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Frostproof's Hometown News for more than 85 years
Volume 91 Number 48
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Frostproof, Polk County Fl:Irda 33843
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Church eyes city auditorium as new home
Church on the Ridge may move from CR 630A location
By BRIAN ACKLEY
A popular Frostproof church may
be looking for a new home, and it is
asking the city if it might be possible
to conduct services in the city hall
The Church on the Ridge, which City
Manager T.R. Croley indicated had
about 110 members, has approached
the city about renting the American
Legion Post 95 Memorial Auditorium,
which is part of the city hall complex.
Lease issues at the church's present
location on County Road 630A may ul-
timately force the congregation to seek
a new home, according to Pastor Rob-
bie Weatherholt, who attended Monday
night's meeting of the city commission.
Weatherholt said the church might
need a new spot by late July or early
August, and would be looking for a
year-long lease. However, he said the
church would agree to a 90-day trial
period after which either the church or
the city could terminate the lease if it
wasn't working out as planned.
For now, the church is only looking
for space to hold its Sunday morning
services. It is also needing space for
Sunday night and Wednesday night
events, but Weatherholt said the church
may rent a smaller space elsewhere in
Zoning problem has happy ending
Abandoned land near high school purchased by church
By BRIAN ACKLEY
A zoning problem which had accu- COMING80ON...
mulated thousands of dollars in fines
is apparently going to have a happy
Frostproof city council members
earlier this month gave approval to a
settlement agreement that will allow
Family Life Church to purchase the
property and build a church there.-
The church is purchasing the 14-acre
lot near the Frostproof Middle Senior -
High School, and pledges to make sure
all the code violations are addressed in
coming months. "
Frostproof Code Enforcement Officer -.. ..
Hank Smith said the previous owner Members of the Family Life Church in Frostproof gather around a sign this past Sunday, announcing the coming of their new church. The lar
ZONING 1 23 purchase help settle a long-standing code enforcement issue the city had been wrestling with.
Owner anxious to build on U.S.
Initial plans call for gas station and convenience store
By BRIAN ACKLEY
No, there's not a major grocery store
coming to Frostproof in the near future.
But that' doesn't mean the owner of
property on the northwest corner of
U.S. 98 and 27 is going to let that site sit
vacant for much longer.
Plans may be close for a convenience
store and gas station on that corner,
according to Realtor Wesley Wise, who
appeared Monday night at Frostproof's
regularly scheduled city commission
"My client is in final negotiations
with a national petroleum/convenience
store chain," Wise said. He works for
Keystone Realty, and is a former city
councilman who did not seek re-elec-
tion this spring.
He said the developer is "aggressive-
ly" trying to get the deal closed.
Wise said it would be a similar layout
to what one might see at a 24-pump
Racetrac, but he didn't not divulge
the name of the firm that is looking to
"It's part of a conceptional drawing
he's come up with for an entire shop-
ping center for that area," Wise added.
"We feel like this would advance the
other parts of that shopping center,
which would be similar layout to the
Publix plaza at Thompson Nursery
Road (on U.S. 27 in Lake Wales) where
you have the anchor store, all the side
shops and actual out parcels."
He said the developer is serious
about making the plan a reality.
"It's very well financed," Wise said.
"He's got the cash to get this thing go-
ing. It's not contingent on any outside
The city signed off on a plan at the
meeting that would allow building
there to tie into county utilities, at least
until such time that city utilities may
become available in that area.
"It would certainly be my recom-
7 05252 00025 8
Governor tries to
explain citrus cuts
Murder in Town
', another mystery
1 .;tl ^
Page 2A Frostproof News June 22, 2011
S|A. A Welcome to your community calendar
anN If you would like to see your event listed on this page,
1 we can make it happen. Contact us at email@example.com
Wednesday, June 22
The Latt Maxcy Memorial library will
host the first of four Wednesday storyti-
ime events. The first will be "Cinderella
Around the World", with three different
international stories featured. Story-
time starts at 10 a.m.
Thursday, June 23
Thursday at the Movies
The Matt Laxcy Memorial Library will
show the Disney Classic "Cinderella"
starting at 10 a.m. The move is rated
G, with a run time of one hour and 16
Saturday, June 25
The Ramon Theater will once again
be the setting for a Frostproof murder
mystery dinner extravaganza. The new-
est offering is "Death Plays a Role" fea-
turing the chamber's own cast of seven
local "actors and actresses." Tickets are
$25 each, and the show starts at 7 p.m.
Contact the chamber at 635-9112 for
tickets or for more information.
Thursday, June 30
Thursday at the Movies
"The Anansi Collection" will be the
featured attraction during the weekly
Thursday at the Movies series at the
Latt Maxcy Memorial Library. It is a
collection of four popular African folk-
tales. Rated G, run time is 47 minutes
Wednesday, July 6
"Trickster Tales" will be featured in
the second of four Wednesday Story-
time events at the Latt Maxcy Memorial
Library. The event starts at 10 a.m.
