato chip crust, who doesn’t love a combination of salty and sweet? With a garnish of orange zest and sea salt, the pie turned out pretty enough for photographs as well as richly delicious.

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. • In a food processor, crush the chips until they are finely ground. Thoroughly mix in the melted butter. • Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie/tart pan. • Transfer to the pre-heated oven and bake for 12 minutes. Set aside to cool. CHOCOLATE FILLING: ¼ cups heavy cream 10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips ¼ cup fresh orange juice 2 eggs 1 tsp. coconut extract 1/8 tsp. salt Grated orange zest to measure • Combine the cream and chocolate chips in a medium pot over medium heat and warm the cream

CHOCOLATE TOPPING: 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips 1 cup heavy cream • Heat the cream in a small saucepan and add the chocolate. Whisk together over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and chocolate has melted. • Pour mixture onto the cooled chocolate filling and use an offset spatula to spread it around evenly. • Let the entire tart chill for at least two hours in the refrigerator. • Sprinkle with sea salt and orange zest before serving. until the chocolate starts to melt. Whisk together until completely smooth. Add the orange juice, eggs, coconut, salt, and orange zest and continue to whisk until entirely combined. • Pour the filling mixture into the cooled crust and place it back into the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.


106 SR 60 EAST • PLANT CITY • 813-737-4444 WWW.UNCLEMIKESGRILL.COM

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with any Sandwich or Sub

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FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y NOVEMBER 2014

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» DINING GUIDE

FIND DEALS ONLINE AT MYFOCUSCOUPONS.COM

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT

CHANCY’S CATFISH SHACK

S

erving Plant City for over 20 years. Our southern style seafood house covers every desire, from catfish, grouper, codfish, jumbo shrimp and gator to frog legs, just to name a few! BUT WAIT...we’re not just seafood. We have babyback ribs, steak, cheese sandwiches, pulled BBQ sandwiches, ruebens, and cuban sandwiches along with many southern sides like fried okra. Plus we have the best fried green tomatoes around, as well as fried pickle chips, hushpuppies and many more to choose from!

2509 NORTH PARK ROAD 813-754-3433

CHILI’S

C

hili’s has been spicing things up since 1975. There is something for everyone’s taste. From sizzling chicken or beef fajitas, fired grilled classic burgers to the new honey chipotle baby back ribs that are slow smoked over pecan wood so they’re “fall-off-the-bone” tender with a bold new honey-chipotle flavor that’s impossible to resist. Call in or come in, you’re always welcome at Chili’s.

3001 JAMES L REDMAN PARKWAY PLANT CITY, FL 33566 813-764-8548 • WWW.CHILIS.COM

OLDE TOWN PIZZERIA

I

f you love deep-dish pizza, Olde Town Pizzeria is the only place around to find it. The cheesy Chicago-style pizza is a popular item on the menu, as well as the award-winning Strawberry Walnut Salad and thin crust pizzas. In addition, they have an array of delicious pastas, salads and sandwiches to satisfy all taste buds. This family-owned and operated restaurant is a Plant City favorite for those who love high quality food and friendly service.

3011 JAMES L REDMAN PARKWAY PLANT CITY, FL 33566 (813) 752-5800 • WWW.OLDETOWNPIZZERIA.COM

PLANT CITY HOMETOWN BUFFET

P

lant City Hometown Buffet is a family owned and operated business started by Elaine Vo, a resident of Plant City for the last 24 years. They offer a wide variety of items spanning the five buffet bars, including seafood and steak. There is certainly something to fit every taste preference, especially if you’re looking for seafood with their catfish, stuffed crab, buttered shrimp and much, much, more.

1914 JAMES L REDMAN PARKWAY PLANT CITY, FL 33563 813-754-4488

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SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT

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» DINING GUIDE

TASTE OF INDIA

T

he TASTE OF INDIA offers an exquisite fine dining experience while serving Authentic Indian Cuisine for the past 6 years in Brandon. Some of the most requested dishes include Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Masala Dosa, Garlic Shrimp, Goat Curry, and Whole Fried Snapper! FULL BAR! Entree prices start at $10.95 and the Lunch Buffet prices are $9.95 weekdays and $12.95 weekends. Military Discounts! Professional Catering Available. Serving Lunch Buffet Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, Sat/Sun 12-3. Dinner Hours are Mon-Thurs 5-10pm, Sat 5-10:30pm and Sun. 5-9:30. Relax and enjoy the wonderful spices and scents of the Delicious and Delectable Indian cuisine!

