The Polk County Democrat
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028292/00709
 Material Information
Title: The Polk County Democrat
Uniform Title: Polk County Democrat (Bartow, Fla.)
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Associated Publications Corp.
Place of Publication: Bartow Fla
Creation Date: December 31, 2011
Frequency: semiweekly[1946-<1992>]
weekly[ former <1936>-1946]
Subjects / Keywords: Newspapers -- Bartow (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Polk County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )
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
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000579548
oclc - 33886838
notis - ADA7394
lccn - sn 95047484
System ID: UF00028292:00709
 Related Items
Preceded by: Polk County record

Full Text

Visit us on the Internet at www.PolkCountyDemocrat.com

Te Saturday
December 31, 2011

Polk County Democrat

Bartow's Hometown Newspaper Since 1931


Larry Weston and his attorney Katrina Barcel-
lona. He was convicted of murder Nov. 17.
More to remember, 14A
Softball team finishes
second in state
Although the Bartow High School
Yellow Jackets girls softball team fell
just one run shy of winning an eighth
state title last May 15, losing to Nicev-
ille 2-1, they left the diamond with
heads held high, albeit tear-streaked.
"They're disappointed, but nothing
to hang their head," said Head Coach
Glenn Rutenbar. "It was tough (losing).
It was very difficult, being that close."
In the same breath, he paid tribute to
his squad. "They did everything they
could." In an interesting twist, said
Rutenbar, Niceville was runner-up in
2010 to East Lake, which the Yellow
Jackets stunned in an amazing upset,
4-0, to reach the championship game.
East Lake was rated the No. 2 team in
the U.S. In its quest to win the state
title for the first time since 1986, the
Yellow Jackets, which were 28-2 for the
season, battled through tough times.
Kathy Dobson, the mother of Kimmy
Booker, the team's catcher, died. The
team dedicated their season to the
memory of Booker's mother. They also
dedicated their season to Bob "Fitzy"
Fitzgerald, who was an assistant coach

Bartow, Polk County Florida 33830


Elsie the Borden cow relaxes at High Gait Farm
in Homeland.

Yellow Jackets leave the field after losing the
state finals 2-1 to Niceville on May 15.



A honeybee approaches a flowering blueberry bush at Clear Springs Blueberry Farm. It is said
that 70 percent of all fruits and vegetables need pollination by bees. This bee is doing his stuff
at Robert Bell's Bell Apiaries.

Copyright 2011 Sun Coast Media Group, Inc.




City police note

report, recent death

increase awareness
With the county still grieving over
the recent loss of 25-year old Lakeland
Police Officer Arnulfo Crispin killed in
the line of duty Dec. 21, the state is now
dealing with a blow, Florida has just
been named the most deadliest state for
cops leading the nation in the number
of officers killed by gunfire.
According to a report by the National
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Fund as of Dec. 29, 173 federal, state
and local law enforcement officers were
killed in the line of duty this year as
compared to 153 in 2010. This marks
the second year in a row fatalities have
been on the rise with 122 officers killed
in 2009, a staggering 42 percent in-
crease over the last two years. Out of
the 173, 68 of the deaths were due to
firearms, 64 were traffic related and 41
were from other causes.
Florida leads the nation with pre-
liminary data showing 14 officers slain
while protecting their community in
2011, 10 of whom were killed within
the first six months of this year. Florida
is followed in high police fatalities by
Texas with 13, New York with 11, Cali-
fornia with 10 and Georgia with 10. For
the first time, more officers were killed
this year in firearms-related incidents
rather than traffic-related deaths.
Officials nationwide are blaming
drastic budget cuts to law enforcement
agencies as the cause for the sober-
ing numbers placing our men in blue
in additional danger due to layoffs,
cutbacks, less training and equipment
while crime continues to escalate. It
is estimated that by the end of this


Page 4A
Police Beat......
Page 5A
County Report.
Page 8A
Page 9A

Pages 11A-12A
Page 16A
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Page 6A-


City commission meeting to be held on Tuesday

Due to the New Year holiday closings,
Bartow's City Commission work session
and meeting will Tuesday, Jan. 3 begin-
ning at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall on 450 N.
Wilson Avenue.
Business on the docket for the work
session will include a discussion on
the Environmental Protection Agency's
Asbestos-Cement Pipe Bursting Policy,
an effective method of replacing utility
pipeline systems owned and/or oper-
ated by its members and other munici-
palities across the nation to rehabilitate
aging and deteriorating infrastructure.
Pipe bursting typically leaves aging
asbestos-cement pipe underground, but
is considered a cost-effective option for
protection of the environment and public
health as opposed to having to remove
the pipe, exposing the entire pipeline to
the environment and disposing of it in

landfills. The EPA seeks to implement a
consistent national policy regarding the
applicability of the asbestos National
Emission Standards for Hazardous Air
Pollutants requirements to pipe bursting
of asbestos-cement pipe.
Items on the agenda for the regular
meeting scheduled to follow the work
session at 6:30 p.m. include the consid-
eration of a resolution supporting po-
lice officer and firefighter pension plan
and disability presumption reforms.
The goal is to make the plans sustain-
able, sound and secure for current and
future police officers and firefighters.
Another resolution to be discussed
pertains to requesting authorization
from the Florida Legislature to start
the application process to establish a
Florida Enterprise Zone, and allowing
the Bartow Community Redevelopment
Agency's Executive Director, Patrick
Brett, to represent the City of Bartow in
the process.

The Florida Enterprise Zone Program
offers businesses located in enterprise
zones corporate and sales tax credits
for hiring residents of the zones. Sales
tax refunds are offered to businesses
located in the zone that purchase build-
ing materials and business equipment
for use in the zone with corporate tax
credits available to new and expand-
ing businesses that locate or expand
their facilities in a zone. In addition to
state incentives, local governments also
provide a number of incentives to at-
tract new businesses, as well as to help
existing businesses expand.
According to an annual report of the
Florida Enterprise Zone Program, from
Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010,
7,559 new businesses moved into or
were created in enterprise zones, and
6,784 new jobs were created by busi-
nesses located in enterprise zones.
Brett has been campaigning for a
package deal incorporating an Enter-

prise Zone and a Green Zone targeted
along the U.S. 17 corridor as a major
tool to boost the grim economy. In
order to bring the vision to fruition,
agreements have to be reached with the
county, Fort Meade, Bartow, Eloise and
Eagle Lake. Once that is achieved, the
state Legislature has to pass a bill to al-
low the area to work together.
Last on the agenda will be a first read-
ing and consideration of an ordinance
approving the final plat of Clear Springs
Corporate Park located on 18,000 acres
in Bartow along the eastern and south-
ern borders. The park, with a master
plan that includes agriculture, a cor-
porate research park, industrial offices,
retail and hospitality, recreation and
conservation, will also be home to Polk
State when they move their Corporate
College to the location.
To download a copy of the agenda
you may go to the City of Bartow's web
site at www.cityofbartow.net.

Vendor space available for Brown Festival

The L.B. Brown Festival is
coming up for the 12th time and
the organizers are ready to get
forms for those who want to be a
Starting Sunday, the fee to be a
vendor is $150 at the festival. After
Jan. 15 that fee goes to $175 and
after Feb. 5, if there is still space,
the fee rises to $200.
The rise in the prices this year
is to encourage people to sign up
early as in the past vendors have
waited until the last week and it
makes things a bit harder for the

The event which is held at the
L.B. Brown House on L.B. Brown
Boulevard, features entertain-
ment, education and fun for the
whole family. The yard across the
street from the historical house
is loaded with those selling crafts
and food and has games for the
This year's theme for the festival
is African Americans and The Civil
War and will feature Jarvis Rosier
who will speak Saturday of U.S.
Colored Troops participation in
the Civil War. There will be a group
of black Seminole warriors and on

Friday there will be the L.B. Brown
Youth Leadership Awards.
There will also be a fashion show
and educational displays at the
house and on the stage in front of
the house.
The festival is set for Friday,
Feb. 9-Sunday, Feb. 12. It will run
from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Sat-
urday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
Lewis said vendor space is lim-
ited and those who are interested
can get a form at www.lbbrown.
com. For information people
can call (863) 534-0100 or email

Hundreds of people attend the annual Brown Festival and
vendor spaces are currently being accepted.

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December 31, 2011

Page 2A The Polk County Democrat

- ' "k x 2,-i : "-- '-



"Winter Haven Hospital is


at the forefront of urologic care."

Sijo Parekattil, M.D.
Director of Urology and Robotics
Winter Haven Hospital

t..*'*". .- ,-. a

Winter Haven





We are pleased to welcome Sijo Parekattil, M.D., as
Director of Urology and Robotics at Winter Haven Hospital. Board
certified in Urology, Dr. Parekattil is one of the world's most
renowned robotic micro-surgeons having performed more
robotic microsurgery procedures than any other surgeon in
the world. He joins us full time from the University of Florida
College of Medicine and Shands Healthcare and will continue
his work as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Co-director
of Robotic Surgery in the University's Urology Department.

The addition of Dr. Parekattil provides Polk County men and
women with access to university-level urologic research and
care-exciting new treatment options for prostate cancer,
infertility, chronic groin pain and women's health. Please join
us in welcoming Dr. Parekattil to the Winter Haven community.

Compassion. Innovation. Trust. We're your family's choice.

For more- information about Winter Haven Hospital's
Center for Urology, call 863-292-4652.

The Polk County Democrat Page 3A

December 31, 2011


Don't slice and dice Polk

Feeling a bit sliced and diced of late? If you are a
resident of Polk County you should. You have just
been handled like a cabbage in a cole slaw factory by
the Florida Senate.
The Senate's new proposed boundaries for United
States Congressional districts each contain nearly
700,000 people. Lake Wales, with it's 14,000, should fit
neatly into a single district with room to spare.
Room for another 49 towns our size, in fact.
Yet the Senate proposes to chop Lake Wales into
three different districts.
Why is such a ridiculous plan even being consid-
ered? The descriptive term most commonly used
is 'gerrymandering.' It represents politics wherein
elected officials pick their voters, instead of the other
way around.
What happens when a community is chopped into
little pieces is not pretty.
While our small voter bloc might have a difficult
time gaining the attention of one elected official,
what will happen if we are reduced to a handful of

Our Viewpoint
voters at the far-distant edges of three districts domi-
nated by large urban areas?
To illustrate, the redistricting would place the
Hampton Inn on U.S. 27, Lake Wales Medical Center
on State Road 60, and Legion Field in downtown
Lake Wales in three different congressional districts.
Political clout is a valuable commodity anywhere. It
can make the difference between getting a fair shake
and just being left shaken.
Several recent developments in Lake Wales, nota-
bly the conversion of the old city hall into Polk State
College, and laws allowing for fair funding of Lake
Wales Charter Schools, have been born out of a brief
encounter with political clout.
Read that as having a powerful and capable legisla-
tor like J.D. Alexander representing Lake Wales.
All of eastern Polk County has long suffered from
less attention and funding than the more populous

west. That effect has been long noted in decisions by
both the county commission and the school board.
When clout is removed, money flows elsewhere.
Attention to local problems fades.
This entire debacle comes shortly after Florida
voters approved two constitutional amendments, by
overwhelming margins, requiring our legislators to
keep districts compact and follow existing boundaries
to protect communities.
While nothing that the present Florida Legislature
does is surprising anymore, this is yet more proof that
we, the voters, have completely lost control of our
state government.
No longer does Florida enjoy a political system
wherein good ideas are debated and refined, and bad
ideas are killed.
Majorities are absolute, and absolute power most
often does what is in its best interest.
Polk County is being treated like a commodity, and
the knives are out.
The screams should be heard in Tallahassee.

