You. Your neighbors. Your neighborhood.
FREE • thursday, APRIL 25, 2013
Coyote sightings Durant alum Kelsey concern Plant Horton a finalist for City residents. Senior CLASS Award.
See inside for this week’s photo contest winner.
2013 relay for life
by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor
by Michael Eng | Managing Editor
Plant City rejects lone proposal for stadium
+ Reminder: Sixth Blueberry Festival! The Sixth Annual Tampa Bay Blueberry Festival will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 27, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 28, at Keel & Curley Winery, 5202 W. Thonotosassa Road. Make sure you stop by the Plant City Observer booth to get your exclusive blueberryflavored lip balm. The finalists in our Blueberry Recipe Contest also will present their dishes to our panel of celebrity judges at 4:30 p.m. April 27. For complete Blueberry Festival coverage, visit PlantCityObserver.com.
+ Flight winner takes to the skies Plant City Observer founder and co-owner Ed Verner took one resident on the ride of his life in his biplane. Jeff Henning won the ride during the raffle the Plant City Observer hosted at its booth during the recent Planes, Trains and Automobiles event. Henning enjoyed a variety of stunts during his ride. “All the stunts were a dream come true,” he said. “I can check those off my list and brag about them to my friends. Truly some of the greatest fun I have ever had.”
Plant City Manager Greg Horwedel said the proposal the city received from Big League Dreams lacked too much information.
Strawberry Queen Kelsey Fry turned Kaitryn Edgemon into a fairy princess at Plant City High’s cosmetology booth.
Right: Teresa Armbruster held South Florida Baptist Hospital’s pendant high.
Hundreds of Plant City philanthropists proved “Curing Cancer is Sweet” at the annual Relay for Life April 19 to 20, at Plant City High School. So far, the event has raised $230,000 for the American Cancer Society. Donations are still flowing in, and organizers hope the final tally is $275,000. The candy-themed event lured walkers off the track and into team tents to taste cupcakes, candy and other goodies. Children played games, such as musical chairs, and even got their nails
and face painted at Plant City High School’s cosmetology fairy princess booth. The Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and her court led the Survivors Lap. In the morning, walkers were tired — but not tired enough to hear songs from a 13 school children’s choir and release balloons into the air in honor of Relay’s 100th birthday. For more photos, visit PlantCityObserver.com.
Despite Mayor Mike Sparkman’s wishes, the Plant City Commission rejected April 22, the only proposal it received for a longtime use for Plant City Stadium. City Manager Greg Horwedel said the proposal from Big League Dreams Inc. lacked key information, specifically regarding the potential costs and benefits of the proposal to Plant City. Citing an exemption under Florida’s open-government laws, Horwedel declined to detail Big League Dreams’ proposal. “Based upon our cursory review, we feel there is not sufficient information to make a good value judgment,” Horwedel said. “Our recommendation is that this proposal be rejected and a new request be put on the street.” Sparkman, speaking to Horwedel and the rest of the city commission, said he opposed the idea of restarting the process. “I’m disappointed that, at this stage, we’re starting over,” he said. “I’d rather see us not go out again (for proposals). I’m confused, and I’m disappointed by it. “At this stage, if I were this person (Big League Dreams), I could walk away from it, and we, as the city, would be the losers,” Sparkman said.
SEE STADIUM / PAGE 4
+ Chamber to hold community expo More than 50 businesses will gather at the Florida Strawberry Expo Hall, 351 N. Woodrow Wilson Street, for the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce’s Plant City Community Expo. The event is meant for business members to network with potential customers. For more, call 754-3707.
Plant City High School cosmetology students turned the home side of the track pink while cheering for survivors.
After 18 hours of relay, these walkers took a rest.
MORE PHOTOS ON PAGE 4
Courtey of VSI
Plant City Stadium is the temporary home of VSI Tampa Bay.
Vol. 1, No. 43 | One section
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor
Meals on Wheels needs WLCA, city consider changes to Timberlane pet food donations During morning rush hour, traffic backs up on the left-turn lane from Timberlane Drive onto Alexander Street.
Employees have been dipping into their pockets to keep pet food available for those in need. A mission to help feed needy pets could be extinct without new donations. Meals on Wheels has been working for the past four years to bring small bags of food for pets along with their owners’ hot meals. But the donations have run dangerously low. Project originators, Nancy Driscoll and Rebecca Burns, have been digging into their pockets the past two months to make sure that their clients pets can eat, too. “The whole goal of it is so that people will not have to give up their pets,” Driscoll says. Driscoll, Burns and Marian Riter have worked for Meals on Wheels for years. They enjoy passing out food to people in need on their route. But many of their hungry clients also have hungry pets. One day, Driscoll read in a newspaper that a Meals on Wheels office in Polk County had started delivering pet food to clients along with regular hot meals. She thought it was a great idea. So the animal lovers started to solicit for donations for pet food
along with the help of their friend Nita McMaster. They deliver about a 4 pounds of dog food or 3 pounds of cat food to those in need. There are at least 15 pets on the Plant City routes. “It’s not expected to be all the food for the pet for the month,” Driscoll said. “It’s just like the hot meals, it’s meant to be a supplement.” The Meals on Wheels team can identify with the pet owners. Driscoll had a dog for 16 years. But when it died, she had a “broken heart” and couldn’t “go through that grief again” with another pet. Burns has two rescued shitzus. Riter has a “beautiful calico” cat. Nita “has always had cats.” “Some call in and say they appreciate it,” Driscoll said. “I feel it’s a wonderful thing. We all feel it’s a great thing and want to keep it going.” To donate, take pet food to the Meals on Wheels office, 203 N. Thomas St., Plant City. Cash and check donations are also accepted as long as they are designated for pet food. Contact Amber Jurgensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Walden Lake Community Associate met with city officials Monday to work out a plan to alleviate traffic coming out of Walden Lake’s front entrance during rush hour. Originally, the WLCA heard from city officials that a left hand turn lane was to be added, knocking out the center median to the main gate. With its landscaped median, green shrubbery and brick monicker signs, the Walden Lake front entrance makes a certain type of statement about the deed-restricted community. “We really feel like it’s our
The annual elections were held at this month’s WCLA meeting. • Jan Griffin, president • Marcus Alexich, vice president • Jim Chancey, secretary A treasurer was not elected at this time. The position will go up for election the following meeting. Griffin has been a board member since 1994 and president since 2004.
front door,” Bette Guarino of the WLCA said. “It’s the most peaceful way to come in, and it won’t be Walden Lake without it.” Now, Plant City Engineer Brett Gocka is working on a new design in order to keep the median intact. “(The WLCA) likes their landscaping and the aesthetic feel,” Gocka said. “I think we can accommodate it.” The original plan was estimated to cost about $36,000. Other designs are being drawn up that will add extra landscaping. The cost will be slightly higher. “It’s going to be a little bit bigger of a project now, and it’s going to be a little nicer project,” Gocka said. The city previously tried to alleviate traffic at the intersection after a complaint about the timing of the light. The city adjusted the timing as much as it could. “Still, there is some backup being experienced,” Gocka said. The city wants to fix the problem before the Alexander Street extension is finished. After the extension is completed, Alexander will become a state-op-
In other news: • Construction on The Hammocks golf cart path will begin Thursday. Since last year, residents have been lobbying to get one put in at this location because of the dangerous intersection at the front entrance of The Hammocks on Timberlane Drive. • The annual garage sale was a success, with more than 100 homes participating. “There were cars everywhere,” Bette Guarino said. • Marlene Merrin presented a monthly report of violations for the 16 neighborhoods she does enforcements for. The violations were: Yard: 50 Care and appearance of home: 28 Mold/paint/mailboxes: 27 Boats/trailers: 10 Care and appearance of fence: 7 Trash cans: 6 Vehicles: 4 Pets: 5 Bouncy House: 1 erated street, overseen by the Florida Department of Transportation. With the overturn, it will be harder to make changes to intersections on Alexander, such as Timberlane Drive. Designs should be submitted to the city commission for discussion in about 60 to 90 days. Contact Amber Jurgensen at ajurgensen@plantcityobserver. com.
Auto rates just got lower.
Plant City EntErtainmEnt, inC. a 501 (c)(3) Corporation – PrESEntS –
Stop by a State Farm® agent’s office, or call one of us today to find out how much you can save.
Monty Python meets Mel Brooks
Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® CONTACT AN AGENT TODAY.
The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood
Courtney Paat Ins Agcy Inc Courtney Paat, Agent 1805 James Redman Pkwy, Suite 101 Plant City, FL 33563 Bus: 813-754-1725 Fax: 813-707-9476 www.paatinsurance.com
Hablamos Español statefarm.com®
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company Bloomington, IL
a caring paw by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor
Life is better in the Quick Lane. Auto service just got better!
