10.4.18 PLCO

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PLANT CITY

Observer

Remembering Floyd Hall SEE PAGE 7

YOU. YOUR NEIGHBORS. YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

VOLUME 6, NO. 14

FREE

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

Alexander St. repair on its way FDOT will tackle the repaving of Alexander Street starting in the middle of October. SEE PAGE 5

YOUR TOWN

GLITZ & GLAM

Breanne Williams

Jordan Denise Williams debuts new single Singer and songwriter Jordan Denise Williams debuted her new release, “I Close My Eyes,” featuring her father Derrick Williams, host of The Gospel Voice TV show, on piano. All net proceeds from her song go toward the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Williams is only 14 years old and submitted the song for consideration for a 61st Grammy Award nomination. She will tour this fall and winter to support her CD sales. More information can be found at the Jordan Denise Williams Facebook page.

Breanne Williams

Durant High School ROTC color guard did the presentation of the colors.

Breanne Williams

Strawberry Queen’s Court First Maid Dallas Baker, Di Lott and Court Member Selena Berrios.

Plant City came together for the Diamonds & Denim Gala. SEE PAGE 10

PC firm up for city’s media management Fryed Egg Productions is the final candidate for the media management partnership with the city. Commissioners will vote on the contract Monday night.

Photo courtesy Florida Forklift

Florida Forklift honors firefighters Florida Forklift has been in business for 44 years and created a tribute forklift to firefighters and rescue personnel. The company had an official dedication for the forklift at the Plant City Fire Department’s headquarters with Chief Daniel Burnett and his staff. Breanne Williams

BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

F

ryed Egg Productions has been selected as the final candidate for the media management partnership with the City of Plant City. There were eight companies who placed bids for the contract. Fryed Egg was the only Plant City business to toss its hat in the ring. City Manager Bill McDaniel said the location of the applying businesses had no impact on the final decision. Yvonne Fry, owner and president of Fryed Egg, said that

local touch allows her to put her heart into the work in a way others may not have been able to. “It’s a quicker integration as far as understanding some of the dynamics and I think much more so than that it’s about the heart of it,” Fry said. “I believe our leadership here, our elected leaders and so on, it’s about that commitment to the community… I’m a mom and the majority of the things I do are about how do I build a community that my kids would want to live in and be a part of? I think SEE FRYED EGG, PAGE 5


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WH AT’S H APPENING

PLANT CITY OBSERVER

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PlantCityObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

WEEK OF OCTOBER 4, 2018

“I think with everything ... this is kind of maybe the cherry on top for everyone who’s bounced up and down Alexander. I’ve sure heard about it a lot during my campaign and since I’ve taken office. I’m really excited about it.”

USF students tell Plant City stories The Plant City Photo Archives and History Center recently hosted a project for a group of University of South Florida students. The school’s Advanced Journalism course and WUSF Public Media have been working on a project called “Telling Tampa Bay Stories” and came to town to interview local residents for the Plant City portion.

— Lawrence McClure, on repaving Alexander Street

BY THE NUMBERS

30,000

Easter eggs were given away at Plant City Stadium for Life Family Church’s Easter event

Improv rom-com

SEE PAGE 4

$200,000,000

the highest potential cost to build the Gary Sheffield Sports Village complex SEE ONLINE

$5,300,000

estimated cost for FDOT to pave and rework Alexander Street SEE PAGE 5

$10,000

average cost to repair the roof of a home up to 2,500 square feet SEE PAGE 3

2.5

points per game scored by the Plant City Raiders football team in 2018

Courtesy photo

The Women’s Softball Halloween All-Night Classic Tournament is held annually at Plant City Stadium.

P

The best things in life don’t have to cost you a thing SEE PAGE 8

PCHS class reunion

Spooky softball lant City’s next Women’s Softball Halloween All-Night Classic Tournament is back for “One Last Haunt.” The Plant City Recreation and Parks Departmentsponsored slow-pitch tournament will be back in

action on Oct. 17 and teams have until Oct. 12 to register. The cost per 20-player team is $300 plus two new game balls. Each team is guaranteed at least three games and the action is spread out between three divisions. Overnight

The best things in life don’t cost you The best have thingsto in life The things in The best things lifelifeyou abest thing don’t have toincost

don’t have to cost you don’t have to cost you Why pay more for Medicare than you have to? a thing a thing a thing ® You’ll office Gold visits and hospital Sayget hellodoctor’s to the Humana Plus (HMO) coverage—plus extra Plus benefits—all with: ® Medicare Say hello to the Advantage Humana Goldplan—with (HMO) a $0

The Plant City High School classes of 1988 and 1989 are getting together for a 30-year reunion celebration from Oct. 19-20. Members of the two graduating classes are invited to tailgate (without alcohol) before the Oct. 19 PCHS football game starts at 7:30 p.m. After the game, the party will head over to 1916 Irish Pub for an informal mixer. The Oct. 20 event will be a banquet at Hallback’s Bar and Grill beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person and are available online through Eventbrite.

The best things in life don’t have to cost yo a thing The best things in life

camping is available in areas with and without electricity at varying costs. Registration forms and more information are available at teamsideline.com/ sites/plantcity.

Say hello to the Humana Gold Plus® (HMO) Medicare Advantage plan—with a $0 monthly plan premium and affordable copays for many services.

One lucky Plant City couple could see their story performed live on Saturday night. Plant City Entertainment, 101 N. Thomas St., is hosting local improv group Under-Medicated’s newest show, “When ___ Met ___” from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 6 and will ask one couple from the audience to share details about how they got together, then come up with a three-act romantic comedy to perform right away. Tickets cost $10 per person.

don’t have to cost you Say hello to the Humana Gold Plus (HM aMedicare thingAdvantage plan—with a $0 ®

monthly plan premium and affordable copays many services. Say hello for to the Humana Gold Plus® (HMO)

Medicare Advantage plan—with a $0 monthly plan premium and affordable copays for many services.

