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VOLUME 6, NO. 37



Once a Phase One Feasibility Study is complete there’s a chance overall water quality management, stormwater treatment and aquifer augmentation could be improved at McIntosh Park. SEE PAGE 5


Justin Kline

Chris Janson pumps up the crowd during his March 8 concert at the Florida Strawberry Festival.

The Florida Strawberry Festival might have ended on Sunday, but memories made at the 84th annual festival will last a lifetime. It brought big-time musical acts, compelling ag shows, a fun new tradition with the Battle of the Bands and so much more in its latest 11-day run. True to its theme, “It’s a Hit,” the 2019 Strawberry Festival was a real home run. SEE FESTIVAL RESULTS, PAGE 12 | SEE PHOTOS, PAGE 15 | SEE MORE IMAGES ONLINE

SECRET KEEPER GIRL COMES TO CITY POINTE Mothers and daughters are invited to a special one-night-only event at City Pointe Church on March 30. SEE PAGE 12






Winn-Dixie held a special salute to strawberries day last week where guests were able to sample a variety of strawberry themed foods and take photos with a berry mascot. Daisy Duke extends the ball for extra yardage after a catch.

Winn-Dixie’s salute to strawberries The Winn-Dixie store at 205 W. Alexander St. celebrated Plant City strawberries on March 9 with plenty of free food for the public. The event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featured strawberry-themed giveaways, gift cards, photo opportunities with a strawberry character and plenty of free food samples throughout the store with strawberry themes: barbecue sauce on pulled pork, flavored cream cheese spread on bagels, milkshakes, salsa and, of course, three large sheets of strawberry shortcake with berries donated by St. Clement Catholic Church.

U.S. Chief Agricultural Ambassador visits Florida Strawberry Festival U.S. Chief Agricultural Ambassador Gregg Doud met with local agricultural producers at the Florida Strawberry Festival on March 10. Joining the strawberry, vegetable and cattle producers were U.S. Rep. Ross Spano, State Rep. Lawrence McClure and Plant City officials. Doud discussed international trade policies and opened the floor for the guests to speak on agricultural issues and the state of international trade negotiations, among other things. Doud also visited local produce and cattle farms.

Camp Invention to return

PCHS Class of 1956 reunion

Local students in kindergarten through sixth grade can have a ton of fun studying STEM this summer. Camp Invention will be back in Plant City from June 10 through 14 at the Arthur Boring Civic Center at the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds. The camp gets kids’ creative juices flowing and allows them to find their “inner inventor” through hands-on learning exercises and group activities. This year’s action-packed activities will teach kids about intellectual property and the U.S. patent system, how to survive on an island, coding, DNA syntheses, robot engineering and more. All campers will get to bring home their very own robots on June 14. For more information or to sing up, visit camp.

Plant City High School’s Class of 1956 is planning a lunch meet-up for 1 p.m. March 28. The lunch will be served at Brick House Cafe, 206 S. Evers St., and anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP in advance. To do so, call Barbara Miller at 813-752-2847 or Mary Jane Jackson Parolini at 813-7540313.

Hunter selected for transportation committee Plant City resident Robert Hunter was named to Hillsborough County’s Transportation Tax Oversight Committee. He recieved the prestigious appointment on March 6 from the board of county commissioners.

Hunter was one of two “experts” tapped for the committee, joining Audrey Moore. Hunter owns and operates Robert Hunter Sustainable Solutions, LLC, and has also served as Executive Director of the Hillsborough County City County Planning Commission for 26 years. He has been involved in planning committees and institutes around America. Other Plant City residents involved with the committee are Dan Raulerson, CPA and attorney Jay Hollenkamp. The committee will oversee the distribution of the one percent surtax proceeds as mandated by the “All for Transportation” ballot item that passed in the November 2018 election.







Ronald Wetherington has been in the steer ring for more than four decades watching as generations learned to master the art of showing an animal. BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

Nearly every child that has ever stepped foot in the ring at the Florida Strawberry Festival for a steer or swine sale has had their bids racked up by Ronald Wetherington. He’s been a staple in the lives of more than four generations of agriculture-focused youth and has been along for the ride as the sales have evolved into the booming successes they are today. Since the early 1970s Wetherington has helped local youth learn that hard work can pay off. Now he’s officially hanging up his hat. “It’s been rewarding over the years,” Wetherington said. “So many of our leaders have got their start right here. It’s very rewarding to be a part of this. And I’m gonna miss it, but it’s time for some of the younger people to do it now. But I’ll be there for every one of the future sales, every one of them, until I get to where I can’t.” The festival began offering steer sales in the early 70s and Wetherington was asked immediately to be a part of the process. Right before the first sale he had to leave town and head to Tennessee for a funeral. However, the next year he stepped in the ring and hasn’t missed a sale since. He was honored for his decades of service with the festival last week during the steer sale with a special plaque. It was the first time he wasn’t standing with the students scanning the stands for bids. Instead he settled among the crowd ready to take in the highenergy event. When the festival called his name and announced they had something in his honor it caught him entirely by surprise. “I received a plaque at the fes-

tival at the steer show Saturday night and I’m very appreciative of that,” Wetherington said. “The Strawberry Festival presented it for four decades of working the sale ring and helping the youth in there and I certainly appreciated that. It was a surprise, I had no idea it was coming, but I’m so appreciative.” Showing an animal teaches youth lessons they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives and Wetherington said he could always tell the second they stepped in the ring if they’d done their homework and truly worked with their animals. Those who were willing to put in the time always walked away with the best bids. It’s a lesson he was willing to impart on any student who sought his expertise. “This is the cream of the crop, these are the kind of kids we want to have as leaders, as our congressmen and state representatives, as our city leaders and the leaders in our community,” Wetherington said. “A lot of the kids that come up through FFA or 4-H that have shown the animals have learned so many skills that they can use for the rest of their life. It teaches them what to do to make money. They’re entrepreneurs with one animal. That’s basically what they’re doing. And you see so many of them use that to go to college and there have been many that may not have been able to afford to go if they hadn’t been a part of the sale.” Over the decades he’s seen new grand champions break records and the community come together to pour its support into the local youth. His one piece of advice for any newcomers is to always make sure they’re working hard to establish relationships with potential buyers throughout town. Personal contact is key to a successful sale. Never copy a letter

and send it out to a bunch of different business owners. If you do send a letter, make it personal to the recipient. Tell them what you want to use the money for, explain why you’re asking them specifically to support you. Better yet, make an appointment with them to talk to them about the project. When the time comes to step in the ring, those who took the time to network always come out on top. Working with the festival to make youths’ dreams a reality is a passion Wetherington said will probably never fade. Lately his eyesight has begun to slightly weaken and he said he worried there would one day come a time when he wouldn’t catch the quick flash of a hand all the way in the back of the room. He wants the youth in the ring to earn the

Photo courtesy of

South Florida Baptist Hospital

highest bid possible for their animal so he said he decided to pass the torch to the next generation of energetic volunteers. “The best memory I have is probably when my daughter got grand champion in ‘88 or ‘89,” Wetherington said. “I was just thrilled beyond measure. I told her, I said ‘girl you got to go out and work and get the buyers to come’ and she did. I suppose that was probably the highlight. If one of your kids gets in there and wins Grand Champion you can’t help but have that at the top of your list. But I just enjoy watching all the kids and the smiles they get on their face. And the kids that did a good job and got good money, seeing what they did afterwards.” In the decades Wetherington has helped spot bids from the ring the festival has brought in mil-

lions of dollars for its local youth. He’s established relationships with both the students and the buyers and has carved his place in the hearts of the thousands of participants and attendees that have flocked to the annual event. “I have worked the sale ring with some of the grandkids of some of the first kids that were in the program back in the early 70s,” Wetherington said. “So that makes you kind of feel old. Well I am old, I’m 81 years old now. All of my grandkids have followed through with the program. They’ve shown steers and pigs and I tried to help them best I could. It’s been a good ride. I’ve enjoyed it.”

Courtesy of Florida Strawberry Festival

After more than 40 years in the steer ring Wetherington is hanging up his hat.









“Frog in Your Throat”

Publisher / Karen Berry Managing Editor / Sarah Holt Associate Editor / Sports Editor / Justin Kline


ave you ever felt the sensation of a frog in your throat? Yes, the four-legged green kind. You’re about to speak when a massive lump in your throat stops your words right in their tracks. This infamous “frog in your throat” sensation is commonly attributed to emotional reactions such as stress, anxiety and fatigue. You may experience this throat frog before you’re about to speak in front of a group, after crying, or possibly after a long and sleepless night. We often see patients with “frog in the throat” symptoms, or similar throat and voice concerns, and we’re here to let you in on the potential triggers, symptoms and implications of this peculiar condition. This experience most likely indicates a harmless condition referred to as the globus sensation. Most people will experience the globus sensation at least once or twice in their lives, but a continuous sensation could be indicative of a more serious problem and should be brought to your doctor’s attention.

Staff Writer / Breanne Williams BWilliams@PlantCityObserver. com Advertising Graphic Designer / Juan Alvarez Circulation/ Office Manager / Linda Lancaster LLancaster@PlantCityObserver. com

„„ „„ „„ „„

Stress Fatigue Postnasal drip Overworking the vocal cords

What are the treatment options?