A tradition of tree burning

This evening, five-and-a-half hours or so
before the odometer turns over onto 2012,
a pile of Bartow's discarded Christmas,
trees will be set afire, the 75th anniversary
of the beginning of this tradition.
The event began in 1936, a date I can
put forward with a sense of certainty,
partly because most of you were not here
then, but mainly because Dad told me 15
years ago that he attended the first one
with Louise Kelley, whom he would marry
the following year.
That event (the marriage, not the tree
burning) carries great significance with
me, because without that marriage, I
would not be here today; indeed, I would
not be anywhere.
For many years, Dad was master of
ceremonies for the tree burning.
Some have wondered why you need
an MC for a bonfire. It's because Bartow
is a town steeped in tradition, and tradi-
tion means doing things the way we have
always done them. That's why.
Around the mid-1990s, Dad developed
a cold on NewYear's Eve, and asked me to
fill in for him. The following year, he sug-
gested that I take over his MC duties.
My spiel has changed little over the
years, though I have corrected a few minor
errors. I appreciate the fact that the same
people, by and large, keep coming out to
hear me say the same thing every New
Year's Eve.

The tree burning was begun at the
behest of Nye Jordan, long-time head of
Peninsular Telephone Co., a volunteer
fireman, and for many years, a Bartow
city commissioner. Mr. Nye, as he was
addressed by people younger than him -
which was most of the English-speaking
world said it was bad luck to have a
Christmas tree still in your house past New
Year's Eve.
Dad always suspected that Mr. Nye
started that superstition himself, because
as a firefighter, he was only too familiar
with the danger of having a dried out ever-
green in your living room.
A few years ago, a someone told me they



S.L. Frisbie

S.L Frisbie can be contacted at

were familiar with the same superstition,
and believed it originated in New Orleans.
At any rate, the tree burning is a tradition
of seven-and-a-half decades, though it was
discontinued during World War II lest it
serve as a beacon to German bombers. We
would truly hate to have had one of our tree
burnings destroyed by enemy aircraft.
Thirty-six years ago, it looked like the
tree burning would fade from history,
because nobody wanted to be in charge.
Eda Marchman, a classmate of mine from
Summerlin-by-gosh-Institute, stepped for-
ward and announced that she was taking
over. The job is a little like being treasurer
of your church: nobody will ever try to take
it away from you.
The growing popularity of artificial
trees has resulted in smaller and smaller
bonfires in recent years, and the wooden
utility pole around which the trees are
stacked now towers above the pile.
Many households, upon discovering
that their own discarded trees have not
been picked up for the event, take them
out and add them to the pile near the
south end of Mary Holland Park.
Want to experience a bit of local culture?
Come join us tonight at 6:30.
Bring a lawn chair, some bug repellent,
and a willingness to chuckle at the same
old anecdotes I've been telling for the past
15 years or so, OK?
(S. L. Frisbie is retired. Note that he uses
the word "discarded" trees, not "live" trees.
From the moment they are cut down, they
become "dead" trees, but somehow, that just
doesn't have the same ambiance.)


Education not the solution

Some Americans tout more education
as a way to significantly reduce unem-
ployment in the United States.
Did thousands of our factories close
and millions of jobs disappear because
we lacked education? Of course not;
these jobs went to Asia because workers
were abundant there at far lower cost.
Are workers on Chinese assembly lines
more educated than millions of Ameri-
cans who lost such jobs?
Business is business, and many pro-
pose that our government be run more
like a business. Not so fast! This could
lead to yet more outsourcing. Would
you like to see a million Asians join our
military forces at half the dollars paid to
To dramatize my point, let us pre-
sume that a genie waves a magic wand
and instantly all our high school and
college students have graduated, in-
cluding those studying for advanced

degrees. Do you see U.S. business lead-
ers rushing to reopen assembly lines
so these millions of better-educated
people can step forward to make items
the Asians are currently making for
us? Or would you see these Americans
added to the unemployed? Can you
hear them begging the government
to do something to create more jobs?
Another magic wand is needed.
To believe that education will cure
our unemployment woes, if, to use an
old expression, hogwash. In as much as
I possess three college degrees, I should
use a more erudite term. How about
"porcine grime removing shampoo?"
Of course more education is favor-
able to most people and nations, but to
proclaim that it can do much to reduce
our current unemployment is, well, just
Arland R. Meade

The Polk County Democrat
i Jim Gouvellis Publisher
* Aileen Hood General Manager Jeff Roslow Editor Peggy Kehoe Managing Editor

Published every Wednesday and Saturday at
190 South Florida, Avenue
by Sun Coast Media Group, Inc. at its Office.
Periodical postage paid at Lakeland, Florida 33805
and additional Entry Office
*Phone (863) 533-4183 *Fax (863) 533-0402
Postmaster: Send address changes to
190 South Florida Avenue
Bartow, FL 33830

Six Months.............$25.68 One Year..............$41.73
Six Months..............$...$24.00 One Year......................... $39.00
Six Months.................. $40.00 One Year....................$...$65.00
Six Months.................... 44.00 One Year........................... $72.00

We welcome your letters
Letters are welcome on virtually any subject, but we do have
some rules. Please keep them to less than 250 words. Letters
will be edited to length as well as grammar and spelling. All
letters must be signed with full name not initials. An address
and telephone number must be included. The phone number and
address are not for publication, but must be provided. The Letters
to the Editor section is designed as a public forum for community
discourse and the opinions and statements made in letters are
solely those c.:f irie individual writers. Readers in the Bartow area
can send letters and column submissions to enerpci poicrun.
tydemocrat.com or mail rhem to 190 South Florida Avenue,
Bartow, FL 33830

December 31, 2011

e gaP 4A The Polk County Democrat


December 31, 2011 The Polk County Democrat Page 5A

Ate M m u..at ~, edf pdi an&
P O LC E I" o of~teiumid vaa d dorumawd by

Taylor Phillips, 18, 5748 Pipes Road driving
without a valid license.
James Mahon, 25,1260 W. (lower Street posses-
sion of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Dec. 11
Rufino Benitez-Aguirre, 31, 4770 Transport Road -
disorderly intoxication in public.

Prince Frederick, 24,1060 S. Golfview Avenue #17 -
Benjamin Mason, 22, 2975 Warfield Drive -
burglary, grand theft larceny and violation of probation.
Carl Kimbril, 27, 545 Elizabeth Avenue burglary
with assault, kidnapping a minor for ransom and battery.
Markida Tucker, 23, 980 E. Church #203-B battery
and violation of probation.

Caitlin Gay, 18, 520 Broadway Avenue South -
burglary and petit theft larceny.
Christopher Phipps, 21, 4042 Magnolia Avenue,

Highland City violation of probation.
Michael Myers, 51, 5616 SE 3rd Street #21, Highland
City out-of-county warrant.

Weston Vlier, 39, 2237 Hwy. 17 South grand theft

Erik Allen, 28, 4231 Bomber Road possession of
marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.
Ryan Faulkner, 22,260 W. Van Fleet Drive #36 -

Dustin Medler, 18, 310 Lake Millsite Road -- crimes
against person-corrupt by threat public servant or family.
James Gist, 34, 310 Lake Millsite Road possession
of amphetamine within 1,000 feet of a place of worship
with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance
without a prescription, resisting arrest with violence,
battery on an officer and evidence tampering.
Zaid Richardson, 27, 779 Lauren Court posses-
sion of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of
marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and driving with
a suspended license.

Deputies to look for drunk drivers

Polk County Sheriff's Traffic deputies
will be conducting DUI patrols county-
wide Friday through Sunday to detect,
stop and arrest impaired drivers.
Members of the DUI Enforcement
Unit will also be patrolling the road-
ways of Polk County in order to safe-
guard motorists from those who are
driving impaired.
"The message is simple drinking al-
cohol and driving do not mix. If you plan
to consume alcohol, you should plan

not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle
or ride a motorcycle," said Sheriff Giady
Judd. "If you are found to be driving un-
der the influence, you will go to jail."
According to the National Highway
Traffic Safety Association, "drunk-driv-
ing deaths declined in 2010 in many
parts of the country. However, the data
also show that fatalities from alcohol-
impaired driving crashes continue to
account for one in three deaths on
American roadways each year."

The Polk County Sheriff's Office is
looking for two men who allegedly
robbed a convenience store on U.S. 17
in Bartow.
At 12:23 a.m. Friday, Dec. 30 two armed
men went into Cumberland Farms, 4660
U.S. 17 in Bartow and demanded money.
The suspects got cash from the clerk and
also left with other items from the store,
the sheriff's office reports.
The suspects are described as: both
black men, one is between 5-foot-6
and 5-foot-8, 160 pounds wearing blue

basketball-style shorts, a black shirt
and wearing a mask. The second is
between 6 feet and 6-foot-2, about 180
pounds, wearing a short sleeved dark-
colored shirt, long dark-colored pants,
a black mask and a blue bandana. Both
suspects were armed, the sheriff's office
Both left the store and fled north.
Anyone with information should call
Detective Jason Whatley at

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The Polk County Democrat Page 5A

December 31, 2011

Pan ~ A The Polk County D em ocrat______ __ ___ ____ ______ ___ ___ D ecem ber3-- -- ----- .- 1 20.11..11111111111.11111111111.111111.

Turning animals into works of art

Preserving wildlife he did for himself at first, but

now he does it for others


Electrician, artist, sculptor, musician,
taxidermist ... An unlikely mix, but all
rolled into one in Gary "Hank" Henry of
Bowling Green.
Walk into a small workshop on Henry's
property on County Line Road and you
find lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Not
to mention a herd of deer, a flock of wild
turkeys and some incredibly huge fish. All
are beautifully silent and captured in their
last moments, some mounted on the wall,
some standing tall, frozen in time, for all
time. They are so lifelike one can almost feel
their eyes following one's every movement.
These are the magnificent result of
Hank's amazing ability to take a hide and
reform it into the gorgeous creature it was
in life.
Hank, a mild-mannered gentleman with
a musician's heart and an artist's hands,
lovingly and painstakingly preserves hunt-
ers' trophies for generations.
The former electrician started out as
a hobbyist only looking to save his own
trophies, and parlayed his interest and
skill into an almost-30-year career, serving
clients not only from Central Florida but
around the world.
He's successfully mounted everything
from local deer to African wildlife, he
"I do all sorts of animals," he explains as
he easily welcomes guests to his work-
place. "I've just about finished a white tiger
rug and I'm working on a mountain lion
from out west."
He carefully explains that all the animals
he preserves were legally and ethically
obtained, regardless of their species. The
white tiger rug in its final stages of preser-

Hank's own trophy, a wild turkey he bagged,
graces the walls of his Bowling Green showroom.

A tumble of mannequins wait for their trans-


A white tiger is transformed into a rug by
Hank's expert hands.

vation was a show
animal that died
of natural causes
in Atlanta, and
the magnificent
mountain lion
was taken as
part of a federal
project to protect
livestock out west.
It's not easy to
take the remnants
of a successful
hunt and recap-
ture them in their

Gary 'Hank' Henry, taxi-
dermist extraordinaire.

former live glory, he says.
"It takes years of research, study and
practice," he noted.
Hank started taxidermy almost 30 years
ago as a means to preserve his and his
close friends' trophies, and, like Topsy, it
just grew and grew.
"Somebody saw something I had done
and called me ... it's just been word of
mouth since."
The preservation process is compli-
cated, he explains, requiring a little bit
of knowledge in chemistry, zoology and
"You have to know how to preserve the
hide, how the animal looks in the wild and
its overall physical appearance," he said.
When Hank receives a hide, it is typically
frozen. It is thawed and chemically treated
in a series of vats, each with a specific goal.
There is fleshing and cleaning, pickling,
oiling and stretching, all while Hank is
mentally developing the pose described
by the owner. Using his artist's eye and
countless reference books, he finds the
perfect pose and builds from there.
He uses a foam animal mannequin ob-
tained from a national supplier, stretches
the hide over it, shapes and remodels the
mold to fit the hide.
"Sometimes it takes lots of sculpting to
recreate the animal because the man-
nequins are just a basic form and each
animal is different."
He glues the hide to the sculpted form,
adds eyes, sculpts the nose and then the
fine tuning begins.
"I want it to look like THE animal and
bring it back in an artistic way," he says.
An example is the monumental moun-
tain lion hanging on the wall of Hank's
workshop. The tawny-gray cat is lying on
a large tree limb framed by pine branches,
its amber eyes surveying all, and its legs
dangling over the edge of the limb. It is
incredibly lifelike and almost seems to
breathe and follow visitors with its eyes. It
is that real.
All told, it's a time consuming process
that takes his chemist's, artist's and biolo-
gist's skill, not to mention dozens of man
"It takes about 16 hours to do a deer
head," he says, for which his fee is just
more than $500.
Some of his most challenging items
were among the 29 animals brought back
from an African safari by a Highlands
County hunter, which included an el-
ephant's head, a hippopotamus, a leopard,
numerous antelopes and other native


Hank touches up the mountain lion to further enhance its realism.