Why pay more for Medica

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PLANT CITY OBSERVER

PlantCityObserver.com

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

PC company gives away roof Backbone Roofing Inc. is giving a roof to a family in need this Christmas. The contest is now open and they will be taking submissions until Dec. 14. BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

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anta will bring one lucky family a life-changing gift this Christmas thanks to Backbone Roofing Inc. Formed two years ago by Nathan Garrett, 32, the company has announced it will be giving a free roof to a family in need this holiday season. “I’ve always wanted to be able to give back to the community if I had the chance,” Garrett said. “I’ve grown up in this business. Over the past two years I’ve seen the need in our community. Especially after the hurricane last year. There are a lot that couldn’t afford to fix the damage.” Born and raised in Plant City, Garrett grew up wanting to make his community a better place. When he partnered with Graphite Media to handle his company’s social media and design his website, owner Nia Ramo encouraged him to get involved with the many social and civic-minded events around town. Garrett built his company from the ground up with his own two hands. While he has a team that works alongside him, he runs the company largely by himself. He said he wants to get more involved, but his free time is almost nonexistent. The roof giveaway is his way to help his community using the skills he has perfected over his lifetime. When he was searching for a business name he happened to stumble upon the definition of “backbone.” He knew immediately he had found his trademark. “It means strength of character, firmness,” Garrett said. “I was always taught to have a strong character, to live my life with honor and strong morals. It was a perfect fit. It represented what we’re all about.” Four weeks ago, he began reaching out to the community to let them know Backbone Roofing would be providing this monumental gift. So far he has approximately 15 submissions. The submissions are completed online at backboneroofing.com. “Sometimes bad things happen to good people,” the giveaway form said. “Sometimes the adversity that strikes a good neighbor

“It’s the season of giving. I’m just happy we can offer this. It’s the right thing to do, I was raised to give back. If it goes good, maybe we’ll do it every year around Christmas.” — Nathan Garrett, Backbone Roofing Inc.

Photos courtesy Graphite Media

Nathan Garrett, Hudson Garrett and Ashley Garrett.

Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program.

is so serious that even life essentials, like having a roof over your head, take a back seat to the crisis at hand. Here at Backbone Roofing we want to help. This Christmas we will replace a roof for a local deserving family. We have partnered with ABC Supply Co. Inc., Owens Corning and a few anonymous contributors.” Garrett said they are open to tackling any home up to 2,500 square feet and the deadline for submissions is Dec. 14. To win, a family must be nominated by someone else. The nominator should write an essay detailing why their nominee deserves a new or replacement roof. They should also include pictures of the home and the nominee must agree to be in the contest.

The company will pick a winner by Christmas Eve, according to Garrett, and will be prepared to start at the first of the year. He said they should be able to do the entire overhaul in approximately two days. This giveaway can drastically change someone’s life. A roof that size usually costs approximately $10,000 to replace, Garrett said. Having worked in the community he said he’s seen many who are using tarps, shingling over old shingles and trying other home remedies to temporarily place a bandage over the issue. If a roof goes without repair for too long it will soon cause issues throughout the entire home. People need help, he said, and he’s always tried to structure his business to provide that help.

Nathan Garrett said it is in his blood to give back to the community and he is hoping to make this an annual contest.

Backbone Roofing offers financing for any of its jobs. He said he knows how difficult these type of repairs can be for a family and he has always done his best to help them through the process. He said he hopes those who aren’t selected as the winner still know they can always find help at his company. “It’s the season of giving,” Garrett said. “I’m just happy we can offer this. It’s the right thing to do, I was raised to give back. If it goes good, maybe we’ll do it every year around Christmas.”

FOR MORE INFO: Website: www.backboneroofing.com/ roof-giveaway Facebook and Instagram: Backbone Roofing Inc. Phone: 813-580-8611 Email: backboneroofingflorida@gmail. com

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PLANT CITY OBSERVER

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PlantCityObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

PLANT CITY

Observer

Pastor spearheads CRUSADES Jack Myers, pastor of Life Family Church, leads evangelist festivals across the globe.

“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 Publisher / Karen Berry KBerry@PlantCityObserver.com Managing Editor / Sarah Holt SHolt@PlantCityObserver.com Associate Editor / Sports Editor / Justin Kline JKline@PlantCityObserver.com Staff Writer / Breanne Williams BWilliams@PlantCityObserver. com Editorial Designer / Betsy Alvarez BAlvarez@yourobserver.com Melissa Leduc MLeduc@yourobserver.com Circulation/ Office Manager / Linda Lancaster LLancaster@PlantCityObserver. com

TO ADVERTISE Call (813) 704-6850 Photo courtesy Jack Myers

Anywhere from 5,000 to 60,000 people regularly attend the massive crusades across the world led by Jack Myers.