„„ X-rays to assess the area and rule out

a potential tumor „„ Endoscopic evaluation of your swallow to detect abnormalities via camera „„ Clinical swallowing examination to observe your swallowing function „„ Dysphagia therapy upon diagnosis of a swallowing disorder

Do you know this “frog in your throat” sensation all too well? If so, take precauINTRODUCING THE GLOBUS SENSATION tionary action by remaining conscious Hopefully you’ve detected the difference of unhealthy habits. Consider cutting between a real frog in your throat and the globus down on your alcohol intake, caffeine sensation by now. And if you haven’t, schedconsumption and smoking habits. Makule an appointment with your doctor to free the ing healthy life changes will help lessen frog or further examine your unique symptoms. these frustrating symptoms. What are the symptoms? If you become ill or start compromising „„ Persistent feeling of tightness in your throat, your daily tasks, like consuming liquicommonly occurring between meals fied foods or not speaking to avoid pain, Edited byvoice David Steinberg Marchan15, 2019 „„ Uncomfortable hoarseness in your schedule appointment with your doc„„ Thick phlegm or mucus tor as soon as possible to get to the root of „„ Feelings of a blockage or “lump” in your throat your symptoms and rule the possibil48 Avant-garde 40outHulk’s ACROSS 10 Earth What are1the ity tones of a more serious condition. 50 Perfect feeling Tipcauses? The specific cause of it is unknown. Florida Center 41 for Voice Swalplaces HowDoing& an receptacle 11 The Author ever, we 4 doFuture know that the muscles involved in lowing is a new dedicated center specialoperative’s J.D.’s 52 Paul of Silverstein swallowing exam have failed to relax back the izing in therolls diagnosis and management of “Madinto About job 12 What proper formation when this sensation occurs. voice and swallowing disorders, offering You” 8 They float around a lot? 46 Bottled up, What are the triggers? the latest technology and a coordinated 56 *Genius Bar as emotions around 13 Understands „„ Caffeine team approach to patients. This expanlocale 47 Hogwarts 18 Family „„ Smoking sion of Florida E.N.T. &Brainstorm Allergy, the 60 Infamous 49 Imaginedear, 14 Mature, poochpremier single-specialty „„ Drinking alcohol region’s

nose and throat practice, allows them to provide the same superior care for voice and swallowing, with an extended list of services to manage all of our patients’ medical needs. The physicians of Florida E.N.T. & Allergy have served the Tampa Bay community for over 40 years. Their board certified physicians have completed extensive education and clinical training as well as specialized training in their area(s) of expertise. From pediatric allergies to fitting hearing aids, their caring and experienced physicians specialize in ear, nose and throat care for the entire family using comprehensive, cutting edge technologies.

TO ADVERTISE Call (813) 704-6850

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MCINTOSH PARK A Phase One Feasibility Study is officially underway for McIntosh Park to see if overall water quality management, stormwater treatment and aquifer augmentation could be improved at the 360 acre site.

Breanne Williams McIntosh Park is a hidden gem on Paul S. Buchman Highway. BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

The city has officially taken the first step to transform McIntosh Park into a state-of-the-art nature preserve that may one day feature one of the most effective water quality controlling wetlands in the state. The approximately 360-acre park is currently a nature preserve with several mowed trails and a large portion of wetlands and waterways that help improve overall water quality in the area. For years the current design has helped clean up the water, however, the city believes it may be able to be vastly improved to even further enhance the process. Monday evening commissioners agreed to spend $215,049 for Arcadis, Inc to complete a Phase I Feasibility Study for the property. “There’s 360 acres and let’s just use general terms. Half of it to the west is upland and half of it to the east is lowlands and wetlands. What we’re exploring is a concept that would turn the eastern portion into about 120 acres of lake or managed wetlands,” McDaniel said. “It would give us the ability to do water quality improvements by settling out nutrients and other contaminants, it would give us the ability to recharge the aquifer by allowing that water to settle through and go through its natural processes to get back to the aquifer and it would give us a place to put reclaimed water.”

The city has a pipeline available that would allow them to easily put reclaimed water back into the water system in times it needs additional water. McDaniel said the fourth benefit of the transformation is it would turn McIntosh into a “fabulous public amenity.” For the variety of local agriculture farmers surrounding the property — including a fish farm and several strawberry farms — one of the major benefits of a redesign would be improved stormwater control. In heavy rains the city could pull water into the large waterways and hopefully help eliminate some of the excess water off some of the neighboring properties. “That’s why we’re going through all of these feasibility designs,” McDaniel said. “Will it do all these things? Can we dig a lake? How deep can the lake be and all of that? That whole area out there geographically is a bowl. The terrain, it’s already a collector of water. If we can create a way to manage it better it’s a win-win for everybody.” The hidden gem of a nature preserve is found along Paul S. Buchman Highway and has already received attention from the state. Soon it will get a makeover thanks to $300,000 from the 2018 State Legislature as well as $300,000 from the city to establish a more than two mile walking trail, a much-needed parking lot, a wildlife viewing platform,

The current wetland structure in place at McIntosh Park has been filtering water since 2004.

informational kiosk and trail educational signage. The city acquired the land in 1996 and established the current park. In 2004 it was used as a SWFWMD project for stormwater treatment. In 2015 it opened as a passive park for the public to come and enjoy a practically untouched Florida wilderness. Any construction will be carefully designed to be compatible with the potential results of the feasibility study so the city won’t have to go back and make changes later on down the road once the study is complete. It will need approximately two years of studies to be completed before the project could begin to move to design and construction. “It’s a multi-year project, but we are already enjoying tremendous support from our state partners, SWFWMD, other agencies and there is interest from the legislature in this project because it hits so many important marks on water, water quaility, water supply and reclaim that we’re getting a lot of interest in it,” McDaniel said. “McIntosh is such a beautiful piece of property that will always be a natural preserve. We just see this tremendous opportunity to do something with it.”

Commissioner Bill Dodson joined McDaniel and Recreation and Parks Director Jack Holland on a tour of the site prior to the vote on the feasibility study Monday evening. They drove the entire 360 acres and Dodson said it was “almost like walking back in time.” He said the city park was a gem in the rough and that he was looking forward to seeing it fulfill its potential. “I’m trying to manage expectations,” McDaniel said. “This week we took that first step. We’re not


going to be building anytime soon. It’s going to take a lot of studies to see if this will work. All told it’s about a $10 million project to do what we’re talking about doing. We’re looking to get a lot of funding from the state. The mighty oak grows from an acorn and right now we’re in the acorn stage. It’s a very exciting project and of course I think when its done the city will end up with a beautiful natural park that all of our residents can enjoy.”

Breanne Williams A feasibility study will soon be undwerway for the 360 acres.







Fun Never Retires are offered three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The instructor conducts a Baseline Fitness Check at the start of the program and repeats it at the end of the 16 weeks. Best of all, our participants have FUN! Beryl Pope has been attending classes since the start of the program last year. This is her third session. She suffers from arthritis pain in her knee and has lower back problems. After a back procedure, she attended physical therapy. Once that ran out,

she came to the Y and continued with Enhance®Fitness. She saw improvement after the first session and enrolled in a second session. She was thrilled to see her second session results were even better than her first. Beryl tells me Enhance®Fitness has helped with everything in her daily life; including walking, better balance and increased strength. She shares, “I have lost 30 pounds and four inches in my waist!” Beryl says the best thing about the group is “…the fun we have

and the way Janice (Diggens) leads the class.” Unique to the Plant City Y, this group takes time at the end of each class to thank God for whatever is happening that day. “We encourage each other. I believe the class is a great environment to be in,” says Beryl. “No matter your condition, you can get help with arthritis, strengthening your legs. Everybody has improved and everybody is inspired to come back and keep going.”

In addition to helping reduce arthritis symptoms, Enhance®Fitness is designated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control as a Fall Prevention Program. The next Enhance®Fitness program begins in May and is open to the community at no cost. Angela Fulgieri is the Wellness Experience Director at the Plant City YMCA. Contact her at



o you suffer from arthritis or know someone who does? The Plant City Family YMCA is one of five YMCAs in the Tampa Bay area that offers a grant-funded program, called Enhance®Fitness, proven to improve quality of life for those with arthritis. Enhance®Fitness is an evidence-based program. This means that research confirms the program works. Each Enhance®Fitness program is 16 weeks in length, and classes





CITY POINTE HOSTS SECRET KEEPER GIRL City Pointe Church is hosting the live Secret Keeper Girl event for hundreds of mothers and daughters throughout the area on March 30.

Courtesy photo

The Secret Keeper Girl event will host anywhere from 400 to 800 mothers and daughters at the end of the month right here at City Pointe Church in Plant City. BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

City Pointe Church is inviting mothers and their young daughters to take part in the one-of-a-kind Secret Keeper Girl live event, which aims to teach what “true beauty” looks like according to scripture. “We’re hosting the Secret Keeper Girl live event here in Plant City at the end of the month,” Ellen Lynch, executive assistant of City Pointe Church, said. “Moms and daughters will have time together, receive encouragement and be shown what their relationship with Jesus should look like. We already have more than 400 signed up and there’s still several weeks left. It’s going to be a great event.” Based off the book “Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty” by Dannah Gresh, the tour teaches “what it means to be a godly girl” and is aimed at bringing mothers and daughters closer as preteens learn about modesty and true beauty. The two and a half-hour event is aimed at girls age 8 to 12 years old and their mothers. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at City Pointe Church, 503 N. Palmer St. According to the website more than 280,000 people have attended a live Secret

Keeper Girl event across 40 states since its inception. The national tour is coming to Plant City for the first time thanks to City Pointe and is estimated to draw anywhere from 600 to 800 attendees. Lynch said there will be the main presentation as well as a unique fashion show and a Q&A with the speakers. “This allows families to be pointed back to scripture and back to the standards found in that,” Lynch said. “It’s our instruction manual and this is teaching young girls that when they have questions they can find their answers in scripture. The hope is they’ll fall in love with God and who He created her to be and set those things on a very firm foundation at an early age. That way later on when she’s in middle or high school or even college and she starts to have the world tell her she’s not good enough or she needs to do or act a certain way she’ll know exactly where she can turn for her true self worth.” This isn’t the first time City Pointe has offered a unique event for the community. Lynch said it frequently tries to meet the needs of the local population and works to have something that speaks to everyone. “I think that we just by and large have a huge heart to show our community some

different experiences and different ways they can experience Christ,” Lynch said. “A lot of people if they say, ‘Hey come to church with me,’ they may be stand-offish. But if they say, ‘Hey come to this event,’ they may feel more comfortable. It gets their foot in the door so they can see that we’re a little bit different. We’re changing what church looks like and I think the love we have for everyone really comes through when they step through the door.” The event is aimed at families in the hope that as it points young girls to scripture it can also remind them that their biggest ally often is found in their mother, who can help steer them through the trials and tribulations of growing up. For Lynch, the overall goal of the tour and of everything City Pointe offers is to remind people that they are loved and they are worth the world.

