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MAY 17, 2018


Celebratin g the Class members of of local high 2018 from schools.

Congrats, Class of 2018.



VOLUME 5, NO. 46


THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018

Post Office finds new home

City Commissioners have approved the purchase of the former post office. See Page 3.



Feeding youth in Plant City Representative Lawrence McClure stopped by the United Food Bank of Plant City on May 11 to make a donation for the organization. Mary Heysek, director for the United Food Bank of Plant City, said McClure has shown “much support” for the Plant City community and the UFB. McClure timed his donation with the impending release of students for summer break. Without school in session, many students struggle to have regular meals. It is one of the busiest times for the food bank and McClure encouraged others to join him in donating to the group. Donations can be made to UFB during its normal business hours. Photos by

South Florida Baptist Hospital acquired a state-of-the-art surgical robot. See Page 4.

Breanne Williams

Above: Students watched as their classmates manipulated the robot into moving tiny rubber bands from one peg to another. Left: The students used the robot to move small rubber bands off of pegs and even from one peg to another.

A life full of learning Frank Starmer is known for his captivating photography and impressive accomplishments in his tenure with Duke. See Page 6. Breanne Williams

Frank Starmer and his wife now reside in Walden Lake.

Courtesy of Frank Starmer

Frank Starmer spends hours each day photographing wildlife in the area.

Courtesy of Yvonne Fry

The former Petrol Mart located on Collins Street was officially demolished on Monday afternoon.

Petrol Mart finally demolished After years of sitting vacant near the heart of downtown the former Petrol Mart has officially been demolished. On Monday at approximately 2 p.m. the former Petrol Mart, located at Collins and Ball Street, was torn down. During Monday night’s commission meeting City Manager Bill McDaniel said the Mart had been an “eye sore” for 17 or 18 years. The site will be fully cleaned up over the next few days.


THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018



the estimated cost for the city’s purchase of the former post office. SEE PAGE 3.


the year the robotics surgery program was initiated at South Florida Baptist Hospital. SEE PAGE 4.

24 to 72

the number of hours it may take your body to recover from resistance training. SEE PAGE 9.

MEETINGS PLANT CITY TOASTMASTERS 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. May 17 at The Community Room in the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, 106 N. Evers St. The meeting is for the Plant City Toastmasters Club #4051. IMPROVEMENT LEAGUE OF PLANT CITY 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 21 at the Bing Rooming House Museum, 205 S. Allen St. The meeting is open to the public.

“It takes a nonperforming property out of our downtown and allows us to have the option to determine its future. I believe our city manager and our city commission will find the best use of that property so that it can have a positive impact on our downtown.”

PCHS student places third in VoteHillsborough Art Contest

— Mayor Rick Lott said in reference to the approval of the city’s purchase of the former post office in downtown. SEE PAGE 3.

Ladies of the Elks rallies community for donations T

he Ladies of the Elks of Plant City Lodge #1727 hosted “A Taste of Plant City,” a fundraiser for the United Food Bank of Plant City, Meals on Wheels and the group’s trade school scholarship fund. The group had $875 worth of gift certificates from local Plant City business like Felton’s, Johnson’s BBQ/Fred’s and RAOK Boutique. The Ladies of the Elks awarded $1,500 to the United Food Bank of Plant City, $500 in gas cards to the volunteers of Meals on Wheels and the rest went to the scholarship fund. The checks were presented on May 16 at the Elks Lodge. The group said it is important the community knows they always will have a friend and ally in the Elks. Supporting their community and filling needs when they see them is a large part of the Elks motto. Tickets were sold for $5 each or five for $20 and 15 for $40. The winning ticket was drawn on May 9. The winner of the certificates was Jim Chancey.

A student from Plant City High School was recognized May 15 by Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer at the school board meeting. Edith Santos placed third in the VoteHillsborough Art Contest. Caspers Company McDonald’s Restaurants provided prizes for the participants of the event. More than 100 entries were submitted and all are on display in the lobby of County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., through May 18. The artwork of the three finalists will be used in the Supervisor of Elections’ marketing efforts, which will include hundreds of thousands of bag stuffers distributed at local McDonald’s restaurants this summer.

Plant City wins Tyler Excellence Award

Courtesy of Bette Guarino

The Tyler Excellence Awards are given to Munis clients and Plant City was one of three winners selected from more than 30 applicants. Plant City used the Tyler products to track expenses following Hurricane Irma. The city was able to compile all expenses in one location, including payroll with benefits, normal purchases and repair work for damages.

Jim Chancey with his prize for the “A Taste of Plant City” fundraiser.

Strawberry Classic Feature OF THE MONTH


Cruise-in Feature Car of the Month—May 2018 1966 CHEVROLET CHEVELLE 2 DOOR Owner—Ray Dempsey, Brandon, FL If you have attended any Car Shows and Cruise-ins in the Brandon, Dover, Seffner and Plant City area past 10 years there is a good chance that you have seen one of Ray’s beautiful cars. They are all outstanding and they are all FAST! Ray has owned and been working on this car for 4 years. In Ray’s younger days he was an avid drag racer therefore all of his cars have big high Horsepower Engines! This beautiful Chevelle has a 496 C. I. Big Block Chevrolet in the engine bay. The Engine was built by his son Daryl who is very active at local dragstrips in the area. Daryl did a real good job on his dad’s 496. For verification just ask all of the guys who pulled up next to Ray’s Chevelle at a stoplight. The Tranny is a 700R4 for Highway cruising. The rest of the power train is a Chevy 12 bolt PosiTraction Rear with a 3:31 Ratio. To keep the car hooked up on Ray’s traffic light activities he added aftermarket control arms. For stopping power, Ray added front discs and power brakes. To keep that big engine cool in the hot Florida sunshine Ray installed a Cooling Systems two core radiator! Ray had the car recently painted two tone black and silver by Simplicity Fabrication and it is gorgeous! The wheels are 17" Chrome Torque-Thrusts by American Racing. The all-black vinyl interior is as nice as the exterior outfitted with aftermarket Bucket Seats for comfortable cruising. Ray performs most of the work himself on his cars with help from his son Daryl! Ray is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. But if you should happen to pull up at a stoplight next to Ray’s gorgeous black and silver Chevelle , just ease away slowly so you won’t be embarrassed! Ray will have his Chevelle on display at the Strawberry Classic Cruise-in on Saturday May 19, 2018 from 3:00 PM till 8:00 PM.

