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May 26, 2012
Polk County Democra
Bartow's Hometown Newspaper Since 1931
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Volume 82 Number 77
USPS NO 437-320
Bartow, Polk County Florida 33830
*Copyright 2012 Sun Coast Media Group, Inc.
Summerlin cadets remember soldiers
Summerlin cadets perform a struggle against terrorists Friday morning during the school's Memorial Day
Annual ceremony marks
By JEFF ROSLOW
On the 144th year since America started re-
membering those who gave their lives to their
country in war, cadets at Summerlin Academy
held a ceremony remembering soldiers on
The ceremony held before the school day
started and filled the field as guest speaker Lt.
Warren Gaither told them, "They're the ones
who walk on the edge and protect our freedom."
In the ceremony, fallen soldiers from
Summerlin were remembered as well as other
veterans and cadets performed a vignette as a
tribute to the fallen soldiers who are fighting
the current war on terrorism.
"You pay the price for liberty and freedom
but the word I have is choice," Gaither said.
"To participate in democracy you have a
choice. You have a choice and that is why we
PHOTOS BY JEFF ROSLOW
At right: Cadet Maj. Jeff Furnish salutes the American
flag as it is raised Friday morning during Summerlin
Academy's Memorial Day ceremony.
Equestrian student earns
spot at national competition
By BILL ROGERS
Summerlin Academy has qualified a
second girl in its equestrian program
for the second year in a row for a
Jordan Futch picked up two top
five finishes during the Arabian Horse
Association Region 12 dressage event
earlier this month in Perry, Ga. By
doing so, Futch, a sophomore, qualified
for the nationals, which will be held in
September in Idaho.
Unfortunately, she will not able to
participate due to the cost, accord-
ing to Marie Fussell, an instructor at
Tasia Habbershaw was the first cadet
in the six-year history of the equestrian
program at Summerlin to advance to
the nationals. She attended the nation-*
als in 2011 in Lexington, Ky. The trip
cost about $4,000, Fussell said.
Habbershaw, who is a senior, missed
out on qualifying for nationals for a
second time by just one-half point this
Futch said she has been wanting
to be involved in a class like this year
since she was a young girl.
"I get to work with horses every day,"
Habbershaw, who said she has always
had a passion for horses, plans to study
eyeball Triple Play
Service would expand Internet
service to provide TV, phones
By JEFF ROSLOW
Though city commissioners took no
official direction, it appears that at the
moment roads that need-some work
now may not be done in the next year.
However, commissioners are
interested into going into competition
with cable television, they directed to
the city manager at Monday's meeting.
The group gathered Monday a few
hours earlier than usual Monday for
a work session to review the strategic
plan which is to guide Bartow for the
next year, five years and until 2025.
Commissioners were asked specifi-
cally what to do about options before
it regarding fixing roads and providing
Final decisions on these items don't
have to be made until they get into
8 4 8 7 9 3 9 4 0 3
Polk County Democrat
Editorial ............Page 4A
Community .........Page 6A
County Report ....Page 8A
Obituaries ...........Page 9A
7 Business ..........Page 10A
Sports ................ Page 15A
Police Beat.........Page 16A
Pane 2A The Polk (2nnntv Democrat May 26, 2012
Short construction week ahead
It's going to be a short construc-
tion week as construction workers
are taking off Monday for Memorial
Day. There are no scheduled clo-
sures on Van Fleet Drive this week
because of the construction but
crews starting work on Tuesday will
be working on new travel lanes, turn
lanes, sidewalks and drainage be-
hind barrier walls along northbound
U.S. 98 from Van Fleet to south of
Manor Drive, and along westbound
Van Fleet from Walmart Drive to
With the Fort Fraser Trail entrance
off of westbound Van Fleet closed
due to construction and a trail
bridge spanning Bear Creek now
closed for repairs by Polk County
Parks & Recreation, people should
access the trail at Old Bartow/Eagle
Lake Road until further notice.
Access to businesses in the work
zone is being maintained and
motorists are.advised to use caution
and watch for workers.
For information, visit www.
PHOTO BY CATHY PALMER
Work clearing the right of way at U.S. Highway 17 just north of Bartow is evident to travelers as
they drive past what will be the entrance to the new four-lane Ernest Smith Boulevard. The new
U.S. 17 entrance is just south of the Bartow Water Treatment Plant, Traffic on the Old Bartow
Road is visible from 17 along with contractor vehicles. The $11.4 million project that links 17
with U.S. Highway 98 near Bartow Ford began in mid-April and is expected to be completed in
the summer of 2013. The new 2.3 mile highway is expected to relieve congestion on Van Fleet
Drive in Bartow.
The following places are closed for the
Memorial Day holiday:
The Polk County Courthouse: Monday, May 28.
The Polk County Public Schools: Monday,
The Lake Wales Charter School )isirii
Monday, May 28.
Neil Combee Administration Building: Monday,
The city of Lake Wales: Monday, May 28.
The city of Bartow, library and Parks and
Recreation: Monday, May 28.
For garbage collection in Bartow: No garbage
pickup on Monday, May 28: Monday's collection
will be on Tuesday. Tuesday's collection will be onw
Wednesday. Thursday and Friday schedules will
remain the same.
Waste Resource Management Division closed
Monday, May 28, the North Central Landfill will
be closed and there will be no residential collec-
tion service. All collection services for the week
of May 28 will be picked up one day later.
Business and editorial offices are closed
Monday, May 28 for the Polk County Democrat,
Lake Wales News, Frostproof News, Fort Meade
Herald and Your Haines City Herald: Monday,
Most banks will be closed. However, people
should call their banks and branches.
The U.S. Post Office: Monday, May 28.
I make sure the water is clean, for all of us.
I am Mosaic.
As we mine the phosphate needed to help grow the world's food, it's no coincidence
that we preserve the water quality of nearby creeks and rivers. As an environmental
specialist, I'm part of a team that monitors these bodies of water to ensure that the
water quality is sustained or even enhanced. Mosaic takes great care to meet Florida's
, clean water standards. Because stewardship is an integral part of what we do.
And I see to it that the job is done right.
May 26, 2012
e gaP 2A The Polk Coun t
May 6, 012 he olk ouny Deocrt Pae 3
THE MOST ADVANCED HEALTH CARE IS BASED ON TRUST.
Nationally recognized heart care 1
is right here. '
That's the Bostick advantage. .
BOSTICK HEART CENTER
AN AFFILIATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND SHANDS HEALTHCARE
Winter Haven Hospital's Bostick Heart Center is
recognized by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons as
being in the top 10 percent of Heart Programs in the.
United States, and ranked one of the nation's
Top 50 Heart Centers by a leading consumer
advocacy magazine. We give our heart patients every
possible advantage by combining the best clinical
experts with the latest technologies and the most
effective rehab services available. And it's all backed
by the hospital you trust, Winter Haven Hospital.
Learn more at www.winterhavenhospital.org or
Compassion. Innovation. Trust. We're your family's choice.
The Polk County Democrat Page 3A
May 26, 2012
: . , _
.-Al .'..,. .
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Page 4A The Polk County Democrat May26, 2012
A moment to remember, honor sacrifice
On April 19, Army Sgt. JaBraun S. Knox arrived
home in Auburn, Ind., after a 7,000-mile-long
trip from Afghanistan.
The visit was a surprise to his young wife,
Courtney, his infant son, Braylon, and most
likely everyone else who knew Knox from his
days as kicker and quarterback of the local high
school football team. Knox joined the Army in
January 2009, after finishing high school. By
summer he was fighting in Iraq. Last October, he
'left with his unit for Afghanistan.
Knox had 15 days at home with his baby son
before returning to the war. On May 18, he was
killed when his unit was attacked by indirect fire
in a place named Asadabad, which is the capital
of Kunar province.
"He liked to kid around and joke around but,
on the same token, he could be serious when
it was time to be serious and be competitive
and work hard in practice and games," his old
football coach later told a Fort Wayne, Ind., TV
station. Knox was 23 years old.
