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Plant City Times &









Diamonds & PlantCitygetsdown Denim sparkles anddirtyatBlueberry StompMudRun. in Plant City.



Durant High School celebrates Homecoming.

education by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor

Meet Marshall’s Men of GQ Marshall Middle’s Gentlemen’s Quest helps teach students how to be successful by focusing on the grounds of brotherhood and respect.

+ Hurst selected for D.C. tour

Plant City High School’s Kellyanne Hurst was among the nine students selected by U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross last month, to tour Washington, D.C., as part of the Congressional Classroom. The tour, which took place Sept. 14 to 18, included stops at the U.S. Capitol, Arlington Cemetery, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Pentagon. The students also met with Sen. Marco Rubio and Reps. Dennis Ross (FL-15), Daniel Webster (FL-10), Richard Nugent (FL-11), Ron DeSantis (FL-06), Ted Yoho (FL-03) and Steve Southerland (FL-02). “It is really cool to see how the political process works in Washington, D.C.,” Hurst said. “There is a lot behind the scenes that goes into it that I would have never known.”

Brian Adams walked with purpose through the hallways, as he explained the tenants of the Gentlemen’s Quest club. Although he’s a middle-schooler, when he spoke, he had the articulation of a man. As the public relations chair of the Marshall Middle School’s Gentlemen’s Quest, Brian is used to public speaking. But his composed manner is something all the members share. Gentlemen’s Quest teaches troubled youth how to

be successful by focusing on the grounds of brotherhood and respect. Brian raps on the classroom door in a unique rhythm. “We have a secret knock,” Brian says. Sergeant at Arms Felipe Pecina returns the knock and opens the door. This day was special. A potential member had turned in his application — uncreased — to the club. He was now standing in front of a room of

Gentlemen’s Quest members got an up-close look at guest Vic Pedone’s car. about 40 members for a group interview. President Ezekiel Dorsaint stood at his podium, listening closely to the discussion. “I’m not the same person,”

a current member says in his testimony to the newcomer. “The club gave me a reason to change. God gave me a reason to change.” The members continued to

Amber Jurgensen

ask about the newcomer’s interests, his talents. Then, Ezekiel called for the vote. It was unanimous. He was in.



+ Resident to celebrate 90 years

Lucille Brock Faircloth will celebrate her 90th birthday from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Northside Baptist Church, 1700 N. Franklin St. Born in Bainbridge, Ga., Faircloth moved to Plant City at age 11, traveling here on a school bus with her family. She worked from 1965 to 1979 at Felton’s grocery. She has been a Northside member for 58 years.

, 3&

This week’s winner is

Bob Hunter

See her photo on PAGE 14.

Michael Eng

Tally Styron, 3, loved the sparkly crown she found at GardenFest and More Sept. 28, in Historic Downtown Plant City. The event was organized by the Plant City Garden Club and Plant City Downtown Merchants and Business Association. For more photos, see page 6 or visit

governance by Michael Eng | Editor

CRIME by Michael Eng | Editor

WLCA board split on candidate Family still waiting to replace VP Marcus Alexich for Misti Whitfield Candidates to fill the seat include former state Rep. Rich Glorioso and Sharon Philbin.

Before a standing room-only crowd of residents, Walden Lake Community Association board members narrowed the field to two candidates during an emergency board meeting Sept. 30, but that is as close as they could get to appointing a replacement for the WLCA’s vacant seat. The remaining board members split 4-4 between two candidates: former state Rep. Rich Glorioso and Forest Club resi-

dent Sharon Philbin, who has been active in the fight against redevelopment of Walden Lake Golf & Country Club and the two golf courses. WLCA President Jan Griffin, Treasurer Karen Olson and directors Steve Swantek and Heather Updike voted for Glorioso; while Secretary/Parliamentarian Jim Chancey and directors Bruce Rodwell, Bob


WLCA board members discussed a proposal from new property management company L.E. Wilson & Associates. Each board member made suggestions for changes, and now the board’s attorney, Bush Ross, will examine the proposal and draft a contract.



Whitfield was last seen May 1. Her mother, Sharon Ardelean, and stepfather, Mel Ardelean, say they cannot move on until she is recovered.

When she was being silly, Misti Whitfield would call her mother, Sharon Ardelean, “Mommy.” When she was sad, it was “Momma,” and when she was trying to get her attention, it was “Sharon.” But mostly, Whitfield referred to her mother as “Moms,” because she represented both a mother and father figure in her life.

INDEX Calendar.......................2

It’s been 156 agonizing days since Ardelean has heard any of those names from her daughter. Whitfield was last seen May 1, at or near Nautical Marine, in Tampa. At first, Ardelean, her husband, Mel Ardelean, and Tampa Police Department investigators believed she was missing. Whitfield had battled drug

SEE MISTI / PAGE 4 Vol.1,No.10 | Onesection






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us in creation. (813) 752-5061.

Ribbon Cutting: All-In-One Enterprise Inc. — takes place from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at 117 W. Alexander St., Plant City. For more, visit


FRIDAY, OCT. 4 Uncork Your Weekend with The Scoundrels — performance from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Keel & Curley Winery, 5210 W. Thonotosassa Road, Plant City. (813) 752-9100.

SATURDAY, OCT. 5 Bike Fest — takes place from 8 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at 102 N. Palmer St., Plant City. For more, visit East Hillsborough Art Guild’s Annual Outdoor Art Sale — takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at The Cottage, 1308 S. Collins St. There will also be food for sale and a bake sale. Résumé Creation Class — takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St. USF English Professor JoNette LaGamba will help participants. Please bring a flash drive. Pre-register by calling (813) 757-9215. Uncork Your Weekend with Rafael and Company — performance from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Keel & Curley Winery, 5210 W. Thonotosassa Road, Plant City. (813) 752-9100. Yard/Estate Sale — opens at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at First Presbyterian Church of Plant City, 404 W. Reynolds St. (813) 752-4211.

SUNDAY, OCT. 6 St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Blessing of the Animals — takes place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, at the church, 302 N. Carey St. Bring your beloved pets to be blessed as we offer thanksgiving for the many gifts God has given

Understanding The Affordable Care Act — takes place at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St., Plant City. Speaker will be Ione Townsend, nurse practitioner and volunteer for Organizing for Action and Enroll America Now. (813) 6382261. Weight Loss Surgery Information Sessions — takes place from 5:30 to 6:30 Monday, Oct. 7, at the Ed and Myrtle Lou Swindle Medical Arts Center, 1601 W. Timberlane Drive, Plant City. Learn more about the advantages of the adjustable gastric band and sleeve gastrectomy procedures and see if surgical weight loss is an option for you. (813) 644-6720.

TUESDAY, OCT. 8 Morning Book Discussion Group — meets from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St., Plant City. The book will be “Heart of Palm,” by Laura Lee Smith. Copies of the book are available at the library prior to the discussion for checkout. This book is part of the yearlong Viva 500 celebration, which celebrates Florida’s 500th anniversary. (813) 757-9215.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 9 Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Contact Breakfast — takes place from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Florida Strawberry Festival Ag Center, 2301 W. Oak Ave. For more, visit HCC Job Fair — takes place from 9:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Oct. 9, at HCC Plant City Campus, 1206 N. Park Road. For more, email Knit 1, Purl 2 — meets from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St., Plant

To publicize your event in our Community Calendar, please send by mail: 110 E. Reynolds St., Suite 100-A, Plant City, FL 33563; or by email: Photos are welcome. Deadline is noon Thursday.

City. Knitters of all skill levels are welcome to come. Beginners may borrow knitting needles, and there is a supply of donated yarn. (813) 757-9215.

Pinecrest High School Class of 1956 — meets 10 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month, at Fred’s Market, 1401 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Carol Conrad, (813) 737- 1587.

THURSDAY, OCT. 10 Girl Scouts Parent Information Night — takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at 703 N. Wheeler St., Plant City. Parents of girls in grades K-5 are invited to a parent informational meeting. Learn how your daughter can be a part of an organization that builds girls of courage, confidence and character. Tonia Bascom, (813) 262-1770.

FRIDAY, OCT. 11 Faith Christian Academy Art Show & Silent Auction — takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at the school, 1202 S. Collins St. (813) 473-2090. Mulberry Fine Swine at the Pit — takes place from noon to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at American Legion Post 72, 1500 N. Church Ave., Mulberry. For more, visit

SATURDAY, OCT. 12 Cover Letter Class — takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St. USF English Professor JoNette LaGamba will help participants. Please bring a flash drive. Pre-register by calling (813) 757-9215.

Hope Al-Anon Group — meets at 7:30 p.m. Mondays, at Hull House at First Presbyterian Church, 203 Thomas St. (813) 763-3698.

Plant City Civitan Club — meets at 7 a.m. the first and third Thursdays of the month, at Buddy Freddy’s Restaurant, 1101 Goldfinch Drive, Plant City. (813) 754-4680.


Plant City Lions Club Golf Tournament — Registration begins at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Walden Lake Golf & Country Club, 2001 Clubhouse Drive, Plant City. Shotgun start at 1 p.m. Golfers can compete for a chance to win the hole-in-one prize, a golf cart donated by I-4 Power. The title sponsor this year are the Plant City Times & Observer and the Tampa Bay Times. For more information, contact Dave Davenport, or (813) 478-9665. share. Fish, grits, hush puppies, tea and water will be available. Sarah Dean, (813) 752-5061. Romp In The Swamp — takes place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Lower Green Swamp Preserve, 5920 Bailey Road, Plant City. For more, visit St. Peter’s Holy Smoke BBQ — Dinners will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 302 N. Carey St. Cost is $10. (813) 752-5061.

and Thursdays, at Shiloh Baptist Church, 905 W. Terrace Drive. Donation only. Gina, (813) 9289998. Computer Classes — take place from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 9, at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St., Plant City. “Computer Basics” will be Oct. 9; “Mouse Basics” Oct. 16; “Keyboard Basics” Oct. 23; and “Windows 7: Introduction” Oct. 30. (813) 757-9215. Cholesterol Screenings — available from 2 to 3 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month, at South Florida Baptist Hospital, 301 N. Alexander St., Plant City. Cost is $30.

Florida Opry — takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the 1914 PCHS Community Center, 605 N. Collins St., Plant City. Performers include The Little Girl and The Dreadful Snakes and Clogging Connection. Cost is $12; $5 for students. (813) 757-9226.

Berry Patch Quilt Guild — meets from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, at First Presbyterian Church of Plant City, 404 W. Reynolds St. Use the entrance on Thomas Street. Elaine Green, (813) 763-7353.

Mt. Enon Cemetery Memorial Annual Meeting — takes place at noon Sunday, Oct. 12, at Brick Primitive Baptist Church, 3702 N. Frontage Road, Plant City. Bring a covered dish to

Computer Classes — take place from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St. (813) 757-9215.

