Two Sections, 36 Pages of Community News
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C E L E B R A T I N G
February 2018 Volume 15, Issue 2 Ph: 657-2418 1 6
Y E A R S
P U B L I S H I N G
Seffner Christian Academy Student Crowned Florida Strawberry Festival Queen
By Lauren McNair
C O M M U N I T Y
By Kate Quesada
Valrico resident Jamie Ratcliff is realizing a dream this month as he gets ready to open the doors to Bullfrog Creek Brewing Company on Lithia PInecrest Rd. in midMarch. Ratcliff began his brewing journey last year and is very excited about sharing his craft with local beer lovers. The 3,000 sq. ft. brewery and tap room will be housed in Erindale Plaza, next to Car Wash on the Greens, in a space formerly occupied by the Erindale Market and gas station. “The location is a perfect fit for my vision because of the great bones and porch area where we can offer outdoor seating and an area for entertainment,” said Ratcliff, a veteran, born and raised in the Valrico area. Ratcliff, who works closely with the brewery’s production manager, Chanse Haas, recently brought brew master Matt Morrow to the team from Arches Brewery in Atlanta. They plan to offer 16 types of beer on tap with a variety of choices including IPAs, pilsners, porters and stouts. The brewery uses a nano-brewing, small-capacity system giving it the capability to brew many different types of beers and change out the recipes regularly. Bullfrog Creek will also offer guest taps with cider and other local beers and will have wine available to purchase. Plans include regularly scheduled food trucks on the weekends and partnerships with local restaurants who will deliver food to the brewery. “As a long time resident, I am so excited to bring craft beer to the Valrico community,” said Ratcliff. “We plan to host a lot of local events focusing on good beer and great service.” In addition to offering drinks and entertainment and a founder’s club
Osprey Observer 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Brandon, FL 33511-6121
Valrico residents Manny and Chelsea Santos recently bought and renovated The New York Diner - Valrico, located off S.R. 60 near the intersection with Miller Rd. The couple has revamped the menu while keeping all the favorites too. Foodies and fitness enthusiasts and first responders with find something for everyone! See page 31 for full story.
N E W S
Bullfrog Creek Brewing Co. To Open In Erindale Plaza Near Car Wash On The Greens
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five facets of competition: a personal interview, on-stage speaking, casual wear, evening wear and an impromptu question. Throughout the year, the queen and court make over 80 appearances as they represent the Florida Strawberry Festival and the Plant City Ally Elizabeth Burt, recently crowned queen of the 83rd They can community. Florida Strawberry Festival, with her court. be seen at festival Ally Elizabeth Burt was crowned events throughout the grounds, on stage queen of the 83rd Florida Strawberry before each of the 24 headline entertainFestival at the annual pageant in Plant ment shows and at community events City. throughout the year. Burt was selected from a field of 28 “Our new queen and court seem like contestants who also voted her Miss a group of kind, poised, well-spoken Congeniality. Dallas young ladies,” said Baker was chosen first Florida Strawberry maid along with court Festival President Paul members Baylee Astin, Davis. “I have no doubt Selena Berrios and Zoe they will represent us Rasmussen. well this year.” “I want to serve with The Florida humility,” said Burt. “The Strawberry Festival is an spotlight won’t be on me; 11-day community event it will be on the festival.” celebrating the strawberBurt is the daughter ry harvest of Eastern of Royce and Raquel Hillsborough County. Burt. She is currently a Each year, over 500,000 senior at Seffner visitors enjoy the headChristian Academy and line entertainment, youth is dual enrolled at livestock shows, comHillsborough Community College. Burt merce exhibits, and of course, its strawserves as senior class president and berry shortcake. The 2018 Florida Student Government president. She Strawberry Festival, where we’re ‘Building plans to attend a Florida university to purNew Memories!,’ takes place from March sue a degree in biology. 1-11 in Plant City. For more, visit The Florida Strawberry Festival www.flstrawberryfestival.com, Facebook, Queen’s Competition is organized by the Instagram and Twitter (#berryfest18) and Plant City Lions Club and is composed of see full story on Page 14.
P O S I T I V E
See Article On Page 14
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Valrico residents Jamie Ratcliff and Chanse Haas plan to open the doors to Bullfrog Creek Brewing Company in mid-March.
opportunity, Ratcliff plans to schedule events where residents can come in and participate in the brewing. “It is such a cool process,” he said. “It starts out as grain and turns into a great beer......all right here in Valrico.” The brewery, located at 3632 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., will be open every day from 12 Noon until 9 or 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends. For more information, call 703-8835 or visit www.bullfrogcreekbrewing.com.
In This Issue BRANDON BENEFIT RUN....................PG 3 FIREHOSE WALL ART..........................PG 4 HOA HOT TOPICS ...............................PG 7 HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR .....................PG 8 FLORIDA STATE FAIR ........................PG 10 EYE ON BUSINESS .......................PG 25‐26 COMMISSIONER KEMP ....................PG 30 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ..............PGS 34
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Volume 15, Issue 2
Brandon Running Association Hosts 40th Annual Shamrock Classic Benefit Run
By Nicole Heubusch
Members of Ainsley’s Angels attending last year’s Shamrock Classic.
On Saturday, March 17, the Brandon Running Association will host their 40th Annual Shamrock Classic at O'Brien's Irish Pub on Kings and Lumsden. This family-friendly event is open to walkers and runners and will offer a 10k (6.2 miles), a 5k (3.1 miles), and a 1-mile fun run. There will be a post-race party including bagels, bananas, and beer. This race is a flat course, and St. Patty's Day costumes are encouraged. All proceeds from this event will benefit Ainsley's Angels of Florida. Ainsley's Angels is an organization that aims to build awareness about the special needs community by promoting awareness, providing education, and participating as active members in local communities. Last year, the group raised $3,500 for Ainsley’s Angels, and they hope to raise even more this year. “This is our second year working with Ainsley’s Angels,” said long time Brandon Running Association member, Steve Swift. “We love that this organization gives back to children in need, and we enjoy having some members of the group
join us at the race.” The Brandon Running Association is a not-for-profit organization that has over 150 members. “Our members are all different speeds. We have people that run a sub-eight minute mile and some that run a 16 minute mile. We have a pace for everyone,” said Swift. In addition to hosting the Shamrock Classic every March, the group also hosts the Brandon Half Marathon and 5K in December. All proceeds from this race benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The group also holds weekly group runs all throughout Brandon, from FITniche, JF Kicks, the Campo YMCA, the Brandon Parkway, and more. Memberships (not required to run with the group) are $10 a year and you can attend meetings on the fourth Monday of the month. Coaching services are also available to runners. For information on Ainsley's Angels, visit ainsleysangels.org. For information on the Brandon Running Association and to sign up for the Shamrock Classic, visit brandonrunning.com.
TAKE A TIP FROM THE FASHION WORLD AND DRESS YOUR WINDOWS IN LAYERS.
Community Shares In Chick-fil-A Brandon South Anniversary Celebration
By Michelle Colesanti
The Holmbergs were excited when the opportunity to open the Bloomingdale location was presented to them, making it easier for customers in the Valrico and Chick-fil-A Brandon South recently celebrated its first Fishhawk commuanniversary. nities to dine with The morning dawned cool. The bright them more frequently. sun reflected off the cow on the roof, Tammy said, “The year seems to which beckoned everyone to come in and have flown by and we are looking forward eat at the Chick-fil-A Brandon South in to continuing to serve this area.” Bloomingdale. The celebration continued on Members of the Brandon, January 26 with a pep rally that was held Valrico/FishHawk and Riverview for Bloomingdale High School students Chambers were invited to be a part of its after school. one-year anniversary celebration in late “We had a fantastic time with the January. Bloomingdale High School drum line, The morning event was a great time color guard and cheer teams on to network, meet up with new and old Friday afternoon to celebrate our anniverfriends and enjoy a Chick-fil-A breakfast. sary,” noted Tammy. It was over 50 years ago that Truett Principal and current Brandon Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-A in subHonorary Mayor Sue Burkett was also urban Atlanta. there in support of the partnership Today there are over 2,200 Chick-filbetween the school and Chick-fil-A. A restaurants, mostly in the United States. The following day was Family Fun Paul and Tammy Holmberg have Day where families with young kids could been franchise owners locally for almost enjoy balloons, face painting and more. 20 years. They moved to Brandon in May Download the Chick-fil-A Mobil app. of 1998 and opened their first Brandon and start earning rewards. Chick-fil-A is location in June 1998. They are still ownopen Monday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to ers of the Chick-fil-A Lake Brandon 10 p.m. As is company policy, Chick-fil-A Village at 11325 Causeway Blvd. is always closed on Sunday. The restauThey also owned the restaurant at rant is located at 2010 Bloomingdale Ave. Westfield Brandon Town Center from in Valrico. Call 571-0569 or visit December 2013 to November 2016. www.cfarestaurant.com/brandonsouth.
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Volume 15, Issue 2
Local Firefighters Team Together To Create American Flags From Firehoses
By Nick Nahas
Dave Burton started his business, Firehouse Designs, in early 2016 after he created an American flag out of repurposed firehose for the Temple Terrace Fire Department. He got such a great response from his fellow firefighters that he decided to make several more flags and put them in a craft show. After a very successful show, the business took off. According to Burton, making these flags has been a fire service tradition for many decades. This inspired him to make a flag for his own fire station, where he currently serves. Burton forged a partnership with a fellow firefighter, Andy Muzzy. Together they have created many flags. Both work for the Temple Terrace Fire Department, Muzzy for 16 years as a captain, and Burton for three as a firefighter paramedic. Burton previously did some firefighting in the Navy before moving on to banking after leaving the military. He went to school at Hillsborough Community College to become a firefighter and later began his career. Muzzy was inspired by his firefighter family in New York to continue the family tradition to join the same profession. “It was in Photo courtesy of Andy Muzzy and Dave Burton my bloodline to pursue a Dave Burton and Andy Muzzy’s flags vary in size and color. career in the fire service,” chase them or retired hoses are Muzzy said. the flags are made from used, out-ofgiven to them by fire departments. “It According to Burton, 95 percent of service, firehoses. They either purhas a history to it,” said Burton.
“Every single flag is unique. The dyeing process and the way that the hose is laid out on the flag, and the way that the stars are put on there, it’s all done by hand and they are all individual to themselves.” The dyed hose is laid on the flag and the stars are individually spray painted on with a single template. Firehouse Designs has not only made a name for themselves in the local area, but all over the country as well. They have shipped flags to almost every state in the country. Their goal is to build up their local following in Tampa. They have donated 20 to 30 flags to raise money for charity as well, including for the Honorary Mayor of Brandon, the charity golf tournament for the Tampa Fire Museum, a Tampa soccer club and an event for Shriners Hospital, as well as for Old Fire Station #5 for children of soldiers who were killed in action. The price range varies from flag to flag. If you are interested in buying a flag, you can view Burton and Muzzy’s work and get in contact with them through their Facebook page, Firehouse Designs. If you would like to donate a firehose to Burton and Muzzy, contact them through Facebook as well. The pair also sells flags at the T. Marie’s Sunday Morning Market at the corner of Lithia Pinecrest and Bloomingdale in Valrico.