rented Plant City Stadium and did a large Easter gathering, packing the stands for the event. They local Plant City church gave away 30,000 eggs and more is making it its mission than 2,5000 attended. Myers said to change the world one 125 people gave professions of major evangelical crufaith and 25 were baptized. sade at a time. “We spearhead, we pioneer,” This week’s Celebrity Cipher Jack Myers and his wife Marie Myers said. “We answers like to set the Puzzle One Solution: are senior pastors at Plant City’s stage, do all the groundwork so Life Family Church. Myers has canrespect, come behind “We all require others and want man us and been in the ministry for 23 years, continue theIt’s movement.” or woman, black or white. our basic has a doctorate degree, has When picking locations for human right.” upcoming – Aretha Franklin authored three books and has evangelist festivals ministered to thousands across Myers said they tend to lean Puzzle Two Solution: the globe. His church serves as a toward countries that have little “A successful man one who can lay a The place of worship and also houses to nois Christian influence. firm foundationstrategy with theisbricks others Life Christian University. one repeated freBreanne Williamsatquently “For years, crusaders have have thrown him.” in similar campaigns and been talking about reaching an Jack Myers and his service dog echoes the–David sentiment of MatBrinkley entire nation in one day,” Myers Jessy Myers. thew 24:14, where it is said once said. “We were just the ones that all nations are reached “then shall This week’s answers decided to do it. We partner with theSudoku end come.” a variety of other evangelists and met Daniel King, a crusader who The response internationally spread across an entire coun- was headed to Haiti. Myers joined has been immense. Depending try for a massive evangelism. him on the trip where they met a on the trip an average of 5,000 It’s unusual even within itself crusade director from the Domin- to 60,000 will flock to the gathbecause you so rarely see minis- ican Republic. One year later they ering. Myers said the day is full tries coming together in any form, had planned a massive crusade to of worship and teaching and he Celebrity Cipher letThis aloneweek’s this scale. ” the answers Dominican that drew more attests to them performing faith Mission work is a large premise than 40,000 attendees. healing to those in need. Puzzle One Solution: of Life Family Church. Even with From there the work continued The church should be mim“We all require and want man the university, the students arerespect, to grow. Though Myers said the icking the teachings of the book or woman, black or white. our basic required to serve at their home It’s church prefers to fly under the of Acts, Myers said. Those who church rather than join the ranks radar, the word is spreading of get too wrapped up in doctrine human right.” – Aretha Franklin of Myers’s congregation. its unique work. He was recently or rules miss the point of scripMyers said he Solution: was saved at 12 recognized at a city commission ture. He said he firmly believes a Puzzle Two years old and knew he was called meeting for his work abroad. revival is on its way for the Ameriman one whoLast canyear lay athe church brought can church, that we will soon see to“A be successful a pastor. While at aisminisfirmconference foundation with thehebricks others to its hometown. It a “third great awakening.” ters’ in Chicago the mission

BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

A

have thrown at him.”

–David Brinkley

Thisweek’s week’s Sudoku answers This Sudoku answers

Advertising / Karen Berry KBerry@PlantCityObserver.com

“I think Christians are disgruntled with modern-day religion,” Myers said. “The American life is an easy life. America is the greatest nation in the world, but most have never left the country. They’ve never seen a life different from their own and that’s shocking when they go abroad.” The group often partners with medical teams and makes it a mission to meet the “natural needs as well as the spiritual needs” when serving. Anyone interested in joining Life Family Church should call 813-708-2783 or visit lifefamilychurch.net or jackmyersministry. com. The university is starting enrollment and more information can be found at the church’s website. Services are Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Lifegroup is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

We spearhead, we pioneer. We like to set the stage, do all the groundwork so others can come behind us and continue the movement. — Jack Myers, Life Family Church

CONTACT US

The Plant City Observer is published once weekly, on Thursdays. The Plant City Observer also can be found in many commercial locations throughout Plant City and at our office, 1507 S. Alexander St., Suite 103. If you wish to discontinue home delivery or if you wish to suspend home delivery temporarily, call Linda Lancaster at 704-6850.

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Thisweek’s week’sCrossword Crossword answers answers This

This week’s Celebrity Cipher answers This week’s Celebrity Cipher answers

Puzzle One Solution: “We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.” – Aretha Franklin Puzzle Two Solution: “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” –David Brinkley

This week’s Sudoku answers

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This week’s Crossword answers

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PLANT CITY OBSERVER

PlantCityObserver.com

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

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Fryed Egg FROM PAGE 1

File photo

FDOT stepped in for some Plant City projects like the Knights Griffin Bridge replacement.

Makeover on its way for Alexander St. FDOT is preparing to begin the long-awaited pavement and repair of Alexander Street. BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

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race yourselves. Alexander Street is finally being paved. The nearly four-mile stretch of road will be redone at a cost of $5.3 million, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. Lawrence McClure, state representative for District 58, said construction will begin on Oct. 15 and conclude in the spring of 2019. “A road like Alexander Street is an intricate part of how we get around Plant City,” McClure said. “Once we have all of our roads in good conditions we can have an extensive dialogue about Interstate 4 expansion or the possibility of a high-speed rail. But I’ve always said we need to take care of what we already have first.” McClure said his office has been in contact with FDOT so that they are aware of Plant City’s impending Florida Strawberry Festival. He said they are going to do everything in their power to have the construction fully completed before the massive waves of visitors come to town. Plant City commissioners have frequently stated in meetings that resident complaints regarding Alexander Street have been one of, if not the most, frequent feedback they get from the public. People have commented on the Plant City Observer’s Facebook that they are tired of having “potholes that could swallow a car” and have offered to “buy bags of cement” to fix the problem themselves. When Dominos Pizza began giving cities grants for street repairs in the summer of 2018, several residents nomi-

nated Alexander Street and had a petition circling around social media to draw more submissions. Alexander Street is a statemaintained road and, in January, FDOT told the Observer the design phase for the street was underway with a fall deadline to begin construction. Unlike a normal paving project, the overhaul includes the repaving of Alexander Street between Jim Redman Parkway and I-4 as well as the installation of guardrails and sidewalks. Those extra additions may cause the timeline to be longer than some expect. FDOT will also be working mainly at night, according to McClure. The sidewalks, signals and turn lanes will be worked on during the day. Currently, there were no major utility repairs needed in the roadway. Though the plan is to keep Alexander Street open, drivers should be prepared for consistent delays as they close lanes for construction. The delays, plus the increase in traffic as more flock to Plant City for the winter, will potentially make commuting a nightmare so drivers should plan accordingly for the traffic. “I think with everything, the leadership of Mayor Rick Lott and the city and the commitment they’ve made to resurface a lot of the roads in Plant City, this is kind of maybe the cherry on top for everyone who’s bounced up and down Alexander,” McClure said. “I’ve sure heard about it a lot during my campaign and since I’ve taken office.” McClure said Alexander Street is the basis for the local economy, the overall quality of life for Plant City residents and overall safety. He said it is only right that taxpayer dollars ensure that local infrastructure is well maintained. “I don’t know that I’ve ever been so excited about a road being repaved as I am with Alexander Street,” McClure said.