Christian Ladies Zumba — meets at 11 a.m. Mondays, 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 10 a.m. Saturdays, at HopeWeaver Church, 2203 W. Baker St., Plant City; and 7 p.m. Mondays

Family Motion Commotion — takes place from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W. McLendon St., Plant City. (813) 757-9215.


Plant City Daybreak Rotary Club — meets at 7 a.m. Mondays, at the Community Conference Center at South Florida Baptist Hospital, 301 N. Alexander St. For more, visit Plant City Lions Club — meets at 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, at Buddy Freddy’s, 1101 Goldfinch Drive. For more information, visit Plant City Noon Rotary Club — meets at 12:15 p.m. Mondays, at HCC Plant City’s John R. Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Road, Plant City. Plant City Sunday Scrappers — meet from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Bring your own project, plus make quilts for donations. (813) 856-6120. Self-Defense/Karate Classes — available by appointment only between 2 and 6:30 p.m. at TheRoom, 110 W. Reynolds St. Led by Charles Closshey Register at Yoga Class — Jenna Stanko and the Plant City Recreation and Parks Department will host a new yoga class at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, at the Plant City Veterans Monument, corner of North Wheeler Street and C.R. 39 South. For more, visit or aspx?NID=938. Contact Jenna at

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fight for her life by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor


by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor

CareFest lends time, helping hands to area families

Volunteers from 10 local churches donated time last weekend to help repair seven homes in Plant City.

Local students attended the Kickoff Party to show their support for Plant City’s Relay for Life.

Relay for Life selects 2014 Honorary Survivor Joy Neely is just four months removed from her radiation treatments. Local survivors, teams, sponsors and friends met her Sept. 30, at Relay for Life’s annual Kickoff Party. Joy Neely sits, smiling, in a cozy corner of Panera Bread. Her brilliant blue eyes reflect the soft gray light flooding into the window from the clouds. Her skin is warm, and her hair styled in a perky pixie. It’s hard to believe Neely just finished her radiation treatments just four months ago. “I’m a better person because of it,” Neely said of her battle with breast cancer. “An event like that deepens you. You are truly more aware about the gift of every day.” Neely has been selected as the 2014 Plant City Relay for Life Honorary Survivor. She spoke at the Kickoff Party Monday, Sept. 30. “She is a real spitfire, and I believe God is using her in a big way,” coordinator Linda Herman said. This year’s theme Relay theme is “Curing Cancer is Music to our Ears.” Teams in attendance were able to pick which musical would represent their team. Neely emits a certain sense of serenity about her battle. It’s a trait she says she has carried through her diagnosis and treatment. “I have a strong faith,” Neely said. “I don’t know how to describe it. When I found out from the doctor, there was such a great sense of peace.” When Neely first discovered the lump in 2012, she was lying in bed. Pain radiated from the spot. But, she figured it was just hormones. Six months before, she had had a mammogram — and it was clear. But, when the lump and pain didn’t go away, she visited the doctor for testing. A week passed. Then, she got a call from her doctor that changed her life. Neely was working as a teller at Platinum Bank, in Plant City. “Her last words were, ‘Yes, the tumor is malignant,’”

Neely said. “I thought, ‘Well it’s no big deal. I just had a mammogram six months before, and it was clean. We’ll just get rid of this.’ Little did I know what I was in for.” The cancer also had spread to Neely’s lymph nodes. “It was a barrage of information from there on out,” Neely said. “Mammograms, MRIs; it became kind of a blur. There were so many tests to be done.” With all the testing, doctors found something else unexpected. Her uterus was showing signs of being potentially affected by cancer. Neely’s chemotherapy treatments were interrupted for a hysterectomy. The doctors’ suspicions were correct. Cancerous cells were starting to form in her pelvis. After her chemotherapy treatments were finished, she endured a surgery to remove the tumor. Then, she had 35 rounds of radiation. The doctor giving her radiation was battling cancer herself. “The bonds that you make with fellow patients is a really enriching experience,” Neely says. “It’s ironic. That’s the good that comes out of this situation.” At work, Neely also bonded with some of her customers battling cancer. She made a chemotherapy kit for one of them, complete with bottled water, Gatorade, stamps and an agenda book. “She came up to me and hugged me,” Neely says. “She said, ‘You’re my angel.’” Like her customer, Neely also is appreciative of her coworkers. “They really rallied around me,” Neely says. “I was so touched the outpouring from them and from people I didn’t even know.” Contact Amber Jurgensen at

NEWSBRIEFS + Plant City credit union robbed last week

Plant City Police Department detectives are searching for the man who robbed the Plant City MidFlorida Credit Union last week. According to police reports, the suspect entered the credit union, 2903 James L. Redman Parkway, just after noon, Sept. 27. The suspect is described as a black male, 35 to 40 years old, 6 feet 2 inches tall, medium build, and weighing about 180 pounds. He has a thin

A single mother, a disabled elderly man, a sick husband — no matter their situation, these homeowners need help. Their properties have fallen into disrepair and soon could incur codeviolation fines. And that’s exactly why CareFest exists. Locally, 75 volunteers from 10 Plant City churches and the City of Plant City spent last weekend providing services to seven different homes. “We had a great turnout,” area coordinator Dan Morris said. “It is so hard for these people who are hurting. But it is also hard for those who have families and jobs to take a Saturday morning to help. And these tasks are not easy.” Although seven houses were able to be fixed, there still are five houses and five families that need help. “Most of them need to be painted or other handiwork,” Morris said. Corporate sponsors, including Lowe’s Home Improvement and CF Industries, have helped supply tools and discounts on supplies for the projects. This is the second year Plant City has participated in CareFest. Code Enforcement Supervisor Dennis Sweeney first introduced the event to Plant City. Through his work, he noticed that many homes were in disrepair — not because of laziness but rather tough family situations or illnesses. Sweeney refers certain households to CareFest. Then, an evaluator visits the home to assess the need. “We’re just doing it to help people,” Morris said. “We try to listen to the people who are hurting. CareFest is a good organization with good administration facets, and I’m proud to be a part of it.” To adopt a project, visit and go to the Hillsborough County tab. The website gives information about the project, the family and the materials needed to get the job done. Contact Amber Jurgensen at ajurgensen@


Honorary survivor Joy Neely enjoyerd the event with her daughter, Stephanie Kennedy, and granddaughter Shaylee Kennedy.

Knights Baptist Church Hopewell Baptist Church Plant City’s First Baptist Church First Presbyterian Church Bethany Baptist Church Plant City Church of God Cedar Grove Baptist Church St. Mary Baptist Church Johnson Road Community Church Plant City Community Ministries

STILL IN NEED Address: 511 S. Water St. Project: Owner needs home painted. Address: 622 Coronet St. Project: Single mother needs home painted. Eaves need to be scraped and primed, as well as window frames and sills. Kick plate at front door needs to be installed.

Emily Gray and Emily Brown

Annika Ellenbogen and Ariel Blackwood

Address: 1602 E. Calhoun St. Project: Minor home repairs, yard work and painting needed, including prepping the exterior of house for painting, painting and mowing the lawn. Address: 1002 Tyler St. Project: Elderly couple needs home painted. Home needs to be prepped and power washed. Address: 802 Johnson Road Project: Mother with disabled son needs old roof covering and framing removed, new installation and an update to the electric system.


Joe Keel, owner of Keel and Curley Winery, left, presented a check, in honor of the Estes family, to the American Cancer Society.

mustache and unshaved face. The individual was wearing a tight-fitting gray long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, black framed eyeglasses and a curly black wig at the time of the robbery. Anyone with any information about this subject’s identity should call Sgt. James Cross, of the Plant City Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit, at (813) 757-9200.

+ Police make arrest in Plant City homicide

The Plant City Police Department has arrested 23-year-old David Gabriel Coleman and charged him with second-degree murder for his involvement in a homicide that occurred

overnight Sept. 30, at 1516 Plantation Grove Court, Woodbridge Apartments. Detectives say the victim, 24-year-old Tiffany April Lamar, of Plant City, died of upper body trauma, after becoming involved in a domestic dispute with Coleman. At least one of the victim’s children was inside the home, when officers arrived to investigate what was initially reported as an aggravated battery. Officers found the child unharmed and asleep in a bedroom. That child has been turned over to The Department of Children and Families and placed into protective custody, pending the ongoing investigation. Coleman was transported to the Hillsborough County Jail.

+ Plant City man arrested in hit-and-run

1705 W Ball St. 1129 Colson Road 1308 Frances St. 1404 Frances St. 808 N. Maryland Ave. 2911 N. Franklin St. 103 Johnson Road

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Ryan Scott Pottinger, 30, of Plant City, for the hit-and-run death of Santiago Sanchez-Lopez, 80. According to Sheriff’s Office reports, Sanchez-Lopez was walking east across Sydney Dover Road, when Pottinger traveled southbound at about 50 mph in a 1986 Ford Ranger. Investigators say Pottinger struck Sanchez-Lopez in the center of the roadway and fled the scene. Sanchez-Lopez was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Numerous tips were received identifying the vehicle and the owner of the suspect vehicle. Pottinger was arrested at about 12:45 p.m. Oct. 1, at his home. Charges include leaving the scene of a crash involving death, driving while license suspended with death, and DWLS habitual traffic offender.

+ Correction

The Robert W. Willaford Museum project will not include construction of a separate structure. The project includes the installation of a caboose and locomotive. Smaller museum items will be displayed within the existing Train Depot structure. We regret the error.

