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Friday, Feb 05, 2016

Dave Nicholson

Tribune Staff

Black heritage festival to include parade, entertainment and more

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PLANT CITY – The 13th annual Black Heritage Education and Cultural Festival kicks off Feb. 12 with a banquet.

White pelicans make rare pit stop in Plant City

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PLANT CITY – White pelicans – typically found to the west – made themselves a popular but temporary home at a Plant City park.

Plant City gives wish list to state Rep. Dan Raulerson

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PLANT CITY – The city is asking for state help for eight projects, from $1 million in improvements to Waller Street to $275,000 for making the police station more secure.

Growers expect strawberry shortage to give way to bountiful supply this month

- It was so hot in November and December that the plants weren't flowering as normal, which meant fewer berries to harvest. The result: supermarkets with few or no berries.

New queen and court look forward to the Florida Strawberry Festival

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PLANT CITY — The new Florida Strawberry Festival queen isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.

Annual berry picking contest to raise money for a good cause

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PLANT CITY – Family fun, including games and entertainment, are planned from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the third annual Bright House Networks Strawberry Picking Challenge.

Youths win awards and bragging rights at basketball contest

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PLANT CITY – Nearly 50 youngsters ages 8 to 13 competed for awards at the 43rd annual Tri-Star Basketball Skills Contest.

Former Plant City mayor announces for county commission seat

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PLANT CITY – Former mayor John Dicks said he had pondered a return to elective office for some time.

Plant City strawberries in short supply but harvest to ramp up next week

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— The unusual heat in November and December is putting the squeeze on strawberry lovers.

Community mourns death of accountant known for love of family, Gators

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PLANT CITY Randy Platt was all business when it came to his work as an accountant.

Weekly Plant City farmers market changing its hours

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PLANT CITY A farmers market held Thursdays in McCall Park is changing its hours.

Community garden takes root at HCC’s Plant City campus

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PLANT CITY – Karen Elizabeth looks over the new home of the community garden and sees a future showcase of nature’s bounty.

City extends deadline until March 17 for church to find new location

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PLANT CITY – The Rev. Joe Kelley doesn’t know where Plant City Foursquare Church will eventually call home.

Ticket deadline Monday for food bank’s Feb. 6 Celebrity Chef Dinner

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PLANT CITY Tickets are on sale for a Feb. 6 fundraiser featuring food writers and authors Matt and Ted Lee.

Highlights of the Florida Strawberry Festival queen’s pageant

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Here are some of the items of note from Saturday’s Florida Strawberry Festival queen’s pageant:

Florida Strawberry Festival queen pageant dates back more than eight decades

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PLANT CITY The first Florida Strawberry Festival queen’s pageant was held in 1930 when the winner was based on the amount of donations the competitors raised for charity.

Nebraska investor says location led to his purchase of buildings in Plant City, Tampa

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PLANT CITY It’s said location is the most important aspect of prime real estate.

New Florida Strawberry Festival queen has roots in agriculture

- Haley Riley has been raising and showing livestock since she joined 4-H as a 5-year-old. And she's not going to let the crown keep her from showing her steer, Wyatt Earp, at the festival's livestock shows.

Plant City church changes name as it looks to the future

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PLANT CITY A nearly 20-year-old church has changed its name as part of a plan to expand its outreach.

Dover couple known for support for youth agriculture donate $300,000 to Christian college

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DOVER – Larry and Debbie Swindle of Dover recently donated $300,000 for a new agriculture complex on Warner University’s campus in Lake Wales.

Longtime Plant City chamber of commerce official leaving

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PLANT CITY Amy Nizamoff, the vice president of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, has announced she’s leaving effective Feb. 12.

Plant City High senior treasured her time as Florida Strawberry Festival queen

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Samantha Sun said she didn’t know what to expect when she was named 2015 Florida Strawberry Festival queen.

Plant City community theater’s next show debuts Jan. 29

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PLANT CITY Tickets are on sale for the Plant City Entertainment’s next production, “Rex’s Exes,” directed by Kay Secord.

Faith at the core of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Arts Festival, official says

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PLANT CITY Churches received special recognition at an annual breakfast during a festival honoring the memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Inmate jailed in Plant City robberies dies in apparent suicide

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A 33-year-old county jail inmate who was facing charges he robbed four Plant City businesses was found dead Friday morning of an apparent suicide.

Girl Scouts accepting preorders ahead of annual cookie sale

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PLANT CITY – It’s the sweetest time of the year for cookie lovers.

