Group Title: Polk County Democrat (Bartow, Fla.).
Title: The Polk County Democrat
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: The Polk County Democrat
Uniform Title: Polk County Democrat (Bartow, Fla.)
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: Polk County Democrat
Publisher: Associated Publications Corp.
Place of Publication: Bartow, Fla
Publication Date: March 26, 2008
Copyright Date: 2009
Frequency: semiweekly[1946-<1998>]
weekly[ former <1936>-1946]
Subject: Newspapers -- Bartow (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Polk County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: newspaper   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Polk -- Bartow
Coordinates: 27.8925 x -81.839722 ( Place of Publication )
Additional Physical Form: Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began in 1931?
General Note: Publisher: Frisbie Pub. Co., <1946-1992>.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 5, no. 29 (Mar. 27, 1936).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028292
Volume ID: VID00332
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - ADA7394
oclc - 33886838
alephbibnum - 000579548
lccn - sn 95047484
issn - 1522-0354
 Related Items
Preceded by: Polk County record

Full Text

Tme Polk county Democrat
1,1... Y ,

SPEC ALco Oi SCH DIGIT 3 ,3830
PO BOX 117007 200
GAINESVILLE 3 00. Three Sections
GIsV LLE PL 32611-7007

Wednesday, March 26,2008
Copyright 2008 Sun Coast Media Group., Inc.

Teen, Man Charged

In Home Invasion

Raging flames engulf the 1,100-square-foot frame home of Lord Berry at 435 North Baker Ave. late Friday after-
noon. Firefighters could see smoke from the fire when the left the fire station a mile away. (Staff photos by S.. L.
Frisbie, IV)

Man Painting Home Escapes Fire


Sixty-one-year-old Lord Berry
watched glumly, an unlit cigarette
given him by a neighboring his lips, as
flames consumed the frame home in
which he has lived for the past two
"I've been working for a week-
and-a-half, trying to make the inside

look good.
"Now it's burning up," he said,
sadly but without bitterness.
Berry, who had been painting the
interior of the rental home at 435
North Baker Ave. on Friday, stepped
outside for a few minutes late in the
"I heard some popping sounds,"
he said.
When he opened the front door,

Lord Berry watches glumly as smoke and steam rise from the ruins of hi
after firefighters extinguished the blaze. A neighbor gave him a cigarette, ,%
held, unlit, in his lips.

his living room was in flames.
"Fire hit me in the face."
It singed his short gray beard, but
he was uninjured.
No one else was at the rental
home, which neighbors said has.
been there for decades, the first
house on the west side of Baker
Avenue north of the railroad tracks in
West Bartow.
Berry said he suspects an electri-
cal malfunction caused
the fire.
The fire department
listed the cause as unde-
The house, probably
built from heart pine, was
fully engulfed in flames
when a neighbor called
the fire department,
Firefighters could see the
smoke when they pulled
out of the fire station a
mile away.
Fire Lt. Mark Olinger
rated the house and con-
tents a total loss, and esti-
mated the loss at $70,000
for the house and $5,000
for contents.
Heat from the fire
caused minor scorching
to the Seventh Day
is house Adventist Church imme-
vhich he diately north of Berry's

City Commission Candidates

Discuss Issues with Community


Bartow City
Commission Seat 4 candi-
dates Fred Bretz, Gerald
Cochran, Wayne Lewis,
and Gail Schreiber
appeared before the com-
munity in a candidate
forum Thursday.
The forum, presented
by the Bartow Chamber of
Commerce and The
Democrat, offered the
public a chance to pose
questions to the 'candi-
The current holder of
Seat 4, Mayor Brian
Hinton, is not seeking re-
Candidates were limit-
ed to two-minute
responses to each ques-
tion. They also were
allowed to give prepared
three-minute opening and
closing statements.
In his opening, Bretz
said that he was running
to provide a "fresh new

voice" to bring people
together, as he was the
only candidate not to have
run for city commission
before. He said that he
respected the small-town
flavor of Bartow and want-
ed to do what was best for
the city, its citizens, and its
Cochran said that this
run was his 16th attempt,
but he was flot willing to
give up yet. He said he
wanted to bring account-
ability back to the com-
mission through a num-
ber of initiatives. He
would like to reduce com-
missioners' salaries to $50
a month each, and
increase the amount of
time citizens are allowed
to speak before the com-
Cochran said that the'!
best way to reduce the
budget would be to reduce
the number of city
employees. He said that he
sees them on a regular
basis as he travels around

town and that "they are a
disgrace." He also said
that he did not see any
return from increased util-
ity bills.
Lewis said he was born
at Bartow Memorial
Hospital, and while he had
moved away for a while,
he came back when he
was ready to settle down
and raise a family. His
daughter attends
Baccalaureate at Bartow
High School and his son :.
attends Bartow
Elementary Academy.
Lewis has been exten-
sively involved in the com-
munity, and was named
Volunteer of the Year at
BEA, he said. He thought
his community experi-
ence would be an asset on
the commission.
Schreiber was on the :
city commission from
1997 to 2004. and served
as mayor in 2000. He did
not seek re-election in
2004 because of the health

of his wife, he said, but
since her death he wants
to get back into politics.
He and his wife chose
Bartow after touring
around the state because
of what they saw here, he
Schreiber said that he
was goal- and objective-
oriented, and that he

(See Page 12A)

A 13-year-old boy and
an adult have been
charged in an armed
home invasion in on SR 60
East in Bartow Saturday
Daryl Webb, 28, and
Joshua Whidden, 13, were
taken into custody on
Monday around 2 p.m.
near Hadden Lane, off
State Road 60 in Bartow,
PCSO spokesman Carrie
Rodgers said.
Polk County Sheriff's
deputies had been looking
for the pair after positively
identifying Webb as a sus-
pect in the armed home
invasion at a neighbor's
home on March 22.
The victim called at
.PCSO at 5 a.m. Sunday to
report the crime, Rodgers
said. Deputies found his
stolen car abandoned and
on fire about 9 a.m.
Sunday on Stenger Road. A
K-9 deputy tracked the
suspects from the car to
where they had fled, near
80 Foot Road. Deputies
focused their search in
that area, which was near
Webb's house, according
to Rodgers. Residents in
the area called with sight-
ings of the suspects, and
using helicopters and K-
9s, deputies found the pair
on foot.

Webb, of 5055 SR 60 East
in Bartow, who had been
described as "armed and
dangerous," was arrested
without incident, accord-
ing to PCSO spokesman
Carrie Rodgers. Whidden
was with Webb when he
was apprehended. The
young teen was being
sought as a "person of
interest," but both will be
charged with two counts of
armed burglary (one count
for breaking into the vic-
tim's home, and one count
for breaking into his car),
and one count armed rob-
The State Fire Marshal
also charged them each
with one count second-
degree arson, for setting
the victim's car on fire after
stealing and abandoning it,
Rodgers said.
Webb also was charged
with dealing in stolen
property, trespassing,
resisting an officer without
Whidden was taken to
the Juvenile Assessment
Center. Webb was booked
into the Polk County Jail.
Webb has been in the
Polk County Jail on numer-
ous occasions and was sent
to state prison in 2006,
Rodgers said.

Joshua Whidden Daryl.Webb

Fort Meade Man

Shot to Death

A Fort Meade man was
found dead Saturday from
a gunshot wound.
Polk County Sheriff's
Office is 'investigating the
death of Estavan Valadez
"Tio" Rodriguez as a homi-
cide, according to PCSO
spokesman Carrie
Around 1:45 p.m. on
Saturday, March 22, Jose
Gracia, the owner of Jose
Gracia Harvesting
Company found the body
of Rodriguez, one of
Gracia's employees, who
had been fatally shot,
Rodgers said.
Rodriguez, who is
believed to be around 75
years old, was laying in
front of the travel trailer in
which he lived, Rodgers

Main Street Bartoi

Holds Membership

Staff Writer

Not too long ago,
:Bartow's Main Street was
all d!e rage. From shop-
ping. to entertainment, to
gossip, to getting a meal,
Main Street was the place
to find it all.
Burress Shoe Store,
Mable's Ready to Wear,
Ben Franklin Department
Store, Philip's Department
Store, Tate-Phillips
Hardware, the Ritz
Theater, The Corner Drug
Store, The South Central
Nevstand and the Yellow

Jacket Soda Shop all found
a home in downtown.
But as time passed,
businesses moved on and
downtown became more
of a place to pass through.
Main Street Bartow,
Inc., with the assistance of
Bartow's Community
Redevelopment Agency, is
looking to change that.
With the streetscaping
complete, and Bartow's
downtown looking better
than ever, Main Street is
looking to get even more
people involved in the
On Friday, Main Street

said. The-trailer is located
on company property at
910 Rhoden Loop West in
Fort Meade.
Rodriguez, who has-no
known relatives, was iden-
tified by Gracia. The victim
was last seen alive around
7 p.m. on Friday, March 21.
Detectives believe he was
robbed and then killed.
Rodriguez had lived on the
property for the past 10
years, Rodgers said.
Anyone with any infor-
mation is asked to call
PCSO Det. Ric Bias at 1-
800-226-0344 or 534-6379.
Or to remain anonymous
and be eligible for a cash
reward, call Heartland
Crime Stoppers at 1-800-
226-TIPS. Crime Stoppers
guarantees anonymity.

w, Inc.,

7 Drive
Bartow members will be
visiting local businesses
with a special member-
ship offer.
Regular membership
fees are $50 for individu-
als, $100 for small busi-
nesses (one to five
employees) and $150 for
large businesses. On
Friday, however, all mem-
bership fees will be cut in
"What people don't
realize is that the Main
Street Bartow program is
really part of a bigger

(See Page 8A

,. ---*. .
S..... Inside
I City's Pension Plan Deputy Injured In
4 I VWill Increase Benefits Crash Dies of Injuries
7 52 00025 8 Page 5A Page 12A.
; . .. .,* .:.,..-: - .- . -, .

a 0 i

2A The Polk County Democrat


March 26,2008

Homeland Reunion Is Saturday

I r -. j
LOCAL CHILDREN from Real Kids and Best Academy Daycare participated in an
Easter egg hunt at the Rohr Home on Thursday, March 20. Real Kids and the Heroines
of Jericho Magnolia court #83 made the residents Easter baskets filled with goodies.
Martha Jones, assistant director of Real Kids, presented flowers to the home on behalf
of the Bartow Chamber of Commerce before the event. Staff members pictured are
Mary Dunn, administrator of the the home; Myzonia Stephens, social worker; and
Mille Moshe, activity director. (Photo by Martha Jones)

Bartow-Fort Meade ACS To Honor

Cancer Survivors At Dinner Event

Residents, former resi-
dents and friends of any-
one who ever lived in
Homeland are invited to
attend the annual reunion
planned for Saturday,
March 29, at the First
Baptist Church Fellowship
Hall, 28 Church Avenue,
The event will begin at
11 a.m., with a covered
-dish luncheon planned at
Those planning to
attend are asked to bring
enough food for their fam-
ily and some to share.
Drinks, plates and
utensils will be furnished.
The historic Homeland
Heritage Park (adjacent to
the church) will be open at
10 a.m. for those who
would like to take a tour.
After lunch, attendees
will gather at the Old
Methodist Church in the
park for an old-fashioned
Don Adams of Bartow
will lead the singing,
accompanied on the
piano by Ginger Fortner of

Old Methodist Church at Homeland

Participants should
plan to arrive early and
enjoy fellowship.
Contributions will be

accepted to
First Baptist

support the
Church and

Fort Meade and Bartow
cancer survivors will be
honored with a dinner at
the Bartow Civic Center
on Thursday, March 27, at
6 p.m.
Celebrity servers will be

on hand to cater to the
honorees, as well as spe-
cial speakers from the
cancer medical field to
present the program.
Sponsored by the
Bartow-Fort Meade unit of

the American Cancer
Society, the annual event
is open to all cancer sur-
vivors from these two
communities to celebrate
their courage and healing.

