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Saturday, Apr 25, 2015

Dave Nicholson

Tribune Staff

Police chief receives residents’ accolades for helping improve traffic safety

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PLANT CITY Residents were so happy over the new four-way stop in their neighborhood that they didn’t want to miss the chance to thank the official who played in key role in making it happen.

Lifelong Plant City resident feels blessed to turn 100

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PLANT CITY – Verna C. Keen Harris said there’s really no big secret to a long life.

Growers backing development of robotic strawberry harvesters

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PLANT CITY – A company backed by strawberry growers in Florida and California is developing a high-tech robot that can pick and package berries in the field.

Retired colonel loves second career teaching horseback riding

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PLANT CITY – Donn Mann said he could have enrolled his 14-year-old daughter, Amorianna, in riding lessons much closer to their Sarasota home.

Mayor mixes politics, anniversary

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PLANT CITY Mayor Rick Lott’s 24th wedding anniversary was April 13, which happened to be on the same day as the regular city commission meeting.

Blueberry festival features music, food and U-pick fruit

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PLANT CITY Entertainment, food and the chance to pick your own blueberries will be part of a celebration that opens Friday to help commemorate the end of the blueberry harvest.

Tomlin plans April 24 open house to show off mural of school mascot

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PLANT CITY – Tomlin Middle School has an oversized mural of its mascot – the tiger – thanks to the generosity of some former students.

Plant City jeweler mixes business, pleasure on trip to LA

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PLANT CITY Jewelry store owner Joe Grimes found time to enjoy California during an annual trip he takes in search of the latest bling.

Dynamic director credited with helping Plant City Boys & Girls Club’s rapid growth

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

Teens can enjoy games at library

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PLANT CITY Bruton Memorial Library’s monthly Teen Game Zone will be from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Library program focuses on finance

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PLANT CITY Lisa Leslie of the Hillsborough County Extension Service will present a program on cash flow management from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 23 at Bruton Memorial Library.

Well-known evangelist headlines Plant City tent revival

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PLANT CITY – A service led by well-known minister and evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne will kick off an old-fashioned tent revival that returns to Plant City for the 26th time.

Downtown car show’s 18th anniversary Saturday at McCall Park

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PLANT CITY – About 350 vehicles are expected to be on display Saturday as the Strawberry Classic Car Show marks its 18th anniversary.

Dynamic director leads the way as Boys & Girls Club more than doubles in size

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PLANT CITY – Ten-year-old Tybrell Dunlap doesn’t have to think long when asked why he enjoys coming to the Plant City Boys & Girls Club.

Special day at Plant City Boys & Girls Club opens up the world

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PLANT CITY – Members of the Plant City Boys & Girls Club took a trip around the world recently – and never left the building.

Plant City man brings old cars back to former glory

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

Former Cork ‘strawberry school’ classmates invited to April 18 reunion

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PLANT CITY – Former classmates at a school that, for years, scheduled classes around the strawberry harvest will have a chance to come together this month for their annual reunion.

Students invited to join in April 25 evening of music, worship

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PLANT CITY Pastor Joe Kelley said a lot of Christian young people go to school together but never have the opportunity to worship at the same place.

Restoration of vintage cars more than a hobby for Plant City resident

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PLANT CITY – Retired race car driver Jack Ingram could scarcely believe it last year when he saw the Chevrolet Monte Carlo he’d driven to a first place finish in the 1975 Daytona Permatex 300.

Residents never gave up; four-way stop installed at intersection

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PLANT CITY – More than 18 months ago, residents lobbied for a four-way stop at the intersection of Waller and Ball streets.

Incumbent Plant City commissioner wins by a landslide

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PLANT CITY — Incumbent City Commissioner Mary Thomas Mathis turned back a challenge Tuesday by political newcomer Hasani Jackson to win another three-year term by a wide margin.

Plant City students advance in speech contest

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PLANT CITY Tomlin Middle School student Emma Poole and Plant City High student Gresham Stephens will compete May 2 in regional speech contest sponsored by the Optimist Club.

No charges over gun range bullet hitting Plant City house

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— No criminal charges will be filed but a security firm has been banned from using the Plant City police pistol range after an investigation into how a bullet fired at the ...

Physical fitness challenge to benefit hospital, charities

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— An annual fundraiser that benefits South Florida Baptist Hospital and two other charitable causes will have an emphasis on physical competitions this year.