Courtesy photo

A fashion show and unique theatrical presentation are featured in the event.


Tickets can be purchased online and begin at $26 for the general admission and go up to $75 for a VIP Behind the Scenes Tour.



PC LOCAL WINS STINGRAY CHEVROLET CORVETTE It’s the first time since 2015 that a Plant City resident has won the coveted Stingray Chevrolet and Unity in the Community Corvette Raffle.


The Stingray Chevrolet and Unity in the Community annual raffle has provided top of the line vehicles to lucky winners for 10 years. This year a Plant City resident was the lucky ticket owner to be drawn for the unique prize. Stingray Chevrolet offered the chance for someone to walk away with a oneof-a-kind Chevrolet Corvette Z06 in its 2019 Florida Strawberry Festival raffle. The vehicle is one of the fastest cars on the market and has a 650-horsepower engine. When the festival began to come to a close a massive crowd gathered around the bright orange car waiting

IT’S READ EVERYWHERE Did you take the Observer with you on vacation? Send your pictures to Associate Editor Justin Kline at to be featured.

with bated breaths to see if their name would be called. Dr. Teo Kulyk, a Plant City resident, was the lucky winner and though he wasn’t present at the drawing Steve Hurley gave him a call from the stage sharing the good news in front of the crowd. Hurley and his wife Susan donate a vehicle each year for Unity. Last year alone it raised $207,000 and has brought in more than $1,259,000 over the past decade, helping Unity provide countless services to the community as a large.

ANTARCTICA AND ARGENTINA: Art and Mary Wood, seasoned world travelers, have now seen the southernmost points of the world and brought the Observer along for the cruise. They visited Ushuaia, Argentina, in February and posed at the famous “fin del undo” (“end of the world”) sign first, then went to chilly Antarctica. Art and Mary Wood brought the Observer to the “ends” of the world.

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PC’S SPUNKY CENTENARIAN Elsie Reynolds has spent her life loving on her ever growing family and standing up for what she believed in. For her 100th birthday, generations of her offspring gathered in Plant City to honor their beloved matriarch.

Breanne Williams

Elsie Reynolds with birthday cards from Cork Elementary. BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

Elsie Reynolds was on born on March 8, 1919 into a world that was just learning to recover from a war that forever changed history. She was 8 years old when Charles Lindberg made the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight, lived through the Great Depression as a teenager and entered her 20s when World War II brought the planet back to the brink of chaos. Countries have been established under her watchful eye and states were slowly added to bring the U.S. to its total of 50 stars on the flag. She watched as the nation learned what it meant to have a dream of equality and held her breath as man dared to walk on the moon for the very first time. Through it all she raised her family, instilling a strong sense of loyalty to family and a deep faith in all who passed through her door. Last weekend she was surrounded by children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great great grandchildren for her 100th birthday party. When asked what her favorite memory has been over all these years Elsie Reynolds smiled and simple said, “Love.” “It’s love, I loved every one of (my family),” Elsie Reynolds said. Elsie Reynolds has five sons, 18 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and 31 great great grandchildren. Several attended her celebration Saturday and she was also honored by local Kindergarteners from Cork Elementary who wrote her 115 birthday cards. She was a stay-at-home mom and also worked at Moss Brothers, the cafeteria at a junior high school, was a secretary at West Side Baptist Church, a volunteer at South Florida Baptist Hospital, taught Sunday school at First Baptist and volunteered wherever there was a need. Her life has always been busy, but she makes it a point to make time for her family. Her dedication is infectious and though

Breanne Williams

The Reynolds Family at Elsie Reynolds 100th birthday party.

several branches of the family tree now live across the country, they all make it a point to stay in touch and the majority come down every year for Reynold’s famous Christmas party. “It overwhelmed me the first year I was married into the family because they have this giant gathering on Christmas Eve every single year from noon until late at night when everyone slowly leaves,” Crystal Reynolds said. “Some come from as far away as Washington or wherever they happen to be that year. That dedication to family, that always made an impression on me. When it was time for her to kind of retire as host we started having it at our house and the whole family still comes around.” Elsie Reynolds has never been one to hold back if she thought someone needed to hear what she had to say. Her spunk helped her raise her five sons and they joke without it she never would have successfully been able to keep them in line. She is 4 feet 8 inches and soft-spoken, but the message always comes across. “I remember when I went to the first day of school once, the second day she came into my room and said, ‘Why didn’t you go back?’ I just looked at her and said, ‘I went yesterday,” her son Ronald Reynolds said. “Another time we skipped school and went down to the radio station. My friends were all smart enough to give them fake names, but I didn’t and they said my name on the air. Well I got caught then, too.” But his mother operated under the policy of forgive and forget. Holding grudges never helped anything so she lets her thoughts be known and then moves on. She has always had a sense of adventure and a love of traveling. For her 70th birthday she took a hot air balloon ride from Medard Park to near the airport. While she soared above the city she looked down with glee, but her husband Bernie Reynolds was not so carefree. “She loved it, but grandpa was so nervous,” Barbara Reynolds said. “He followed as best he could in the truck and he

jumped over the fence and ran to her when they landed because he was so afraid that something would happen to her.” The couple were married for more than 70 years before he passed away. Their adoration of each other is something her family members said they’ll cherish for years to come. Now Elsie Reynolds spends her days at Solaris Healthcare and not a single day passes that her family isn’t there visiting and spending time with her. She loves spending time outside watching cars pass by and keeping her eyes trained on the tiny lizards that flit among the greenery. A lot has occurred since she was born all those decades ago, but for now Elsie Reynolds is enjoying the little moments that she’s learned make life so dear.

Breanne Williams

Elsie Reynolds with her great great grandchildren Helena and Richard Chaney.


NOW OPEN Open Monday-Saturday Walk-Ins Welcome







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

stolen spotlights, dine and

Plant City Police investigated dashers and pallet poachers. MARCH 1

NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T 400 block of Vining St. Vehicle burglary: This complainant reported to officers that during the night of Feb. 28 an unknown suspect entered his locked vehicle and removed a green camouflage Columbia backpack, which contained TECO uniforms and a brown leather wallet full of their IDs, social security card and $1 in cash. CRAVING THE SPOTLIGHT 2900 block of Hampton Place Ct. Theft: This complainant told officers that during the month of February someone stole the two spotlights from the front of the complex at the above stated address. The spotlights had been used to illuminate the subdivision sign.

MEET JAKE: Jake is owner Richard Kessler’s “best friend in the whole world.” The duo can be found together from morning to night. Jake loves when they walk along Midway Road checking out what’s new. He turned 14-years-old in January, so they no longer take their beloved trail very fast, but Kessler said they still enjoy the time they spend together.


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



This week on Cops Corner:

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? 100 block of W. J. Arden Mays Blvd. Theft: This man ordered a cellphone via the mail and it was supposed to have been delivered on Feb. 27. The phone never arrived. PICK YOUR POISON Baker St./Franklin St. Felony Drug possession drug arrest: This 33-year-old man was found in the possession of cocaine, marijuana and paraphernalia. He was arrested and transported to Orient Road Jail.


GUNSLINGER 1100 block of N. Maryland Ave. Felon in possession of firearm: Officers responded to the scene following calls of a verbal disturbance. A man was arrested and charged with felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a short barreled shotgun. He was transported to Orient Road Jail.


HOT WHEELERS 900 block of W. Risk St. Recovered stolen vehicle x2 and drug arrest: Officers came to the residence and located two stolen vehicles at the home. A 25-year-old man was arrested and transported to Orient Road Jail.

PEDESTRIANS BEWARE Woodrow Wilson/Reynolds St. NVDL: Temple Terrace Police Department stopped a vehicle near Woodrow Wilson and Reynolds Street after watching it almost strike pedestrians. The 19-year-old driver was arrested and transported to Orient Road Jail.


TARGET PRACTICE 310 Faison St. Criminal mischief: This victim called officers and told them her vehicle had been shot during the night.


VEHICLE GUNNER 1400 block of N. Palm Dr. Vehicle burglary: This victim told officers during the night of March 5 someone broke into his vehicle and stole his Sig Sauer 9mm handgun from the center console. DINE AND DASHERS 2200 block of James L. Redman Pkwy. Theft of food/drinks: Officers came out to Dukes Brewhouse after the manager said two unknown men ordered $85.65 worth of food and liquor and left without paying. The employees were able to get the license plate numbers for both of the men’s vehicles. Contact was made with the company the vehicles were registered to and a representative from the company called and paid the bill. A waiver of prosecution was signed.


PALLET POACHERS 3500 block of Sydney Rd. Theft: A man reported to officers that a man and woman entered the company’s property and loaded a stack of 20 pallets into a silver pickup truck and fled the scene. The pallets were valued at a total of $200. A waiver of prosecution was signed.


VENDING BANDIT 2000 block of S. Frontage Rd. Criminal mischief: An unknown subject attempted to break into a vending machine to obtain money. They failed.