Green Swamp Hike Planned

A free guided Green Swamp wildflower
and nature hike, sponsored by the Lake
Region Audubon Society, will be held on
Saturday, March 29, at 8 a.m.
The event will begin at the Van Fleet
Trailhead, and a carpool will go to the
hike area.
Participants should bring binoculars,

water, snacks, and lunch.
The two-and-a-half-mile hike will be
lead by Paul Fellers. Participants will hear
about birds and wildlife in the area, as
well as view grass pink orchids.
For-information on the event, call 293-

All County Dance Gala Set

Ridge Community High School will be
hosting the first Polk All-County Dance
Gala entitled "An Evening of Dance in
Polk County" on Saturday, April 19, at 7
p.m. in the Ridge Community. High
School auditorium.
"The gala concert will be a collabora-
tive showcase of all of the dance pro-
grams in Polk County Schools," said
Jessica Harvie, 2008 county facilitator.
"We also hope that the gala performance
exhibits the impact that dance education
has on lives of our Polk County students
as well as to bring awareness to the com-

munity about the art and aesthetic of
concert dance."
Participating schools include Ridge
Community High. School, Auburndale
High School, Jewett School of the Arts,
Harrison School of the Arts, McLaughlin
Middle School, Davenport School of the
Arts, and Hillcrest Elementary School.
Tickets are $5 and are on sale at any of
the participating schools before March
29, or at the location the day of the event.
For more information, contact Harvie
at 419-3315 or at Jessica.Harvie@polk-

March 26,2008 Religion The Polk County Democrat 3A

Award-winning Gospel Singer To Perform in Fort Meade

Kirk Talley will perform
on Saturday, March 29, at 7
p.m. at First United
Methodist Church of Fort
Talley has been a mem-
ber of such groups as the
Hoppers, the Cathedrals
and the Talley Trio. During
his time with the
Cathedrals, Talley wrote his
first number-one song,
"Step Into the Water." The
song remained at the top
of the charts for nine
While with the Talleys,
he wrote the song "He is
Here," which received the
1992 Dove Award for Song
of the Year. "He Is Here"
was also nominated for
the 34th annual Grammy
awards that same year.
Talley began his solo
career in 1993, after the
Talley Trio disbanded
when Talley's brother and
his wife decided to stay at
home and raise their

St. Thomas

Barbecue Hits
50th Year

This year marks a mile-
stone for St. Thomas
Aquinas Catholic Church
and chicken lovers
throughout all of Bartow.
It is the 50th anniver-
sary of the famous
Chicken Barbecue.
The dinner is served
traditionally the first
Sunday after Easter and
this season is no different.
Everyone in Bartow is
invited to enjoy the
unique dining experience.
Join the fun Sunday,
March 30, from 11:30 a.m.
to 1:30 p.m. at the St.
Thomas parish hall, locat-
ed next to the church on
the corner of Mann Road
and Kissingen Avenue.
Tickets are $7.50 each,
which includes one-half
chicken, baked beans,
cole slaw, roll, desert and
tea or coffee.
The STACC Chicken
Barbecue started in 1958
at the home of Robert L.
Hall, Sr., and his wife, Leila
E Hall. Eventually the rep-
utation grew so great that
the event moved to the
grounds of the Catholic
To achieve the moist,
falling-off-the-bone ten-
derness of each chicken,
the poultry is slow-cooked
over real oak coals in an
all-night grilling extrava-
Of course, the key to
any successful barbecue is
the sauce you put on the
chicken, and the sauce
used at the St. Thomas
BBQ is unique. Mrs. Hall
developed the secret,
home-made, mouth-
watering recipe which has
been used every year.
Though Mrs. Hall has
passed, the recipe still
lives on with her daughter,
Sara Long and her hus-
band, Charles, who have
inherited the legacy.



Asbury United
Methodist Church in
Bartow will present the
cantata "In Christ Alone"
on Sunday morning,
March 30, at 10:30 a.m.
The choir is under the

direction of Sylvia Spencer.
Asbury is located at the
corner of Clower and
Jackson streets, opposite
Bartow Middle School.
Call the church office at
533-2301 for more infor-

daughter. Since then, he
has been traveling and
singing all across the
United States and into
Talley's first number-
one as a soloist came from
his project titled "I Speak to
You." The song, "Joy on the
Other Side of Jordan" was
only the beginning for

Kirk's list of accomplish-
ments. Kirk also joined
forces with Anthony
Burger and Ivan Parker to
form "The Trio."
His next project,
"Serenade," produced two
Top 10 charting songs,
"Serenaded By Angels" and
"If He Hung the Moon,"
and also a string of awards

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at the 1996 National
Quartet Convention.
Gospel Voice Magazine
presented Talley with three
Diamond Awards: Soloist
of the Year, Songwriter of
the Year, and Song of the
Year for Serenaded By
Angels. Singing News
Magazine presented him
with the 1996 Fan Awards

for: Favorite Male Vocalist,
Favorite Songwriter, and
Favorite Song of the Year,
again for "Serenaded By
Talley since has had sev-
eral releases that have
brought with them more
awards, such as: 2007
Southern Gospel News Fan
Favorite Award; 2006

Caraway Media Music
Award, Favorite
Songwriter, and Favorite
Tenor; and 2006 Diamond
Award, Songwriter of the
For more information
on this concert or other
upcoming concerts, call
the First United Methodist
Church office at 285-9059

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4-C -43

4A The Polk County Democrat

Marach 26,2008


City Pension Plan Has Been Delayed Long Enough

For two-and-a-half years, the
city of Bartow has been studying a
new pension plan for general
When the new contract with the
general employees labor union
was adopted last year, it was with a
side agreement that a new pen-
sion plan would be adopted.
Though it was not spelled out, it
was implicit in our opinion -
that the new pension plan would
go into effect on Oct. 1, 2007, the
day the new union contract went
into effect.
But it took another six months
for a labor-management commit-
tee, working with professional
pension planners, to have a plan
ready for approval by the city
commission. The committee
wants to get it right the first time,
which is admirable.
That plan was presented for
review at the commission's March
17 meeting, and is slated for

approval by the commission on
either April 7 or April 21.
Two items remain to be decid-
The effective date for the new
How any shortfall in actuarial
projections will be funded.
The latter is a complex issue.
The new plan is a "defined bene-
fit" plan, meaning that employees
are guaranteed a specific amount
of money upon retirement, in this
case, 2.53 percent of their salary
for each year of employment.
Few employers other than gov-
ernment offer defined benefit
plans any more; most opt for 401k
plans or their government equiva-
lent, 457 plans. The 401k and 457
plans invest money in the stock
market, and the amount of the
pension depends on the perfor-
mance of the securities selected.
Bartow needs to decide how the
shortfall will be made up if the

market fails to yield a return large
enough to pay the defined benefit.
(It is for just this reason that the
401k and 457 options are the
choice of most employers.) That
decision can be implemented as
an amendment to the plan after it
is adopted.
The other item to be decided is
the effective date of the new pen-
sion plan.
A logical argument can be made
for making the new plan retroac-
tive to last Oct. 1, the first day of
the new union contract and the
start of the city's fiscal year. But
that would require retroactive
payments by city employees, gen-
erally in the range of $300 to $400
(based on an annual salary of
$30,000 or $40,000, respectively).
City employees voted over-
whelmingly last year to have an
additional 2 percent deducted
from their pay to fund the new
pension plan.

The city has budgeted $800,000
this year, enough to cover the
city's share of costs from last Oct.
City commissioners are consid-
ering not making the new plan
effective until next Oct. 1, or per-
haps even a year or two beyond
that date.
The lawyer who has been advis-
ing the committee suggested
making the new plan effective
upon adoption by the city com-
mission. Assuming that approval
comes on April 7, the plan logical-
ly could be backdated to April 1,
exactly half-way through the fiscal
We urge the commission to
adopt the new plan effective April
City employees have waited
long enough for their new pension
plan to go into effect. There
should be no further delays.


Life Can Be a (T)-Ball


SCopyrighted Material

f Syndicated Content

Available from Commercial News Providers"





The Polk County Democrat
Established August 28, 1931
With which The Polk County Record was consolidated November 1, 1946.
190 South Florida Avenue, Bartow, FL 33830 Phone (863) 533-4183 Fax (863) 533-0402
e-mail address for letters to the editor:
S. L. FRISBIE, IV, Publisher
LOYAL FRISBIE, Publisher Emeritus 1981-2004 (Editor 1946-81; Publisher 1964-81)
S. L. FRISBIE, President (1946-58); S. LLOYD FRISBIE, Publisher (1946-64)

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POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
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I hope to be appointed
soon by direct commission
as an intelligence officer in
the Navy Reserve.
I, have been going
through the application
and selection process for
about eight months and
after being selected, I am
now waiting on security
clearances and medical
clearances to be processed.
As the lengthy process
for selection is nearing an
end, I am looking forward
to Direct Commission
Officer School where I will
learn the history and eti-
quette of the Navy, do my
fair share of physical train-
ing and get qualified on the
9-millimemeter Beretta M9
I grew up with a father in
the military so I know what
to expect. I also lived in a
small town in rural
Nebraska until heading to
Florida for my undergradu-
ate degree, so I became
familiar with firearms at a
young age.
I have always felt that
the Second Amendment
right to "keep and bear
arms" is important and
that gun bans are obviously
infringements upon those

The United States
Supreme Court has been
hearing arguments this
month about this issue. In
the District of Columbia v.
Heller, Washington D.C.'s
gun ban is being ques-
The Firearms Control
Regulations Act of 1975 was
enacted by the District of
Columbia. Under this local
law, only those sidearms
registered prior to 1975 and
current and former law
enforcement officers were
exempted from what was
essentially a handgun ban.
In 2003, six residents of
D.C. undertook a lawsuit
challenging the constitu-
tionality of the D.C. gun
ban. When the district
court dismissed the law-
suit, the residents filed an
appeal with the U.S. Court
of Appeals.
The court sided with the
residents and felt that it
was unconstitutional to
ban handguns. This was
then petitioned to the U.S.
Supreme Court to discern
the constitutionality of
individuals being able to
keep guns for personal use
in their homes.
Today's question before
the Supreme Court is

whether the D.C. gun ban
in constitutional.
During oral arguments,
Chief Justice Roberts
asked, "What's reasonable
about a total ban on gun
possession?" While I am
not an attorney, but mere-
ly a soon-to-be Ph.D. in
public affairs, I would
answer with "nothing is
reasonable about a ban on
gun possession."
The Second
Amendment is important
to all of us. As I plan an
excursion to the gun range
this weekend, I am thank-
ful for the First United
States Congress and their
ratification of the Bill of
While some assert that
access to guns allows crim-
inals to commit crimes, I
assert that access to guns
allows us as citizens to
protect ourselves from
those criminals.
When the ruling on the
Supreme Court case
comes in June, I hope it
ensures that the Second
Amendment "shall not be
infringed" upon. Your right
to keep and bear arms,
allows protection for your-
self and your family, after

Every family has its leg-
Two of our favorites are
about our son, Loyal, in his
Dixie Youth League base-
ball days.
One is about the ground
ball to the pitcher that he
stretched into a home run.
I've told it before, but as
my children will be quick
to tell you, anyone who lis-
tens to my stories is
doomed to hear them
again. And again.
You have been warned.
The other is about the
strike zone.

Loyal's career in little
league baseball began with
T-ball, in which the ball is
placed on a T (or tee; my
wife and I can never agree
on which is correct, and
frankly, I've forgotten
which side I normally take)
and the batter swings at it.
It vastly improves the
chances of hitting the ball.
After a year of T/tee-
ball, Loyal graduated to
the minor league. On
opening day, he took his
determined stance at the
plate, swung at the first
two pitches, and missed.
He let the next one go
past undisturbed, and
when the umpire called a
third strike, Loyal looked
at him like he was crazy.
That afternoon, I
pitched batting practice
to Loyal in our back yard.
He kept watching good
pitches go past.
"Son," I said, "you need
to swing at them if they're
in the strike zone."
He looked puzzled.
"Loyal, do you know
what the strike zone is?"
"No, sir."