You will be able to view this car at the

Plant City Strawberry Classic Cruise-In May 19, 2018 • 3:00-8:00 p.m. Union Station Depot • 102 N. Palmer Street, Plant City, FL 33563 (813) 754-3707









THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018

City votes to purchase former post office On Monday evening city commissioners voted to approve the $315,000 purchase of the former U.S. Post Office on West Reynolds Street. BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

City commissioners voted to approve the purchase of the former U.S. Post Office properties on Monday night. The vote is one of the final steps in bringing the vacant structure under city control. City Manager Bill McDaniel will now finalize paperwork with the United States Postal Service to complete the transaction. Hopefully, within 30 to 90 days the property will switch hands to the city of Plant City and the property’s next chapter can begin. “The main reason for purchasing the property was to secure the future, basically to have options available for what that corner will look like since it’s so important as an entryway to our downtown,” McDaniel said. “Potential uses could be for expanding city services or improving city services. I can see it being a customer service type of operation over there, but we also might just be able to go back and convert it to a com-

Breanne Williams

With the purchase, the old U.S. Post Office properties will become an important part of downtown Plant City in the future.

“When an opportunity arises we are going to do our best to seize it. We’ll be able to keep promoting quality throughout the city and make sure in the future we have what we need because we took the necessary steps today.” — Bill McDaniel, City Manager mercial use at some future time. The most important thing was being able to control the destiny of that corner.” After much negotiation, the city was able to agree upon a purchase price of $315,000 for the

post office building, located at 301 W. Reynolds St., its parking lot and its outlying parking lots. There is currently asbestos and mold in the building but McDaniel said it is entirely manageable as far as he knows and the building

will be able to be saved without having to be demolished. Once the property is officially under the city’s control, McDaniel said it will immediately begin benefiting the community. The adjacent parking lot will be reopened to the community, which will aid in relieving the strain on parking for the church, community theater and other local buildings downtown. He said the building itself will more than likely not be addressed immediately until the city has a more concrete timeline on what it wishes to do to the property. The building will be addressed in phases to get it restored to its former glory. Originally the plan was to let the private commercial industry take over the property and put it back into use for the community. However, after years of no action, the city decided to put itself “in the driver’s seat” and make sure it would be used to promote quality throughout the city. “It takes a nonperforming property out of our downtown and allows us to have the option to determine its future,” Mayor Rick Lott said. “I believe our city manager and our city commission will find the best use of that property so that it can have a positive impact on our downtown.” The city finds itself often making decisions years in advance to have the pieces in place to further Plant City’s comprehensive plan.

Purchases like the post office and the lot near the library, which was also approved Monday night, help ensure that when tomorrow comes, Plant City is on track to evolve to keep up with the changing times. On Monday night the commissioners voted to approve the purchase of a property on 508 N. Thomas St. The city has been slowly acquiring land near Bruton Memorial Library as it becomes available in case there is ever a need for expansion or development there. Purchasing adjacent property prevents the city from being landlocked if a need arises. “A big part of what we do is planning for the future,” McDaniel said. “When you have these opportunities you have to seize them because 10 years from now you won’t be able to get them at this price.” As Plant City grows that land could easily be used to renovate the library, expand parking or act as a perfect setting for whatever need may come. These individual pieces all fit into the larger picture of where Plant City wants to be in the next few decades, McDaniel said. “When an opportunity arises we are going to do our best to seize it,” McDaniel said. “We’ll be able to keep promoting quality throughout the city and make sure in the future we have what we need because we took the necessary steps today.”


“Honestly I love Krazy Kup, but I’m not sure it’s considered a restaurant. Maybe the Whistle Stop? I love the people there.” — Allen Berrebbi, 55

“Snellgrove’s. I just like the atmosphere. They’re nice people.” — Andre Nieuwendam Sr., 57

“I guess I’d have to say Fred’s. It’s got good options and it’s a better-quality buffet than normal buffets.”

“I like Olde Town Pizza. I just like their deep dish pizza, it’s a lot and it’s easy to share.” — Kiran Gordon, 18

— Dave Dahmer, 33

“I go to Chili’s like 24/7, but I don’t know that it’s my favorite. I just go there all the time. It’s convenient and we always go with friends and stuff like that.”


What is your favorite restaurant to eat at in Plant City?

— Savannah Shaw, 19




THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018



Photos by Breanne Williams

Students were able to ask the surgeons and medical staff about the robot and how it helps in operations.

Surgeons for a day

Think You Know Everything About Your Medications?

South Florida Baptist Hospital was filled with young students from Lincoln Elementary who tested out the new robot acquired by the hospital to aid in surgeries.

Nine Things Your Pharmacist Does NOT Want You Doing


By Nelida Rivera, RN, Florida Blue Registered Nurse

1. Don’t share your medications. You may think you are helping out a friend when you lend your medications to another in need, but you could be risking your own life and theirs. Your medications are prescribed to you and may not be appropriate for someone else. Instead, help them find resources to get the meds they need by calling 211. 2. Don’t forget to tell your doctor and pharmacist what vitamins and over-the-counter drugs you take. Vitamins and common over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen can affect your body’s systems and how well your body absorbs your medication. 3. Don’t skip doses. Take your medication as prescribed or it may not work. Some medications have to build up in your body before they take effect, and others need to be taken at the same time every day. 4. Don’t split pills unless your doctor or pharmacist has told you to. Some medications are less effective if you split them. Certain medications have special coatings that help them work in your body longer. If you break the coating, they may not work as they’re supposed to. 5. Don’t wait until you’re out to get refills. Make sure to get your refills before your medications run out so you won’t miss a dose. You may consider signing up for mail order. It won’t cost extra to have them delivered to your home, unless you ask for urgent delivery.

Students from Lincoln Elementary School put their robotic surgery skills to the test Tuesday when they were invited to “test drive” South Florida Baptist Hospital’s new da Vinci Xi Surgical System. The select group of students were part of the robotics club at Lincoln and were able to see first hand how robotics are improving everyday functions and saving lives. General Surgeon C. R. Hall, M.D., director of robotics and bariatrics, provided a demonstration of the robot’s capabilities and spent an hour answering their questions and teaching them about the industry. “It adds a whole other level of complexity to robotic surgeries that we do here,” Hall said. “The kids are so excited to see this technology.” The hospital began its robotics surgery program in 2012 when Hall came on staff to kickstart the program. Over the years the technology has evolved and the new system is the latest model to come through the doors. The da Vinci Xi replaces the hospital’s da Vinci S HD Surgical System. The new robot has more functionality and can access more quadrants of the body, allowing surgeries to be more efficient. Bringing it in, docking it and hooking it up to the patients is much more streamlined. Hall said they were not only looking to do many more types of operations, but the robot also allows them to take less time on each surgery, which is an important component for the hospital. As the children lined up to try their hand at using the robot to move small rubber bands from one peg to another, they cheered each other on and counted who had the most skill on the device. Hall’s son was part of the class and he joked they should have one at home. “This was amazing,” Christine Perez, teacher at Lincoln and one of the advisors of the robotics club, said. “Their reaction was really excited when we were

6. Don’t forget to ask your pharmacist questions. Your pharmacist is an expert on medications and how they interact with each other. Take advantage of their expertise and ask any questions you have about your drugs. 7. Don’t forget to ask for 90day refills. Switching from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply can make it easier to never miss a dose and will often save you money. 8. Don’t keep any medications in your car (including EpiPens and inhalers). Heat and frost can change or inactivate your medications. If you need to carry medications for emergencies, carry them with you in a purse or bag. 9. Don’t leave medications in the reach of children or pets. Be especially careful what you put in the trash. Your pets could get into your trash and ingest medicine. To find an authorized disposal site for medicine, call the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539. Nelida Rivera is a registered nurse at the Florida Blue Center in Winter Haven where she teaches free health and wellness classes that are open to the public in addition to providing health coaching and assessments.