COMMISSION ROUNDUP Funding agreements were approved and six public hearings were set in Monday nights Commission meeting.

Justin Kline

The Community Redivelopment Agency will enter a property agreement for the bulidng located at 603 S. Evers Street, completing the block near Midtown.

A short, but heavy commission meeting Monday evening set many projects in motion and set the stage for a massive meeting filled with public hearings in two weeks.

Breanne Williams

Road repairs are now officially on their way.

One of the major highlights of the night was when the city officially entered into a funding agreement between itself and Hillsborough County Monday evening to receive $364,849 from the Community Development Block Grant Program. The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners held a public hearing to let citizens express their views on proposed projects for the funding. It was decided $300,000 of the total funds would be used for Street Resurfacing Improvements totaling approximately 1.64 miles in the Madison Park area. With

the new funds officially approved the city will add West Alsobrook Street from South Tyler Street to South Alexander Street, West Renfro Street from Franklin Street to the end of the street, West Washington Street from Waller Street to West Ball Street, West Warren Street from Waller Street to West Madison Street, South Gibbs Street from West Madison Street to Grant Street and Tyler Street from West Warren Street to West Ball Street to its current File photo planned street resurfacing projects. The repairs will be lumped in with the The Festival now runs along BerryFest Place. other streets the city has set aside to repave in the current fiscal year. The remaining portion of North Lemon Street was offi$64,849 will be used to administer those cially renamed to BerryFest Place. street resurfacing projects. Now festival goers will be directed via the Commissioners also amended the fis- festive roadway to the multiple entrances cal year’s budget to make room for several of the massive 11-day event. New sigsmall changes. They allocated $47,068 nage will be purchased via the festival and for motor garage operating expenses and should be put up soon. capital equipement from the fuel systems The city also had to tie up some loose at three locations, appropriates $37,180 to ends when Municode, the utility billcover local financial support for a quali- ing services the city has used for 11 years, fied target industry refund, replenished decided to divest themselves of this part of the contingency funds with $56,970 which their operations. Municode will now focus had been used previously to two qualified on software development. target industry funds and increased the The company made an agreement with general services budget by $8,200 to cover ENCO Utility Services, Inc. to assume all personal costs associated with the split of of their current customer’s accounts at the the two divisions. same rates and conditions. The Florida Strawberry Festival scored a Commissioners approved a resolution “berry” sweet win Monday night when a Monday evning to allow ENCO to piggy-

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back to the contract with Florida Municipal Power Agency. The next meeting will be quite a long ordeal as the city will have its normal agenda as well as six public hearings ranging from map amendments to amending the Plant City code regarding bona fide restaurants and sales of beer and wine for on-premises consumption. One of the most interesting moments of the evening actually took place mere minutes after the commission meeting wrapped up. Those at the dais immediately transitioned into a Community Redevelopment Agency meeting where they made quite an exciting decision. The CRA had the option to purchase the property located at 603 S. Evers St. of $350,000.00, plus closing costs. The property has long been in the eye of the CRA as it completes a block of the Midtown District, which is currently in negotiations to be redeveloped. The agreement states the owner will remain on the property through Dec. 31, 2019, subject to a lease agreement, and the CRA will be responsible for the taxes of 2019. The CRA had until March 15 to exercise the option and a unanimous vote Monday night set the ball in motion.





2019 FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL WINNERS RESULTS COURTESY OF THE FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL DAIRY Ayrshire Grand Champion: Nathan Wilhite Ayrshire Reserve Grand Champion: Cheyenne Sommer Brown Swiss Grand Champion: Taylor Boyd Brown Swiss Reserve Grand Champion: Sarah Rogers Guernsey Grand Champion: Austin Holcomb Guernsey Reserve Grand Champion: Kenslee Heinke Holstein Grand Champion: Kenslee Heinke Holstein Reserve Grand Champion: Austin Boyd Jersey Grand Champion: Kyleigh Glenn Jersey Reserve Grand Champion: Kyleigh Glenn Ayrshire Junior Champion: Nathan Wilhite Ayrshire Reserve Junior Champion: Cheyenne Sommer Brown Swiss Junior Champion: Taylor Boyd Brown Swiss Reserve Junior Champion: Taylor Boyd Guernsey Junior Champion: Kenslee Heinke Guernsey Reserve Junior Champion: Kenslee Heinke Holstein Junior Champion: Kenslee Heinke Holstein Reserve Junior Champion: Kenslee Heinke Jersey Junior Champion: Austin Holcomb Jersey Reserve Junior Champion: Austin Holcomb Brown Swiss Senior Champion: Taylor Boyd Brown Swiss Reserve Senior Champion: Sarah Rogers

Guernsey Senior Champion: Austin Holcomb Jersey Senior Champion: Kyleigh Glenn Jersey Reserve Senior Champion: Kyleigh Glenn RICHARD KAHELIN ALL-BREEDS CHAMPION AWARD Kyleigh Glenn PREMIER EXHIBITOR AWARD Kyleigh Glenn JUNIOR ALL-BREEDS BRED BY EXHIBITOR AWARD Taylor Boyd SENIOR ALL-BREEDS BRED BY EXHIBITOR AWARD Sarah Rogers JUNIOR HERDSMAN Jaylene Carey SENIOR HERDSMAN Abby Weisberg CHARLIE HUNTER MEMORIAL SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD Aubrey Cook FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL DAIRY SCHOLARSHIP Kylie Kropik SHOWMANSHIP CONTEST Pee Wee: Austin Boyd Novice: Abby Weisberg Junior: Jacob Carey Intermediate: Makayla Watson Senior: Charlotte Byrnes Adult: Joanna Patino


Ninth: Jayce Ware Tenth: Austin English Eleventh: Aiden Routh

MOSAIC YOUTH STEER SHOW Overall Grand Champion: Case Watson Overall Reserve GrandChampion: Carter Howell

Class 3 First: Emily Bryant Second: Spencer Baylor Third: Ariel Aldous Fourth: Chase Campbell Fifth: Cheynne Hancock Sixth: Noah Hamrick Seventh: Ashlynn Flack Eighth: Brooke Varn Ninth: Autumn Durando

LIGHTWEIGHT Grand Champion: Emily Bryant Reserve Grand Champion: Spencer Baylor MIDDLEWEIGHT Grand Champion: Jack Gardner Reserve Grand Champion: Gerald Williams HEAVYWEIGHT Grand Champion: Case Watson Reserve Grand Champion: Carter Howell CLASS PLACINGS Class 1 First: Morgan Walls Second: Charles Cooper Third: Cole Harrell Fourth: Julianne Ream Fifth: Jonathan Vaughan Sixth: Madison DeWoody Seventh: Kendal Triner Eighth: Brynne Murphy Ninth: Logan Goodyear Tenth: Matthew Greenaker Class 2 First: Jaycee Flowers Second: Alivia Rivera Third: Aidan Vaughan Fourth: Brilynn Hallman Fifth: Dustin Jacobs Sixth: Zane Baez Seventh: Kyle Holland Eighth: Elise Griffin

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Class 4 First: Gerald Williams Second: Ashley Sanchez Third: Cassidy Eramo Fourth: Madilyn Conrad Fifth: Sophie Aten Sixth: Shalee Conrad Seventh: James Gray Eighth: Rachel Hewitt Ninth: Kaylee Hudson Tenth: Luke Williams Class 5 First: Mackenzie Kopin Second: Ethan Rebman Third: Blake Zajac Fourth: Mariah Austin Fifth: Jacey Dixon Sixth: Bethany Cray Seventh: Gabrielle Howell Eighth: Makayla Collier Ninth: Savana Bunting Tenth: Alysa Branch Class 6 First: Jack Gardner Second: Brooke Mosley Third: Brett Love Fourth: Halie Guthrie Fifth: Madelyn McClellan Sixth: Riley Buttorff Seventh: Shylen Denmark Eighth: Naomi Donnell Ninth: Nikolas Rosello Tenth: Garrett Dixon Class 7 First: Case Watson Second: Brooklyn Zajac Third: Marissa Zolna Fourth: Jenna Mayo Fifth: Morgan Chancey Sixth: Brenna Sturgis

Seventh: Ramsey Bowers Eighth: Ava Hastings Ninth: Matthew Diem Tenth: Haley Fletcher Class 8 First: Carter Howell Second: Colten Drawdy Third: Jace Stines Fourth: Matthew DelCastillo Fifth: Riley Guy Sixth: Mykayla Clark Seventh: Reagan Brown Eighth: Cooper McDonald Ninth: Victoria Allen Tenth: Owen Baylor Class 9 First: Cole Hanson Second: Jake Stines Third: Emma Futch Fourth: Samual Shiver Fifth: Reagan Tears Sixth: Shelby Allen Seventh: Brooke Callis Eighth: Jose Campos Ninth: Jasmine Lee Tenth (tie): Ethan Bird, Clay Lingo MOSAIC YOUTH STEER SHOWMANSHIP SENIOR DIVISION First: Cole Hanson Second: Madilyn Conrad Third: Ashley Sanchez INTERMEDIATE DIVISION First: Carter Howell Second: Cassidy Eramo Third: Alivia Rivera JUNIOR DIVISION First: Morgan Walls Second: Sophie Aten Third: Shalee Conrad BEEF BREED SHOW All Breeds Grand Champion Heifer: Bella Ballard All Breeds Reserve Grand Champion Heifer: Carlie Shenefield All Breeds Grand Champion Bull: Cassidy Eramo All Breeds Reserve Grand Champion Bull: Kade Bradbury Grand Champion Bred and Owned Heifer: Kendall Locke Reserve Grand Champion Bred