There is a lesson here;
kids are not born knowing
what the strike zone is, and
T-ball doesn't teach it to

Fast forward 25 years.
Last Saturday morning,
Mary and I dragged our-
selves out of bed at the
crack of 8 to drive to
Lakeland to see our five-
year-old grandson, Liam,
play T-ball.
As he walked to the
plate, bat in hand, I called
out "Hi, Sweetie." I turned
to my friend Mary and
said, "I guess I'm not sup-
posed to address a future
major leaguer as
As Liam took his stance,
the home plate coach -
one of seven adults on the
field teaching these little
fellows how to play base-
ball knelt down and tied
one of Liam's shoes.
"It happens all the
time," our son-in-law, Jim,
told me.
In Liam's T-ball league,
they don't really quibble
about "three strikes and
you're out." They want
every kid to hit the ball in
every at bat, no matter
how many swings it takes.
They have a five-runs-
per-inning rule.
"Most games end in a
tie, with scores in multi-
ples of five," Jim explained.
And that's when somebody
bothers to keep score,
which nobody was doing
last Saturday.
A couple of kids, even
smaller than our Liam,
walked up to the plate, but
positioned themselves a
foot or more from where
they should be.

The home plate coach
-the same one who had
tied Liam's shoe sirimply
picked them up by the
shoulders and set them
down in the correct place,
like a plastic shepherd who
was too close to the
manger in a Nativity scene.
Most of the balls went
no farther than the pitch-
er's mound, where the
pitcher (who, in T-ball,
doesn't pitch) picked them
up and threw them in the
general direction of first
base. Sometimes the first
baseman was there, some-
times not.
Occasionally a ball
made it into the outfield,
where the outfielders typi-
cally would fall onto it like
a loose football. It definite-
ly stopped it from rolling
any farther.
One little slugger went
to the plate wearing a
bright pink batting helmet
and carrying a matching
pink bat.
"There are at least three
little girls playing T-ball in
this league," Jim told me.
She did every bit as well as
her male teammates.

T-ball is a great sport, at
least as much fun for the
spectators as for the play-
ers. I have always had a
special appreciation for
young men who make
time to teach other men's
sons how to play baseball.
Somewhere near the
end of the season, I hope
they remember to tell the
kids what the strike zone
But if they don't, it's
okay; that's the stuff of
which family legends are

" Copyrighted Material

, Syndicated Content

from Commercial News


Second Amendment Infringement?

This newspaper welcomes letters from its readers. Letters must be signed, and the writer's name will
appear with the letter. All letters are editing for length, libel, and civility, and must be written specif-
ically to this newspaper. No poems, please.
Letters may be mailed to Box 120, Bartow, Fla. 33831, faxed to (863) 533-0402, or e-mailed to Please include a daytime phone number for verification. The number
will not be published.

March 26,2008


The Polk County Democrat 5A

Parent workshops are for parents to learn more about what their children are doing,
in school and how to help them in critical areas but where are the parents? -
(Photo by Priscilla Perry)


Parentless Workhops Don't Work

Recently, a visit to an
elementary school parent
workshop taught a point
not intended.
The classroom was pre-
pared. Worksheets and stu-
dent folders were on the
desks. There was an over-
head presentation to help
parents understand the
importance of their child's
progress in the highlighted
Everything was picture
perfect, by the book, and
teachers were ready
throughout the school. The
only thing missing was the
parents and students.
On the Polk County
School Board grade chart,
Fort Meade schools have
not brought rave reviews.
The scores don't warrant
being closed down, but
warning flags are up.
It should be mentioned
that all campuses are work-
ing hard to come into com-
pliance. Administrations
are fervently aware and
striving to bring Fort
Meade to higher standards.
However, scores have
not been so impressive that
parents move into the Fort
Meade school district to
ensure their children will
mingle with the academic
elite. In fact, there are par-
ents who are moving out of
the area because of the
academic problem.
Some choose to live here
but send their children to
Union Academy, First
Methodist, Bartow
Elementary Academy,
Summerlin Academy, or
International Baccalaure-
And while scholastic
components include
teachers and faculty, par-
ents play an important part
in the local school system
making the grade the
grade as related to FCAT or
Florida Comprehensive
Assessment Test and the
federal government's No
Child Left Behind program.
Students are dependent
upon the support of their
parents to move past
obstacles in elementary

That routine of support
may begin at the lower
grade levels, but it does not
end when the students
enter middle school and
high school.
Attendance of parents
and students at workshops,
as well as parental involve-
ment with teachers and
administration, weigh on
students' academic suc-
cess for at least 13 years.
Talking with teachers at
both elementary and high
school levels revealed that
some parents are very
involved with their kinder-
garteners but gradually
withdraw from participa-
tion as the students pass
on to higher grades.
If the equation of par-
ent/teacher support for
each child is true, then the
absence of one or more
parts to the equation can-
not equal success.
Children don't get
through school alone.
Parents and grandpar-
ents who went through the
Fort Meade school system
look back and reflect on
school days very differently
from the ones this genera-
tion faces today.
Though many of yester-
year's graduates went on to
earn college diplomas,
achieve successful careers,
and become well-adjusted
adults, the situations are
not comparable because
parents and teachers have
developed some substan-
tial differences.
Family environment
and academic ex-pecta-
tions have morphed into
identities that past genera-
tions have difficulty recog-
The little red school-
house once sported paths
from nearby neighbor-
hoods, where mothers sent
their children off each
morning in starched shirts.
and crinolines, with lunch
boxes and book satchels.
There were 15-minute
recesses in the morning
that children and teachers
looked forward to.

Classmates played tag,
hopscotch, kickball, or
played on seesaws and
swings, jungle gyms and
Kids road bikes to
schoolthat served after-
school paper routes.
Homework was done after
playing with the neighbor
kids and after Dad came
home to Mom's supper.
Then the family relaxed for
a bit of TV until bedtime at
8:30 p.m.
Parents felt comfortable
helping their children with
homework. Children read
about Dick and Jane, Sally
and Spot, while mother
ironed clothes. Dad raked
the yard or weeded the gar-
den and talked about
nature, weather, and
When teachers called for
parents to come to school
for programs or confer-
ences, one or both showed
up to support their chil-
dren because education
was important.
That was then.
This is now.
In the 21st Century,
more and more children
live with only one parent -
a parent who works long
hours to provide a home
for the family, sometimes
without input from the
absent parent. The usual
scenario involves a single
Some children live with
grandparents. Others are
wards of the court.
Another element of dif-
ference is the involvement
of government. Now when
society is found lacking,
the system readily steps in
to oversee, and even man-
date in areas that once
were sacrosanct.
But the bottom line is
that children even today
need parental involvement
in their academic progress.

New City Pension Plan

Will Increase Benefits


If all goes on schedule,
the Bartow City
Commission will give final
approval in April to a new
general employees pension
plan that will increase
costs to both the city and
the employees,, and will
pay a higher pension to
City employees voted to
raise their own contribu-
tion to the plan from 2 per-.
cent to 4 percent of salary,
Planning Dir. Robert
Wiegers told the commis-
sion. He is chairman of the
city employees' committee
that drafted the new plan.
One issue still to be
resolved is how the costs of
any shortfall would be
made up, presumably a
cost shared by the city and
the employees covered by
the plan. That issue may
take another six months to
resolve, commissioners
were told, and the proposal
is to adopt the new plan in
April and amend it when
agreement is reached on a
cost-sharing formula.

After considering when
the new plan should go
into effect Oct. 1, 2007,
the start of the present.fis-
cal year, or Oct. 1, 2008, the
start of the next fiscal year
- commissioners seemed
inclined to adopt the plan
upon its final approval in
April. That was the recom-.
mendation of Lee Delner,,
lawyer for the plan.
Brad Heinrichs, actuary
for the plan, told commis-
sioners that the city
employee advisory com-
mittee that worked with
the professionals to draft
the plan wanted it to go
into effect retroactively to
last Oct. 1.
Retirement benefits
assume an 8 per cent aver-
age annual rate of return
on investments made by
the pension fund.
Joe Bogdahn, invest-
ment consultant for the
program, said the antici-
pated 8 percent rate of
return is well within the
investment experience of
the past 30 years.
Commissioner Pat Huff
said he was concerned that
the city "is stepping for-

ward too fast" in adopting
a more generous pension
plan. "The city's in tough
financial shape," he said.
He suggested waiting a
year or two before adopt-
ing a new plan.
"I disagree," said
Commissioner James E
Clements. "I think our
employees are worthif."
He said that work on the
new plan began in June
Commissioner Adrian
Jackson said the commis-
sion already has included
the cost of the new plan in
the budget.
Commissioner Leo
Longworth said Bartow's
pension plan "is way out of
line with other cities,"' and
that the new benefits
would bring Bartow in line
with the plans of other
Without taking a vote on
the matter, commissioners
indicated they will give
final approval to the new
plan on either April 7 or
April 21, the dates of their
next two meetings.

533-4183 or
285-8625 to
place your
classified ad

One candidate's
response to one question
was omitted when The
Democrat published the
annual questionnaires
submitted to the four can-
didates for election to the
city commission.
We are reprinting the
question and the respons-
es of all four candidates:
Question 6. What is
your position on the elimi-
nation of run-offs in city
elections a few years ago?
Fred Bretz: I respect and
understand the city's posi-.
tion on this.
Gerald Cochran: I was
against elimination of run-
offs in city elections a few
years ago. It takes away the
right to choose between
more than two candidates
in any election. That is not
the democratic way to
hold elections. There
should always be a run-
off when you have more
than two candidates.
Wayne Lewis: Since
moving to springtime
elections for municipali-
ties, voter turnout has
been very low. I personal-
ly would support a return
to run-off elections. As
with the police depart-

ment decision, I think that
should be up to the voters
that currently participate
in municipal elections to
Gail Schreiber: The citi-
zens voted to eliminate
run-off elections and the
city charter reflects that
change. I respect the citi-
zens' opinion. However, as
a commissioner I was
against eliminating run-
offs based upon the fact
that an individual could be
elected by less than 50 per-
cent of those voting, I
think this premise is a
valuable part of our demo-
cratic process and worth
retaining. Unless the citi-
zens bring up the subject,
the charter remains as

S g~I~~mnrr~p


I~~~~~g~~ n T..naDa f

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oatduate. Monday, March 31, 2008 4pm-7pm
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Just make a date to visit Orlando Regional Healthcare's Graduate Nurse Reception. You'll learn all about
our unwavering commitment to provide caring, quality healthcare to the people of Central Florida. Plus,
you'll get the details of our network's individual facilities and which one has the right career path for you.
On-the-spot interviews and tours! Please come prepared with your resumes and your calendar!
Free Valet Parking will be available at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando and
Orlando Regional Medical Center entrances.

Orlando Regional Healthcare is a recognized healthcare facility that qualifies for
the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program. For more information, visit:
We also offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical/dental plans, life insurance, shift
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Or you may RSVP for an Afternoon GN Informational Tea
being held on 4/14 from 4pm-7pm. Email your RSVP to or call 321-841-6698.


Missing Candidate

Answer Published


source for government info.