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Hunter and Ray Page voted for Philbin. Instead of opening the meeting for continued discussion, board members opted to table the item until their next regular meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 21. The selected candidate will fill the seat for the remainder of former Vice President Marcus Alexich’s term, which will expire in 2016. Alexich vacated the seat abruptly following the WLCA’s Sept. 16 meeting. The seat likely is an important one on the board, which has been divided on several issues in the past four months. At the WLCA’s last meeting, board members narrowly passed a motion to hire L.E. Wilson & Associates Inc. as its new property management company. That vote came just weeks after the board, in a 5-4 decision, denied longtime property management company Rampart Properties a chance to interview and submit a proposal to remain at Walden Lake. Even the decision to table the candidate selection split the board 4-4. In that case, the tie meant tabling the issue. Glorioso, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, served from 1998 to 2004, as a Plant City commissioner. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2004 and re-elected for three more terms. Last year, he ran for the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections seat. In Walden Lake, Glorioso served on the board that helped transition the community in 1997, from developer- to residentcontrolled. At that time, the community faced a myriad of budgeting and logistics issues, and he said the key to progress was setting emotions aside. “What I learned from flying airplanes is that emotions will kill you,” he said. “You need to keep the your emotions under control and the facts out in front of you. “What I saw at (the last meeting) was not good,” Glorioso said. “The board is fractured, and I saw positives and negatives on both sides. I think I bring the experience that can help make this a better community.” Philbin, a retired Realtor, moved in 2008, to Walden Lake from Escondido, Calif. She is a 12-year Rotarian (currently a member of the Plant City Daybreak chapter) and secretary of the Spring Meadow homeowners association. She owns a home in Spring Meadow and resides in Forest Club. She also has registered to take the required course to certify new board members. “As a board member, each issue that comes up must be explored, understood and then voted on as to the best of the board member’s ability,” Philbin said. “I feel confident that I can be objective in future decision-making. I always appreciate folks who volunteer for what is sometimes a difficult job.” Olson said Glorioso makes an excellent candidate for the board. “I don’t personally know Sharon; I personally know Rich,” Olson said. “I think Rich is a good fit for our board.” Conversely, she said, Philbin’s affiliation with the grassroots anti-development campaign presents a conflict of interest. “My concern with Sharon is her affili-

GQ / PAGE 1 “We try and let everyone in,” Ezekiel says. “But it depends on their reputation. If they’re known to be disruptive, then we put them on probation for the first couple of weeks.” Like many new recruits, even the club officers had been through a period of troublemaking. Ezekiel had been disrespect-

The WLCA board will take another look at the contract before sending it to L.E. Wilson for signing. As proposed, the two-year contract would begin Jan. 1, 2014. However, Treasurer Karen Olson suggested the term begin Dec. 1, so billing and receiving would be done by the same compaation with the golf course group,” Olson said. “We have to have closed meetings with our attorney regarding the golf course issue, so that Mr. (Steve) Mercer (managing partner, Visions Golf) does not know what our plans are, and I find having Sharon on the board would be a conflict of interest.” Olson’s comments elicited groans from the residents in attendance, including Shelly Orrico, who spearheaded the antidevelopment campaign. “She’s the most honest person in this room, and you’re going to say because she’s a friend of mine, and she’s fighting for residents in this community ... that she can’t be on this board?” Orrico said. “That is ridiculous.” Hunter also questioned Olson’s reasoning. “There are others on this board (who) live on the golf course, so whether somebody is concerned about what is going to happen or people, perhaps, may benefit by the plans that are approved ... I’m sorry, I think it’s a specious argument for Sharon or Rich, to tell you the truth,” he said. Glorioso, who owns two homes in Walden Lake, said he has had a family membership to the country club for 19 years. He attended a members-only meeting with Steve Mercer Sept. 19; however, he wasn’t happy with the presented proposal, which called for creating a new 18-hole course from pieces of both The Lakes and The Hills courses. “That is not a champion golf course,” he said. “We need at least 18 good holes, or everyone’s home values will go down 30% to 40%. This is a huge issue.” All posts on the WLCA board are unpaid.


WLCA board members and attorney Web Melton opened the Sept. 30 meeting with a discussion regarding public comment at board meetings. About 40 Walden Lake residents attended the meeting, many of them wishing to speak. Melton said residents were allowed three minutes each to speak at the beginning of the meeting — but not during each item on the agenda. He advised board members not to answer questions. That format is different than what was allowed at the Sept. 16 meeting, during which residents in attendance were permitted to speak on each agenda item and also received answers from board members. About 15 residents chose to speak, with many voicing displeasure with the WLCA board members about their lack of transparency and lack of action regarding the country club and golf courses. Gary Sears, president of the Silver Lake homeowners association, said he and other HOA presidents within Walden

ful to teachers and family. In sixth grade, he was averaging three referrals a week and getting in-school and out-ofschool suspensions. Then, a teacher told him about Gentlemen’s Quest. “I didn’t really take her seriously,” Ezekiel says. “I didn’t think it would change me. But then, in seventh grade, I started noticing changes.” To date, Ezekiel has been on

ny. However, that also would mean both L.E. Wilson and outgoing firm Rampart Properties would be paid for services for the month of December. Any money saved from entering a contract with L.E. Wilson would be used in other ways within the community, WLCA President Jan Griffin said. High on that list is to eradicate an invasive air potato vine in Walden Lake’s wetland area. Lake were never given notice regarding the change from Rampart Properties to L.E. Wilson & Associates. “The one thing that has upset me through this entire process (that directives) come back from you guys to the (HOA) presidents, and we’re the ones who have to literally enforce whatever your directives are,” he said. “Yet, no notice was given to us on any type of change as far as moving from Rampart to another (management company) that has never dealt with a unit as large as this. “To me, it is ridiculous,” he said. “And again, no notice was given to the president on this in any way, shape or form. That really doesn’t sit well with a lot of the presidents.” Resident Lisa Pittman told board members she received an automated survey phone call, during which she was asked about her opinion about what she would like to see built in Walden Lake. “I was not sure if this was something (the WLCA) had put out,” she said. “I was not sure if this was something the golf course put out.” Griffin said the WLCA was not involved with the survey. Several subsequent speakers requested the WLCA speak about a meeting that took place with Mercer and the board’s perceived lack of transparency. “I would like to know, as a member of this community ... what those discussions were and what took place,” said resident Mike Wolfe. “We’re entitled to know that. You’re our board of directors. You represent us, and we want to know what was said and what was discussed.” However, under the Melton’s advice, Griffin did not respond with answers. “You have an opportunity to speak, but the board does not engage in a full-on discussion regarding every issue,” Melton said. “If we answer (one) question, we have to answer everyone’s question.” That did not sit will with attending residents, who continued to press for answers. “What do you have to do to get somebody to answer a question?” asked resident John Guerriero. “What does that take? How do I start a special meeting, where you people answer the question of the people of Walden Lake? “Do you answer any questions, or do you just suck this information in and dump it in the bottom, where no one can get at it?” he asked. “I’m going to get in touch with my lawyer, who is going to get in touch with all of you, and we’re going to get some answers. You represent nothing. You’re a bunch of politicians. You guys are worse than Washington.” Melton suggested the WLCA board consider having an off-duty police officer present at the next meeting. Contact Michael Eng at

the honor roll for the past two years. The boys’ hard work and dedication doesn’t just earn them a good reputation at school. Their home lives change, too. Felipe’s mother told him she would throw him a party if his grades improved. Once he joined Gentlemen’s Quest, Felipe turnned his D’s and F’s into five A’s, one B and one C.

“In the guidance office, they’ve all been talking about me,” Felipe says. “In this club, I like that I have someone to talk to.” The members’ success has been so apparent that parents have even come to the club as guest speakers. Public Relations Officer 2 Kaleb Pedone’s father, Vic, stood in front of the group of boys following the new-

MISTI / PAGE 1 addiction for 18 years and had been to rehab multiple times. The Ardeleans have custody of one of Whitfield’s five children. But, as the hours ticked away into days, which then multiplied into weeks, the heavy truth began to suffocate any semblance of hope: Misti Whitfield had been murdered. With the help of private investigator Brad Sparkman, the Ardeleans had their story publicized on television stations throughout Tampa Bay. Hundreds of friends and family members showed their support at a candlelight vigil June 4, in Plant City. In July, friends hosted the “Mission to Find Misti” event to raise funds to keep the search alive. Five months have passed since Whitfield was last seen. And although the search parameters have since narrowed, the family still feels miles away from an answer.


“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” Mel Ardelean says. “You don’t want to get anywhere near something like this.” Sharon blots her tears away with a tissue. Their home is quiet and still. A table and chairs sit on the back patio. At one time, that was Command Central, with friends coming by to man computers, enter keywords into Google searches, scour Facebook for any crumb of evidence. But, as those loved ones understandably slipped back into their own lives, after all the TV cameras packed up and left Plant City, the Ardeleans were left with their home. Quiet. Still. With no clear direction but an overwhelming need to move forward, the Ardeleans have spent the past five months jumping at every lead. They’ve received hundreds of calls, texts or other messages with supposed information. They have driven by as detectives have dug into a back yard looking for Whitfield’s body. They have met random tipsters, who claim they know the location Whitfield’s body, at all hours of the night. Mel Ardelean is on a first-name basis with most of the prostitutes working Nebraska Avenue. He acquired a gun and a permit to carry it. They are convinced Whitfield’s killer is somewhere in a huge three-ring binder sitting on Tampa Police Department Det. Scott Bullard’s desk. But, with only six homicide detectives for the entire department, the Whitfield case is just one of many. member induction. “I’m really impressed with your club,” Pedone says. “I’m glad that you decided to make this change. I’m glad my son is part of this.” Gentlemen’s Quest is headed by teacher Stanley Glover. His enthusiastic nature and gifts of understanding and mediation make him the perfect motivator for this group of students. “This group is a very power-


The Ardeleans still can use help following leads and searching for information. If you can help, call Mel Ardelean, (813) 7169598. A few weeks ago, the Ardeleans hired Tampa-based private investigator Ed Busquet, a retired police captain. “We said, ‘Let’s make one last-ditch effort to try to find her body,’” Mel Ardelean says. “This is all we can do. It is agonizing.”


Before Whitfield’s disappearance, the Ardeleans had their eyes on retirement. They had purchased an RV and sold one of their two businesses, Big Dog’s Patio. They hoped to one day buy the Plant City home they were renting. But, all those plans disappeared the day Whitfield did. The Ardeleans sold the RV to pay for the first private investigator and used their savings to pay for the second. Sharon Ardelean also owns and runs Cuzzins Bar, but she hasn’t been able to make it through a whole night of work since her daughter went missing. On good days, she can muster up enough courage to take herself to work. But, at some point, emotions overcome her, and Mel Ardelean will drive to the bar to pick her up. Sharon Ardelean uses Whitfield’s Facebook page to write to her daughter every day. It’s a coping mechanism — and a way to keep Whitfield’s friends informed, without having to field the waves of phone calls. “We just can’t live like this any more,” Sharon Ardelean said. “I want my kid back.” Her husband agreed. “Some people called us crying, needing comfort,” he said. “We had to say, ‘We’re sorry; we can’t help you.’ We just don’t have enough left in the tank.” As the investigation continues, the Ardeleans are convinced Whitfield was murdered somewhere in Plant City — and that her body is buried somewhere here, as well. “The person is in that threering binder,” Mel Ardelean says. “But, someone’s going to have to roll on someone else.” Contact Michael Eng at ful group,” Glover says. “Under the leadership of our president and his team, I think this year will be great.” The club started in 2007, modeled after a group at Chamberlain High School. Currently, the club is about 40 members. After club day in the next couple of weeks, Glover expects the number to jump to about 60. Gentlemen’s Quest meets every Wednesday. But, it also is offered as a class called Peer Counseling, which Grover teaches. There are about 25 students in the class. To be part of Gentlemen’s Quest, students have to keep their grades up and learn more than 100 inspirational quotes in the first semester. The members introduce themselves with a quote, their rank and then their name. The only thing to fear, is fear itself. A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. You cannot ride on a man’s back, unless it’s bent. The students must also be respectful toward faculty and other students and complete service projects. So far, the club has volunteered on a variety of projects, such as planting 11 flower beds on campus and painting the schools parking blocks. Volunteering is Ezekiel’s favorite aspect of the club. “I like to give out to the community,” Ezekiel says. “We help them as much as we can.” Members also are expected to dress a certain way. Every other Monday, the club members dress in suits and ties. “We enter to learn, depart to serve,” Grover says. Contact Amber Jurgensen at ajurgensen@plantcityobserver. com.