that adds something special and different.” The bid was placed on June 28 on the city’s website, bidsync. com and demandstar.com and businesses had three weeks to submit their proposals. The city’s request for proposals stated the company hired would be expected to tackle issues like branding and design, assist with social media, create original content for the city’s accounts, develop and produce videos and photos, write press releases and monthly newsletters and aid in website management. The city has allotted $70,000 to the project. The cheapest bid was $60,000 annually but had major additional fees for website management, video and photo production. Fryed Egg had the second-lowest bid at $120,000 annually. The highest bid requested $616,220 a year. McDaniel said once the final negotiations are completed they will have made all the cuts in the contract necessary to get to an agreement. The RFP committee reviewed the proposals, whittled it down to the top three and then the number one candidate. “All of the services were relatively similar,” McDaniel said. “A lot simply came down to price. I have a particular vision of what I wanted to accomplish and I had a budget. Some of the proposals far exceeded that budget, others were in the neighborhood. During these final negotiations, we ended up taking website management out of the proposal to get the price down to our budget.” Using an RFP to hire an outside business ends up saving the city quite a lot of funds since it doesn’t have to hire new staff, allocate office space, buy the necessary equipment or provide the city benefits. McDaniel stated it was his mission upon being selected as City Manager to improve the city’s communication with its residents. The next fiscal year includes major projects like the new fire station, North Park Isle, street resurfacing and a major overhaul of several parks. Keeping residents informed and up to date on the city’s plans is one of his top priorities as city manager. He said he watched Fryed Egg work with Vice Mayor Nate Kilton to get videos out to the public and while he in no way wants to mimic that he believes using videos is a great medium to convey meaningful updates to the public. He began crafting an RFP that would help the city accomplish all of his goals. He said he knew what he wanted, but was never afraid to borrow from “somebody else’s wheel if they’ve invented a good

Notice

one.” The city has sample RFPs, he worked closely with procurement and began looking to other sources as well. Fry has worked with the city before with the Midtown Project and Plant City Right Now and McDaniel said he did pull part of what he liked from one of her proposals to add to his own RFP. “I had a proposal from her that I certainly took elements out of to write our own RFP, but we used other sources and I wrote some of it originally myself,” McDaniel said. “It’s a combination of things that we get. She is a communication firm in this city, so obviously she’s going to be out there doing what firms do and soliciting business and everything else. I have a very good relationship with Yvonne and I think I’m going to have a good working relationship with Yvonne. I’m looking forward to this.” The proposal is for media management for the city, not for a gatekeeper, McDaniel said. If there is a last minute announcement from the state or PCPD he can simply send one email and have it blasted across all of the city’s platforms. During Monday night’s commission meeting, city commissioners will vote to either approve or deny the contract. If approved, the contract lasts for one year with built-in renewals they can choose to execute if they wish. McDaniel said they will revisit the issue at the end of the year and see what the best step for the city is at that point in time.

“A lot simply came down to price. I had a particular vision of what I wanted to accomplish and I had a budget.” — Bill McDaniel, city manager

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

IT’S READ EVERYWHERE Did you take the Observer with you on vacation? Send your pictures to Associate Editor Justin Kline at jkline@plantcityobserver.com to be featured. WYOMING: The

Plant City Observer accompanied Ginny Miller and her husband on a July vacation to South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Among the sights Miller took in was that of the famous Yellowstone National Park.

Vicky Saunders, of MAKE Plant City, let kids decorate the sidewalk with chalk and had goodies from The Corner Store for attendees.

Plant City stops to play

CUTEST CRITTER Do you want Plant City to see how cute your favorite pets are? Send your pictures to Staff Writer Breanne Williams at bwilliams@ plantcityobserver.com to be featured.

BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

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ach year, Jensen’s Heart of Gold Foundation creates a special day for local families to enjoy a moment of carefree play. Everything is free from the food and drinks to the plentiful games. Local civic clubs, groups and organizations come together to provide booths with activities and entertainment for kids. The event is in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Emily Pierce, executive vice president of the Florida Chapter, said the event is a way to help children who are currently fighting to have a moment to do what they do best: play. — BREANNE WILLIAMS

Photos by Breanne Williams

Strawberry Queen Court First Maid Dallas Baker and court members Baylee Astin and Selena Berrios gave out ribbons in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

PLANT CITY REMEMBERS FLOYD HALL Hall spent his life doing whatever he could to help Plant City. JUSTIN KLINE SPORTS/ASSOCIATE EDITOR

O

Photo courtesy Florida Strawberry Festival

Floyd Hall and his wife, Mary Ann, at the Strawberry Ball.

ne thing about James Floyd Hall that always stood out to his peers was his commitment to

service. That went beyond serving in the United States Army, which included a deployment to Vietnam during the war. Hall, 70, was known for always being willing to lend a helping hand around Plant City. Whether it was as small as coaching youth sports or as big as helping organize the Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City residents could count on Hall. “He was an absolutely wonderful boss and one of my best friends up until he passed away,” former coworker Judy Barto said. Hall, born Dec. 11, 1947, graduated from Plant City High School in 1965 and came back to Florida after his military service, graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in accounting. He spent 33 years working for Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan — 27 as its president — and in his free time served on boards all over the community. Hall was active in the local youth sports scene, coaching for more than 20 years.