C&J Equipment

Sales, Inc.


kioli ID 90
16200 Hwy 27 South Lake Wales, FL 33859
Phone: 863-638-0671 Fax: 863-638-0673
S www.cnjequipment.coin

la~ ~a--.L **~~***~~**~Irl-a t e~~ a


6A The Polk County Democrat


Tatum R.
Tatum R. Cochran, 76,
of Canon, Ga., died on
Thursday, March 20, 2008.
Born January 23, 1932,
Mr. Cochran was a native
of Georgia, but lived in
Fort Meade for more than
30 years before returning
to Georgia 10 years ago. He
graduated from Maysville
High School and Berry
College, earning his bache-
lor of arts degree. He
served his country during
the Korean Conflict.
Mr. Cochran taught
industrial arts in both
Georgia and Florida, and
worked in the phosphate
industry in Florida for
many years before his
retirement. He was amem-
ber of the First Baptist
Church of Fort Meade. He
was also an avid inventor
who was always coming up
with new ideas from things
he observed in everyday
life situations, .a family
member said.
He loved to hunt and
fish, work in his yard, and
tend to his pets, she added.
Mr. Cochran was pre-
ceded in death by his par-
ents, Lester and Millie
(Lane) Cochran; five
brothers, Daniel Cochran,
Aaron Cochran, Rusty
Cochran, George Cochran,
and Ben Cochran; a sister,
Lurleen Turner; and one
daughter, Vickie (Hile) Fox;
and a son-in-law, Kenneth
Survivors include his
wife of 40 years, Rosie
Marie Cochran of Canon,
Ga.; two daughters, Phyllis
Newsom-Latner (Kelvin)
of Canon, and Rend
Tribbey (Kenneth) of
Carnesville; a son, Daniel
Cochran of Carnesville;
eight grandchildren, Lynn
Briley (Jim) of Carnesville,
Ga., Julia Newsom and
Cortney Beam (Jasper),
both of Fort Meade, Erin
Sigala (Hugo) of Royston,
Ga., Jeremy Spivey of
Athens, Ga., .Schuyler
Newsom of Quantico, Va.,
Drew Cochran and Bud
Cochran, both of New
Jersey; 10 great-grandchil-
dren, and several nieces
and nephews.
Mr. Cochran is also sur-
vived by his four children,
Timothy Cochran, Bobby
Cochran, and Kathy
MaCauly, all of New Jersey,
and Nancy Sabastian of
North Carolina, as well as
their children and grand-

Duane "Al" Webb'


Duane Al'
Duane "Al" Webber, 71,
died of cancer on Sunday,
March 23, 2008, at Palm
Born March 17, 1937, in
Detroit, Mich., Mr. Webber
retired as acaptairi from
the United States Air Force
with 23 years service. He
was a graduate of the
University of Colorado
and a member of
American Legion Post #4.
He was of the Episcopal
Mr. Webber retired from
the Dept. of
Transportation as a per-
sonnel manager after 25
Survivors include his
wife of 19 years, Dorothy
Wade-Williams Webber of
Lakeland; two sons, Jay
Webber of Charlotte, N.C.,
and Robert Webber of
Lakeland; a daughter,
Suzannne Kazakoff of San
Jose, Calif.; two step-
daughters, Pam Williams
Thornell of Powder
Springs, Ga., and Mari
Lynn Williams Burkett of
Bartow; two brothers,
David Webber of Boston,
and Lee Webber of
Phoenix; 10 grandchil-
dren, and four great-
Visitation: Thursday,
March 27, 5 to 7 p.m.,
Heath Funeral Chapel,
Funeral: Friday, March
28, 2 p.m., Heath Funeral
In lieu of flowers
memorials may be made
to Good Shepherd
Hospice, 105 Arneson
Avenue, Auburndale,
33823. Condolences may
be sent to the family at

Judith Ann
Judith Ann Jacobs, 63,
died of heart failure
Monday, March 24, 2008,
in her home in Fort
Born Dec. 30, 1944, in
Bloomsburg, Pa., she
came to Fort Meade from
Tampa in 1965. She was a
homemaker. She was a
member of First Baptist
Church of Fort Meade,
where she was a long-time
nurseryworker. She also
did in-home childcare at
her home.
Mrs. Jacobs is survived
by her husband, Troy
Jacobs of Fort Meade; two
sons, Donald Curtis
Jacobs of Bartow, and
Spencer Lee Jacobs of St.
Petersburg; a daughter,
Priscilla McCormick of
Aliceville, Ala.; her moth-
er, Shirley Matrula of
Valrico; a brother, John
Matrula of Valrico; eight
grandchildren, and five
Visitation: Thursday,
March 27, 6 to 8 p.m.,
Hancock Funeral Home,
Fort Meade.
Funeral: Friday, March
28, 10:30, graveside at
Pleasant Grove Cemetery,
Fort Meade.

Kent Johnson
Kent Johnson Gooch,
61, died from cancer on
Saturday, March 22, 2008,
surrounded by his family
and friends at home.
Born Oct. 30, 1946, in
Lake Wales, Mr. Gooch
was a citrus farmer and
cattle rancher who
enjoyed golfing and mak-
ing others laugh, a family
member said. He was a
devoted and loving father
and one of the best stew-
ards for the Florida citrus
industry, he added.
Mr. Gooch attended
Episcopal High School in
Alexandria, Va., and grad-
uated from Lake Wales
High School after an illus-
trious football and track
career, a family member
said. He also served in the
Florida National Guard.
He went on to attend the
University of Virginia,
Centre College, and Polk
Community College.
Mr. Gooch earned a
master's degree in citrus
management and was
recognized by many from
the University of Florida
as an expert in the citrus
industry. He was the only
elected president of the
Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences who
did not actually attend
the University of Florida,
a family member said. He
was actively involved in
the Citrus Showcase and
tending his Cracker cows.
Mr. Gooch was preced-
ed in death by his wife,
Johnnie Sue Gooch; and
his parents, Stapleton D.
Gooch, Jr., and Thalia
Johnson Gooch.
Survivors include a
son, Kent Johnson Gooch,
Jr., of Tulsa, Okla.; a broth-
er, Stapleton D. Gooch, IV,
of Tampa; two sisters,
Thalia Ann Gooch
Stoddard of Wagener, S.C.,
and Mary Lisa Gooch
Koehler of Greenville, S.C.;
and numerous cousins,
nieces, and nephews.
Visitation: Tuesday,
March 25, 6 to 8 p.m.,
Whidden-McLean Funeral
Home, Bartow.
Funeral: Wednesday,
March 26, 2 p.m., St.
Peter's Episcopal Church,
302 Carey St., Plant City.
Interment: Wildwood
Cemetery, Bartow.
In lieu of flowers,
memorial donations may
be made to St. Peter's
Episcopal Church in Plant
City. Condolences may be
sent to www.whiddenm-

Minnie Hooks Pettigrew

Minnie Hooks
Minnie Hooks
Pettigrew, 82, of Bartow,
died of heart failure on
Friday, March 21, 2008, at
Lakeland Regional Medical
Mrs. Pettigrew had been
a resident of Bartow since
1953, moving from
Georgia. She was a mem-
ber of Main Street Baptist
Church in Bartow.
Mrs, Pettigrew was pre-
ceded in death by her hus-
bands, Howard Hooks and
Art Pettigrew; and two
sons, Tony Lee Hooks and
Gregory Hooks.
Survivors include two
sons, Ronnie L. Hooks of
Bartow, and William H.
Hooks of Millen, Ga.; a
daughter, Judy LaGail
Hooks of Bartow; 10 grand-
children, and 12 great-
Visitation: Monday,
March 24, 6 to 8 p.m.,
Whidden-McLean Funeral
Home, Bartow.
Funeral: Tuesday, March
25, 11 a.m., Whidden-
McLean Funeral Home.
Condolences to the
family at www.whidden

Have an idea
a story or
The Democrat
The Leader

C^Ca~cS~i ffunewta ^fcne
9^Aidlde&-CcaYew gf1anel ^Km
Our Family Serving Yours

Since 1926,the name Seigler has stood for honesty,
integrity and service. For three generations Seigler
Funeral Home has been a major part of the Polk
County landscape, serving countless families in their
time of grief and loss. As we enter the 21" century, "
once again Seigler Funeral Home seeks to minister to
the families in an even greater way.
Major remodeling has taken place both outside and
S inside the building located on Highway 60. With
Sstate-of-the-art facilities, Seigler Funeral Home is
prepared to meet the needs of the community better
than ever before. With a warm and friendly staff, a
S new chapel, and other upgrades, Seigler's is in a
position to continue to provide old-fashioned service
and quality for many more years to come.

Please come by and be our guests at our
Open House on Sunday, March 30th from 2 P.M.
until 6 P.M.A dedication service will be held at
3:30 P.M. followed by "A Touch Above" doing a
"Dove Release" at 4:00 P.M.

Please extend this invitation to your family
3 and friends.
hj With warmest regards,
s Mark & Melanie Seigler
^- ^ .

Muriel Anderson

Muriel Anderson

At Bok Sanctuary

Composer and award-.
winning guitarist Muriel
Anderson will perform at
Historic Bok Sanctuary on
April 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 or $20
for members. Seating is
Call 734-1221 or e-mail
rg for reservations.
Anderson will conduct a
guitar workshop on April
14 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Tickets are $30 or $25
for members.
Space is limited to the
first 45 who register to
Crossing genres of folk,
classical, jazz, bluegrass
and world music,
Anderson is considered to
be one of the world's best
guitar instrumentalists.
A student of guitar leg-
ends Christopher
Parkening and Chet Atkins,
she became the first nylon-
string guitarist and first
female guitarist to win the

National Fingerpicking
Guitar Championship.
With 14 CDs, nine DVDsi
and numerous guitar
books, her acclaim has led
to standing-room-only
performances worldwide,
a Bok Sanctuary
spokesman said.
Anderson's guitar work-
shop on April 14 will be.
highly individualized, pro-
viding inspiration and
direction to guitarists of all'
Right and left hand
techniques in a variety of
guitar styles, harmonic
techniques and principles
that can be applied to per-:
forming, arranging and'
composing will be taught. ;
You may bring your own
guitar and record the les-
Call 734-1221 or e-mail
rg for reservations.
for more information.B

Formal attire fit for
prom, special occasions,
and cruises will be on sale
by the Fort Meade's Junior
Woman's Club this
Saturday at the clubhouse
on North Charleston Ave.,
instead of the Community
"The response has been
so good, that we decided to
keep the sale at the club-

house," said Denise:
Harrell, president of the
club. The sale will take
place from 9 a.m. to noon,:
with consignment sale
proceeds going toward the;
historic clubhouse renova-
For more information,
call Ms. Harrell at 285-6238
or Beverly Graves at 285-

Formal Attire At

Junior Woman's Club



Your official source
for federal, state and
local government Info.
1 (800) FED-INFO


Notice is hereby given that the
City of Bartow will hold a
Canvassing Board Hearing for
the Regular Election on
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at 6:30
p.m. or as soon as possible
after the polls close to can-
vass the ballots for the elec-
tion. This hearing will be held
at the Supervisor of Elections
Office at 250 S. Broadway
Avenue, Bartow, Florida.