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COPS The following information was gathered from incident and arrest reports obtained from the Plant City Police Department.

SEPT. 16


4600 block of South Country Hills Court. Grant Theft Auto. The victim reported his 1995 Jeep Cherokee was stolen between 8 p.m. Sept. 15, and 8:30 a.m. Sept. 16.




SEPT. 18


North Alexander Street near Tyner Street. Drug Paraphernalia Arrest. During a traffic stop, the white female suspect was arrested for possession of a pipe used to smoke methamphetamines. She was released with a court date.


200 block of Lisa Ann Court. Residential Burglary. The victim reported someone kicked in the front door and entered the house. Nothing was stolen.


2200 block of Village Park Road. Grand Theft of an ATV. The complainant advised a maroon Kawasaki ATV, with a gun rack on the handle bars and an orange flag, and the attached trailer were stolen.


2100 block of Strawberry Drive. Vehicle Theft. The victim advised he parked his vehicle at 7 p.m. at his house and discovered it missing about two hours later. The vehicle is a red Dodge Dakota extended cab pickup.

SEPT. 17


surrounding the business, forced open a door to the business and stole about $3,000 worth of copper products.


2900 block of Sydney Road. Theft/Burglary/Criminal Mischief. Sometime between 5 p.m. Sept. 16, and the morning of Sept. 18, unknown person(s) entered the house, cut into the ceilings and stole all the wiring. The stove and a large section of aluminum siding from the outside of the home also were stolen. The total amount of damages and theft is estimated at $3,400.

2000 block of North Frontage Road. Vehicle Burglary. The victim left his truck at the dealership for service. A temperature monitoring system (worth $5,800) inside the truck was stolen. There were no signs of forced entry to the truck.




Intersection of Alexander Street and Airport Road. Hit and Run. late 1990s to 2000 black Ford F150 rear-ended a semi-truck and fled the scene southbound on Alexander Street. The driver of the F150 was described as a white male, 5-foot-10, 170 to 180 pounds, bald and clean shaven. The driver should have a laceration to his forehead.


Intersection of East Reynolds and North Johnson streets. Loitering and Prowling. An officer on patrol observed a white male emerge from the shadows of a closed business. When the suspect noticed the officer, he fled and concealed himself. The suspect was located hiding in the nook of the business. The suspect was arrested and transported to Orient Road Jail.


2200 block of North Park Road. Retail Theft. The store clerk advised $50.04 worth of Bud Light beer was taken from the store. After observing the store surveillance video, an officer recognized the suspect and knew the area he frequents. The suspect was located and transported to Orient Road Jail.

SEPT. 18


900 block of South Alexander Street. Business Burglary. Unknown person(s) cut the fence

2400 block of Paul Buchman Highway. Grand Theft of City Property. Unknown suspect(s) stole a Rules and Regulation sign from the Memorial Park (cemetery) entrance. The sign is valued at $300.

700 block of East Gilchrist Street. Strong Arm Robbery. The victim stated he was sitting under a pavilion with his nephew’s bike, when he was approached by two Hispanic males. One of the males mentioned the bike was nice. He replied, “Thank you; it’s my nephew’s.” One of the males responded, “It’s ours now.” The males pushed him down to the ground and tried to take the bike, but he would not let go. One of the males reached into his pockets and took $13 in cash before running away.


2600 block of James L. Redman Parkway. Shoplifting/Petit Theft. The suspect was arrested for concealing several CDs and DVDs on his person prior to exiting the business without paying for the merchandise.


Intersection of North Thomas and Baker streets. Drug Arrest. An officer saw the suspect rolling a marijuana cigarette while sitting in a car with no lights, near the library. The suspect was in possession of 5.8 grams of marijuana. He was arrested and released with a court date.

SEPT. 19


2600 block of James L. Redman Parkway. Retail Theft/Carrying a Concealed Weapon. Officers responded to this store, in reference to the suspect walking out of the store with

unpaid merchandise. He was detained by loss prevention. During the investigation, police officers learned that the suspect had a pair of brass knuckles concealed in one of his pockets.


300 block of West Alexander Street. Vehicle Burglary. Sometime overnight, an unknown person entered an unlocked 2003 Ford Explorer and stole a dress, shoes and medication dispenser. The total amount of theft is about $200. The victim was not sure if the burglary took place where she works or where she lives.


2000 block of North Frontage Road. Criminal Mischief. Overnight, unknown person(s) broke the windows of a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, Toyota Camry and a 2004 Honda Accord. The total damage is estimated at $750.


2600 block of James L. Redman Parkway. Vehicle Burglary. While the victim was shopping, his wallet (which contained his driver’s license and debit card) was taken from his unsecured vehicle.


2600 block of James L. Redman Parkway. Shoplifting/Petit Theft. The suspect was arrested for concealing $80 worth of children’s clothing in her purse and exiting the business without rendering payment. The suspect ran from the loss prevention officer when confronted. She was also charged with resisting a merchant.


2900 block of James L. Redman Parkway. Business Burglary. An officer responding to an alarm call saw the deadbolt had been removed and all the cabinets inside had been ransacked. The business representative stated nothing was taken.

SEPT. 20


3000 block of James L. Redman Parkway. Grand Theft. The victim reported that someone cut the lock off his aluminum jet ski trailer and stole the trailer and two jet skis, while he was inside the restaurant.


1100 block of South Collins Street. Theft. The victim advised she was doing laundry and set aside her wallet, which containing 100 one-dollar bills. She finished folding laundry and looked for her wallet, but it had been stolen.


Intersection of Oakbrook Lane and State Road 574. DUI. An officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for failure to maintain a single lane. The officer met with the driver and determined he was impaired. The suspect was unable to complete the Field Sobriety Exercises successfully.

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upcoming by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor

IN FOCUS by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor

Plant City sparkles at annual Diamonds and Denim gala Jolynn and Norman Azoon

Courtesy photo

Damion and Tracy Trombley will renew their vows in the mud.


Romp in the Swamp will feature a wedding wave — a mud run heat just for lovebirds.

Most couples will go out for a nice dinner or a movie to celebrate their anniversary. But, Tracy and Damion Trombley are not like most couples. Instead, the duo has opted for a more down-and-dirty option — running in the Romp in the Swamp’s wedding wave. They will renew their vows in front of their friends and family with Linda Anders, a licensed officiator. Then, they will run through mud and obstacles. Tracy will be wearing a white formal gown from the thrift store; Damion will sport a button-up. The run takes place Oct. 12 — their 11th anniversary. The Trombleys didn’t plan it that way, even though they had a hand in organizing the race, which will benefit the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce’s scholarship fund. “It’s going to be something very entertaining,” Tracy said. “The obstacles in that wave are made just for us. We’re going to laugh our butts off.” The Trombleys launched, a website dedicated to gathering and listing mud runs around the state. It started out as a simple blog and has since blossomed to include races in California, Texas and New England. “We were initially doing it, because we love races and wanted our friends to get involved,” Tracy said. The love for mud runs wasn’t always there. Like a marriage, they had to cultivate their hobby. It all started in 2011, when Tracy dragged Damion to a mud run. Damion, who likes air conditioning and relaxing, wasn’t thrilled. But, when Damion saw a grown man panting at the finish line in a Gumby costume, he changed his mind. “Just seeing people there in their costumes — it makes you feel like a kid again,” Damion said. “We fell in love with it,” Tracy said. “It’s such a different event that we had never done. The vibe is just great.” Since then, the couple has been running all over the state. Literally. They attend at least one race a weekend individually, sometimes two or three. Although the couple is based in Palm Bay, the chamber didn’t have trouble finding the Mud RunFun website and decided to work with the promoters on Romp in the Swamp. So far, about 100 people are registered for the wedding wave. Anders never has officiated at a mud run but is looking forward to the experience. “I have been interested in of-


Tracy and Damion Trombley met when they were 19 years old on the Internet — back when chatrooms were hot. After breakfast at Denny’s, the two were hooked. Tracy first noticed Damion’s humor. “He’s always making me laugh,” Tracy said. “I can be ready to wrap my fingers around his neck, but he can still make me laugh. That’s something I’ve learned from him — not to get mad at every little thing.” Like a lot of guys, Damion noticed Tracy’s beauty first. “Well, she’s hot,” Damion said. “She puts me back on track. I’m a bit of a risktaker; she likes to think things through. Basically, she takes care of me.” The couple has two children, Damion, 4, and Jazmine, 10. Both of them also compete in mud runs.


WHEN: Oct. 12 WHERE: Lower Green Swamp Preserve, 5920 Bailey Road, Plant City ONLINE: Visit or CONTACT: (813) 7571277

ficiating at a mud run (because of) the fun atmosphere and the people who attend these events are always so positive and such a strong tight-knit group of people,” Anders said. “Whether you’ve ever met or not, everyone feels like family.” The 5K obstacle run also benefits South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation. Sponsored by Orthopaedic Medical Group of Tampa Bay, the race features 32 obstacles. The first two races are for elite runners. The following heats are less competitive but still a fitness challenge. Participants may run, walk or jog the course as they see fit. These heats are for runners 14 years and older. But, the kids aren’t left out. There will be two afternoon races for children ages 5 to 8 and 9 to 13. Contact Amber Jurgensen at ajurgensen@plantcityobserver. com.

Plant City Times & Observer Locally Owned

The Plant City Times & Observer is published by Plant City Media LLC, a joint-venture of the Tampa Bay Times and Plant City Observer LLC.

110 E. Reynolds St., Suite 100-A Plant City, FL 33563 (813) 704-6850 ‹&RS\ULJKW 3ODQW &LW\ 0HGLD //&  $OO 5LJKWV 5HVHUYHG

John and Amy Nizamoff

The glittering fundraiser Diamonds and Denim took place Sept 26, at the Florida Strawberry Festival Expo Center. It has been the signature fundraiser for the foundation for 17 years. Attendees enjoyed the casual gala, which requires them to wear jeans instead of evening gowns and tuxedos. Sponsored by Advanced Care Hospitalists, Diamonds and Denim always has featured a silent auction, musical entertainment and a dinner prepared by chefs from the hospital. This year, it added a live auction and a raffle for a VIP dinner.