Also killed in the Asadabad attack that day
was Sgt. Michael Knapp, 28, of Overland Park,
Kan. Knapp joined the Army 2003, served in
Kosovo, was deployed twice to Iraq and then
Afghanistan. When he died, he was days away
from a two-week leave to visit his wife and nine-
month-old baby girl.
"Mike was a soldier through and through, and
you just couldn't ask for a guy that's more loyal
to our country and to my daughter, and then to
my granddaughter," his father-in-law later told a
Kansas City TV station.
Knox and Knapp were two of five casual--
ties whose names were made public by the
Department of Defense last Monday, May
21. Also killed were U.S. Army Spc. Samuel T.
Watts, 20, of Wheaton, Ill., who succumbed to
wounds inflicted by a roadside bomb in Zharay,
Afghanistan, on April 25. Two other soldiers were
reported killed by an improvised explosive de-
vice in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, on May 20. They
were Army Capt. Jesse A. Ozbat, 28, of Prince
Geroge, Va., and 2nd Lt. Tobias C. Alexander of
Since 2001, at least 1,851 members of the U.S.
military have died in the War in Afghanistan, ac-
cording to the Associated Press, 1,539 as a result
of hostile fire. Some 4,477 died in the Iraq War
from'2003 to, 2011.
It was back after the Civil War that Decoration
Day began informally as a day of remembrance
for those who had given their lives in battle. In
Farewell to the friendly skies
Years ago, one of die airlines urged you
to "Fly the friendly skies" with.them.
Whether the motto still exists, I do
not know, but the concept has crashed
About the only difference between
being booked into jail and boarded
on an airplane is that you still get free.
meals in jail.
Every prisoner is treated as a potential
jail breaker, and every passenger is
treated as a potential terrorist. We all
know why, and we have to tolerate it; we
do not have to like it.
The no longer friendly skies go far
beyond the indignities of intrusive pat
downs and X-rays.
A generation or two ago, when a
young woman was hired to be an airline
stewardess, the story was treated by her
local newspaper akin to selection of a
young man to attend one of the military
Stewardesses were known not only for
their good looks, but also for their charm.
Today, while there are still many
female flight attendants who are both
attractive and charming, they are no
longer treated as celebrities in their
And on the flip side, just as surely
as stewardesses were charming, pas-
sengers were ladies and gentlemen.
They dressed the part, and comported
themselves as such.
Today's dress code for airline
S.L. Frisbie can be contacted at
passengers is "shirt and shoes required,"
the latter to be removed as part of the "
I respect flight attendants; indeed, I do
not envy them their jobs.
I do not like the airlines as an industry,
and for reasons that go far beyond the -
security screening and the total lack of
common sense in its implementation.
The airlines have done everything in
their power to take the friendliness out
of the skies. As an industry, they give
panhandling a bad name.
When I was a young man, airlines tried
to outdo themselves with their in-flight
menus. Over the years, that tradition was
replaced by a culinary standard in which
"airline food" became an oxymoron.
But at least it was free. As were
checked bags, carry-ons, in-flight
movies, and a genuine commitment to
making those skies friendly.
Today, all of that comes at extra
1868, Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared May
30 as the official day to decorate graves of both.
Union and Confederate soldiers in Arlington
National Cemetery. After World War I, Memorial
Day was extended to honor all who had fought
and died in our nation's wars.
We pay tribute to those who sacrificed their
lives fighting in the American Revolution, the
War of 1812, the Civil War and Spanish-American
War and World War I. The 291,000-plus killed
in combat in World War II, and the 405,000
Americans who died during that war. The 36,516
service men and women who died during the
Korean War and the 58,209 in Vietnam. The eight
killed in Iran in 1980, 266 in Beirut from 1982 to
1984, and 19 in Grenada in 1983. The 258 mem-
bers of the American military who lost their lives
in first Gulf War.
Especially, though, we take a moment to think
of the men and women who will put on a uni-
form this Monday on our behalf. Some will never
again spend time with their spouses and babies,
moms and dads, sisters 'and brothers, friends
and former coaches. Americans like JaBraun
Knox, Michael Knapp, Sariuel Watts, Jesse Ozbat
and Tobias Alexander.
For them and for the others, our prayers, our
thanks and our wishes for peace.
DON T POST EMBARRASSING PHOTOS!
YOUR STUIPiD OUTFIT YUR STOPiD PARTy
--- -- -- ,
Letters to the editor
More cost to us
I am very disappointed in the City
Council kowtowing to the pitcherss"
regarding the fireworks.
The council members did something
new in trying to build a bridge to our
largest taxpayer-Eagle Ridge
Mall-and I thought it was a good idea,
with the understanding it could always
go back to the lake if
it didn't work out. .
"Yes," the traffic will be a much bigger
problem at the mall and "yes" concrete
doesn't rival grass for being comfort-
able. However, in this economy, any
savings is welcome. Now,
the "saved" money will be used for a
second fireworks and, excuse me, but
there will be cleanup and
police costs there so by my calculation
it will end up costing more.
A sad day when the government isn't
allowed to govern without harassing
and obscene phone
.A sad day indeed.
The Polk County Democrat
Jim Gouvellis Publisher
* Aileen Hood General Manager leff Roslow Editor Peggy Kehoe Managing Editor
Published every Wednesday and Saturday at
190 South Florida, Avenue
b\, Sun Coast Media Group, Inc at tus Of'ice.
Periodical postage paid at Lakeland. Florida 33805
and additional Entry Office
*Phone 1863l 533-4183 *Fa\ 1863i 533-0402
Postmaster. Sep-d address changes to
190 Soudth Florida Avenue
Barrow. FL 33830 -
HOME DELIVERY SUBSCRIPTION PRICE IN POLK COUNTY
S l'. Mr.nths.... ... 2".68 One ear. .. .
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OTHER FLORIDA COUNTIES
Si. Months. ... .40 00 One \ear... ..
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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 of the individual writers. Readers in the Bartow area
can.send letters and column submissions to letters@polkcoun-
tydemocrat.com or mail them to 190 South Florida Avenue,
Bartow, FL 33830
Yov STuPio SPRiNG BRlAK
May 26, 2012
Page 4A The Polk County Democrat
Muck fire sending smoke around county
By JEFF ROSLOW
A muck fire caused by a lightning
strike outside Davenport has caused a
burning smell throughout Polk County,
officials with the Florida Fire Service
said this week.
The lightning strike occurred Tuesday
and started a muck fire off Fire Tower
Road near Catfish Creek Preserve that
quickly encompassed 450 acres. By
Thursday afternoon, it was 980 acres,
Lisa Frank, a duty officer supervisor
said. As of Thursday afternoon it was
about 25 percent under control.
Muck fires, she said, are underground
fires that cause smoke to rise to the sky.
No fire can be seen, but they are harder
to fight than most fires because the
flames cannot be seen. They can also
last a long time, she said.
"Muck fires typically burn for months
at a time," Frank said.
The winds are sending smoke in all
directions. On Wednesday east winds
caused smoke in north Lakeland,
she said. On Thursday the northeast
winds sent smoke into Winter Haven,
Lakeland, Frostproof, Lake Wales and
"We've even heard of smoke in
Orlando," she said.
Up to 30 people have responded to
the fire from the Florida Fire Service
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Area and county fire departments do
not respond to these fires because there
is no fire to be seen, said Polk County
Fire and Rescue spokesman Brad
The muck fire is in a place that is not
populated but there are a few parks in
the area, Frank said. So far there has
been no danger to the parks.
There is, however, a danger for those
with some health conditions as the
smoke is harming the air quality in the
area, Polk health officials said.
This can cause headaches, scratchy
throat, stinging or burning eyes, ir-
ritated sinuses, runny nose, shortness of
breath and chest pain.
,People with respiratory conditions
or heart disease should avoid physical
exertion and outdoor activity when
it's smoky, health officials said. Young
children and the elderly are more sus-
ceptible to the conditions. Those with
respiratory conditions should stay in air
conditioned areas. And people should
pay attention to news coverage related
to the smoky conditions.