By Mary Lynn Dobson Performance Dates:
Oil change, free Alignment Check, rotate and balance (Add Nitrogen for $15.95)
All performances at: 101 N. Thomas Street Plant City, FL 33563
Most cars and light trucks. Excludes diesel. Must present coupon at time of write up. May not be used with any other coupon or store special. Shop supplies and tax extra. Expires 5/31/13
Full Synthetic Oil change
Most cars and light trucks up to 7 quarts. Must present coupon at time of write up. May not be used with any other coupon or store special. Shop supplies and tax extra. Expires 5/31/13
More information at:
May 3, 4, 9, 10 & 11 at 8:00 p.m. www.pce-inc.com May 5, matinee at 2:00 p.m. Tickets available at the door or Hardee Fashions (pre-sale)
(813) 757-6429 2000 East Baker St. Plant City, FL 33563
Dramatic Publishing Company, Woodstock, Illinois. ©2008 The Dramatic Publishing Company. Reprinted by permission.
Produced by special arrangement with the
at Jarrett-Scott Ford
Service Hours Mon. - Fri. 7am - 7pm Sat. 7am - 3pm
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
happy anniversary by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor
Hopewell to celebrate 143 years With a longstanding history, the church still thrives today. Two sisters share the same memories of their beloved church, Hopewell Baptist. They have attended the church for decades, Martha Durrance since she was 5, and Lila Woods since she was 13. “In the old church, there were two doors,” Durrance said. “The women would come in and sit on one side, and the men would come in and sit on the other side.” “The children would sit in the middle,” Woods added. Hopewell will celebrate its 143rd anniversary during a special service May 5. A luncheon will be hosted to honor the occasion following the service. With informal beginnings, the church started in 1870. Founders gathered in an 8-foot-by-12-foot log schoolhouse, located on the homestead of John Robert McDonald. According to the church’s recorded minutes, Florida Baptist Associate, Elder L. J. Simmons, and J. N. Tatum organized the gatherings. Other founding families
included the Wells, the building was Evers, Mooneys and completed. The Hopewell Weeks families. Baptist Church first service was A decade later, the held in January Anniversary church had grown. 1902. WHEN: 10 a.m. May 5 Sunday school, orElectric lights WHERE: Hopewell ganized by Elder came to the new Baptist Church, 6001 T.J. Sparkman, was church in 1913 — S. C.R. 39, Plant City held in tents behind at a cost of $29.52. INFO: (813) 737-3053 the sanctuary. The The building tents covered stalls was remodeled in that held nearly 100 1955, for $25,000. goats. On Sunday mornings, the Six rooms, a baptistry, steeple stalls were swept clean for Sunday and stained-glass windows were School. added. Before the baptistry was Later, the church was moved to added, members were baptized in Grange Hall, near Old Hopewell “The Pit,” a fishing hole. Road. The property is part of Bob Durrance remembers having McDonald’s land. dinner at the church as a child. The third location was a one“There was a big table in the room building 300 yards south of front yard that we would all eat at,” J.G. McDonald’s home. Durrance said. “There was no air But, it wasn’t until 1897, when conditioning inside the church. William Glenn McDonald gave the People would bring their picnic church two acres of land — one for and food. They would either sit at a cemetery and one for a church the table or stand and eat.” — that the church found its presAir conditioning finally was ent location. For a mere $854.92, added to the church in 1964, after
J.G. McDonald gave the church additional land for a recreation hall. The building had a complete kitchen, restrooms and central heat and air at a cost of $10,000. Now the congregation worships in a new building, which was finished May 7, 2006. In 1992, the church purchased seven acres of land adjoining the church property. It was on this property that the congregation built the new facility. “My favorite thing about the church is the sweet, sweet spirit in Hopewell,” Durrance said. “The love between the members — it’s been really special to me.” Linwood and Kathy Jones feel the same about the church. They come all the way from Lakeland, passing closer churches on their way to worship. “We’ve only been coming here for six or seven years,” Linwood said. “Our hearts are overwhelmed with the love and acceptance that is here.” Contact Amber Jurgensen at ajurgensen@plantcityobserver. com.
history lesson by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor
Nelson Elementary School’s Terry Senhauser’s fourth-grade class is proud of their masterpiece.
Nelson students chart their course The map was part of a school-wide lesson on Juan Ponce de Leon. Students who trickle into Nelson Elementary’s multipurpose room can’t help but giggle and point at a map of Florida. Covering a 10-foot-by-15-foot space on the wall, the map isn’t made up of topographical features or highways. Instead, it’s a collage of student self-portraits shaped into the Sunshine State’s form. The map is part of a schoolwide lesson on Juan Ponce de Leon, a Spanish conquistador who discovered and named Florida. This year is the 500th Anniversary of the day he stepped onto the shores of St. Augustine. “Kids really get a kick out of it,” fourth-grade teacher Terry Senhauser said. “They like to go into the lunchroom and find each other’s faces.”
Nearly 500 students made a construction-paper self portrait. There were so many faces that another massive picture had to be constructed, a sign that reads “500.” With stacks of faces, Senhauser, three Parent-Teacher Association parents and seven students laid out the map and glued the faces down. The assembly took about 25 glue sticks and two hours. On April 3, rainy weather redirected the hanging of posters to the multipurpose room. The decision has allowed the students to enjoy the project longer. “We wanted to drive the point home of Ponce de Leon discovering Florida but also that it’s ‘your Florida,’” Senhauser said. The point was grasped as Sen-
hauser asked his class who makes up Florida. “We do!” the students responded in unison. Senhauser teaches mostly math and science but has a special passion for teaching social studies. In fact, it was Senhauser’s idea to make the map of Florida. “The map serves as a talking point to lead into Ponce de Leon and Florida history,” Senhauser said. “I’m proud of Mr. Senhauser,” student Preston Williams said. “He’s the reason we did this. His face looks the best.” Preston, 10, loved the art aspect of the project as much as the history. “I thought my face was going to turn out weird, because I can’t
draw,” Williams said. “I’m just glad that Ponce de Leon discovered Florida, so I could live here.” Williams’s favorite thing about Florida is the beach. He enjoys venturing beyond the sea wall at Siesta Key to look for shells. Like Williams, classmate Izabella Benas’s favorite thing about Florida is the beach, particularly Anna Maria Island. “I think the project was really cool,” Benas said. “I never knew about Ponce de Leon, but I knew there was someone looking for the Fountain of Youth. He never found it.” Although Ponce de Leon never found the fountain, the memory of his Floridian discovery lives on in schools such as Nelson. Contact Amber Jurgensen at ajurgensen@plantcityobserver. com.
by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor
Advocates believe the platform will attract more tourists.
P.C. secures $25,000 for train platform The plans are in the preliminary stages, but organizers already have many of the details on track. A new plan to create a trainviewing platform next to the Plant City Union Depot is gaining steam. Members of the community, downtown merchants, Plant City and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce met April 17, to discuss the details. The platform will be situated on the south side of the depot about 3 feet off the ground, so viewers will be in line with the sill of the box car. An additional platform will give railroad enthusiasts an overhead view, sitting 14 feet above the track in a tower. The project is estimated to take no longer than six months to complete. Project coordinators already have secured a $25,000 grant from CSX for the construction. They have applied for another grant but will not know its status until the end of the year. The anticipated cost for the project is no more than $200,000. “No city monies will be used,” Mayor Mike Sparkman said. David Miller has been appointed chair of the capital campaign. “We have to expand the vision and scope to make this project a commemoration of railroad heritage,” Miller said. “Plant City wouldn’t be here without the railroad.” To honor the heritage, organizers also discussed adding a collection of memorabilia around the platform. Organizers hope the platform not only will provide a safe viewing area for hobbyists but also bring people to Plant City. About 25 trains come through the town every day. “Downtown merchants will not believe what will happen when we get this,” Lizz Harmon, of Harmon Tampa Public Relations, said. Harmon along with her husband, “railfan” Danny Harmon, were brought in to help generate buzz about the platform. The organizers have looked at the “Folkston Funnel” viewing platform in Georgia as a model. Folkston has about 60 trains daily. Contact Amber Jurgensen at ajurgensen@plantcityobserver. com.
n o i s t ! a l u t a r g n Co Jordan Williams Blueberry Festival Queen
Love Dad, Mom & Family
We are so proud of you becoming the 1st Blueberry Festival Queen. God gave us a jewel when he gave us you!
n o i s t ! a l u t a r g n Co Chloe Tew Jr. Teen Queen We are so proud of you!