African animals.
"Those took some time and research,"
he said. The elephant, when completed
was huge, measuring 10 feet long, 8 feet
wide and 5 feet tall.
While preserving wildlife is his vocation,
Hank spends as much time on his avoca-
tion playing with a band. He plays both
the steel and bass guitars with a group
that plays throughout Central Florida. He
treats visitors to a serenade as easily as
he guides them through the taxidermy
"I just love to play," he says. "It's my real
first love."
It is said that music soothes the savage
beast. Maybe that's why Hank is so good at
immortalizing them.




A wild boar's head bagged locally assumes a
regal and ferocious air.


Quality, Service and
Reliability for over 50 Years
Peterson Cleaners was established
in 1961 at the Golden Gate Shopping
Center in Bartow by John Peterson. f

125B Handheld Blower
* In-flne ar oudet pronvdes great balance and
easy nacneuverabity
* Varable speed throtde lock
* 28 c. 170 mph425 cd m 9.4 Ibs

wned and 4J J U
and his FREE
s. On Dry Cleaning
and Laundry

The business is currently o'
operated by his son Randy
wife Ruth. The business ha
a Bartow fixture for 50 year

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460 Rancher
T: 7V- L .- --:s-.
SLowVib anot-vibraton syem mincioes
Air In.ecton removes up .o 97% of
debn before it, enters the filter
S60 c. 3.7hp, 12-8 Ibs widtut bar & chamn.
S 18' bar

327PTSS Pole Saw
SSpi boom design breaks down for easy
1 .. .. ; -.. 165

SalesParts* Service

December 31, 2011

e gaP 6A The Polk County Democrat

1, 4.vhA 1ena

14 years after being left for

dead, man reunites with family

In the early morning hours of Sept.
26, 1997, a car hit a man in Lakeland
and then drove off, leaving him uncon-
scious and near death.
The man had no identification. He
was flown to Tampa General Hospital,
and after surgery for internal inju-
ries and head trauma, he spent eight
months in a coma. People scanned
missing persons reports and concluded
he was most likely James Lee Dailey. He
agreed, and insisted he had family in
Pensacola and Detroit.
No one could reach his family,
though. For the better part of 14 years,
Dailey has sat in a wheelchair and,
through slurred words, told anyone who
would listen about his sister, Charlie
Mae, and four other siblings, and about
his son, James, and his daughters. But
none of them came to see him, and no
one was sure they even existed.
Until this Christmas.
Pat Erickson works for Aging Solu-
tions Inc., a nonprofit agency that looks
after people who are declared wards of
the state because they have no money
and no family or friends who step
forward to care for them. The state has
paid for Dailey's care since 1997. Aging
Solutions acts as his guardian.
Erickson visits Dailey once every two
months at the Rehabilitation Center
of St. Pete. There have been several
attempts to locate Dailey's family, and
Erickson herself tried a few years ago by
looking for relatives on the Internet and
trying to call them, to no avail.
This fall she tried again. This time she
mailed out letters. One of the letters
got to someone who called someone
else who called Charlie Mae Chaney in
Chaney, 65, has been looking for her
brother for 17 years. He was a drifter.
He never had a job, and he did a lot of
drugs, and he drank a lot, and he spent
a lot of time in jail. When he disap-
peared, many of her relatives figured he
was dead. But Chaney always held out
hope her little brother was still alive.
When she heard he was in the rehab
center, she called every relative she
could find. She tracked down his son in
Houston and bought him a bus ticket to
meet her in Pensacola. She flew down
from Detroit, and from there they drove
across the state, collecting relatives
along the way. They had more than a
dozen by the time they reached a St.
Petersburg hotel on. Christmas Eve.
On Christmas morning they piled into
two rented vans and drove to the rehab
center to give James Lee Dailey the sur-
prise of his life.

Pat Erickson was concerned that see-
ing the whole gang at once would shock
Dailey. She wanted him to just see his
sister, Chaney, first.
Erickson had her stand at the end of
the hallway, by the door to the roomful
of relatives, with her back to the direc-
tion Dailey would come from. Then

Erickson went up to the third floor to
get Dailey.
Chaney leaned against the railing.
She shook with nerves, muttered, and
fanned herself with a napkin before
dabbing her eyes. She took two deep
Erickson came around the corner
with Dailey, and Chaney could hear
them talking. She turned around,
and when Dailey saw her, he yelled,
"Mama!" and they embraced.
Chaney told Dailey she wasn't his
mother, she was his sister, and he nod-
.ded. She then told him the rest of his
family was waiting behind the door.
"You want to go in there and see
"I sure do.".
They opened the door and wheeled
Dailey in. The clapping, shouting and
cheering could be heard down the

The reunion was tearful, it was loud,
it was joyous. Dailey made jokes, and
even though his relatives could only
understand some of them, they laughed
at all of them.
They ate a Christmas lunch out of
plastic-foam containers, and they gave
Dailey a birthday cake and some pres-
ents. He turns 60 on Wednesday.
The rehab center's staff had stocked
the room with lots of Christmas decora-
tions, lots of birthday decorations, and
lots of tissues. Once Dailey was rolled
in, the tissues were in high demand.
One person who did not need a
tissue, except to blow his nose, was
Dailey's son, James. Dailey talks of two
daughters and a son, but Chaney only
knows of one daughter and one son,
and she couldn't find the daughter.
The son, James Lee Wright, 30, was
raised by his maternal grandparents in
Detroit, and hadn't seen his father since
he was 5. Wright hugged his father at
the urging of his aunts, and posed for
pictures, but he didn't have much to say
to the man.
Wright doubted he would keep in
touch with his father after Sunday. Like
most of the rest of the family, Wright
headed home Sunday afternoon.
"The way he talks now, I can't even
understand him," Wright said. "There
isn't much to talk about, anyway."
Brenda Williams, 56, is another of
Dailey's sisters. She lives in Quincy,
near Tallahassee, where she works at a
nursing home. She said she understood
Wright's feelings.
"When you grow up without a father,
and you don't know why, it's hard," Wil-
liams said. "But he'll get over it..... I just
can't believe we finally found him. This
is truly a blessing."
Chaney talked of moving Dailey out,
but rehab center staff cautioned it's not
simple. There have to be meetings, and
a court proceeding.
"It just breaks my heart to know he
was in a coma with none of us around,"
Chaney said. "I will never forget this day
as long as I live."


James Dailey claps during a
S combined family reunion,
rJi Christmas celebration and
birthday party before blowing
.-.. "-- the candles on his cake Sunday
at the Rehabilitation Center
, of St. Pete. People had tried
to find his family to tell them
about him but it took 14 years
for a breakthrough.

The Tampa Times
James Dailey,
who was hit by a
car in 1997 and
in a months-long
coma, hugs his
sister, Charlie
Mae Chaney,
as onlookers at
the Rehabilita-
tion Center of
St. Pete? smile
and applaud on
Christmas Day.


Notice is hereby given that at the City Commission meetings of the City of Fort
Meade, Florida, on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. or as soon thereafter,
in the Commission Chambers, City Hall, 8 West Broadway, Fort Meade, Florida,
the City Commission will hold Public Hearings concerning the establishment of a
Brownfields Area Designation as set forth in the proposed Resolution.

The proposed Resolution title shall be:

Said Resolution was read on first reading at the City Commission meeting on Decem-
ber 13, 2011, for consideration of approval, at 7:00 p.m. or as soon thereafter and will
be read for second reading at the City Commission meeting on January 10, 2012 at
7:00 p.m. or as soon thereafter for consideration of adoption.

Said Brownfields Area Designation for the City of Fort Meade, Florida is further
shown on the Amended Map attached hereto and made a part hereof. The complete
legal descriptions by metes and bounds and a copy of the proposed Resolution may be
inspected by the public during normal business hours at the Office of the City Clerk,
City Hall, 8 West Broadway, Fort Meade, Florida. All interested parties may appear at
the meeting of January 10, 2012, and be heard with respect to the proposed Resolution.

Any person desiring to appeal any decision made by the City Commission with respect
to any matter considered at the above meeting or hearing will need a record of the pro-
ceedings, and that, for any such purpose, he may need to ensure that a verbatim record
of the proceedings is made, which record includes the testimony and evidence upon
which the appeal is to be based. You must make your own arrangements to produce
this record. (Florida Statute 276.0105).

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and F.S. 286.26, persons with
disabilities needing special accommodations to participate in this proceeding should
contact the City Clerk prior to the proceeding at (863) 285-1100, x-233 for assistance;
if hearing impaired, telephone the Florida Relay Service Numbers, (800) 955-8771
(TDD) or (800) 955-8770 (VOICE) for assistance.



- Peace River
Proposed Brownfield Area
Fort Meade City Lmits


The Polk County Democrat Page 7A

December 31 2011


Saddle Creek OUNTYs not out of the woods yet

Saddle Creek cats not out of the woods yet


There is good news and bad news in
the ongoing saga of the feral cats that call
Saddle Creek Park their home.
The good news is that 65 of the loving
felines have been adopted. The bad news
is the county will
soon be stepping
in and there are
still more than 40
left behind.
Dina Raymond,
president of Feral
Fanciers, teamed
up with the organi-
zation's volunteers
a year ago to look
after the colony of
free-roaming cats
Sandy Smith providing daily
feedings, spaying
and neutering, giving rabies shots, as well
as coordinating adoptions.
It was her hope that the cats could
live peacefully in their familiar sur-
roundings while being cared for and
monitored, but an e-mail dated Nov. 22
from Jeff Spence, director of the county's
Parks and Natural Resources division,
changed things when he asked Ray-
mond for a specific plan to have the cats
removed from the premises before Ani-
mal Control stepped in to do it for her.
'A county park is not an appropriate
place for a cat colony," said Spence. "We
admire what the kind people at Feral
Fanciers do. In fact, our staff is full of ani-
mal lovers who have adopted pets from
shelters, but if the remainder of the cats
aren't placed in homes by Jan. 4, we'll sit
down together and talk about the ones
they have placed and make arrange-
ments for the county to come out and
trap the rest."
Spence stated there is no "trap and kill"
mission planned and that he has been dis-
cussing adoption events with Animal Con-
trol in effort to try and find homes for the

cats they confiscate from the park. He con-
tinued only half the cats at Saddle Creek
were truly feral and the rest are people's
pets that have been abandoned to fend for
themselves a trend that Spence says is
on the rise despite a county ordinance put
into effect last year against people dump-
ing their animals in county parks.
Raymond presented a 77-page report
to the county commissioners at its
Dec. 6 meeting providing documentation
on the Trap-Neuter-Return technique
being the best solution to managing
free-roaming cats living in Saddle Creek
Park. Despite statistics showing sharp
declines in feral populations using the
TNR method as compared to the trap
and kill method that only keeps the cycle
going, the county stands firm on forc-
ing Raymond to remove as many of the
cats from the park before Animal Control
intervenes next week.
Raymond stated that she hoped for
an extension on that deadline as she has
yet to find homes for the cats remain-
ing. Raymond has been working with No
Kill Nation, Alley Cat Allies, Best Friends
Animal Sanctuary, the Humane Society
of Florida, Animal Coalition of Tampa
and the Hillsborough Human Society in a
group effort to successfully place the cats
elsewhere. Laura Nirenberg, Legislative
Analyst with Cat Initiatives has offered
to personally help the county commis-
sioners to revise the ordinance to be TNR
friendly if they would be willing.
Since the plight of the Saddle Creek
cats hit media outlets as far as Tampa
Bay, people have come forward in droves
opposing the county stepping on Feral
Fanciers toes. More than 672 signatures
have been collected on an-online petition
directed to commissioners by concerned
citizens. Many have contacted Raymond
with offers to adopt the cats, whether it
is just one or as many as 30 in the case of
a caring person who had a farm to keep
them on.
The Hardee Animal Rescue Team
relocated and adopted out 22 cats, and a