How long it takes to go out is difficult to
predict, Frank said. Muck fires generally
bum in dried out areas and bums up veg-
etative debris in wetland areas, she said.
"I've seen muck fires burn for more
than a year. There was one in Lake
Garfield that burned for about a year
when I first started here," she said,
referring to an event in the late 1980s.
24 graduate from third police academy
On April 17, 24 people graduated
from Bartow Police Department's
Citizens Police Academy.
The 2012 Class is the third class to be
fully funded by the American Legion
Post No. 3, and the ninth class since
the program's inception in 2000.
The 12-week course began on Jan. 24,
meeting each Tuesday evening from
6:30-9:30 p.m. at the First Baptist
Church Ministry Center which has
hosted the class since it started in 2010.
Throughout the 12-weeks, students
were introduced to the operations
of the police department and other
related law enforcement topics. Most
topics were presented by Bartow Police
Department personnel relative to
their field of training while some were
presented by guest speakers.
Guest presenters and topics included
retired Judge Dick Prince, Firearms and
the Law; Brad Copley, State Attorney's
Office; Guy David Bradstock, Public
Defender's Office; Domestic Violence,
Kathy Haley; and Brian Urbany who
assisted Sgt. Gerry Hunt in a Defensive
Tactics presentation. Retired newspa-
per editor, S. L. Frisbie, who spoke on
media relations, was both a presenter
and a student in this year's class.
This year two new topics were added
to the program. FDLE Investigator
Tommy Ray spoke in-depth about the
quadruple homicide which rocked
Bartow on the night of Dec. 3, 1997.
Investigator Ray concentrated on the
subsequent investigation and evidence
which led to the 2006 conviction of
Nelson Serrano, now serving on death
In addition, the class had the op-
portunity to observe the Shoot-Don't
Shoot Simulator, demonstrated by Lt.
The main objective of the Citizens
Police Academy is not to train an
individual to be a police officer, but to
produce informed citizens. During the.
12 weeks of instruction, the citizens
and Police Officers meet each other
face to face in a neutral, friendly set-
ting. The program is intended to open
the lines of communication between
the Community and the Police
A second goal is through the Citizens
Police Academy, Bartow residents
might discover ways they may help
or serve the police department as a
volunteer. One such opportunity is
the new Citizens on Patrol Program.
That program's primary purpose is to
enhance the Police Department by pro-
viding high visibility and extra patrol
within the city. ,
For those interested in or would
like additional information about
the COP Program or the Citizens
Police Academy, call the Community
Services Coordinator Lyn Bryan at
FROM PAGE 4A .
Some airlines are worse than others; it
is difficult to keep score on a day by day
The latest trend is to charge extra for ,
any seat that is not located in the cargo
hold, including, in some instances, the
seat in the tiny room with an "Occupied"
sign displayed most of the time.
You used to be able to get an aisle
seat or a window seat, or at least seats
next to other members of your family,
by making reservations a week or two
in advance. The same strategy worked
for those few seats which actually have
three or four extra inches of leg room, or,
for the truly fortunate, a bulkhead seat
with no passenger sitting in front of you
who fully reclines his seat before you
of Mid.Florida, P.A.
Neil Okun ;
have even gotten into yours.
Some airlines now charge $25 (each
way) for the privilege of sitting in a
cramped seat next to the people;who
live in your household.
It can only be a matter of time before
a family of five boards the plane with
three kids, ages 3, 5, and 7, each sitting
in a center seat on a different row, none
next to a parent.
Between trips to the bathroom, well-
intentioned efforts at chatty friendliness,
and an occasional spilled sippy cup,
that aisle seat for an extra 25 bucks ain't
going to seem like that great a'perk.
(S. L. Frisbie is retired. He has rediscov-
ered the pleasures of train travel for long
trips. Still, he misses the days of hospital-
ity expressed in that delightful 1967 book
written by two stewardesses, "Coffee, tea,
We ; peari*(uizen 'our 'pea((r'e s
Accredited by Accreditation Association for
Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.
.- Dr. Damon Welch
UI. udlllame ecLII
I Dr iohn D. Tivnan
*Dr Thoma \W BrLmon
* Dr John L Davidson
* Dr. Terrance W Hafner
* Dr Valerie L Moulds
* Dr Edward I. ArTawaa
Dr. David Lowey
* Dr. Dand N Burrn
* Dr WilhaLm I Corkins
*TREATMENT FOR MACULAR CATARACT & SMALL INCISION LARGE SELECTION OF
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COMPLETE GLAUCOMA CARE (LASIK) EYELID SURGERY
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Winter Haven Haines Cily Lake Wales SeDring
863-294-3504 863-422-4429 863-676-2008 863-382-3900
TOLL FREE IN FLORIDA AT D'DD -2-2-E YE (39 371)
g VISIT OUR SITE AT WWW.EYESFL.COM
ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS: CLERMONT
Our ..r hi1dren s
~ NI MIDDLE ACADEMY
Our Children's Middle Academy is a FREE public
CHARTER SCHOOL with transportation available. The academy
/ offers a unique educational program for special needs
-i children in the 6th, 7th & 8th grades.
Our Children's Middle Academy...
S .... is a place where children with special needs are prepared
Sfor employment; ESE children who are successful in regular educa-
tion courses may share classes with Bok Academy. Children who are
not successful receive intensive hands-on classes with vocational,
"_* i technical and trade skills Including carpentry, shop, agriculture,
F. r Io o7 2L.,?,i _I gardening, graphic design/laser printing, music and art.
The Polk County Democrat Page 5A
May 26 2012
Pa e 6A The Polk Count t
Even though the library is closed
today and Monday, you still have
lots of opportunities to visit this
Our Super Summer Shows begin June
13 with John Storm's World of Reptiles
show. These shows are geared for
school-aged children ages 6 and older
and will be every Wednesday, through
July 25. Children younger than 6 are
welcome to attend as long as they sit
with an adult. Seating will be available
on a first-come, first-served basis. For
a full schedule of our Super Summer
Shows, stop by the library or check us
out on Facebook.
9-12 year olds have extra chances
for summer fun. Every Thursday from
June 14 to July 28, pre-teens will have
an activity designed especially for their
age group. From an ice cream social to
a ghost story swap, the summer heat
won't stop you from having fun.
Reading books can get you free stuff
this summer. Beginning Friday, June
8 for kids to age 12 and Monday, June
11 h for teens, come to the library to
collect a bag of free materials that are
needed to participate. Read 10 hours or
more, record what you read and receive
a special prize. Children who are not
yet reading on their own may have
an adult read to them. The Summer
Reading Program will end July 28.
Closing out May will be our Book
Discussion of Walter Lord's A Night to
Remember. It begins at 3 p.m. May 29
with hot tea and scones being served as
.GED Classes are returning to the :
library. This free 12-week course begins
Wednesday, June 6 and runs through
The class will use the GED Basics
book and students will need to pur-
chase on their own. For details, contact
the library. Registration is required and
due to demand, students cannot miss
more than two classes or will be asked
to drop out.
As always, feel free to call the library
at 863-534-0131 with any questions or
to pre-register for our activities.
Free admission for vets
Polk Museum of
Art is offering free
admission to all
es and children from
Memorial Day, May
28, through Labor Day,
is a partnership of the
for the Arts, Blue
Department of Defense
and more than 1,500
museums across the
support has been
provided by MetLife
"This is both an op-
portunity to thank mil-
itary families for their
service and sacrifice,
as well as a chance to
between museums and
these families that will
the year," said NEA
_Juanita Self of Lakeland cruised
into Friday Fest in her 1956 blue
and white Ford Sunliner. The
monthly event was held last week
on Main Street.