Meet The Needle Craft Happy Stitchers Club At The Campo Family YMCA
W W W
O S P R E Y O B S E R V E R
C O M
By Kathy L. Collins
Area YMCA’s are cer. The people who about more than just a receive the blankets place to work out or go love them,” Wieder for a swim. The said. Campo Family YMCA Horvelt said, “As for instance offers a someone who spent host of activities such years in a wheelchair. as The Needle Craft I can tell you that the Happy Stitchers Club. blankets come in This club is for handy. When you canmembers of the YMCA not get up, you get and meets on cold. Cancer patients Mondays from 10:30 who have to sit in a a.m. to 12:30 p.m. room waiting for YMCA members who love to crochet, This club is perfect for chemotherapy get cold knit and hand sew can join other members including Maggie Horvelt (L) too because of their anyone who likes to and Debbie Wieder (R ) in the Campo knit, crochet or hand Family YMCA’s Needle Craft Happy condition, and the sew. Beginners and all blankets help keep Stitchers Club. skill levels are welthem warm.” come. The group is also producing little red This club was suggested by YMCA hats that will be donated to the American member, Debbie Wieder who said, “I was Heart Association for their Little Hats Big looking for others who crochet.” There is Hearts program. The hats will be given to no cost to join but you must bring your newborns born in the month of February. own tools and materials. Wieder said, There are eight hospitals in the Tampa “The group is all about comradery.” Bay area that are participating. The Wieder added, “I love to crochet. I find it group’s hats will be donated to All very relaxing.” Children’s Hospital. Another member, Maggie Horvelt Kavita Marballi, AOA Coordinator for said, “We have lots of fun in the group. the Campo and North Brandon YMCA We trade patterns and help each other.” said, “Groups like the knitting club In addition to having fun and feeling a encourage members to come together, connection with one another, the group make new friends and learn something provides a great community service. The new.” Marballi added, “There groups form members produce lapghans (knitted or an essential component of a well-rounded crocheted blankets) which are given to set of offerings that promote the developmembers of the YMCA who participate in ment of mind, body and spirit.” the cancer survivors LiveStrong program. For information on this club and othWieder explained why the group does ers offered at the Campo Family YMCA, this. “Everyone has been touched by can- please visit www.tampaymca.org/campo/.
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Volume 15, Issue 2
Dr. Amir Boules
Family Event Partners Beth Shalom & Special Olympics At Annual Fundraiser
Congregation Beth Broadway and Shalom of Brandon will tickets for two to hold its annual the Country fundraiser at the River Music Awards in Hills Country Club on Nashville. Ticket Saturday, February 17, packages to area starting at 7 p.m. For attractions will the third year, also be available. Congregation Beth Congregation Shalom is honored to Beth Shalom is a partner again with the 27 year old David Friedman (congregation president), reform synaSpecial Olympics Suzie Baylis and Allison Rapp (Special Florida Healthy gogue in Olympics of Florida) Community for this Brandon, and is a family event. The monies raised at this caring community devoted to ritual and worthwhile event will benefit both the syn- faith. Chief among the congregation’s agogue and the Special Olympics Florida mission is to perform acts of Tikkun Healthy Community. Olam, often rephrased as ‘repairing the The Special Olympics Healthy world.’ Part of this is reflected in Community is a premier, health care fundraising for worthy causes, in this delivery approach that focuses on the case jointly Special Olympics Florida whole person with an intellectual or devel- Healthy Community Tampa Bay and the opmental disability and provides integratcongregation. ed health care coordination. Baylis said, “Our congregation also Fundraising Chairperson Suzie does many other things for the commuBaylis said, “By offering a fun evening of nity. We welcome all to come see what dining, music, dancing and Mardi Gras, we are about. We have an inter-faith with a low ticket price, we hope to attract reach out group that does month getthe members of our community to buy a togethers with other religions in the area ticket and come out and support those to knock down stereotypes and extend a who need a little help.” hand of friendship. We also support variThis year’s event, Mardi Gras, Gala ous food banks, and senior residents for a Cause, will be especially memothroughout the year.” rable and fun. The evening will feature Tickets for the fundraiser cost $30 games, prizes, dancing, a delicious ‘Big for adults and $15 for children ages 5-12 Easy’ buffet dinner, along with silent and years ago. Children under 5 are free. live auctions. Among the many items to Tickets may be purchased on line, at: be auctioned are a NASCAR driving http://www.bethshalom-brandon.org/. experience, a Top Gun flight experiRiver Hills Country Club is located ence, two VIP tickets to Hamilton on at 3945 New River Hills Pkwy. in Valrico.
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By Kate Quesada
Buckhorn HOA Offers Scholarships To High School Students The Buckhorn and have one letter of recHomeowners Association ommendation from a non(HOA) is looking for a high family member. school senior or two. The In 2017, the scholarship Valrico group recently went to Durant High announced its desire to School’s Cameron Nero give $500 cash scholarwho is currently studying ships to graduating high computer engineering at the school seniors living in the University of Central Florida. neighborhood. While at Durant, Nero was “Our scholarships recthe captain of the golf team ognize the hard work and and an active member of Valrico resident Cameron dedication of our high Relay for Life. Nero won a $500 cash scholarship from the school seniors and their “Buckhorn HOA’s dediBuckhorn Homeowners desire to further their education to education is one Association last year. cation at the college or Applications will be accepted more factor that makes out university of their choice,” for the 2018 scholarship until neighborhood a quality Friday, March 9. said Maria Singfield, place to live, work and play,” Buckhorn Homeowners Scholarship said Singfield. Chair. Completed applications must be subStudents can pick up an application mitted with all required attachments to the for the scholarship from the guidance school’s college career counselor or counselor’s office at Durant, Newsome, mailed to Buckhorn Homeowners Bloomingdale and Strawberry Crest high Association, Attention Scholarship schools. Committee, P.O. Box 1586, Valrico, FL To be eligible, students must be a 33595. Applications are due no later than graduating senior enrolled in any accredit- Friday, March 9. Winners will be ed high school (public, private or charter) announced at the annual Buckhorn during the 2017-2018 school year. They Homeowners Association meeting in must also have completed 75 hours of April. community service, have a 3.0 unweightFor more information, email ed grade point average (G.P.A.), be a cur- email@example.com or visit www.buckrent resident in the Buckhorn subdivision horn.us.
Melissa L Haskins
Consider Financial Gifts for All Your Valentines
Valentine’s Day is almost here – and it’s a pretty big business. In fact, U.S. consumers spent about $18 billion on their valentines in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation. Of course, recipients certainly appreciate flowers, candy, jewelry and so on, but this year, consider going beyond the traditional favorites to give your loved ones something more long-lasting – a financial gift. And, while you’re doing so, why not also go beyond the traditional definition of a “valentine”? After all, not all that $18 billion went to spouses or significant others. A sizable amount also went to non-romantic connections, including children, parents, friends, teachers – even pets. So, in the spirit of ecumenical Valentine’s Day gift-giving, here are some suggestions for financial gifts for your loved ones: • For spouse or signficant other – One valuable gift to your spouse or significant other might be an IRA contribution. While you can’t directly contribute to someone else’s IRA, you can certainly write a check to that person for that purpose. This gift is particularly valuable because many people have trouble coming up with the maximum annual IRA contribution, which, in 2018, is $5,500, or $6,500 for individuals 50 and older. As an alternative to an IRA contribution, you could give shares of a stock issued by a company whose products or services are enjoyed by your spouse or signfiicant other. • For your children– It’s never too soon to start saving for college for your children. Fortunately, you have a few attractive college-funding vehicles available, one of which is the 529 Savings Plan. You can generally invest in the plan offered by any state, even if you don’t live there. If you do invest in your own state’s plan, you might receive a tax in-
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centive, which could include a deduction, match or credit. Plus, all withdrawals from 529 Savings Plans will be free from federal income taxes and, in most cases, state income taxes as well, as long as the money is used for qualified college or graduate school expenses of the beneficiary you’ve named. (If a withdrawal is taken from a 529 Savings Plan but not used for a qualified expense, the portion of the withdrawal representing earnings is subject to ordinary income tax and a 10% federal penalty.) • For your parents – You can probably find a number of thoughtful and valuable financial gifts for your parents. You could, for example, offer to pay a month’s worth of their premiums for their auto or health insurance. Even if they are on Medicare, they may still be paying for a supplemental policy, so your gift may well be appreciated. But you might want to go beyond helping them with just a single component of their financial situation and instead provide them with assistance for their “big picture.” To do so, you could arrange a visit with a trusted financial professional, assuming your parents aren’t already using one. This person could look at all issues, including investments, retirement accounts, long-term care and estate-related financial strategies, and then make appropriate recommendations and even referrals to other professionals. Everyone likes the hearts, flowers and sweets of Valentine’s Day. Nonetheless, give some thought to making financial gifts – they can make a difference in your loved ones’lives long after the chocolates are eaten and the roses have faded.
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Volume 15, Issue 2
Holocaust Survivor Shares Story Of Survival And Hope
By Michelle Colesanti
There are very few was in a Montessori opportunities in our lives school. She also had to be in the same room to learn Dutch and with someone who has Hebrew along with lived through (and surreligious studies. vived) an horrific historical Three years after event. Students from Bell liberation, they arrived Shoals Baptist Academy, in Hoboken, New St. Stephen Catholic Jersey and eventually School, Grace Christian began their new life in School and many home America in Peoria, schooled students got to Illinois. witness that first-hand as Marion spoke to Holocaust Survivor the students about the Marion Blumenthal Lazan importance of sharing Fifth grade students and teachers perform a special dance to her story with their shared her story of horror Bell Shoals Baptist Academy hosted Holocaust Survivor, welcome Holocaust Survior, Marion Blumenthal Lavan to Bell Marion Blumenthal Lavan, who told her story of survival, and hope at Bell Shoals friends and future chilShoals Baptist Academy. hope and faith to students from a few local Christian Baptist Church on dren and grandchilschools. January 17. “In a few short dren. was in the story that Anne After reading Marion’s Book, Four years, the Survivors will not be here to camp. Food Frank might Perfect Pebbles last summer, Tammy give a first-hand account. It is your genwas a slice of have told had Perkins, a teacher at Bell Shoals Baptist she eration that must bear witness and help daily bread Academy became instrumental in getting survived. It's a guard the future from this happening and water Marion to the church to tell her story. again,” she said. soup with story of perseFrom ages 4 to 10, Marion lived a How we treat, behave and reach out potato peels. verance, deterlife filled with uncertainty, occasional to one another is entirely up to us. She “The constant mination, faith periods of hope and certainly more misspoke about how important it is not to foul odor and and hope.” ery than any of us today can begin to just blindly follow a leader. Only if there filth surroundWhat she imagine. Along with her parents Walter respect and tolerance for countries, is ed by death is remembers and Ruth, and her brother Albert, the can there be peace in the world. Marion indescribable.” about Bergenfamily was forced to live in refugee, tran- Belsen is the expressed hope that the students could Once a month sit and prison camps. prevent her past from becoming their they took a death and misHer family’s journey began in Hoya, future. shower, not ery everywhere. Germany and eventually took them to She has returned to Germany twice. knowing No trees, no Holland in hopes of fleeing to America. In 1995, she visited her father's grave, whether the flowers; not a Jolee Andrews, Randall Middle School student, gets At the start of WWII, that dream ended and the spot where Bergen-Belsen used blade of grass. her copy of the book Four Perfect Pebbles signed by shower would when Germany invaded Holland and her Toilets were to be. Only mounds that are remnants of Marion Blumenthal Lavan. be water or family was taken back to Germany to the mass graves exist. She again visited gas was disholes in the the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. when her hometown named a local concerting. ground; no toilet paper. She did not get Marion told the students, "Mine is a school after her. Marion’s mother’s inner strength to brush her teeth for the 1 ½ years she Today, her life is full and rewarding. and fortitude saw them through. To surWhen she is not sharing her message, vive, Marion would play her made-up she spends time with her husband ‘Four Perfect Pebbles’ game; looking for Nathan Lazan of almost 65 years and four pebbles exactly the same size, and their family three children, nine grandif she did find them, she believed all children and three great granddaughmembers of her family would live. ters. Somehow this game gave her someThanks to Mission BBQ, Bell Shoals thing to hold onto –hope. She always Baptist Academy was able to raise found her four pebbles. enough funds to bring Marion to share Towards the end of the war, the her important message. Blumenthal family was sent on what is Four Perfect Pebbles was written by known as the ‘death’ train, which conboth Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal tained 2500 people. After two weeks Lazan in 1994. Learn more about without food, water, medical supplies Lazan’s early life of hope, faith and surand toilets, the Russians freed them. at The Landing • 4351 Lynx Paw Trail, Valrico vival by purchasing the book at Barnes Severe dehydration due to typhus & Noble and Amazon.com. Visit and dysentery was common, and sadly, Sponsored By: www.fourperfectpebbles.com. six weeks after their liberation in April On Amazon, you can also order the 1945, her dad died of Typhus, which documentary on DVD, Marion's Triumph: was rampant through the prisoners. Surviving History's Nightmare, narrated They returned to Holland where she by Debra Messing. had to learn simple life skills such as table manners. Her first formal education
Supporting Local Business Owners
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American Idol Finalists Perform At Benefit Concert For Hurricane Victims
By Amanda Boston
play record titled Rewind in 2017. He is also a worship leader for Free Life Chapel in Lakeland. “I am so grateful to be a part of this benefit concert for Puerto Rico,” said Rosado. “When I got the call from Bell Shoals, I didn’t think twice. You see I have so much family back on the island, and since the hurricane came through months ago, I've wanted to attach myself to something that would benefit [them]." Blind from birth, MacIntyre is a twotime kidney transplant recipient. After his appearance on American Idol, the world fell in love with MacIntyre’s
Durant High School graduate and recording artist Jeremy Rosado will perform for the benefit concert aiding Puerto Rico.