Susan and Scott Goldsmith, Karen Kerr and Jack Vasconcellos

SAFETY IN NUMBERS by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor

Noon Rotary Club pledges funds for Plant City Police Department AED AND CARDIAC FACTS • Cardiac arrest claims about 330,000 lives each year — or 900 per day — nationwide. • In Florida, about 10,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest each year, and 95% of them die before reaching a hospital. • For every minute a cardiac arrest victim is not defibrillated, his or her chances of survival declines by 7% to 10%. • Brain death starts to occur in just four to six minutes after someone experiences a sudden cardiac arrest. • If defibrillation can be preformed within the first one to three minutes, there is a 70% to 80% chance of survival. Source: AHA

The department currently has four Automated External Defibrillators for its 68 sworn officers. Money raised from the upcoming Dancing with the Locals will be used to purchase more. Plant City Police Department officer Erick Sanchez thought he was making a routine traffic stop in April, when he spotted a driver and passenger not wearing their seat belts. As Sanchez wrote the ticket, a young man ran out of a nearby house. Please help my mom! Sanchez flew into action. He went to his trunk and pulled out an automated external defibrillator unit. Dispatching another unit, he followed the man into the house and found an unresponsive woman in her bed. She was about 300 pounds and had stopped breathing. As Sanchez waited for another unit, he prepared the AED and began CPR. When another officer arrived, they moved the woman to the floor and hooked her up to the AED. They alternated between the AED and CPR, until the paramedics arrived. A small pulse had returned. She was taken to South Florida Baptist Hospital and remained in the ICU for three weeks. But, she survived. “I just felt like I was in the right place at the right time,” Sanchez said. Sanchez feels that the AED saved her life. “That’s the best tool we ever get, prior to EMS,” Sanchez said. “We’re the first ones there, because we’re already out on the street.” But the Plant City Police Department only has four AED units for


Every officer is trained on how to use an AED. “They’re cop-proof,” Sgt. Al Van Duyne said, jokingly. The portable square unit weighs about four pounds. The ends of the defibrillator pads are plugged into a receptacle on top. One pad is placed over the right pectoral. The other pad is placed underneath the left pectoral. Once in place, officers start the AED. It conducts a rhythm check and then advises the officer if he or she should deliver a shock. “People have seen them in other places; airports and schools,” Van Duyne said. “When we share with citizens that we have them, they’re greatly relieved.”

its 68 sworn officers. The units are rotated on a schedule between patrol cars. There is one AED in each zone of the city. “The reason we haven’t pursued the purchase of more AEDs is simply due to the cost,” Police Chief Steven Singletary said. “Most law-enforcement agencies realize the need for mores AEDs, but due to the high cost, most can’t afford to equip all their officers with AEDs.” Locally, the Plant City Noon Rotary Club wants to change


The Rotary Club of Plant City will use proceeds raised from the annual Dancing with the Locals event, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at the HCC John R. Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Road, Plant City. In addition, sponsorships and individual donations can me made to directly support this initiative. For more information, email to rotarypc@

those numbers. The club will use funds raised at its upcoming Dancing with the Locals charity showcase to purchase more AEDs for the Plant City Police Department. “It definitely makes a difference,” Sgt. Al Van Duyne said. “I’ve reviewed some statistical data and saw that they are able to save people. In as little as seven minutes, that can be the difference between saving someone’s life or them passing away.” Contact Amber Jurgensen at ajurgensen@plantcityobserver. com.

from the ground up by Michael Eng | Editor

GardenFest cultivates love of plants, crafts

Candice Waters, left, of Waters Edge Cameras, displayed a collection of vintage camera equipment.


Call Veronica Prostko, (813) 704-6850, or Joanna Verga, (813) 310-8767.


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, Mail: The Plant City Observer, 110 E. Reynolds St., Suite 100-A, Plant City, FL 33563

CONTACT US The Plant City Times & Observer is published once weekly, on Thursdays. It provides free home delivery to several neighborhoods in Plant City. The Plant City Times & Observer also can be found in many commercial locations throughout Plant City and at our office, 110 E. Reynolds St., Suite 100-A. If you wish to discontinue home delivery or if you wish to suspend home delivery temporarily, call Linda Lancaster at 704-6850.

Jim Chancey and the Daybreak Rotary Club grilled hamburgers and hot dogs at the event.

Plant City residents enjoyed beautiful weather, flowers and crafts during the Plant City Garden Club’s annual GardenFest and More Sept. 28, in Historic Downtown Plant City. The event featured a variety of booths, special guest speakers and hamburgers cooked by the Plant City Daybreak Rotary Club.

Of course, flowers were a hit at this year’s GardenFest and More.

Plant City Times &

Observer General Manager/Editorial / Michael Eng,

General Manager/Advertising / Tony Del Castillo, Assistant Managing Editor / Jess Eng, Associate Editor / (Community) Amber Jurgensen, Staff Writer / Justin Kline, Advertising Executives / Veronica Prostko,; Joanna Verga, Circulation/Office Manager / Linda Lancaster,

“If we are to build a better world, we must remember that the guiding principle is this — a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy.” — Friedrich Hayek, “Road to Serfdom,” 1944

Neighborhood R E A L E S TAT E | P L A N T C I T Y L I F E | O B I T U A R I E S | G A M E S | FA I T H | S P O RT S




If your club would like to post announcements, email them to Associate Editor Amber Jurgensen, ajur gensen@plantcityobserver. com.

+ Hillsborough Community College

Raisa Paraedes, Zuri Madriga and Zulma Borja

Family members and friends took on the Blueberry Stomp Mud Run together.

Caroline Jutt was a fierce competitor.

Hillsborough Community College’s Plant City campus will host a job fair from 9:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the John R. Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Road. The event is free and open to the public. Bring a résumé and wear business attire. For more information, email the HCC Career Center, Plant City Campus,

+ Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce

Business After Hours will take place from 5:15 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Holiday Inn Express Plant City, 2102 N. Park Road. To RSVP, call the chamber, (813) 754-3707.

+ Plant City Garden Club

The Plant City Garden Club will sponsor a series of six floral design classes beginning Oct. 5. The hands-on series will cover topics such as the principle and elements of design. Each class covers a different topic by a certified Florida Federation of Garden Club Inc. instructor. Cost for the series is $80. Classes take place from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 5, 12, and 19, and Nov. 2, 9 and 16. For more information, call (813) 716-6691.

These ladies completed the course in “incredible” time.

+ Plant City Woman’s Club

The Plant City Woman’s Club will be holding its annual BBQ Chicken Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 17. The dinner includes barbecue chicken, beans, slaw, roll and a brownie Pick-up is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Train Depot. Cost is $10; advanced sales only. Proceeds will benefit the club’s scholarship fund. Tickets are available at Beverly’s Consignment, James Irrigation, Southside Farm and Pet Supply and Tip to Toe Day Spa or through Peggy, (813) 7527905, or Judy, (813) 7543777.

+ Plant City Christmas Parade

The Plant City Christmas Parade theme has been announced as “Celebrate the Season.” The parade will be take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, in Historic Downtown Plant City. Anyone interested in being a parade sponsor should call either Sharon Moody, (813) 453-7134, or Henry Falcon, (863) 255-3914. Parade applications are available at the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, 106 N. Evers St., Plant City. For more information, contact Tom Daramus, board chairman, (813) 967-1626, or Moody, (813) 453-7134.

Daniel Stevens dominated the Blueberry Stomp Mud Run.

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Adventurists from throughout the state got down and dirty at the 2013 Blueberry Stomp Mud Run Sept. 28, at Keel and Curley Winery, in Plant City. The treacherous terrain included a variety of obstacles, mud pits and more. The run will benefit the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce’s scholarship fund.

Ashley Harrison dressed as Batman for the mud run.

Participants got hit with a power washer on the final leg of the run.

BLUEBERRY STOMP MUD RUN by Michael Eng | Editor

Tyson Hardin didn’t mind getting a bit dirty. Right: The Pink Ladies team was ready to compete.

Lloyd Clark had a blast at the mud run.

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Some students went for minimal freakiness, wearing extravagant makeup or wigs.

Andrew Carroll, Miguel Granados and David Skapyak

Aaliyah Williams

The Homecoming ceremonies took place on the 50-yard line at halftime.

Cougars celebrate 2013 Homecoming SCHOOL SPIRIT by the Observer staff

Durant High School celebrated its 2013 Homecoming last week with a plethora of activities. Students dressed in a variety of themed costumes

each school day. Then, the Cougar faithful piled into their home stadium to watch Durant get its first win of the season over Gaither. Senior Marissa

McKenzie Navicky and Sara Skapyak

Thompson was crowned Homecoming Queen at halftime. Durant culminated its Homecoming week with a winter-themed dance.

The Durant marching band performed throughout the night.

Marissa Thompson is Durant’s 2013 Homecoming Queen.

Hanna Gottman, center, was escorted by her parents, Lisa and Mike, Durant’s head football coach.

One of the most commonly heard phrases was, “Look for the purple Teletubby!”

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A Good Night’s Rest

I have the pleasure of leading a work God already has wrought for Wednesday morning chapel time us. God creates us, God calls us, God with our Learning Center children. I rises and sets the sun, moon, stars spent the first four weeks of school and a countless array of other blesstalking about God’s work of creation. ings without a lick of help from you We reviewed that God created light or me. Creation itself was all done and dark, day and night, the waters, for us long before we ever rose up. the land, all the plants and vegetaLong before we ever begin making tion, animals and then, us. decisions that will impact the course Two learnings have long intrigued of our day, God has long been at me about that story: First, only God work for us to His glory. truly “creates.” The universe Of course, when we do rise and everything in it comes up, we will be called upon through the will and work of to use our God given skills God’s being, and it’s a work wisely, judiciously and grawe cannot will. We certainly ciously to His glory. We will can manipulate and study be called upon to make some creation in all kinds of ways: very difficult decisions. We from molecular level rewill be called to look out for search and genetic studies our families, our neighbors to sending vehicles to other and the strangers among us. planets and even into the DR. DAVID We will be called to missions deepest reaches of space. fields on the other side of the DELPH But, we cannot create from world, the other side of town nothing. The deeper we or, perhaps, under our own delve into the wonder of creation, roof. But, all this happens in the the more deeply we can peer into presence of the Lord, who is always majesty of God’s handiwork. ahead of us and awaits our arrival Second, when you read the creeach day. When you think of someation story of Genesis chapter one, one such as the Apostle Paul and his you find the curious repetition of a extraordinary missionary accomphrase: And there was evening, and plishments, he never led his efforts there was morning — the first day. — he followed the lead of the Lord, (NIV). Eugene Peterson in his book, Jesus, who called him forth. “Working the Angles,” noted the The Lord always goes before us, order of the verse — there was eveever leading, ever guiding and ever ning, and then there was morning. creating — long before we ever get The same order appears with each involved. It seems to me that graspof the six days of creation. He finds ing this point in our lives should the order rather interesting: The day lead us to simple peace, a peace that begins with evening and ends with leads us to a good night’s sleep, even the day. That means the day really in the midst of a maddening world. does begin when most of us are Do yourself a big favor: When you lie typically asleep. The notion we often down for bed tonight, know the Lord live with is that the day begins as we has led you there and sets you down awake. We so easily forget that while to rest. Simply offer a little prayer of we are asleep, God already is makthanks for the blessing that, as you ing preparations for the next day rest, He’s already at work in your before we every rise up. He’s resting, tomorrow. Let Him bless you with repairing and restoring our bodies a good night’s rest, so you will be and souls in ways we can scarcely ready to join in the day He’s already understand. While we do nothing in begun for you. Praise be to God the our sleep, God is busy readying us Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! for the day to come — and God does “I will refresh the weary and so without any help from us! satisfy the faint. At this I awoke and One of the reasons we find looked around. My sleep had been ourselves so tired, burned out and pleasant to me.” — Jeremiah 31:25immersed in tension is that we still 26. believe everything begins and ends Dr. David Delph is pastor of First in us — a way of life that will rob us Presbyterian Church of Plant City. of the life we are designed to enjoy. For more, email him at ddelph@tamAll we can ever do is respond to the



Doris Ann Baldwin, 77, died Sept. 17, 2013. She was born Nov. 4, 1935, in Rose Hill, N.C., to the late John Robert and Fisher Wells Mathis. Mrs. Baldwin married Luther Wilson Baldwin, who preceded her in death. She moved in 1980, to Plant City, and became a member of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, where she served on the deaconess and missionary boards, was a choir member, volunteered at the voting poles during the elections, and visited nursing homes, sick and shut-ins. Mrs. Baldwin previously worked as a candy striper in New York and as a CNA for Beverly Enterprise and Florida Presbyterian Homes. She is survived by her children, Theresa, Deborah, Del, Maurice Baldwin, Renee (Calvin) Holloway and Veronica (Houston) Whitney; 12 grandchildren; seven greatgrandchildren; siblings, Larry (Shelby) Mathis; Alice Williams, Sadie Lee Murray; and a host of family and friends. Also preceding in death are sons, Don and Valdez Baldwin; brothers, John Matthews and Levy Mathis; and sisters, Margret Mathis and Annie Carr. Funeral was Sept. 28, at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Plant City.