PHOTO BY PEGGY KEHOE
May 26, 2012
Closed this weekend, but there's plenty to do here
M ,~i 21Te PlConyDmcaPge7
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The Polk County Democrat Page 7A
May 26 2012
Page ATeokotDm rta2,0
Friday, May 18, was Bike to Work Day and Commuter Services Day and a trek was held that
afternoon in Bartow that drew a crowd. Bicyclists started at the DOT headquarters on
Broadway and went to the Fort Fraser Trail where along the way they learned riding and
School lunch prices to
increase next year
By BILL ROGERS
Students and adults will be paying
a little more for lunch in Polk County
public schools during the 2012-13
school year. N
The School Board of Polk County
approved a price increase of 10 cents
during Tuesday's meeting in Bartow.
The item was listed on the consent
agenda and was not discussed.
In a memorandum to the board,
Foodservice Director Marcia Smith
said, "We are recommending an
increase in lunch prices this year-
because Section 205 of the Healthy,
Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 requires
school food authorities to ensure
that schools are providing the same
level of support for lunches served
to students who are not eligible for
free or reduced prices lunches (i.e.
paid lunches) as they are for lunches
served to students eligible for the
meals. This provision went into effect,
July 1, 2011."
Smith noted the district currently
receives a reimbursement of $2.46 for
a free lunch from USDA.
"The new legislation requires that
we begin increasing the price of paid
lunches to ensure that sufficient
funds are provided to the foodservice
account for paid lunches," she said.
The prices for lunch for elementary
students will go up to $1.80. It was
$1.70 this year. Secondary students
will pay $2.10 and the cost for adults
will be $2.75. Reduced lunches will
continue to be 40 cents.
According to Smith, 68 1/2 percent
of Polk's students participate in the
free and reduced meals program.
Smith noted the percentage has gone
up over the past several years. It was
58 percent in the 2005-06 school year.
Polk does have a high percentage of
students, but Smith said it is not the
highest in the state.
The prices for breakfast will remain
the same as last year $1 for elemen-
tary and secondary, a la carte prices
for adults and 30 cents for reduced.
The prices for after school snack
will also stay the same as during the
2011-12 year 70 cents for elemen-
tary and secondary and 15 cents for
In other action, the board voted 6-1
to approve a contract with Catapult
Learning to provide a summer read-
ing program for third-graders who
score at Level 1 on the 2012 FCAT.
Board Member DebraWright voted
against it, saying she didn't know "if it
Although he voted in favor of it,
Board Member Dick Mullenax said
he would like to see some data to
validate the program.
"If we don't see a lot of student
improvement next year, we need to
look elsewhere," he said.
During the board's work session
Tuesday morning, Assistant School
Board Attorney John Murphy re-
ported that Lakeland High School will
not continue moving ahead with its
An email was sent late Monday
night by mediator Neal O'Toole to
It said: "The teachers and staff of
Lakeland High School, with the best
interest of our students at heart, have
worked diligently to follow all of the
rules relating to the possible conver-
sion of Lakeland High School to a
charter school, in consultation with
the School District. Despite those
efforts and the consultation of the
School District, a question has arisen
regarding the timing of the voting
procedures. Rather than subject our
students and parents to more un-
certainty, the charter committee has
decided to suspend the parent vote
and the submission of the charter
application until next year."
No staff, few students
and no money
FPU current situation isn't bright and
new campus over building budget
By KIM WILMATH
TAMPA BAY TIMES
DAYTONA BEACH Florida's newest
university is already millions over bud-
get for the construction of its new cam-
pus, has no faculty to attract students,
few people volunteering to govern it and
no money for technology labs.
Bringing to life the law that created
Florida Polytechnic billed by state
leaders as the solution to a need for
more graduates in science, technology,
engineering and math seems to be
shaping up to be a bigger challenge
than anyone anticipated.
"If people thought, well now the law's
passed and that's it, they are mistaken,"
said Mori Hosseini, the Florida Board of
Governors member who chairs a task
force charged with overseeing the new
university's creation, after a meeting
Wednesday. "It's an unbelievable process."
Hosseini stood by the goal of having
students enrolled by next fall, even after
hearing about all the hurdles.
"I'm hopeful," he said.
The meeting Wednesday, at Daytona
State College in Hosseini's home-
town, was the first time the Board of
Governors group met'since Gov. Rick
Scott signed SB 1994, which created
the new university out of the University
of Soith Florida's branch campus in
Lakeland. It was a priority for departing
Senate budget chairman JD Alexander,
The move shortcuts a path laid out
last year by the Board of Governors
that would have required Florida
Polytechnic to meet certain bench-
marks, such as accreditation and a cer-.
tain amount of students, before striking
out on its own. The bill Scott signed
includes those requirements, but not as
conditions for independence.
"It's a different approach to the same
end," said state university system
Chancellor Frank Brogan. "But it's not
just as simple as shifting into a different
gear. There are many complexities we
have continued to find as a result of the
new approach we are now taking."
For instance, USF has to hand over all
USF Poly's assets, property and contracts
to the new university. But without a gov-
erning board for that institution set up yet,
USF doesn't have anyone to give them to.
As of Wednesday, just eight people
had applied for the new board's 11 slots.
Among them: Tom Cloud, an
Orlando lawyer who works for the Gray
Robinson law firm, which lobbied for
the Heartland Parkway (also a priority
of Sen. Alexander), and represented
the Williams Co. (the donor of the new
campus land to USF Poly).
Since submitting his application,
Cloud has ceased his work on the
Williams project to mitigate any
perceived conflict of interest, said USF
trustee Steve Mitchell.
Also applying are former state Sen.
John Grant and a handful of Florida
businessmen and retirees, including a
former professor who included in his
application that he had "traveled the
world" and that he'd been married "56
years to the same girl."
Hosseini said the low number of
applicants did not worry him. In his-
experience, he said, there's typically
a rush of applications just before the
deadline, which in this case is May 31.
"This committee will not put any-
body on that board that we don't think
is qualified," he said, repeating a call for
applicants from across the nation.
In the meantime, the three-member
Board of Governors task force gave USF
guidance on several outstanding issues.
Until a new Florida Polytechnic board
is created, the task force members
said, USF should continue to oversee
the construction of the new campus
off Interstate 4. USF chief operating
officer John Long said that project was
projected to cost between $112 million
and $115 million, with the campus only,
having $99 million on hand to build it.
USF Poly's former chancellor,
Marshall Goodman, expected the
extra money to come from donations,
Long said. It was going to pay for
technology labs and millions more in
With building materials already
bought and the project already under-
way, it's probably too late to scale the
plans back, Long said.
Also caught in limbo are thousands of
dollars in leases for USF Poly business
incubators that have gone largely unused
for years also authorized by Goodman.
"How in the world do we have rental
buildings in place for incubators, but
there's nothing to do?" Hosseini asked.
"Not only that, but I see furniture..
At one point I see a media produc-
tion equipment of $614,000. What
"It's actually much worse than that,"
said David Touchton, serving as USF Poly's
interim chancellor. "When I got there, I
was somewhat overwhelmed myself."
Canceling those leases isn't an op-
tion, at least not yet. In order for USF
to receive $10 million attached to the
bill to educate existing USF students in
Lakeland until they graduate, USF must
hand over USF Poly's assetsintact.
So the board told USF to continue
with those monthly rental payments,
except for one that is about to expire,
and USF will eventually be reimbursed.
It wasn't an ideal solution, but,
according to the board's attorney, it
should at least ensure that USF gets the
money its entitled to.
Hosseini sighed and board members
wondered: How could such wasteful
spending happen under USF's nose?
Because of another law, USF presi-
dent Judy Genshaft reminded them.
In 2008, the Legislature gave USF
Polytechnic fiscal autonomy. Goodman
had the authority to spend the cam-
pus's money how he saw fit. USF only
made sure the expenditures were legal
- not whether they were prudent.
"With that (law) came very strong
orders for strict hands-off the USF
Poly campus and for the continua-
tion of personnel that were to be left
untouched and unsupervised. Period,"
"And that is not the University of
South Florida's fault."
Bike to Work
May 26, 2012
e gaP 8A The Polk Coun democrat
Graduates ready to march into future
S By PEGGY KEHOE
Polk County high school graduates
may be anxious to face the future or sad
to leave their high school years behind,
but probably some of both for most of
Caps and gowns, yearbooks, class rings
all symbolize the work and fun of 13 years
of school, beginning with kindergarten.