He also taught Sunday school at First Baptist Church of Plant City for more than 20 years. Mike Sparkman, who grew up with Hall in Plant City, said he was a true gentleman who held the right values in life. “I’ve never heard him say a bad word about anybody,” Sparkman said. “He loved life, loved his family and was a good-hearted man.” Most notably, Hall was a longtime Florida Strawberry Festival director and its Vice Chairman since 2017. He started as an associate director in October 1998 and was moved up to a director’s role in 2007. Hall brought his accounting expertise to the table and led the financial committee for many years. Festival President Paul Davis said Hall’s knowledge and ideas brought consistency to the festival and helped it grow. “We’re still numb. It was so unexpected,” Davis said. “He’s one of those guys you just cannot replace.” The Florida Strawberry Festival vice chairman died Sept. 21.

I’ve never heard him say a bad word about anybody. He loved life, loved his family and was a good-hearted man. — Mike Sparkman

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Davis credits Hall with helping him in his role as president over the last decade. Though he was “a man of few words,” Davis said, everything Hall did say was carefully thought out and full of wisdom Davis still uses today. “He’s been such an integral part since 1998,” Davis said. “He’s worked on so many committees and helped build us to what we are today.” After Sparkman brought Hall into the festival’s finance committee in 2010, the two men led the charge to modernize the way it did business by introducing new technology and financial operations. The goal was to revamp the business side so the festival could grow and both Sparkman and Davis said Hall’s expertise as a CPA was crucial to its success. “We brought it into a business and it’s one of the largest businesses in Plant City,” Sparkman said. “It’s in a new era.” Hall’s impact on the Plant City community won’t soon be forgotten as many in town have used their platforms to celebrate his life. “He was just a great man, a great Southern man that made everyone in his community, everyone that he knew, feel comfortable,” Mayor Rick Lott said in last week’s city commission meeting. “He really loved Plant City and he will be missed. The impact he made on our city will be felt for many, many years.”

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SPORTS

Alex Lopez-Portillo leads FCA’s cross country team. See Page 9

Sidelines

PUNT, PASS, KICK Results from the Sept. 29 Plant City Recreation and Parks Department/Optimist Club Tri-Star Punt, Pass and Kick Football Skills Contest were released Monday afternoon. The competition challenged kids to punt, pass and kick footballs as far as they can and they won first, second and third place awards based on their combined distances in all three events. GIRLS AGE 6-7 n Rylie Morris (36’11”) GIRLS AGE 10-11 n Aubrey Johnson (64’9”) n Kailyn Conde (61’7”) GIRLS AGE 12-13 n Gracie Edgemon (143’4”) n Nahlia McGrath (76’8”) GIRLS AGE 14-15 n Savannah Robertson (81’9”) BOYS AGE 6-7 n Blaydin Wright (102’4”) n Peyton Beachy (76’9”) n Jayden Baptiste (57’7”) BOYS AGE 8-9 n Tanner Gonser (124’2”) n Drew Sapp (117’) n Bennett Johnson (94’11”) BOYS AGE 10-11 n Tyler Gonser (197’4”) n Javonn Baptiste (171’3”) n Aidan Beachy (155’2”) BOYS AGE 12-13 n Alejandro Martinez (196’11”) n Patrick Johnson (164’9”) n Cade Johnson (144’1”) BOYS AGE 14-15 n Ethan Belluccio (260’9”) n Elijah Johnson (215’6”) n Quinton Kahelin (152’1”)

GAME OF THE WEEK Justin Kline

Zamir’ Knighten and the Plant City Raiders have a tough test against Armwood on Friday night.

ARMWOOD at PLANT CITY The Hawks visit the undefeated Raiders Friday night. JUSTIN KLINE SPORTS/ASSOCIATE EDITOR

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he Plant City Raiders have had plenty to celebrate this season with six wins in six games played. Now isn’t the time to get caught up in the record. October brings about the most important stretch of football the Raiders will play in the 2018 regular season. Up next is Armwood, followed by Durant, Bloomingdale and Tampa Bay Tech. Three of the four games will be played at home and the lone road game, next week at Durant, will have high stakes as the annual Battle for the Redman Cup. District foes Tech and Bloomingdale, like Plant City, are currently undefeated. This four-week slate of games could net Plant City plenty of bonus points in the FHSAA standings. The Raiders have no choice but to play well throughout October to make it back into the playoffs for the first time

WHAT’S ON KLINE’S MIND?

since 2015 — otherwise, their Oct. 26 game against Tech will effectively end their season before their Nov. 2 bye. That all starts this week with the Hawks. Armwood is on a four-game win streak after Tech handed the Hawks their only loss of the season in the Aug. 24 opener. Most recently, Armwood hosted Blake and flexed its muscles in a 49-19 win locked up with five touchdowns in the first half. But the 2018 Hawks haven’t been dominating opponents the way they have in the past, especially on the road. In back-to-back weeks at Plant and Chamberlain, the Hawks won both games by a combined nine points: 21-18 in a thriller at Plant and 20-14 in a game where Chamberlain was able to keep the Hawks from scoring in the second half. The Raiders are coming off of a 35-0 shutout win at Strawberry Crest where the Chargers defense tried to limit the PCHS passing game as much as possible, daring Plant City to find another way to beat them. It wasn’t a typical offensive performance for the Raiders — Braxton Plunk threw for a season-low 170 yards and

playmaker Mario Williams was kept quiet — but Plant City did indeed find other ways to beat their opponents and still got four touchdowns from Zamir’ Knighten and De’Qwan Myers. Plunk and the Raiders likely won’t face the same kind of resistance from the Hawks. Both Chamberlain and Jefferson threw for more than 230 yards on Armwood and in both cases, the quarterbacks completed 65% or more of their pass attempts. Plant quarterback Tucker Gleason only threw for 109 yards and one touchdown against the Hawks, but Gleason also picked up 100 rushing yards and a score on 15 carries a week before Chamberlain quarterback Tyler Riddell ran eight times for 66 yards and a score. These are all good signs for Plunk, who is both a solid decision-maker with legit weapons and a fearless, capable runner. No matter how depleted this Armwood squad is from last season, it’s not going to be a cakewalk for Plant City. Beating Armwood isn’t out of the question, either. October will tell everyone what the Raiders are all about, and they can start on a high note by coming ready to compete Friday night.