Aptly titled Puerto Rico—We Haven’t Forgotten, Bell Shoals Baptist Church is hosting a concert to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. On September 20, Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on Puerto Rico at Category 5 strength. It is the Island’s worst natural disaster on record. Dr. Stephen Rummage, the senior pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church, said, “From the day the devastation of Hurricane Maria was known, we prayed to see how God would use us to help the precious people of Puerto Rico.” To support the worthy cause, mark your calendar for Saturday, February 17 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. The concert takes place at Bell Shoals’ Brandon Campus with tickets available at the door. Ticket cost is $7 per person. Discounted tickets are available for $5 per person if purchased in advance at www.bellshoals.com/concert. A love offering will be collected during the event, with all proceeds going to support hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. The show will feature performances from two American Idol finalists—Scott MacIntyre, from season eight and Jeremy Rosado, from season eleven. Rosado, a Durant High School graduate, released his first album Heartbeat in 2015 and an extended
Blind from birth—Scott MacIntyre is an author, inspirational speaker and Christian singer-songwriter.
vocals and story, launching him into the public eye as both a musician and inspirational speaker. His album Lighthouse, which includes the song Remarkable, debuted at No. 1 on the Christian Radio Chart. “Our church has a special love for the people of Puerto Rico,” said Dr. Rummage as he noted that many living in the Brandon and Tampa area have family and friends in Puerto Rico. For information or to support the relief effort, visit www.bellshoals.com or call 689-4229. The Brandon Campus is located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. Additional information on the artists can be found at scottmacintyre.com and www.iamjeremyrosado.com.
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Volume 15, Issue 2
Thrilling Rides, Class County Music And Fun Fair Food Tops List For 2018 State Fair Staff Report The year was 1904 and the American Flag had 45 stars. Theodore Roosevelt was president and the average American earned 22 cents per hour. T.J. LaudBrown, the manager of the Tampa Bay Hotel convinced city founders to bring the South Florida Fair to the grounds of the Tampa Bay Hotel. For the last 114 years, the Florida State Fair has been a favorite for locals and visitors alike. It has been held at its current location since 1977. This year’s Fair will take place for 11 days from February 8-19. In addition to thrilling rides on the Midway, it wouldn’t be the Florida State Fair without educational and entertaining attractions and performers. Where – for the price of a movie ticket – can you see a sea lion, a spectacular Big Top Circus, cheer on your favorite porker at the pig races, feed a giraffe from your own hand, enjoy acts from TV shows like America’s Got Talent, watch an amazing bear show, and be thrilled by the dogs of K-9s in Flight? “We want both loyal patrons and those who have not yet visited the Fair to join us in making memories that will last a lifetime,” said Cheryl Flood, executive director of the Florida State Fair Authority. “The Sweets exhibit in particular will provide a fun and educational experience for all ages.”
Gates open Monday through Thursday at 10 a.m. Midway opens at 1 p.m. On Friday, Saturday, Sunday and President's Day, gates open at 9 a.m. and Midway opens at 10 a.m. The Fair is known for the latest and greatest fun food fare such as such as the Pizza Cone, Redneck Burger and Bacon Ice Cream. Kids will have a great time at the new Florida Farm to School Arcade, a
fun, interactive area where children will learn about Florida agricultural products. Join legendary, award-winning classic country icon Leroy Van Dyke and country legends T.G. Sheppard, Moe Bandy and Rhonda Vincent as they take you on a retrospective, nostalgic journey featuring America’s golden country music during the Country Gold Tour on February 14. Two shows will take place; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For tick-
et information and pricing, please contact the Fair Box Office at 7404640. While visiting the Fair, don’t miss Cracker Country, a rural Florida living history museum where you feel like you have become part of the past. It is open during Fair hours; a great place to create memories that will last a lifetime with your children or grandchildren. Hillsborough County’s Student Day at the Fair will be on Friday, February 9. Students enter free that day with a free Student Day ticket. Those in grades 6 -12 entering the Florida State Fairgrounds on Student Days after 6 p.m. must be accompanied by an adult, age 21 or older. An accompanying adult (maximum of one adult for each Student Day attendee) on Student Days shall be granted free admission when entering the Florida State Fairgrounds with a Student after 6 p.m. Starting 6 p.m., an adult may be allowed to accompany up to four Student Day attendees. Tickets for adults (ages 12 and over) are $9 in advance online and at participating Publix locations through February 7. Children are $5. Seniors ages 55 and older pay $7. Advanced Anyday Armbands are available for $30 and weekday armbands cost $20 and are valid only on February 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15. The Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa.
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Come Out And Try The New Fair Foods At The Florida State Fair "Surf n Turf Sundae" Winner of the "Best Fair Entree" at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair! It has hand cut French fries, warm cheese, sour cream, thick cut bacon, topped with Sirloin Steak and sautéed Cajun Shrimp. "Barbeque Pulled Pork Ribbon Fries" Ribbon cut potatoes fried golden, topped with warm cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh cooked bacon, our hickory smoked pulled pork, and sweet barbeque drizzled on top. "Deep Fried Strawberry Shortcake" Fresh strawberries mixed into cheesecake filling, frozen and then dipped in a sweet batter, fried to golden brown, topped with fresh whipped cream and drizzled with strawberry frosting. Oh and did we mention that it's on a stick!!! “Cowboy Cone” A hand rolled waffle cone filled with beans, brisket or pork, and topped with cole slaw and BBQ sauce. “Banana Frenkle Funnel Cake” Bananas and spices blended in the cake batter that is then fried to golden brown, and topped with custard, bananas and your
By Michelle Colesanti
choice of chocolate or caramel. Chicken & Waffle Pizza A syrup based pie topped with fried chicken, waffle pieces, bacon, mozzarella and more syrup. “The BIG Jerk!” Tortilla chips layered with Island rice & beans, a thick layer of shredded jerk chicken, lettuce, Caribbean cheese sauce, topped with fresh pico de gallo. Weighs 2+ lbs. “Chicken Parmesan Chompers” - Crunchy balls of chicken, fresh basil, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Served with marinara dipping sauce. “Bacon Cheeseburger Chompers” - Crunchy balls of bacon, ground beef, and cheddar cheese. Served with a zesty ketchup dipping sauce. “Canadian Poutine” Crispy fresh cut style fries, slathered in fresh melty cheddar cheese curds, and a mild Canadian brown gravy straight from Canada. Our additional options include toppings of our own pulled pork, (Rodeo Poutine) or ground beef and corn (Shepard’s Pie Poutine).... It's the real deal. "Southern Catfish Sundae" Hand cut French fries, Southern Fried Catfish, and a slightly spicy Southern remoulade sauce or tangy
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Volume 15, Issue 2
The Brenda Wade Team Loves SOLD Signs! Top Listing Agent in Hillsborough! Over 400 Homes SOLD in 2017! Signature Realty Associates Top Producer 2002 - 2017
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Volume 15, Issue 2
Florida Strawberry Festival 2018 Theme Is “Building New Memories!” The theme for the 83rd annual Florida Strawberry Festival, March 1-11 in Plant City, is “Building New Memories!” This year, the festival has added new bleacher-style concert seating that will accommodate 9,200 total guests, is closer to the stage and will be more comfortable for guests, Festival President Paul Davis said. Another change with the GT Grandstands construction project is that the event will no longer offer free seating to headline shows. “This was an extremely difficult decision for us,” Davis said. “But we absolutely had to construct new seating. And when you start crunching the numbers, there was just no way economically for us to offer free seats any longer.” Davis said this year’s theme “points to the new entertainment venue we’ve constructed. But most of all, we want our guests to know we’re in the business of continuously making new and better memories for families.” “We’re so excited about our visitors having a brand new experience with our new entertainment seating and the added vendor building,” he
By Michael Smith
said. “It is our desire for our guests to make lifelong memories with their loved ones at the Florida Strawberry Festival.” Each year, more than 500,000 visitors enjoy the festival’s headline enter-
entire purchase S u n fl o w e r Ca fe
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tainment, youth livestock shows, exhibits of commerce and its signature strawberry shortcake. Reba McEntire, The Band Perry, Josh Turner, Trace Adkins, Earth, Wind & Fire, Big & Rich featuring Cowboy Troy, and Brad Paisley are among the headline entertainment artists who are scheduled to perform on the Wish Farms Soundstage this year. To purchase
tickets, visit www.flstrawberryfestival.com or the Amscot Main Ticket Office located at 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City or call 754-1996. Festival gate admission, located at 303 N. Lemon St., is free for ages 5 and under, $5 for ages 6-12 and $10 for ages 13 and over. Tickets for each concert are sold separately and do not include festival gate admission.
Our Residents Are Always On The Move!
New SmileWright Dentist Puts Family First
Dr. Tori Grieb origiShe attended nally applied to the Chamberlain High School University of Florida to and is married to her high become a pediatrician. school sweetheart. They Her career as a dentist have a daughter Hadley, began as a sort of who is 2 ½ years old. Her ‘fluke,’ as she puts it. family is her greatest pride During her underand joy. Every Sunday graduate education, Dr. since she was born, her Grieb volunteered at family meets at her grandShands Hospital. Every parents’ home for Sunday semester, she wanted to lunch with over 40 attenvolunteer in the pediatric dees. unit, but it was never SmileWright Dentistry available. After her third For your dental needs, make an is now accepting new appointment to visit Dr. Tori semester of being patients. The highly-trained denied a pediatric spe- Grieb at SmileWright Dentistry. dental team offers several cialty unit, she decided to volunteer in the advanced procedures and treatments, Pediatric Dental Clinic in order to interact including oral sedation and Invisalign. Dr. with children. Little did she know, she Grieb is an Invisalign preferred provider, would fall in love with the dental field. and SmileWright is currently offering She received her Doctorate of Dental Invisalign orthodontics at the low price of Medicine from the University Of Florida $4,500. College Of Dentistry. Once finished, Dr. Looking back, Dr. Grieb realizes how Grieb started practicing dentistry at a priher program’s limited number of pediatric vate practice in Lakeland. units was truly a blessing in disguise. Leaving her first dental practice was “I love my profession,” said Dr. Grieb. one of the most difficult and scary deci“The joy of changing a person’s life by sions she had to make. However, she is giving them a beautiful, healthy smile is grateful to have taken this leap of faith, as so rewarding. There is no better feeling it led her to join the longstanding team of than when a patient tells you, ‘This was SmileWright Dentistry. She was welthe best dental experience of my life,’ or comed with open arms. Many of ‘That is the first time I’ve ever had this SmileWright’s team members have procedure without feeling pain.’ I strive to served the practice for over 10 years. be gentle and compassionate to my “Working at SmileWright feels like patients, because I understand that the you are with family, and we take pride dentist is not where most people want to when our patients tell us they feel the spend their time.” same. I could not have asked for a better SmileWright Dentistry is located at team,” said Dr. Grieb. “I am so thankful 1202 Millenium Pkwy. in Brandon. Call that they stuck around and gave me a 448-1048 for an appointment or more chance as the new kid in town.” information. Visit SmileWright.com.