Sandy Smith adopted this cat named Willow
from Feral Fanciers. This cat had been living in
Saddle Creek before she was adopted.

ranch in Manatee County took 21. One
of the caregivers with Feral Fanciers has
also put together a calendar featuring
the photogenic felines in effort to make
an impact on the public abolishing the
mindset that feral cats are dangerous and
riddled with diseases.
According to the organization's data
that touches on rabies, other zoonotic
diseases and rat abatement, the public
health benefits of maintaining neutered,
rabies-vaccinated feral cats in their
environment through TNR far outweigh
any possible public health threats and
that most diseases that infect cats can
only be spread from cat to cat, not from
cat to human.
Sandy Smith knows firsthand the lov-
ing companionship these cats can offer
as she adopted three kittens from Saddle

Creek. After seeing coverage on the
news and fearing the animals might be
trapped and destroyed, she jumped into
immediate action.
"I searched the Internet for Feral Fanci-
ers and began reading all the horror
stories they were going through with
the county wanting to either remove or
destroy this colony," said Smith. "I knew
I had to save at least one of them so I
got in touch with Dina and she made
arrangements for me to see the babies.
That very day I took one home with me."
With the adoption of Claire, who Smith
describes as "a loving little thing who
wants to be on my lap all the time," she
continued to follow Feral Fanciers website
and saw more photos of needy cats lead-
ing to the adoption of Cooper, a snow
white cat named after the television news
reporter Anderson Cooper. Yet, even with
two of the Saddle Creek cats curled up
and purring in her living room, Smith felt
compelled to do even more and adopt a
third. She placed a call to the organization
and was told they had a shy gray tabby
that was being cared for at a foster home.
"This kitten was always on my mind
and then something amazing hap-
pened," said Smith. "I had a dream one
night that I was at Saddle Creek and saw
her sitting beneath.a Weeping Willow
tree. I approached her and said, 'Little
Willow, you won't have to weep any-
more.' I went and adopted her the very
next day and named her Willow. She is
now a part of my family."
If you are interested in finding out more
about Feral Fanciers and are interested in
adopting a cat you can email Dina Ray-
mond at dina@feralfanciefs.org. You may
also sign the online petition to protest the
county's capture of the Saddle Creek cats
by going to www.change.org/petitions/
The calendar "For The Love of Cats"
will be a gift for any donation of $10 or
more to Feral Fanciers.

Organizer urges continued celebration of Kwanzaa

Wanda Howard, left, looks on as Tashoy Grimes, 9, reads from the
program explaining what Kwanzaa is about.


In a ceremony held Wednes-
day at the B Street Community
Center, Wanda Howard, who
heads the Lake Wales NAACP
Youth Council, led a program of
the African-American celebra-
tion of Kwanzaa.
Among those who attended
was Laversa Herbert, of Bartow,
who voiced the sentiment all
who were present agreed with.
She urged this year's celebration
not be a one-time event.
"Anything you don't continue
with, you forget," said Herbert.
"As we move forward, let's em-
brace this celebration."
While those present were
familiar with Kwanzaa, for those
who might not have known or
understood the rituals, Howard
had almost everyone take an
active role, whether placing an
item on the ceremonial table or
lighting one of seven candles
(one black, three red and three
With the assistance of Tashoy
Grimes, 9, who read from a
prepared program, one by one,

those present approached the ta-
ble with the items they had been
chosen to place. The ceremony
was capped with the candle
lighting. Afterwards, a meal
courtesy of IHOP was served.

About Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa was started in 1966
as a way of reminding blacks
of their African heritage. It is
observed from Dec. 26 through
Jan. 1. The word comes from the
Kiswahili language and means
"first fruits of the harvest." One
of the important acts is to ar-
range all the symbols on a table.
Those items are, in order:
Spreading the Mkeka (a straw
Placing the kinara (candle
stand) in the center of the Mkeka
Placing muhindi (ears of corn
on either side of the Mkeka (one
ear for each child in a family)
Placing the following in a
creative fashion: zawadi (gifts);
kikombe cha umoja (unity cup)
tambiko (water and soil) and a
basket of fruit
Hanging up of the bendera
ya taifa (flag of the black nation),

and making sure it faces east.
Placing mishumaa saba (the
seven candles) in the kinara.
There are seven guiding
principles, the Nguzo Saba, and
each day those in the community
should reflect on one of the differ-
ent principles each should live by:
Day one: Umoja (unity)
Day two: Kujichagulia (self-
Day three: Ujima (responsi-
Day four: Ujamaa (coopera-
tive economics)
Day five: Nia (purpose)
Day six: Kuumba (creativity)
Day seven: Imani (faith)
It is also suggested that a per-
son fast for one week to cleanse
the body, discipline the mind
and uplift the spirit.
Kwanzaa is a festive and joy-
ous celebration of the unity and
goodness of life, which claims
no ties to any religion. It is a way
of life, not just a celebration,
as well as a week of remember-
ing, reassessing, recommitting,
rewarding and rejoicing.
Information from www.africa
imports.com was used in this

Page 8A The Polk County Democrat

December 31, 2011

CALENDAA Welcome to your community calendar

In If you would like to see your event listed on this page,
we can make it happen. Contact us at 863-533-4183.

Saturday, Dec. 31
Twas The Night Before Murder, 7 p.m.
dinner theater, $30 per person, advance
reservations includes party favors and
one sparkling beverage. Ramon Theater,
15 E. Wall St., Frostproof, www.ramon
theater.com or call (863) 635-7222

Tuesday, Jan. 3
Auditions for Thank You for the Music
-The Music of ABBA, 6 p.m. Prepare
16 bars of music to sing. Bring sheet
music, accompanist provided, 6 p.m.
Lake Mirror Theatre, 121 S. Lake Ave.,
Lakeland, (863) 603-7529.

Saturday, Jan. 7
JoAnn Groggs and special featured
guest Crimson Flow, 6-8 p.m. Also open
mic from 7:30-8 p.m. limited to the first
6 people/groups to sign up, limited to
two songs or five minutes which ever
comes first. Gospel Music Coffee House
at Turning Point, 1400 E. Georgia St.,
Bartow, (863) 430-2410.

Wednesday, Jan. 4
Steps to Starting a Small Business,
9:30 a.m.-noon., sponsored by CFDC.
Neil Combee County Administration
Building, Room 139, 330 West Church
St., Bartow. (863) 534-5915.

Wednesday, Jan. 11
Belly Off Bartow Weight Loss Team
Challenge, 12-week weight loss compe-
tition. Teams will consist of five individ-
uals. To sign up call (863) 534-3288.

Saturday, Jan. 14
Start of Weight Loss Challenge 2012.
Entry fee $25. Ultimate Fitness Chal-
lenge, 290 E. Van Fleet Drive, Bartow.
(863) 533-5300.

Monday, Jan. 2
Polk County Retired Educators Asso-
ciation Unit II: Literacy for Life project,
9:45 a.m. brunch, 10:45 a.m. meeting,
$7 for brunch. New Horizon Church, 21
S. 2nd St., Haines City, (863) 324-3333.

Thursday, Jan. 5
Lakeland Metro Chapter of the
National Association of Women Busi-
ness Owners, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., $20 for
members, $25 for nonmembers. Lake-
land Yacht & Country Club, 929 Lake
Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland. Email
reservations administrator@nawbolake
landmetro.com or (863) 647-9463 Jan. 3.

Sunday, Dec. 31
75th Annual Christmas tree burning,
6:30 p.m. Started in 1936 as both a su-
perstition and a safety precaution. Mary
Holland Park, (863) 534-0120..

Tuesday, Jan. 3
Music in the Library, noon-1 p.m.,
high school music talent in the meeting
rooms of the 2nd floor. Bring a bagged
lunch and drinks will be provided free
of cost. Bartow Public Library, 2150 S.
Broadway, Bartow, 534-0131.

Saturday, Jan. 7
Educational journey as Daniel Boone
re-enactor presentation takes people
through Kentucky. Discussion to follow
at Stanford Inn. $5 Polk County Histori-
cal Museum members; $7 for non mem-
bers; kids 12 and younger are free. Polk
County Historical and Genealogical Li-
brary, Old 1908 Polk County Courthouse
100 E. Main St., Bartow. (863) 534-4380.

Saturday, Jan. 7
Movies at the Library, 2:30 p.m. for
family. Contact library at for titles.
Bartow Public Library, 2150 S Broadway
Ave., Bartow, (863) 534-0131.

Saturday, Jan. 7
Dog Obedience Class, runs from eight
weeks and starts at 9 a.m., $60. Humane
Society shelter, 555 Sage Road, Winter
Haven. (863) 324-5227. (863) 676-2798.

Monday, Jan. 9
Computer Classes, 1-3 p.m. Introduc-
tion to Your Computer, Bartow Public
Library, 2150 S Broadway Ave., Bartow,
(863) 534-0131.

Tuesday, Jan. 10
Miss Melissa tells stories, does finger
plays, music, crafts, games, and films
for 6-8 year olds. 3:30-4:30 p.m., Bartow
Public Library, 2150 S Broadway Ave.,
Bartow, (863) 534-0131.

Wednesday, Jan. 11
Miss Melissa tells stories, does finger
plays, music, crafts, games, and films
for 3-5 year olds. 10-10:45 a.m., Bartow
Public Library, 2150 S Broadway Ave.,
Bartow, (863) 534-0131.

Thursday, Jan. 12
Concert in the Park, 11:30 a.m. to
1:30 p.m. Picnic blankets are available
from the Main Street Bartow tent. Held
the second Thursday of each month
at the comer of Broadway Avenue and
Main Street. (863) 519-0508.

Saturday, Jan. 14
A Taste of Agriculture, featuring a
country dinner, live auction and barn
dance benefitting the 65th annual Polk
County Youth Fair, 5:30 p.m., dinner
and a live auction at 6:30 p.m. Higgen-
botham Rocking H Ranch, 2200 Ewell
Road, Lakeland. (863) 644-6681 or

Monday, Jan. 16
Martin Luther King, Jr.-George Gause
Memorial Service and Parade and Car-
nival with theme "CHANGE: Believe It,
Achieve It." Parade begins at noon. Goes
from Floral Avenue and Main Street to
Second Avenue, south to Martin Luther
King Jr. Boulevard, travels east across
U.S. 17 to Oaklawn Drive and disbands
at Carver Recreation Center, where a car-
nival will be held. Participants assemble
at Main Street and Floral Avenue for the
parade line-up at 10 a.m. (863) 533-1207.