Love Mommy, Jamie, Kaleb, Nina, and Papa
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
STADIUM / 1
IN OTHER NEWS
Although City Commissioner Rick Lott expressed similar disappointment, ultimately he supported the decision to reject the bid. “I’m very disappointed,” he said. “I was hoping for this to be resolved, but obviously, we’re not quite there yet.” California-based Big League Dreams builds replicas of famous baseball stadiums, such as Boston’s Fenway Park, New York’s Yankee Stadium and Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The stadiums are designed to accommodate a variety of sports, including youth baseball, youth fast-pitch softball and adult slow-pitch baseball. Currently, the company operates parks in California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas. Big League Dreams’ interest in bringing its replica stadiums to Plant City dates back several years. The city approved in October 2011, a 30-year license agreement with the company. Before that approval, city staff spent 18 months reviewing Big League Dreams’ operations in other states. Under the agreement, Plant City would pay Big League Dreams a $450,000 licensing fee to ensure the company did not build a similar location within a 40-mile-by-30mile oval around Plant City Stadium. Big League Dreams officials did not return repeated inquiries seeking comment. Horwedel said the new request for proposals will launch the first week in May. The city will keep the request open for two to four weeks and then reevaluate any proposals it receives. Depending on the details submitted by the applicants, it is possible that the delay caused by this week’s rejection won’t affect the timing of welcoming a new owner or tenant. “It is possible that we can take 30 days or more off the back end,” Horwedel said. The city began soliciting for proposals for Plant City Stadium earlier this year. The stadium has not had a tenant since the Cincinnati Reds moved its spring training program following the 1997 season. The
• The city ordered the condemnation of the two structures at 1207 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. • Commissioners authorized the purchase of a Caterpillar 305E CR Mini Hydraulic Excavator from Ring Power Corporation, for $56,819. • The commission approved a contract with Tecta America West Florida LLC to install a new membrane on the roof of the Plant City Police Department. Total cost is $225,097. • The city will change the hours of the McCall Park restrooms to accommodate public use. Beginning May 20, the restrooms will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The extended hours will cost the city an extra $6,756 in janitorial services, $4,808 in consumables, and a one-time capital expenditure of $2,500 to install hand dryers, automatic light-switch sensors, lockable toiletpaper dispensers, signage and more. stadium costs the city about $387,000 annually. None of these negotiations affect the short-term lease agreement the city has with VSI Tampa Bay, which is hosting four soccer teams at the stadium through August, with the possibility of extending through September. VSI Director of Soccer Clay Roberts said his organization was working on a proposal but missed the 2 p.m. April 1 deadline. “We did submit a proposal to the city; however, we were working to a 5 p.m. deadline, not realizing it was a 2 p.m. deadline,” he said. “Our mistake.” Roberts said VSI will submit its plan when the request for bids is reopened next month. “We are grateful that the opportunity is still there and plan on submitting again once it is released,” he said. Contact Michael Eng at email@example.com.
n o i s t ! a l u t a r g n Co allyson glover First Runner Up Teen Division CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
You make us so proud.
Clockwise from above:
Dad, Mom and Nick
Survivors were given a carnation before the first lap. Even this little boy showed his support by wearing a breast cancer T-shirt.
n o i s t ! a l u t a r g n Co savannah jenkins We are so proud of you! You always find joy and fun in everything you do!!
We are so proud of you! You are our shining star. We love you so much! Love, Daddy, Mommy, Hannah, Emma, and Landon
Tiny Miss Blueberry Queen
Mini Bud Blueberry Queen
We love you!! Daddy, Mommy, GiGi, Gpa, Grandpa, Aunt Kayla, Uncle Jarrod, and JJ
n o i s t ! a l u t a r g n Co AvA Rose Futch
A 13-school children’s choir ended capped off the Relay.
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
joyful occasion by Michael Eng | Managing Editor
Queena enjoyed an afternoon with good friends.
Queena celebrates in style at Keel & Curley Winery Queena, the woman formerly known as the Bloomingdale Library attack survivor, celebrated her 23rd birthday April 20, at Keel & Curley Winery. The celebration included a special prayer vigil led by Plant City’s Chaplain Ret. Maj. Daniel Middlebrooks. Then, Queena surprised everyone by standing and dancing with Christopher Tolisano, an athletic trainer with whom Queena has been working for about a year. For more photos, visit PlantCityObserver.com.
Sales, Service & Repair All Brands • Expert Mobile Home Repairs We Do Warranty On All Brands Wyley (813) 997-3307 Terry (813) 416-3178
Wyley F. Johnson A/C & Heating Inc.
Eye Exams Available Today
• • • • • •
Comprehensive medical eye exams with the latest state-of-the-art Diagnostic Technology Thousands of frames to offer from Economy to Designer Eyeglasses in about an hour Walk-ins Welcome Locally owned and operated for over 35 years Virtually all medical & vision insurance accepted
102 Henry Ave. Plant City, Florida 33563
Compassion. ExCEllEnCE. REliability. BAYADA Home Health Care is a trusted leader in providing clinical care and support services at home for adults of all ages. There’s a difference with BAYADA
Healthcare providers, family caregivers and the patient all play an important role in maintaining a patient’s good health after a medical discharge. BAYADA Home Health Care can make improvements to the hospital discharge plan that will improve the transition to a rehabilitation facility, nursing home or your home.
• Specializing in assistive care and nursing services. • Rigorous background checks on all employees as well as hands-on skills assessments. • Services available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
www.bayada.com • 813.754.4805
To arrange care or learn more about home health care services. 110133
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
by Matt Mauney | Associate Editor
Jeffries hopes to follow path of past festival presidents After decades of being involved with the agricultural side of the festival, Jim Jeffries takes over for Ron Gainey as president of the Florida Strawberry Festival.
1401 MLK BLVD. PLANT CITY, FL 33563 813.752.7763
LAKELAND :: WINTER HAVEN :: BARTOW :: RIVERVIEW
A LeAsing Community
Hunters Creek Retirement Community 62+ Active Independent Living Community Independent Retirement
and so much more!
• 2 and 3 Bedroom Villas • Gated Entry • Paved Walking Paths • Fitness Center • Swimming Pool
• Spacious Master Suites
• Single Car Garage • Covered Courtyard Area
Plant City Owned & Operated
• Zero Entry Shower
You only have one chance to make a first impression – make yours count.
• Roomy Walk-In Closets • Full Appliance Package, Including Washer and Dryer
PROVISION CLEANING SERVICE
• Pets Welcome
Providing Clean Service You Expect!
Future Assisted Living At Hunters Creek Coming soon 110153
Pens Mugs shirts Bags hats awards Pins etC...
Ph (813) 737-4600 | Cell (813) 764-5535 | www.Bpowerfulpromos.com
• Wheelchair Accessible Model Home Hours M-F 10am-5pm | Sat. by Appt. 784 Hunter Creek Dr. | Plant City, FL 33563 I-4 to S. Alexander St. (Exit 21) Left onto W. Grant St. Go 1/2 mile, Turn Right onto Hunter St. - Community on Left.
You Think It. We Ink It!
steer and swine show competitions at the festival. “It’s not the largest facility around, but in my opinion, it is the best facility for youth to use to exhibit animals,” Jeffries said of the Madonia Center. Although Jeffries doesn’t foresee any major changes to the format of the festival in the next two years, he said plans for major construction could begin, including a larger, permanent home for Neighborhood Village, an expo for homemade and handcrafted items created by members of the community. Neighborhood Village, which recently celebrated its third year, has been held at the Milton E. Hull Building. “We see a need for a facility for the Neighborhood Village, probably near our main office,” he AGRICULTURE EDUCATOR Courtesy photo said. “It’s an important exA teacher of agribusihibit for us, because it is ness since 1969, Jeffries Jim Jeffries has served such a community event. was involved with the fes- on the board of directors It’s a large exhibit that detival on the youth agricul- with the Florida Strawberry serves more space, but obture side since the early Festival since 2004. viously, a lot depends on 1970s and later served on various committees for livestock shows. finances available.” His career in education included 10-year stints at East Bay High School and Plant GROUP EFFORT Although the Florida Strawberry Festival City High School. “Agriculture has always been a big part brings in people from all over the state, the of the festival, and I was very involved with country and even the world, Jeffries knows that it is a Plant City event and something that part of it,” Jeffries said. In 1989, Jeffries became the supervisor in which the community takes pride. For an event of its magnitude — bringof agribusiness and natural resources education with Hillsborough County Public ing in nearly 200,000 people during the Schools, a position Pam Walden holds to- final weekend this year — Jeffries noted none of it would be possible without the day. While there, Jeffries served as a chair- many volunteers, most of whom are local. “We simply couldn’t do it without them,” man for the FFA exhibits at the festival. “My position worked closely with the he said. “They are what makes this thing district FFA, so I had close contact with the what it is, and we are so very appreciative schools and the teachers,” he said. “Even of that.” The big-name entertainment the festival though I was out of teaching at that time, I brings in is one of the reasons the festival kind of considered myself a teacher.” Jeffries retired from the supervisor posi- has grown to what it is today. Jeffries rection in 2008, but remained as a member of ognized all of the people involved for continuing to bring in top-notch entertainthe board of directors with the festival. ment, including Blake Shelton and Alan Jackson this year, all while maintaining a FOLLOWING FOOTSTEPS Jeffries hopes to follow in the footsteps family atmosphere. “It’s a huge part of the festival and is a of past festival presidents such as Gainey and current Plant City Mayor Mike Spark- tough task to get around 22 acts that peoman, who have been instrumental in facil- ple can relate and connect with,” he said. “We certainly hope to continue that tradiity additions to the festival grounds. The Madonia Agricultural Show Cen- tion.” Contact Matt Mauney at mmauney@ ter has become a state-of-the-art, multipurpose facility that is home to the annual plantcityobserver.com.
Licensed & Insured Family Owned & Operated
(813) 764-4039 Don & Tina Cribbs Owners firstname.lastname@example.org
The Florida Strawberry Festival has built a reputation for being a family-friendly event since it began in 1930. New President Jim Jeffries plans to keep that tradition running strong. “We always try to make decisions that our community supports,” he said. “Maintaining a family atmosphere is my hope and the hope of the board.” Jeffries recently was named the new president of the Florida Strawberry Festival, taking over for Ron Gainey, who completed his two-year term this spring. Jeffries became an associate director with the Florida Strawberry Festival in 1994, and has served on the board of directors since 2004, but his involvement with the festival dates back much further.