(863) 291-0140

Health Observed allows brands and businesses to connect directly with the Observer’s readership — and participate in the conversation — by creating engaging content on the Observer’s digital publishing platform. For more on Health Observed, email us at



Students were able to test their skills with the machine firsthand.

invited to come and I don’t think they realized they would actually get to touch and do and get scrubs and all of that.” The robot opens up the door to fixing complex problems in a less traumatic and faster method. Hall performed the first case with the new robot on May 9, which was the repair of a hiatal hernia and placement of a cutting-edge LINX anti-reflux device. The difference between the old robot and the new one are significant and he said he is excited to see all the ways it will benefit both the surgeons and the patients over the next few years. When Hall first came to South Florida Baptist Hospital there was one robot and no other robotic surgeons. He spearheaded the program and over the years they have grown to eight robotic surgeons on staff in departments ranging from gynecology to neurologists. They operate on a weekly basis with the advanced technology to provide the best care for their patients. “I always think about in Star Trek where they have that thing they scan you with and they can fix you without even going inside of you,” Hall said. “Maybe someday we will have that, but for now the goal is less incisions, smaller incisions and less trauma to get the operation done. This is the best tool to do that.”








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Chasing curiosity


Observer “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 Managing Editor / Sarah Holt Associate Editor / Sports Editor / Justin Kline Staff Writer / Breanne Williams Editorial Designer / C.J. Major Circulation/ Office Manager / Linda Lancaster

TO ADVERTISE Call (813) 704-6850

Walden Lake resident Frank Starmer has lived a life under the motto: Never stop learning.

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Advertising / Al Berry

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.


For Frank Starmer life is about following one's curiosity. A life without learning is simply a life not worth living. His inquiring nature and a steadfast work ethic set him upon a path filled with great accomplishments and moments of serene meditation. After years of innovative creations, he has been honored with the Duke Medical Alumni Association's Distinguished Faculty Award. His career with Duke has spanned more than half a century as an electrical engineer and computer specialist. Through his career he has worn many hats and has been a part of reshaping Duke’s medical advancements for years to come. “Being an engineer that works in a clinical setting is the best job one could have,” Starmer said. “I knew every day that I was making a difference.” He partnered with the Duke Cardiac Catheterization Lab to develop technology and approaches that would change the national conversation on ventricular fibrillation, created a system to capture data from patients undergoing coronary angiography, which led to the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease, he helped start Duke’s Computer Science Department and developed the IT infrastructure for the nascent Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School. He has been a professor and an associate dean for learning technologies. He collaborated with colleagues across the globe to create a network of accessible learning to further benefit students at Duke and has acted as a mentor for generations of students. “When I go, all that’s left behind me are the students that I’ve touched,” Starmer said. As he entered retirement he and his wife settled down in Walden Lake. He quickly learned the days drag on endlessly unless one can bring back a structured routine to give each day a purpose. Finding a passion to throw

If you wish to discontinue home delivery or if you wish to suspend home delivery temporarily, call Linda Lancaster at 704-6850.

himself into was simple, as he had picked up a skill set while working in Singapore that catered to every aspect of his curious nature. Around 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day, Starmer finds himself off on an adventure. Sometimes he wanders the local nature preserves. On other days, he is paddling down hidden creeks in his kayak. Regardless of the setting he always is on the hunt for the same thing: a pattern of behavior that captivates him. In Singapore he joined a photography group, where he became fascinated with the behavior of local spiders. Lugging along his personal camera, he would spend hours watching them in their natural habitat and tried his hand at photography. That passion continued to blossom and soon he had thousands of photos capturing the behavior of spiders when they mated, wove webs and captured prey. When he retired in 2015, he and his wife chose to move to Plant City both because she had family in the area and due to the abundance of nature preserves in the county. “Hillsborough County is so well-preserved, and has so many nature preserves that it seemed like a perfect fit for us to start the next phase of our lives,” Starmer said. “I am up to my ears in opportunities to do photography.” His fixation on nature extends to non-arthropods as well. Last year he found himself following great blue herons as they nested and reproduced. Then he was searching for the perfect shot of white egrets and their fishing patterns. He patiently observed them for hours every day and soon learned how they train their chicks to fly, how they choose mates and how they compete for

food. The watching and learning are just as exciting as viewing his final products on his camera. “People make a big deal out of lifelong learning, but what is the point of living if you’re not constantly growing and evolving into a better and more informed version of yourself?” Starmer said. “Why remain stagnant? If you stop learning, you’re dead in the water. Learning is actually fun.” His work is nothing less than extraordinary. He uploads photos and videos online and has gained a dedicated following of nature and photography enthusiasts. His work has been featured everywhere, from mainstream outlets like The Discovery Channel to being selected as prizewinning art at the Florida Strawberry Festival. He is constantly inventing and has created Bluetooth technology that allows a smartphone app to create a real-time feedback loop between patients and their care providers, which could potentially cut down on unnecessary check-ups. His photography remains inventive as well. Currently, Starmer is examining what happens when water drops collide via intricate photos. His camera is timed perfectly to a drip kit, which he can adjust to release different drops of water at different times so they collide right when his camera is activated. He jokes that having to figure out all of the math to make these “experiments” work perfectly keeps his brain busy and his days full. “My life has been full of options and I’ve always chosen the option that appeared to be the most fun. That’s what life is all about, enjoying it.”

Breanne Williams, Courtesy Photo

Frank Starmer with his drip kit. He is experimenting with colliding water drops for his new photo series.


We want to hear from you. Let us know about your events, celebrations and achievements. To contact us, send your information via: Email: Sarah Holt, SHolt@ Mail: The Plant City Observer, 1507 S. Alexander St., Suite 103, Plant City, FL 33563

Plant City Observer

is locally owned by Ed Verner, Karen Berry, Nate Kilton and Felix Haynes The Plant City Observer is published by Plant City Media LLC.

1507 S. Alexander St., Suite 103 Plant City, FL 33563 (813) 704-6850 Observer Media Group Inc.

1970 Main St. • Sarasota, Fl 34236 941•366•3468 Publishers of the Longboat Observer, East County Observer, Sarasota Observer, Siesta Key Observer, Palm Coast Observer, Plant City Observer, Ormond Beach Observer, West Orange Times & Observer, Windermere Observer, Winter Park Observer Business Observer, Jacksonville Financial News & Daily Record. ©Copyright Plant City Media LLC 2018 All Rights Reserved


Sansone Park Shelter to be replaced The existing structure by the basketball courts at Mike E. Sansone Park is in need of replacement.