Orion Lee Franklin

Orion Lee Franklin, 84, died Sept. 23, 2013. Born June 7, 1929, to the late Pernell and Ellie Franklin, in Plant City, he was a longtime resident of Fort Myers. He owned and operated his own drywall/ construction business. He loved his family gatherings, hunting, fishing, flying, creating/inventing and working with his hands. He was a member and deacon of the Gethsemane Primitive Baptist Church. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Cleon “Nina” Nancy Franklin; three daughters, Virginia Ann Milsap, Frenda Lee Franklin Ward and Linda S. Anderson; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sister, Maydell Smith; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Graveside services were held at the Smith-Willis Cemetery in Tift Co., Ga. The family would like to give special thanks to Team 330 and Dr. Sonn, of Hope Hospice. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Hope Hospice, 9470 HealthPark Circle, Ft. Myers, FL. 33908. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Albert L. Larkin

Albert L. Larkin, 65, died unexpectedly Aug. 30, 2013. He was born in Evergreen Park, Ill, and moved with his family in 1981, to Florida. He will be missed greatly by all who knew and loved him. We will always love and miss him. He was a loving father and friend. He is survived by his children, Michelle (Chris), Aimme (Brian), Brannon and Kimberly (TJ); and grandchildren, Haylie, Zack, Kyleigh, Nyland and Joshua. He was preceded in death by his loving dog, Max. Services will be held in Illinois, where Albert was born.

Roy E. Moore

Roy E. Moore, 60, of Plant City, died Sept. 27, 2013. He was the son of the late Roy E. and Florine Yarberry Moore Sr. Mr. Moore was a handyman and enjoyed giving his time to family, friends and his church. He was a veteran of both the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Navy. He attended The Plant City Church of God. He is survived by his loving family, including his beloved wife, Debbie; daughters, Amanda (Richard) Beveard and Ashley Moore; grandson, Jacob Beveard; sisters, Gayle Tidwell, Beverly Brannon and Janet Ball; and brothers, Donald and Terry Moore. Memorial services were held Oct. 1, at Haught Funeral Home, Plant City. If so desired contributions may

be made to The American Kidney Foundation. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Evelyn R. Ragsdale

Evelyn R. Ragsdale, 89 of Plant City, died on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013. Born June 18, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Harvey and Minnie Heiter Ryals Sr. She was also preceded in death by her husband Jack F. Ragsdale. Survivors include a nephew, Harvey Allan (Janice) Ryals; nieces, Cindy Fitzpatrick and Dale Royster; great nieces, Nicole Ryals Faught and Bridgette Ryals Richards; great nephews, Justin and Robin Ryals; and a cousin, Beverly Bryan. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Oct. 3, at Haught Funeral Home Chapel, 708 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Plant City. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Maxwell “Max” Ellis Tate

Maxwell “Max” Ellis Tate, 72 of Plant City, died Sept. 24, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Born Oct. 22, 1940, in Rome, Ga., he was the son of the late Claude and Myrtle Manning Tate. He was the husband of Sylvia Grooms Tate, who survives. Mr. Tate was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a member of Bethany Baptist Church. He loved to whittle, carve wood and golf. He also loved football, especially his Florida Gators. Also surviving are sons, Kevin (Tyson) and Wesley Tate; stepson, Tim Dickens; brother, Kenneth Tate; and grandchildren, Mercy and Deacon Tate. A memorial service was Sept. 27, at Bethany Baptist Church, Plant City. If so desired, donation may be made to either LifePath Hospice or the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be made to the family at

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STORE AROUND THE CORNER by Amber Jurgensen | Associate Editor

Bombshell Beauty Lounge The new downtown Plant City beauty salon offers a pinup package. If the pink polka-dotted windows of Historic Downtown Plant City’s newest salon doesn’t tip you off to its vintage vibe, then the inside will. Bombshell Beauty Lounge’s intimate front room has a whimsical flair. One wall is striped a mod mint green. The hairstylists’ tables are bright pink. A sultry black-andwhite photograph of Marilyn Monroe watches over the salon. “We want people to feel comfortable and talk about whatever they want,” owner Vanessa Normand says. “We’ve all had that salon experience where everyone is just so uptight.” Normand had been toying with the idea of opening a salon for about a year. She always had harbored an interest in cosmetology, especially makeup. Normand received training from Manhattan Hairstyling Academy. The entrepreneurial spirit runs in her family. They used to operate an antique store downtown. She grew up finding hidden treasures and bringing back to life old discards. One day at lunch with her sister, Victoria Major, the two chatted about finally opening the salon. Normand didn’t take her seriously. But, by the end of the day, Normand had signed a lease and put down a deposit on the store space off of North Collins Street. With the antique experience from her childhood, Normand decided to infuse vintage style into her salon. Normand and Major scoured garage sales, thrift stores and websites to find the perfect antique furniture and décor for the salon. Several of the chairs are old salon chairs

Amber Jurgensen

Bombshell owner Vanessa Normand infused a vintage style into her new salon.

from 1926, which the imperfections, the reupholstered. and that’s beautiBASICS They even found ful.” ADDRESS: 205 a 1950s hairdryer Normand likes to N. Collins St. with mercury still style victory rolls PHONE: (813) lining it. Normand the best, because 704-3939. turned it into a of their height and Call or text for funky lamp. classic reputation. appointment. Bombshell ofA lot of the girls WEBSITE: fers cuts and color, have never modBombshellBL. massages, waxing eled before. com and natural nails, “It’s fun to see EMAIL: bomb and also offers a their transformashellbeautypc@ wedding package. tion,” Normand Bombshell does says. have one special Bombshell also service that cois putting together incides with the vintage a pinup girl calendar of local theme — a pinup girl pack- women to benefit The Spring age in which a client can get of Tampa Bay. Normand has her hair and makeup done done fashion shows with The in a vintage style. Major, a Spring and is involved in a lot professional photographer, of charity work. then will take photographs All three stylists — Stacie of the client during a special Majesky, Jamie-Lynne Deurr photo shoot. The salon has and Crystal Koren — love the a plethora of vintage dresses vintage feel of the new salon. from which to choose for the “I like the atmosphere,” shoot. Deurr says. “It’s laid back.” “A lot of the pinup style isn’t Contact Amber Jurgensen at the (thinnest) girls,” Normand ajurgensen@plantcityobservsays. “Sometimes, it shows

TOP BUILDING PERMITS These are the building permits issued by Plant City for Sept. 16 through 20, in order of dollar amounts. Address

807 Russell Drive N. 3217 Spooner Drive W. 3219 Spooner Drive 1911 Timberline Drive E. 3219 Spooner Drive 3217 Spooner Drive W. 809 Bronze Bush Court 301 Lemon St. 3057 Sutton Woods Drive 1307 Baker St. E. 3315 Silvermoon Drive 1804 Via Chianti St. 106 Merrin St. S. 1705 Ball St. W. 1110 Pennsylvania Ave. 4725 Bloom Drive 2601 Karen Drive (sinkhole) 2902 Barret Ave. 713 Gordon St. N. 3503 Walden Reserve Drive 301 Lemon St. 810 Reynolds St. W. 1207 Spotted Lilac St. 1209 Spotted Lilac St. 2000 Baker St. E. 902 Collins St. N. 1906 Calhoun St. E. 1884 Greenwood Valley Drive 3041 Sutton Woods Drive 2601 Thonotosassa Road 902 Knight St. N. 1903 Johnson St. N. 2210 Park Road N. 1508 Johnson St. N. 1504 Johnson St. N. 1506 Johnson St. N. 3129 Emerson Place


434-Addition Res. Manufactured Home Manufactured Home 434-Res Alt/Rep 434-Res Alt/Rep 434-Res Alt/Rep 434-Res Alt/Rep Backflow Residential/Comm 434-Res Alt/Rep 437-Non-Res Alt/Rep 434-Res Alt/Rep Mechanical/Residential Mechanical/Residential 434-Res Alt/Rep Mechanical/Residential 434-Res Alt/Rep 329-Structures-Non Bldgs. Mechanical/Residential 434-Res Alt/Rep Electrical/Residential Plumbing/Commercial Mechanical/Residential Mechanical/Residential Mechanical/Residential Electric/Commercial Plumbing/Residential Mechanical/Residential Plumbing/Residential 434-Res Alt/Rep Plumbing/Commercial 434-Res Alt/Rep Gas/Residential Plumbing/Commercial Plumbing/Residential Plumbing/Residential Plumbing/Residential 434-Res Alt/Rep

Est. Value $90,000 $18,000 $18,000 $15,660 $15,000 $15,000 $14,550 $14,000 $12,000 $9,900 $9,644 $8,006 $7,726 $7,500 $6,500 $6,300 $6,000 $5,936 $5,098 $5,089 $4,600 $4,200 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $3,600 $3,300 $2,752 $2,417 $2,400 $2,000 $1,800 $1,800 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,426

Permit Date Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Sept. 17 Sept. 19 Sept. 17 Sept. 17 Sept. 17 Sept. 20 Sept. 19 Sept. 17 Sept. 18 Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Sept. 20 Sept. 19 Sept. 20 Sept. 18 Sept. 16 Sept. 19 Sept. 17 Sept. 20 Sept. 16 Sept. 20 Sept. 20 Sept. 20 Sept. 20 Sept. 16 Sept. 19 Sept. 19 Sept. 18 Sept. 19 Sept. 19 Sept. 19 Sept. 20 Sept. 20 Sept. 20 Sept. 19



ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Jarrett Jacobsen earns first in NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition. 12 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2013



+ Durant boys, girls best East Bay

Despite a late arrival and no range practice, the Durant golf teams played well enough to top district foe East Bay Sept. 30, at Apollo Beach Golf Club. The boys won easily, 181-207, even without the presence of young gun Jacob Penny. Senior Chase Levesque led the Cougars with a 37, and Johnny Mooney’s 46 was second on the team. Their record improved to 5-4 overall. The girls got a slightly tougher test, coming out on top with a 178-192 win. Krista Reinhardt’s 42 led all of the girls, and Samantha Rentz and Tori Higgins were close behind with a 44 and a 45, respectively. They now have a 7-2 record. The Cougars will come home to host Bloomingdale Oct. 3.

leaving a legacy by Justin Kline | Staff Writer

Meet Plant City’s Jack of All Trades Plant City Dolphins running back Daniel Paul loves slashing through opposing defenses. But, the football field isn’t the only place where he’s running over his competition. Most middle-schoolers who play football probably sound a lot like Daniel Paul when asked about their sport of choice. “I like everything about football,” Paul says. “I like playing tailback and fullback, running the ball, running people over.” But, what would most middleschoolers say about their performance in the classroom and other activities. This is where things are a little different. In addition to his role with the

Plant City Dolphins, Paul, 13, is a 4-H and FFA grand champion in three different categories. As a student, he is involved in Tomlin Middle School’s S.T.E.M. Academy for biotechnology. And, he’s only in the seventh grade.