OTHER AREA ACTION DURANT vs. Lennard, 4748 Cougar Path, 7:30 p.m. Durant is coming off of a bye week following the Cougars’ 24-6 win at Strawberry Crest. Lennard, which has lost its last five games, will travel to Durant Friday night to give the Cougars a test. Durant’s defensive line will be tested by Lennard’s massive offensive line, but the Cougars have momentum from two straight wins. STRAWBERRY CREST at Bloomingdale, 1700 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, 7:30 p.m. Strawberry Crest fought hard but fell to Plant City, 35-0, last week. Another challenging district game awaits the Chargers this Friday night at Bloomingdale. The undefeated Bulls squeaked by East Bay, 13-6, last week.

JUSTIN KLINE

Coaches should teach, not posture There’s no place for toxic machismo in coaching, yet the problem is there.

A

fter seeing all the reports coming from the University of Maryland’s football program, I’m thankful to

know some truly great coaches work in our area. If you haven’t heard, allegations of abuse at the University of Maryland under head coach D.J. Durkin got a national spotlight following the preventable, heatstroke-induced death of sophomore Jordan McNair. The reports allege Durkin has run a

program more determined to cull the weak than teach the players, forcing those who didn’t perform up to expectations to perform tasks well beyond what’s considered reasonable. If you’re creating a culture of fear wherever you’re supposed to be a leader — whether it be with a sports team, in the classroom,

with an extracurricular program, at your place of work or whatever — you’re a terrible leader of men and women. Remember it. Write it down, take a picture, I don’t care. There’s a line between teaching young people to be tough and trying to give them post-traumatic stress disorder so you can

feel in charge. Toughness doesn’t come from picking a kid off the ground following their collapse and forcing them to keep going or go down as a disgrace. Toughness doesn’t come from humiliating the kids you’re supposed to be leading by forcing them to SEE KLINE, PAGE 9


PLANT CITY OBSERVER

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Kline

SPONSORED BY SPORT CLIPS

Alex LopezPortillo Faith Christian Academy seventhgrader Alex Lopez-Portillo runs hard and fast at every competition no matter what. LopezPortillo, who is in his first season running cross country, is one of two runners on FCA’s team and has been praised by the staff for his hard work. His athletic career is getting started and he hopes to try other sports in the future. How long have you been running cross country? It’s been like, maybe a month and two weeks. What do you like about it? It takes my mind off a lot of stuff. Mostly like school, or stress stuff. What does it take to keep a good attitude when you go out there, no matter what happens? You’ve got to just stay focused.

Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at JKline@plantcityobserver.com by the Friday before the next issue.

Do you play any other sports? Just cross country for now, but I do intend to do soccer. I used to play soccer, but I stopped a while ago. What are some of your other hobbies? Gaming. What are you playing right now? Mostly Nintendo games, like “Breath of the Wild.”

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

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FROM PAGE 8

eat candy bars in front of their exercising peers when they don’t meet a weight loss goal. Kids pick up on what it means to be tough when they’re inspired to beat obstacles because they believe they can. Toughness comes from that spark of inspiration you get from having people in your corner who believe in you and don’t hide it. Toughness is when you fear nothing and no one in your way because you know you’ll triumph. There’s a huge difference between yelling at a player during practice for making mistakes and punishing them until they break, either mentally or physically. If you think any of the offenses Durkin and the Maryland staff allegedly committed under his supervision are acceptable, your priorities are way out of whack. If what you’re doing could be considered abuse, you’ve got to check yourself before you do irreversible damage to someone’s livelihood. The industry doesn’t need any more psychos in charge. There are tons of coaches out there who are successful without crossing the line between tough love and abuse. The “predator and prey” attitude should never

What’s your favorite subject in school? Science. Do you have any idea what you might want to do when you’re all done with school? I intend to do something that’s related to computers. My brother’s going into designing now.

When you’re getting ready for a meet, how do you get your mind right to run? Take a few stretches and deep breaths.

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What’s something you learned in cross country that’s helped you become a better runner? Definitely going to the gym, like training. Mostly the treadmill.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

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be taken to extremes like that. This “cull the weak” attitude has no place in a profession where teaching athletes how to play better is literally in the job description. These guys need therapy, not power, yet they’re getting it all over the country and many programs will turn a blind eye until stuff hits the fan like at Maryland. Luckily, I know plenty of coaches in the Plant City area that really do care about their players’ well-being and futures. I’ve had a lot of people tell me over the years they came to (or came back to) Plant City because it’s a “great place to raise a family” and to that I’d add it’s also a pretty great place for our kids to play sports between our high schools, middle schools and youth programs. I just hope our coaches continue to be positive role models in their kids’ lives, unlike these rage monster cases grabbing the headlines these days.

Justin Kline is the Sports Editor at the Plant City Times & Observer. Email: jkline@ plantcityobserver. com.

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PLANT CITY OBSERVER

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PlantCityObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

Courtesy rendering

The Gary Sheffield Sports Village could transform Plant City, making it a sports hub destination.

Photos by Breanne Williams

Tickets were sold for a diamond ring drawing.