Worse fur wear I want to publicly thank Bill Sutton and his crew at Stingray Chevrolet for helping retrieve a small kitten from the engine compartment of my 2016 Silverado. They went above and beyond in rescuing the kitten. None of us knew what to do, but they did something and that’s what made the difference. The kitten was even adopted by one of the employees afterwards… just in time for Mother’s Day.

Nearly 300 cats seized from Plant City rescue


Hillsborough County’s animal control staff raided Fur ’N Feather Farm on Bruton Road after obtaining a warrant to seize approximately 300 cats. The warrant also allowed them to seize 100 exotic birds at the shelter and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was called in to assist with the birds’ health. After review, the FFWCC determined there were no grounds to remove them. An anonymous complaint from a veterinarian that had treated many of the animals was called in to animal control, alerting them to the issue. A judge approved a deal between the county and Fur ’N Feathers to give custody of the cats to the county. Jean Wilkes, president of Fur ’N Feathers, also agreed to permanently close her shelter, though she could still face charges for neglect as Animal Control Division forward the case to the State Attorney’s Office.

Routine beverage compliance check Detectives from SIU conducted a routine beverage compliance check on April 18 at 10 local businesses. The checks were done in coordination with the Division of Alcoholic Beverage & Tobacco to monitor businesses with liquor licenses. A Florida Southern College student completing his internship with Plant City Police Department assisted in the





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A wrong-way driver died on Monday night after colliding with a semi-truck on Alexander Street. A blue Volkswagen Passat was traveling south in the northbound lanes of North Alexander Street at approximately 11:48 p.m. Monday evening. It struck a northbound tractor-trailer combination vehicle, according to Plant City Police Department. Plant City Fire Rescue said the male driver of the Volkswagen sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene. The male driver of the tractor-trailer did not have any injuries. There were no passengers in either vehicle. At this time, officers do not know why the Volkswagen was being driven on the wrong side of the road. PCPD is investigating if outside factors contributed to the crash. There are currently no charges pending for the driver of the tractor-trailer. The names of both drivers will be released once next of kin has been notified. This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Officer C. Lopez at 813-757-9200. Updates to come.

checks. Of the 10 businesses, the only one not in compliance was the Citgo Store at 504 N. Plant Ave. The clerk, Anand Rabhay, was arrested and issued a notice to appear before the court for selling a six-pack of beer to the underage intern. Rabhay was previously arrested in 2017 for the same violation. The ABT has been notified of the establishment repeatedly being in noncompliance.

The structure was built in 1996 and the steel beams are severely rusted. After doing research for a replacement the city found a quote for purchasing and installing a new shelter and slab to be $28,393.60 via an existing contract Rep Services, Inc. has with Clay County. Since the project was not anticipated, the CIP budget was adjusted for $36,000 to cover the demolition expense, new shelter installation expense, add an electrical run for a security light and to provide 10% contingency for any unforeseen expenses. The Procurement Manager analyzed the contract between Rep Services, Inc. and Clay County and decided it would be suitable for Plant City’s use, which saved much time and effort in developing bid specifications. Demolition and disposal of the existing structure and slab will be coordinated by General Services. The city commission voted Monday evening to approve the Sansone structure replacement.


Wrong-way driver killed in crash in Plant City

THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018




Time for New Glasses?


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Back to her roots, Jayme Harris, Plant City native, PCHS graduate c/o 1990 and USAF veteran has officially opened her boutique in Downtown Plant City.

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MAY 17, 2018




Plant City softball’s regional run came to an end May 11 with a 9-2 loss to Lakewood Ranch in the 8A-Region 2 title game. Strawberry Crest baseball advanced to the 8A-1 semifinal with May 8’s 6-4 win over Buchholz, but Tuesday’s semifinal rematch with Wharton was postponed by a nasty storm. Results from the make-up game were not available by press time.


Plant City native Colin Allman, shortstop for Newberry College’s baseball team, earned another honor for his solid play in the 2017-18 season. Allman was recently named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District Team for his achievements in the classroom as well as on the field. The sophomore business administration major has a 3.46 GPA.

Courtesy of Plant City High School Track and Field

Tyreke Harrison, E.J. Wilson, Jordan Wiggins, Xavier King and A.J. Joyce bonded through football and excelled on the track.

PCHS relay team goes from football field to track states The boys 4x100 team’s strong chemistry helped to a 10th place finish May 4. JUSTIN KLINE SPORTS/ASSOCIATE EDITOR


The 21st annual Optimist Soccer Tri-Star Skills Competition was held April 28 and results have been released. There were 124 participants and 24 trophy winners in four age groups. For results, visit


The Plant City Family YMCA’s summer youth sports programs are now accepting registrations online or by phone until May 27. This summer’s slate includes developmental co-ed, girls and competitive basketball and volleyball leagues as well as soccer and basketball one-week clinics, and there will also be a preschool sports sampler program for ages 2-4 parents can sign up for by June 15. Call 813-7576677 or visit


Plant City and Strawberry Crest’s football teams will participate in tonight’s Tampa Bay Techhosted Spring Jamboree, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Titans’ field, 6410 Orient Road. The Raiders, Chargers, Titans and the Armwood Hawks will be featured in the showcase.

If you ever want to know how trash talk can be a motivational tool, look no further than Plant City High School’s boys 4x100 relay team. Xavier King, Tyreke Harrison, Jordan Wiggins, E.J. Wilson and A.J. Joyce make up the 4x100 group that made it to the FHSAA state championships on May 4 and 5 in Jacksonville. Though these five Raiders will never miss an opportunity to roast one another, their top-10 finish at states is proof they knew exactly what they were doing the whole time. “They push you in the most strange ways…you feel like you’re being put down but they’re really motivating you to just do extra,” King said. “They’re like, ‘Man, you suck, you’re garbage,’ But that’s really just that push, that’s just how we talk to each other. ‘Oh, you’re calling me garbage? Alright, I’m gonna go out there and get it.’” Their trash talk is all love, they said, because they formed a bond of brotherhood over the years in football and running track only made it stronger. They grew up playing football in the Tri-County Youth Football and Cheerleading Conference. King and Harrison were teammates on the Turkey Creek Trojans, Wiggins played for the Lakeland Eagles, Joyce for the Dover Patriots and Wilson for the Brandon Bears. After many years