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
animal alert by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor
Coyotes sighted in Plant City
Since the 1960s, coyotes have been on the move throughout Florida. Two years ago, a coyote killed Plant City resident Amanda Rodriguez’s box terrier chihuahua mix. She found it in the field around her house, the contents of its body eaten. For a long time after the incident, she and her husband, Frank, didn’t see the coyote. But now — what she thinks is the same coyote — has returned. Not only is it stalking the woods around her field on South Frontage Road, the coyote is bold enough to come all the way up to the house. “It paces on the side of the house,” Rodriguez said. Rodriguez’s main concern lies with her four children. Three daughters live with her. One is 11 and big enough to scare the coyote off. But two are just babies — 3 and 1. “I can’t leave my kids outside to play by the house alone with their older sister,” Rodriguez said. A neighbor shares her concern. She came to the Rodriguez’s looking for her cat several weeks ago. Within days of the neighbor’s visit, the coyote was spotted for the first time. Rodriguez called Hillsborough County Animal Services to see what they could do about the creature. “They said there was nothing they could do,” Rodriguez said. “They told me I could shoot it. But I have kids. I can’t just go hunt down and kill this thing.”
TRAP OR COEXIST
Because animal services does not aid in the relocation of nuisance animals, Rodriguez’s neighbor hired a trapper. Rodriguez said she has only seen them come out twice. One time, it began to rain, and the trapper left immediately. The professional left traps at the border between Rodriguez’s field and woods. The traps caught a raccoon and two armadillos that sat for days, attracting vultures and possibly the infamous coyote. The trapper cost about $300. A quote from Allstar Animal Removal, the first Google hit when searching “Plant City trappers,” lands between $389 and $489. The quote depends on surrounding area, whether it’s wooded or in an urban setting and other factors. Allstar trappers comes for two weeks, every other day. The Hillsborough County government website has a list of Hillsborough County trappers. Four are listed for animal trapping, only two of which will trap coyotes. One of these trappers is Trey Larson, who has been hunting and trapping coyotes since he was 13. Within the past four years, he has taken up the hobby more. Larson will trap for free in most cases. He said there are three ways to trap a coyote. One more humane method uses Havahart traps. The trap consists of a cage, with a box inside. In the box, trappers can put live or dead bait such as rabbits or even pieces of raw chicken. When the coyote steps into the cage, it hits a peddle that closes the cage door. In northern states, the foothold trap is used. Trappers cover the trap with foliage and surround it with bait. When the coyote steps on it, the trap clamps around it’s foot. The trap is illegal Florida. The third way is to buy a predator call, which can be
found at any sporting goods store. By setting a decoy up near a predator call, trappers can camouflage themselves and wait until a coyote comes to the call, thinking there is a wounded animal. Then, the trapper turns hunter by shooting the coyote. “This is the most effective way to lure the coyote,” Larson said. “Traps can take days.” On private property with the permission of the owner, coyotes can be hunted year-round. “Their population is exploding,” Larson said. “They are everywhere. Even places you wouldn’t expect, (such as) neighborhoods.”
HOW TO HANDLE
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Wildlife Assistant Biologist Angeline Scotten said she isn’t aware of any specific studies of the coyote population, but they have spread, since being introduced in the 1960s, in the Panhandle. Scotten works out of the Hillsborough County Office and covers 12 counties from Hernando to Lee. Of the 12 counties she oversees, there are only two from which she has not received calls regarding coyotes. “There is a lot of myth that if you see a coyote during the day, they must be diseased,” Scotten said. “We know that they’ll be out 24/7. Especially right now. They have pups; so they are working overtime to feed their pups.” Other calls are nuisance-based, such as coyotes bothering livestock or eating pet food off the front porch. So what should you do if you see one?
“We encourage people to scare them away,” Scotten said. “Coyotes are timid. They are generally easy to scare.” Scotten advises uses pots and pans, an air horn or even just standing ground and yelling at the coyote. Make sure to cause noise until the coyote is no longer in sight — or else they become accustomed to just turning their back to the noise and returning later. “You want to make them feel unwanted and uncomfortable,” Scotten said. If the coyotes are becoming braver and no longer seem bothered by the of noise, then call a trapper, she advises. To help deter coyotes, feed pets indoors, secure livestock feed and trash and remove bird feeders. Contact Amber Jurgensen at email@example.com.
Buy your Festival Reserve Blueberry Wine at the Blueberry Festival on Saturday, April 27 (8am - 6pm) & Sunday, April 28, 2013 (10am - 6pm)
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Angeline Scotten: “It’s important for residents to know that coyotes are here to stay. They are part of the environment now. We have learned to coexist with bears, panthers and other animals. The same has to be done with coyotes.”
The Plant City Observer is published once weekly, on Thursdays. It provides free home delivery to several neighborhoods in Plant City. The Plant City Observer also can be found in many commercial locations throughout Plant City and at our office, 110 E. Reynolds St., Suite 100-A.
• Free Admission • Free Entertainment
• Free Kids Area • Live Entertainment • U-Pick Blueberries • Over 100 Food and Craft Vendors
If you wish to discontinue home delivery or if you wish to suspend home delivery temporarily, call Linda Lancaster at 704-6850.
* $5 Parking
For information about vendor spaces, media inquiries, sponsorship, or general information about the festival, send us an email or call: 813.752.9100
Call Veronica Prostko at 704-6850.
SEND US YOUR NEWS
We want to hear from you. Let us know about your community events, celebrations and family member achievements. To contact us, send your information via: Email: Michael Eng, firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: The Plant City Observer, 110 E. Reynolds St., Suite 100-A, Plant City, FL 33563
The Plant City Observer LLC Locally Owned
Publisher of the Plant City Observer and PlantCityObserver.com
President / Felix Haynes Directors / Nate Kilton, Ed Verner, Matt Walsh
110 E. Reynolds St., Suite 100A, Plant City, Fla. 813-704-6850 www.PlantCityObserver.com
5202 W. Thonotosassa Rd. Plant City, FL 33565 email@example.com Cindy’s
Sewing & Alterations
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
OBSERVEROBITUARIES Soil key to garden health Permaculture Living
I have observed that many traditional an inch or two of mulch (leaves, straw, gardeners over-emphasize the imporwood chips). Try using the organic matter tance of fertilizers and chemical pest available on your land as much as poscontrol when establishing their seasonal sible, and don’t be limited by the material garden beds. list I mentioned. When building this bed, This ritual of fortifying the bed water each layer just to make sure with manufactured agents to feed that everything inside the mound and protect the young plants is is moist. common wisdom that has been Your new bed will be 12-plus promoted and passed around for inches in height. You can have fun quite some time. The gardener with this and be creative. I have inspects her garden beds and sets built one nearly 5 feet tall, using about pulling out the unplanned large branches and timber. Your wild greens (aka weeds), disposes garden bed now has a mixture of of them (usually in the garbage elements, a mound of natural orpail), turns and tills the soil to loosganic matter that will break down BOB en the ground and bring in some Abbenzeller over the growing season. This oxygen, then adds her nitrogennatural process produces humus phosphorous-potassium mixture inside the bed that, throughout a from a polypropylene bag. Her bed is now year or so, becomes a natural sponge to ready to be planted. hold water and other nutrients. In permaculture gardening, the primary The construction of this bed also will foundation of a strong vibrant garden is have a substantial quantity of air pockets the soil itself. My preferred method of from the mounding of coarse materials, permaculture growing is using raised beds tree limbs, etc. It creates air space for the and creating most of my soil by myself. plant roots and all the aerobic microorYou may ask how do I go about creating ganisms that populate the bed. It leaves soil? A great way to get started is to first room for varieties of insects, as well. define where your bed(s) will be located. You also can amend the new bed with If you like, you can dig the area out (6 to fish emulsion and some rock dust. Every 12 inches deep) and place the soil to the growing season (three here in Plant City), side (you can skip this if you have ample top the bed off with a couple of inches of good compost). Then, cover this area with compost from your ongoing compost pile several sheets of newspaper or a layer of (an absolute must). Plant right into the cardboard. Layer, or sheet mulch, on top added compost. You now have created of the paper. An example may be to start your own growing medium and begun with a layer of animal manure, followed making your own soil. by piling on some twigs, brush or tree You’re in this for the long run. Be pabranches. Next, add leaves or wood chips, tient. Grand plant results may be immedithen a layer of grass clippings or green ate, but it could take a couple of seasons leaves. Finally, another layer of manure of building the soil to get there. or leaves (chopped will break down more Bob Abbenzeller is a certified permacquickly) and kitchen scraps (egg shells, ulture designer and volunteer at the Plant etc.) topped off with compost. Finally, City Commons Community Garden. For put back the soil you dug out to start with more, email to pcpermaculture@gmail. onto the top of the bed and cover with com or call (813) 489-5520.