902 E. BRANDON BLVD. BRANDON, FL. 33511 813-689-4040

WAYBACK BURGERS

W

ayback Burgers offers premium burgers, made from 100% beef, fresh, never frozen, made to order just the way you like it. Our delicious hand dipped milkshakes hit the spot every time you try one.

Every month, Wayback Burgers features a brand new “Burger of the Month” and “Milkshake of the Month”. And burgers are only the beginning; House-made potato chips, all beef hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, turkey burgers, specialty burgers and fresh salads are available. We also feature local brewed beer from Two Henrys Brewing. Wayback, way better!

200 W. ALEXANDER STREET PLANT CITY, FL 33563

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can’t miss

events

PLANT CITY CHRISTMAS PARADE

Expect thousands of spectators to line the downtown streets for Plant City’s 31st annual Christmas Parade. The celebration, which will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 5, is a highly-anticipated hometown tradition. So whether you enjoy the festive floats or collecting candy, be sure to add this annual occasion to your December schedule. It will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Also, if you’re looking to enter a float into the parade, fill out an application at the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce at 106 N. Evers St. Applications are due November 26. Don’t miss out on tons of fun!

NOVEMBER

15 SATURDAY

Strawberry Classic Car Show Historic Downtown Plant City | 4 to 9 p.m. The car show features cars that are at least 25 years old, with many classics from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. This is a great family event if you’re looking for a relaxing evening. Several of the downtown merchants are open longer hours to accommodate the crowds. For more information, contact the Chamber at 813-754-3707. Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Presents: South Pacific Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Theater | 8 p.m. 101 N. Thomas St. South Pacific is set in French Polynesia in World War II on an island taken over by the US forces as they advance against the Japanese although at this stage there is no military action or immediate threat to the area – the forces are able to enjoy the balmy tropical island and a comparatively easy life. South Pacific features some of the best known and best loved songs of any musical including Some Enchanted Evening, A Cockeyed Optimist, Bali Ha’i, and more. Tickets are available online at pceshows.com and are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors/students, $10 for members, and $10 each for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact pceshows.com.

16 SUNDAY Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Presents: South Pacific Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Theater 2 p.m. matinee 101 N. Thomas St. South Pacific is set in French Polynesia in World War II on an island taken over by the US forces as they advance against the Japanese although at this stage there is no military action or immediate threat to the area – the forces are able to enjoy

98 NOVEMBER 2014 focusplantcity.com

the balmy tropical island and a comparatively easy life. South Pacific features some of the best known and best loved songs of any musical including Some Enchanted Evening, A Cockeyed Optimist, Bali Ha’i, and more. Tickets are available online at pceshows.com and are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors/students, $10 for members, and $10 each for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact pceshows.com.

20 THURSDAY

Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Presents: South Pacific Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Theater | 8 p.m. 101 N. Thomas St. South Pacific is set in French Polynesia in World War II on an island taken over by the US forces as they advance against the Japanese although at this stage there is no military action or immediate threat to the area – the forces are able to enjoy the balmy tropical island and a comparatively easy life. South Pacific features some of the best known and best loved songs of any musical including Some Enchanted Evening, A Cockeyed Optimist, Bali Ha’i, and more. Tickets are available online at pceshows.com and are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors/students, $10 for members, and $10 each for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact pceshows.com.

21 FRIDAY Plant City Pig Jam Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex Stadium 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. 1810 E. Park Rd. Brought to you by the Plant City Chamber of Commerce, the 12th annual Plant City Pig Jam brings great cooks from all over the country for a professional and amateur barbeque competition. The general public is invited to sample some great dishes including ribs, pork, beef brisket, and chicken. In addition to the Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned competition, families and children can enjoy a rock climbing wall, moon walks, snow cones, and live entertainment. Parking is $5 and admission

is free. Pig bucks will be on sale at $1 apiece. For more information, visit plantcity.org. Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Presents: South Pacific Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Theater | 8 p.m. 101 N. Thomas St. South Pacific is set in French Polynesia in World War II on an island taken over by the US forces as they advance against the Japanese although at this stage there is no military action or immediate threat to the area – the forces are able to enjoy the balmy tropical island and a comparatively easy life. South Pacific features some of the best known and best loved songs of any musical including Some Enchanted Evening, A Cockeyed Optimist, Bali Ha’i, and more. Tickets are available online at pceshows.com and are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors/students, $10 for members, and $10 each for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact pceshows.com.