playing with and against each other, they joined forces on the high school’s football team and, one by one, eventually became teammates on the track for the 2017-18 season. This was the first season all five were able to run track together, leading to a positive experience they all say will stay with them for a long time. “Just the feeling of being there, knowing our hard work paid off and I got to compete one last time with my boys — we’ve done been together since eight, I don’t even know how many years — the experience of getting to compete one last time at the biggest stage with my brothers,” Wiggins said. This season was especially meaningful for King, who returned to the track team after skipping his junior season and ended up competing in two events at states. For him, this season was a major confidence-booster. “It was honestly an accident,” King said. “I was trying to stay away from the 4x100 because that was originally where it happened. My sophomore year they were like, ‘We need you for the 4x100.’ I did it and I got in front of the crowd, but I got shook and I got stuck when it was my turn to get the baton. We ended up getting disqualified, so everybody was mad at me. I was like, ‘I’m never doing that again.’” He left the team after his sophomore year and didn’t let head coach Drew Martucci successfully talk him into coming back until this season. King was able to

overcome his fears, carve out his role and become what his teammates called the “missing piece” that helped the group make it as far as it did. “After I crossed the finish line at districts I was like, ‘Oh yeah, this team is special,’” Harrison said. King had no intentions of competing in the high jump this season until Martucci needed someone to do it at a practice one day. He volunteered on a whim, ended up tying a school record in the event and got to the biggest stage of them all. “I went out there and I did it, and it was kind of eye-opening for me,” King said. “It was like, I actually did something that I said I couldn’t do, I gave it a try to see how far I’d get and then I got to states.” Though the group didn’t meet its goal of winning gold at states, the Raiders agree this season is one they’ll always remember fondly, from moments as big as running at states to playing Madden together on Wilson’s PlayStation — on that note, the team invited Wiggins back to states should it return in 2019 to defend his big wins from that day. “My controller was messed up,” Wilson said. The remaining Raiders said they’re trying to talk more of their football teammates into trying track to keep the relay team strong. They view this past season as both a major success and a sign of things to come. “Some of us are gonna be able to return next year and for some of us it’s time to go,” Harrison said, “but it gave us a good feeling about where we’re at.”




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again. It makes sense to have that in a spot on the I-4 corridor, not far from the interstate itself. The stadium area’s not exactly walkable at this time, but eventually it could be. And if we ever do end up with an MiLB team, our town’s personality is perfect for branding it. Picture a cartoon strawberry swinging a bat or fielding a hit ball, then tell me that wouldn’t make for an incredible baseball cap. It would feature heavily in my rotation, that’s for sure. Whatever happens, I’d just love to see pro baseball back in town and give the younger generation its own hometown team to follow. While we’re not quite ready for that in 2018, I do think we’re on the right track for the future.

Justin Kline is the Plant City Observer Associate Editor. Email:


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had a great time watching the hometown team run over the Rochester Red Wings, 7-0. It was a beautiful 82-degree day and conditions were perfect for an early afternoon game. There was even complimentary sunscreen available for everyone, which is something I think all Florida teams should adopt. The game had a really nice pace with help from the pitch clock and I left feeling like it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. I do like going out to Lakeland to catch the occasional Flying Tigers game or Detroit Tigers spring training game. I just wish they were closer to where I live, especially knowing we used to have these things and that the stadium still stands. Whether it’s up for today’s Minor League Baseball experience isn’t my call to make, but driving past the stadium several times a week is a reminder of what was and what could be. Maybe in the not-so-near future, when Plant City has grown and we’re at or near Hillsborough County’s Imagine 2040 benchmarks, we’ll have baseball

THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018



If only we got baseball back know I wasn’t here for the heyday of the Cincinnati Reds’ stay in Plant City, but I’ve been thinking about that time anyway. Mainly, I’m wondering if we’ll get some form of professional baseball back in town ever again. The week before last, I sat down with Rhett Rollyson for our latest Learning the Ropes sports career feature and heard stories about his time working with the Cincinnati Reds as an intern. I’ve heard plenty of stories from people who grew up with the Reds playing here and still see the team’s gear around town from time to time, but it’s always cool to hear something new. In this case, insider info and bits about how players have interacted with the community. There’s certainly a lot of nostalgia in town — which is expected for a place that still maintains Pete Rose’s old locker. Last week, I went to Buffalo, New York on vacation to visit friends and family. May 9 was my first Buffalo Bisons baseball game in many years (seating’s still the same, though) and I


107 E Reynolds St. Plant City, FL 33563

This week’s Celebrity Cipher answers



Rest and recovery

Puzzle One Solution: “The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.” – William Havard Puzzle Two Solution: “I’m a patriot. I admire our military, their character, code of honor, belief systems.” – Peter Berg

This week’s Sudoku answers

Rest refers to the time spent when you’re not training. It is a dreaded four-letter word for those of us that get a high from spending hours in the gym every day. However, we need it to repair muscle. Recovery involves more than muscle repair. It includes nutrition, hydration, ice, stretching, stress management and more. It refers to all the actions we take to avoid over-training. Both rest and recovery are essential to every fitness regimen and help to prevent injury and increase performance. Though they are probably the easiest things to do, they are the least planned and often go overlooked as part of a training plan. During a workout, resistance training causes tears in the fiber and connective tissues of muscles. Recovery is required to improve strength and see gains. How much rest and recovery your body needs will depend on the intensity of your workouts and your fitness level. It can vary

from as little as 24 hours to as much as 72 hours. For beginners, plan to rest for one to two days after a full-body workout. That does not mean it’s okay to lounge on the couch for two days with a bowl of chips, though. You want to give your muscles a chance to recuperate by staying hydrated, fueling with good nutrition and engaging in light activity like walking. For those training on consecutive days, split opposing muscle groups. Split sessions target each area twice per week and a split routine gives more time (two to three days) before training the same muscles again. Consider spending more time on each muscle group and training at a higher intensity. To maximize your recovery, rest days should include things like foam rolling, yoga, walking and other lightintensity activities. Listen to your body and make sure you warm up adequately before each workout, especially if you are working out at a higher

intensity than usual or if your body is not used to the exercise. This will help with muscle soreness. If your muscles still ache after an intense workout, it is best to wait until they fully recover. When the muscles have not recovered in between training sessions, it can lead to fatigue and decreased strength. This is called over-training and can regress your fitness and strength. Over-training can lead to insomnia, injury, mood swings and even illness. If you feel you have reached a plateau, consider whether recovery is an integral part of your regimen and do not underestimate its importance.

Angela Fulgieri is the Wellness Experience Director at the Plant City YMCA. Contact her at

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This week’s Crossword answers





THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018




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Joey Parrillo Strawberry Crest’s playoff run has been the most successful in program history, and part of that comes from junior Joey Parrillo’s solid play. The Chargers’ catcher went 2-for-2 with a home run, two RBI, one run scored and a walk in the team’s district championship win over Wharton, then scored two runs in last Tuesday’s 6-4 regional quarterfinal win over Gainesville-Buchholz. Parrillo made the 2018 Western Conference National Division first team and leads the Chargers with a .408 batting average, 23 runs scored and 31 hits. How do you feel about this postseason as a whole, being part of maybe the best baseball team in your school’s history? It’s a great feeling. We have a bunch of boys that worked hard all season to be able to get to this point…it feels great to finally start making history and do something for this school.