United Food Bank of Plant City to benefit from April 12 car wash

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PLANT CITY An April 12 car wash will help raise money to feed the needy in the Plant City area.

Two arrested, one sought in robbery at Dover fast food restaurant

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Two men were in custody and the search was on for a third after an early Friday morning robbery at a McDonald’s off Interstate 4 in Dover.

Sunshine Bank names new VP

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PLANT CITY Sandra S. Whitmill was recently promoted to vice president, compliance officer at Sunshine Bank.

Community chorale’s spring concert April 18 at Eastside Baptist

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PLANT CITY – The Plant City Community Chorale will present a program of eclectic music, “Music Lifts Our Heart,” as its annual spring concert.

College students still could snag $1 million prize for best socially conscious ideas

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PLANT CITY – A team of University of Tampa students, including two from Plant City, placed second in a regional competition in Boston last month for the best solutions to global problems.

Plant City man dies from injuries after March 13 Pasco wreck

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A 67-year-old Plant City man has died from injuries sustained in a March 13 crash in Pasco County that also killed a...

YMCA’s new volunteer is always giving back to others

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PLANT CITY — Ashley Prescott joined the Plant City Family YMCA two years ago because she wanted to get physically fit.

Nonprofit organizing churches, charities to offer help for the needy

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PLANT CITY – The Rev. Norm Blanton knows that area churches do a lot to help the needy.

Sponsors needed for Plant City’s July 4 celebration

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PLANT CITY The city is seeking more sponsors for the annual Independence Day celebration at Plant City Stadium.

Officers honored for roles in saving woman from ex-boyfriend’s attack

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PLANT CITY – Two officers who played key roles in saving a woman who was being violently attacked by her former boyfriend were honored by the city for their “selfless acts of bravery.”

Plant City’s annual Easter egg hunt 10 a.m. April 4 at sports complex

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PLANT CITY The Easter Bunny is planning to make his annual visit April 4 to Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex.

Surveys gauge how Florida Strawberry Festival impacts local businesses

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— So just how much money does the Florida Strawberry Festival bring to Plant City, including area businesses?

Plant City grower won’t necessarily leave farming if developers buy his land

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Development could be at hand for Carl Grooms’ strawberry farm, but the iconic grower said he is not necessarily leaving the business.

Local students attend West Point leadership conference

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PLANT CITY Plant City High juniors Shelby Baerwalde, Kendall Johnson, Chase Lott and Madison Manley attended an annual leadership and ethics conference presented by West Point Society-Florida West Coast Chapter.

Berry praised for making mark on Plant City history as he receives Heritage Award

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PLANT CITY Al Berry was deemed a walking history of Plant City as he received an annual award for helping preserve the city’s past.

City commission forum April 2

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PLANT CITY The Plant City Area Democratic Club is sponsoring a candidate forum at 6:30 p.m. April 2 for the city commission race.

Surveys gauge how Florida Strawberry Festival impacts local businesses

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PLANT CITY – So just how much money does the Florida Strawberry Festival bring to Plant City, including area businesses?

Plant City antique store moving to a new location April 1

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Depot Antiques is preparing to move from the Reynolds Street address that the business has occupied for about a year.

Tickets on sale for April 11 Garden Club fashion show and luncheon

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— An award-winning garden will be the venue for an April 11 fashion show sponsored by the Plant City Garden Club.

Youngsters can learn to invent at Plant City summer camp

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PLANT CITY – A summer camp that seeks to combine fun with science is returning for its second year in Plant City.

Raiders win big in patriotic contest

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PLANT CITY Three Plant City High School students took the top three spots in a recent essay contest sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars’ District 4.

Sale of downtown Plant City post office pondered

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PLANT CITY A top postal official is reviewing the potential sale of the downtown post office, which was shuttered in June 2013.

Historic former Plant City church building faces uncertain future

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A decade ago, a group that wanted to save the former home of First Baptist Church was brimming with optimism.

Revised Plant City motorcycle show schedule announced

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PLANT CITY Bike Fests will be held May 2, Oct. 3 and Dec. 5, according to the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce.

U-pick field open Saturday to benefit 4-H

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PLANT CITY – Strawberry farmer Carl Grooms will open his fields for U-pick from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to benefit students in 4-H.

Plant City clogging team wins big at state contest

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PLANT CITY A local clogging team needs to clear out more room in its trophy case.