Sports village agreement ahead The city is reviewing a presentation regarding the Sports Village project, which would catapult Plant City into a new age.

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IF YOU GO COMMISSION MEETING Where: City Hall, 302 W. Reynolds St. When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4

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BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

T

he future of Sports Village is scheduled to be presented Monday night during the city’s commission meeting at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall. City Manager Bill McDaniel said he has been working tirelessly to get the project up and running. He said it will be between a $50 million to a $200 million deal depending on the wishes of the developer. “This is going to bring state-ofthe-art facilities as well as residential and retail areas to Plant City,” McDaniel said. “There are very complex legal documents involved. We’re going to be on the 15th version of the development agreement alone by the Oct. 8 meeting.” A presentation on the Gary Sheffield Sports Village will inform the public of the detailed plans and timeline for the development. As long as there are no “hiccups,” McDaniel said the presentation will be this Monday. A delay would simply push it to the second commission meeting of the month. If everything stays according to the original plan, the complex will include the Plant City Stadium parcel, the Urban Forest parcel and the land along Jim Johnson Road and East Park Road. The agreement allots for approximately five years to com-

outh Florida Baptist Hospital held its 22nd annual Diamonds & Denim Gala at the Charlie Grimes Family Agricultural Center at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds on Sept. 27. The hospital raised money via tickets and auctions to help improve its medical program. Approximately 650 people attended the event, according to Jana Butler, executive director of the SFBH Foundation. “This year we added a new fundraiser called ‘Unlock Your Dreams,’” Butler said. “There are 50 keys on necklaces hanging at the booth. You buy a key for $30 and at the end of the night if your key opens the padlock you win the $1,200 worth of Carnival cruise tickets inside.” The tickets were donated by Beaches Painting and Construction. The annual 50/50 raffle was also at the event. All of the items in the silent and live auctions were donated, many from local businesses and community members. This year, the presenting sponsor of the gala was Advanced Care Hospitalists.

plete the project, but McDaniel said the developer has expressed interest in moving the project along as quickly as possible. The addition of such a massive complex would be a monumental addition to the city, Mayor Rick Lott told the Observer last year. “This is our Legoland,” Lott said. “It’s our Busch Gardens. It’s that big of a deal for us.” While presentations are presented to the public for the first time during the commission meetings, commissioners are walked through the presentations in advance on an individual basis so they have the opportunity to be fully informed and have their questions answered prior to the meeting. The commission meeting will also feature a presentation and a scheduled vote on the media management bid for the city as well as a presentation by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council regarding its new initiative throughout Tampa Bay. If everything is wrapped up before Monday, there may also be a meeting on extending utilities to SR 39. If not, it is expected to be presented by the last commission meeting in October. The full agenda for each meeting can be found the Friday prior to the scheduled event at plantcitygov.com.

— BREANNE WILLIAMS

Each year the community comes together to raise money for SFBH.

Items were donated for auction by businesses and community members across Tampa Bay.

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PLANT CITY OBSERVER

PlantCityObserver.com

“It was in Walden Lake. Toothpaste. Not like the mini one, but a full-size thing of toothpaste.”

“Business cards. I went last year... they had little baggies with candy and business cards in them.”

— Jordan Williams, 26

— Brenda Landress, 27

“Household items, a toothbrush and toothpaste. He was a dentist.” — Jessie Williams, 28

11

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

“I got candy cigarettes. They had the little chalk puff when you ate them, so it looked like you were smoking. It was great to give to a 10-year-old kid.”

AROUND TOWN

We asked: What’s the weirdest thing you ever got while trickor-treating?

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each other is what PLANT CITY OBSERVER

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community

PlantCityObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

Chester Harry Andrew Christian

James ‘Jimmy’ Brown

Chester Harry Andrew Christian, 75, of Thonotosassa, passed away on Sept. 24, 2018. Online condolences may be left for the family at www. haught.care.

James “Jimmy” Brown, 75, of Plant City, passed away on Sept. 26, 2018. Online condolences may be left for the family at www. haught.care.

is all about.

Robert E. Rode Robert E. Rode, 87, of Plant City, passed away on Sept. 27, 2018. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He will be missed. Online condolences may be left for the family at www. haught.care.

Rachael Tucker

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Louise Nichols

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Wayne M. Overstreet Wayne M. Overstreet, 71, of Valrico, born on Nov. 6, 1946 in Tampa, entered into eternal rest on Sept. 24, 2018. Expressions of condolence at www.HopewellFuneral.com.

HOPEWELL

Lt. Col. Travis Andrew Brownlow Lt. Col. Travis Andrew Brownlow, USAF, 48, of Maxwell AFB, Alabama, formerly of Plant City, entered into eternal rest on Sept. 24, 2018. Expressions of condolence at www.HopewellFuneral.com.

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OBITUARIES

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

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HOPEWELL FUNERAL HOME • MEMORIAL GARDENS

www.HopewellFuneraI.com

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13


14

YOUR CALENDAR

PLANT CITY OBSERVER

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PlantCityObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

SATURDAY, OCT. 6

NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURAL PROGRAM 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at United Methodist Church, 303 N. Evers St. There will be free food, native style singing and dancing, storytelling, flute playing, demonstrations and an exhibit. THE FLORIDA OPRY 6 to 9 p.m. at the 1914 Plant City High School Community Center, 605 N. Collins St. The Florida Opry is held the first Saturday of each month from October to February and again in April. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students in advance online at the ehhsoc. org/theflorida-opry.html and $17 for adults and $10 for students at the door.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10

BLUEGRASS JAM 7:33 to 10:33 p.m. at Krazy Kup, 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd. Any local Bluegrass musicians or fans are welcome to come to the music loft, clap their hands and stomp their feet.