PLANT CITY OBSERVER and Owned Heifer: Reagan Brown Grand Champion Angus Heifer: Carlie Shenefield Reserve Grand Champion Angus Heifer: Kendall Locke Grand Champion Brangus Heifer: Paige Dupre Reserve Grand Champion Brangus Heifer: Regan Hyder Grand Champion Brangus Bull: Kade Bradbury Reserve Grand Champion Brangus Bull: Kori Miller Grand Champion Other Breeds Heifer: Tucker Conrad Reserve Grand Champion Other Breeds Heifer: Madilyn Conrad Grand Champion Commercial English Heifer: Bella Ballard Reserve Grand Champion Commercial English Heifer: Avery Fales Grand Champion Commercial Brahman Heifer: Elizabeth Bazemore Reserve Grand Champion Commercial Brahman Heifer: Kylie Kropik Grand Champion Angus Bull: Cassidy Eramo Reserve Grand Champion Angus Bull: Jesse Bibby SHOWMANSHIP CONTEST SENIOR First: Julia Norman Second: Madilyn Conrad Third: Mykayla Clark INTERMEDIATE First: Shalee Conrad Second: Bailey Brock Third: Case Watson JUNIOR First: Raelan Sherrouse Second: Carlie Shenefield Third: Colton Blankenship HERDSMAN CONTEST SENIOR First: Marissa Peters INTERMEDIATE First: Morgan Chancey Second: Dustin Mixon JUNIOR First: Raelan Sherrouse Second: Carlie Shenefield Third: Colton Blankenship BILL MCCLELLAND SCHOLARSHIP Kendall Locke GREENHAND AWARD Avery Fales BEEF BREED SCHOLARSHIP Madilyn Conrad JIM THOMPSON SENIOR AWARD Hunter Dupre GILL FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP Hunter Dupre

LAMB SHOWMANSHIP COMPETITION BEGINNER First: Mackenzie Paul Second: Brock Sampson Third: Everett DelValle JUNIOR First: Jayde McConnell Second: Jackson Sturgis Third: Levi Sampson INTERMEDIATE First: Emma Leiss Second: Jeremiah Stewart Third: Taylor Stewart SENIOR First: Delaney Tucker Second: Joseph Sarrica Third: Austin Smith SHEEP SHOW Grand Champion Black Face Ewe: Mackenzie Paul Reserve Grand Champion Black Face Ewe: Delaney Tucker Grand Champion Black Face Ram: Joseph Sarrica Reserve Grand Champion Black Face Ram: Joseph Sarrica Grand Champion White Face Ewe: Emma Leiss Reserve Grand Champion White Face Ewe: Mackenzie Paul Grand Champion White Face Ram: Emma Leiss Reserve Grand Champion White Face Ram: Jeremiah Stewart Grand Champion Crossbred Ewe: Jeremiah Stewart Reserve Grand Champion Crossbred Ewe: Kylie Kropik Grand Champion Crossbred Ram: Joseph Sarrica Grand Champion Rare Breed Ewe: Joseph Sarrica Reserve Grand Champion Rare Breed Ewe: Everett DelValle Grand Champion Rare Breed Ram: Everett DelValle Reserve Grand Champion Rare Breed Ram: Nick Claussen JUMPING CONTEST LONG LEGGED First: Joseph Sarrica Second (tie): Kendall Donaldson, Caris Scheider, Austin Smith, Jacob Sarrica, Brock Sampson SHORT LEGGED First: Chloe Howard Second: Nick Claussen Third: Bryan Ferrell SWINE MOSAIC YOUTH SWINE SHOW Grand Champion: William Haxton Reserve Grand Champion: Tanner Ashley

CLASS PLACINGS Class 1 First: Emma Leiss Second: Rylee Woody Third: Catherine Nunes Fourth: Cameryn Smith Fifth: Shad Stevens Sixth: Trace Thompson Seventh: Rylee Gallagher Eighth: Dillan Sumner Class 2 First: Julia Adams Second: Emilee Taylor Third: Chase Braglin Fourth: Jayden Mathena Fifth: Jackson Sturgis Sixth: Jake Braglin Seventh: Elizabeth Eakins Class 3 First: Audrey Kroeger Second: Brystal Cunningham Third: Drew Blanton Fourth: Gerald-Michael Daniels Fifth: Sarah Carter Sixth: Brylynn Newsome Seventh: William Letner Class 4 First: Addison Griffin Second: Keraj Patel Third: John Wayne Haynes Fourth: Gavin Goodyear Fifth: Brooklyn Brewer Sixth: Coley Riley Seventh: Rylie Vazquez Class 5 First: Jaylynn Wood Second: Chase Durrance Third: Carter Durrance Fourth: Trey O’Brien Fifth: Charles Watson Sixth: Kiah Swilley Seventh: Lena Bent Class 6 First: Callie Smith Second: Bailee Lawrence Third: Gavin Lang Fourth: Nicholas Claussen Fifth: Wyatt Drawdy Sixth: Macey Riley Seventh: Payton Tucker Class 7 First: Kenneth Hattaway Second: Race Zinke Third: Jacob Broome Fourth: Savannah Jenkins Fifth: Lauryn Galloway Sixth: Olivia Ennis Seventh: Austin Holcomb Eighth: Gehrig Graham Ninth: Joseph Ford Class 8 First: Tytan Gill Second: Colby Brewington Third: Chelsea Woodard Fourth: Dallas Edwards Fifth: Addison Raburn Sixth: Rhet Conyers Class 9 First: Chance Christie Second: Emma Stephens Third: Tylie Thompson

Fourth: Annistyn Griffin Fifth: Ashley Walls Sixth: Jenna Marvin Seventh: Rebecka Smith Eighth: Levi McDonald SHOWMANSHIP COMPETITION SENIOR DIVISION First: Tanner Ashley Second: Chelsea Woodard Third: Drew Blanton INTERMEDIATE DIVISION First: Jayden Mathena Second: Chance Christie Third: Dallas Edwards JUNIOR DIVISION First: Jaylynn Wood Second: Emma Leiss Third: Annistyn Griffin RABBIT AND POULTRY YOUTH POULTRY SHOW Grand Champion: Peyton Eatman Reserve Grand Champion: Kenzie Vazquez Champion Exhibition: Taylor Cella Champion Production: Samantha Williams YOUTH RABBIT SHOW Grand Champion: Kayla Johnson Reserve Grand Champion: Delanimarie Flanagan Best Fancy Exhibition: Connor Kennedy Best Production Exhibition: Brent Calero HORTICULTURE SHOW ADULT GARDENERS Best in Show: Joyce Braden Best in Show Hanging: Sally Murphy African Violet: Bess Treadwell Bromeliad: Bess Treadwell Cactus: Darcy Stottlemyer Dish Garden: Kayla Nichols Orchid: Amelia Lawhorn Succulent: Joyce Braden Awards of Merit: Jan Griffin, Mary Collins, Kristie Brewington INTERMEDIATE GARDENERS Best in Show: Sean Yagins Dish Garden: Hayden Baxter Succulent: David Zarycki JUNIOR GARDENERS Best in Show: Abigail Baxter Best in Show Hanging Basket: Brock Snyder Bromeliad: Gilbert Cerro-Canjay Dish Garden: Dylan Brewington Succulent: Meredith Zarycki Award of Merit: Gunner Snyder YOUTH PLANT SHOW Grand Champion: Kaden Palmer Reserve Grand Champion: Dallas Gunn Woody Ornamentals: Madison Williams Foliage: Owen Baylor Hanging Baskets: Madelein




Rossborough Liners: Madelein Rossborough Miscellaneous: William Haxton Size No. 1: Logan Smith Size No. 3: Addison Heath Size No. 7: Chelsea Woodard SHOEBOX FLOAT FIRST AND SECOND GRADE First: Abigail Bentz Second: Easton Goff Third: Micah Knowell-Naval Fourth: Rylan Rollyson Fifth: Andrew Aguerriberry THIRD AND FOURTH GRADE First: Sydney Olmedo Second: Alleigh Goff Third: Carson Hattaway Fourth: Samantha Foote Fifth: Abbie Steward FIFTH AND SIXTH GRADE First: Marley Olmedo Second: Luna Hernandez Third: Dakota Wood Fourth: Ariel Paguio Fifth: Carly Steward SEVENTH AND EIGHTH GRADE First: Adrian Madera Second: Natalia Young Third: Karla Garcia-Villanueva Fourth: Jacorey Hester Fifth: Jamir Goldsmith BABY CONTEST DECORATED DIAPER Florida Strawberry Festival Theme: Brooks Everett Neary Most Creative: Lauren Scott Clark Farm Animal: Weslynn Kimberly Smith FEATURES Biggest Eyes: Lily Rogers Look-Alike Twins: Baylee Elaine and Bristol Lilly Brown PRETTIEST GIRL 6 to 9 Months: Rylee Grace Adkins 10 to 12 Months: Emma Claire Stoneking 13 to 15 Months: Adalae Rose Wells 16 to 18 Months: Gia Reign Vela MOST HANDSOME BOY 6 to 9 Months: Easton Kyle Schertzer 10 to 12 Months: Sawyer Lenard Keys 13 to 15 Months: Lucas Allen Ricker 16 to 18 Months: Slade James Simmons DIAPER DERBY 6 to 8 Months: Easton Kyle Schertzer 9 to 12 Months: Emma Claire Stoneking





2019 FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL WINNERS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 EATING CONTESTS Amish Doughnut: Team Doughnuts Strawberry Spaghetti: Cortney Greeson Mashed Potato Pie: Hunter Kamrowski Strawberry Shortcake: James Arch Super Mega Corn Dog: John Morrow ADULT STRAWBERRY STEMMING Courtney Hewes YOUTH STRAWBERRY STEMMING Fifth and Sixth Grade: Brianna Astorguiza Third and Fourth Grade: Addison Lamont First and Second Grade: Madyson Kindergarten: Jackson Bele FFA EXHIBIT WINNERS First: Mulrennan FFA Second: Durant FFA Third: Marshall FFA Fourth: Turkey Creek FFA Awards of Distinction: Brandon FFA, Plant City FFA and Tomlin FFA REGULAR EXHIBITS Arts/Crafts First: Angie Klein Art Second: The Dude’s Third: Creative Sand Blasting

COMMERCIAL EXHIBITS First: Fragrant Pomander Second: By The Yard Florida Inc. Third: Farmers Lane OUTSIDE CONCESSION First: Wooden Signs by Chris Second: Florida Food Specialties Third: Mavric’s Chocolate Barn EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITS First: Hillsborough County Schools Second: Hillsborough County 4-H Civic Club’s Category: First:  St. Clement’s “Make Your Own Shortcake” Second: East Hillsborough Society Third: Transforming Life Church AGRICULTURE EXHIBITS First:  Parkesdale Farms Second: Parkesdale Greenhouse Third: Wish Farms Award of Distinction: Florida Strawberry Growers Association NEIGHBORHOOD VILLAGE Quilting Division Grand Champions: Noma Riley, Claudia Ingram, Tammy Zinkosky, Cindy Baily and Judy DePaul. Home Decoration Division Grand Champions: Claudia Ingram, Shelley Murrell, Caryl Kelley, Cynthia Stephens and Judy McIlrath.