They've made friends they might see
every week or not again for 40 years.
But commencement is just that: the
beginning of a new stage of life. In Polk
County, commencement ceremonies
run through June 7.
Local ceremonies are:
Bartow High School/IB/Summerlin
Senior awards: June 1, 7 p.m.; Bartow
High School gym; Baccalaureate: June 4,
6:30 p.m., BHS auditorium; Graduation:
June 6, 6:30 p.m., The Lakeland Center.
Fort Meade Middle-Senior High
Senior awards: May 24, 6 p.m.,
FMMSHS Fine Arts Auditorium;
Baccalaureate: May 30, 7:30 p.m.,
Beulah Baptist Church; Graduation:
June 1, 7:30 p.m., FMMSHS gym.
Senior awards: May 29, 6 p.m.,
Gause Academy; Graduation: June 1,
6:30 p.m., Bartow Elementary Academy
Jean O'Dell Learning Ctr.
Graduation: May 22, 7 p.m.,
Auburndale High School.
Mulberry High School
Senior awards: June 1, 6:30 p.m.,
MHS auditorium; Baccalaureate:
June 3, 5 p.m., MHS auditorium;
Graduation: June 5, 4:30 p.m., The
Polk State College/Lakeland
Collegiate High School
Senior awards: May 30, 6:30 p.m.,
PSC Lakeland campus, LTB audito-
rium; Graduation: June 5, 6:30 p.m.,
Branscomb Auditorium, Florida
Dixie Veleria Ward
Dixie Veleria Ward, 94, died
Tuesday, May 22, 2013, of
Visitation: Friday, May 25,
9-10 a.m. atWhidden-McLean,
Bartow. Service following
at 10 a.m. Interment at
7:311 p.m. SF(; THEATRE FOR TITO"T
See ridenl al hruieinlheiusa.c-m
Born in the USA
Dancing in the Dark
Stret.s of Philadelphia
PHOTO BY BILL ROGERS
Sandy Pedersen soaps up a Toyota Friday at Walmart during a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network
hospitals. The goal for the Bartow store is $11,687 for the hospitals. In addition to washing cars they were
selling hot dogs and chips. The fundraiser was held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
_ -A 5 ~ O J Lw 1,0.1 1 i -, i r
1 bedroom from $575 e 2 bedroom from $625
SLarge 2 bedroom Townhouses from $725
Lease a home from Oaks Landing and The Polk County
Democrat is automatically delivered to your home absolutely free.
Oaks Landing provides those little extra services that
only come from people that care. ;
P Fax: 863-534-8527 firstname.lastname@example.org i -
Born to Run
They're working on a miracle
TICkETS: $20. $25. $311
Box office 863-784-7178
'M.on.. Wed.. Ihurs.. 1:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m.
.Bny O~nle performances.soithflorida.edu
A benefit for Illabilat for Humani0y of highlands Counti
in partnership with Hfiglaonds CountyRiotar OClubs
Major Sponsor: Bill and Lisa Jarretl
Media Sponsors: ffighoands Today. ieu's-Sun. Heartland Sun
Times. Lake Placid.JournaL noug uWal: Digital Billboard
aa. "'' 1 ..v a r tsT .. -
.i ",,,,*I "1 ,SOUIh fLORIPti COMMUIIT COLlEGE
The Polk County Democrat Page 9A
May 26, 2012
Page 10A The Polk County Democrat May 26, 2012
'5 o'clock' was the greenest pallet
By JEFF ROSLOW
ACT's employees battled each other to
build the greenest garden.
All employees of ACT Enironmental
and Infrastructure were given a pallet
and $25 from the company and were
instructed that they had six weeks to
come up with the greenest garden. What
they came up with is six very different
gardens complete with different varieties
of flowers, vegetables, and the overall win-
ner sported a bottle of tequila to add to its
theme of "It's 5 o'clock Somewhere."
"I was a little concerned people would
be copying each other, but everybody did
something different," said ACT CEO Rob
The contest ran from April 6 to May 18,
and each team was to come up with a
theme and it had to be decorated with
The contest was judged last week on
plant health, planter design, overall aes-
thetics, produce quality, team approach
and team engagement. The judges were
Callie Neslund from Mosaic and Brooks
Stayer from the Polk County Public Works
Department. A team member from each
pallet design gave the judges an explana-
tion of what they did and how they pulled
it together, and neither judge admitted
the margarita they were treated to when
KelliWinter gave them a rundown on "It's
5 o'clock Somewhere" contributed to that
team winning the contest.
Winter said all the items were donated
and not only were employees used, but
some of their children contributed.
"You have to work and juggle the family
and it's got to be 5 o'clock somewhere,"
she told the judges.
Overall the winners of the contest were:
Judges' Top Choice: Team "It's 5 o'clock
Most Innovative: Team Jacksonville
Best 3R Message: Team NonCent$ical
Best Harvest: The Pantry Team.
Most Artistic: Team Keep Polk County
Best Out of the Box: Team Keep Bartow
Spiciest: Team Community
Because it's 5 o'clock somewhere is why this
project was named that, said Kelli Winter, the
team's leader. Here judges Callie Neslund and
Brooks Stayer eye the booth complete with a
folding chair and a bottle of tequila on it.
Using a name with two meanings, the Keep
Bartow Green project was to convey that
message and it also contained a putting green
where the ball can be hit into the hole and
it goes through a tube and comes again for
another shot if one wants to take it. Here Larry
Legg explains to the judges how it works.
PHOTOS BY JEFF ROSLOW
NonCent$ical Reduce Reuse Recycle Repurpose was the name of this project Joe Bennett
explained as it used 100 percent previously used projects.
Apply For a Loan
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'Brtw Mfbrq- WinerH. ln Lklad -Trvs C-e'Cn
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'" ,t- I
Keep Polk County Beautiful was the name of
the project that gives tribute to the organiza-
tion and was made only with donated items
that can be used again when the project is
taken apart, Ann Wortman explained.
Callie Neslund and Brooks Stayer listen to
Stoddard Pickrell explain his pallet project
Thursday, May 17. The name of this project is
called The Pantry.
Hannah Thrasher explains her pallet project
called Team Community Improvement on
May 17 at ACT. In the center are plastic
flamingoes with spinning wings.
- " 2 0 1 1"- D" u
FORMERLY DUSTY'S RV -
WE TAKE ANYTHING ON TRADE!
NO REASONABLE OFFER REFUSED!. -,
I-* *^ .-
Callie Neslund, a judge at the ACT pallet team
building initiative contest, was served a drink
while judging the 5 o'clock Somewhere pallet
project Thursday, May 17.
N 2011 Coleman
i '-v !u$25275
... .. .,, .. .. ., .. ... .... .. .. ... ..., .. ... 4
May 26, 2012 The Polk County Democrat Page 1 LA
ACT used for WMD drill
By JEFF ROSLOW
There were men in
orange safety suits at
ACT Environmental and
That's not too unusual for
the Bartow environmental
science and engineering busi-
ness, but these people were
not ACT employees, they were
from the 48th Civil Support
Team responding to a report
of possible weapons of mass
destruction that was spotted
at 5:30 a.m. by the Bartow Fire
Department in a building on
West Main Street.
In response, the fire depart-
ment contacted the county,
the emergency management
contacts the state and the 48th
CST responded with mobile
labs, decontamination booths
and a complement of men
responding the terrorism and
protect people's safety.
One thing though, there were
not really weapons of mass
destruction in Bartow Monday.
It was a drill a drill that
involves a multitude of county
agencies and the National
Guard unit, which goes
through this training every six
weeks. Monday's training was
the first time one was held in
Polk County and it was also
the first time it was held at a
private business, Lt. Col. Joe
In this exercise the Bartow
Fire Department, Bartow Police
Department, the county's
hazardous materials team
and other agencies helped
as backup and manned the
mobile lab area at ACT all day
"The best thing about this
place is they have an open field
and Polk County exceeded my
expectations," McFee said.