]iancock funeral iome
family Owned & Operated
(863) 285-8171
945 East Broadway fort M2Ueade. fC 33841

V'~ ""-~--- -------r ----- --~~~

March 26, 2008 ,


Frogs in Danger

- 0%






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CONGRESSIONAL CLASSROOM students pose in front of the U.S. Capitol. Participants in this year's
Congressional Classroom with Rep. Adam Putnam were (from left): front Laura Newberry-McKeel Academy,
Robby Hendricks-Frostproof High School, Kyle Champeau-Lakeland High School, Kayla Goff-International
Baccalaureate, Tyler Rice-Lakeland Christian, Olivia Williams-Harrison Arts, Dimple Patel- Lake Region High
School, Felicia Rowell-Fort Meade High School, Jaquelyn Wells- Ridge Community High School, Suzanne Shaske-
Auburndale High School; back Jonathan Salm-All Saints Academy, Shani Scott- Lake Gibson High School, Alicia
Barrett- Plant City High School, Tasnia Osmani-Bartow High School, Emily Tonjes- Lake Wales High School, Roslyn
Burkes-Haines City High School, Adam Kinloch-Kathleen High School, Heather Weaver- Summerlin Academy,
Lindsey Short-Winter Haven High School, Nancy Davison-Bloomingdale High School. (Photo provided)

Students Return from Nation's Capital

high school juniors from
Hillsborough, Osceola and Polk
counties are back home after spend-
ing a week in the nation's capital as
part U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam's
Congressional Classroom program.
The students, each representing a
high school in the 12th
Congressional District, got a behind-
the-scenes peek at the federal gov-
ernment and the chance to meet a
wide assortment of government
leaders and dignitaries.
"Being involved in this program is
a true honor in that it has given me
the opportunity at a young age to
meet with such influential people,"
Kayla Goff, from Polk County's
International Baccalaureate school,
said. "This week has given me a new
appreciation and knowledge for our

nation's government."
Among the officials the students
met were Labor Secretary Elaine
Chao, Australian Ambassador
Dennis Richardson, Secretary of
Treasury Henry M. Paulson, Jr., and
Senators Mel Martinez and Bill
"The opportunity to learn about
the issues and to get a feel for what
goes on in Washington meant a lot to
me when I was in high school, and I
know it will have a tremendous posi-
tive impact on these young people,"
Putnam said. "The people in our
community who support
Congressional Classroom are helping
to inspire our future leaders."
In addition to meeting newsmak-
ers and participating in a mock ses-
sion of Congress, the leadership pro-
gram started the week with a night

tour of Capitol Hill, and included vis-
its throughout the week to various
monuments museums and historic
sites, including the Library of
Congress, the U.S. Mint and a per-
sonal tour of the Capitol by
Congressman Putnam.
Congressional Classroom is an
educational/charitable program
established by Putnam in 2001. Each
year every high school in the 12th
District is invited to nominate stu-
dents to the program. An indepen-
dent panel of community leaders
evaluates the nominees on the basis
of academic performance, commu-
nity involvement and demonstrated
interest in government. For addition-
al information about Congressional
Classroom contact Cheryl Fulford at

The Polk County Democrat 7A



Car Wash

Gause Riverside
Academy will sponsor a
car wash in Fort Meade
and Bartow on Saturday,
April 12, from 8 a.m. to 12
The Fort Meade loca-
tion is Colonial Bank on
North Charleston Avenue
and the Bartow location is
Goodyear Tires on Van
Fleet Drive. Students, par-
ents, and faculty .will be
on site.
A donation of $5 is
being requested to cover
field trip expenses for the
student body. Tickets may
be purchased from stu-
dents or from the school
office located at 1002 N.E.
Sixth St. in Fort Meade.
Call 285-1144 for 'more



Bartow High School
symphonic band, under
the direction of Jon
Eckman, will join the
University of.Tampa wind
ensemble, under the
direction of Jeff Traster,
for a free concert.
The concert will be
held on March 27 at 7
p.m. in the Bartow
Elementary Academy
Music will include the
"Orange Bowl March" by
Henry Fillmore, "Prelude
Siciliano" and "Rondo" by
Malcolm- Arnold, jazz
music, "Shenandoah"
and "Wild Nights" by
Frank Ticheli, "Plorentino
March" by Julius Fucik,
and "Rhapsody in Blue"
by George Gershwin.

Info Session
Polk Public Schools will
hold an information ses-
sion on April 10 for those
interested in becoming a
teacher in Polk County.
The session will begin at
6:30 p.m., Thursday, April
10, at Ridge Community
High, 500 West Orchid
Drive, Davenport.
The meeting will dis-
cuss the steps to become a
teacher and application
requirements for individu-
als with these qualifica-
Holding a bachelor's
degree or higher from an
accredited college or uni-
versity but did not major in
Holding a bachelor's
degree or higher from an
accredited college or uni-
versity with a major in
Holding a valid Florida
certificate for full-time
SHolding a valid out-of-
state certificate for full-
time teaching
For more information,
call 534-0781.

You can't shake us,
but we've got
the info you need.

To get your free Consumer
Information Catalog, visit, call 1 (888)
8 PUEBLO, or write: Trusted
Source, Pueblo, CO 81009.

Pueblo, CO. Your trusted source.

Sixth Graders Need Booster
Shot Before Entering Seventh

Florida requires sixth
graders moving up to sev-
enth grade in August
receive their immuniza-
tion shots before the start
of the next school year.
The Florida
Department of Health
requires seventh graders
to have the following
immunization: Td
(Tetanus- diphtheria)
booster Tdap is acceptable
Documentation of the Td
booster is required, which

is available from private
physicians or local FDH
Parents are asked to take
their children's
Immunization cards to
appointments for vaccina-
tions in order to keep med-
ical records current.
They also are asked to
call the school clinic to
pick up immunization cer-
tificates, which will need to
be brought to school orien-
tation in August.

as 7t ?icdea

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March 26,2008



USA,gov. Your official
source for government info.

8A The Polk County Democrat

- Senior Beat -

Lunch And Learn

Program Planned

University of South
Florida Lakeland Rath
Senior ConNEXTions and
Education Center presents
its next Lunch & Learn pro-
gram Friday, March 28.
Bill Nickell will present
"Hearing Loss" from 11
a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the
Rath Center, 1350 East
Main Street, C200, Bartow.

Admission is free, but
advance registration is
To register, contact
Holly Sigsbee at hsigs- or
Lunch is not provided,
but those attending may
bring their own

Sage-ing Series

Winter Haven Hospital
will present as a part of the
Sage-ing Program, the
series, "Finding Purpose &
Joy in the Second Half of
Your Life."
The classes will be from
2 to 4 p.m., beginning April
3 to May 29, at the Gill
Jones Center, 3425 Lake
Alfred Road (Hwy 17 N.),

Winter Haven.
There is no cost for the
series but pre-registration
is requested as seating is
For more information
and to make a reservation,
call the Winter Haven
Hospital Health
Connection at 291-6705 or

A Veterans Day parade
may be added to this year's
observance of the holiday
that honors all Americans
who have served their
country in uniform.
Cal Adams, a former city
commissioner and a World
War II Marine Corps veter-
an (who can still fit into his
uniform), and James
Slaughter, commander of
the local Veterans of
Foreign Wars post, urged
the city commission to
schedule a Veterans Day
parade for the second
Saturday in November.
Mayor Brian Hinton said
he supports the idea, but

that the fall crafts festival
would have to be resched-
uled to clear a Main Street
parade route on that date.
"We will do everything
we can to make it happen,"
he said.
For a number of years,
Bartow has had a relatively
small Veterans Day obser-
vance, usually at the
Memorial Walk next to the
Bartow Public Library.
But the 2007 observance
was moved to IMC Park,
and involved the entire
corps of cadets from
Summerlin Academy, and
included a performance by
the school's drill team.




April 2
City Commissioner
Adrian Jackson will con-
duct "office hours" on
Wednesday, April 2, from
8:30 to 10 a.m. at Java
Breeze, located at the
northeast corner of
Golden Gate Shopping
Jackson invites con-
stituents who want to dis-
cuss city government
issues to have a cup of cof-
fee with him and express
their views.

533-4183 or
with your
story idea.

Main Street, Inc., Seeks Members

(Continued from Page 1A)

story," Main Street
President Jennifer Daniels
said. "It's the state and fed-
eral government's way to
help revitalize downtown
and areas of blight. Being
designated a Main Street
City is a double-edged
sword we are granted
access to a lot of useful
resources, but it is also an
official indicator that
Downtown Bartow was an
area of blight. I am pleased
to say 'was' an area of
"With the work of Jim
Duane and the CRA, the
streetscaping project
aided in downtown's
appearance tremendously.
MSB's monthly promo-
tional events, along with
annual festivals and
parades has also been key
to reminding our commu-
nity that Downtown
Bartow is a shopping, din-
ing and weekend activity
Currently the organiza-
tion brings more than
94,000 people downtown
each year.
People visit downtown
each month for Friday Fest
on the third Friday of the
month and Movies on the
Lawn on the fourth Friday
of each month, as well as
special events such as the
Downtown Craft Fair,

Bloomin' Arts (which Main
Street presents with the
Bartow Art Guild), Plein
Air Bartow Art" Show,
Christmas Parade, and
other events, such as the
weekly Farmer's Market.
Additionally, the organi-
zation is working in com-
mittees on projects as var-
ied as design standards for
the Main Street District,
economic development,
beautification, and creat-
ing more promotions to
bring residents and
tourists downtown.
"I look forward to the
day when Downtown
Bartow is on par with Dade
City, Plant City and Mount
Dora," Mrs. Daniels said. "I
believe that if we continue
on our course, we can
achieve that level of revi-
talization. With the sup-
port of the CRA, the City of
Bartow and the Bartow
Marketing Partnership we
have made huge strides in
a very short period of time
relative to other commu-
nities like ours."
But growth takes work
and the dedication of busi-
ness owners and citizens,
and as downtown Bartow
has come back to life, the
organization has found
itself excited about pro-
motions, but struggling to
staff many events.
'As with all success sto-
ries, we do having growing
pains. We are constantly

struggling to have volun-
teers to assist with events
and fill committee seats,"
Mrs. Daniels said. "On the
upside, we have an incred-
ibly dedicated group of
board members and staff.
Over the last five years, we
have grown the monthly
promotional events down-
town with a handful of vol-
unteers and two part-time
"It's strange to say, but
we frequently need help-
ing hands worse than we
need operating funds or
event sponsors. I do think
we have reached 'critical
mass' we are turning
down ideas for some
monthly events because
we simply cannot staff
them all."
Thus the need for the
membership event on
For those unwilling to
join, but who want to help,
volunteer opportunities
are available at events, as
well as sponsorship
opportunities for busi-
nesses who wish to make
their names known in sup-
port of downtown.
Sponsorships are avail-
able at $250, $500, $750,
and $1,000 levels.
If you are interested in
joining Main Street
Bartow, Inc., or for more
information call the Main
Street office at 519-0508.

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Grooming Doggie Day Care Boarding

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March 26,2008

Movie On The Lawn Tire




April 5
Floral Lakes will hold
a rummage and bake
sale on Saturday, April
5, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The sale will be held
at Floral Lakes, 2055
South Floral Avenue,
Bartow, across from the
Civic Center.
The event will fea-
ture lunch and free cof-

family of seven ill-man-
nered children.
The event is free and
suitable for the entire fam-
Those attending are
encouraged to bring chairs
or blankets. The Junior
Service League of Bartow
will sell refreshments.
For more information,
call 519-0508

"Nanny McPhee" will be
the movie on the lawn dur-
ing Main Streets Bartow's
monthly event.
The movie will be shown
on Friday, March 28, at 7:45
p.m. on the northwest cor-
ner of Wilson Avenue and
Main Street.
The movie tells the story
of a nanny with magical
powers who takes on a

Polk County Extension
Service is sponsoring its
biennial water school for
decision makers entitled
"Water Lifeblood of
Planet Earth: A Water
School for Polk County
Decision Makers" begin-
ning Thursday, April 17.
The seven-session
school is intended to pro-
vide decision makers,
community leaders, and
private citizens with infor-
mation about Polk
County's water resources
and to encourage
improved public policy
decision making relative
to water issues in the
The school includes five
classroom sessions to be
held from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on
Thursday, April 17, May

1, 8, 15 and 29 at the WH.
Stuart Conference Center
at 1710 U.S. Highway 17
South in Bartow.
Additionally, two day-
long tours to focus on
water-related projects and
issues will occur on April
24 and May 22. The tours
depart from the Polk
County Agricultural
Center, 1702 U.S. Highway
17 South in Bartow.
All sessions are free and
open to the public; h6wev-
er, registration is requested
by Friday, April 11, to facil-
itate planning for hand-
outs and other arrange-
For more information or
to register call the Polk
County Extension Service
at 519-8677, ext. 112.

Writing Workshop

In Lake Wales

"Writing Your Memoirs,"
a six-week workshop series
sponsored by the Cypress
Writers Association, will be
held Tuesday mornings,
April 8 to May 13, from 9 to
11, in the new meeting
room at the French restau-
rant, Tres Jolie, 207 East
Park Avenue, in downtown
Lake Wales.
Cost for the workshop is
$120 for the entire six-
week series.
An 80-page workbook is
included in the price.
Reservations can be
made by calling 221-8556,
or by sending e-mail to
At a "Writing Your
Memoirs" workshop, writ-
ers of all levels of experi-
ence will learn how to use
slice-of-life vignettes to

distill their memories in a
celebration of who they
"Writing your memoirs
is a therapeutic way to
share personal memories
across the generations,"
Judy Kahler, the workshop
leader and freelance writer,
said. "Crafting polished
memoirs told in your own
voice, creates a rich family
heritage, one life story at a
Kahler is an award-win-
ning freelance writer, edi-
tor, journalist, newspaper
columnist and theater crit-
ic, with more than 2,000
articles in print. She is the
founder of "Art-i-Facts"
magazine and "Senior
Times" magazine and is
the winner of the Brad
Beahan Award for literary

State Attorneys And

Defenders Hold Event

J. Marion Moorman,
public defender, and Jerry
Hill, state attorney, co-
sponsored a continuing
legal education program
on ethics for their attorney
The program was pre-
sented by Denis Michael
DeVlaming, who is in pri-
vate practice in Clearwater
and has been board certi-
fied in criminal trial prac-
tice sine 1988.

