Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fairway Fundraiser

Golfers wanted for fundraiser to help Plant City’s needy

Signups are continuing for an annual golf tournament that helps the needy in the Plant City area.

The fundraiser for Unity in the Community will be May 29 at Bloomingdale Golfers Club, 4113 Great Golfers Place, Valrico. Registration is 7 a.m. and tee time is 8 p.m.

The price is $125 for each player or $500 for a foursome. There are also sponsorship opportunities. Stingray Chevrolet is offering a car for...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Trivia Test

Local leaders to match wits at Plant City history trivia contest

Longtime residents will square off Tuesday at a competition that will test their knowledge of local history.

Friends of the Bruton Memorial Library are sponsoring History Trivia Challenge at 7 p.m. at Plant City Entertainment, 101 N. Thomas St. Sixteen community leaders, divided into teams of four, will match wits.

Participants will include Al Berry, Michael Cameron, Gail Lyons, Terry Ballard, Jack Gibbs, Marsha Passmore, Rick Lott, Hugh Gramling, Felix Haynes, David Sollenberger and others. Each team captain selected his or her team members.

The game will consist of 20 questions grouped in four categories, with ascending...

Development Decision ?

August 10 public hearing eyed for Walden Lake golf course rezoning request

The city may set an Aug. 10 public hearing on rezoning that would clear the way for development of the shuttered Walden Lake golf course.

Tentative plans call for the proposal to go before the seven-member planning board at their meeting at 8 a.m. July 9. The board will make a recommendation to the city commissioners, who would hold a public hearing followed by a vote at their 7:30 p.m. Aug. 10 meeting.

City Principal Planner Phillip Scearce said the schedule is tentative for a number of reasons, including the city’s plans to hold the meetings at Hillsborough Community College’s John R. Trinkle Center, rather than City Hall.

Scearce said the city is expecting crowds that will... photo

Friday, May 15, 2015

Peach Pickers

Stock up on fresh fruit at Saturday's Peach Festival

Stock up on fresh produce that also freezes well for future summer treats at this weekend’s Keel & Curley Peach Festival.

On Saturday, May 16 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. the public is invited to the fields to pick their own fruit for just a few dollars a pound.

Fresh blueberries are available for $4 per pound and blackberries are $6 per pound.

Peaches can be picked for just...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Traffic Tie-Up

An infrastructure project to install new sewer and water lines in downtown Plant City has begun, and traffic issues may arise.

Wheeler Street is closed between Baker and Reynolds Streets.

The left lane of westbound Baker Street is closed at Wheeler.

The east entrance to City Hall is blocked.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the week.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Festive Flowers

Plant City ranch extends its flower stroll to this weekend

If you missed Sunflowers at the Ranch, you’ll have one more shot this weekend.

The event featuring a stroll through 5 acres of flowers on the Futch family ranch was so popular that another weekend was added, Saturday and Sunday.

Gates at the ranch at 3002 Charlie Taylor Road will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Sunflowers on the Ranch is held on the same property as the family’s Fox Squirrel Corn Maze held in October.

The ranch has been planted in zinnias and sunflowers, and visitors can...

Restaurant Roundup

Win some...lose some.

Plant City's win is that Denny's on Park Road is undergoing a complete remodel.

It may be a while before you will be able to enjoy Moons Over My Hammy again--there's a note on the door apologizing for delays in the project--but it will be like new when the work is complete.

On the other hand, we have lost a Plant City institution.  Chancy's, the venerable restaurant proudly serving fried seafood and barbecue, closed in April after 25 years of making locals fat and happy.

The business continued to operate after its founder, Marshal Chancy, died in 2012.

No word on what will occupy the spot, but stay tuned for more information.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

More Merchants

Five Below, rue21 to open in Lake Walden Square

Plant City Observer

Plant City shoppers will have two new destinations to check out this summer, and they won’t even have to get back in the car to go from one store to the next.

Five Below and rue21 will be opening right next to each other in Lake Walden Square at Alexander Street and James L. Redman Parkway, the same plaza that has enjoyed bigger stores coming to it recently, such as PetSmart and Marshalls.

Teens can stock up on the latest fashions at rue21. The store offers clothes for juniors of both genders, and a variety of sizes, including plus sizes.

Kelly Sulkosky, a marketing representative for rue21, said the location was ideal because it is right across the street from Plant City High School.

Local managers also will have the option of...

Biker Bash

New and improved Bike Fest to come in May

Plant City Observer

Plant City Bike Fest was held for the last time in February, after more than 12 years as a monthly event. But the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce will host an improved version of Bike Fest this May, and continue on a less frequent basis.

“Now that we’re not doing it monthly, we have time to plan new stuff for the shows,” Smith said.

Though the chamber had first expected to wait until October to host Bike Fest again, some downtown business owners had said that they wanted to see Bike Fest in the spring. The chamber agreed.

“We’re stepping it up. … It’s bigger and better,” Marion Smith, president of the chamber, said. “It should be a great evening. I hope that everybody will come on out.”

Two of the new attractions will be...

Construction Completed

South Florida Baptist finishes surgery expansion

Plant City Observer

Two new operating rooms are the centerpiece for the renovated Pete Beaty Surgery Center at South Florida Baptist Hospital. Community members were given a tour of the surgery center Sunday, April 12, during a VIP reception.

The operating rooms expand the overall surgical capacity from five to seven rooms. Operating Room 6 is 600 square feet and Operating Room 7 is 700 square feet. The spacious design of each room incorporates integrated camera systems with surgical lights and equipment, as well as a boom system for mounted monitors. Four upstairs operating rooms could fit into one of the new rooms.

Operating Room 7 is home to the da Vinci SI, the hospital’s surgical robot. From a separate console, a doctor controls the $2 million robot, which C.R. Hall, chief of robotic surgery, said is more of a precise instrument than anything else.

“We have the best...

observer photo