Lillian Gertrude Graham
Lillian Gertrude Graham, 100, died April 16, 2013. She is survived by a daughter, Linda Bradbury, of Inverness; two grandsons, Rick Diamond, of Inverness, and Tony (Cindy) Diamond, of Floral City; one granddaughter, Cheryl Barwick, of Waycross, Ga.; niece, Faye (Chuck) Hall, of Plant City; six great-grandchildren; 15 great-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charlie Graham; grandson, Keith Diamond; brother, Paul Leath; sister-inlaw, Myrtle; and niece, Joyce Bradbury. The family would like to thank hospice, and especially Jose, and the staff at Heritage Oak Assisted Living Facility. Condolences may be made at wellsmemorial.com. Hurmon Howard, 77, of Plant City, died April 17, 2013, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his wife, Telatha Howard; daughters, Lori Howard and Jeannine Wansley (Keith); grandchildren,Victoria Wansley, and Tyler Wansley, who attends college in Burlington, Vt.; brother, Ron Howard (Brenda); and many other family members and friends. The family is grateful to Dr. Baskin for his excellent care, compassion and comfort he gave and the kindness and spiritual support he showed Telatha; and to Community Care Center, for its excellent care. Memorial contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, michaeljfox.org, or LifePath Hospice, 12470 Telecom Drive, Suite 300, Temple Terrace, FL 33637. Condolences may be made at hopewellfuneral.com.
Agustin Jimenez, 85, of Plant City, died April 13, 2013. He was born in Puerto Rico, to the late Graciana Colon-Vargas and Juan Jimenez-Colon. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Alejandrina Jimenez (Diaz-Gonzales); children, Judy Jimenez, Vilma Evelyn Evans (Wayne), Elizabeth “Isa” Medina (Eli), Agustin Jimenez Jr. (Teresa), Jose Luis Jimenez, Norberto Jimenez (Magdalena), Lillian E. Deliz (Dickson), Maira I. Chillura (Salvatore); 11 grandchildren; one greatgrandchild; and sibling, Generosa Rios. He was preceded in death by grandson, Manuel Vera, III (“Lito”); and siblings, Ana Rosa Mercado (“Rosita”), Jose Jimenez (“Pepe”), Jorge Luis Jimenez, Evarista Perez (“Eva”), Lydia Ester Jimenez and Gilberto Jimenez. Larry Long, 72, of Plant City, died April 9, 2013, at his home. Born Jan. 11, 1941, in Saginaw, Mich., he was the son of the late Noah Long and the late Edna Wenger Long. He was the husband of the late Bonnie Shoemaker Long. Mr. Long was a veteran of the U.S. Army and will be interred at Florida National Cemetery, in Bushnell. Survivors include his sons, Joel Long (Samantha) and Christopher Long; daughter, Ponja Hemphill (Rich); brothers, Don Long (Anna Mae) and Chuck Long (Pat); sisters, Norma Richmond, Joyce Green, Shirley Yancer and Evelyn Perry; 12 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Lamar, Bob and Ken Long; and sister, Eleanor Mann.
ATTENTION Homeowners: Have you recently been denied Homeowner’s Insurance?
WE ARE HERE TO HELP!!!
We have both our home and auto with Rhett, and I feel secure that he’s always looking out for my best interests when it comes to insurance. He always keeps me in the loop on any changes in the industry and how it could affect us. If we ever have a question or concern, I know he’s right there to respond. - Chad Morrow
SAVE% UP TO
Better Services, Better Prices.
Your Home Town Funeral Home.
You owe it to yourself, to call us before you make a mistake that could cost your family hundreds or thousands of dollars, on a cremation or a funeral.
Many of your neighbors in Plant City already have!
Call now to speak to a local agent that will help YOU protect your Home. Rhett Rollyson President Rolly Rollyson Sr. Advisor
We also offer GREAT RATES for Auto, Boat and Commercial Insurance.
FamilY owned and oPeraTed
david w. wolf Owner Timothy J. Haught Founder
We never stopped writing in Florida!
OR EMAIL: RHETT@FEARNOWINS.COM www.rollysonfearnow.com
CALL NOW 813-707-1000
we Honor all exiSTing Pre-need Funeral arrangemenTS
YOUTH | HIGH SCHOOL | GOLF | SENIORS | COMMUNITY | TENNIS
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Sammy Tyler anchors Lady Chargers. 11
SHOW ME THE MAUNEY
Title well deserved for Crest
Collapses and letdowns happen all the time in sports. Whether its brackets busting when No. 2 seeds fall to 15 seeds in the NCAA basketball tournament or the New England Patriots having their perfect season shattered in the Super Bowl by the New York Giants, upsets can be just as popular as MATT teams winning MAUNEY championships. However, when upsets happen in high school sports, they carry different emotions. After all, the teams being upset are 14- to
SEE MAUNEY / PAGE 12
rivalries redrawn by Matt Mauney | Associate Editor
Coaches discuss changes to districts Plant City’s three high schools will make up half of the new Class 7A District 7 in basketball and volleyball for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Rivalries will be heightened for at least the next two years for area basketball and volleyball teams, after the Florida High School Athletic Association released the final state series assignments for the sports earlier this month. Beginning next year, Plant City, Durant and Strawberry Crest will join Brandon, East Bay and Tampa Bay Tech in the new Class 7A District 7 for girls and boys basketball and girls volleyball. This will mark the first time all three Plant City area schools will compete in the same district in those sports. Earlier this year, the
SEE DISTRICTS / PAGE 12
THURSDAY, april 25, 2013
the right way by Matt Mauney | Associate Editor
The Four Cs Former Durant standout and current University of Florida softball player Kelsey Horton is a finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award. Kelsey Horton has long mastered the art of balancing academics and sports, all while staying involved in her community. It was something she did during her time as a two-sport athlete at Durant High School and something she has continued to do through her senior season as an outfielder for the University of Florida softball team. Because of her efforts, Horton is one of 10 finalists for softball for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, a national competition managed by Premier Sports Management that honors the attributes of NCAA Division I senior student-athletes who excel in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award is designed exclusively for college seniors in their final year of eligibility. “I’m very honored and happy to be a finalist for this award,” Horton said. “There have been a couple other girls here at UF that have gone to the finalist stage, so to be in the same category as them is a great honor.” Candidates are selected in 10 NCAA sports by coaches, national media and fans. Horton was one of 30 candidates for softball, before the field was narrowed to 10 finalists. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 Women’s College World Series May 30 through June 5, in Oklahoma City. Fans can vote for their favorites on seniorclassaward.com or the award Facebook page through May 13.
A 2009 graduate of Durant, Horton was a part of three district championships and helped to lead her team to the Class 6A state championship game in 2008, when she earned all-state honors as a junior. “I haven’t had the chance to come back and see any games because it’s during our season. But I know they won state last year and that was really exciting to hear,” she said. Current Durant head softball coach Matt Carter, who coached that 2008 runnerup team, said she was a great player and an even better person. “She was a social kid and had good morals
and a good personality,” Carter said. “We enjoyed having her and we’re proud of what she’s doing.” With the Florida Gators, Horton made the 2010 SEC AllFreshman Team and the AllSEC and NFCA All-Southeast Region Second Team in 2012. As a senior, she has started in right field for the majority of the season and is batting .298 with 29 RBIs. Her eight home runs this season rank best on the team. The Gators are having a great year with a 45-5 record and are 14-4 in conference play. “This team is different from any other team I’ve been on at Florida,” Horton said. “The team chemistry is great, and it’s a fun group of girls to be around.” With just a month left in her playing career, Horton said she is trying to “make the most of it.” She started playing slow pitch when she was just 5 years old. “It’s crazy to think that it’s almost over, but I’m just trying to take it all in,” she said. “I just want to have a good rest of the season and finish out strong. I always knew that softball had to end at some point, and I’m just excited to begin the next chapter in my life.”
love with Auburn, the campus and the program there,” she said. “I will always be a Gator fan, though.” Horton’s accolades off the diamond are as impressive as her success on the field. A nutritional science major currently holding a 3.75 GPA, she has made the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and was a Capital One Academic All-District 3 in 2011 and an AllAmerican in 2012. She was also a NFCA All-America ScholarAthlete in 2012. At Durant, Horton was an AllAcademic Athlete in volleyball and softball for three years. “Academics have always been very important to me since high school, and I’ve just tried to work hard these last four years in the classroom,” she said. Furthermore, Horton has remained active in com-
munity service. She volunteers with the March of Dimes and helps with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors. The Gators softball team has adopted one of the children this season as part of the Jaclyn’s Guardian Angels campaign. “The kids get to come to our games and feel like they’re a part of the team,” Horton said. “It’s a great experience.” Horton was a 2011-12 SAAC
To vote for Kelsey, visit seniorclassaward. com/athletes/kelsey_ horton. Voting ends May 13. Softball Representative, the 2012-13 UF SAAC Vice President and a member of the 2012 SEC Community Service Team. As a member of the Goodwill Gators, Horton does various public outreach efforts in Gainesville, including visiting elementary schools. Horton said she doesn’t know much about the Senior CLASS Award. The Gators softball team has a “no social media” policy, so she hasn’t been active in campaigning efforts, but said it would be an honor to win. “All my teammates on the team have been really supportive and remind me about it,” she said. “I have played against some of the finalists and know that there are some great athletes I’m going up against. So that’s humbling.” Contact Matt Mauney at mmauney@plantcityobserver. com.