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You’ve had a pretty good season. Did anything change from last year to this year that’s made you a better player? I’ve been more confident. I’ve been doing more stuff on the side now rather than just letting my skill take over. I’ve been hitting a little bit at home here and there. Other than that, my mentality’s changed and I’ve gotten more confident.

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

him since I was born. We’ve been playing together since we were three years old. Do you play any other sports? Does NHL on PS4 count? Sure. I play that. I’m pretty competitive with the Lightning. For competition, I like the Stars in order to not have an OP (overpowered) team. Any college prospects right now? Not right now. I have a couple junior colleges interested in me. What are you looking for in a school and a program? They’ve got to have a good program. I’m looking to go into physical therapy, physical science and that, so they’ve got to have a good program. I’ve got to like the coach and what he’s doing over there with the program, and all the work ethic of the kids and stuff.

What advice have you gotten that helped your confidence? Just be you. One of my catching coaches always said, “Control what you can control, which is to work hard.” How long have you been playing baseball? I started playing with my best friend, Derek Barone. I’ve known

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MAY 17, 2018

Calendar 14 Games 15 Obituaries 13 Weather 15


Photos by Breanne Williams

The Strawberry Tap is located on Reynolds Street and will be opening its doors to the public soon.

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY The Strawberry Tap aims to be more than just another restaurant in downtown Plant City. The new business plans to live by its motto, ‘This is a place where guests become friends and friends become family.’ BREANNE WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER

Every town needs a Cheers, a welcoming joint that acts as a bonafide home away from home. Brian Adatto said he hopes his upcoming restaurant, The Strawberry Tap, will act as a proverbial watering hole for Plant City residents of all ages. Growing up in a close-knit town in New Jersey, he said he remembers spending time with his friends, family and teammates in local restaurants creating memories that will last a lifetime. After working in the restaurant business for years he is finally ready to bring his dream establishment to life right here on Reynolds Street. “We’re going to have the best food and some really unique creations that keep people coming back,” Adatto, owner and partner of The Strawberry Tap, said. “But what we’re aiming for here is to really be family. I want you to look around and see two seventh graders on their first date in one corner and a pair of grandparents enjoying a burger in another corner. I want teams to celebrate their Little League and football championships here. I want this to be where coworkers come after work and where people just really feel like they’re home.” Adatto doesn’t simply want to

Brian Adatto with Morgan, the bartender for The Strawberry Tap.

“People can hopefully come in and sit at a table with their kids, point at a picture on the wall and say, ‘Look there’s your grandma at the Strawberry Festival in 1965.” — Brian Adatto

preach camaraderie and acceptance, he’s prepared to put his money where his mouth is. The walls of The Strawberry Tap are currently bare, which Adatto intentionally did as a way to immerse his business in Plant City history. The Strawberry Tap is waiting for its patrons. He’s asking anyone to bring in a framed photo with their contact information on the back of it that shares a special moment in their life. He hopes to hang them on the wall and, in return, customers will receive a discount off their meal. “People can hopefully come in and sit at a table with their kids, point at a picture on the wall and say, ‘Look there’s your grandma at the Strawberry Festival in 1965,’” Adatto said. “I want to decorate with the memories of this town. Our motto is, ‘This is a place where guests become friends and friends become family.’ We don’t have customers here. We want to decorate our walls with the photos of our family.” Opening downtown was an “obvious option” and Adatto said he was excited to get to work alongside such reputable businesses. The key, he said, was to make sure The Strawberry Tap stood out, that the whole town would know it was here. He started by fixing the bullet hole in the window. Then he made sure “The Strawberry Tap” could be seen easily on the rugged yellow brick by painting a bright sign over his awning. Soon his logo was etched onto the new window and tables and chairs paraded into the building, beckoning customers to find their “special spot” in the restaurant. After months of preparation, he is nearly ready to throw open his doors and meet his soon-tobe regulars. If all goes well he will

have a private cocktail reception later this week and have the official grand opening shortly after. His menu will constantly evolve and Adatto said The Strawberry Tap will soon be known for its unique food and drink options. It will feature never-ending recipes and put a spotlight one special creations, like a burger of the month or some of its more inventive desserts. The cocktails are unlike anything he said has been seen in the area, like smoked cocktails or fresh starfruit drinks. He wants the pub to be offering mixtures not even seen in Ybor or Tampa, to offer something you can only find in Plant City. The menu will have original ideas like deep-fried beer and incorporate inventive recipes into more traditional meals like the addition of bourbon croutons. “Our restaurant has to be a lot of fun,” Adatto said. “No one has ever said, ‘Remember that boring place? Let’s go back.’” Compacting his abundance of ideas is currently his biggest challenge. In a perfect world, he said, he hopes to soon partner with some of the other “amazing restaurants and businesses” downtown to do block parties, coordinate with local schools where kids with an ‘A’ will receive a free dessert and help revitalize downtown’s nightlife. He’s heard rumors about the dwindling crowds after 5 p.m. in downtown but is optimistic that will soon change. He said if all the doors are shut downtown it makes sense no one would linger. Now, he said people will have a fun and hospitable place to go. “We’ve been accepted with open arms,” Adatto said. “I think they realize I’m trying to embrace this town. It may not be my hometown, but it’s somebody's. We’re going to do it right.”


THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018

Faith, flowers and festivities


racePoint Plant City’s NextGen Ministry held a Women’s Tea event in honor of Mother’s Day. The festive session featured best-selling author Deborah Coty, who discussed how women were “Too Blessed to be Stressed.” Women and children wore their finest apparel and enjoyed a tea, lunch and desserts at GracePoint. Men from the church wore bowties and ties and served the guests. Coty is an inspirational speaker and author of the popular book series, “Too Blessed To Be Stressed,” which has sold more than 500,000 copies. She discussed “floating rather than Photos by Breanne Williams GracePoint held a Women's Tea event Saturday in honor of Mother's Day. sinking in the stress pool of life,” as well as how to know God deeper and finding peace. The event sold out weeks in advance. Tulips lined the stage and were sent home with the attendees. The flowers were supposed to be shipped to Orlando and, after issues with the order, GracePoint was called and asked if they would like to receive the massive shipment as a donation. The flower arrangements were approximately $3,500 worth of product and the church was shocked to find out they perfectly matched the color scheme already in place Men from the church ferried fresh Mothers and daughters gathered pots of hot tea around the tables, at GracePoint for the Women's for the event. Tea.




NEVER A DULL MOMENT 2600 block of James L. Redman Parkway. Theft: Complainant stated a power polisher was stolen from a retail store. The polisher was valued at $22.27.


TOOL TIME 800 block of East Alabama Street. Burglary: Complainant stated unknown suspect(s) broke into a home that was under construction during the night of May 6 and stole numerous tools. Entry was made through the back door. DOORBUSTER DEALS Multiple locations. Criminal mischief: Unknown suspect(s) shattered the front glass door at a cell phone repair shop at the 1700 block of South Alexander Street and one at a restaurant at the 2300 block of James L. Redman Parkway.