The program was held
in Bartow at the Neil
Combee County
Administration Building.
DeVlaming presented a
number of ethical
vignettes used as points of
departure for lively discus-
sion between prosecutors
and defenders at the event.
Around 130 attorneys
participated in the pro-




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Busch 599 889
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Jose Cuervo Gold 400 2/70o
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Beams Black Label 3000 /5900

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Keep Polk County
Beautiful and Polk County
Solid Waste have part-
nered to hold a hazardous
waste and tire recycling
event on Saturday, April 5,
from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This event will be held
at the Polk County Health
Department in Lakeland,
3240 Lakeland Hlls Blvd.
In addition to tires, res-
idents may bring
rechargeable batteries
that weigh one pound or
less, used ink cartridges
and mobile phones to be
Residents may discard
up to 10 tires at the event.
Tires must be standard
size and off the rims.
Participants must show
photo identification and
proof of Polk County resi-
dency to take advantage
of the free disposal.
Call Keep Polk County
Beautiful at 676-7019, for
more information.

Democrat & Leader
Advertising pays
Big Dividends

Polk Extension Service

Sponsors Water School

Veterans Day Parade

Wins Support of City

March 26,2008


The Polk County Democrat 9A

Von Pein To Head

Clear Springs Center

COMMUNITY NATIONAL BANK provided complimentary breakfasts on Saturday
and Sunday to artists during the 2008 Bloomin' Arts Festival in Bartow. Saturday's CNB
crew included (above, from left) Melody Inzer, Donna Penix, Wendy Schaill, Allison
Serletic, and Gail Smith. Feeding the artists on Sunday (below, from left) were Nikki
Yates, Amy Gunter, and the Gail Smith. (Photos provided by CNB)

Clear Springs has hired
Werner von Pein as vice
president and general
manager of its Bartow
Packhouse and
Distribution Center.
Having served in execu-
tive positions for Mancini
Packing Corporation,
Lavazza Premium Coffees,
Georgia Food & Nut,
Hebrew National Foods,
Nabisco Brands, Quaker
Oats, and Procter &
Gamble, von Pein has
extensive experience in
new business develop-
ment, global marketing
and distribution.
"We've been ready to
expand our customer base
at the distribution center
for some time and Werner
is well-known for his talent
for quickly increasing cus-
tomer numbers and profit
margins while effectively
managing product and
supply chains," said Stan
Phelps, Clear Springs'

owner and chairman.
"We believe he'll take
our distribution center to
that next level we've been
striving for," he said.
Currently a Connecticut
resident, von Pein will
relocate to Bartow and will
assume his responsibili-
ties on March 31.
Founded by Wall Street
veteran and philanthropist
Stanford N. Phelps, Clear
Springs sits on ,nearly
18,000 acres of land to the
north, east and south of
"Through careful plan-
ning and development,
Clear Springs envisions
and strives to create a
place where agriculture,
business and residential
areas combine seamlessly
to form a unique, eco-
friendly community in one
of the nation's most afford-
able and livable areas,"
Phelps said

Solicitors Not Affiliated

With Bartow Chamber

Bartow Chamber of
Commerce is not affiliated
with Varsity Publications,
an out-of-state company
soliciting advertising in
the Bartow area, Chamber
Executive Director Jeff
Clark said.
While the Bartow
Chamber doesn't try to
restrict any legitimate
business activity in the

community, "ee do, how-
ever, reserve the right to
restrict any business from
solicitations that imply an
affiliation or endorsement
from the Bartow
Chamber," Clark said.
The Bartow Chamber of
Commerce is in no way
affiliated with Varsity
Publications and does not
endorse their products.

Three Tenors
Take Venice
At Polk
In a show not just for
opera lovers, Three Tenors
Take Venice (or The
Naughty Gondoliers) takes
the stage of the Polk
Theatre on April 8 at 8 p.m.
The show features three
world-class professional
tenors singing classics
from light opera along
with Broadway favorites.
In the light-hearted sec-
ond act, these gondoliers
embark on a mad-cap
musical Carnivale, with
pranks of one-upmanship
interwoven through their
songs, which include "0
Sole Mio," "Nessun
Dorma," and "Granada."
The show starts at 8
p.m. Ticket prices are $38,
$27, and $20.
Tickets may be pur-
chased online at the
Theatre's website (click
on Performing Arts Series
for the link), or by calling
the administrative office at
The Polk Theatre is
located at 121 S. Florida
Avenue, one-half block
south of Main Street in
downtown Lakeland.

Save On Taxes And Pay For College

Saving for college
should ideally take place
well before your child
reaches college age, but for
many reasons that isn't
always possible.
Whether you have years
to go before your children
are ready for college or you
already have a coed in the
house, there are options
available to help minimize
your expenses by taking
advantage of tax benefits.
Below are some sugges-
tions from the National
Association of Tax
Professionals to get you
A Qualified Tuition
plan, also called a Section
529 plan, is a trust naming
your child as the beneficia-
Contributions to the
trust are considered tax-
able gifts; however, you can
contribute up to $12,000
annually ($24,000 if your
spouse also contributes)
and escape the gift tax.
If you contribute more,
you can treat the gifts as if
they are made over a five-
year period. The earnings
on the contributions accu-
mulate tax-free until the
college costs are paid from
the funds.
Distributions are tax-
free to the extent the funds

are used to pay qualified
higher education expenses.
You can establish a
Coverdell Education
Savings Account (ESA) and
make contributions of up
to $2,000 for each child
under the age of 18.
Although you can't
deduct contributions, dis-
tributions including
earnings are tax-free if
spent on higher education
If the child doesn't
attend college, the money
must be withdrawn when
the child turns 30, or tranis-
ferred tax-free to a
Coverdell ESA of another
member of the child's fam-
ily who hasn't reached age
Tuition tax credits will
help save you tax dollars
once the tuition bills arrive.
Tax credits reduce your
tax liability dollar for dol-
lar. There are two different
credits available:
The Hope Tax Credit is
available up to $1,650 in
2007 per student for the
first two years of college.
This equals a 100-percent
credit for the first $1,100 in
tuition and a 50-percent
credit for the second
A Lifetime Learning
Credit is available up to

$2,000 per family for every
additional year of college
or graduate school. This
equals a 20-percent credit
for up to $10,000 in tuition
for 2007.
Some deductions are
also available. Deductions
reduce your overall taxable
income, which ultimately
reduces your tax bill.
You can deduct up to
$2,500 of the interest on
loans used to pay for your
child's college education.
The deduction is available
even if you don't itemize.
Through 2007, you
may be permitted to take
an above-the-line deduc-
tion of up to $4,000 for col-
lege tuition and related
expenses that you pay.
Your income must be
less than $65,000 ($130,000
if filing a joint return). If
your income is over these
limits, you are allowed a
deduction up to $2,000.
You are allowed no
deduction if your income
exceeds $80,000 ($160,000
of filing a joint return).
Members of the
National Association of Tax
Professionals (NATP) work
at offices that assist over 11
million taxpayers with tax
preparation and planning.
Learn more at

ADA-Compliant City

Restrooms Receive

Federal Funds Priority

Most of Bartow's share
of federal Community
Development Block Grant
funds in the coming year
will be used to make
restrooms at the Bartow
Civic Center and at city
hall handicap-accessible.
Although neither
building is located in sub-
standard neighborhoods,
CDBG rules allow use of
the federal funds to make
public restrooms compli-
ant with the Americans
with Disabilities Act,
regardless of location,
Linda Allen, the city's
grants administrator, told
the city commission.
Giving top priority to
ADA compliance was rec-
ommended by the city's
advisory committee that
recommends allocation
of CDBG funds.
Costs are projected at
$64,000 at the civic center
and $26,000 at city hall.
The city commission
approved the recommen-
dation, and allocated
another $27,000 to pur-
chase a backup electric
generator to furnish
power to the Wheeler
Heights sewer lift station.
Of the $117,000
required for the three pro-

jects, CDBG funds will
provide $113,340, and the
city will provide the addi-
tional $3,660 in the form of

it 963-295-6300

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Since the printing of the
membership, we welcome
into the Historical S6ciety
Mosaic as a Corporate,
and the Fort Meade
Chamber of Commerce as
members for 2008.
Several members'
names were omitted in the
story. They are Kevin and
Diann Chioma, Jimmy
and Mary Coulter, Joe and
Wilma Coulter, Jimmy and
Betty Grunholzer, Wayne
and Marilyn Gunter,
Kenneth and Janet
Hancock, Vernon and
Mary Ellen Hancock, and
Duane and Audrey
Big plans were made at
the board meeting this
week for activities coming
up in the near future. The
month of April has been
proclaimed Velma Howell
Month, celebrating her
96th birthday. May is pro-
claimed as Olma Hendrick
Month, celebrating his
95th birthday. Big things
are going to happen in
those two months. I'll keep
you posted, but some of it
is a secret.

The Peninsula
Telephone Company came
into Fort Meade in
November 1903. The first
message was sent to
President Brorein on
Saturday, Oct. 10. Miss
Toxie Lebo presided over
Fort Meade's first tele-
phone exchange. Our pio-
neer families had to call.
and give the number to an
operator and she would
call the person they were
trying to reach. Things
have changed.
A new Board of Trade
was organized- at Fort
Meade in January 1905.
M.M. Loadholtes was pres-
ident, T.E. Hayes was vice
president, and W.H. Barr
was secretary and treasur-
A new telephone sys-
tem, fathered by Max Reif,
was installed in 1907. Alex

Officers elected for the Fort Meade Historical Society
for 2008 are LetaWright, president; Nancy Kitchings, vice
president; Olma Hendrick, second vice president; Amy
Purvis, treasurer; Janet Hancock, curator; and Karolyn
Nunnallee, secretary. (Photo provided)

Perry established an ice
plant, which began opera-
tion in July 1907 in the
same month and year. The
Charleston Mine, near
downtown, began produc-
ing phosphate.
In 1882, on May 7, the
Methodist church was ded-
icated. The structure cost
The Baptists had a
church organization at this
time, but no church build-
ing. But a new Baptist
church was built in 1907 on
land donated by Dr. O.B.
In May 1908, a post
office was established in
West Fort Meade. There
had been some contention
between the citizens of the
east end and those of the
west end, as to which
would have the post office,
but the argument was set-
tled by each having one.
L.D. Roberts was post-
master at the new West
Fort Meade location.
On Aug. 3, 1909,. fire
destroyed the buildings
occupied by Moody's drug
store, Auschewitz's jewelry
shop, Welsh and Sapp's
barbershop, and A.B.
Jones general merchan-
dise store. Loss was about

The town of Fort Meade
was incorporated Oct. 25,
1909. There were 121 qual-
ified voters in the territory,
and 91 of those were pre-
sent at the incorporation
meeting. The vote to
incorporate was unani-
Offices elected were: Dr.
O.B. Lewis, mayor; George
L. Broderick, clerk; Aaron
Simmons, marshall; and
councilmen were M.H.
Wilson, Jr., J.J. Singleton,
Kline O. Varn, S.H. Brown,
and PJ. Langford.
It is said that much
enthusiasm and good feel-
ing attended the event.
As we recall the past his-
tory of Fort Meade, we are
reminded that we still have
a number of families who
are related to our begin-
ning pioneer families.