ACT employee Gary Weiss, a
retired firefighter, heard about
these exercises and spoke
to ACT CEO Rob Kincart of
setting up ACT's headquarters
as a training ground. He had
no problem with it. Weiss said
he is one of the people who
will evaluate the 48th's perfor-
mance after the exercise, which
could take up to two weeks.
Though McFee said his team,
which is 22 full-time people,
have never had to respond to
a real situation, has scored
very high on their past tests.
They are one of two teams that
respond to Florida events, the
other at Camp Blanding. The
evaluations tell the team how
capable it is and shows a ratio
of how much more they can be
capable of accomplishing. As a
team they review the critiques
to learn more and improve, he
"It has 600 tasks on it and
we've scored 99.9 percent on
them," McFee said, admitting
there are always mistakes but
the troops look to learn from
"It's not bad to make a
mistake, but it is bad to keep
making the same mistake," he
--- -- - Staff Sgt. Erik
.... _- ...... Partridge and
----Sgt. Matt Mitchell
=- with the 48th CST
-- WMD collect what
~has been identi-
-fied as what
-could be weapons
-. ....of mass destruc-
" .... .... _tion during an
SFjrst Sgt. Tony Hummel
discusses the procedures
victims would take in the
.N -with Polk County Fire
Rescue Special Operations
Team members Garrett
Parnell and Dan Wash-
ington Monday. The 48th
--CST WMD from Clearwater
...practiced its drill at ACT in
OVER 4,500 POUNDS LOST AND OVER $17,000 WON SO FAR
SBegins June 6, 2012
This is a 12 week COUPLES weight loss challenge which will begin with the Initial Weigh-In on Wednesday June 6, 2012 and
will end with the Final Weigh-In on August 29, 2012. COUPLES (spouses, friends, family, co-workers, etc...) will compete to
lose the highest percentage of weight (not the amount of weight lost).
How does it work?
After the Initial Weigh-In, each team member must weigh in every Wednesday, for 8 weeks between 7:30a.m and 6:30 p.m. at
the Aqui Chiropractic Clinic, LLC. They will return for the final weigh-in which will be on August 29, 2012. During the final 4,
weeks participants will not know the rankings of any participant until the final weigh-in.
The cost of the challenge is $50 per person (10 weigh-ins at $5 each). To enter the Challenge the full $50 registration fee and
Participant Registration form are due by June 5, 2012. Registration fee also includes a Belly Off Bartow T-shirt. Payments
may be made by cash, check or credit card. Receive a $5 discount by providing current proof of a gym or fitness
program membership. A portion of registration fees goes toward the prize money.
A penalty of $2 will be assessed for every pound or fraction of gain as of the previous week weigh in. For example if you gain
1.4 lbs. since last weigh in, you will owe $4. If your weight stays the same from the previous, you will also owe $2. The
purpose of the challenge is to lose weight not stay the same. All fines are due at that week's weigh-in. A portion of fines
collected will be donated to charity.
Cash prizes will be disbursed to the top 3 couples and top 3 male and female individuals with the highest percentage weight
loss at the end of the 12 weeks. Adults and youth are welcome to participate and each participant will choose their own diet
and exercise program (cost of diet and exercise programs not included). There will be weekly prizes for weeks 1-8 and week
12 awarded to the team that has the highest percentage of weight loss for those weeks.
Call Aqui Chiropractic Clinic, LLC at 863-534-3288 or visitwww.aquichiropracticclinic.com for
complete details and participant packets.
1350 E. Main Street Ste. B-1 Bartow, FL 33830 aquichiropracticclinic.com 863-534-3288
Niche The UPS Store-
F &o e.w,, Bartow, FL
SARA'S FLOWER SHOP COMMUNITY SOUTHERN BANK
SILVER RING CAFE HACIENDA MEXICO
The Polk County Democrat Page 11A
May 26, 2012
FROM PAGE 1A
animal science at Polk State
College next year..
Ken and Bonnie Allen provide
individualized instruction for the
students on their High Gait Farm
Dressage, which means train-
ing in French, is the oldest form
of military riding in the world,
Ken Allen says.
"It's training the horse and
rider to work as one unit," he
said. "It is all about balance and
Allen describes dressage as
"classical horse riding."'
"It's very precise and takes a
lot of practice and a willingness
to push the horse," he said. "You
ride with your legs, seat and
The equestrian class is an
elective at Summerlin.
The first semester is spent in
the classroom and students see
a horse only a few times, accord-
ing to Allen.
The second semester is "all
hands-on," Allen said. Students
learn to pet the horse and walk
the animal. They are taught how
to groom and the put the saddle
on the horse.
What about those students
who might be afraid of horses?
"We don't-push them," he said.
"It takes time to get over that
The students receive instruc-
tion from other knowledgeable
people. Matt McLaughlin, head
trainer for the Arabian Nights
Dinner Theatre in the Orlando
area, worked with the young rid-
ers during Wednesday's session
at the farm.
Greta Wrigley, a graduate of
the British Riding Academy
and a 2011 inductee into The
Professional Arabian Trainers
Hall of Fame, visits once a
Summerlin has an Equestrian
Team that is made up of an elite
group of riders that represent the
academy. They participate in the
Veterans Day ceremony and per-
form dressage demonstrations
for schools and civic groups.
Tasia Habbershaw, left, and Jordan Futch, stand with their horses at High Gait Farms in Homeland. Futch
qualified for the national championships of the Arabian Horse Association but will not attend because it's too
PHOTOS BY JEFF ROSLOW
Lt. Warren Gaither, who served in Vietnam
ip 1969-1970, was the guest speaker at
Summerlin Academy's Memorial Day ceremony
FROM PAGE 1A
honor them today."
, Gaither, a member of the Fox
Company 2nd Battalion in Vietnam
in 1969 and 1970, told students any
man's death diminishes mankind and
.it is a burden we have to carry in our
souls for the rest of lives, but we ha ve
to think whether committing to what,
soldiers to do defend their country is
He recalled being shot in Vietnam
and as he was on the ground two North
Vietnamese soldiers came upon him.
He said he was waiting for the weapon
fire but before it happened another,
soldier killed his enemies from behind.
"I ask myself everyday if I was a good
enough for this sacrifice," he said. "Was
I a good father, a good husband?" -
He served after the war in the public
school system in Hillsboro, Ill., retiring
as an assistant superintendent, so he
felt like he'd accomplished something
worthwhile and good, but it has not
answered the question in his mind of
whether it was worthwhile that lives
taken for his survival.
"I did many things, but was I worth
it? That's something I ask myself
In the ceremony, cadets hung two
flags for Summerlin alum, Marine Cpl.
Stephen Coty Sockalosky and Sgt. Maj.
John William Long. Sockalosky was
killed in Afghanistan in Oct. 6, 2011 and
a wreath was hung on the Eagle statue
at Summerlin. For Long, a wreath was
posted on the Fallen Soldier statue in
Sockalosky was injured by a roadside
bomb in Helmand, Afghanistan, on
Oct. 3 and died three days later in a
hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. He was
a member of the JROTC at Summerlin
in 2003-2004 and was a member of the
Raider Team. He served in Iraq and
Long died on Nov. 3, 2010 and is
remembered as a founding father of
the ROTC program at Bartow High
School. He served in the U.S. Army
for 17 years and after finishing basic
training he served in the Korean War
and served two tours in Vietnam. He
received a Purple Heart and Bronze
Star. At Summerlin, he lead the Rifle
Team to their first state championship.
He retired from Summerlin in 1994.
In closing his remarks, Gaither said
he didn't think country music star Lee
Greenwood would mind if he borrowed'
his lyrics, "I'm proud to be an American'
where at least I know I'm free and I
won't forget the men who died who
gave that right to me."
FROM PAGE 1A
budget discussions which should begin
The conditions of the road concerned
commissioners because it is something
-they hear a lot about, However, spend-
ing money on an already tight money
situation concerned City Manager
"I'm not willing to spend $30,000
to $40,000 right now," he told
Mayor Leo Longworth had the same
thought, though it is something he
hears a lot about from people.