That next chapter will be pharmacy school at Auburn University. “I fell in
Photo by Jim Burgess, UF Communications
Kelsey Horton is hitting .298 with 29 RBI for the Florida Gators this season. She has a 3.75 GPA and has been accepted into the pharmacy program at Auburn University.
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
DISTRICTS / 9
MAUNEY / 9
FHSAA announced all three football teams will compete in the same district for the first time, beginning this fall. Other sports are likely to follow the trend in the coming weeks, including new state assignments for baseball and softball. The FHSAA releases new state series assignments ever two years, based on student population and geography. After preliminary assignments are released, schools have the opportunity to submit appeals to the FHSAA. The final assignments for basketball and volleyball were released April 12. Class 7A comprises schools with fall 2012 student populations of 1,878 to 2,254 for basketball and 1,878 to 2,248 for volleyball. “I am looking forward to the new district for a couple reasons,” said Plant City High volleyball coach Jessica Thornton, who guided her team to the region quarterfinals in her first season at PCHS. “I played in an area where, every year, we competed against the same conference with schools that were local to ours. It built strong competition and tradition for our sports programs. I believe, for our Plant City schools, this is going to put an extra emphasis on what is at stake when we match up.” Plant City will lose district champ Riverview from its district but will welcome Strawberry Crest — the 6A-11 runner-up — and Durant, a program trying to reestablish itself as a perennial power in volleyball under head coach Brittany Wilson. The Lady Cougars fell in the 8A-7 semifinals to Wharton last season but picked up 3-0 wins over Plant City and Strawberry Crest in the regular season. “All three of us Plant City area
18-year-old kids, not athletes on full-scholarships or professional players with multimillion-dollar contracts. The Strawberry Crest softball team avoided an upset in the Class 6A-11 tournament last week, holding off Leto 3-0. It was a Leto team that upset the top-seeded Lady Chargers a year ago in the district tournament. Older and more focused, Strawberry Crest, again the No. 1 seed, was determined not to let that happen again. Thanks to 12 strikeouts in a one-hit performance by pitcher Sammy Tyler, SCHS got the Leto monkey off of its back and charged into the district championship, where it beat tournament host Sickles 3-0 after another strong performance from Tyler. Although the result was what the Lady Chargers wanted, the numbers were a far cry from the performances earlier in the season, where they outscored district opponents 119-1 in 10 games. It could have been postseason nerves, but I think it’s safe to say that SCHS wasn’t overlooking anyone after the way it went out last season. For the Lady Chargers, it didn’t matter by how much they won. Now that they are district champions, they can turn their focus to regionals and some less familiar opponents. That starts Thursday against Palmetto, the District 12 runner-up. SCHS has only lost two games this season, in one-run games against Chamberlain
Plant City and Durant high schools will continue their rivalry in basketball next year. coaches are highly competitive, so this will help bring some more attention out this way for exciting volleyball,” Thornton said. “Each school has some different excitement going on that will be interesting to see against each other.” In girls basketball, Strawberry Crest becomes a favorite, on paper, to win the new 7A-7 next season. Plant City, Brandon, East Bay and Durant all finished under .500 last year, while the Lady Chargers fell to 6A-11 champion Sickles in the tournament title game before later falling to them in the region semifinals, ending their 20-8 season. Like Strawberry Crest, Sickles also will move up to 7A, but will compete in District 8. Tampa Bay Tech looks to be Strawberry Crest’s biggest threat in the new district. The Lady Titans went 17-10 overall last season and won the 7A-8 tournament before losing in the region quarterfinals to Bartow. “I feel like this probably should have been the district all along,” said SCHS head coach Latosha Lewis. “A lot of these teams in this district are rebuilding, but we’ve
already done our rebuilding. We feel confident that we can make a run at a district championship and make a playoff run.” For area boys basketball teams, Strawberry Crest is also coming off the best season of the three programs. The Chargers went 18-2 last season but fell to Sickles in the district semifinals. Trent Tice and his Durant team are looking forward to having the new district comprising Eastern Hillsborough County teams. Durant and Plant City have built a nice rivalry over the years, including a battle for the Ron Frost rivalry trophy, and should benefit from being in the same district. “I love the new district; it will be a much shorter travel schedule and it will emphasize local rivalries,” Tice said. Durant defeated Plant City twice last season, once in a preseason classic and again in an outof-district game late in the season. Durant currently has possession of the Ron Frost Trophy. Contact Matt Mauney at mmauney@plantcityobserver. com.
(9-8) and Bartow (6-5), last year’s Class 7A state champion and runner-up, respectively. With that kind of résumé, even after low-scoring wins in the district tournament, the Lady Chargers shouldn’t be afraid of anyone. If Tyler (1.09 ERA) keeps pitching the way she has, SCHS will be tough to beat, much less if they start swinging the bats the way they did leading up to the district tournament. SCHS currently has four players — Mia Fung, Cacey Simmons, Trystan Reibsome and Aly Masessa — batting over .400 with at least 50 at bats. Upsets can happen at all levels, especially with young high school players, but something special seems to be building at the Dover school located off of Interstate 4. You don’t have to look far to find equal success in other area programs. The Durant softball team repeated as Class 8A-7 champions last week and open regionals against East Lake Thursday, at home. No strangers to winning, the defending Class 8A state champions have been on a roll since dropping their first two district games of the season. Plant City fell short of winning the Class 7A-8 championship last week, losing 3-2 to East Bay, but the Lady Raiders began the regional stage this week as they faced Bartow Wednesday night. It is a great sign that all three area high school softball teams are finding success and should make for interesting years to come if the new reclassification finds them in the same district and classification next year.
Your Historic Restoration, Redevelopment & (813) 288-9335 Zoning Specialists (813) 293-4663
Scott Rigsbee Vice President
Perry Electric & Maintenance Inc.
Hometown Service Professionals LV4698
• COMMERCIAL • RESIDENTIAL • INDUSTRIAL
Call us for a quote on your next construction project
Office (813) 241-4219 / Cell (813)310-7748
Making Your Home & Office a Better Place.
Get a FREE 2nd Opinion BEFORE a Major Repair or Purchase CAC1816446
Meeting ALL your cleaning needs! •Pressure Washing •Maid/Janitorial Free Estimates!
•Carpet/Upholstery Cleaning Roof • Cleaning
True Plumbers specializes in leak detection & Leak Detection & Video video inspections. We offer services from minor Specialists repairs to Inspection repipes. We have quality plumbers with integrity at a great rate. We offer FREE estimates. True Plumbers is licensed & insured. General www.TruePlumbers.com Manager, Jodi Holzhauer has 20 years of plumbing experience! We offer a 24 hour emergency service for residential and commercial customers. There’s no job we can’t handle. Give us a call today for any of your plumbing needs.
863 - 667- 6364 863Jodi - 667- 6364 firstname.lastname@example.org www.trueplumbers.com LV4838
Jodi 863 - 667- 6364 email@example.com
Leak Detection & Video Inspection Specialists www.TruePlumbers.com
General Contractor, CGC 045134 Roofing Contractor, CCC 052495
KAL-MAR CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
athlete of the week
for the kids by Matt Mauney | Associate Editor
by Matt Mauney | Associate Editor
sammy tyler Sammy Tyler has found a home with the Strawberry Crest softball team. The junior transferred to SCHS, after spending two years at Armwood and has become the ace of the Lady Chargers pitching staff. Tyler helped guide her new team to the Class 6A-11 championship last week. She struck out 20 batters in the two district tournament games, after coming off a injury.
Have you always been a pitcher? Yes, I always said I was going to be a pitcher. I like being the center of attention and being able to know where everything is going and control it.
Margaret and Bruce Rodwell and Chris Sorah
Annual Children’s Classic tees off for 19th year South Florida Baptist Hospital teamed up with the Plant City Kiwanis Club and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce for the 19th Children’s Classic Golf Tournament April 19, at Walden Lake Golf and Country Club. The best-ball tournament took place on the Lake and Hills courses at Walden Lake and also included a putting and chipping contest.
Also, for the first year, participants entered to win a golf cart. According to tournament chair Jodi Stevens, 200 golfers signed up this year. Money raised from the tournament will be split among the three organizations, but all will benefit local youth in some way. “It all goes back to the kids,” Stevens said. Fred’s Kitchen provided a lunch for golfers, and the hospital sponsored a steak dinner by poolside after the tournament.
What was the transition like coming from Armwood? Coming here was much easier than being over at Armwood. I gel much better with these girls and feel comfortable with them. I know they believe in me on the mound. I just feel more welcomed here. On what aspects of your pitching have you been working? I’ve been working on my rise ball and my changeup. I got hurt just three weeks ago, and I’m just starting to get back to being myself. Have you ever had to deal with something like that? It was a pulled quad. I’ve been hurt before but never anything like that. The thing
going through my head was that I just needed to get better to get back with my team. It’s getting much easier to throw now. Tell us about your experience in the two district tournament games. I mean, I was hurting, but I knew I just had to get through those games, and with as solid as my defense is, I did. After SCHS got upset by Leto last year when you were at Armwood, what was it like being on this team and playing them this year? I knew they were nervous, but I knew they were ready. And I was ready. I almost threw a perfect game. Have you ever thrown a perfect game? Not in high school. I’ve thrown no-hitters, though. My last perfect game was over the summer, in a travel ball tournament, in Tennessee. You’re committed to St. Leo University. How did that come about? It was the summer before my sophomore year when I committed. The campus was amazing, and coach Conway is just a great coach. I felt comfortable with him.