Thursday, Jan. 5
Student Assignment Plan forum.
Parents can review changes of mag-
net, choice requirements made due
to Supreme Court ruling of 2007 case.
Union Academy, 1795 E. Wabash St.,
Bartow. Forums held at other dates
schools throughout county. Visit http://
www.polk-fl.net/ for information. (863)

Tuesday, Jan. 10
Student Assignment Plan forum.
Parents can review changes of magnet,
choice requirements made due to Su-
preme Court ruling of 2007 case. Bartow
Elementary Academy, 590 S. Wilson
Ave., Bartow. Forums held at other dates
schools throughout county. Visit http://
www.polk-fl.net/ for information. (863)

Tuesday, Jan. 3
Bartow City Commission, 5:30 p.m.
work session, 6:30 board meeting, 450
N. Wilson Ave. 534-0100.

Tuesday, Jan. 10
Polk County Commission, 9 a.m., Polk
County Administration Building, 330 W.
Church St., Bartow. 534-6000.

Thursday, Jan. 5-Monday, Feb. 2
Free tobacco cessation program,
sponsored by InnerAct. Weekly meet-
ings 6:30 -7:30 p.m., Thursday at 1815
East CR-540A, Lakeland. (877) 252-6094
to register.

Tuesday, Jan. 10
'Save the Vanities!' 6 p.m. Lecture by
Dr. Faeza R. Kazmier. Watson Clinic
Women's Center, 1400 Lakeland Hills
Blvd., Lakeland. (863) 680-7676.

Saturday, Dec. 31
Watch Night Service, 9 p.m. there will
be singing, dancing and shouting. Judah
Deliverance Temple, 1275 E. Main St.,
Bartow. (863) 440-2440.

Monday, Jan. 9
America's Boating Course on Saturday,
Jan. 28 sponsored by The Lakeland Sail
and Power Squadron Inc., 8:30 a.m.-5:30
p.m. Seating is limited and preregistra-
tion is required at Kelly Recreation Cen-
ter on Monday Jan. 9 and 16 from 6-8
p.m. and on Saturday Jan. 14 from
10 a.m.-noon. Kelly Recreation Center,
404 Imperial Blvd. Lakeland, (863) 667-
9047 or www.lakalandsailandpower.info.

The following places are closed for the holiday:
The Polk County Courthouse: Monday, Jan. 2.
The Polk County Public Schools is on winter
vacation and students return Tuesday, Jan. 3.
School district offices will also be closed.
The Lake Wales Charter School District is on
winter vacation and students returns Tuesday,
Jan. 3. Offices will also be closed.
Neil Combee Administration Building: Monday,
Jan. 2.
The city of Lake Wales: Monday, Jan. 2. The
library: Saturday, Dec. 31-Monday, Jan. 2.
The city of Bartow, library and Parks and Recre-
ation: Saturday, Dec. 31-Monday, Jan. 2.
The city of Fort Meade, library: Monday, Jan. 2.
Frostproof City Hall and library: Monday, Jan. 2.
For garbage collection in Bartow: No garbage
pickup on Monday, Jan. 2. Those who have their
garbage picked up on Monday will have their garbage
collected on Tuesday. Those with Tuesday pickup will
have their garbage collected on Wednesday. Thursday
and Friday pickup will be normal.
For garbage collection Florida Refuse in Lake
Wales, Fort Meade and Frostproof will not change.
The North Central Landfill: Saturday, Dec. 31.
The North Central Landfill will reopen on Monday
following the holidays and all waste collected by
the county will be taken on the regular schedule
for both weeks.
Business offices for the Polk County Democrat,
Lake Wales News, Frostproof News, Fort Meade
Herald and Your Haines City Herald: Monday, Jan. 2.
Most banks will be closed on Monday, Dec. 26
and Monday, Jan. 2. However, people should call
their banks and branches.
The U.S. Post Office: Monday, Jan. 2.

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December 31, 2011

The Polk County Democrat Page 9A

. .51 Th P- l Cont.DemoratDecmber31,201


_~-,~ I

Capacity crowds force theme parks to halt admissions

With kids out of school across the
country, several Central Florida theme
parks were hit Wednesday with capacity
Legoland Florida closed its parking lot
about 12:30 p.m. and officially stopped
allowing guests into the park at 1:25
p.m., according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The park, which opened in October in
Winter Haven, said it was extending
operating hours until 8:30 p.m., 90 min-
utes later than usual.
"We're definitely busy, and you can
definitely feel that we're full. However,
people are still smiling and having a
great day," Legoland spokeswoman
Jackie Wallace told the Sentinel.
Universal Orlando's Islands of Adven-
ture park home to the very popular
Wizarding World of Harry Potter also
hit capacity and stopped admitting
guests about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. A
spokeswoman told the Sentinel that the
park set up a temporary queue for guests
to wait outside and delayed Islands' clos-
ing from 11 p.m. until midnight.
At Busch Gardens, the main

parking lot filled up and visitors were
sent to Adventure Island to park their
cars. But while the theme park was
packed, it wasn't in danger of reaching
capacity, spokeswoman Jill Revelle said.
"Big crowds are typical for us the
week between Christmas and New
Year's," Revelle said. "I'm actually out
in the park now with the Outback Bowl
teams, and the energy in the park is
The Sentinel also reported that Walt
Disney World had to temporarily restrict
access at three of its four parks Wednes-
day: Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Stu-
dios and Animal Kingdom. Admission
was limited to guests staying in Disney
hotels, people with higher-priced tick-
ets such as park hoppers or premium
annual passes, and those with dining
reservations, among other categories.
Disney said it resumed full admis-
sion to the three parks about 2:30 p.m.
The Magic Kingdom also had to limit
admission on Christmas Day because of
Interstate 4 was crammed at times
with cars heading toward the attrac-
tions, according to the Sentinel's report.


Legoland in Winter Haven closed its parking lot at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and stopped allowing
guests into the park at 1:25 p.m., according to the Orlando Sentinel. Other parks were also filled
to capacity Wednesday.

Polk gets more than $1 M
in help for homeless
Ten Polk County homeless organiza-
tions received $1,147,842 to ensure
housing and service programs remain
operating next year.
The money is part of President
Obama Administration's strategic plan
to prevent and end homelessness.
The local organizations that received
funding included Permanent Housing,
Wilson House, $96,337; ACTS Moonlight
Drive Permanent Housing Program,
$50,400; Transitional Living Center and
Childcare, $127,780; Scattered Site Leas-
ing for Homeless Women with Children,
$76,052; Polk/Highlands/Hardee AIDS
Services and Education, $47,374; Home-
less Management Information System,
$116,531; Families in Need, $99,574;
My Own Place At Last, $184,688; ACTS
Polk Scattered Site Leasing, $93,181 and
Building For Change, $255,925
HUD is renewing the funding through
its Continuum of Care programs to
existing local programs as quickly as
possible to prevent any interruption in
federal assistance and will award funds
to new projects in early 2012.
"The grants we're awarding today will
literally keep the doors of our shelters
open and will help those on the front
lines of ending homelessness do what
they do best," said HUD Southeast Re-
gional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr.
Last year, President Obama and 19
federal agencies and offices that form the
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
launched the nation's first comprehensive
strategy to prevent and end homelessness.
Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to
Prevent and End Homelessness puts the
country on a path to end veterans and
chronic homelessness by 2015 and to end-
ing homelessness among children, family,
and youth by 2020.
Miss Auburndale
Pageant coming
If you think your little girl is the cutest
in every sense of the word she may have a
chance to get a crown that proves it.
The Little Miss Auburndale Pageant is
coming Jan. 21.
The GFWC Sun Ridge Junior Woman's
Club is sponsoring the Little Miss Au-
burndale Pageant which is at 7 p.m. at the

Auburndale Civic Center. Tickets $10 and
can be purchased at the door on the night
of the pageant.
Girls between the 9 and 11 years old
who are residents of Polk County to be
contestants can enter.
Girls and Boys who are 18 months
through 36 months as of the date of the
pageant are eligible for the Wee Mr. and
Miss Auburndale title. Girls and boys who
are between 3 and 5 are eligible for the
Teeny Mr. and Miss titles, and girls who are
between the ages of 6 and 8 are eligible for
the Tiny Miss title.
Girls and boys who want to participate
in this year's pageant can get an applica-
tion at the Auburndale Public Library or
Aubumdale Chamber of Commerce. There
is a $45 registration fee. Proof of residence,
copy of birth certificate and current wallet-
size school picture is also required.
For information concerning visit
sunridgejrs@yahoo.com or email
Forensic Mocs take third at
Florida State College
Continuing their streak of success, the
Florida Southern College Forensics team
took fourth place overall and third place
overall in the category of Individual Events
at the Florida State College of Jacksonville's
Star Invitational Nov. 11-12.
Approximately 75 students, representing
schools such as the University of Florida,
Florida State University, the University of
West Florida, and Rollins College partici-
pated in the event.
FSC senior Brittany Archer placed first in
Program of Oral Interpretation and second
in After Dinner Speaking. This is Archer's
second time as a finalist in After Dinner
Speaking this semester for her humorous
analysis of race and identity.
Sophomore Alex Watson received Top
Non-Advancing Novice for Prose Interpre-
tation placing eighth of 35 competitors.
This is Watson's first season competing in
"This was a great weekend for the team,"
said Assistant Coach Stephanie Fenner. 'All
of our competitors have been so focused
this semester and it really paid off this
In addition to Archer and Watson's
individual awards, the team as a whole
performed well, placing third in overall
Individual Events and fourth place in com-
bined events, despite not competing in the
category of debate.

Team sweepstakes awards are earned as
a combination of top finishes in prelimi-
nary and final rounds.
Also competing on the team were se-
nior Kayla Goff, junior Erin Ferguson and

sophomore Katie Luecht.
This tournament was preceded by the
Berry College Autumn in the Mountains
Tournament, where freshman Amy Scrog-
gin placed fourth in Novice Impromptu.

Fort Meade Animal Clinic
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Youth Fair coming up this month

The 65th Annual Polk County Youth
Fair is coming up fast. The week-long
event starts Saturday, Jan. 21 and lasts
until Friday, Jan. 27.
It will be at 1702 Highway 17 S. in
This year's event has 1,182 exhibitors
and nearly 3,000 exhibits and competi-
tions throughout the week beginning
with the Horsemanship show at 8:30
a.m. on Saturday.
This is a family event and admission
is free.
To make it free, there is the fund-
raising dinner to be held at Higginbo-
tham Ranch which is at 2200 Ewell Road,
Lakeland. Entry to the affair is $25 for
adults and $10 for students younger than
18. A corporate table that has 10 seats
costs $500. There will be a whip popping
demonstration at 5:30 p.m. and the din-
ner and live auction starts at 6:30 p.m.
The Fair consist of market animals,
ornamental plants, consumer science
projects, competitions and more.
To take part in the affair on Saturday,
Jan. 14 people can call (863) 644-6681 or
visit auction@higgenbotham.com.
The annual started on Nov. 7, 1947.
The concept of the fair has been to
provide a means for the youth of Polk
County in 4-H Clubs, FFA and FHA to

display exhibits of their work in agricul-
tural and consumer science projects,
and to compete as individuals with one
another and against the highest stan-
dards of perfection in a program "serv-
ing to promote the educational devel-
opment of the youth of the county."
More than 200 volunteers work all
year to support and educate the Youth
of Polk County. Not only are these
young exhibitors learning to care for
and prepare their projects, they are
learning to take responsibility for their
project and see it through to the end.
The youth fair has competitions for the
animals the students raise for a year and
sell to bidders but there is also photogra-
phy, help with public speaking and more.
"It's a learning experience," Wethering-
ton said. "It teaches (students) about bud-
geting and paying for what they have."
The Youth Fair also provides families
in the county something fun for them to
do, she said.
She said there is a whip popping
contest, ranch hand contest, an archery
contest was added this year and, of
course, there's the baking competition.
"The only thing different from our fair
is we don't have the Midway," she said.
"We've never that."
However, the lack of a Midway hasn't

Shelby Oesterreicher, a student at Bartow High School, turns her steer during competition at the
Polk County Youth Fair last year.

kept people from coming.
"This is our 65th year and we usually

have about 2,200 kids participating,"
said Maria Wetherington.

