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Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015

Dave Nicholson

Tribune Staff

Strawberry festival parade delights the crowd with music, beads and more

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PLANT CITY — Nine-year-old Katie Hamilton said there was a trick to getting a lot of beads at the Florida Strawberry Festival’s Grand Parade.

Oak Ridge Boys enjoy many encores at Florida Strawberry Festival

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Oak Ridge Boys bass singer Richard Sterban doesn’t recall the exact year the country group first took the stage at the Florida Strawberry Festival.

ESPN crews again shine spotlight on Chelsea Baker

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Editor’s note: A version of this story appeared in the Plant City Courier.

Plant City club benefits from lawmakers’ leftover campaign money

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PLANT CITY Two state lawmakers donated $500 each in leftover campaign donations to the Plant City Boys & Girls Club.

Sara Evans returns Tuesday to the Florida Strawberry Festival stage

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PLANT CITY – Sara Evans is hoping for warm weather when she travels to Plant City for her 7:30 p.m. Tuesday concert at the Florida Strawberry Festival.

Seven new recruits pin on badge at Plant City Fire Rescue

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PLANT CITY – Seven new workers were sworn in recently at an agency likened to a family – Plant City Fire Rescue.

Florida Strawberry Festival has smooth opening

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Suzie Seagers knew her first destination on the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds before she walked through the gate Thursday morning.

Free concerts are up close and personal at Florida Strawberry Festival

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Sure, the Florida Strawberry Festival has lots of stars on its Wish Farms Soundstage, such as John Legend, Loretta Lynn and Reba.

Strawberry festival promises to be sweet success

- The rides are in place. Ticket-takers are ready. The rain should clear. And, most important, the fruit is ready to go for today’s 10 a.m. opening of the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City.

ESPN crews again shine spotlight on Chelsea Baker

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PLANT CITY – Chelsea Baker, who was profiled on ESPN in 2010 after pitching two perfect games in Little League, has again attracted the sports network’s attention.

Walden Lake golfers hear plans for development of closed course

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PLANT CITY — The members of Walden Lake Golf and Country Club got a first-hand look Wednesday at plans to develop the community’s shuttered 18-hole course.

Strawberry festival hot-dog eating contest winners can say, ‘hello New York’

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PLANT CITY – One of the newest eating contests at the Florida Strawberry Festival has nothing to do with fruit.

‘Vette offered in drawing at Florida Strawberry Festival

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PLANT CITY A red Chevrolet Corvette will be the prize in a Florida Strawberry Festival drawing to raise money for Plant City’s needy.

Roll up your sleeve for free strawberry festival admission

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PLANT CITY OneBlood will offer a ticket for free Florida Strawberry Festival admission to anyone who donates blood at a bloodmobile at Tomlin Middle School.

Festival stays true to its roots: Strawberries

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PLANT CITY – Country singer Sara Evans said there’s a lot to like about playing at the Florida Strawberry Festival.

Festival stays true to its roots: Strawberries

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PLANT CITY – Country singer Sara Evans said there’s a lot to like about playing at the Florida Strawberry Festival.

Queen and court familiar faces at the strawberry festival

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The queen and her court members don’t stay in one place too long at the Florida Strawberry Festival.

Mathis faces challenger for seat she’s held since 2000

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PLANT CITY – Incumbent City Commissioner Mary Mathis, an assistant school principal, will face another educator in the April 7 election.

Plant City strawberries survive the big chill

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PLANT CITY Plant City’s strawberry crops survived this morning’s frigid conditions without damage.

Longtime community leader praised by Boy Scouts for a lifetime of service

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PLANT CITY – Al Berry received a top honor Thursday from the area Boy Scouts for devoting his life to public service.

Donated sweaters help keep residents warm at local retirement home

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PLANT CITY – For the second year, a local health care company donated sweaters to residents of a Plant City nursing home.

Celebration to pay tribute to former slave who helped found Bealsville

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— Folk artist Ruby Williams wants to make sure that the legacy of her great-grandmother, Mary Reddick, isn’t forgotten.

Homeowners with wells in Plant City-Dover should take precautions, water managers say

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PLANT CITY District water manager are warning homeowners with wells in the Plant City-Dover area to shut off their pumps overnight to avoid possible damage.

Thanks to club, all Plant City patrol officers have life-saving device

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PLANT CITY – About 18 months ago, the Rotary Club promised to raise enough money to equip each Plant City police officer with a portable device that can restore the heart’s rhythm during sudden cardiac arre...