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Volume 15, Issue 2
Valrico/FishHawk Chamber Announces Awards And New President At Annual Dinner
Support The Outreach Clinic By Attending The Fourth Annual Outreach Clinic Tea
The Valrico ners. FishHawk In the categoChamber of ry of Emerging Commerce Business, which (V.F.C.C.) had was open to only a lot to celebusinesses foundbrate at its fifth ed after 2014, the annual dinner winner was T last month. In Marie’s Boutique. addition to Repair Your Tech announcing won in the small small business business, one to winners in four four employees, categories, the category, Fred group introAstaire Dance duced its new Studio won for Members of the Valrico FishHawk Chamber of president and five to nine their fifth anniversary at an gave a signifi- Commerce celebrated employees and annual dinner last month. cant donation Mathnasium of to local charity E.C.H.O. (the Emergency Brandon brought home the prize in the 10 Care Help Organization). plus employee category. Several busi“The dinner is a time to recognize our nesses were also honored for being charmany volunteers who make the chamber ter members of the chamber. great,” said outgoing President Melissa Marie Gilmore, Osprey Observer’s Haskins of Edwards Jones Financial. Editor said, “The Valrico/FishHawk “This year was especially special Chamber has continued to be a great because we celebrated our five year organization for small businesses. anniversary as a chamber.” Congratulations to this years business The V.F.C.C. has approximately 200 award winners.” members who come together to promote As outgoing president, Haskins also local businesses had the honor of and help them choosing a group to increase sales receive a donation as and awareness of the 2017 President’s their establishCharity of Choice. ments. “I chose The dinner, a E.C.H.O. because of ‘Roaring ‘20s’ their strong bond in theme, was held our local community,” at River Hills said Haskins. Country Club in “E.C.H.O. has been Valrico with enterserving our commutainment provided nity for more than 30 by Fred Astaire years now and they Studios and give back so much to acknowledged those in need.” many members who help the group funcThe group collected $3,110 throughtion including new and retiring board out the year from donations at networking members, past presidents and ambassaevents. In addition, the V.F.C.C. collected dors. more than $1,300 in cash and 1,300 “Since we have no staff and are all pounds of food and toiletries after volunteering our time between running Hurricane Irma which were given to our business and families, we feel it is E.C.H.O. to distribute to those in need. important to recognize those who make “I feel it is important for businesses to the chamber great,” said Haskins. give back because a chamber is more For the first time this year, the group about community than business,” said recognized four small businesses for Haskins. “If you take care of the commuawards in different categories. According nity around you, business will come out of to Haskins, the candidates had to submit it.” an extensive application regarding their For more information about the business. An independent party through V.F.C.C. and membership, visit www.valrithe group S.C.O.R.E. then chose the win- cofishhawk.org or call 438-4123.
The Meegan Outreach added, “The Clinic will Outreach Clinic hold its has been the Fourth health care Annual safety net for Outreach thousands of Clinic Tea on individuals and Saturday, families for the February 24 last 28 years. from 12 to 2 Every patient p.m. The has a story. event will be Hopefully held at St. with the Become a Table Host or Hostess at The Outreach Clinic’s Fourth Andrew’s communiAnnual Tea. You can help educate United ty’s support, the community about the great Methodist we can work that The Outreach Clinic Church locat- does in our community in providing continue to lifesaving healthcare to uninsured ed at 3315 provide the and low-income residents. Bryan Rd. in health care Brandon. This is a free Community Ask that can turn their story from a sad and Event. This means that you will be tragic one to one filled with hope through asked for a donation after listening to a the gift of a healthy life.” short impact speech and hearing patient All of the services provided by The testimonials. Outreach Clinic are given as a result of Deborah Meegan, Executive donations received from the community. Director of The Outreach Clinic They have over 250 medical and nonexplained, “We are hoping to educate medical volunteers and community partthe community about the important and ners who donate over 9,000 volunteer vital work The Outreach Clinic does by hours each year. providing healthcare to the low-income Meegan said, “The need in our comuninsured. We are looking to engage munity is huge. Sadly, you do not need individual donors who want to support to travel to a third world country to see us and become ‘lifesavers’ in our compeople dying from lack of health care. It munity.” is happening right here in our own back The Outreach Clinic provides nearly yard. That is why it is so important for $2 million in health care services each our community to support us.” year. A vast majority of this is for treatThe Outreach Clinic Tea is successment of chronic conditions such as diaful with the help of Table Hosts and betes and high blood pressure. Without Hostesses. You can decorate your table, treatment for these chronic conditions, invite seven of your friends, have fun patients face blindness, loss of limbs, and support a worthy non-profit that stroke, heart attack and even death. helps those who need the lifesaving The majority of those who come to health care that The Outreach Clinic proThe Outreach Clinic cannot afford health vides. To become a Table Host or insurance or health care. Meegan said, Hostess, please contact Teri Kerker at “Our patients are area residents who firstname.lastname@example.org. earn minimum wage, work part time, The Outreach Clinic is located at work in the service industries or are self- 517 N. Parsons Ave. in Brandon. To employed. They do not have access to learn more or to donate, please visit employer sponsored health insurance.” www.theoutreachclinic.com.
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snowman, Olaf, as they sing captivating songs like Let it Go and In Summer. Life is the bubbles when Sebastian strikes up his hot crustacean band and the Daughters of Triton make a c Compil observer. y splash as they e r p s o @ michelle introduce Ariel in an ‘80s pop montage. Get tangled up with a chorus of harmless hooligans when they get a Disney On Ice Presents Reach visit from the spirited Rapunzel and For The Stars her charming ally, Flynn Rider, on their journey to see the floating Take adventure to new heights lights. Relive a Tale as Old as Time as Mickey, Minnie and your friends when Belle opens her heart to new from around the Disney Kingdom adventures and the Beast’s come together when Disney On Ice enchanted objects take center stage presents Reach For The for a dazzling skating spectacle Stars arrives in Tampa inviting audiences to Be Our Guest. Performances will take place on Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25 at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Visit Facebook: www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce; Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #ReachForTheStars, from Thursday to Sunday, March YouTube: www.youtube.com/Disney 22-25 at Amalie Arena. Tickets are OnIce and Instagram: on sale now. @DisneyOnIce. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy set the Commissioner White Hosts stage for a star-studded talent Community Office Hours In extravaganza as Disney On Ice Plant City presents Reach For The Stars. Unleash the magic with royal sisters Hillsborough County Anna and Elsa and the hilarious Commissioner Stacy R. White,
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District 4, will host community office hours from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bruton Memorial Library in Plant City, to hear from residents without them having to travel to County Center in downtown Tampa. Commissioner White and his staff welcome this opportunity to meet residents one-on-one as they sign in to discuss their thoughts and concerns on various projects and community issues taking place in Hillsborough County. No appointment is necessary to meet with Commissioner White and his staff. Residents are seen individually on a first-come, first-served basis. The community office hours are: Monday, February 26 from 12 Noon – 2 p.m. at the Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St. in Plant City.
Day Out With Thomas The Tank Engine
All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to join him for a day of big adventures and even bigger memories at Day Out
with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018. Children everywhere can spend a day with their friend Thomas when the #1 Engine pulls into Florida Railroad Museum, 12210 83rd St E. in Parish on March 10, 11 and March 16, 17 and 18. This fun-filled event offers children and their families the opportunity to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the popular Thomas & Friends™ series. In addition, they will meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities including crafts, photo ops, and more. The tour, now in its 23rd year, will make 42 stops across the U.S. and Canada and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2018. To buy tickets for the train ride, visit www.frrm.org.
Support Charities At The Miss Charita-Bull Pageant
The National Honor Society of Bloomingdale Senior High School presents Miss CharitaBull Pageant on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Bloomingdale High auditorium. The cost is $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Bloomingdale High School Academic Foundation, Animal Coalition of Tampa, The Y and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
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Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center, located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a skilled nursing facility with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including speech, physical and occupational therapies. Hawthorne also hosts a dementia support group in the assisted living facility, as well as past meetings for those dealing with strokes, diabetes, low vision and other diseases. For more information or to register, call 661-8998 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Volume 15, Issue 2
Call 643-2110 and tell them you are with Kappa Kappa group when reserving.