Florida Strawberry Festival tickets on sale Jan. 28 at Publix

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PLANT CITY—Discounted admission tickets to the Florida Strawberry Festiv...

Journalist living his dream as a novelist plans Jan. 23 visit to Plant City library

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PLANT CITY – A writer known for his wacky Florida-based fiction will talk about his upcoming book, “Coconut Cowboy,” from 2 to 3 p.m. Jan. 23 at Bruton Memorial Library.

Festival to celebrate legacy of slain civil rights leader

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PLANT CITY – Dr. Ken Atwater said he felt flattered and honored when he was tapped as the featured speaker at an annual leadership breakfast held in memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Plant City Family YMCA offers snacks, fun at Jan. 19 open house

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PLANT CITY – The Plant City Family YMCA is holding a carnival style party Tuesday Jan. 19 and everyone in the Plant City area is on the guest list.

Keel won’t seek re-election in Plant City; Kilton plans to run

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PLANT CITY — City Commissioner Billy Keel announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election.

Investor buys distribution centers in Tampa, Plant City

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— Nebraska-based investor Gerard J. Keating has purchased four area distribution centers for $3.5 million.

Friday is registration deadline for church’s women’s seminar

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PLANT CITY – Dr. Pauline Rivers said the seminar for women that her church sponsors every year is about more than spiritual growth, although that’s a major component.

Meet the candidates for Florida Strawberry Festival queen

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Twenty-three young women from the Plant City area will compete Jan. 23 for Florida Strawberry Festival queen.

Meet the candidates for Florida Strawberry Festival queen

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PLANT CITY - Twenty-three young women from the Plant City area will compete Jan. 23 for Florida Strawberry Festival queen.

Registration Saturday for Florida Strawberry Festival Baby Parade

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PLANT CITY Registration for the Florida Strawberry Festival’s annual Baby Parade will take place on the festival grounds for the first time.

Plant City’s Whistle Stop to reopen Tuesday

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PLANT CITY The Whistle Stop Café will reopen Tuesday after owners Jerry and Marti Lofstrom return from what they called much needed time away from their restaurant.

Religious college, Baptist church like sharing campus

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PLANT CITY It was a match that may have well been made in heaven.

Plans for four major projects under Plant City review

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PLANT CITY – Plans for a large housing development, steel plant, commercial buildings and a bakery expansion have been submitted to the city.

Plant City church to celebrate new year in song

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PLANT CITY Allen Chapel AME Church, 1109 E. Laura St., will offer a special program, A Night of Praise and Joy, at 7 p.m. Friday Jan. 8.

Dover child-care center for migrant farmworkers to open $3 million expansion in spring

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

Day of service to be part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Arts Festival

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PLANT CITY Volunteers are needed to help make the next Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day a time for community service.

Dover child-care center for migrant farmworkers to open $3 million expansion in spring

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DOVER – Maribel Rodriguez, who has taught at Redlands Christian Migrant Association’s child care center for 18 years, is looking forward to the spring.

State Fair to recognize Hispanic Plant City officer for her work in community

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PLANT CITY Officer Priscilla Clark, whose beat includes downtown, will be added to the Florida State Fair’s Hispanic Wall of Fame.

Library guest speaker to look at railroad songs, social history

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Lasser will be featured at the Friends of the Bruton Memorial Library meeting as part of the group’s public program series. There is no admission charge to his talk at the library, 302 W. McLendon St.

First Baptist preparing to celebrate 150 years of service

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PLANT CITY Myrle Henry said when he graduated from the University of Florida in 1961 with a pharmacy degree, he wanted to join a small church when he returned to Plant City.

Tickets go on sale next month for Feb. 6 Celebrity Chef Dinner

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PLANT CITY – Food journalists and authors Matt and Ted Lee will be featured at the seventh annual Celebrity Chef Dinner to benefit the United Food Bank of Plant City.

Christmas Lane remains a holiday favorite at new location

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– Rebekah Byrtus grew up visiting Christmas Lane, a holiday wonderland with thousands of lights, animated displays and kiddie train.

Competitors wanted for Jan. 9 Plant City chili cook-off

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So you think you cook a mean bowl of chili?

Plant City teacher, food bank win big in bank drawing

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PLANT CITY A teacher and United Food Bank of Plant City each won $5,000 in Publix gift cards in a drawing sponsored by CenterState Bank.