22 SATURDAY Plant City Pig Jam Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex Stadium 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. 1810 E. Park Rd. Brought to you by the Plant City Chamber of Commerce, the 12th annual Plant City Pig Jam brings great cooks from all over the country for a professional and amateur barbeque competition. The general public is invited to sample some great dishes including ribs, pork, beef brisket, and chicken. In addition to the Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned competition, families and children can enjoy a rock climbing wall, moon walks, snow cones, and live entertainment. Parking is $5 and admission is free. Pig bucks will be on sale at $1 a piece. For more information, visit plantcity.org. Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Presents: South Pacific Plant City Entertainment, Inc. Theater | 8 p.m. 101 N. Thomas St. South Pacific is set in French Polynesia in World War II on an island taken over by the US forces as they advance against the Japanese although at this stage there is no military action or immediate threat to the area – the forces are able to enjoy the balmy tropical island and a comparatively easy life. South Pacific features some of the best known and best loved songs of any musical including Some Enchanted Evening, A Cockeyed Optimist, Bali Ha’i, and more. Tickets are available online at pceshows.com and are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors/students, $10 for members, and $10 each for groups of 10 or more. For more information, contact pceshows.com.

27 THURSDAY YMCA Turkey Trot Plant City Family YMCA | 7:30 a.m. 1506 YMCA Place Before you consume delicious Thanksgiving food, join the YMCA for a 5K Turkey Trot or 1 Mile Gobble Walk. Register online at active.com. For more information, contact 813-757-6677 or ruthann.kosinsky@tampaymca.org.

DECEMBER

04 THURSDAY Lights of Love McCall Park | 7 p.m. 100 N. Collins St. Experience the historic downtown Plant City park as it’s transformed into a winter wonderland. The annual event is hosted by the South Florida Baptist Hospital and marks the start of the holiday season. A 30+ foot live tree is adorned with lights purchased by individuals, families and businesses in honor or memory of friends and loved ones. Proceeds benefit the community outreach programs of South Florida Baptist Hospital and the traditional family event is open to the community and free of charge. Enjoy holiday music by local choirs and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. For more information, contact the SFBH Foundation at 813-757-8478. A CHRISTMAS SHOWING OF FINE ART 101 N. THOMAS STREET I 5PM - 8PM The public is invited to enjoy this FREE annual members’ Christmas show, and join local artists in a wine and cheese reception, with music and entertainment provided throughout the evening. This year’s Christmas art show and sale will be held at a new venue, Plant City Entertainment, Inc., known locally as the Community Theatre, at 101 N. Thomas Street, right in the heart of Plant City. This will be a premier co-operative event, featuring local visual artists and performing artists in Plant City. We are looking forward forging a closer bond among these two artist groups and within the Arts Council of Plant City. Artworks created by members of the East Hillsborough Art Guild will be on exhibit for the evening, some of which will be offered for purchase. After all, Christmas is near!

06 SATURDAY Bike Fest Historic Downtown Plant City | 5 to 9 p.m. The Bike Fest features hundreds of bikes from all over, with everyone riding in for a relaxing evening. For the enthusiast there are bikes of all styles, makes, and models, both old and new. Many of the downtown merchants will be open longer hours to accommodate the crowds. For more information, contact the Chamber at 813-754-3707.

OFFICE SPACE Executive Offices BRANDON As low as $400 per month (including electricity, water and wireless internet)

Meeting Room Usage Professional Environment Quick Access to Major Roadways (Crosstown Expressway, Hwy. 60, I-75 & I-4) 330 Pauls Drive (South of Oakfield Dr.)