American Pickers To Film In Florida
Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Florida to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout the region this winter. American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of Diabetes Prevention Program antique ‘picking’ on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of A free diabetes prevention program the most skilled pickers in the busiwill be held at Brandon Sports and ness, as they hunt for America’s Aquatics Center starting Wednesday, most valuable antiques. They are January 31 from 6-7 p.m. This one year American Pickers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are always excited to find sizeable, program will be held for 16 consecutive seeking antiques in Florida.. unique collections and learn the weeks and then bi-weekly for two months Chief Petty Officers Meeting starting at 7 p.m. It will be held at Center interesting stories behind them. As they and then monthly for the rest of the year. The Tampa Bay Chief Petty Officers Place Fine Arts Center, located at 619 hit the back roads from coast to coast, Throughout the program a trained Association meets the fourth Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. Evening Mike and Frank are on a mission to Lifestyle Coach will give participants the Thursday each month (alternate dates in includes light dinner, drinks and recycle and rescue forgotten relics. help and support that they need to make November and December) at 6:30 prizes. Tickets cost $20 and may be purAlong the way, the Pickers want to and sustain lifestyle changes to prevent chased at Center Place meet characters with remarkable and type 2 diabetes. This evidenceor contact Claudia Yake exceptional items. The pair hopes to based program developed by the at 685-7998. Proceeds give historically significant objects a CDC can assist you to prevent or help support local new lease on life, while learning a thing delay Type 2 Diabetes. Program school children and or two about America’s past along the topics include strategies for families in need in our way. healthy eating, being active, community. In the past American Pickers is looking for dealing with day-to-day situations year, the group has leads and would love to explore your that may impact a healthy supported A Kids Place, hidden treasure. If you or someone you lifestyle, and more. Brandon Outreach, know has a large, private collection or Goals of the program: Lose Campo YMCA, Cards accumulation of antiques that the 5-7% of your starting body for the Troops, Center Pickers can spend the better part of weight, and incorporate 150 minPlace, Apostles the day looking through, send us your utes week of physical activity. Village, Family Promise name, phone number, location and Members of G.F.W.C. Valrico Service League at the 2017 Bunco. Can I participate? – To qualiand provided books, description of the collection with photos fy for the program you must be: 18 years p.m. at the Tampa Buffet, 3904 S. Dale educational activities, food, clothing and to: firstname.lastname@example.org or and older, overweight (BMI of 25 or highMabry, Britton Plaza in Tampa. The shoes for Title I elementary school chilcall 855-OLD-RUST. Visit on er) and; at high risk for developing Type 2 association is open to active duty and dren. Facebook: @GotAPick. Diabetes or have been diagnosed with retired Navy and Coast Guard Chief pre-diabetes by a healthcare provider Petty Officers. It supports the Navy comSave The Date, Local Charities Social Media Marketing Workshop Brandon Sports and Aquatics is munity and award an annual scholarship Win... located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in A free interactive Social Media to a deserving member or relative of a Kappa Kappa Chapter of Kappa Brandon. Registration is required. Please TBCPOA member. The TBCPOA holds Marketing Workshop will take place on Delta Phi has another fun evening call 307-8015; ext: 7111. Thursday, March 15 from 6:30-7:30 fund raisers for the scholarship fund durplanned that will benefit local Brandon p.m. It will teach you how to use social ing the year and coordinates with the charities. Mark your calendars on Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Disease active duty Chiefs Association (Suncoast media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Wednesday, March 28 for HAMBINGO Support Group and LinkedIn to reach your target audiCPOA) at MacDill for many of these at Hamburger Mary's Brandon 7 ence. Andy Morris, co-founder of digital Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation events. Included are the AirFest at p.m. Cost to play 10 games of Bingo is marketing strategy and branding Center hosts a monthly support group for MacDill and the annual Army-Navy game $10. agency, Hook & Blade, will demonthose diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a Beef O'Brady's in the area. KDP focuses its fundraising efforts strate automation tools to improve the Disease and caregivers on the third The TBCPOA has a closed on children as Kids Depend on People. posting process. Discover what your Thursday of every month. Facebook group, TBCPOA, with meeting All proceeds from this and previous message should be and how often you A variety of speakers will provide calendar of events. More information is fundraising events will be distributed to should post on a variety of platforms. information on topics relating to swallowavailable from Chuck Peterman, local charities prior to May in time to Attendees will learn how to build brand ing, balance, walking, speaking, mobility, President, TBCPOA at 767-1569. share its activities with pride at awareness and develop a social media exercise, self-care, cognition, and memoNational in June. strategy that will produce the best ry, all of which can be impacted by The G.F.W.C. Valrico Service League, Kappa Kappa Chapter is a civic results. Parkinson’s Disease. Inc. Presents Puttin' On The Ritz and social sorority established within Bloomingdale Regional Public The Parkinson’s Disease support Bunco the Brandon community 53 years ago. Library is located at 1906 group is free of charge and open to those Join the G.F.W.C. Valrico Service Many families, children, and military Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. who have been diagnosed with the disLeague's Putting on the Ritz Bunco for a have benefited from Kappa's fundraisFor more information, contact ease, family members, caregivers and night of fun on Tuesday, March 6. Social ing efforts over the years. Chrissy Toth, Business Reference anyone with an interest in learning more Time/Dinner is from 6-7 p.m. with Bunco Reservations are recommended. Librarian at 273-3652. about Parkinson’s.
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Holy Innocents’ Spring Whistle Stop Craft Show Is Back
Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church is bringing back its Spring Whistle Stop Craft Show on Saturday, March 10 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Over 70 vendors will be showcasing and selling unique arts & crafts, novelties and baked goods for the spring and summer seasons. There will also be fun activities for the kids. The event will be held on the church grounds at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. Proceeds will benefit Holy Innocents’ outreach and mission trips for the coming year. Interested vendors can still register for a spot at www.hiepiscopal.org. Any questions, please contact the church during normal business hours at 689-3130.
Dance Into Spring At Christian Women’s Connection Luncheon
Brandon Christian Women's Connection presents Kellie and David from Fred Astaire Dance Studio's ‘Dance into Spring’ for the Monday, March 12 Luncheon. It will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Special Event Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. The cost is $15. First time guests pay $10. This is a nondenominational luncheon with no membership required, but a reservation is
requested with Lillie at 7400098 by Monday, March 5.
4:30 p.m. Join for up to 12 hours of won- swap table, and take what will enhance derful, stress-free crop time. We’ll cook your projects. for you and offer plenty of fun ways for Sylvia Cuillo, from Photos Impact’s Summer Staff you to support youth & missions teams. Organized, will scan 100 photos (front Program Is Accepting On Friday night, dinner will be ready and back) for a $7 donation to missions. Applications Now when you arrive, and uninterrupted crop Bring your photos and a thumb drive. time. Dessert will be provided too and Local Artisans have donated their Summer Staff is an cropping will continue until 11 p.m. If you time and supplies to provide Make & opportunity for high are staying for Saturday, leave your work Take Projects for you. Pay a nominal fee school students (grades set up and get right back to it on for each, which goes completely to youth 9–12) to educate Saturday morning. & missions. The cost is $25 for Friday younger On Saturday, night, $35 for Saturday, or $50 for both, students (10+) about there’ll be ‘Make or with electricity, $30 for Friday night, the importance of living and Take’ stations $40 for Saturday, or $55 for both. Late healthy lifestyles and a nominal fee), late payments & walk-ins (for registrations, being role models of a silent auction are welcome if space allows. Last year, this lifestyle. The (including retired our Spring Crop filled 6 weeks before the Summer Staff Program Stampin' Up!® event! presents at local Boys products), and rafGet your group together, and & Girls Clubs, YMCA’s, fle baskets valued visit www.baylife.org/scrapbooking to regSummer Staff Students Parks & Recreation $150 and and reserve your space. Space is between ister Centers and churches. $300. Bring something to share for the not reserved until paid in full. It is an 8-week long program and provides over 100 community service hours for Bright Futures. The application deadline is Friday, March 30. Application Family Owned & Operated Local Source forms and more information can be found at www.whatisimpact.com. For to Give Your Pets more information, contact Angie Kagey at a H appy an d 264-9368 or email@example.com.
Scrapbooking For Missions
Bay Life Church announces its 10th anniversary Spring Crop benefiting 2018 youth activities and mission trips. Bring your own supplies to work on your paper crafting projects in a well-lit and fun atmosphere. Your registration fee is tax deductible, and it includes continental breakfast, home cooked lunch, drinks and snacks all day, plus scrapbook/crop space, swap table, goody bags and door prizes. This year’s crop will be held on Friday, April 20 from 6:30 – 11p.m., and/or Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. –
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Volume 15, Issue 2
Good Samaritan Mission Goes Mobile—Plus, A New Location For Its Annual Salsa Festival
By Amanda Boston
Established in 1984, the Good Samaritan Mission (GSM) is closing its doors in Wimauma and going mobile. As the housing industry pushes further into Wimauma, the local Hispanic farmworker popu- The Salsa Festival lation continues to is a free event with games, activities, be pushed out. salsa sampling, "Going yummy eats and mobile with our entertainment for the whole family. ministry is a natural next step,” said Reverend Bill Cruz, the executive director of GSM. “Rather than staying in our facility and inviting people to come, we are, literally, going to them.” GSM will take its food pantry ministry and adult education classes on the road as GSMobile. Through the transition, the ministry will continue to serve its original purpose—to improve the quality of life for those in the community through the knowledge of the Gospel and life skill classes. As GSM streamlines its ministry, it will relocate its administrative offices to Sun City. Reverend Cruz believes God is behind the organization’s transformation. “We are seeing more and more centers and businesses opening their doors for us to come in and teach at their facilities, fully aware that we are a Christian organization,” said Reverend Cruz. “We've seen, first-hand, an overall hunger
for the message of the Gospel. We are excited to be part of spreading His Word throughout the community." Amid its transition, the sixth annual Family Salsa Festival will still go on, but it will be held at South Bay Church in Riverview. So, if you like salsa and wish to support GSM, mark your calendar for Saturday, March 3 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. All proceeds will go toward programming and operational expenses. The Family Salsa Festival is a free event and a celebration of community and all things salsa. The festival will feature food trucks, live entertainment, a kids zone with games and activities, salsa dancing, craft vendors, and of course, the sampling of salsa. If you would like to participate as a vendor, salsa dip maker or provide entertainment, please contact Kacey Folger, the community engagement coordinator at 240-4107. South Bay Church is located at 13498 US Hwy 301 S. in Riverview. For more information about the festival, visit familysalsafestival.com. To learn more about GSMobile, visit www.gsmission.org. GSM is always looking for volunteers, especially instructors for the adult education program. To volunteer or donate, call 634-7136.
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Manatee Arts Festival Offers Music, Food And More
By Kate Quesada
Some of the biggest names in the Hillsborough County art scene are coming together next month for the 26th annual Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts and Music offering a weekend of entertainment for the whole family. Located at Ruskin’s E.G. Simmons Park on March 10 and 11 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the event is expected to draw 10,000 people from all over the Tampa Bay area. Hosted by the SouthShore Chamber, the Firehouse Cultural Center and the SouthShore Arts Council, the festival will feature work for viewing and purchase from approximately 100 artists from around the country, a large children’s area, entertainment and food. The 26th annual Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the “The festival is an innoArts will take place at E.G. Simmons Park on March 10 vative showcase of fine arts and 11. and fine crafts which draws year’s tent will have a sand castle talent from across the country,” said theme. Mike Parker, with the SouthShore Arts “We plan to kick our decor up a few Council. “Our exhibitors’ area offers vis- more notches,” said Vahue, who itors the opportunity to meet and interexpects 3,000 people to use the chilact with artists, to view their works and dren’s area of the festival. “There will purchase art from the individual that be a number of fun and creative art created it.” activities ranging from sand art bottles, The Firehouse Cultural Center is sand paper and shell prints to flying fish hosting the Kids Activity Tent for the art.” second year in a row, and according to Children can also enjoy a pirate Executive Director Georgia Vahue, this offering balloon art and the Ruskin
Library will host a reading and storytelling area. Projects are designed for children in kindergarten to seventh grade, although younger visitors can do the crafts with parents. The entertainment stage will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday with new country artist Matt Billor. He will be followed
by the Harrison Jazz Ensemble at 11:15 a.m., southern rock artists Dark Horse at 12:30 p.m. and Cosmic Pear will hit the stage with their 60s and 70s music at 2 p.m. Damon Fowler will close out Saturday’s line-up at from 3:30-5 p.m. with his blues show. On Sunday, John Puckett, a singer guitarist, will hit the stage at 10 a.m., followed by the Hummingbirds’ Americana music at 11:30 a.m.. The popular country sounds of Willow Hill will follow at 1:30 p.m. and the Selwyn Birchwood Band will close out the event from 3:30-5 p.m. with their R&B set. “The Manatee Arts Festival has been an essential part of South Shore’s history for many years, attracting large numbers,” said Vahue. “Over the last few years, the event has become a lovely day’s outing for families. Our goal is to have visitors have fun, enjoy the arts and the entertainment and go home smiling.” Food and drinks will also be available for purchase at the event. The E.G. Simmons Conservation Park is located at 2401 19th Ave. N.W. in Ruskin. For information, contact the chamber at 645-1366 or visit www.southshorechamberofcommerce.org . To contact the Firehouse Cultural Center, call 645-7651 or visit www.firhouseculturalcenter.com.