Wearing Apparel Sewn Division Grand Champions: Cindy Falck, Deborah Yates, Cheryl Haynes, Deborah Condosta, Linda Wolka and Susanti Hollander. Wanda Cox won two grand champions. Non-Sewn Wearing Apparel Divison Grand Champions: Annalise Gendron and Judy Hoover. Photo Scrapbooking Division Grand Champions: Jennifer Wolfgang, Cathie McKenzie, Wendy Hansen and Alice Ward. Needlepoint, Needlework and Plastic Canvas Division Grand Champions: Charles Sides and Joanne Hartline. Knitting, Crocheting, Tatting and Bobbin Lace Division Grand Champions: Joanne Moore and Darlene Henry. Marlene Jordan won two grand champions. Jewelry Division Grand Champions: Dolores Areias, Christy Gorrow and Jerri Heer. Toys and Dolls Division Grand Champions: Eva Farmer and Mary Spence. Mary won two grand champions. Paper Crafts Division Grand Champions: Dawn Weber, Justine Kukwa, Gina Recio and Stephanie Stuart. Jill Zakaroff won two grand champions.

FAMILY MEDICAL SPECIALISTS OF FLORIDA Michael Paul Gimness, MD Kelli Woody, MD Katherine Newman, ARNP Jennifer Zeljkovic, ARNP 1703 Thonotosassa Road, Suite A, Plant City, Florida 33563

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Vinyl Division Grand Champions: Sarah Walker and Dawn Weber. Woodworking Division Grand Champions: John Smik and George Giovannucci. Food Preservation Division Grand Champions: Jackie Fath, Susan Weeks, Virginia Aldridge, Olinda Green, Dovie Delapaz, Gregg Granger and Judy Hoover. Baking Division Grand Champions: Joni Hartzler, Kadie Cox, Katye Blackmon and Karol Hughes. Cake Decorating Division Grand Champions: Jaida Klyeman, Judy Hoover and Megan Malin. Cupcakes, Gingerbread, Cookie Decorating and Cake Pops Division Grand Champions: Judy Hoover, Megan Malin, Diana Knapp, Jaida Klyeman, Adela Basic, Katherine Bentley and Aixa Aylor. PHOTOGRAPHY Best of Show: Bob Waters ANIMAL CATEGORY First: Alexis DeGroot Second: Amelia Lawhorn Third: Frank Starmer

BLACK AND WHITE CATEGORY First: Lauren Munro Second: Abraham Schoenig Third: Chase Reed HUMAN CATEGORY First: Amanda Bybee Second: Lisa Burner Third: Logan Jacobs MISCELLANEOUS CATEGORY First: Carissa Retter Second: Chase Reed Third: Amanda Bybee PLACES CATEGORY First: Arlette Stine Second: Dan Zane Third: Tim Rooney PLANTS CATEGORY First: Toni Colon Second: Audrey Martin Third: Dan Zane THEME CATEGORY First: Alan Burner Second: Richard Moody Third: Angela Otero YOUTH CATEGORY AGE 8 TO 13 First: Bristol Wooten Second: Jaida Davis Third: Addison Griffin YOUTH CATEGORY AGE 14 TO 18 First: Brynne Murphy Second: Taylor Dean Third: Grace Kirvy For more results visit





The Florida Strawberry Festival has officially come to a close. For 11 days hundreds of thousands of guests flocked to Plant City to enjoy the one-of-a-kind affair. Ambassadors made guests feel like family, attendees participated in a variety of contests, rock stars filled the bleachers of the stadium and local youth showed off their agriculture skills with shows and sales. Strawberry themed foods filled countless stomachs as guest strolled from vendor to vendor sampling the unique mouth-watering creations. Regardless of the weather or the time of day lines were wrapped around the shortcake booths as people patiently waited for the sweet treat. While locals used the time to catch up with old friends and show off their town, guests were able to catch a glimpse of what makes Plant City so special. It’s always sad to see it go, but the festival was inarguably “a hit” while it was here.


MARCH 14, 2019

SPORTS Quick Hits

Alex Mussenden played well against King and Freedom last week. See Page 18

PLANT CITY FLAG FOOTBALL FALLS TO TECH IN HOME OPENER Tampa Bay Tech scored quickly in overtime for the 13-7 win Monday night

Free swim lessons at Plant City YMCA The Plant City Family YMCA and nine others in the Tampa Bay area are offering free swim lessons from March 18-21, hoping to turn around a disturbing trend. According to the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, 11 children drowned in Hillsborough County in 2018 — more than any other county in Florida and more than the 2016 and 2017 totals combined. The YMCA and Florida Blue Foundation are trying to reverse the upward trend. The Y’s Safety Around Water program is a free event open to children of members and non-members. Kids age 3-12 can learn skills to get comfortable in the water and reduce their risk of drowning with the fourday course. Participants must bring their own swimsuit and towel and must be present on the first day of the program to continue. Pre-register at programs/swimming/water-safety.

Sign up for YMCA summer camp Courtesy photo

The Plant City Family YMCA is accepting registrations for its new and improved summer camp program. All Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA locations have undergone changes to their summer camp programs, bringing more fun and educational activities to the table and offering before-care and after-care activities. Activities include swimming, science, outdoor education, nature encounters, visual arts and more. Hillsborough County Public Schools will provide free breakfast and lunch as part of the Summer Food Program. The program runs from June 3 August 2 and is open to all kids in the community ages 18 and under, including Y campers. To register, visit

Daisy Duke extends the ball for extra yardage after a catch.



hough the Plant City Raiders held a lead at halftime, the Tampa Bay Tech Titans woke up in the third quarter and kept going to take a 13-7 win at 1 Raider Place Monday night. After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders’ offense clicked and managed to score with 1:22 left in the second quarter.

Try out for Durant hockey Students from Durant, Plant City, Strawberry Crest and Brandon high schools can take their talents to the hockey rink starting later this month. The four schools unite on the ice under the Durant Hockey Club banner in the Lightning High School Hockey League, which is currently comprised of teams from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota and Polk counties. Boys and girls looking to give hockey a try, or looking to keep their skills sharp when not playing at the club level, are asked to come out to the Brandon Ice Sports Forum from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. on March 18 and 25 to assess their skills. Anyone interested in being evaluated for the team must first become registered by USA Hockey. That process costs $40 per person and can be completed online at See last week’s issue of the Plant City Observer and the article, “Durant Hockey Club to host player evaluations,” for more information.

Naomi Stevens picks up yardage on a punt return.

Naomi Stevens caught a short pass from quarterback Carlie Knight and darted her way around several Tech defenders for a 41-yard score. Lacie Collins caught Knight’s extra-point pass attempt to put the home team ahead, 7-0 and suddenly Plant City held its first lead of the 2019 season. The Titans didn’t want it to last, though. The defense forced Plant City’s offense to make mistakes and held it to 26 passing yards in the second half. Though the TBT offense didn’t have much more success advancing the ball in the second half, Tech was able to drive to the red zone about midway through the third quarter and tie the game up with a short touchdown pass. Plant City caught a spark late in the fourth quarter when Stevens picked up another big gain to get the home team near midfield, but the Raiders ended up


punting on the drive and Tech got the ball back with just five seconds left in regulation. The Raiders started the overtime period on offense and Knight was able to get the team just a yard or two shy of the end zone on a second-down keeper, but she was called for flag guarding and the offense lost five yards. A dropped pass and a sack led to Tech getting the ball back and all the visitors needed was one play — a pitch near their own sideline — to seal the deal. Knight finished the game with 12 completions for 100 yards. Stevens hauled in two catches for 60 yards and Sade Green shined on defense with two pulls and four sacks. Plant City will look to turn things around and pick up its Maddison Westmoreland fights to get past a defender. first win tonight at East Bay.




T One simple rule will get many people through the annual NCAA man’s basketball tournament with clean(er) brackets.

o borrow from one of college hoops analyst Jon Rothstein’s many Twitter catchphrases, what should you expect when the unexpected becomes the ordinary? Until you get to the Final Four, nothing in sports personifies anarchy quite like the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament. Many of us study the game all season long and spend hours upon hours poring over dozens of brackets in an attempt to craft the perfect one. We’re going to enter pools among our friend groups and with a bunch of total strangers online and try

to win, well, anything. Bragging rights, money, other stakes — you name it, someone’s probably gambling on it. The problem is that this might be the most difficult thing in the world to predict. That’s why you can win millions of dollars playing in an NCAA bracket challenge, but only if your 63-game bracket is perfect. I don’t believe Warren Buffett has paid or will pay anybody from his Berkshire Hathaway network for having a perfect one because it probably won’t happen.