Today Is Last

Ballot Mailing Day

From the Fort Meade

Historical Museum

will need to pick up their
absentee ballot at Election
Headquarters in Bartow.
Once a voter completes
the ballot, it must be
returned to election head-
quarters by 7 p.m. on elec-
tion day.

Linemen Competition

Planned Saturday

Lakeland Electric is
excited to host the 2008
Annual Florida Linemen's
Competition that will take
place on the grounds of
the Lakeland Center, 701
West Lime Street, on
Saturday, March 29.
This is a full day of com-
petition that tests the skills
and training of linemen
teams from across the
This year's competition
allows up to 50 teams and
50 apprentices to demon-
strate the safety, skill and
education of electric line-
There are two levels of
competition within the
rodeo: journeyman and
The journeyman teams
consist of three members
- two climbers and a
ground person. A qualified
journeyman has more than
four years of experience

within the electric utility
An apprentice
lineworker competes as an
individual and has four or
fewer years of experience.
The journeyman com-
petition will consist of six
timed events: hurt man
rescue, lamp and photo-
cell replacement, and four
mystery events. The
apprentice competition
will also include six timed
events. The mystery events
are revealed before com-
petition begins.
This competition is free
to the public and parking
is free.
Competition begins at 8
Kid's activities are
scheduled from 10 a.m to 2
p.m. There will be many
activities planned includ-
ing bucket truck rides, a
bounce house, and solar
car demonstrations.



Thursday, March 27
3:30 p.m.
Wilson Avenue Extension
Osprey Avenue,
Bartow Regional Medical

Saturday, March 29
9 a.m.
Keep Polk County
Beautiful's Great
American Clean-Up
Mary Holland Park

Monday, March 31
9:30 a.m.
Girl Scout House
355 N. Wilson Ave.


Protect your community
Live the adventure
Enjoy the camaraderie
Be a hometown hero




Senior Exhibition

Begins Friday At FSC

Florida Southern
College's Department of
Art and Art History pre-
sents its Senior Studio Art
Show in the Melvin Art
Gallery beginning March
28 and running through
April 11.
The John R. Reuter
Award for the Outstanding
Studio Artist will be
announced during the
opening night reception
on March 28.
Seniors exhibiting their

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Laura Javore, Christina
Kurz, and Stephanie
The Melvin Art Gallery is
open weekdays from 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m. and during inter-
missions of many perfor-
mances of the FSC Fine
Arts Series.
For more information,
contact the gallery at 680-

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* Notary Service

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Voters who plan to vote
by mail in the April 1 city
elections have until 5 p.m.
today to submit a request
to the supervisor ofelec-
tions office.
After today, voters
wanting to vote by mail

1 (800) FED-INFO
Your official source for
federal, state and local
government info.

1335 US Hwy. 17 S. Bartow, FL 33830


Mon. Thurs. 8:30 5
SFri. 8:30 6 Sat. 9 12

March 26, 2008

10nA The Polk County Democrat

. .

March 26,2008


The Polk County Democrat

Fishing Tournament Is Jacket Baseball Crushes Registration Opens for Florida

Saturday. March 29 Wauchula, Haines City Amateur Championship

" %L- %A-- --AL.7.- -.-- - I-

Fort Meade Athletic
Booster Club is sponsoring
its third annual fishing
tournament this Saturday.
Proceeds will go toward
the purchase of athletic
equipment for all FMMHS
The event will take
place at the Inshore Tampa
Bay Fishing Tournament at
Ruskin's Simmons Park

from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each
team may register for $50
and will be eligible for
prizes or cash for top
There will be $5 big
trout pot, as well as 50/50s.
Call Billy Attix at 512-
6359, Ron Taylor at 559-
4815, or Cindy Carrier at
285-8285 for more infor-

State Two-Man Shoot-Out

Now Accepting Entries

Florida State Two-Man
Shoot-Out is accepting
entries at for
the Championship on May
17-18 at LPGA
International in Daytona
Entries close April 16.
Teams of two will play
three competitive rounds

consisting of alternate
shot, two-man scramble
and the final 18 holes of
four-ball. Players will com-
pete on the Legends and
Champions Courses on
the first day and the
Legends on the final day.
Register online at

Bartow High School
boys' baseball team forced
the 10-run rule on
Wauchula in six innings
with a score of 12-2.
Starting pitcher Gage
Upthegrove pitched three
scoreless innings, allow-
ing only one hit. After
three innings completed,
the Jackets had a 9-0 lead
on the Wildcats.
Coach Reves decided to
change pitchers after hav-
ing such a big lead. Josh
Register would start the
fourth inning on the
mound for Bartow and
finish the game in the
sixth with no earned runs
The Hardee Wildcats
had a couple of unearned
runs in the fourth due to
some Jacket miscues.
Leading hitters were
freshmen Rick Holland
and Josh Delph,- and

senior Kelly Green.
Bartow iligh School
won against district oppo-
nent Haines City, 10-3, on
Upthegrove pitched
four complete innings,
not allowing an earned
run and recording six K's.
Register would come in
to finish the game on the
mound with a 6-1 lead.
Register would record four
K's in three innings with
Upthegrove getting the
win to move to 6-0 on the
season with a 0.21 ERA.
Leading hitters were
Ambrose Young, 3-4, and
Register, 2-4.
The Jackets move to 10-
3 on the season and 7-1 in
the district.
Bartow plays Ridge
Community in another
district game at home on

Be Prepared for Wildfire Danger

More and more people
are making their homes in
woodland settings in or
near forests, scrublands,
rural areas, or remote
mountain sites.
There, homeowners
enjoy the beauty of the
environment but face the
very real danger of wild-
Wildfires often begin
unnoticed. They spread
quickly, igniting brush,
trees, and homes.
Here are some tips to
protect your home and
Practice Wildfire Safety
People start most
wildfires. Find out how
you can promote and
practice wildfire safety.
Contact your local fire
department, health
department, or forestry
office for information on
fire laws. Make sure that
fire vehicles can get to
your home. Clearly mark
all driveway entrances arid
display your name and
Report hazardous con-
ditions that could cause a
Teach children about
fire safety. Keep matches
and lighters out of their
Post fire emergency
telephone numbers.
Plan several escape
routes away from your
home by car and by foot.
Talk to your neighbors
about wildfire safety. Plan
how the neighborhood
could work together after a
wildfire. Make a list of your
neighbors' skills, such as
medical or technical.
Consider how you could
help neighbors who have
special needs, such as

elderly or disabled per-
sons. Make plans to take
care of children who may
.be on their own if parents
can't get home.
Protect Your Home
Regularly clean roof
and gutters.
Inspect chimneys at
least twice a year. Clean
them at least once a year.
Keep the dampers in good
working order.
Equip chimneys and
stovepipes with a spark
arrester that meets the
requirements of National
Fire Protection
Association Code 211.
(Contact your local fire
department for exact spec-
Use 1/2-inch mesh
screen beneath porches,
decks, floor areas, and the
home itself. Also, screen
openings to floors, roof,
and attic.
Install a smoke detec-
tor on each level of your
home, especially near bed-
rooms; test monthly and
change the batteries at
least once each year.
Teach each family
member how to use the
fire extinguisher (ABC
type) and show them
where it's kept,
Keep a ladder that will
reach the roof.
Consider installing
protective shutters or
heavy fire-resistant
Keep handy house-
hold items that can be
used as fire tools: a rake,
axe, handsaw or chainsaw,
bucket, and shovel.
Before Wildfire Threatens
Design and landscape
your home with wildfire
safety in mind.
Select materials and

plants that can help con-
tain fire rather than fuel it.
Use fire resistant or
non-combustible materi-
als on the roof and exterior
structure of the dwelling.
Or treat wood or com-
bustible material used in
roofs, siding, decking, or
trim with UL-approved
fire-retardant chemicals.
Plant fire-resistant
shrubs and trees. For
example, hardwood trees
are less flammable than
pine, evergreen, eucalyp-
tus or fir trees.
Create a 30- to 100-Foot
Safety Zone Around Your
SWithin this.area, you
can take steps to reduce
potential exposure to
flames and radiant heat.
Homes built in pine forests
should have a minimum
safety zone of 100 feet.
If your home sits on a
steep slope, standard pro-
tective measures may not
suffice. Contact your local
fire department or forestry
office for additional infor-
Rake leaves, dead
limbs, and twigs. Clear all
flammable vegetation.
Remove leaves and
rubbish from under struc-
tures and dispose of them
S* Thin a 15-foot space
between tree crowns, and
remove limbs within 15
'feet of the ground.
Remove dead branch-
es that extend over the
Prune tree branches
and shrubs within 15 feet
of a stovepipe or chimney
Ask the power compa-
ny to clear branches from
power lines.

Remove vines from the
walls of the home.
Mow grass regularly.
Clear a 10-foot area
around propane tanks and
the barbecue. Place a
screen over the grill use
non-flammable material
with mesh no coarser than
one-quarter inch.
Regularly dispose of
newspapers and rubbish
at an approved site. Follow
local burning regulations.
Place stove, fireplace,
and grill ashes in a metal
bucket, soak in water for
two days, then bury the
cold ashes in mineral soil.
Store gasoline, oily
rags, and other flammable
materials in approved
safety cans. Place cans in a
safe location away from
the base of buildings.
Stack firewood at least
100 feet away and uphill
from your home. Clear
combustible material
within 20 feet. Use only
UL-approved wood burn-
ing devices.
Plan Your Water Needs
Identify and maintain
an adequate outside water
source such as a small
pond, cistern, well, swim-
ming pool, or hydrant.
Have a garden hose
that is long enough to
reach any area of the home
and other structures on
the property.
Install freeze-proof
exterior water outlets on at
least two sides of the home
and near other structures
on the property. Install
additional outlets at least
50 feet from the home.
Consider obtaining a
portable gasoline-pow-
ered pump in case electri-
cal power is cut off.

The top golf amateurs
in the state will compete at
Jupiter Hills Club in
Tequesta on June 19
through 22 in the 91st
Amateur Championship.
First, competitors must
attempt to qualify for the
championship at one of 13
sites across the state.
Register online at as entries
close on May 7.
From May 27 to June 10,
the Florida State Golf
Association will conduct
13 qualifying tournaments
of 18 holes of stroke play
for golfers trying to
advance to the Amateur
Championship at Jupiter
In the championship,
participants will play 18
holes each on the Village
and Hills Course on June
19 and 20. After 36 holes,
the field will be cut to the
low 70 and ties. The final
36 holes of the champi-
onship will be played on
the Hills Course on June
21 and 22.
Defending champion,
Matthew Galloway of
Valrico, fired a 69-70-70-
71 280 at the
Innisbrook Resort and
Golf Club to win the 90th
Amateur Championship.
Galloway, as well as other
former state amateur
champions, are exempt
from the qualifying


Remember the ban-
ners that used to be
stretched across South
Broadway to promote
community events (and
at least one candidate for
city commission)?
The Bartow Marketing
Partnership does, and it
wants to see them again,
at least for community
Banners across public
streets stretched
between city utility poles
were banned when the
city adopted its sign ordi-
nance several years ago.
Mayor Brian Hinton, a
member of the market-
ing partnership, said the
organization would like
to see them again.

"It's part of the charm
of the community," he
He'd like to see ban-
ners promote events like
the Kiwanis Club pan-
cake breakfast and the
Crickette Club
Halloween parade and
His fellow commis-
sioners were receptive,
but nobody suggested
that political banners be
allowed again.
City Atty. Sean Parker
said he would prepare an
amendment to the sign
ordinance to allow the
banners, perhaps limit-
ing them to Main Street
and Broadway.



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S Lakeland Office I.. ilaable for Con iulhijon

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June 3 Santa Rosa,
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June 5 GC at
Bridgewater, Lakeland
June 6 Legacy Golf
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June 9 Shula's,
Miami Lakes
June 9 Grande
Pines, Orlando
June 10 Southwood,

March 26,2008

12A The Polk County Democrat

City Candidates Answer Questions at Community Forum

(Continued from Page 1A)

believed all laws must be
followed, no matter what.