Contact Amber at 813-689-1221


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FOCUSOBITUARIES Sue Greene, 73 of Plant City, Florida died October 14, 2014, at Health Center of Plant City. Born April 26, 1941, in Plant City, Florida, she was the daughter of the late Sidney Carter and Celia Carter Crosby. She was the wife of Richard Greene, he survives. Also surviving are son, Tim Greene; daughter, Cindy ( Jerry) Cigarran; brother, Raymond Crosby; sister, Frances (Bill) Batchelor; grandchildren, Alexis and Danielle Greene, and Paul and Chris Cigarran. Sue was a member at Northside Baptist Church, and owner of Greene Poultry Farm and PayPhones Plus, was a homemaker, and loved music and dancing. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Jimmy Eugene Perkins, 78 of Plant City, Florida died October 15, 2014, at Sun City Center Hospice House in Ruskin. Born December 4, 1935 in Bright, Indiana, he was the son of the late Hubert and Thelma Keyes Perkins. He was the husband of Nancy Mobley Perkins, she survives. Also surviving are sons, Steve Perkins and Jason (Candy) Perkins; brother, Tommy (Sue) Perkins; grandchildren, Shannon Hogan, Desirae Perkins Blanton, Janice and Regan Perkins. Jimmy was a member of the Plant City Church of Christ, retired from TECO, loved camping, hunting, and fishing. He was an avid golfer. He raced cars and was a NASCAR fan. He was also an artisan who made, knives, cast nets, lures and flies, and turkey calls, Jimmy volunteered for the Florida State Park Service. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Geraldine Bates Demming, 84 of Fort Myers, Florida died October 15, 2014, at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers. Born January 16, 1930 in Plant City, Florida, she was the daughter of the late Gerald and Lorene Waver Bates. She was the wife of the late Gerald Demming and Leon Long. Surviving are son, Gerald (Anne) Demming; sister, Lorene Bates McCall; grandchildren, Allison

100 NOVEMBER 2014 focusplantcity.com

and Jarrod Demming. Ms Geraldine was a member of Plant City’s First Baptist Church, NEA, FEA, CTA, Junior League of Orlando, was historian of the Historical Society, and graduated from the University of Florida. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Margie “Nanny” Adams, 85 was born March 7, 1929 in Elloree, SC and was called home October 19, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband, T.G. Adams and her brother, Paul Thomas. She is survived by two daughters, Pam (Arlin) Futch and Sandy (Earl) Williams; three grandchildren, Stacey (Eric) Breuggeman, Earl T. Williams and Kayla (Brian) Runkles, and three great granddaughters, Elise, Samantha, and Taylor; also a sister Pat ( Joe) Spell of South Carolina and nieces and nephews. She was an active charter member of 55 years at Whitehurst Road Baptist Church. The family would like to thank her personal caregivers for the loving care shown to our “Nanny”. Online condolences may be left to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Ray Steele, 62 of Plant City, Florida died October 19, 2014, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Born August 16, 1952, Middletown, Ohio, he was the son of the late Raymond and Ruth McGraw Steele. He was predeceased by brothers, Martin and Robert Steele. Surviving are fiancee, Melody Mathis; sons, Nathan and Joshua Steele; brothers, Jon and Paul Steele; sister, Elizabeth Barker; stepchildren, Natalie, Heather, and Richard. Ray loved music, and he loved people more. Ray had a music degree from Baptist Bible College and was an avid photographer. He was affectionately known as the music doctor at the Strawberry Patch where he led karaoke for almost 30 years. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com

Paul Collins, 58 of Plant City, Florida died October 15, 2014, at his home. Born February 28, 1956 in Plant City, Florida, he was the son of the late L.A. and Evelyn Morris Collins. He was the husband of Joan Caldwell Collins, she survives. Also surviving are brothers, Donald Collins and Daniel Collins; children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Dorothy Mae Coutts, 80 of Zephyrhills, Florida died October 21, 2014, at her home. Born November 5, 1933, she was the daughter of the late Reverend James P. Martin and Ethel Mae Lindsay Martin. Surviving are sons, Cody, Michael, Harold, Dennis, Tommy and Bruce Williams; daughters, Pam Barker and Judy Parks; stepchildren, Jackie, Patty, and Bunny; brothers, Harold Martin and Jimmy Martin; sisters, Mary Streetman, Sara Nelson and Elizabeth Hanley; 40 grandchildren, 72 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Rose Cockrell, 83 of Plant City, Florida died October 26, 2014, at South Florida Baptist Hospital. Born December 25, 1930 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late Mitchell and Joan McLeod Young. She was the wife of the late James Cockrell. She was predeceased by sister, Virginia McDonald. Surviving are sons, Gary Cockrell and Galen Cockrell; daughters, Perri Canady, Rhonda Gilbreath, Ann Hertle and Michelle Hoak; 11 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren. Rose work for the Plant City Courier early in life as a writer/reporter and also worked for the family business before marrying James and becoming a homemaker. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Ruth M. Brown, 84 of Plant City, Florida died October 28, 2014, at her home.