PLACE AT WRESTLING STATES Two area athletes finished the FHSAA tournament on the podium last weekend.



Mar. 28

Mar. 6

Mar. 6

Bloomingdale at Strawberry Crest, 7 p.m.

Bloomingdale 12, Strawberry Crest 0

Durant vs. Plant City, 3 p.m. Strawberry Crest vs. Lennard, 3 p.m.

Mar. 7

Mar. 7

Apr. 1

Plant City 7, Durant 0

Durant 2, Plant City 1 (9 innings)

Durant vs. Spoto, 3 p.m. Plant City vs. Brandon, 3 p.m. Strawberry Crest vs. Freedom, 3 p.m.

Strawberry Crest 9, Freedom 0 Mar. 9 Durant 7, Chamberlain 0 Sickles 11, Plant City 1 Strawberry Crest 5, King 0 Mar. 11

Mar. 8 Freedom 15, Strawberry Crest 1


Mar. 11

Mar. 15

Newsome 1, Plant City 0

Plant City, Crest: at Jack Rice Invite, 4 p.m.

Mar. 12

Mar. 27

Wiregrass Ranch 8, Strawberry Crest 2

Durant, Plant City, Crest: at Western Conference, 1 p.m.

Mar. 13

Apr. 2

Riverview at Durant, 7 p.m.

Durant, Plant City, Crest: at Vernon Kohrn County Championships, 1 p.m.

Hendon Haley placed fourth in the 132-pound division. JUSTIN KLINE SPORTS/ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Hendon Haley and Amneous Chambers walked away from last weekend’s FHSAA 3A state wrestling championships with a similar goal achieved. Both wrestlers — Haley from Durant, Chambers from Strawberry Crest — proved themselves as belonging in elite company as some of Florida’s greatest grapplers. They each had strong showings and managed to place. Haley was the area’s highest finisher, coming in fourth place at the 132-pound tournament’s end and achieving his goal of joining his brother, Chase, as family members who have managed to both qualify for and place in the tournament. He started the tournament by picking up a 6-1 decision over Miami-Columbus’s Dylan Mira. Haley then scored a fall over Fort Pierce’s Travon Ross at 1:31, which put the Durant Cougar in a semifinal match with eventual state champ Bretli Reyna of South Dade. Reyna sent Haley into the third-place bracket by scoring a technical fall at 5:02. Haley faced off against Miami-Palmetto’s Destin Jones in the third-place semifinal and came away with the 7-5 decision, putting him up against North Miami’s Jackson Wenberg in the thirdplace match. Wenberg won with an 8-1 decision. Before the tournament began, Haley told the Observer his goal was to place at states this month and attempt to win the tournament in his senior season. He completed the first goal and will soon begin working toward the second. Of the three wrestlers Crest sent to Kissimmee, Chambers had the best outing at the tournament. The 182-pounder began his weekend with a win over Fort Pierce’s

William St. Krantz, scoring a fall in 5:12. The Charger then took a loss in sudden victory-1 to Southwest Miami’s Adrian Vidaud, who went on to win the tournament. Chambers entered the third-place bracket in its second round with a match against Miami-Palmetto’s Josh Mizelle, whom he beat by 6-3 decision. He then picked up a 4-1 decision over Gainesville-Buchholz’s Armando Acosta to pick up some momentum, but Celebration’s Alfonso Serrano handed Chambers his second loss in sudden victory-1 to send the Charger into the fifth-place match. Chambers sealed his fifth-place finish with a 9-5 decision over Coral Park’s Sammy Bencid. Also representing Strawberry Crest were Jarrett Affronti (126 pounds) and Triston Davidson (160 pounds). Affronti lost by a 6-4 decision in the first round to Timber Creek’s Jayden Tapia, then lost to Wellington’s Tony Widrig by fall at 2:10. Davidson beat Fleming Island’s Tanner Hill by 7-2 decision to advance to the second round, where eventual state champ Brevin Balmeceda of South Dade beat him by technical fall at 4:10. Davidson beat Pinellas Park’s Brevin Blake with a fall at 3:52 in the third-place bracket to advance to its semifinal round, where he lost by 5-0 decision to Osceola’s Nolin Eaddy.

Justin Kline is the Sports Editor at the Plant City Observer. Email:

Plant City 6, Newsome 1 (8 innings) Mar. 12 Strawberry Crest 5, Wiregrass Ranch 3 Mar. 13 Riverview at Durant, 7 p.m.

Strawberry Crest at Plant City, 7 p.m. Mar. 22

Strawberry Crest at Plant City, 7 p.m. Mar. 16

Mar. 26

Sickles vs. Durant, 4 p.m. Plant City vs. Plant, 7 p.m. Chamberlain vs. Strawberry Crest, 4 p.m.

Durant at Bloomingdale, 7 p.m. Plant City at Riverview, 7 p.m. Plant at Strawberry Crest, 7 p.m.

Mar. 18

Mar. 28

Armwood vs. Durant, 4 p.m. Plant City vs. Blake, 7 p.m.

East Bay at Durant, 7 p.m. Wharton at Strawberry Crest, 7 p.m.

Mar. 19

Mar. 29

Jefferson vs. Durant, 7 p.m. Plant City vs. Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate, 4 p.m. Brandon vs. Strawberry Crest, 7 p.m.

Bloomingdale at Plant City, 7 p.m.

Apr. 8 Durant, Plant City, Crest: at District championships, 9 a.m. FLAG FOOTBALL Mar. 14 Durant at Bloomingdale, 7:30 p.m. Plant City at East Bay, 7:30 p.m. Strawberry Crest at Riverview, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 26 Durant at Strawberry Crest, 7:30 p.m. Plant City at Riverview, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 28 Durant at Plant City, 7:30 p.m. Strawberry Crest at East Bay, 7:30 p.m. Apr. 1

Freedom at Durant, 5/7 p.m.

Riverview at Durant, 7:30 p.m. Plant City at Newsome, 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Tech at Strawberry Crest, 7:30 p.m.

Durant at Bloomingdale, 7 p.m. Plant City at Riverview, 7 p.m. Plant at Strawberry Crest, 7 p.m.

Mar. 29

Apr. 4

Durant at Newsome, 5/7 p.m.

Mar. 28

Bloomingdale at Durant, 5/7 p.m.

Durant at Tampa Bay Tech, 7:30 p.m. Bloomingdale at Plant City, 7:30 p.m. Strawberry Crest at Newsome, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 26

Mar. 29 Bloomingdale at Plant City, 7 p.m. Mar. 30 Durant at Alonso, 10 a.m. Courtesy of SCHS

Mar. 14

Durant vs. Admiral Farragut, 7 p.m. Strawberry Crest vs. Palm Harbor University, 7 p.m.

Mar. 14

East Bay at Durant, 7 p.m. Wharton at Strawberry Crest, 7 p.m.

Amneous Chambers placed fifth in the 182-pound division.



Mar. 8

Courtesy of John Haley



Apr. 2

Apr. 8 Apr. 5 Sickles at Durant, 5/7 p.m.

Armwood at Strawberry Crest, 7:30 p.m. Apr. 11

TENNIS Mar. 14 Durant vs. East Bay, 3 p.m. Plant City vs. Lennard, 3 p.m.

Plant City at Strawberry Crest, 7:30 p.m.









Alex Mussenden After starting the season with a 1-1 record, Strawberry Crest’s baseball team bounced back with a pair of wins on March 8 and 9. The Chargers shut out both Freedom (9-0) and King (5-0) and were led offensively by sophomore Alex Mussenden. Mussenden went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and two runs batted in against the Patriots on March 8 and followed up against the Lions the next day by going 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI. He’s now second on the team with a .455 batting average and five hits and leads all Chargers with four RBI, three doubles, a triple and four runs scored (a threeway tie with Tanner Kelley and Juan Gonzalez Uribe). What’s working for you this year?

I guess getting up there and swinging. I mean, not thinking too much and just doing my thing, trusting myself. What are some of the biggest things you learned from your freshman year with the team that have helped you this year? Maybe just to stay calm and trust my ability. Let it ride. How would you say you’re doing this season, in your opinion? I would say I’m doing pretty good. There’s definitely some stuff I’ve got to work on and get better at, but I’ll get there.


We definitely have some more confidence. We’ve kind of got some swagger. What makes this year’s team work well? We lost five seniors, but the people filling in for those roles are doing really good and we’re gonna make another shot this year. How long have you been playing baseball? Since I was 4. What got you into it? My dad was a big baseball player in high school. What made you stay with the game for 11 years? Just having fun. Like, I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. Baseball’s just the greatest sport out there. What’s been your favorite moment with this team? Every day is super fun with these guys. We’re a great team. We get along really well. Do you have any superstitions? Not really. I mean, me and (Alex) Marshall set up the flags and there’s a little sewage thing. Every time we go by it, we spit in it.

What’s the number one thing you’re trying to improve this season? My stolen bases and limiting my strikeouts. Last year was a pretty crazy experience for a freshman, with you getting playing time on a state championship series team. What was the ride like for you? It was a fun time, a real fun time. Just the experience was the best, watching and learning from the upperclassmen how they carried themselves. How has the experience from making that run to Fort Myers carried over to this year’s team?