As a member of Future Farmers of America and previously as a member of Florida’s 4-H chapter, Paul has racked up a few agricul-

tural grand championships since 2011. “I was a grand champion in 2012 for showing lamb and in 2011 for showing dairy,” Paul says. “I was also a reserve grand champion in 2011 for showing swine.” In these competitions, livestock are judged by appearances: tThe animal must be healthy and in good shape. Contestants must then explain their evaluation of an


Courtey photo

Daniel Paul won a grand championship for sheep at the 2012 Florida Strawberry Festival.




New sports writer ready to tackle P.C. athletics


+ P.C. shines at W.D. Johnson meet

Luke Whitmore is just a freshman, but he’s already put his name in the record books. At the W.D. Johnson Invitational, a 5K Sept. 28, at East Bay High School, Whitmore finished with a time of 17:52 — good enough to break the Plant City High School record. He finished seventh overall, in the boys race. On the girls’ side, the Lady Raiders finished first out of nine county teams. Led by Diana Corzine’s time of 21:58, for which she finished in third, Plant City had five runners finish in the top 15. Hannah Whitmore finished just two seconds behind Corzine for fourth place, and Kristin Podsiad, Kendra Molina and Madison Manley finished 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively.


+ Lady Raiders rally to beat Crest

After falling in a 2-1 hole, the Plant City volleyball team battled back Oct. 1, to defeat Strawberry Crest, 3-2. After winning the first set, 25-17, the Lady Raiders (9-5) found themselves on the losing end of a pair of 25-20 sets. They had kept it close with the Lady Chargers (11-4) but simply couldn’t finish. Alex Arnold and her teammates turned it around in the fourth set to pick up a 25-12 decision there. They also took the fifth set, 15-13. Arnold led Plant City with 19 kills, and Noelle Dietrich chipped in with nine kills of her own. The Lady Raiders will travel Oct. 3, to East Bay, while Strawberry Crest will host Plant City rivals Durant.

John Kelly took over the football team in 2012, just a year removed from a 2-8 record under coach Gerald Dickens. Kelly’s Chargers won four games that season, and some talents emerged: notably, guys such as Karel Hamilton, Tristan and Josh Hyde, and Alex Carswell. Strawberry Crest is once again a fourwin team, but this time, it’s only the seventh week of the season. With much of

Hello, Plant City. Nice to meet you. After 18 months under the direction of former Associate Editor Matt Mauney, I will be taking over the sports section for the Plant City Times & Observer. I’ve spoken with many of you recently and heard all about the great job that Matt did with his coverage, and I’m committed to keeping up his high standards. This is my first job coming out of college, but it’s far from my first rodeo as a sportswriter. I’ve been JUSTIN covering prep KLINE and college sports for about three years now, beginning in 2011, with Naples Daily News. I worked there in varying roles for most of those three years, taking a break every summer, while I was out of town. While there, I covered football, baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, golf, volleyball and even some hockey. My favorite gig was when I got to do live coverage of the 2012 City of Palms basketball tournament. I’ve also contributed a number of stories to The Lakeland Ledger and the Fort Myers News-Press. I’m a very recent graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, and I can honestly say that I picked the Eagles to advance past the first round of the NCAA March Madness tournament. I’m sure that puts me in a very small group of people, but I will say this for the near future: Don’t sleep on the Eagles this season. I’ve seen them practice



by Justin Kline | Staff Writer Justin Kline

Austin Carswell, Matt Chaney and Chris Perez are just a few reasons why this year’s Strawberry Crest team is playing better than before.


En route to an 11-1 season, Durant torched Strawberry Crest in their 2012 spring game. The Chargers won just four games last season but already have matched that total in 2013. Durant, on the other hand, is now 1-4. Have the tables turned in Plant City? Who saw this season coming? Who would have guessed that Durant, despite losing a large chunk of its starters to graduation, would be going into a game against Strawberry Crest with only one win? Especially after the 2012 spring game, when the two schools played each other and the Cougars came on top — quite handily, too. But, what a difference a year makes. The score from last week’s game against Freedom looks close on paper, but that’s a little misleading. Strawberry Crest was in control from beginning to end, and they really put on a show in the first half. Running back Chris Perez controlled

the tempo of the game, picking up 101 yards on 27 carries and scoring a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Linebacker Matt Chaney finished with 11 total tackles, nine of which were solo, one safety and one blocked field goal. The Patriots managed to scoop that ball up and return it for a touchdown. However, all three of the Charger units — offense, defense, and special teams — played well. Durant was long overdue for its first win, and last week, the Cougars finally got their offense and defense clicking. This is still a talented team, and few things in a season can turn a team’s motivation up to 11 like a big shutout win on Homecoming night.

But, as of this writing, it looks like the torch could be passed — the Chargers may be the best team in the Plant City outskirts.


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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK by Justin Kline | Staff Writer

JARRETT JACOBSEN You could say that the Jacobsen family has a thing for football. Jarrett, along with two of his younger siblings, finished in first place in Saturday’s NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition. He racked up 241 total yards on the day. Jarrett and the Jacobsens will get to compete in a sectional competition Oct. 20, at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ training facility — this time for the chance to compete nationally. What just happened here? I won the Punt, Pass & Kick for the 14and 15-year-olds, for boys. For how long have you been competing in this event? I think this is my fifth year. What do you like to do for fun? I usually just play tackle football (junior varsity) at Plant City High School. I’m a right tackle. What are your other hobbies, outside of football? Just video games. That’s about it. What kind of movies do you like? Comedies and horror films. What’s your favorite? “21 Jump Street.” The new one, or the old one? The new one. Do you read any books? Yeah. My favorite book would probably be “The Most Dangerous Game,” by Richard Connell. What are your favorite video games? Either “Grand Theft Auto V” or “Skyrim” How long have your brothers and sister been competing in this event? I think this would be my little sister’s fourth year, and my little brother’s fifth year, as well as mine. So you’ve got one more year of eligibility for this. Are you going to compete next year? Yes, sir. What are you hoping to do when you go out to Tampa? Shred it and win.

Michael Eng

Durant cruised to its first victory of the 2013 season last week in convincing fashion.

DURANT / PAGE 11 the same personnel as last year, this newfound success can be chalked up to a complete culture change. “The kids last year — we gave them some confidence in themselves,” Kelly said. “We got them believing in themselves. We’re building forward into Year Two with a little bit of that confidence and realizing that, no matter who we play, we’re going to go out there and going to play to win. And we belong on the field with those teams.” If this team didn’t have that confidence in the past, it has a little swagger in 2013. A quarterback injury could have spelled doom for many teams, but the Chargers don’t appear to have let starter Tristan Hyde’s season-ending ACL injury affect them. They stuck Austin Carswell under center in the Leon game, and, two weeks later, the new guy’s got two wins and seven passing touchdowns.


Kelly’s confidence-boosting philosophy seems to be working, but he’ll say it’s not the only thing the team needed to improve upon to be successful. When he came to the program, he wanted to foster change both on and off the field. And he brought some ideas with him. “A little bit more accountability and holding kids to a higher standard in all aspects,” he said. “Not just on the football field, but off the field as well — in the classroom. Just trying to do all things right.” He also created an acronym with four tenets by which the Chargers live: Teamwork, Integrity, Excellence and Service, or T.I.E.S. The

team’s motto is, accordingly, “What T.I.E.S. Us Together.” “We really try to believe in those four things as our core philosophy,” Kelly said. The team’s attitude is calm yet focused. Even in last week’s win over Freedom, there wasn’t much showboating, while the Chargers took a big first-half lead. They just played efficiently, and they looked sure of themselves. “They just didn’t have that confidence in the past,” Kelly says. “Not so much X’s and O’s but just believing in themselves and playing hard, playing until the final whistle — no matter what the situation is in the game.”


Does Strawberry Crest have the best program on the outskirts of Plant City? That’s not for certain yet, but Friday night’s game will be a pretty good indicator. Sure, Durant’s got a 1-4 record going into this matchup, including a loss to district rival Plant City. But, the Cougars can still make the playoffs, which would most likely mean knocking the Chargers out of postseason contention. And, most importantly, that win last week against Gaither gave Durant a ton of momentum. “It was just a game where we wanted to go out and play good, sound football,” Durant head coach Mike Gottman said. “We flew around and got the shutout, which was huge, offensively. I felt like we took a step forward, and to get that first win under our belt was huge for us.” They finally figured out a way to get everybody firing on all cylinders. Take defensive end Dontriel Perry, who terrorized the Cowboys’ offense to the tune of four sacks.

Take Kadarius Griffin and John Hendricks, who combined for more than 200 rushing yards. Gabe Brown and Mason Bridges made plays all night, and both players grabbed an interception. Again, this is still a talented team even without all of last year’s seniors from the 11-1 season. Although the Cougars still have a rough schedule ahead of them, it looks like they may have just figured out how to play to their strengths in 2013. “I know the caliber and quality of their program — it was only a matter of time before they got back on track,” Kelly said. If the Cougars have truly returned to form, then the Chargers will need all the confidence they can get going into this one. Contact Justin Kline at jkline@


LAST WEEK: Plant City stunned Bloomingdale, 40-0, while East Bay dropped a close one to Wharton, 21-18. NOTES: Raise your hand if you saw this 40-0 shutout win coming. The Bulls couldn’t have gone into this game with much more momentum, but coach Wayne Ward’s Raiders did as they pleased all night. Meanwhile, East Bay’s ground game was working well, scoring all three of the Indians’ touchdowns, but a blocked field goal attempt got returned for a touchdown and Wharton rallied from a 14-0 deficit to win.