THE SCAM MAN COMETH 2400 block of James L. Redman Parkway. Fraud: Complainant stated she was called by a male subject who identified himself as an IRS supervisor and demanded the security numbers for $3,000 worth of Google Play gift cards. The subject threatened to have the complainant arrested if she did not comply, so she bought the cards at a convenience store and provided the scammer with the numbers.

refilling all of the attendees’ cups throughout the event.



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Hershel Travis Browning, 94, of Franklin, North Carolina, passed away on Friday, May 11, 2018. Born in Lumber City, Georgia, he was the son of the late Hershel Jackson Browning and Addie Cox Browning. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Oris Browning. Hershel was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and served during WWII and in the Philippines. He enjoyed gardening, fishing and hunting. He was a member of Pine Grove Baptist Church. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Orie J. Browning; two daughters, Dianne Allen of

Taking care of each other is what HOPEWELL



THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018

James ‘Jim’ Cook

James “Jim” Cook, 84, of Plant City, born in Charleston, South Carolina on June 13, 1933, entered into eternal rest on May 8, 2018. Expressions of condolence at





Hershel Travis Browning

Franklin, Peggy Exum of HousJessie Hamilton Nancy Dickson ton, Texas; six grandchildren; Friend Mullins six great grandchildren and one nephew. Jessie Hamilton Friend, 87, of Nancy Dickson Mullins, 67, of A Memorial Service will be Plant City, born on Feb. 6, 1931 Abbeville, Alabama, formerly of held at 11 a.m., Thursday, May in Winter Haven, entered into Plant City and St. Petersburg, 31 in the Chapel of Macon eternal rest in Colorado on May born May 5, 1951 in Waycross, Funeral Home. Rev. Greg Rogers 1, 2018. Georgia, entered into eternal and Rev. Michael Chastain will Expressions of condolence at rest on May 6, 2018. officiate with military honors Expressions of condolence at conducted by VFW Post 7339 and American Legion Post 108. The family will have a reception FUNERAL HOME • MEMORIAL GARDENS and receive friends following FUNERAL HOME • MEMORIAL GARDENS the service at the funeral home. HOPEWELLFUNERAL.COM HOPEWELLFUNERAL.COM In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Four Seasons Hospice, Four Seasons Development Office 571 South Allen Road Flat Rock, NC 28731 Vashti Olivia or Pine Church, Clara we’reHall dedicated to helping families create aAlford W E ’Grove RE PROBaptist UD TO SERVE our community (Boggs) 7454with Highlands Franklin, unique and meaningful memorial that truly personal,Road, compassionate care since 1896. Courson celebrates the lifeHall, it represents. As your Dignity Memorial professionals,Vashti Olivia NC 28734. (Boggs) Macon Funeral is han100, of Lithia, passed on Clara Alford Courson, 94, of > 100%Home Service Guarantee > National Plan away Transferability dling the arrangements. May 8, 2018. Lakeland and formerly Plant > The Compassion Helpline® > Bereavement Travel Assistance Online condolences can be Visitation on May 19, 10 a.m. City, born on Jan. 7, 1924 in made at maconfuneralhome. to 11 a.m. at Welcome Baptist Georgia, entered into eternal com. Church. Service to begin at 11 rest on May 11, 2018. ExpresProudly supportinga.m. the Plant City Strawberry Festival. sions of condolence at www.




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Jesus Hilario Navarro Lopez, 13, of Dover, passed away on May 6, 2018. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he was the son of Jesus Navarro Ramirez and Rosa Lopez Vega. Online condolences may be left for the family at haught. care.

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We had a GREAT Meeting on April 29th - More FUN to come - Join us on May 20th! Please RSVP Verna McKelvin at 813-752-1111 Weto:invite you to join us at our next Dignity Memorial LIFT


THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018



FRUSTRATED WITH THE RISING COST OF INSURANCE RATES… Good News…We’re Here to Help You!!! “Rhett is my go-to for all of my insurance needs. He can handle it all. Auto, Homeowners, Boat, Motorcycle, you name it and he’s got it covered. I used to have to shop around and get multiple policies from multiple agents. It’s nice having an agent who can meet all of my needs in one stop.” -Ed Raburn

Rhett Rollyson


1501 S. Alexander Street #101 Plant City, FL 33563 270994

813-707-1000 |




FSBDC WORKSHOP-FOOD SERVICE 2 to 4 p.m. Bruton Memorial Library is hosting a FSBDC Workshop-Food Service. Focused on the food industry? Get the information you need to run a small business food enterprise. This course will cover the basic requirements for starting your own restaurant, catering business, or a mobile food dispensing cart. AUTHOR VISIT: KRISTEN HARE 7 p.m. Local author Kristen Hare will be at Bruton Memorial Library to discuss her book, “100 Things to Do in Tampa Bay Before You Die.”


SATURDAY SCHOLAR SERIES AND SPAGHETTI DINNER FUNDRAISER Springhead United Methodist Church, 2301 Sparkman Road, is hosting a Saturday Scholar Series from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The topic will be “Low Vision Services.” Guest speaker will be Frank Cummings, President of Plant City Lions Club. Please bring a pair of unneeded glasses to donate. From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. the church is hosting a $5 spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Takeout is available.

• Private Rooms ••• Private Private Rooms Rooms Available Rehabilitation • Rehabilitation Private Rooms Available 7-days-a-week 7-days-a-week 7-days-a-week •• Rehabilitation Private Rooms Available Gym State-of-the-Art State-of-the-Art Therapy Therapy Gym •• State-of-the-Art Therapy Gym Private Rooms Available 7-days-a-week Rehabilitation • State-of-the-Art Therapy Gym 7-days-a-weekAvailable Rehabilitation •• State-of-the-Art 7-days-a-week Private Rooms Therapy Gym •• Private Rooms Available State-of-the-Art Therapy Gym Rehabilitation • Rehabilitation Available 7-days-a-week 7-days-a-week Therapy Gym • State-of-the-Art • State-of-the-Art Therapy Gym

• IN-Room Bathrooms/Showers •• Warm, IN-Room Bathrooms/Showers family-oriented culture •• Warm, family-oriented culture IN-RoomDining-on-Demand Bathrooms/Showers Unique Program •• Warm, Unique Dining-on-Demand Program Unique Dining-on-Demand Program family-oriented culture IN-Room Bathrooms/Showers IN-Room Bathrooms/Showers • Warm, Unique Dining-on-Demand Program family-oriented culture • Warm, Uniquefamily-oriented Dining-on-Demand Program culture •• Unique Dining-on-Demand Program IN-Room Bathrooms/Showers •• Warm, IN-Room Bathrooms/Showers family-oriented culture •• Warm, culture Uniquefamily-oriented Dining-on-Demand Program • Unique Dining-on-Demand Program

YMCA HAWAIIAN LUAU 7 to 11 p.m. The YMCA Hawaiian Luau is back. Enjoy delicious food from area restaurants along with tropical drinks. They’ll have music and entertainment, along with a live and silent auction. All proceeds go towards the YMCA. Tickets are $40.