Volume 15, Issue 2
David Weekley Homeowners Harold & Leah Ann Root
Big Cat Rescue Adds Rare Amur Leopard & Continues Advocacy Efforts
By Michelle Colesanti
Just over 25 years ago, Big Cat Rescue Founder Carole Baskin saved a bobcat kitten at an animal auction from certain death. Naming her Windsong, she had no idea of what the future would hold for both her and the bobcat, but that rescue stole her heart and set the wheels in motion for what would eventually become Big Cat Rescue. Big Cat Rescue’s care for cats that were once abused and can’t live in the wild is near ‘purr’fection. It currently is the ‘fur’ever home to 70 cats. Through the years, the sanctuary has also released 45 wild native Florida bobcats back into the wild. The sanctuary is currently working Cameron the Lion and Zabu the to change laws which allow for the White Tiger nestle together. These exploitation of the cats. A few examples best friends were rescued together from a roadside zoo in 2004 now live include those who exploit baby cubs, at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. keeping cats in small cages for exhibiA visit to Big Cat Rescue is a tions, tiger farms, breeding facility where great way to learn about the resitigers and other exotic or wild animals are dent cats as well as the plight of bred like livestock for their meat, skin, and exploitation in general. If animal parts, circus acts and much more. you wish to tour Big Cat Rescue, it According to Director of Public is recommended that you reserve your Relations, Susan Bass, Big Cat is ardentspot at https://bigcatrescue.org as tours fill ly working on passing the federal bill for up quickly. big cats called the Big Cat Public Safety Along the way, you will meet Act (HR 1818) in Congress. "Once Cameron the Lion and Zabu the White passed, the bill will ban most private ownTiger, both born at a roadside zoo. The ership and breeding of big cats and will two remain best friends and live together. also ban the public from having direct In reality, lions and tigers do not live in the contact (holding/feeding a bottle) with type of habitat so these two should same cubs. We believe this will end most of the never have met. They were brought suffering of unwanted captive big cats in together by people who wanted them America," she said. bred to birth Ligers and bring in tourist You can help by asking your House dollars. After years of abuse, they were of Representatives member in rescued and brought to Big Cat where Washington DC to co-sponsor the bill they now can enjoy their retirement and at bigcatact.com.
each other. Big Cat recently became
the permanent home for an 11-year- old male jaguar named Manny and a 16-yearold female leopard named Natalia (Nat) from Omaha, Nebraska’s AZAaccredited Henry Doorly Zoo. The cats needed to be relocated because the
Zoo’s exhibit they were housed in was being replaced with a new one. Natalia is a16 year old Amur leopard, the first at the sanctuary. There are less than 70 Amur leopards remaining in the wild. Not only do big cats get to enjoy the premises which include a vacation retreat, but the sanctuary also fosters domestic kittens for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Taking care of all of the cats require a lot of help. There are currently about 80 volunteers assisting at the Rescue. If you have interest in volunteering, you can learn more and fill out a form at BigCatRescue.org/volunteer. You can also be an advo’cat’e for the residents of the rescue by donating at https://bigcatrescue.org/donations.
Natalie (Nat), a 16 year old female Amur leopard, was recently relocated from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. She is the first Amur at the sanctuary. There are less than 70 Amur’s left in the wild.
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Volume 15, Issue 2
SEFFNER COMMUNITY CARNIVAL..PG 29 TRANSPORTAION MEETING ...........PG 30 LOCAL AUTHOR ..............................PG 33 February 2018
Volume 15, Issue 2
Nothing Bundt Cakes Offers Premium Cakes For Any Occasion
At Nothing Bundt Cakes, nine classic cake flavors including Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet, White Chocolate Raspberry, Lemon plus a seasonal featured flavor are offered. You can choose from four different sizes. “Each cake is made in our bakery with the finest premium ingredients including real eggs, butter and cream cheese and crowned with our signature cream cheese frosting. We offer four different sizes from full-size Bundt Cakes, perfect for sharing; miniature Bundtlets, great for gifting; and bitesized Bundtinis®, sold by the dozen,” said owners Robert and Teresa Shuffield. Make someone’s day with Nothing Bundt Cake. It is located in the Winthrop Plaza at 11238 Sullivan St. in Riverview. Hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 409-2394 or visit www.nothingbundtcakes.com. You can also visit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NothingBundtCakesRiv erviewFL.
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AAA Travel Show
Join AAA for travel seminars conducted by expert travel professions on Saturday, February 17 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. It will take place at the DoubleTree Tampa Airport-Westshore at 4500 W Cypress St. in Tampa. Receive up to $1,000 in savings or onboard credit when you attend the show. Register to attend at AAA.com/TravelEvents or call 963-2121.
Living Healthy Program Offered At The Bridges
Developed at Stanford University, the ‘Chronic Disease Self-Management Program,’ will be offered at The Bridges
Assisted Living Community in partnership with Senior Connection Center, Inc. This free six-week course will build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. Participants with chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma and epilepsy will learn to manage symptoms, work with their healthcare team, exercise safely and easily, solve problems and relax. Those who have completed this program spent fewer days in the hospital and demonstrated significant improvements in exercise, health distress, fatigue, selfreported general health and more. Classes will be held every Tuesday from March 6 to April 10 from 1-3:30 p.m. in the Clubhouse at The Bridges. Class size is limited. Please call Janet at 4138900 to register.
Suncoast Credit Union Will Offer Competitively Priced Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loans
Suncoast Credit Union announced a new partnership with Sallie Mae®, the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company, to offer students and families a responsible way to pay for college. The Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan® is a competitively priced and flexible private student loan. Available for students attending eligible institutions, Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan® offers competitive fixed
and variable interest rates with no origination fees or prepayment penalties. Fixed rates range from 5.74 to 11.85 percent APR, while variable rates range from 3.62 to 10.54 percent APR. “We were founded by teachers and we remain committed to the goal of higher education without the higher price tags,” said Vicki Lovett, Suncoast Credit Union’s Chief Lending Officer. “The Sallie Mae® partnership allows us to help students pay for college expenses not covered by scholarships, grants or federal loans.” For more information, visit suncoastcreditunion.com/studentloans.
All American Title Celebrates 23 Year Anniversary
All American Title will be celebrating 23 years on Thursday, March 1 from 4:30- 6:30 p.m. at 679 W Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 21 to Vanessa at email@example.com or 943-3330. While there, you will enjoy goodies from Fuzzy's Taco Shop, Remi's Minis, and Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Matthew Blalock, P.A. Joins Signature Realty
Matthew Blalock, P.A. has joined Signature Realty Associates in Valrico. Blalock, a Florida native and Plant City resident, has been a Florida licensed real
Continued on Next Page
Volume 15, Issue 2
Business Column Continued.............
By Michelle Colesanti
estate agent for over 20 years. He has approvals to be open for residents. The worked with buyers and sellers from the staff has worked hard to prepare this Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful community to pass the State of down the islands of the Florida Keys and Florida's regulatory requirements. These Costa Rica. He’s bi-lingual stringent yet necesand speaks English and sary prerequisites are Spanish. to ensure that it meets “I’ve sold vacant land and proudly surpasses to developers, farms, single all qualifications to be family homes, luxury wateran exceptional assistfront properties and even ed living and memory islands in my career. It’s care community. been interesting to say the It recently welleast,” Blalock said. comed its first resiDriven by a servant’s dents, its new family, heart, Blalock left a career to Twin Creeks. with Florida Power & Light According to to fly volunteer search and Executive Director Matthew Blalock recently joined Signature Reality Associates in Valrico. Shane Potter, “We rescue missions over the Florida Straits; then went on to serve as look forward to having them and hope the Director of Special Projects and Chief that those of you who have wanted to Mission Specialist for the charitable noncheck out our space to stop by or call us profit for two years. at 336-2128.” “I get great satisfaction from helping Twin Creeks is located at 13470 others, and that’s what led me to getting Boyette Rd. in Riverview. my real estate license.” Visit https://www.twincreeksretire.com. Matthew Blalock, P.A. is a full-time Realtor. He is easily reached by phone at Seminar Hosted By Angeloni Tax 693-5505 or by email at Advisory Group MatthewBlalockPA@gmail.com. Claiming your Social Security benefits at the wrong time could cost your famNV Salon Is Hiring ily tens of thousands of dollars. A seminar will be held NV Salon is currently at The HCC campus at the hiring. If you are an outgoRegent on Tuesday, ing, friendly individual with February 20 at 6 p.m. a background in beauty (promptly) to help you with and a desire to work within these decisions. Plan to be a constantly evolving envithere by 5:45 p.m. ronment with room to learn This seminar is perfect and grow with the compafor people in the age range of 58-67 ny, this just might be the place for you.They are currently searching for part- years old. At this seminar you will learn some of time and full-time hairstylist. NV Salon is the unknown strategies and principles located at 13107 US Hwy. behind the proper timing of taking your 301 in Riverview. Call 374Social Security benefits. 9224. Visit https://nvsalonspa301.com/. The HCC campus at the Regent is located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. Twin Creeks Assisted Living And Call Angeloni Tax Advisory Group at Memory Care Now Accepting 626-7575 to make reservations. Leave a Residents message after 4:30 p.m. Twin Creeks has received final
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Rosati’s Pizza Celebrates One Year
By Michelle Caceres
Rosati’s Pizza in authentic ChicagoValrico, whose first style pizza in Valrico. year in business has Although they been a thrilling roller don’t agree on crust coaster ride, is celestyle (she prefers brating its one year deep-dish while her anniversary on husband likes thin Tuesday, February 20 crust), Rosati’s Pizza with menu specials offers both styles of and gift card crust. giveaways. “It tastes a bit like Store home and it’s nice to owner Whitney have that reminder,” Tucker recalls said Kaim. “I’m also a the whirlwind With a choice of deep dish or thin fan of supporting training her employcrust, Rosati’s Pizza has something for local businesses.” everyone. ees received, some Located at 3347 of whom had never Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in heard of deep dish or Italian beef. Then the Publix-anchored Shoppes of Lithia she went from training to the largest shopping center, Rosati’s Pizza is open opening Rosati’s Pizza had ever seen. An Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m.–10 p.m. and overwhelming turnout of community supFriday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. port during the restaurant’s opening In addition to a variety of pizza sizes rivaled sales at Rick Rosati’s store in and flavors, it’s menu, available for carryChicago that has been open for approxiout or delivery, features a selection of mately 30 years. appetizers, wings, salads, pastas, sand“We were just blown away,” said wiches and desserts. Online ordering is Tucker. “We had done zero marketing, available on its website. that first day all we did was turn on the Tucker is happy she is on the other open sign and there were already people side of the learning curve and appreciates waiting to come in for a slice.” each and every family that orders from With one year in business now under the store. When customers say they hadher belt, Tucker said business is steady n’t eaten good pizza until they ate at and delivery times more accurate. “Our Rosati’s, she feels a sense of pride and delivery times are under an hour, even on accomplishment. busy Friday nights,” she remarked. “We have put our hearts and souls One customer who places a pick-up into this restaurant and continue to strive order every Friday night is Bloomingdale for excellence and satisfaction,” she said. resident Kristen Kaim. She and her husFor more information about Rosati’s, band moved from Chicago three years visit www.rosatispizza.com or call 643ago and were surprised to discover 1003.
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Plant City Railroad Viewing Platform Is Highlighted In National Magazine Plant City is a treasure trove for those who love history, art and culture. If you are a train enthusiast, there is no better place to go than to the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum located The viewing platform at at 102 N. Palmer the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum in St. in Plant City. Plant City is a must for any train enthusiast. The museum opened in 2013. A highpoint is the covered, two story trainwatching platform which is located in and around the station that once served passengers trains of two CSX Transportation predecessors. The museum and platform were recently featured in a special edition of Trains Magazine, America’s Top Train Watching Locations. Benito (Bennie) Lubrano, Jr., the Executive Director for the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum Society said, “Even though the viewing platform has received numerous regional awards and recognitions, the magazine is known to most railroad fans across the country.” Lubrano added, “It is great to be considered among all the other cities across the U.S. and how we rank among them.” The viewing platform is unique. It is located on two main lines North/South Sline (former Seaboard Air Line, SAL railroad track) and East/West A-line (former
By Kathy L. Collins
Atlantic Coast Line, ACL track). That intersection is referred to as “the Diamond” and is actually a “double Diamond” because two North/South tracks intersect with one East/West track. Moreover, there is an upper level that allows for a different perspective to view trains. The viewing platform is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to Lubrano, “It was constructed to make it appear to be the same era as the station, circa 1909. The nearest other viewing platform would be Folkston, GA.” If you want to see trains, this is the perfect spot. On any given day, 16 to 18 trains pass through the area of the viewing platform. An Amtrak train passes twice a day. In addition, Tropicana Juice cars pass several times a day and a TECO coal train headed to the power plant in Apollo Beach passes by at least three times a week. The mission of the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum Society is to promote and educate visitors about the railroad history and its impact on Eastern Hillsborough County and Plant City. They offer group tours for children of all ages. Admission is free. For info, visit www.willafordrailroadmuseum.com or call 719-6989.