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HOW TO NAVIGATE MARCH MADNESS POOLS Using reason may be your gut instinct to filling out the NCAA man’s basketball tournament brackets. Let it go. “As such, the number of possible outcomes for a bracket is 2^63, or 9,223,372,036,854,775,808,” blogger Daniel Wilco wrote in February. “That’s 9.2 quintillion. In case you were wondering, one quintillion is one billion billions.” You have much better odds — one in 13,983,816 — of winning the lottery. Maybe you should go buy a ticket instead of filling out a bracket. It costs a little more to play, but totally busting out isn’t quite as soul-crushing if you’re a sports fan. But playing the lottery isn’t nearly as fun as March Madness, so that’s why we’re still here. If you must play, I have one piece of advice for you. Don’t fill out your bracket with logic and reason until you get to the Final Four. Seriously, do something stupid. Pick matchups based on mascot preferences or jerseys you like or school colors you prefer. Pick head-to-heads based on which schools are ranked higher for academics or partying or whatever you can



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find. Pick completely at random if you want to, or maybe throw some darts at a board and spin a game wheel each time. You’re going to have a better bracket than many of the experts on ESPN, FOX, CBS, Yahoo Sports and anything else out there. It doesn’t sound right but I promise you, that’s the way to go. I picked Arizona to go all the way last year and my bracket lasted about five seconds (figuratively speaking) before I busted out. I laughed like an insane person. I probably went a little insane that day. That team was good enough for March, or so I thought like a fool. I tell myself every year that I’m going to take my own advice and totally wing this thing, but I won’t. I’m a creature of habit. I’m too deep into it. I’ll start by picking the 13 and 14 seeds to go far and scribble everything out because the voice of reason in my brain will take over and make me feel dumb for thinking someone’s really about to knock North Carolina out of the first round. Don’t be like me. Get weird with it.



real estate transactions

February 2019 sales information was obtained from the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser. Permit information was obtained from the City of Plant City. FOREST PARK EAST The home at 1704 W. Lowry Ave. sold Feb. 6 for $123,000. Built in 1947, it has two bedrooms, one bath and 982 square feet of living area. HILLSBOROUGH The home at 5304 S. Farkas Road sold Feb. 5 for $234,900. Built in 1967, it has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,652 square feet of living area. MAGNOLIA GREEN The home at 3214 Crystal Dew St. sold Feb. 15 for $225,000. Built in 2015, it has four bedrooms, two and a half baths and 2,265 square feet of living area. The home at 3212 Magnolia Garden Drive sold Feb. 1 for $209,000. Built in 2006, it has four bedrooms, two baths and 1,976 square feet of living area.

These are the largest building permits issued in Plant City for the month of February 2019, in order of dollar amounts.



The home at 1405 N. Franklin St. sold Feb. 4 for $70,500. Built in 1947, it has two bedrooms, one bath and 1,032 square feet of living area.

The home at 4107 Concord Way sold Feb. 8 for $278,000. Built in 1989, it has four bedrooms, two baths and 2,508 square feet of living area.


The home at 4315 Kipling Ave. sold Feb. 12 for $180,000. Built in 1988, it has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,402 square feet of living area.

The home at 5304 S. Farkas Road sold Feb. 5 for $234,900. Built in 1967, it has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,652 square feet of living area. PADDOCKS The home at 1910 Horseshoe Drive sold Feb. 8 for $180,000. Built in 1986, it has three bedrooms, two baths and 2,032 square feet of living area. SUGAR CREEK The home at 3807 Sugar Creek Court sold Feb. 7 for $175,000. Built in 1992, it has three bedrooms, two baths and 1,407 square feet of living area.




February 2019


The home at 1809 Sweet Bay Court sold Feb. 15 for $455,000. Built in 1989, it has four bedrooms, four baths and 3,792 square feet of living area.

All sales information was obtained from the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser. Permit information was obtained from the City of Plant City.


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We asked: What’s your biggest pet peeve?

“Whenever people act nice “Slow walkers.” up front and talk bad about — Sean Stephens, 27 you behind your back.” — Raymond Fryer, 20

“The incorrect use of the word ‘ironic.’ It really bothers me. That was a big thing in undergrad.” — Colt Beck, 27

“When people chew with their mouth open.” — Adriel Zahniser, 35

“I don’t like to see animals left alone in a hot car. That really bothers me.” — Kim Coolman, 58


Lois Woods Cercy

Pearl Marie Speck, 93, of Plant City, passed away on March 1, 2019. Services will be held privately. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.

Lois Woods Cercy, 88, of Plant City, born in Plant City on April 30, 1930, entered into eternal rest on March 7, 2019. Expressions of condolence at



Allen DeWitt Peacock Allen DeWitt Peacock, 77, of Plant City, born in Turkey Creek on Feb. 3, 1942, entered into eternal rest on March 3, 2019. Expressions of condolence at


David Lara David Lara, 40, of Plant City, passed away on March 5, 2019. Services were held March 8, 2019 at Haught Funeral Home, 708 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd., Plant City, FL 33563. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.


Norma Elizabeth Philyaw Norma Elizabeth Philyaw, 88, of Lakeland, born in Morristown, New Jersey on Aug. 28, 1930, entered into eternal rest on March 6, 2019. Expressions of condolence at




Billie Jefferson ‘Mama J’ Billie Jefferson “Mama J”, 86, of Valrico, born on Oct.11, 1932 in Tampa, entered into eternal rest on March 9, 2019. Expressions of condolence at


Pearl Marie Speck



Sheldon Ray Heath Sheldon Ray Heath, 76, of Plant City, born in Brandon on Feb. 23, 1943, entered into eternal rest on March 10, 2019. Expressions of condolence at



116 North Collins Street Plant City, FL 33563 ph: (813) 567-5735

Historic Downtown 287464-1








7:30 to 9 a.m. Plant City Toastmasters meet every Thursday. Guests are always welcome to come join the free meetings at the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, 106 N. Evers St.

7:13 to 8:13 p.m. Come on out to Krazy Kup, 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd., for a night filled with laughs for all ages. The free Improv Night is the second Thursday of every month in the music loft. This month features “Your Middle Child” and “Dear Aunt Gertrude.”




10:30 a.m. Come on out to the Planteen Recreation Center, 301 Dort St., each Thursday to find out more about a new Shuffleboard Club. Topics being discussed are days of the week, times, skill levels and anything else you may want to know. The club is hosted by Anita Balch and she can be contacted at 808-722-5821 for more information.


6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Krazy Kup, 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd., is hosting Contemporary Christian/Pop Teen Singer Songwriter and The Best Of The Bay Winner, Jordan Denise Williams who is back for an encore performance. Williams will bring a fresh new vibe singing and playing a variety of Christian favorite songs on the piano and guitar including her single, “I Close My Eyes,” which was on the Ballot this year for consideration for a 61st Grammy Nomination.




2 to 4 p.m. Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon St., hosts a weekly Mahjong Class every Thursday. Whether you’re a first-time player or a seasoned expert, join them every week to play American Mahjong.

7:30 to 9 p.m. Rapid Ballroom is hosting date night swing dance classes. Come learn West Coast Swing, Hustle, Single Swing and Jive. Classes run through March and are $15 per lesson. Contact them today at 218-256-1873 for more information.

PLANT CITY FAMILY YMCA 1507 YMCA Pl., Plant City 813.757.6677


11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Keel & Curley Winery, 5210 Thonotosassa Rd., will host a U-Pick and farm fun for all ages. Come out and enjoy the U-Pick, pet some cows and donkeys, see the chickens and let the kids play on the playground. They will debut the Keel Farms Blueberry cut out, designed for you to take pictures and share with friends and family. There will also be a red tractor set up for a photo opportunity. Dogs are welcome at the event.


3 to 8 p.m. The monthly Strawberry Classic Cruise-In is held in downtown Plant City, 102 N. Palmer St. The free car registration begins at 3 p.m. There will be a live DJ, vendors, classic cars and trucks and many local shops remain open as well for the event.

MONDAY, MARCH 18 PLANT CITY GARDEN CLUB GENERAL MEETING 10 a.m. The Plant City Garden Club’s general meeting will feature Sweet Dreams Amaryllis Farm — Valrico. Guest speakers are Mike and Shellie Sweet. The meeting is held at the 1914 High School Community Center, 605 N. Collins St. Meetings start at 10 a.m. with coffee at 9:30 a.m. For more information contact Lisa Firm at 813-404-4922,


7:30 to 9 a.m. Rise Plant City is hosting its new monthly networking Rise Up event at Norma’s Plant City Cuban Sandwich Shop. This month features guest speaker Sandee Sytsma, Florida Strawberry Festival Chairman of the Board. Contact 813-754-3707 for more information.

visit the Facebook page or the website plantcitygardenclub. org. Meetings are free and open to the public.


12 to 1 p.m. The Plant City Lions Club holds a meeting every Tuesday at Buddy Freddy’s, 1101 Goldfinch Dr. For more information on membership call 813-924-3829.


9 a.m. The monthly Library Board Meeting is held at Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon St. The library meetings are open to the public and anyone interested is welcome to attend.


6:33 p.m. Krazy Kup, 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd., is hosting its monthly Bluegrass Night. This month will feature “Rekindled Grass.” Tickets are $10 and there is limited seating. You can pick up your ticket in-house or on Eventbrite.


7 p.m. Come to Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon St., for a night of relaxation. Just because we grow up doesn’t mean we no longer enjoy coloring. All the supplies are provided and no registration is necessary.

Universal Crossword


Edited by David Steinberg March 14, 2019




Sunrise Sunset

Thursday, March 14



High: 88 Low: 65 Chance of rain: 10%

Friday, March 15



Saturday, March 16



Sunday, March 17




Monday, March 18



Tuesday, March 19



Wednesday, March 20 7:33a


High: 87 Low: 68 Chance of rain: 10%




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SATURDAY, MARCH 16 High: 81 Low: 59 Chance of rain: 80%

SUNDAY, MARCH 17 High: 74 Low: 57 Chance of rain: 20%

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