Affordable Living
Asked how to keep
Bartow an affordable place
to live, Bretz said that bal-
ancing the city budget was
a top priority. He said he
would trust in the city
manager and look at pos-
sible grant monies to lower
the burden on the taxpay-
Cochran said that com-
missioners have to stay
within budgeted funds. He
also said that they could
not focus on just one item
at a time and ignore oth-
ers. He wanted to stop
raising the prices for utili-
"If we don't do some-
thing quick, we'll be in a
hole so deep we'll never
get out," he said.
Lewis said that the city
should explore new
sources of revenue to
increase diversity. The city
has a fiberoptic system in
place for its own buildings,
he said, and they should
offer to sell the service to
homes and businesses. He
also recommended getting
more miles out of city
vehicles before replacing
Schreiber said that the
budget problems had
existed for many years,
and that there were lean
years and full years. He
said he was not sure where
new sources of revenue
could come from, and so
the city would have to
make do with what it had.

Sheriff and Police
Cochran said that he
thought Sheriff Grady
Judd's offer to take over the
city's law enforcement was
a very good offer to save
the city some money, and
that he couldn't under-
stand why the commission
turned it down. He also
said that he would feel
safer under the sheriff
than the Bartow police
force, because every time
he had been sent to jail it
was by a Bartow police
officer for something
Lewis said that he loved
the city employees, and
noted that even when the
Bartow police officers are
off-duty, many of them are
still living in town, provid-
ing 24 hours of service. He
said that he liked Judd, but
that the sheriff already had
a full plate keeping the
county safe.
Lewis also pointed out
that the contract was with
Judd specifically. "If we

contract with the sheriff,
after five years, where are
we?" he asked. If the city is
forced to deal with a new
sheriff and a new price,
there would be a signifi-
cant cost to rebuilding the
police force from the
ground up, he said.
Schreiber said that he
had talked with many citi-
zens about this issue. He
also cited an older discus-
sion about whether to
contract out the sanitation
department, and how the
citizens had decided they
would rather pay more to
keep sanitation run by the
city. Most citizens he had
talked to felt the same way
about the police force, he
He also said that he did
not see why it had to be an
either/or proposition,
either. He said that Bartow
should receive the same
level of service from the
county sheriff's office that
the unincorporated areas
Bretz said that he was in
favor of whatever was best
for Bartow, and that he
agreed about the costs of
starting up a police force
from scratch should the
contract turn out to be
unfavorable in the future.
He said that growth
needs to be controlled so
that the police force could
effectively serve new
developments. He said
that new development
areas should make room
for police substations.

Growth and City Limits
Regarding city growth,
expanding the city limits,
and taking into account
the concerns of rural non-
residents of the city, Lewis
said that he thought that
everyone's voice 'should be
heard and that the city
must consider the feelings
of everyone.
"Many of them are our
friends and members of
the community," he said.
'Schreiber said that the
growth was both unprece-'
dented and unavoidable.
He said the Bartow Vision
called for development on
U.S. Highway 98 and E.E
Griffin Road, because
those areas were best pre-
pared to provide the nec-
essary services such as
sewage and water.
He said that the com-
mission should take into
consideration the con-
cerns of the county, but
that it must also look to
the future and think about
what is good for the city.
Bretz said that growth
had to be handled with
common sense, and that
there should be teamwork

between Bartow and,:
Lakeland to get a handle
on growth. The focus
should be on Bartow, its
citizens, and its employ-
ees, he said.
Cochran said that he
loves growth, but that
growth before utilities are
in place is bad for every-
body. He does not think it
is right to be put on water
restrictions to accommo-
date the new develop-
ments. He also said that
impact fees did not cover
all the costs like they had

SRun-off Elections
: In Barrow city elections,
there is no longer a run-off
election if none of the can-
didates wins more than 50
percent of the vote.
Whichever candidate wins
the .most votes wins the
election, even if he does
not win the majority.
.Schreiber said that he
was on the commission
during this referendum,
and that he voted against
it. He said that a run-off is
a valuable tool to make
sure a candidate has got-
ten a majority of support.
But now that it is a law, he
said he will abide by the
city charter.
Bretz said that he did
not see the other candi-
dates as opponents, and
thAt he commended all
who run for public office.
He said that he respected
the citizens' decision to
vote the way they did.
Cochran said he was
against dropping run-offs,
and that people should be
able to pick another candi-
date to make their final
choice, even if it costs
money to have additional
Lewis said that he was
willing to abide by the vot-
ers' decision, but he noted
that voter turnout had
dropped since that elec-
tion. He supports putting
the referendum back on
the ballot for this election
to see if the current partic-
ipating electorate felt the
same way. If the citizens
voted against run-offs
again, he said, then he
would let the issue go.

Saving Money
Bretz said that the
biggest problem facing the
city was money, and that
the city needed to come
together as a team. He
thought each department
should be itemized in the
budget, and that the com-
mission should keep an
open mind to do what's
Cochran agreed that
money was the biggest

problem, and that the city
should reduce wasteful
spending. He was opposed
to outside contracting,
saying that the city
employees should do
those jobs because they
are already being paid to
do them. He also said that
the city should reduce the
number of city employees
who are doing nothing but
drive around, that they
should quit buying new
vehicles all the time.
Lewis said that he dis-
agreed with Cochran, and
that the city employees are
assets rather than liabili-
ties. He suggested going to
the employees for ideas on
how to save money. He
also said that the commis-
sion should go through the
budget line-by-line, trim-
ming what it can.
Schreiber said that it is
difficult to reduce the city's
problems to one. He wants
to restore the citizens'
faith and trust in the city,
and that he had problems
with the number of law-
suits. He would prefer that
there be more dialogue, as
it is puzzling when there is
no comment when a vote
on the commission goes 3-
He also said that it was
important for Bartow to
fight the Cedar landfill.

When deciding on
whether to annex a new
area, Cochran said he
would base his decision on
the density of the area. He
only wants to incorporate
low density areas, which
he defines as two houses
per acre. It may not make
as much money through
utilities, he said, but it will
create better neighbor-
Lewis said that the
process of annexation
should be based on
Bartow's comprehensive
plan, but if there are prob-
lems with that plan then it
needs to be changed.
There is a lot of aggrava-
tion because the compre-
hensive plan ties the city's
hands, he said, and it was
time to get busy and
change that. He said that
he. would prefer to see
lower density levels in the
Schreiber said he would
base annexation on
whether it was good for
the city and its citizens -
where it was located,
what it would contribute,
and what was the opposi-
tion. He said that the citi-
zens rarely oppose annex-
ing new areas.
He said that the growth
management act dictated

how the city must consider
zoning, and that only
information provided at
the hearing could be con-
sidered in the decision.
Following these rules
meant the commissioners
couldn't always do what
they'd like to, he said.
Bretz said that he sup-
ported low density devel-
opment, and that he felt
the citizens were unin-
formed about many of the
development issues in the
city. He suggested improv-
ing the website to help get
the word out, and see how
the citizens.. feel.
Ultimately the commis-
sion would have to trust in
the city manager, he said.

Code Enforcement
At a recent city commis-
sion meeting, there was a
request to create a new
ordinance to limit the
noise generated by loud
"jake-brakes" on trucks-
coming through town. The
police department said
that they could watch for
jake-brakes, or alterna-
tively they could watch for
the semis running the red
lights on U.S. Highways 17
and 60 it is impossible
to enforce everything. This
prompted a question con-
cerning what the biggest
code enforcement issues
were in the city.
Lewis said, that*:; he
thought they were doing a
great job, and that he did-
n't see a specific area of
code enforcement that
needed targeting.
Schreiber said that it.
was a difficult issue, and it
was one of the reasons he
wanted to create a code
enforcement office many
years ago. He said that he
does not want to increase
the number of employees
in the office, but wanted to
increase the number of
employees reporting viola-
tions, such as the employ-
ees in the sanitation
department, who know
the neighborhoods "better
than anybody." That way,
the city would not have to
rely on neighbor reporting
on neighbor.
Bretz said that his wife
served for many years on
the code enforcement
committee, and that it was
a thankless job. He said'
that citizens were the key
to the whole thing, and
that the city needs to
check out complaints by

the citizens and not just
fluff them off.
Cochran said that there
was a lot of noise running
through Bartow, from train
whistles to chickens to
boom boxes, but it was
hard to enforce. He also
said that while a lot of peo-
ple get upset about boats
and trailers being parked
in yards, he thought the
biggest eyesore was high
grass, and that the biggest
violator was the city.
In closing, Schreiber
said that the citizens
should consider issues,
,:experience, and knowl-
edge. He said that the new
commissioner must ,,be
able to work with other
commissioners, and even
other cities about regional
issues. He said his philoso-
phy was not, "if it's not
broke, break it," but rather,
"if it's broke, fix it."
Lewis joked that the
forum had just solved all
the problems of the city,
but said that it was an
important election and
that there was a lot of work
ahead for the commission.
He said that if you were
looking for a slick politi-
cian, he was not your man,
but he was an. everyday
Bartow citizen.
Cochran, said he had
'been born and raisqti in
Bartow, and that hi had
been going fo'9G kiission
meetings for years. He said
that Bartow needed to
elect its mayor, and that
passing it around amongst
the commissioners was
undemocratic. He said it
was a time for change, and
that he was the city's ulti-
mate unpaid consultant.
He also said that he would
run the next time there
was an open election.
Bretz 'agreed about the
importance of the election
and the need to manage
growth.,to keep the small
town feel of Bartow. He
said the job would take
TRUST. teamwork,
respect, understanding,
saving, and training.
He also said he wanted
to keep. out the landfill,
upgrade the police and fire
departments, revitalize
downtown Bartow,
increase the availability of
.activities for all ages, and
increase citizen involve-
merft '
:The election will be
held April 1 at the Bartow
Civic Center.

Deputy Barker Dies From Injuries

Polk County Sheriff's
Office Deputy Darryl
Barker died Saturday from
injuries he sustained in an
off-duty crash about three
weeks ago.
Barker, 24, was off-duty,
and riding his personal
motorcycle, when the
crash occurred about 3:50
p.m., Feb. 29, PCSO
spokesman Donna Wood
said at the time.
Riding a Honda, Barker
,was traveling west on Fort
Meade Road, when he
attempted to pass a vehi-
cle and crashed into a
pickup truck at the inter-
section of Fort Meade and
Hopson Roads.
Barker was taken to
Lakeland Regional
Medical Center in critical
condition, Wood said.

Barker was wearing a
helmet and protective
gear; the truck, driver was
wearing a seat belt and

Darryl Barker

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was uninjured.
Barker was assigned to
the East Region Division,
Southeast District, as a
deputy in Frostproof.
Visitation will be

Thursday at First Baptist
Church of Frostproof,
with the funeral at the
same church on Friday,
March 28, at 2 p.m.

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- MAreb 26. 200R The Polk County Democrat 13A

AND THEY'RE OFF parents and children charge down the field at IMC Agrico Park to collect eggs in the annual Bartow Kiwanis Club egg hunt Saturday.

WHERE'S MY TREAT? CarrieAnn Pannebaker
attempts to pull apart her latest find, eager to get at the
goodies inside.

LOOK TO THE FUTURE It's always a good idea to set a new goal
once you've achieved your current one.

SHE SHOOTS, SHE SCORES Is there a promising
basketball career in her future?

Staff photos by

A HELPING HAND Sometimes it's better to let
someone else do the hard work of opening an egg so you
can enjoy the sweet rewards.


Community Southern Bank is thrilled to welcome the newest member of our team,
Melissa Pittman. Melissa has joined us as Manager at our new loan office in Bartow
because she, too, was looking for a new direction in banking. Come see her at 175
South Central Ave. in Bartow
175 SOUTH CENTRAL AVE. BARTOW 863-519-0101


Member FDIC

I L I .~ ~~

The Polk County Democrat 13A

March 26.2008nF


* .o ." -.:. .. --.

March 26,2008

The Polk County Democrat

I l






/)n /Ap-

IJ a

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