Sharlene, Williams to marry
Mr. and Mrs. Ponce Young Jr. are
pleased to announce the marriage of
their daughter, Cynetra Sharlene of Bar-
tow to Michael Raul Williams of Trinity,
N.C. on Sunday, Jan. 1.
Michael is the son of Mr. and Mrs.
Jackson of Trinity, N.C.
The wedding will be at McCabe
United Methodist Church in St. Peters-
burg, Fla.
A celebratory reception is planned in
the Fellowship Hall at the church.

Free hiking Sunday
There will be some free hiking avail-
able Sunday at the Colt Creek State Park
at 10 a.m. in Lakeland. It is part of the
Florida Department of Environmental
Protection's way to start the new year.
Participants should meet at the Mac
Lake Pavilion for this two mile ranger
led hike, meandering through pine
flatwoods, around cypress domes and
by bottomland forests.
Along the way, visitors will have the
opportunity to view native plants and
animals while learning about the natu-
ral and cultural resources of the park.
Water, insect repellant, sunscreen and
appropriate shoes/clothing for weather
conditions and terrain are recom-
The free hikes are available at many
parks throughout the state. For more in-
formation, visit www.FloridaStateParks.
org or www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/
or call (863) 815-6761.

Registration deadline
Jan. 3 for GOP primary
Lori Edwards, Supervisor of Elections,
announces that new voters who wish
to register to vote in the Jan. 31, 2012
Republican Presidential Preference
Primary Election must do so by Jan. 3,
Voter registration forms may be com-
pleted online at polkelections.com or
paper copies are available for pick up at
many convenient locations throughout
the county including city halls, libraries,
and chambers of commerce. Registered
voters are reminded to update the
elections office of any changes to voter
information prior to Election Day.
For more information, please visit
polkelections.com, or call the elections
office at 534-5888. The Supervisor of
Elections office is located at 250
S. Broadway, Bartow.

Go hiking on New Year's Day
with Commissioner English
This New Year's Day, Polk County
Commissioners are providing resi-
dents an outlet to get an early start
to their New Year's resolutions with
a hike at Circle B Bar Reserve, one of
Polk County's environ-
mental lands.
County Commissioner
Bob English will host the
New Year's Day "Here's to
Your Health Hike" at
12 p.m. on January 1,
2012 at the 1,267-acre
park on SR 540 (Winter ENGLISH
Lake Road) in Lakeland.
Upon entering the main entrance
follow the paved road until you reach
the paved parking adjacent to Polk's
Nature Discovery Center. Everyone
will gather at the Exhibit Hall, which
is the second building, just before
noon to start the walk.
The event will feature an approxi-
mately two-mile hike through the oak
hammock of Circle B and along the
shoreline of Lake Hancock. Circle B
Bar Reserve is a county managed en-
vironmental land that was purchased
in 2000 by the Southwest Florida Wa-
ter Management District and the Polk
County Board of County Commis-
sioners through the Environmental
Lands Program. This area plays a key
role in the preservation efforts of the
Upper Peace River / Lake Hancock
system with Banana Creek and Upper
Saddle Creek both flowing through
the property.
Visitors to Circle B can enjoy a
stately Oak hammock, freshwater
marsh, hardwood swamp and lake-
shore. There is also a tremendous
bird population, including a variety
of wading birds, waterfowl, ospreys
and bald eagles.
Commissioner English will lead the
hike and Parks and Natural Resources
staff and volunteers will have educa-
tion stations where they talk about
the reserve's wildlife and the restora-
tion that has occurred on the site.
"I can't think of a better way to
start the New Year than with a healthy
outdoor event like hiking at one of
our county's beautiful parks," English
The event is designed to get par-
ents and children alike, "unplugged"

from their new televisions, comput-
ers, video games and gaming systems
they received for Christmas and get
them out enjoying the outdoors and
exercising as a family.
"Many people make a New Year's
resolution to begin exercising and to
lose weight for the New Year and this
event is the perfect way to get a head

start on those resolutions," said Eng-
lish, who is also an avid runner.
There will also be brochures and
literature available at the event high-
lighting the many other environmen-
tal lands and recreational activities
and locations the county has to offer
residents and visitors alike.


5 30p -Ages 2-5
5.30p 630paqges S-10
6:30p 7.30p aqes i- H14
F Fes. SI51memtbe--S40 iion-memnbeis
All necessary equipment Is provided
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The Polk County Democrat Page 11A

December 31 2011

g i IIM L --


17 seasons. For almost two years, he
has been hospitalized at Kindred Hos-
pital in Tampa. He was diagnosed with
cancer in both kidneys and already
has had one removed. Still he followed
the team all season. "I bring him every
article. We talk about every game," said
Betty. "He is hugely proud when he
talks about 'his girls.'" This year's team
was one of the highest record setting
teams in the 25 years Rutenbar has run
the program. It had a team batting av-
erage of .408, made 16 errors, outscored
its opponents 276-12 and featured two
who made the All-Star team. They were
Booker and Emily Sanders. And that
didn't even include Lizzie Glass who hit
.516 and Lauren West who went 19-2
pitching with a 0.65 ERA. She struck
out 162 batters in 129 innings. For the
coming year 13 players are returning
from the 2011 squad.

BHS grad signs
cheerleading scholarship
Ben Johnson III was on the weight-
lifting team, played football, tennis
and track, and May 19 he became the
first Bartow High boy to sign a cheer-
leading scholarship. He signed the
scholarship to cheer for the University
of South Florida before about 100
people in the high school's gymna-
sium. "This school has been in the top
three in the nation in each of the last
three years," BHS cheerleading Coach
Lori Jolliff said. When asked about
cheerleading, he simply shrugged,
smiled and said, "Cheerleading ... my
friends thought it was different, but I
made friends out there, too. It's a lot
more athletic than people think." He
got the idea to give this new concept a
try and though he proved himself good
enough to draw the eye of the coach
of one of the top teams in the nation,
Jolliff said, "He obviously has some
learning to do, but the talent is there
more than just physically." As for his
dealing with the criticism, his attitude
doesn't surprise his parents. "I'm re-
ally proud of him," his father Benja-
min said. "With all the stereotypes he's
had to endure and there was a lot of
criticism." When he told his parents
what he wanted to do his father told
him to do whatever he wants to try.
"It's your life and you've got to live it."
His mother, Rhonda, said she's had to
deal with other parents asking what
was wrong with him and questioning,
everything, including his sexuality, but
none of that mattered to Johnson or
his parents. "He was torn as to what to
do and I told him if he wants to do this

to do it but if he's not serious about it
don't do it."

Elsie comes to town
There was a cow in Homeland June
18. Not a big deal really, but this one
was Elsie the Cow, the Borden Dairy
Co.'s doe-eyed spokescow. And like
most rock stars she was resting in a
nice shaded area: A barn at High Gait
Farm. "She's got the whole routine,"
said Mike Lasky, Florida's general man-
ager for Borden's Dairy Company. "She
rides in a trailer ... an air-conditioned
trailer. She's a happy cow and she's
going to different locations. She knows
exactly what to do in front of the cam-
era. She's like a rock star." Elsie kicked
off a Florida tour as Borden's was
reintroducing its milk to the state after
not being in Florida for 20 years. Elsie
was the show at The Lakeland Center
and then did one in Miami. But for one
night in June she was a guest of Ken
and Bonnie Allen in Homestead.

No charges
to come from shooting
No charges were filed against Rich-
ard Wilkes in the shooting of his long-
time friend, Joey Lunn, on Aug. 7, the
State Attorney's Office ruled. In a letter
to Lunn dated Oct. 27, Assistant State
Attorney James Wagner noted that
"under Florida law, a person has the
right to use deadly force when he or
she believes it to be necessary to do so
*to prevent a forcible felony." Attorneys
in the prosecutor's office reviewed the
Bartow Police Department investiga-
tion, statements, evidence and state
law in reaching their decision, Wagner
wrote. Based on the review by law
enforcement and attorneys, "the use
of deadly force in this instance would
be authorized under the law." If a trial
were held, evidence and testimony
"would be that, while you were stand-
ing on one side of a fence and Richard
Wilkes on the other, you punched or
struck Richard Wilkes. Under Florida
law, this act constitutes a burglary
with an assault or battery," Wagner
wrote to Lunn. The Castle Doctrine
took effect in Florida in Oct. 1, 2005.
The shooting occurred after a dispute
between the longtime friends at Wil-
kes' house. Wilkes, 50, told Bartow po-
lice he shot in self-defense after Lunn,
49, went to Wilkes' house on Aug. 7,
and allegedly tried to climb the chain
link fence around the backyard, they
said. From the shooting Lunn was in a
coma for two weeks and, according to
the police report and suffered a frac-
tured rib, collapsed lung, fracture of
the C-I vertebra, a fractured scapula,
lacerated liver, several facial fractures
and lost sight in his left eye. Lunn
underwent reconstructive surgery on

his face while in the hospital for 31
days and still carries three bullets in
his body.

Main Street program saved
The Community Redevelopment
Agency board reached a consensus at
a budget workshop meeting Aug. 22
to drastically cut several long-time-
funded agencies, while agreeing to save
Main Street Bartow. All of the Main
Street program's funding will likely be
cut except for $53,000 for the benefit
and pay package of Executive Director
Mikel Dorminy. Last year, the down-
town program was a $129,000 CRA
budget item. Then-interim CRA Execu-
tive Director Patrick Brett proposed
eliminating the Main Street program,
but after much talk during a more
than three hour meeting. Dorminy
said completely cutting the program
might have made a major impact on
dozens of downtown activities that at-
tract more than 120,000 visitors to the
historic district yearly. Those activities
include the monthly Friday Fests, Art
Stroll, the Antique Fair, Movies on the
Lawn, the St. Patrick's Day Un-Parade,
Tour de Tow to name a few. Under the
new arrangement, Main Street Bartow
Inc. will no longer get public money
after 2012. Dorminy said changing the
agency's classification is a bid to garner
more grant funding. "This organization
is simply too important to go away.
It will continue to exist," said Brett in
October. The CRA's 2011-12 budget
includes up to $10,000 to pay lawyers'
fees for the switch from a 501 (c) (6), to a
501(c)(3) non-profit designation. That
means Main Street will become eligible
for some government funding sources,
including.federal grants not now avail-
able. "We're going to go out and get
more memberships," said Karen Guffey,
a Main Street board member.

City cuts property
taxes by 8.56 percent
Commissioners OK'd Sept. 19 a $89.7
million budget with a 8.56 cut in prop-
erty taxes. City Manager George Long
said after the meeting that city staffers
"worked hard" to prepare the 2011-12
budget with more than $4 million less
expenditures than last year. No city em-
ployees were laid off, electric bills will
likely drop and there was an increase in
average sewer rates of $1.80 per month/
per customer. The fire assessment rose
from about $23.41 to $55.05 per single
family homeowner and will generate
$448,000. Last year, the fire assessment
added $222,000 to city coffers. Long said
that the additional $30 fire assessment
"still only recovers half of what it costs"
to run the fire department. City property
owners will be assessed at 3.9996 mills

which is 8.56 percent less than the roll
back rate of 4.3075 mills. With decreas-
ing property values, if the rollback rate
had been assessed, overall city income
from ad valorem taxes would have
stayed at the same rate.