Volume 15, Issue 2
Florida Hospital Tampa Offers Minimally Invasive Solutions For Digestive Disorders
By Michael Smith
Doctor Alexander and they do very, very Rosemurgy of the well.” Florida Hospital Tampa Rosemurgy said Digestive Health it’s a much better Institute is using cutapproach to surgery ting-edge and innovato get it awake rather tive surgical techniques than under general that are minimally invaanesthesia, and they sive to cure digestive utilize robotic surgery disorders and disfor many things, eases. including pancreatic, Rosemurgy, who liver and esophageal Doctor Alexander Rosemurgy practices along with resections. came to Florida Hospital Tampa in Doctors Sharona Ross “We do almost 2012. and Iswanto Sucandy, everything robotically focuses on foregut disorders, including now--hardly anything is open operation liver, biliary pancreatic and esophageal anymore,” he said. gastric problems. Rosemurgy said many people live “We take care of lots of people with digestive problems like reflux for a with liver tumors, pancreatic cancer very long time and don’t realize the and esophageal cancer, but we also dangers they are facing. He said being do a lot of operations for swallowing on a proton pump inhibitors like disorders like achalasia and gastroePrevacid or Nexium can have serious sophageal reflux disease (GERD),” consequences, including osteoporosis, Rosemurgy said. renal failure, dementia, pneumonia Over the years the doctors have and intestinal infections. He said the been able to progress with minimally Digestive Health Institute offers invasive surgery so that all their patients a permanent, minimally invalaparoscopy now is done with single sive solution to reflux so that they can incisions. get off of all the pills and mitigate the “We make a small incision about chances of cancer. eight millimeters inside the belly button Rosemurgy said Florida Hospital so it’s hidden, and it’s the only incision Tampa, which opened a new location people get so it’s scarless,” in Brandon on Oakfield Drive last year, Rosemurgy said. “We’re so good at is the busiest pancreatic biliary center this now that we operate on many in the Southeastern United States. patients who are awake, including To learn more about the services many patients who have gall bladder the Florida Hospital Tampa Digestive problems. They get a scarless operaHealth Institute provides or to schedtion and without general anesthesia, ule an appointment, call 615-7366.
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The Greater Seffner Area Chamber Of Commerce Serves Its Members And The Community
By Kathy L. Collins
The Greater Magruder Seffner Area added, “Our chamChamber of ber goals include Commerce has providing members been providing with multiple opporarea business tunities to increase owners and their exposure and organizations involvement in the with an opportucommunity through nity to network, events designed to The Greater Seffner Area Chamber of advocate and showcase their Commerce is a vibrant group of business help the commu- owners, area leaders and organizations who businesses.” strive to support the area in a number of nity since it was In addition to ways. Come to their upcoming carnival on formed in 1985. the monthly meetSaturday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and meet the members and the organizations ings, the Greater If you live or they support. work in the Seffner Area Seffner, Dover, Chamber of Mango, Thonotosassa, Commerce hosts regular Valrico and surrounding monthly coffees/networking areas, the Greater sessions, after hours Seffner Chamber of events, ribbon cutting cereCommerce welcomes monies, Veterans you. They meet on the Appreciation Luncheon, second Thursday of and an Annual New each month at the Beef Teacher Breakfast. O’Brady’s located at 812 The Greater Seffner W. Dr. Martin Luther Area Chamber of King, Jr. Blvd. in Seffner Commerce is hosting a carat 11:30 a.m. nival which will be held on Patricia Magruder Saturday, March 17 from 11 with Magruder Agency, a.m. to 3 p.m. The carnival Inc. is the current presiwill be held in the parking dent. Magruder has been an insurance lot of the chamber’s office located at the agent serving the area since 1989 and Railroad and Industrial Federal Credit has been a member of the chamber Union at 1209 Kingsway Rd. (across from since the early 1990’s. Magruder said, Publix) in Seffner. The family friendly car“We are a vibrant group of business nival is free to attend. minded people who are driven to work For more information on the Greater together and support each other in order Area Seffner Chamber of Commerce, to make our community the best it can please visit www.seffnerchamber.com or be.” call 627-8686.
Valrico Ready To Welcome New Stingray’s By Kate Quesada
Valrico resiMatus. dents will soon The non-smokhave a new hot ing bar will also spot for entertainboast two pool ment and good tables, dart boards, times. Gold Tee and other Stingray’s video games, 22 Bar and Grill will televisions and a open its doors in state-of-the-art juke early March box that customers under the ownercan access from ship of Valrico their phones. resident Eric The remodeled Matus and kitchens will offer a limited bar menu Denise Carlascio. and popcorn will Located at also be available. 3112 S.R. 60 E., Matus and near the intersec- Eric Matus and Denise Carlascio are the new owners of Stingray’s Bar and Grill on S.R. 60 Carlascio, a first tion with in Valrico. grade teacher at Mulrennan Rd., Nelson Elementary Stingray’s will offer drinks School, also plan to and food but it’s biggest host community events draw might be the large including food truck ralstage Matus constructed lies and vendor fairs in to showcase the live the large parking area. entertainment they plan to “What is really offer regularly. going to set us apart is “We want to be a desour customer service,” tination for local music said Matus. “My goal is lovers,” said Matus, who to share my smile with has previously operated the world every day and two bars in Wisconsin and I know the rest of the also owns Breakaway Mobile Escape Room. staff at Stingray’s will do In addition to live music, the stage the same.” will also host comedy nights and live The bar will be open every day from band karaoke, as well as traditional around 9:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. For more karaoke. information and details on the grand “I want Stingray’s to be a place that opening celebration, find Stingray’s Bar people can come, stay entertained, relax and Grill on Facebook or call (863) 529and get great customer service,” said 1120.
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Commissioner Kemp Hosts Meeting On Local Area Transportation And Growth
By Michael Smith
Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, District 6 Countywide, hosted a Community Conversation on Tuesday, February 6, at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library to discuss Brandon’s mobility and safety with a focus on the congested eastwest corridors. The two-hour event was part of a series of conversations the commissioner is holding throughout the county to Photo courtesy of Michael Smith discuss topics of interest to Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp hosted a Community Conversation on “Transportation and residents. After opening remarks by Growth in Brandon” at Bloomingdale Regional Public Library on Thursday, February 6. Kemp, Senior Planner Jay Collins, AICP, and Principal Other panelists who made presenPlanner Sarah McKinley, MPO, shared tations were John Lyons, Director, about a study recently completed by Hillsborough County Public Works; Ed the Planning Commission and the McKinney, Planning and Environmental Metropolitan Planning Organization to Administrator, FDOT; and Steve refine Hillsborough County’s Vision Feigenbaum, Director of Service Map and identify transportation Development, HART. There was a questionand-answer session after the panel presentations, during which several residents shared their questions, comments and concerns. Kemp said, “It was a great community converPhoto courtesy of Plan Hillsborough sation. The residents The MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) maintains a are asking the right consolidated database of current and historical traffic questions. They undercounts for all major roads. stand the connection improvements by measuring growth. between how we grow as a county, The findings of the study, called the the traffic they experience and the ‘Brandon Corridors and Mixed-Use Center quality of life in our community.” Pilot Project,’ were accepted by the Commissioner Kemp also alerted Planning Commission. Recommended the audience to an ‘important’ upcomnext steps are: ing meeting. On Thursday, March 1, *Develop policies to incentivize Mixed- at 6 p.m. at County Center in Tampa, Use Centers development, promoting con- there will be a public hearing for the nectivity and accessibility; Comprehensive Plan Amendments *Continue to look into transit, specifi(CPA) for adoption. Included on the cally along the Brandon Boulevard (SR 60) agenda is HC/CPA 17-04 - Future and Oakfield corridors, connecting the mall Land Use Map change (Lithia and hospital districts; Pinecrest Road, and *Move forward on Project Browning Road), which would Development & Environmental (PD&E) change 164 acres from Agricultural for Lumsden Road widening and revisit Rural-1/5 to the Lithia Pinecrest PD&E; Residential-1. Kemp encouraged *Evaluate Bloomingdale Avenue for residents to contact the County intersection improvements, including Commissioners ahead of the meeting enhanced pedestrian crossings and to let them know their thoughts on the dedicated turn lanes. issue and to attend the meeting to For more information about the make their voices heard. project, visit its website at www.planTo contact Commissioner Kemp, hillsborough.org/brandon-corridorcall 272-5730 or email kempp@hillsmixed-use-centers. boroughcounty.org.
Volume 15, Issue 2
New York Diner Re-Opens With New Owners Plus Foodie & Fitness Menus & More
By Kate Quesada
Manny body building, has Santos is developed a Muscle working hard Menu that includes a to put The 15-egg omelet. New York The new menu Diner - Valrico also features a wide on the map. variety of coffee drinks from the The longtime Valrico restaurant’s new resident and espresso machine his wife and Cafe Con Leche Valrico residents Manny and Chelsea Santos Chelsea recently bought The New York Diner - Valrico, with Cuban toast made in Ybor City. bought the located off S.R. 60 near the intersection with Miller Rd. However, traditional restaurant breakfast and lunch fare from omelets to from her mother late last year and the skillets, are still available. couple has been gradually making it their “We are really hoping that by adding own. Although, there have been some cos- to the menu we will appeal to a wide range of new customers in addition to metic improvements, one of the biggest continuing to please our regulars,” said changes in the 1,500-sq.-ft. diner is the Santos. The diner is very much a family menu expansion. enterprise. Santos plans to be in the “We have some great ideas for dishrestaurant every day and his wife and es people aren’t going to be able to stop talking about,” said Santos, who has lived mother-in-law will be regular features as in the area since he was five years old. well. Some of the most exceptional new Santos has many exciting ideas for items on the menu include The Beast, a the diner going forward including plans to one pound burger patty served with work with Grub Hub and Uber Eats, the introduction of dinner hours, staffed caterbacon and cheddar cheese between two ing and reservations on Open Table. Law deep fried Belgium Waffles, Birthday enforcement officers are also offered free Cake Pancakes, made with cake batter coffee and 15 percent of their meals and and free to anyone celebrating their birthSantos is planning a wounded warrior day, and the Number Two Beast which is tribute event. The diner offers free wifi and made with a two pound beef patty with outdoor seating is available. deep fried waffles and French toast on The New York Diner - Valrico is locattop. Santos has created a contest and ed at 2126 Jelane Dr. In Valrico, right off anyone who can eat the Number Two Beast in 18 minutes receives the meal for S.R. 60 and is open daily from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, call 654-4300 free and wins a T-shirt. or visit www.thenewyorkdiner.weebly.com. Santos, who is also interested in
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Volume 15, Issue 2
Epic Fantasy By Local Author Set To Release February
Not Your Normal Entertainment Brings High Quality Music To Eastern Hillsborough County
A hidden celesalways had a book in her tial kingdom faces hand.” Then, with the support its greatest adverof her family, she finished at sary as a paladin Temple University and headfrom beyond the ed to the Art Institute of Ft. blue uncovers a Lauderdale and later the Los secret that could Angeles Film School where unravel their very she honed her skills eventualexistence. ly writing for film and televiInterested yet? This sion across all genres. What is the teaser from was first “chasing the dream” local author, Tara has become a reality. Knight’s, newest Her versatility as a writer novel, Beyond the is expressed not only in what Blue A Journey she has written for the Through the screen, but her first novel, Heavens, and you The Well, is a faith-based will not want to put story told through it down. The great news is that the eyes of a nonit will be available by the end Christian young of February 2018, so you can woman who finds get your hands on a copy and herself thrust into maybe even track down working in a Knight to sign your copy. Christian bookstore. An epic tale, Knight When asked why, describes Beyond the Blue as Knight’s fervor really something for older teens and took hold: “I go adults who love to immerse wherever the story Tara Knight unveils first of themselves in fantastical takes me. For me, trilogy: Beyond the Blue A worlds. “It’s an unpredictable most Christian ficJourney Through the Heavens. journey that people will have fun with,” tion reads like sermons rather than stoKnight exclaims as she hints at the fastries. I wrote a book I would want to paced action, royal family intrigue, and read.” And you will because her style is people who could seemingly be a lot like relatable and engaging, immersing the you and me except with special powers. reader directly into the plot. This will be the first in a trilogy that is For more information, visit her websure to be a page-turner. site at www.authortaraknight.com. From Once a law student, Knight always there, you can contact her manager, knew her passion was storytelling. She Kailey Marsh, or sign up for her newsletsaid, “My mother was the start of it. She ter, so you’ll be first to be in the know.