NOTES: It wasn’t hard to see Durant coming out on top of this one, by virtue of playing one of the streakier teams in the Tampa Bay area on Homecoming night. The Cougar faithful finally got to go home happy. The defense held the Cowboys to under 200 yards of total offense, and also came up with two picks (one returned for a touchdown) and a safety.

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Daniel Paul is a TB/FB/MLB for the Plant City Dolphins, a three-time livestock grand champion with 4-H and FFA, a member of Tomlin Middle School’s S.T.E.M. Academy for Biotechnology, and an A and B student. He dreams of college football and a career as an educator.

PAUL / PAGE 11 animal to an official, and the official gives them a score. “Pigs are different,” Paul says. “That goes by market — who sells first. The buyers are at the beginning.” Paul has competed and won at the Florida Strawberry Festival, the Hillsborough County Fair, and the Florida State Fair. And, he’s just as eager chatting about livestock as he is breaking down something out of his old football team’s playbook. “Daniel is a great student, who has a passion for agriculture and FFA,” teacher Jason Steward says.


Tomlin’s S.T.E.M. program, short

3ODQW&LW\2EVHUYHUFRP for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, focuses on teaching students the concepts of biotechnology and environmental awareness — both in the classroom and out in the field. There are requirements to earn placement into the program. “First, you have to apply,” Paul says. “Teachers have to recommend you. And it also goes off of your grades, and achievements.” He didn’t have a problem making the grades. And, as of this writing, Paul’s grades are currently solid — all A’s and B’s — and he’s gunning to make the honor society. His pre-sixth grade achievement? Something most kids his age likely never considered. “I won my fifth-grade science fair and went to districts,” Paul remembers. “I wanted to know: Does algae move faster or slower at different times of the day?” He collected some algae samples at different times of the day, stuck them under a microscope, and observed and recorded their movement patterns for 30 seconds at a time. Algae, as it turns out, moves fastest in the middle of the day. He and his classmates will go out in the field for project work from time to time. One day, they

worked with Tampa’s Museum of Science & Industry to restore the museum’s historical forest. “He has been an asset to the Tomlin S.T.E.M. Academy and Tomlin FFA,” Steward says. “I look forward to teaching and working with Daniel every day and seeing him grow into a productive member of the Plant City community.”


At the end of the day, football is Paul’s first love. He’s been playing for nine years, currently with the Plant City Dolphins JV squad, and platoons at tailback, fullback and middle linebacker. “My favorite football memory was when I scored my first touchdown,” Paul says. “It was 2009, against the Pinecrest Pilots. We ran a 36 Blast — the quarterback handed it to me, and I went through the 6-hole. It was about a 20-yard run.” He wants to play in college — he’s a Gator fan but also would consider Texas Christian and Oregon — and major in education. “Just in case football doesn’t work out,” Paul says. “I’d like to teach science.” Contact Justin Kline at jkline@


Daniel Paul is friends with De’Javian “Pac-Man” Jones, who was the Plant City Times & Observer’s Aug. 22 Athlete of the Week. According to Paul’s mother, Tina Sanders, Jones spends weekends with their family. “He came to us after practice one night and said, ‘Can I stay with you? I don’t have a ride to the game tomorrow,’” Sanders says. “We said, ‘Sure,’ and he turned out to be a nice, respectful kid.” Now, they pick Jones up from school on Fridays, and he goes home on Sundays.

KLINE / PAGE 11 recently, and they’re an even better team now than they were last season. Although the size of my beat in Plant City is much smaller — transitioning from an area with 31 high schools to an area with three — the fan support I’ve seen at the high school football games in the past two weeks has been better than anything I’ve seen in person in a long time. Any football game can be watchable when the crowd gets into it, so it’s been great to be able to attend two good games in a row. And with the Strawberry Crest-Durant game coming up, I’m pretty sure I’ll be up to three in a row at the end of Friday night. If you know of a team or outstanding player that we should feature within our section, or if you want to nominate someone as our Athlete of the Week, please let me know. As a community newspaper, we want to fill these pages with stories, photos and information that is important to our readership. Some of our best headlines have come from an email or phone call from a reader. Plus, I’m always up for a good conversation. I’m looking forward to covering all things Plant City sports, working with many of you and digging into all of the great stories that are tucked away in this little historic Florida town.

0,!.4 #)49 4)-%3  /"3%26%2 4(523$!9 /#4/"%2  







Sept. 25




Sept. 26



Thurs., Oct. 3 Fri., Oct. 4 Sat., Oct. 5 Sun., Oct. 6 Mon., Oct. 7 Tues., Oct. 8 Wed., Oct. 9

Sept. 27



Sept. 28



Sept. 29



Sept. 30


TUES. Oct. 1




0.00 (2012: 1.29)

HIGH 91 91 90 90 91 90 89

SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES SUNRISE 7:22 a.m. 7:23 a.m. 7:23 a.m. 7:24 a.m. 7:24 a.m. 7:25 a.m. 7:25 a.m.

Thurs., Oct. 3 Fri., Oct. 4 Sat., Oct. 5 Sun., Oct. 6 Mon., Oct. 7 Tues., Oct. 8 Wed., Oct. 9

SUNSET 7:13 p.m. 7:12 p.m. 7:11 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 7:09 p.m. 7:07 p.m. 7:06 p.m.


LOW 71 71 72 72 71 70 70


Oct. 11

Oct. 18



TO DATE 36.28 (2012: 38.61)

PRODUCT 1/2 bushel cartons

LOW HIGH $13 $14.85

Courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture

Oct. 26

Oct. 5

, 3&

Walden Lake resident Bob Hunter submitted this photo, which he calls “Blue Duck on Bridge.” “This is why the golf course staying open benefits all of us,” he says. The Plant City Times & Observer, State Farm Insurance agent Tony Lee and The Corner Store have partnered to host the I Love Plant City Photo Contest. Winners will have their photo featured and receive a $10 gift certificate to The Corner Store! To enter, email your photo, along with a caption, to Editor Michael Eng,; subject line: I Love Plant City. Be sure to include your name.

BODY BUILDING By Jerry Berns | Edited by Timothy E. Parker

ACROSS 1 “What’s it ___ to you?” 6 Cat played by Fonda 12 Landing place for private planes 19 Giacomo Puccini specialty 20 Long and tiresome 21 Great Plains terrain 22 Desert refuge 23 A famous Christmas light? 24 “The Raven” sound effect 25 Add details to, as a plan 27 Pass the threshold 29 Benevolent and Protective Order of ___ 30 “What did I tell you?” 31 “Scooby-Doo” character 33 Couldn’t not 37 Nervous disorder 39 Construction site conveyance 45 Close’s “___ Attraction” 47 Stravinsky and Sikorsky 49 Warbled loudly 50 Bought lunch for 51 Traffic squeeze 55 Shire of the “Rocky” films 56 Short-tailed lemur 58 Daytona event 59 Given a new look 62 King’s proclamation 63 “Too rich for my blood!” 65 Gutter locale 66 Wall St. credential 69 Goat’s milk product 70 Haunted house door opener? 72 Masterstroke 73 Hindu title of respect 74 European black thrush 75 “Our Miss Brooks” star Eve 76 Band of fighters 77 Greater than 90 degrees, as an angle 80 Schoolmarms’ hairdos, stereotypically 81 Symbol of resistance? 82 Man of la Mancha 84 Tongue flatteners, for doctors 89 Albanian coin 90 Afghani neighbor 93 Chip away at, as confidence 94 Emulate a jester 96 Badgered 98 “Jurassic Park” beast 101 Circulatory problems 102 Rope-making fiber 103 Halloween’s mo. 106 Make a lasting impression 109 Heart-to-hearts 113 Animosity 116 “Little Red Book” adherents 120 Puts down by force 122 Jeweler’s magnifier 123 Mesabi Range output 124 Allow to run free, as a dog 125 Get along together 126 Calvin’s sitter in “Calvin and Hobbes” 127 Certain discriminator 128 Data units DOWN 1 “Arf!” equivalent 2 Outback gems

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

View anew Cut into thirds Chopped diner side June bug, for example Contribute Tax form part Bird in a crazy simile Bounce, as from a bar One being exploited Unusually intelligent Bit of financial planning, for short 14 Hip-hop 15 Cathedral music maker, sometimes 16 Seed jacket 17 Hockey milieu 18 Frat party containers 20 More genuine 26 Architectural ellipse 28 Baseball scoreboard initials 32 Letter distribution on base 34 Gore and Kaline 35 Letters preceding a company’s alternate name 36 So much, musically 38 Acquired pattern of behavior 39 Got the biggest trophy 40 Charlemagne’s domain, for short 41 PC key in the upper left corner 42 Exemplars 43 Quebec affirmative 44 Org. for Venus and Serena 45 Automobile part 46 Extra 48 They’re always feeling down? 50 Domains of feudal lords 52 Kiddie wheels 53 Came to the point? 54 Norwegian sea monsters 57 “His Master’s Voice” co. 60 Nonetheless 61 Susan who played Laurie Partridge 64 Train depot (Abbr.) 65 Software manuals are writ106 Bahrain’s ruler 115 “Disco Duck” DJ Rick ten for them 107 Edible tuber 117 Note after fa 67 Nautical flag 108 Lovers’ murmurs 118 “Do, or do not. There is no 68 Vertical, as an anchor cable 110 Greenish-blue ___.” (Yoda quote) 70 Campus in Dallas 111 Breathing organ 119 Wash. bigwig 71 Formed into a globe 112 Leafy vitamin A source 121 Is composed of 72 Overhead-___ engine 114 Prattle 76 Kramer’s first name on “Seinfeld” 78 Fine dinnerware 79 Court TV event CRYPTOGRAMS 82 Bro, for one 83 Two-way preposition of old 1 . R S G L S S N , M Z H B S V M - T B Q N Z N D B M I Z H T G Q , 85 Ballad ending? 86 School introduction? RIZHZ GHZ DSVH MZGMSQM: YHZ-MYGOQ, 87 Divining implement 88 Designated PG-13, e.g. MYGOQ, YSMR-MYGOQ GQN IVQRBQL. 91 Word after “long” or “ages” 92 Pistachio or cashew 95 Going concern? 97 Attendance fig., often 2. MERHZQRMQM VLRZQLRZ QTLQ L QOCGQ 99 Assuming everything goes perfectly R Z Q T H U R AY W O C U M C Z H R Z E T N H O 100 Splatter 102 Early Japanese immigrant BHLO. CZEH RQ RM ELGWTQ, VRZY BCG, 104 Try for a mate? 105 Lightweight helmet, in India RQ AHLNM QC CZH RZET NHO TCGO. (var.)

© 2013 Universal Uclick


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10.03.13 Plant City Times & Observer  

10.03.13 Plant City Times & Observer

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