Brett named CRA director
After a three-month search Patrick
Brett was chosen by the Community
Redevelopment Agency as executive
director, at Sept. 19. The board chose
Brett for the job rather than New Yorker
and former Floridian, Glenn D. Weiss
who interviewed via Skype from an
office in Times Square, while Brett met
face-to-face. A pool of nine applicants
was whittled down to three applicants,
with one finalist pulling out of consid-
eration at the last minute. Brett was the
urban analyst for North Miami Beach,
was the assistant director of the North
Miami CRA and held a fellowship with
the Hallandale Beach CRA. He earned
an undergraduate degree from Florida
International University and is working
toward a master's degree in urban and
regional planning from Florida Atlantic
University. Brett replaced Jim Duane
who resigned from the position in Feb.
23 and left the post in June. Duane's
announcement that he would be retir-
ing came on the heels of a memoran-
dum dated Feb. 14, from Bartow City
Manager George A. Long. A 67-page
report detailed in a timeline a series
of events and efforts by Long, city
Grant Administrator Linda Allen, and
City Clerk Linda Culpepper to obtain
HUD documents from Duane, and said
that the CRA executive director made
statements that he would forward said
documents but never did. At the crux
of the matter was whether a supposed
$257,000 HUD grant originally ear-
marked for a parking garage project
that was eventually canceled still ex-
isted and if so, was it OK to apply it to
another project, the building of a park
on Polk Street in an area directly below
an overpass on State Road 60. Long and
his staff eventually learned, when they
directly contacted the HUD project
manager, that the money was still
there. However, the park project did
not qualify and not only that, the proj-
ect manager had not heard anything
about it, as it had been several years
since he had last heard from Duane.
Duane at first said "no comment" when
asked if his announcement had been
precipitated by the memorandum.
Then he reversed himself. "This is my
second or third attempt at retiring. I've
been thinking about it for some time."
Duane added he had considered an-
nouncing his retirement this past Janu-
ary but held off until February.



year, nearly 12,000 police officers and
deputies will have been laid off due to
budget restraints.
Although the Bartow Police Depart-
ment has only lost two of their men
since 1886, Maj. Dennis Hoecheril
hopes the silver lining in this tragedy
is for officers to be more aware and
conscious of their actions.
"We're all professionals and we know
the hazards of the job," said Hoecherl,
who has been with the Bartow police
since 1982. "The biggest impact is the
loss that the family has to suffer. With
Crispin's death along with the state's
and nation's statistics on police officer
fatalities, it certainly heightens our
awareness to the dangers we face every
When asked how budget cuts has
impacted the department, Hoecherl
noted a loss of manpower and cuts to
specialty units.
"Since 2004, we've gone from hav-
ing 55 sworn officers to the 41 we have

today," said Hoecherl. "The cuts have
had no impact on our training or our
safety equipment, but where we do feel
the effects is with our specialty units
such as bicycle cops, street crimes and
the narcotics division because patrol
is the backbone to those departments.
When jobs are eliminated, it effects
that backbone at a time when the state
of .the economy is causing more anxiety
in individuals leading to more crime."
Hoecherl states although the depart-
ment is not accredited right now, Bar-
tow's officers act in a way that exceeds
accreditation requirements keeping up
with current training techniques with
firearms, tasers and defensive tactics.
The U.S. Honor Flag arrived at Or-
lando International Airport on Monday
morning to be transported to Lakeland
to honor Crispin, Select Honor Guard
members held the U.S. Honor Flag
wearing memorial gloves during the
funeral where more than 4,000 paid
tribute to the fallen officer as the family
wept nearby.
"Sadly, this year Florida is leading
the nation in the number of officers
killed by gunfire," said U.S. Honor Flag
Founder and President, Chris Heisler,

in a statement. "Regardless of econom-
ic price, budget, and/or strain, Florida
cops can not continue to die on the

of Mid*Florida, PA.

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863-294-3504 863-422-4429 863-676-2008 863-382-3900


December 31, 2011

aP e 12A The Polk Coun t



December31, 2011 The Polk County Democrat Page iSA

Publix reopens
to huge crowd
People who don't live in Bartow may
have thought there were concert tickets
for sale at Golden Gate Shopping Center
Oct. 29. People were sitting in line on
the ground and in folding chairs down
the sidewalk. "There were people lined
up down the sidewalk at 6 a.m.," said
Publix store Manager Joe Bustamante,
who said they were given orange juice
and doughnuts until the grand opening
started at 8 a.m. Closed for a major ren-
ovation since February, the remodeled
store's grand opening featured the Bar-
tow High School band, cheerleaders and
the 140 employed by the new store were
joined by employees from other stores
to handle what they surely figured was
going to be many, many customers. "Oh
man, we missed it," said David Reynolds
who lives in Winter Haven and was buy-
ing items at the reopened store at 255
Van Fleet Drive. "I'm so happy," said Lin-
wood Yarboro, who added he was going
everywhere while the store was closed.
The variety increased, said community
development representative Shannon
Patten. A new feature is a pharmacy.
The new Publix also has what is called
radial shelving. These shelves curve out
from the regular shelving and feature or-
ganic products and other items that are
becoming popular. Opening day though
the store was jam-packed. "We gave out
325 bags the first 11 minutes," Patten
said. "Now we have given out over 500 in
45 minutes," Patton said.

convicted of murder
It took a jury of six 71 minutes Nov.

17 to find Larry D. Weston guilty of
second-degree murder in the shoot-
ing death of a 21-year-old Bartow
woman. And he will spend the rest
of his life in prison. Weston, 29, who
turned himself in February 2011 from
Savannah, Ga., knew he was going to
be found guilty of killing Vershontis
Bradley during a street fight that hap-
pened on Sept. 17, 2010, though he
insisted he didn't do it. "I didn't kill
that girl. I didn't kill that girl. I didn't
kill that girl and take what you want,"
he said in an interview with Detective
David Reynolds shortly after his arrest.
"They're gonna believe what they want
... I'm guilty until proven innocent."
Weston was convicted of shooting
Bradley, 21, at close range as she was
trying to break up a fight in which
her brother was involved. The jury
believed five eyewitnesses who said
they saw Weston shoot Bradley and
did not believe two witnesses who said
they never saw Weston with a gun. The
murder weapon was never located.
The shooting occurred at Azalea Gar-
dens when Vershontis' brother Arvell
Bradley III and Tavares Clark reported-
ly got into a fistfight with each other,
allegedly stemming from the night
before after many of them had been
drinking and taking drugs. Clark was
losing the fight and eyewitness Samuel
Snell said Weston jumped in to break
it up. Clark was described as homeboy
of Weston's meaning they were good
friends. "He tried to break it up," Snell
testified. "He was choking him and he
(Weston) said 'break it up, break it up.'
"After the shooting, Weston went into
Wanda Mann's apartment and disap-
peared, not seen in Polk County again
until he was arrested five months later
when Kerry Jones of Rico Reed Bail
Bonds noticed Weston had gone off
bond on possession of ammunition
by a convicted felon, possession of,
drug paraphernalia and possession of

MDMA. Jones received information
that Weston was in Georgia and had
also found out that he was wanted for
second-degree murder. He contacted
\estonri and convinced him to surren-

Green house sold
In a dismal housing market where
properties are sitting idle with "For
Sale" signs in their front yard for as
long as a year to 18 months, Bartow's
first environmentally friendly green
house sold within weeks of being
presented in the Fall Parade of Homes.
The new owners said in November
they will move in-before by Dec. 16
giving themselves the ultimate Christ-
mas gift of saving a bundle on energy
costs. The custom-built three-bed-
room home called the Oasis Verde is
located at 1817 Charleston Lane in the
Magnolia Walk subdivision and boasts
wood floors, granite counters, a brick
driveway and large covered patio.
The finished product that gained rave
reviews from all who toured it was the
brainchild of Larry Madrid and Paul
White, business partners in a new
company called Greenovative Homes.
With a generous 2,000 square feet of
living space, it's the structure's unique
patent pending Greenstar panels in
the home's attic and exterior walls that
are the key to repelling heat in the
summer and retaining heat in the win-
ter making a typical energy bill $25 per
month or under. This was only one of
several incentives that made John and
Deeanna Delashaw close the sale. "It
seemed like a logical move to purchase
the home since I was commuting 45
minutes each way back and forth to
work in a pickup truck from Thonotas-
sassa," said John Delashaw. The Delas-
haws bought the home for $239,000
and he has doubled his existing mort-
gage payment, but it all evened out in

the end. With the savings of $400 on
gas and tolls commuting to work each
day, as well as reducing his energy
costs down to approximately $25 per
month, the decision to close the deal
wasn't a difficult one.

City gets Cigar factory
It took four years and a few close
calls, but two men were grinning ear
to ear after county commissioners
voted to save Bartow's old cigar factory
Dec. 6 by transferring the title of the
property to the city for preservation.
Ken Atkins and his cousin Bill Melvin
can rest easy knowing the 100-year-old
Thompson Cigar Factory where gener-
ations of their family once worked will
now go on to be what it once was a
boost to the economy. "Our great-un-
cle was superintendent at the factory
and a lot of our family once worked
there," said Atkins after the county's
unanimous vote. County commission-
ers voted unanimously to turn over
the building to Bartow and that came
after the completion of an agreement
between the county and city. The city
commission OK'd the agreement Dec.
5 at its meeting. The pact keeps Polk
County from a plan to demolish the
building after Bartow officials missed a
deadline for to take over the building.
The mechanized cigar factory at North
Third Avenue and East Davidson Street
was built in 1925 and has been listed
on the National Historic Register by
the National Park Service since August
2002. It was named one of the Florida
Trust for Historic Preservation's 11
Most Endangered Historic Sites list.
The fate of the historic factory has
been uncertain since 2004 when At-
kins and Melvin first went public with
their pleas to save it. "We feel like we
can start our course towards redevel-
opment now and it's through the ef-
forts of many that this has happened,"
said Melvin.

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The Polk County Democrat Page 13A

December 31, 2011


'i ; A

M4bhdb mM APM :

And there's more to remember

T e end of the year means it's time to
make lists.
As you can see on the front page
we've done that.
We published a county-wide list
I'm sure there are some items our read-
ers thought should be there and aren't and
with everything that we covered in the last
year, we thought there was more we could
include, too. Here are a few from Bartow
that didn't make it.
In May Summerlin Academy senior
Tasia Habershaw became the first Sum-
merlin Academy student to qualify for the
national equestrian event that was in Sep-
tember. The event called the Sport Horse
National for the Arabian Horse Associa-
tion was held in Lexington, Ky. She had to
raise $3,500 for the event. And to do that
she and fellow students did some fund-
raising. They raised almost all of it and a
contingent of people went. Tasia finished
24th out of 50 riders in her age group in
the Dressage category and 37th of 50 in
the Open Class category which includes
professional riders.
"We didn't expect her to be in the top
10," said Bonnie Allen, who's husband Ken
runs the equestrian riders at Summerlin.
"We did it for the experience." She said
Tasia did very good and it was a real confi-
dence booster. Plus, she said, the horse she
rode, Crystal Dahl, is 26 years old.
Tasia qualified for the event by finishing

Gabriella McGoldrick takes a moment to check
her cell phone for messages. She attended
the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce
Leadership Alumni's Barn Boogie event. It was
Thursday, March 3, at Leland Young's Barn in

A bronze statue of a firefighter and child
honors the 96 years of service given by
Bartow Volunteer Fire Department, when the
organization v'' '. installed
'n Novemix
'd F

(f f
. '- .