Not Your Normal This is a musical that has Entertainment is a never been performed in new and unique prothe South. If/Then simultaduction company that neously follows one provides residents of woman’s two possible life all ages with an opporpaths, painting a deeply tunity to take music moving portrait of the lives lessons and performwe lead, as well as the lives ance opportunities. we might have led. Not Your Normal A VIP Reception is Entertainment is the planned at 6:30 p.m. The brain child of Joe and Not Your Normal Entertainment is a show will be performed at 8 new production company that offers Andy Scarbrough. area residents the opportunity to be p.m. The cost to attend the a part of unique entertainment either VIP Reception is $50. “We believe that singing together is the as a performer or audience member. Additional shows will be best way to build relaperformed on Saturday, tionships, understand others, and spread March 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March love and diversity throughout the eastern 17 at 2 and 8 p.m. the venue for If/Then is Plant City Entertainment’s Theatre Hillsborough County area,” explained located at 101 N. Thomas St. in Plant Andy. How do they do this? Quite simply, City. Tickets for the shows on March 16 Not Your Normal Entertainment gives and 17 are $22 if purchased online and people a chance to be a part of a com$25 if purchased at the door. munity chorus, voluntary orchestra and The community chorus performs two community theatre. They also offer music shows per year- one in May and one in lessons. December. They also perform at Disney’s What sets them apart is that the Candlelight Procession. Members of the community theatre uses only live music public are invited to take part. with a voluntary orchestra and is for Not Your Normal Entertainment also adults who want to have an evening out offers Music For Hire, so if you are having close to home. “If adults want good enter- an event in your home or business, you can have a jazz ensemble or even tainment, they have to go to Tampa. No Victorian Carolers perform. one in the area is doing modern, edgy Venues for the community theatre and thought-provoking theatre,” said and community chorus change dependAndy. ing on the show. The community theatre will perform Not Your Normal Entertainment is several shows throughout the year. The debut of Not Your Normal Entertainment’s based in Riverview. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit community theatre will be on Saturday, www.NYNEshows.com or call 551-2849. March 10 with a performance of If/Then.
By Amy Schechter
By Kathy L. Collins
Enter to win a Family 4-Pack!
Winners will receive family 4-Pack of tickets to the Renaissance Festival. 1. What is the name of the Assignment Editor of the Osprey Observer? 2. What is the headline from one story on page 14?
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Volume 15, Issue 2
With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins
East Hillsborough Historical Society Offers Genealogy Classes
There Is Something For Everyone At Plant City Entertainment
The East hood and quite an Hillsborough amazing time in my Historical life in the quintessenSociety has tial Mississippi town started offering that I loved and a Genealogy called home.” Series. The The East classes in the Hillsborough series will be Historical Society offered on a started the classes monthly basis because there was a on the fourth general interest in the Tuesday from subject, and they 6 to 8 p.m. wanted to offer more The cost to programming to the attend is $10 community. All of the unless otherclasses will be led by wise noted. To Learn to “Write Your Childhood Memories” at experts in Genealogy the next class in the East Hillsborough register, and history. Historical Society’s Genealogy Series. Author please visit Shelby Bender is and illustrator, Beth Ford will lead the class. www.genealothe President and gy.ehhsoc.org. Executive Director of the East The February class, which is Hillsborough Historical Society. called “Writing Your Childhood Bender said, “Ford was selected for Memories,” will feature author this class because her and illustrator, story is a great way to Beth Ford. She let family historians or wrote and illusgenealogists know that trated the book that there is a story to Room 4. tell about everyone. Room 4 is a Your family history is compilation of not just about people, seventeen stories dates and places. This of vivid childhood adds ‘flesh on the memories by 87bones’ and gives a year-old author person character.” and artist, Beth Bender added, Ford. She spent “Learning is a life ten years (1933long venture and one 1943) growing up in has to be always the McColgan Hotel in seeking out new McComb, Mississippi. Each information.” one of the stories captures Future classes in a bit of Southern history the series will include and a child’s reaction to a funeral home records in world event. On the page March and land records preceding each story, in April. They are also there is an illustration planning on offering a which gives the reader a Parliamentary Procedure sense what is to come. class which will be taught Ford said, “Hopefully these colby Registered ored pencil drawings add interesting Parliamentarians and will cost $25. visuals to my creative non-fictional Each attendee will receive a copy of stories. I wrote them because I wantRobert’s Rules of Order. ed to leave some kind of personal For more information, please visit legacy of what was a different childhttps://ehhsoc.org/events.
Plant City gender, approximate cost Entertainment, located in of the show and more. historic downtown Plant On Saturday, City, has some exciting February 24, Plant City events scheduled for the Entertainment will host An month of February. Be Evening with Divonicci at 8 sure to check out all of p.m. General Admission their upcoming events at tickets are available at the www.pceshows.com. door only for $18. First, on Wednesday, Divonicci is a contempoFebruary 21, Plant City rary/pop crossover vocal Entertainment will host trio. They will perform their Pitch Your Idea from 7 to 9 special orchestrated numCome out to Plant City p.m. Anyone interested in Entertainment for Pitch Your bers from a variety of producing or directing a artists such as Elvis, Tom Idea and An Evening with Divonicci this February. show can pitch their idea Jones, The Righteous for the show to be included in the upcom- Brothers, Josh Groban, Donna Summer, ing Plant City Entertainment season. The Bee Gees, ABBA and more. All pitches are welcome. However, Divonicci is backed by a string Plant City Entertainment is most interestensemble and keyboardist as well as proed in plays (non-musicals) such as come- fessionally made backing tracks that have dies, dramas and classics. April been specifically created for this producGolombek with Plant City Entertainment tion. said, “Pitch Night is for anyone in the Plant City Entertainment began as community to bring their ideas for plays to Plant City Community Theatre in 1980. It be heard by our artistic team here at was incorporated in 1994 and became Plant City Entertainment.” Be prepared Plant City Entertainment, Inc. They are with written information on the script and dedicated to bringing high quality enterbudget. This must include estimated tainment to the community and surroundcosts of the show. ing areas. A pitch form can be found on the Plant City Entertainment is located at website at www.pceshows.com. This 101 N. Thomas St. in Plant City. For requests information on your possible more information, please visit production team, show breakdown by www.pceshows.com.
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Armor Guard Painting Offers A High Level Of Protection For Your Home
By Kathy L. Collins
Owning a home ly designed to is a wonderful thing. ensure that the exteAll homeowners rior of your home is know that their maximally protected homes require a lot of against the elements. maintenance to proThe process is extensive. First, an tect their investment, inspection of the and that includes home is completed. painting both the inte- You can count on Armor Then, a three to sixrior and the exterior of Guard Painting inch trench is dug the home. & Coating to around the perimeIf you could opt provide a high level of protecter of the home to for a method of protion to both the interior and exterior of prevent ground moistection that is guaranyour home thus protecting it from the ture from seeping teed for a longer periharsh Florida elements. into the foundation od, would you choose which causes cracks. Next, the home is it? Armor Guard Painting & Coating offers pressure washed, patches and repairs are that extra level of protection. done and the home is masked off. Then, Armor Guard Painting & Coating is the primer/sealer is applied. A final coat is one of Florida’s largest exterior and interior painting and coating companies serving then applied and the trim is done. The crew will then clean up the property, and a most of central and southern Florida, including right here in the greater Brandon Completion Certificate is completed. In addition to painting and coating the area. exterior and interior of your home, Armor Armor Guard Painting & Coating Guard Painting & Coating can also protect offers a variety of options using superior your pool deck and pavers, roof, garage products that extend the longevity of the floor and windows. protection the products give your home. Armor Guard Painting & Coating is a They are specially formulated to withstand family owned business. Rodney Yavorsky, Florida’s harsh sub-tropical climate. They the owner, has more than 20 years of include the Armor Coat systems that proexperience in the industry. Yavorsky said, vide guaranteed protection for 10 or 20 “We have perfected the process of proyears. Armor Guard Painting & Coating tecting both the interior and exterior of also offers an exterior standard coating your home. Call us today and we will get system that is guaranteed for 10 years you scheduled and your project completand exterior painting systems that last ed within days.” seven, five or three years. For more information, please visit us Regardless of the system you at www.armorguard.net or call 727-501choose, you get Armor Guard Painting & Coating’s 10 step process. This is special- 1264.
Real Estate Pitch Group Does Business By Jim Hirz
“See you that the aim of at Beef’s!” the group was This is not pointed specifjust the slogan ically at helpfor a storied ing realtors Brandon eatery. close more It is the rally cry business. He for a group of was enthusilocal realtors astic in and related describing the vendors who benefits of gather weekly attending for the meetings: “It’s Brandon/Valrico nice to be Local realtors and related vendors gather weekly for familiar with Pitch Group. the Brandon/Valrico Pitch Group. They meet the realtor on each Wednesday morning, 9:30 a.m. at the other side of the closing table. In this the Beef O’ Brady’s at 4330 Bell Shoals group we get to know and trust one Rd in Valrico. The purpose: to connect another, along with having the opportunity buyers and sellers of real estate. to share our listings in a face to face setAccording to one of the group’s coting; these are the keys to our success” founders, Tim Ryan of Fidelity National said Jones. Title, “This is a setting where business The meetings are also open to busigets done. Realtors have the opportunity ness people that service real estate to share listings and discover buyer’s industry professionals in a variety of needs. And everyone has a good time ways, from title insurance and mortgages and some laughs along the way.” And to cleaning services and real estate pholaugh they do. A light-hearted attitude tography and many others. Home prevailed as all the realtors in the room Express Realtor Darrell Green feels it is a got a chance to stand and talk about their real benefit, especially to newer realtors, new or updated listings and entertain giving them the opportunity to build relainquiries as they passed out information tionships with trusted service providers. on their properties. Green said, “It helps them put together a There is no cost to attend the meettool belt of vendors to assist in taking ings. Light refreshments are served, the great care of their customers.” cost of which is covered by a different The success of this group has local vendor each week who is then spawned a revitalized South Shore Real offered some time to share information Estate Pitch Group. They meet each about his/her business. Thursday morning at The Alley at South Keller Williams Realtor and group co- Shore on Big Bend Rd. in Riverview at founder, Garth Jones, makes it very clear 9:30 a.m. Same ‘rules’ apply.
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Volume 15, Issue 2
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