We are here for you and your family.
We are Plant City’s oldest and largest hometown financial institution. We’ve been helping our neighbors since 1954. We make all decisions locally and offer all the modern banking services you expect.
PLANT CITY – Main Office, 102 W. Baker Street, 752-6193 • WALDEN WOODS – 2400 Jim Redman Parkway, 754-1844 Also offices in: BRANDON, RIVERVIEW and ZEPHYRHILLS
“Banking on a First Name Basis”
If you like the idea of doing business close to home, visit us and see how easy and friendly hometown banking can be.
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
DELAYED VICTORY by Matt Mauney | Associate Editor
The honors we’ve earned for our values belong to the people who practice them each day.
Photos by Matt Mauney
Durant’s defense and pitching were too much for Wharton.
Durant softball claims district championship
Rooted in responsibility, Mosaic is proud to be recognized for our community engagement and best practices in Florida and around the world.
It took two days to do it, but the Durant Lady Cougars are district champions. Durant defeated Wharton 5-0, in the Class 8A District 7 championship. A rain delay and power outage put a damper on things April 18. After a short rain delay, the two left-field light posts went out, followed by another downpour, eventually postponing the game until April 19, with Durant leading 4-0 in the bottom of the third. “We had a delay at state last year, but it was nothing like this, where we had to come back the next day,” said head coach Matt Carter. “This situation was OK, because we were able to come back and kind of start over, where a normal rain delay can throw you off.” It certainly helped that Durant put four runs on the scoreboard Thursday before the game was postponed. “It was weird, because we started the game in the bottom of the third with two outs,” said pitcher Paige Davis, who threw both days. “It was a little off-setting, honestly, but I just tried to keep the mentality that we were Shannon Bell hit a solo continuing a game and not homer April 18. starting a new one.” Davis got her team on the board first with an RBI single, before Shannon Bell belted a solo home run over the left-field wall in the second. “That was a blast,” Carter said of Bell’s homer. “She’s been battling an injury, so that was good to see out of her.” Madi Taylor had an RBI single in the second inning after a short rain delay and another run scored on a throwing error to give the Lady Cougars the 4-0 lead. On Friday, Payton Lewis knocked in Bell on an RBI double in the fourth to give her team some extra cushion. Durant will now host East Lake High School April 25, in the region quarterfinals.
The Mosaic Company’s 8,000 employees worldwide are dedicated to our core values of integrity, excellence, sustainability and connectivity. Our engaged workforce translates these values into meaningful action on a local and global scale with transparency and accountability. As we carry out our mission to help the world grow the food it needs, our promise is to continue community engagement initiatives and best practices for the benefit of our local and global communities. We are proud that our community engagement and best practices have recently been recognized by the following organizations:
Durant High School’s softball team repeated as district champs April 19.
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
THURS. April 18
2.65 (2012: 1.28)
TO DATE 5.86 (2012: 2.34)
Thurs., April 25 Fri., April 26 Sat., April 27 Sun., April 28 Mon., April 29 Tues., April 30 Wed., May 1
High Low 88 63 88 64 86 64 88 66 88 66 90 66 90 66
Sunrise Sunset Thurs., April 25 6:54 a.m. 7:59 p.m. Fri., April 26 6:53 a.m. 8 p.m. Sat., April 27 6:52 a.m. 8 p.m. Sun., April 28 6:51 a.m. 8:01 p.m. Mon., April 29 6:50 a.m. 8:01 p.m. Tues., April 30 6:50 a.m. 8:02 p.m. Wed., May 1 6:49 a.m. 8:03 p.m.
BLUEBERRY MARKET PRICES
SHIPPING POINT: CENTRAL AND NORTH FLORIDA FLATS 12 4.4-ounce cups 12 6-ounce cups
LOW HIGH $17 $17.50 $20 $22
Community starts with neighbors who care.
Courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture
Dee Dee Wheeler submitted this beautiful shot she took in a Plant City orange grove. The Plant City Observer, State Farm Insurance agent Tony Lee and The Corner Store have partnered to launch the new I Love Plant City Photo Contest. Weekly winners will have their photo featured in the Plant City Observer and receive a $10 gift certificate to The Corner Tony Lee CLU, Agent our town Store! Submit your photos, with aStreet caption, viaThat’s email what to Managing 1702 S Alexander is made of. line: I Love Editor Michael Eng, firstname.lastname@example.org; subject Plant City, FL 33563 Bus: 813-752-7202 Plant City. State Farm® has a long
heritage of helping out in the community. That’s why I’m proud to support Event/Charity. Get to a better State .
Need someone that speaks fluent insurance? I’m your agent for that. 1702 S Alexander Street Plant City, FL 33563
O B S E RV E R C RO S S WO R D Edited by Timothy E. Parker
Tony Lee CLU, Agent
State Farm, Bloomington, IL MAKInG COnnECTIOnS by Jill Pepper
ACROSS 1 6 12 15 19 20 21 22 23 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 37 41 42 43 45 49 50 51 52 53 54 56
CRYPTOGRAMS 1. H X G U R D U T Y D E L J U G E M V A S C D I X L O A ’ U V G I L C U L M V D H L D T H LY D J G O S Y I L U L H H V L E L C H : “ R D U X G U ” .
2. K Y F E R P V C K U V J K A T P M A V A Q V Z I W N V J T D K P L F Z H F D W N V T Z LT P P I . W N V LT J V H V Y P K Z V H Q F P H P M : “ D F R F T D W T D C E V I I T D C L N F C V W I L N K W. A M LT P P T I K H V K H C T U V K L K M ! ”
58 59 61 63 64 67 71 72 74 75 77
“So what else ___?” Bobsled type Booze abuser Planning to vote “no” Blood partner? Lumberjacks “Sands of ___ Jima” “Pants on fire” fellow Pardon, and then some ___ of Capri Pay-stub letters Second-longest human bone “What’s ___ for me?” Million-millennia period Big test Decide beforehand Better, as cuts of meat B&B patron Regret bitterly Table condiments Daniel or Noah “You’re in ___ of trouble!” Vertical stair piece Hardly a dream date Participate in a 401(k) Costa del ___ “And ___ There Were None” Greeting from Popeye Student ___ Croft (movie role for Angelina Jolie) Grinding tooth Llama cousin “Spare” item at a barbecue Girl’s make-up? Home to future ham Different from Judo gyms Challenge to a gunslinger Animal pelts
78 Founder and queen of Carthage 79 Fail to win 81 “Put ___ Happy Face” 84 Dispatched 85 Flower holder 86 Clothing size indicator 89 Blue Light Special store 91 Chemical-free, say 93 No-frills dressing 96 Kind of artist 97 Singing parts 98 Assumed identities 99 Euro’s German predecessor 103 “Beat it, kitty!” 104 Country motel 105 Large stringed instrument 106 Admirer of Beauty 107 “What did I tell you?” 110 Horn or Hatteras 112 In many places 117 Frequent occupant of Mayberry’s jail 118 Likable prez? 119 Like John Tesh’s music 120 “Return of the Jedi” characters 121 Outdoor accommodation 122 Formalwear, informally 123 Borden’s cow, and others 124 Bar for birds
1 Far from certain 2 Keycard receiver 3 Unlikely candidate for prom king 4 Perry Mason’s creator’s monogram 5 Wave with a foaming crest 6 Shakespeare’s nickname 7 “___ to please!”