Born July 15, 1930 in Atlantic, Idaho, she was the daughter of the late Jacob and Milda Hass Pieken. She was the wife of Howard Brown for 62 years, he survives. Ruth was a member of Hope Lutheran Church, and was retired after 26 years from Principal Financial Group. Surviving are sons, Duane Brown, Jeffrey Brown and Douglas Brown; daughter, Victoria Ricketts; sister, Janice Blake; 8 grandchildren; 1 great grandchild. The family will be having private services. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com Linda C. Gregory, beloved wife of John Gregory, passed on November 5, 2014 at her home in Tampa, FL. Mrs. Gregory was born April 26, 1954, in Coudersport, PA. The daughter of Betty Annalora and Gerald Besse. She grew up in Lockport, NY and moved to Tampa, FL in 1983. Linda was employed at the Tampa Airport for over 25 years. She was medically retired in 2014. Surviving are her husband John Gregory, her mother Betty Annalora, her son Raymond Pachmayr (Bobbie) and the light of her life, her granddaughter, Olivia born in July, and also many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and many other loving family members. Mrs. Gregory was predeceased by her father Gerald Besse, her two sisters, Teresa Guidry, and Lorraine Johnson, and her stepfather Ted Annalora. The family wishes to express a special thank you to Doug and Lisa Johnson. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.haughtfuneralhome.com.

In Loving Memory!


A THANKSGIVING FEAST Created by Calvin R. and Jackie Mathews

A THANKSGIVING FEAST

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Thanksgiving in the Kitchen A Thanksgiving Feast

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65. Fence steps 66. __-hard; stubborn 67. Script learner 69. Show distress 71. CA’s old Fort __ 74. Freud, to friends, perhaps 75. Ticket sharer, for short 78. Enjoyment 80. Fraternity letter 82. European lang. 84. Aspire 86. Wicked Old Testament king 87. Up to now 90. Boundaries 93. Gofers 94. Finest 96. Ohio, for one 98. Former Big Apple bigwig 99. Commence 101. Hot stuff 102. Org. for Eagles and Ravens 103. Arrestee’s hope 105. Underhanded 107. Bruce or Brandon 109. Big __; semi 110. Buddy 9

15

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by Calvin R. & Jackie Mathews

Investments, for some Mother __ Jackie’s O Day-after-Thanksgiving activities Like one in a rage 1934 heavyweight champ Linear measures: abbr. Thanksgiving activities Words of agreement Artist Chagall Eyelid inflammation Thanksgiving activities Most curious Clock numeral Salty place Mythical ship Sermon topic Newspaper items Drive in Beverly Hills Makes Suffix for moist or advent Majorca article Palest New Deal agcy. Sanction Two cents’ worth Aristotle’s H Wipe away Wavy-patterned cloth More vigorous Volume containing David’s hymns

105 110 113

115

116

© Puzzle Features Syndicate FOCUS MAGA ZINE PL ANT CIT Y NOVEMBER 2014

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102 NOVEMBER 2014 focusplantcity.com


ER Needed?

Hospital Included.

Just in Case In case it’s more serious than you thought, our full-service Emergency Center is connected to South Florida Baptist Hospital and features the services you may need on-site: n Operating rooms n Team of physician specialists n Heart Center

n Intensive Care Unit n Lab and imaging

301 N. Alexander St. | Plant City

For a physician referral or more information:

(813) 443-2037 or PlantCityEmergency.org

BC1403145-0614


104 NOVEMBER 2014 focusplantcity.com

FOCUS Plant City 13-11  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 13-11 November 2014

FOCUS Plant City 13-11  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 13-11 November 2014

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