HCC PLANT CITY CAMPUS JOB FAIR 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Rd. This is a free event and any job seekers are invited to attend. Bring a copy of your resume and dress in business attire.

MONDAY, OCT. 8

PLANT CITY GARDEN CLUB 10 a.m. at the 1914 High School Community Center, 605 N. Collins St. Coffee is served at 9:30 a.m. and a design program with Carol Lucia starts afterward. MASTER GARDENERS 6:30 p.m. at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon St. A Master Gardener will discuss why pollinators matter and the plants different pollinators prefer.

THURSDAY, OCT. 11

BEST BET FRIDAY, OCT. 5

PLANT CITY BIKE FEST 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. downtown. The Plant City Bike Fest is held four times a year and this month’s event features a 10-class motorcycle show, food trucks, a vendor market and live music. It is the 16th anniversary show and there will be three special trophies.

IMPROV NIGHT 7:13 p.m. at Krazy Kup, 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd. Krazy Kup and Join the Circus Productions bring a night of improvisational acting to the stage every month. After the show, audience members can take part in jam session and give improv a try.

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PLANT CITY OBSERVER

PlantCityObserver.com

Send your photo submissions to Associate Editor Justin Kline at jkline@PlantCityObserver. com or hashtag #iloveplantcity on Instagram for @igersplantcity to feature.

High: 90 Low: 72 Chance of rain: 40%

FRIDAY, OCT. 5

THURSDAY, OCT. 4

Rose Goodall captured this photo of a nearby rain band pouring down on Plant City and emailed it to the Observer. Goodall wins this week’s I Love Plant City photo contest.

High: 91 Low: 71 Chance of rain: 20%

High: 91 Low: 72 Chance of rain: 10%

High: 90 Low: 73 Chance of rain: 40%

AVOCADO

Follow us on social media: @PCObserver on Instgram, @PlantObserver on Twitter and Plant City Observer on Facebook.

SUNRISE / SUNSET

Sunrise Sunset

Thursday, Oct. 4

7:23a

7:11p

Friday, Oct. 5

7:23a

7:10p

Saturday, Oct. 6

7:24a

7:09p

Sunday, Oct. 7

7:24a

7:08p

Monday, Oct. 8

7:25a

7:06p

Tuesday, Oct. 9

7:26a

7:05p

Wednesday, Oct. 10

7:26a

7:04p

MOON PHASES

SATURDAY, OCT. 6

SUNDAY, OCT. 7

ONLINE

15

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

WEATHER

I LOVE PLANT CITY

FORECAST

|

Shipping point: South Florida $13 to $16

Oct. 8 New

Oct. 13 First

Oct. 4 Last

Oct. 24 Full

RAINFALL Monday, Sept. 24

0.03

Tuesday, Sept. 25 0.00 Wednesday, Sept. 26

0.03

Thursday, Sept. 27 0.17 0.26

Friday, Sept. 28

Saturday, Sept. 29 0.00 0.00

Sunday, Sept. 30 YEAR TO DATE:

MONTH TO DATE:

2018 23.00 in.

2018 0.00 in.

2017 29.24 in.

2017 0.09 in.

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CROSSWORD

©2018 Universal Uclick

ACROSS

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BREAK DANCE by Timothy B. Parker

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LL Wiiiams & Karen Davis OWNERS OF FELTON'S

CELEBRITY CIPHER

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“JP CWW MPUGZMP COX JCOB MPETPVB, DCO FM JFDCO, HWCVY FM JSZBP. ZB’E FGM HCEZV SGDCO MZRSB.”

– CMPBSC AMCOYWZO

“X PKHHLPPYKN VXG RP MGL AUM HXG NXZ X YRTV YMKGEXWRMG ARWU WUL ITRHJP MWULTP UXCL WUTMAG XW URV.” – EXCRE ITRGJNLZ Puzzle Two Clue: N equals L

617 N. Maryland Ave. • Plant City 813-752-1548

Puzzle One Clue: U equals Q

Choice Meats • Meat Bundles • Specialty Meats • Produce • Smoke House • Groceries

©2018 NEA, Inc.

SUDOKU

Complete the grid so that every row, column and 3x3 box contains every digit from 1 to 9 inclusively.

©2018 Andrews McMeel Syndicate

10-04-18


PLANT CITY OBSERVER

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PlantCityObserver.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018

Why go to an emergency center that’s connected to a hospital? What if you need the rest of the hospital? When it comes to your health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Which is why during an emergency such as a stroke or heart attack, every second counts. We don’t want to risk our patients’ lives by transferring them to a different hospital for emergency surgery. Here, if you need to be rushed to surgery, it’s down the hall, not down the road. We also have access to cutting-edge equipment and some of the best doctors, nurses and specialists in the region are only a few feet away. If you need a pint of blood, no problem, we’re connected to a blood bank. Not to mention that our rehabilitation, orthopedic, oncology and maternity departments are only a wheelchair ride away. The best place to go during your emergency is a facility designed to handle any emergency. And that’s right here at BayCare’s South Florida Baptist Hospital. Learn where to get the right care: BayCareRightCareRightPlace.org

OUR NETWORK:

BayCare Behavioral Health • BayCare HomeCare • BayCare Laboratories • BayCare Medical Group BayCare Outpatient Imaging • BayCare Surgery Centers • BayCare Urgent Care OUR HOSPITALS:

Bartow Regional Medical Center • BayCare Alliant Hospital • Mease Countryside Hospital • Mease Dunedin Hospital • Morton Plant Hospital Morton Plant North Bay Hospital • St. Anthony’s Hospital • St. Joseph’s Hospital • St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital • St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital St. Joseph’s Hospital-North • St. Joseph’s Hospital-South • South Florida Baptist Hospital • Winter Haven Hospital • Winter Haven Women’s Hospital BAYCARE.ORG 18-400108-0518

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