(store sign) 8 Jimmy Buffett’s “God Don’t ___ Car” 9 Club ___ (resort chain) 10 “Walk me!” in Pekingese? 11 Kennedy Center musical grp. 12 One who talks with his hands 13 “You ___ to yourself” 14 Walked unsteadily 15 Self-proclaimed “greatest” of boxing 16 Second generation Japanese 17 Condor’s claw 18 Ryan who played Granny 24 Reindeer teamed with Prancer 25 Bill attachment 32 Boston ___ Orchestra 33 Mountaineering need 34 Colombian gemstones 35 Massage 36 Make untidy 37 1860s insignia 38 Cries of derision 39 Butter replacement 40 “I knew ___ along!” 41 Bridle attachment 44 “Fix” or “game” beginning 45 “Carlito’s ___” (1993) 46 Southwest party snacks 47 Kick out of the apartment 48 Team racing event 51 NYSE listing 54 “T” on a test 55 Witchlike character 57 Is composed of 58 “Not guilty,” e.g. 60 Inquires 61 Tin-glazed pottery 62 Inspiration for Lennon’s “Woman” 63 A little of a large lot? 64 Brosnan’s co-star in “The Thomas Crown Affair” 65 Part of a printing press
66 Gaudy jewelry, in slang 68 Way into a mine 69 “The Twilight Zone” creator Serling 70 Teens may fake them 73 Still together 76 Word on a bathroom door 78 Bespectacled dwarf 79 Camera part 80 “... at the ___ ball game!” 82 Former Hungarian premier Imre 83 “My Name Is ___” (Saroyan novel) 85 Swing the bat for someone 87 Withdrawn apple spray 88 Pitcher’s miscue 89 More problematic 90 ___-80 (classic Radio Shack computer) 92 Unwelcome answers, usually 93 Pizzazz 94 Clears out 95 How Pompeii was buried 97 Acme 99 Plant type with a pair of seed leaves 100 Maternally related 101 Remove, as a boutonniere 102 Japanese poem with 17 syllables 103 Marsh plant 106 ___ B’rith (international Jewish organization) 107 “Flee, fly!” 108 Stereotyped mousespotting cries 109 Beginning for “while” 111 Attendance fig., often 113 180 deg. from WSW 114 Family mem. 115 “How cute!” exclamations 116 “Chapter ___” (Neil Simon play) CROSSWORD_042513
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Items Under $200 For Sale
ADVERTISE YOUR MERCHANDISE with the total value of all items $200 or less in this section for FREE! Limit 1 ad per month, 15 words or less. Price must be included next to each item. No commercial advertising or garage sale advertising Ad runs 2 consecutive weeks. Call Toll Free: 1-877-308-5642 Email ad to: email@example.com (Please include your name and address) Or mail to: The Observer Group P.O. Box 3169 Sarasota, Fl 34230
ONSITE ACCOUNTING, INC. Lizzette Sarria, CFE Certified Fraud Examiner. www.on-siteaccounting.net 813-764-9516 See my ad in the Service Directory
SEPTIC PROS Septic Tank and Grease Trap Pumping Septic System Maintenance and Installation 813-727-6905 Dianne@Septic-Pros.com
RECLINER, LIGHT brown, $30. Blue rocker recliner, $15. Bar stools (2), $40. 813-707-4673.
Help Wanted MASSAGE THERAPIST position available at outpatient physical therapy clinic in Plant City. Please fax resume to: 813-759-8254.
Home Improvement/ Remodeling CROSBY CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. David Crosby, firstname.lastname@example.org 813-679-0096. See my ad in the Service directory
BREWINGTON’S TOWING & RECOVERY www.brewingtonstowing.com 813-754-TOWS(6300) See our ad in the Service directory
RAIL TOWN Building Services. Commercial Cleaning. Chuck Sullivan, 813-390-1851, www.railtownbuildingservices.com See our ad in the Service Directory.
Team Up Today With Classifieds 1-877-308-5642 This week’s Crossword answers
Landscaping & Lawn Service GREEN EAGLE, INC. Landscape and Lawn Maintenance. Plant/Tree Installation and Removal, Mulch Sod Removal and Installation, Mowing, Fill Dirt & Cleanups. Call 813-967-6879. See our ad in the Service directory.
Legal Services GREGG W. HOOTH, P.A. Attorneys & Counselors At Law Business, Labor & Employment Law. E-mail: email@example.com 863-667-8027 See our ad in the Service Directory
HOUSE CLASSIFIEDS LP # 108051
cLaSSifiEd LiNE ad PricE
NATALIE SWEET, LLC., REALTOR. The Sweet Team, Keller Williams Realty. Cell: 813-758-9586 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org See ad in the Service Directory.
See our ad in the Service Directory
HOUSEMASTER Home Inspections Done Right Since 1979. Robert & Michelle Southard 866-931-2350 E-mail: email@example.com www.east-tampa.housemaster.com See our ad in the Service Directory
First 15 words ....................$15 per week Each Add’l word ................................50¢
15% diScouNt for 4-week Run Yellow color $5 per Week Border as low as $3 per Week
call: 877-308-5642 fax: 877-308-7542 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s Cryptogram answers 1. This was framed simply on a chevy’s license plate after a divorce settlement: “WAS HIS”. 2. A couple gave family members the final word on their wills. The wife declared boldly: “No point in guessing who gets what. My will is a dead giveaway!”
Your “NEW” SourcE for LocaL cLaSSifiEd adS
Why The observer?
“We are a new company trying to brand our logo and the quality of our service. When we advertised in the Plant City observer, our business felt an immediate upswing. Now,
we’ve built a wonderful relationship with the
Reserved Space LP Reserved Space
Plant City observer, and we plan to grow with them as we open new stores in the Tampa Bay area.”
JimBo sParks & AdAm harris
owners, Nick’s Pizzaria and Wings
Observer Plant City. Longboat. East County. Sarasota. Pelican Press.
Longboat Observer and Sarasota Observer were named Local Media Association’s 2012 Newspapers of the Year.
Observer PLANT CITY
You. Your Neighbors. Your Neighborhood.
OMG has brought its awardwiNNiNg jourNalism to Plant City.
THURSDAY, Thursday,APRIL April25, 25,2013 2013
104 N. Evers Street, Suite 101 Plant CIty, Florida 33563 813-764-9516 813-764-0028 Fax
Rob Vetzel, Owner
FLOOR INSTALLATION SERVICE, INC.
5410 Boran Place Tampa, FL 33610
3 !LEXANDER 3TREET s 0LANT #ITY &, (Across From Farmers Market)
Commercial and Residential 813.664.8611 Sales and Service eric@ďŹ‚oorinstalltpa.com
4798 South Florida Avenue P.O. Box 214 Lakeland, Florida 33813
Wood Flooring | Laminate | Carpet | Vinyl | Tile 107705
Business, Labor & Employment Law
0ERSONALIZED 3ERVICES s &AMILY /WNED $RY #LEANERS s !LTERATIONS s ,EATHER3UEDE s 3HOW 2EPAIR s 7EDDING $RESSES s &REE "UTTON 2EPLACEMENT
GREGG W. HOOTH
BOWMAN AVENUE CLEANERS
Crosby Construction Services, Inc. David Crosby
Lizzette Sarria, CFE, CertiďŹ ed Fraud Examiner
15 Classifieds 15A
THE PLANT CITY OBSERVER Plant city observer
Grow your business in the Service Directory
Telephone: (863) 667-8027 Email: email@example.com Website: www.gregghooth.com
Call today to reserve your space 1-877-308-5642
FL License #HI1060
AUTO SERVICE Robert & Michelle Southard
Franchise Owners / Inspectors, RMCC Home Inspections, LLC
Priority Pest Management
Ant Control and Other Home Invaders
Â‡0RQWK,QGRRU6HUYLFH Â‡3HULPHWHU3URJUDPV Â‡8QGHU+RPH6SUD\LQJ Â‡6DIH 5HOLDEOH6HUYLFH Â‡&RPPHUFLDO 5HVLGHQWLDO
Septic Tank and Grease Trap Pumping
302 E. CALHOUN ST. PLANT CITY, FL 33563
Septic System Maintenance and Installation
Make Your Phone Ring
Dianne Bryant Owner
Team Up With Classifieds
Shaun Bryant Owner
813-727-6905 phone 813-719-2855 fax
3201 Jerry Smith Rd. Dover, FL 33527 â€˘ www.SePTIc-PRoS.coM
Bobby Bender Owner/Operator P.O. Box 454 Dover, FL 33527
TO SCHEDULE: 813.748.5634
Gaffney Eye Clinic Barry M. Gaffney, O.D., P.A. Jeremy H. Gaffney, O.D. 2002 S. Alexander St. Plant City, FL 33563
LANDSCAPING & LAWN
Independent Sales Director
813.654.2322 OfďŹ ce 813.758.3533 Mobile
813.754.3593 Fax: 813.754.5464
Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.greeneaglegrassing.com
3807 Cason Road, Plant City, FL 33566
God First, Family Second. Career Third
(813) 754-TOWS (813) 754-6300 (813) 719-7738 FAX
Email: email@example.com www.east-tampa.housemaster.com
Natalie Antonia Sweet LLC
Cell: (813) 758-9586 Fax: (813) 719-6300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.AnotherSweetSale.com 107720
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY 1607 Alexander St., Plant City, FL 33563
Order Online! KimHamilton.Scentsy.us
The Service DirecTory
WorkS for you! 108263
Each ofďŹ ce independently owned and operated
Call 877-308-5642 to reserve your space.
FORDâ€™S L ANG I]egnYd
:YZ]daf_ :YnalqĂ›GYl[` Kjaeeaf_ JlmehĂ›>jaf\af_ =]jladarYlagf F^xĂ›Â¨Â…ÂƒÂ€ÂŠĂ›Â…~ÂƒÂ¤Â€ÂƒÂ‡Â„Ă›Ă?Ă›:]ddĂ›Â¨Â…ÂƒÂ€ÂŠĂ›Â…Â‚Â€Â¤Â‡~Â†Ă›Ă?Ă›>]jYd\Ă›CYf_^gj\Â•Ă›Fof]j We Get to the Root of the Problem
Kaleidoscope Educational Services Mary R. Davis, Director Tutoring K-12 & Adults Flexible Schedule & Location WWWKKLCUS s
7 2EYNOLDS 3T 3UITE s 0LANT #ITY
Plant city observer
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013