PCHS INCOMING 9TH GRADE MEETING 6 p.m. Plant City High School’s incoming ninth graders and their parents are invited to an informational meeting at the school auditorium, 1 Raider Place. Members of the PCHS faculty


PLANT CITY PLANTERS REUNION 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. This reunion is for the combined years of 1956 through 1972, which was the last year before the four area schools consolidated into one high school. The event is held at the Grimes Building at the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds. Tickets are $50 per person. For more information contact Patsy Ballard at 813-659-1240 or pgballard@tampabay.

will discuss high school, schedules, graduation requirements, extracurriculars and more, and will also open up the floor for questions. Refreshments will be served. For more information call 813-757-9370.


MAIN STREET HOT COFFEE SERIES 7:45 to 9 a.m. This month’s Main Street Hot Coffee Series will discuss “Summer in the City: Preparing for a Season of Success.” Non-member suggested contributions are $5. The event is held at Krazy Kup and will feature guest speakers. Coffee and breakfast are available for purchase.


LUNCH & LEARN 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. May’s Lunch & Learn series with the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce will discuss “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Understand. Prevent. Respond.” Tina Howard from South Florida Baptist Hospital and Steve Bonnell with James Hardie will discuss the issue. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers.

PLANT CITY FAMILY YMCA 1507 YMCA Pl., Plant City 813 757 6677






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

High: 82 Low: 69 Chance of rain: 90%



Janice Springer submitted a photo of Mel Springer’s first time picking strawberries. “She loves those berries, and she is not afraid of a little dirt,” Janice Springer wrote. She wins this week’s I Love Plant City photo contest.

FRIDAY, MAY 18 High: 83 Low: 69 Chance of rain: 100%


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High: 82 Low: 69 Chance of rain: 90%

June 13 New

May 29 Full

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June 6 Last

SUNDAY, MAY 20 High: 78 Low: 68 Chance of rain: 90%

RAINFALL Monday, May 7


Tuesday, May 8 0 Wednesday, May 9



Thursday, May 10 0

Shipping point: Central Florida $7.35 to $8.85


Friday, May 11

Saturday, May 12 0 0.43

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THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018


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



2018 8.18 in.

2018 0.84 in.

2017 3.82 in.


0.51 in.





1701 S. Alexander Street • Suite 102 • Plant City, FL • 813.752.0585


by Timothy B. Parker

114 “... blackbirds baked in ___” 115 Some Korean exports 116 On the money 119 Be solid no more 120 Gas brand 121 Social unrest 122 Spine writing 123 Many trees 124 Fourth floor apartment, maybe1 25 What I want to spend 126 Vittles DOWN

©2018 Universal Uclick


1 Stuff stored in clouds 5 Moisturizing cream name 9 Send out, as a tweet 13 American mil. branch 17 Dull sound 19 Mirror’s production 20 Mobile starter 21 Customary practice 22 With an unslapped hand 24 Light at 2 a.m. 25 Smell ___ (be leery) 26 Farm attachments 27 Part of it forms an L

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30 Fruit that’s poisonous if not cooked 31 Prison brawl 32 Iranian monies 33 Out-sprinted, and how 40 Like a model of perfection 42 Limo’s bar? 43 Indian dress wraps 44 In a bit, poetically 45 “Who ___ you?” 48 Doppler radar targets 51 Wrong on other stuff but ... 55 Prominent, rocky hill

56 Greets the morning 58 All mixed-in with 59 Sounds with “tat” 60 Cold state native 62 Fired abruptly 63 Shirts and skins 64 Physicist’s topic 70 Where ships go “out”? 73 Radish part 74 More macho 78 Shepard of space 79 ___ Domingo 81 Film on a person 84 Drain unclogging substance 85 What stunned people

are 88 Best four of seven, e.g. 90 Runner Sebastian 91 Sailors in slang 92 Is of service 94 U-turn from adore 95 Marble trunks? 97 Great time to arrive 101 Harper of baseball 103 Genesis victim 105 Like a debatable point 106 Didn’t get involved 111 Some 60-Across abodes

1 650 in Roman numerals 2 Drinks for hoppy hour? 3 Bunch of feathers 4 Sticky-tongued insect devourer 5 Online prayer letters? 6 Where a beast hangs out 7 Fire god of Hinduism 8 Safecracker of old slang 9 No longer bothered by a thing 10 Words before lunch? 11 Begin scolding 12 Spelling of reality TV 13 Muse of astronomy 14 Son of Lancelot 15 To any extent 16 Lavish parties 18 Military hue 19 Maps within maps 23 Yemeni city 28 Short time units? 29 “___ we the lucky ones” 33 “Built to ___ lifetime” 34 Highly commend 35 Fauna counterpart 36 “Listen up!” of yore 37 Noted canal 38 Archaeological sites 39 Escort to seats, slangy 41 “King of Queens” name 44 Home or domicile 46 Motel inquiry 47 Incoming plane stats 49 ___ break for it (try to escape) 50 Pond trumpeter 52 Uber alternative

53 Clifton Davis sitcom 54 Court drama 57 Hill worker with a tiny waist 61 Perfume’s output 62 Rear, on a ship 63 From that time 65 Some eagles 66 Campus military org. 67 Cry of delight 68 U.K. law-keeping group 69 Mai ___ (drinks) 70 After-bath powder 71 Margarine alternative 72 Showing for student drivers 75 Troy epic 76 With an ___ (mindful of) 77 Adjust an odometer 79 Places of exfoliation 80 Trapeze navigator, e.g. 81 “Little Women” woman 82 “... or ___ just me?” 83 Kon-Tiki Museum city 86 Spread around, as seeds 87 Nut that secures 89 Empty words 93 Rancor 96 Eight-piece ensembles 97 Determining factor 98 “Well, ___ be!” 99 Wrap of Rome, once 100 Composer Gustav 101 Be a finger pointer 102 Drive back 104 “I don’t give it much thought” attitude 107 ___ out (barely achieved) 108 Type of tough exam 109 Cat’s lives number 110 They’re big when inflated 112 Sworn statement 113 Missile launch site 117 Pinafore start 118 Not preowned


By Luis Campos Celebrity Cipher cryptograms are created from quotations by famous people, past and present. Each letter in the cipher stands for another.



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Puzzle One Clue: O equals C

Diamond Headquarters You Design Custom Jewelry Jewelry & Watch Repair We Buy all Gold & Silver


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

©2018 Andrews McMeel Syndicate




THURSDAY, MAY 17, 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:


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



5.17.18 PLCO  

5.17.18 PLCO

5.17.18 PLCO  

5.17.18 PLCO