Jft. /


with a fifth place showing at the regional
The Bartow High School band earned
six superior ratings at the Marching Band
Festival in November for "The Second
Line." They did the show at halftime of the
high school's football games.
The mix of Cajun, jazz and African
culture, opened with "When the Saints Go
Marching In," that had Juan Santos singing
in a rowboat. Then in "Iko, Iko," Michael
Tedder took to the rowboat to play the
accordion, accompanied by Zach Edwards
on the alto sax. It concluded with Louis
Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World,"
that featured a trumpet solo by Alex Gess-
selman and dancer Taylor Rogers while the
band circles the field.
The students 120 of the 170 returned
from last year were determined to get
all superiors after falling a bit short of that
the year before. "This group was really
determined to make that happen," band
director Jon Eckman said after the show.
The next move for this band is to take
the act to New Orleans to play the show
there, which it is doing in March.
On June 18, well-known Bartow attor-
ney C. Ray McDaniel died at 74.
He practiced law in Polk County since
1965 first in criminal law then in family
law. One notable criminal case he won
resulted in the execution ofWillie Jasper
Darden in 1988. Darden was convicted for
killing a furniture store owner in Lakeland
in 1973.
Best remembered for his ruthlessness
in the courtroom his love for animals and
that he was a prankster was something
friends and family remembered most
about him at his funeral.
"As legendary as he was as a family law
attorney, he also had a great sense of hu-
mor," Judge Bruce Smith said in his eulogy.
"He was a master of pranks as many of you
may know because he may have done one
on you."
Smith recalled a time he and some fel-
low attorneys went fishing in Englewood,
and while watching a wrestling match
on television he was winning a lot of bets
against the man who went with them.
"It turned out that Ray had seen (the
matches) on Thursday," he said.
Practicing law with him for a number
of years, Smith said McDaniel was always
available to whoever called him and
gave advice and direction. If anyone was
stumped McDaniel was able to think of
ways to direct them or make them think of
avenues to pursue.
After a lot of public and private argu-
ments between Square Lake residents
and Bartow Cycle Sports, the Bartow City
Commission amended its noise ordinance
to quiet things down. Residents said the
noise at the track on County Road 555 was
too loud. Bartow Cycle Sports owner Tim
Smothers said he has tried to deal with it
without success.
However, because the city had two laws
in place that conflicted there was no viola-
tion taking place.
In July commissioners reached a com-
promise and established a new ordinance
after about 70 motocross enthusiasts who
packed the city hall meeting room.
The law states in part, "It will be unlaw-
ful for any person to make... on any prop-
erty within the city any unreasonably loud,
excessive, unnecessary or unusual noise."
Fines for offenders could reach $500 with
possible imprisonment for up to 60 days.
This could take a bit of interpretation.
Richard Clark was remembered in Feb-
mary for being the person most respon-
sible for bringing Bartow Regional Medical
rpnter into existence and at a Committee
-- ,tina the Professional Office


Devin Dye and the just-born
,' piglet make faces at each other
:t as Katy Locke holds it. Thirteen
piglets were born July 28 to
-.-. Cheeto at the Bartow Middle
SSchool FFA hog pens. Ag teacher
.Michelle Parmer stayed up all
night with the sow, and the
piglets started arriving about
.7:30 a.m. Locke is president of
the FFA and Dye is vice president.

Building at Main Street and U.S. 17, the
hospital's original site, was named for him
and a plaque was hung on the wall.
'A hospital is like a family and if you
didn't have a hospital you don't have a
family," Frank Johnson said.
At the dedication, his wife Mayme Clark
said, "Richard made this happen. Anything
Richard had a part of he did it right."
The lifelong Bartow resident died March
13, 2010, at 89.
Those are a handful of things that hap-
pened in Bartow last year but there were-
Taxpayers are to save about $25,000 per
year as seven buildings had solar panels
installed in June.
It took about two years of fund-raising
and building but as of Nov. 20 a statue now
faces drivers on Broadway that commem-
orates 96 years of fire fighting by Bartow
Volunteer Fire Department.
Bartow Performing Arts Series can-
celed the only show it was planning in mid
November, the Christmas show. In it's fifth
season, BPAS had already canceled the
four other performances it was going to do
because it couldn't afford the $1,000 rental
The annual Juneteenth event was held
at the rebuilt Over the Branch Gateway
Bartow High School started a bass fish-
ing team.
Eric Konkol-Bennett, a graduate of

Tasia Habbershaw looks at Crystal, the horse
she plans to ride in the nationals scheduled in
September in Lexington, Ky.
Bartow High School, was one of three Polk
County students recognized by the district
last May for never missing a day of school.
He, Kurt Lambert of Harrison and Brant
Snell of George Jenkins, went to school for
2,340 straight days.
And, then there were the pigs. It wasn't
significant, but it was pretty darn cute. On
July 28 Cheeto had 13 babies at Bartow
Middle School and after teacher Michelle
Parmer stayed up all night, students
watched and helped with the delivery.

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December 31, 2011

e gaP 14A The Polk County Democrat

December 31, 2011 The Polk County Democrat Page 15A





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The Polk County Democrat Page 15A

December 31, 2011



, .' o




r aru 1 ---------------------y


Catherine "Katie"

"Katie" Stenger,
71, passed away
Dec. 28, 2011, at
her residence.
She was born,
Jan. 17, 1940, in
Lincoln Park,
Katie worked at
Bartow Memorial
Hospital for more
than 30 years in Catherine
Medical Records. "Katie" Stenger
She is survived
by her husband, John Stenger of Bartow;
four Sons; Gary and Sandra Fackender of
Lake Wales, Ronnie and Betty Fackender,
Babson Park, Michael Fackender, Spring
Hill and Robbie and Jenny Fackender of
Babson Park; sister, Sally Bobruk of Tay-
lor, Mich.; two stepsons; Gary and Astrid
Stenger of Dover and Michael Stenger
of Babson Park; stepdaughter, Pam &
Bill Blalok; grandchildren, Tyson Smith,
Jeremy Fackender, Jessica Fackender,
Jason Fackender, Bryson Fackender,
Tyler Stenger, Monica Stenger, Alison
Stenger, Braxton Blalok, and Beck Blalok.
Visitation: Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, from 2-4
p.m. at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home,
Bartow. Funeral: Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, 2
p.m. at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home.
Interment: Lakeland Memorials
Condolences to family at www.
Arrangements were made byWhid-
den-McLean Funeral Home, 650 E.
Main St., Bartow.

Brooklyn Grace


Infant Brook- 7 -:.
lyn Grace Bosco '
passed away
Dec. 23, 2011, at
the Florida Hos-
pital in Sebring
and is now at rest
with the Lord. k',-_ ( ''
Born in Se-
bring, Fla., on
Friday, Dec. 23, "'--
2011, at 4:54 p.m., Brooklyn Grace Bosco
to parents John
and Delana Bosco of Fort Meade.
She weighed 5 pounds, 3 V2 ounces
and was 20 inches long.
Brooklyn Grace is survived by her
loving parents, John and Delana Bosco
of Fort Meade, Fla.; two brothers Brian
Miller and Dylan Bosco, Fort Meade;
maternal aunts and uncles, Corie and
Anthony Jones of Tallahassee, Fla., Larry
and Nikki Blevins of Lakeland, Fla.,
Crystal and Robert Hall of Polk City,
Fla., Travis Wise of Zephyrhills; paternal
aunts and uncles, Timothy Castellano of
Indiana, Mellisa Harcourt of Piedmont,
Ala., and Kelly Miller of Zephyrhills, Fla.
She was preceded in death by ma-
ternal grandparents Paula Wise, Gary
and Brenda Wise of Zephyrhills, Fla.,
paternal grandparents, Peggie Bosco
and Richard Bosco of Rockmart, Ga.,
Theresa Humpries of Lakeland, Fla.,
A visitation will be held at the
McLean Funeral Home, 306 E. Broad-
way, Fort Meade, Fla. with services
provided by Pastor Kenny Slay of First
Baptist Church of Fort Meade.
Condolences may be sent to the family
at www.whiddenmcleanfuneralhome.net.

George 0.
Mr. George 0. Radford, Jr. passed
away Monday, Dec. 26, 2011, at his
home in Tallahassee.
Born May 19, 1943, in Lutz, Mr. Rad-
ford was a longtime Bartow resident.
He worked as an engineer for the
Florida Department of Transportation
for many years.
He is survived by his wife Martha Corn-
well of Tallahassee; three children, George
O. "Trey" Radford, III, Kirby D. Radford,
Carla M. Radford all of Lakeland; two step-
children of Tallahassee; three sisters, Peggy
R. Trapp of Orlando, Lenore Mooneyham


Michael Grove
Mr. Christopher Michael Grove, 23 of
Nashville, Tenn., passed away Dec. 18,
Mr. Grove was born Jan. 17,1988, in
Raf Upper Heyford, England, to Mark and
Amy Sullivan Grove.
He was preceded in death by his grand-
mother, Ginger Grove, cousin, Monica
Clontz, and great grandfather, Pate Sullivan.
Survivors include: mother and father,
Amy and Mark Grove of Mineral Bluff;
sister, Sarah Ann Grove of Mineral Bluff;
grandparents, Chuck Grove, Jim and
Cindy Sullivan, Jack and Jill Jones; aunts
and uncle; CindyVamer Post, Michelle
Clontz, Debbie and Mark Irons; cousins,
Lance Downing, Shane Downing, Gabri-
elle Irons, Allyson Irons, Grace Irons, and
Tessa Irons.
Arrangements were entrusted to the
Henry-Cochran Funeral Home of Blue
Ridge, Ga.
You may send condolences to the fam-
ily and sign the guest register at www.

Radford, Jr.-
of Bartow, and Shirley Skipper of Fort
Meade; and six grandchildren.
Visitation: Tuesday, Jan. 3 from 9:30-10:30
a.m. at Whidden-McLean Funeral Home.
Funeral: Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at
Whidden-McLean Funeral Home chapel.
Interment: Wildwood Cemetery in
Condolences may be made to the
family at www.whiddenmcleanfuneral
Arrangements are being handled by
Whidden-McLean Funeral Home, 650
E. Main St., Bartow.

Fred Howard

Mr. Fred Howard Maits, 62, passed away
Friday, Dec. 23, 2011, in Dixon, Missouri.
Mr. Maits was born May 19,1949, in Win-
ter Haven, Fla., and had recently moved to
Dixon, Miss. from Fort Meade in June after
his retirement from Securitas, where he
worked as a Security Guard at their Fort
Meade location on Peeples Road-
He was a former Lakeland High School
student and of the Protestant faith.
Mr. Maits was preceded in death by his
mother, Elvie Virginia South Maits.
He is survived by his father, Richard
Allen Maits, Fort Meade, Fla.; daughters,
Gina Maits of California, ToniWhalen,
Lakeland, Fla., Bobbie Jones, Dixon, Mo.,
Michele Maits and Genie Maits, both of
Winter Haven, Fla.; sister, Pamela Ham-
mac, Winter Haven, Fla.; 13 grandchildren
and many other relatives and friends.
Memorial services will be announced at
a later date.
Condolences maybe sent to the family
at www.hancockfh.com.
Arrangements are being handled by
Hancock Funeral Home, Fort Meade.

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New owner Michael Kahler O63"32-O3016
iChristmas $ 95 BOTH Normally
i Chismas -$ n95 BOTH ..E .. a
_lnSpt ;:i'- *m SIDES! ,Ores 115112
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tacular coupon deals at these local businesses!

Hear what you've been missing
Present this
coupon for a
$150 Value
Artis Bassett Hearing Aids
137 SR 60W Lake Wales 863-676-0616
M-Thurs 10am-4pm

I Microchip n
* Identilication Special u

I 711 E. Roadway, Fort Meade I
I Pr: Lori J. Sha. k
Call for appointmewrt
S'-dO.,-C 285- 865 Exp 1/15/12
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$10 OFF
Pharmacist Kal Patel Exp. 1/15/12
437 S. 11"t Street Lake Wales, Florida 33853
Phone (863) 676-1174 Fax (863) 676-5830

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December 31, 2011

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