"That is among the biggest com-
plaints I get from constituents, but
I'm not convinced though we should
spend the money now," Longworth
said, adding that maybe the city should
maintain what is out there now and put
it off for the next year.
Commissioner Pat Huff was also
hesitant at trying to get more money
from residents as he said, '"A new
assessment is not fair now. We could
raise ad valorem taxes. The tax rates
are down and I don't think we'll get as
much complaints from that for this."
In a larger look at the situation,
Commissioner Adrian Jackson said
though Bartow's roads do need some
work in some areas, overall the city is in
better shape than most.
Saying he travels the state often, he
*said, "Overall our roads do look good
compared to other cities."
In the fiber optic area, the Strategic
Plan shows services to the business are,
complete but Long brought to com-
missioners an option to where the city
could spend $20,000 to bring ifiternet,
telephone and television service to
Bartow residents and provide the city
The option, called the Triple Play,
was something commissioners.were
interested in getting more information
about, they told Long.
The city has a lot of hardware in
place now and provides internet service
to some businesses and government
organizations but does not provide any
service now to residents.
"For expansion and to bring on new
customers I anticipate to see positive
cash flow in one year," Long said.
To look into this option was a no-
brainer, Commissioner James Clements
"At the CFDC meeting (executive
director) Rodney Carson gave us an
update on where technology is head-
ing and people with land lines will be
in the past not too far down the road.
Television may go to the Internet. I hate
to spend money on something that
may be obsolete down the road, but
this is hard to pass up. I would say we
should proceed forthwith."
Commissioner Wayne Lewis agreed
with that thought.
"This technology is going to go south.
It's getting to be more and more in de-
mand. Verizon said there is not enough
customers for them (in Bartow). We do
have to be there. We have the hard-
ware," he said, adding he'd like to see
what the numbers could be.
Longworth said it was worth
checking out because in terms of
competition, this could put the city in a
"I checked with Verizon just the other
day and they said they're not coming
here and I know Comcast won't," he
said referring to the customer base for
Commissioner Pat Huff had a few
concerns over delving into something
he feels the city doesn't necessarily
have the expertise in. He said if the
technology changes, businesses like
Verizon and Comcast have more
expertise to deal with it than the city
does. He preferred to having cable
companies and service providers use
the city's hardware and pay the city for
"But they won't do that," Lewis said.
Lewis put this picture on the situ-
ation. "Look at when VCRs first came
out. Everyone thought the movie
industry was going to go out business."
But that didn't happen, he said.
And, Clement said the internet is
key and the city has that so the option
exists for the'city to make something
more from it.
"People can go to Walmart now and
get a box for $20 and get movies or any
TV show without a dish or cable or any-
thing like that. The internet is the key."
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May 26, 2012
aP e 12A The Polk Coun t
May 26, 2012 The Polk County Democrat Page 13A
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The Polk County Democrat Page 13A
May 26, 2012
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Gazebo, IT building may go away
Bringing them to ADA standards may cost more than they're worth
By JEFF ROSLOW
The city is about 80 percent complete in
bringing buildings up to federal Americans
With Disabilities Acct compliance stan-
dards, but City Manager George Long on
Monday sought the commission's direction
on what to do with some facilities that may
not be worth spending money on, suggest-
ing instead to abandon the structures.
Started in 2010, many city facilities were
not accessible to people with disabilities
and a worksheet showed the city had
to spend $708,818 to meet the federal
standards. Not all the money was taxpayer
money as some came in grants, Planning
Director BillWiegers said.
Two items brought to commissioners
included the Davidson Street gazebo and
the building where the city's Informational
Technology is, and the original power plant
that could be viewed by some as having
The gazebo is not on city-owned prop-
erty, though the city does maintenance on
that block. Long said the gazebo is used for
weddings and functions on occasion but
to bring it to ADA standards, the city would
have to spend $6,000.
"The gazebo is not worth that much by
itself," he said "My recommendation is to
demolish it and forgo the expense."
However, he warned, people would
object to that plan.
Commissioner Adrian Jackson suggested
turning it over to the property owners and
Long said he could ask but "they'd probably
won't want it for the same reason."
Commissioners agreed that it wasn't
worth the money to make the structure
"I don't think the city can afford to put
money in it," Mayor Leo Longworth said.
"I'd say offer to (the owners) and if they
don't want I don't think we should keep it."
In regard to the IT building, Long
suggested that for the price to fix up the
building $22,525 for electrical work em-
ployees can be moved elsewhere. Long said
the building is so old and there are other
problems with it so tearing it down may be
the best thing to do. However, there could
be some historical significance to it.
No decision was made about the build-
ing now as Long said the decision can wait
but commissioners should think about
what to do.
"I think it might be a generation thing,"
Jackson said. "Some people know about it
from when they were younger, but prob-
ably some don't have a clue of what that
A third item on Long's list for the city to
consider is $56,375 estimated to fix two
bathrooms at the Bartou Municipal Golf
Course. The well -building rest room on
the east side of the golf course would cost
$40,000, the west side rest room would
cost an estimated $16,375. Long said the
bathrooms need so much work "they'd
have to tear them down and rebuild it."
Not funded yet, this was another area the
commissioners will put some thought into,
while Long said he would get the owners of
the gazebo to see what they want to do.
City, chamber to team on economic development
By JEFF ROSLOW
City Hall and the Bartow Chamber of
Commerce have joined forces in hopes of
improving the quality of life in Bartow by,
improving its economic development and
jumping into the "Economic Development
Initiative" put together by the Committee
The Committee of 100 is a chamber of
commerce group that spent three months
putting together the Economic Initiative
with the goal of making Bartow an attrac-
tive place to do business. And, in making
this plan, which matches the city's Strategic
Plan, commissioners at Monday's night
meeting OK'd a proposal to partner with
the chamber to drive the plan forward.
"When I chose not to run for commis-
sioner again it was because of this," Brian
Hinton, the chairman of the Committee of
100 said. "I spent the last few years putting
The Committee of 100 had 41 par-
ticipants broken into teams ranging from
12 to 19 people and it came up with a
blueprint to for Bartow's future to foster
economic growth in the city. With this,
Hinton told commissioners, it gives Bartow
a good chance of surviving the future.
"Without economic development we
can do one of two things: raise taxes or
increase benefits," he said.
The initiative covers five areas where
Bartow should focus its efforts to better
itself. Those are marketing, municipal and
business infrastructure, education and
work force development, community cul-
ture and community services and regional
impacts. It explores the areas that have to
looked into and identifies possible funding
sources for it.
'"As you read through this plan know
that it's a start," Hinton said. "It identifies
people who should responsible and sets
goals for the community and for business
to bring it all together."
Fellow developer Larry Madrid, the chief
operating officer of Madrid Engineering
and Greenovative Homes, said everyone
has to take responsibility for this in order to
make it work.
"Everyone is responsible to do this. If we
all can get on the same page with eco-
nomic development we can move forward
and improve the quality of life," he said.
Hinton added the initiative calls for
people to think differently because we live
in a different world. Think outside Bartow.
"We have to look outside the city limits,"
he said citing that CSX rail tracks are in
Winter Haven and EcoGen is locating
in Fort Meade. "We need to be prepare
ourselves to deal with them. We need to
sell Bartow to people coming in."
City Manager George Long, who was
one of the 41 to help organize the initiative,
said it is consistent with the Strategic Plan
on its five-year goals and its goals for 2025,
but quickly added that work has to be done
on what has been drawn up regarding a 30-
page booklet the Chamber of Commerce
has put together.
Mayor Leo Longworth said the outline
puts the city in a direction to solidify and
enhance economic development and
Commissioner Pat Huff added the city
and chamber have to look into what
incentives are there that can be offered
to companies and to people to get into
"We can't be reactive," Commissioner
Adrian Jackson said. "We need a head
hunter. We can't wait for people to
relocate. We have to get them."