Cameras to help officers keep watch over the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds

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There will be something more than law enforcement officers keeping an eye on crowds at this year’s Florida Strawberry Festival.

Plant City Social Dance Club relocates to National Guard Armory

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— A local dance group has a new home.

Plant City welcomes new library director

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PLANT CITY Tonda Morris said she felt right at home as she started her job today as director of Bruton Memorial Library.

Garden Club’s flower show a big hit with spectators, competitors

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— About 150 people saw some of the best competitors — and Mother Nature — could offer at an annual flower show.

Plant City steps up enforcement of code violations

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PLANT CITY – Tray Towles has a goal when it comes to code enforcement.

Longtime Plant City youth sports leader dies at 56

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Buddy Bennett’s losing battle with cancer was nearing the end Saturday, but it was also sign-up day for the next season of his beloved Plant City Dolphins.

Late strawberry grower’s portrait goes on permanent display at festival grounds

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PLANT CITY The portrait of a late strawberry grower known for helping others was dedicated Wednesday in a Florida Strawberry Festival building that bears his family name.

Plant City native follows in dad’s footsteps as ‘Outstanding Citizen’

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PLANT CITY W.D. “Dub” McGinnes said he can still recall how proud he felt in 1964 when his father Willard was named Plant City’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year.

Code enforcement office aims to educate, improve Plant City's eye appeal

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PLANT CITY – Tray Towles has a goal when it comes to code enforcement.

Plant City man, 56, killed in Lakeland crash

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A 56-year-old Plant City man was killed Tuesday night when a car he was riding in collided with a van in Lakeland.

Black heritage festival to include awards, parade and gospel concert

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PLANT CITY — Mary Joyce Clayton said she’s not sure why she was selected to ride as grand marshal in a Saturday parade that celebrates black heritage.

Team hopes socially conscious idea is worth $1 million national prize

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— A team of University of Tampa students, including two from Plant City, recently advanced to the next round of an international competition for the best solutions to globa...

New $8 million government center to open in Plant City in August 2016

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ounty soon will begin work on a 36,000-square-foot, $8 million building designed to consolidate many county services under one roof.

Historic downtown Plant City post office set for permanent closure

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Postal officials have decided that the downtown post office, closed since 2013 due to safety issues, should be shuttered permanently.

Plans submitted for development of closed Plant City golf course

- The owner of a shuttered golf course has submitted plans to the city for construction of more than 300 homes, a 100-unit adult congregate living center and the revamping of an aging clubhouse.

Sunshine Bancorp agrees to $31 million deal for Community Southern Bank

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— The parent holding company of Plant City-based Sunshine Bank plans to buy a Lakeland-based bank for an all cash deal of nearly $31 million.

Plant City community unites in fight against breast cancer

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PLANT CITY – Golf carts – many decorated in pink – paraded through the streets of a mobile home community Wednesday to raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer.

New queen to reign over 80th strawberry fest

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PLANT CITY – Samantha Sun said her crowning as the 2015 Florida Strawberry queen seems almost surreal.

Singer to pay tribute to Patsy Cline at variety show

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– More than 50 years after legendary country singer Patsy Cline died in a plane crash, Barbara VanEycken is keeping her memories — and music — alive.

Qualifying opens Feb. 16 for city commission seat

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— Qualifying will run noon Feb. 16 to noon Feb. 20 for the city commission seat held by Mary Mathis.

Plant City’s new library director starts Feb. 16

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PLANT CITY The start date for the new director of Bruton Memorial Library has been moved from March 9 to Feb. 16.

Director hopes community theater’s comedy strikes chord with audiences

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IF YOU GO

All invited to Dover church’s Valentine’s Day banquet

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DOVER Sydney Baptist Church is planning an evening of food, Christian fellowship and prizes for Valentine’s Day.

Black Heritage Festival Banquet ticket deadline is Monday

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PLANT CITY Monday is the last day to buy tickets for the Feb. 13 Heritage Banquet, which is part of the annual Black Heritage Education and Cultural Festival.

Former state House Speaker appointed to Plant City-based bank board

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PLANT CITY The holding company of Sunshine Bank has appointed former state House Speaker Will Weatherford to its board of directors.

Buy strawberry festival admission tickets at Publix and save

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PLANT CITY Discounted admission tickets to the Florida Strawberry Festival are now available at the nearest Publix.