The city plans to discuss the issues and
what it can do to make this plan move
further at a future work session. But, Long
warned his colleagues that this procedure
has to be done correctly to make it run
"Keep in mind a lot an awful lot of
money can spent without a lot of return.
We need to figure out what the priorities
One more appointed to Mayor's Youth
A handful of the 11 students assigned
the Mayor's Youth Council appeared at the
city commission Monday to be introduced.
And, keeping to his word Longworth ap-
pointed one more student to the council,
making the number on the council 12 and
putting in more minority students than
were originally on the council.
The commission approved Trace E.
Sams appointment to the Mayor's Youth
Council. At the previous meeting Lilly
Pfeiffer and Khia McNabb were ap-
pointed. Other students to make up the
next council include Lyssa Rothrock,
Mausam Trivedi, Gavin Osbom and Elaine
Rivera who are returning, and Ramonica
Radway, William Gibson, Youlei Li, Zach
Hastings and Anna Pierce who are new.
Longworth recognized the students
Members of the new Mayor's Youth Council were recognized Monday at the Bartow City Commis-
sion meeting. From left is returning member Mausam Trivedi and new members Anna Pierce,
Zach Hastings, William Gibson and Lily Pfeiffer. There are 12 people on the new Youth Council,
which will start meeting in September, as Trace E. Sams was appointed Monday.
coming in and said the outgoing students,
who were not present at the meeting,
who will each receive a plaque marking
their service. He said he views the council,
which meets monthly and learns about.
how the city function and tours facili-
ties and businesses in town, as a special
"I look forward to working with you to
help lead me," he told the students at the
meeting. "You are an extension of the-city
commission at the school."
The Mayor's Youth Council, established
e'lfiM E a 3?
in 2001, serves as a forum to address the
concerns and needs of the youth in Bartow.
It involves 5-12 high school students in the
operation of the city government. It meets
monthly except in June-August.
In other business:
The Bartow City Commission and the
Community Redevelopment Agency
scheduled a joint meeting at 8 a.m.
Wednesday, June 27 prior the regularly
scheduled CRA meeting. The meeting will
take place at the Florida Department of
Citrus, 605 East Main St., Bartow.
1 .1 1 S.i :;,]. :.n '
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Monday Saturday 10am 9pm Sunday Noon 6pm
Page 14A The Polk County Democrat
May 26, 2012
May 26. 2T P C y m t e
Here are the L
Members of the Phillies were the champions of the Dixie Boys in the
Bartow Dixie Youth Baseball League.
I Atli AMI-_-. j_.,
At left: The Dodgers were the cham-
pions at the Minor League level in the
Bartow Youth Dixie Baseball League.
Riley Albritton makes it through a walkway of coaches Saturday when
the 12-year-olds were called by name, finishing their last year in Bartow
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The Polk County Democrat Page 15A
May 26. 2012
Pane1 6 h okCut eortMy2,21
The information is gathered from police, sheriff's office, Florida Highway Patrol, jail and fire records.
Not every arrest leads to a conviction and guilt or innocence is determined by the court system.
Second suspect charged in burglary
Detectives with the Bartow Police
Department onWednesday arrested Tyrone
Cooper, 31, of 1285 N. Holland Parkway
# 86, Bartow, for his
involvement in last
weeks burglary at the
coin laundry, tips and
toes nail salon and ATA
Allen Overholt was
arrested, and Cooper was
unidentified, the police
department reports. Tyrone Cooper
Through the course of
the investigation and
video surveillance detectives identified and
Cooper has been charged with three
counts of burglary. During an interview
with Cooper he admitted to going into the
business to act as a look out while Overholt
committed the burglaries, police report.
As a result of the same investigation,
detectives have charged the coin laun-
dry clerk with theft and providing false
information to a law enforcement officer.
At the onset of the burglary investiga-
tions, the clerk, Amy Mitchell, 26, of 410
Manor Drive, reported the store's petty cash
box was stolen during the burglary and
provided a sworn statement to the same,
Upon reviewing video surveillance
further, Mitchell was observed carrying an
unknown object wrapped in a dress, exiting
the store. After a second interview Mitchell
admitted to stealing the cash box, accord-
ing to police.
Five charged in beating
Detectives arrested and charged five
suspects Wednesday and Thursday for
allegedly beating up a Lake Wales teen and
his father, the Polk County Sheriff's Office
reported. One suspect is still at large, police
Ricardo Pizano, 20, of 980 Church St.,
Bartow, was charged Thursday with one
count of aggravated battery, one count of
battery and one count of trespassing.
Hali Marie Simmons, 18, of 818 IHart Lake
St., Winter Haven was charged Wednesday
with one count of aggravated battery,
one count of battery and one count of
Spencer Thad Harper, 19, of 512 80 Foot
Road, Bartow, was charged Wednesday with
one count of aggravated battery, one count
of battery and one count of trespassing.
Nicholas Hollifield, 19, of 281 80 Foot
Road, Bartow was charged with one count
of aggravated battery, one count of battery
and one count of trespassing.
Jarred Register, arrested earlier on
Wednesday, was charged with one count of
aggravated battery and one count of battery
for beating up a 17-year-old Lake Wales boy
and hitting the boy's father,-police allege.
Austin Owens, a previously identified
co-defendant who also has a warrant, is still
According to the detectives' the sus-
pects met Register at a gas station at U.S.
Highway 27 and 1st Avenue in South Lake
Wales during in the late evening Saturday
May 19 or the early morning of Sunday
May 20 with the intent of driving to the
victim's home on Easy Street in Lake Wales
to "get back" at him for an altercation that
occurred earlier that evening.
When the group arrived at the victim's
home, the homeowner
- the victim's father -
walked outside with his
son and told all the teens
to get off their property.
The teens instead bat-
tered both the father and
his 17-year-old son, ac-
cording to a Polk County
spokeswoman. The teen Austen Owens
was taken to the hospital
by his father where he
was treated for skull fractures and facial
lacerations. His father had less serious
injuries, the sheriff's office reports.
Detectives.identified two suspects as
Owens, and Register, and got warrants
for their arrests. Register was located
Wednesday and arrested, the sheriff's office
Hollifield turned himself in to the Bartow
Police Department Wednesday night and
admitted to taking part in the incident.
Simmons, identified as Register's girlfriend,
also cooperated with detectives and admit-
ted she took part in the incident..
Register posted on his own personal
Facebook page on Sunday, May 20, he had
"chased people down" in Lake Wales and
got into a physical fight he later de-
leted the post, the sheriff's office reported.
Harper told detectives that he had used
Xanax the night of the fight and didn't
clearly remember the details, but was heard
bragging to others that evening that he had
"slammed a kid into a boat" and "beat up a
dad or uncle."
This investigation is ongoing, the sheriff's
office reports, and further arrests are
Youth dies from racing injuries
A 12-year-old Arcadia boy died
Wednesday from injuries he suffered when
his stock car crashed into a concrete wall
during a race.
Tyler Morr was injured Saturday at the
Auburndale Speedway, where he had
been driving in a "Kids Club" stock car
race. He died at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at All
Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, ac-
cording to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
"He was a good student; he got along
with everyone, his peers and with adults,"
DeSoto County school superintendent
Adrian Cline said. "It's always tough to lose
someone that young."
According to the PCSO, Morr had been
competing in a race at the speedway
around 7:45 p.m. Saturday. He was driving
a modified black stock car. These races
are regularly scheduled events for youth
between the ages of 10 and 16. They are
legal because they do not involve children
driving on public highways. The cars
reportedly reach speeds of 40 to 45 mph.
According to PCSO, Morr was approach-
ing a turn when another driver, Justin
Cribbs, 12, of Lakeland, started to pass on
his left. Morr's car struck Cribbs' vehicle and
. spun to the right, straight into a concrete
barrier wall. Both Morr and Cribbs were
said to be wearing helmets and harnesses.
Auburndale Speedway's will collect dona-
tions Saturday for Tyler Morr's family
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e gaP 16A The Polk Cou at