Tuesday, July 19
Mark Jackson, Director of Polk
County Tourism and Sports Marketing,
will be the featured speaker. Lunch cost
is $9, starting at noon at the Ramon
Theater. Contact the chamber at 635-
9112 for more information.
Saturday, August 27
Murder mystery dinner theater
"Evil on the Beach" will be the pro-
duction as the Frostproof Chamber
offers another in its popular series of
murder mystery dinner theaters. Cost is
$25. The show starts at 7 at the Ramon
Theater. Tickets must be purchased in
advance. Call the chamber at 635-9112
for more information.
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Frostproof News Page 3A
June 22, 2011
Code enforcement case has happy ending
About 18 months ago, Frostproof officials
decided they wanted to put some teeth into
the city's code enforcement.
It wasn't necessarily a popular decision.
But officials rightly felt that a voluntary code
enforcement board wasn't a strong enough
mechanism to help in cases that in some
cases had one neighbor or friend trying to
decide the enforcement fate of a neighbor or
Such is life in a very small city.
The city decided to abolish the board, and
hire a full-time code enforcement officer.
Hank Smith, who was chairman of that
board, took the enforcement position, and a
special legal magistrate, with no Frostproof
connection, was hired to adjudicate the
most serious offenses.
Code enforcement is a slippery slope.
There's no doubt that a community's ap-
pearance can be important in any number
of ways. Many municipalities in Polk have
stepped up their efforts in this area. Fort
Meade, for example, also just hired a code-
The increased attention is a positive step
in light of Legoland, which will bring over
one million tourists a year through our area,
and the Streamsong resort which will open
in 2013 near Fort Meade.
We should all be striving to put our best
Still, it can be an unpopular thing for a
government at any level, city to federal, to
tell an individual what they can and can't do
with their property.
But enforcement, done properly, is a nec-
essary step to protect the greater community
In Smith's case, he will first issue a courtesy
notice over any violations. Most times, he
will work informally with a property owner
to come into compliance, and often will
resolve cases at this level.
It's a measured approach that is proper
when the code enforcement office might be
the person sitting next to you in the church
pew come Sunday.
Recently, one of the more serious cases
had a happy ending. One violator had accu-
mulated fines of some $5,000, while leaving
some of the code issues outstanding. Once
Chicken Little is alive and well
E-mail is a mixed blessing.
You know that as well as I do.
It has made possible almost in-
stant communication with family and
friends, without the need to return
missed phone calls or to wait for snail
mail to deliver our messages.
I still like to send a few "real" letters
to my kids, so they can tie them up in a
ribbon and keep them for eternity. I am
not foolish enough to think that they do
so, but they could.
And as a practical matter, while a let-
ter can be stolen from a mailbox, only
one person can steal it. A skilled hacker
can steal an e-mail and send it to who
Ask Congressman Hot Dog how much
damage an intercepted electronic com-
munication can do.
E-mail also has replaced junk mail as
the medium to send endless commu-
nications to people who could not care
less. And nary a tree is sacrificed.
Junk mail by e-mail is a bit more
brazen, perhaps because it can be sent
to innumerable addressees without the
need to identify the recipient as a prob-
able sucker for the pitch who is worth
the price of a solicitation.
It would be interesting well, not -
too interesting to know how many
millions of dollars a week I turn down
by refusing offers from crooked third
world cabinet ministers, foreign lotter-
ies that I never entered, and sundry oth-
er scams so transparent that I wonder if
anybody falls for them.
S.L. Frisbie can be contacted at
Somebody must; the offers still arrive
A lot of really good humor is forward-
ed by e-mail.
I enjoy it, and selectively send the
best to a small number of folks. The
politically incorrect stuff is best.
Occasionally I get the same mes-
sage back after it has been forwarded a
dozen or so times.
I get a dozen or more e-mails a day
from alarmists on the right and the left.
The ones from the right the very far
right always say that the "lamestream
media" will never report this. How cute.
Is that a Sarah Palin phrase? And each
challenges me to send it to everyone on
my address list (as the sender appar-
ently has done) if I am a red-blooded,
God-fearing American, but to delete it if
I am a godless, pinko traitor who cares
nothing about America.
The latest fad is to tell me that 86 per-
cent of the recipients will forward this
e-mail to everyone unfortunate enough
to be in the recipient's address book.
Not 85, not 87. Exactly 86 percent.
Sign me up as a 14 percenter.
The ones from the liberals are equally
alarmist, but have a different ending.
If I want to see the Republic survive,
I must hit a reply button that allows
me to make an immediate donation of
$5,000, or $2,500, or $1,000 or even
some lesser amount if I am a world
class piker to fight whatever threat to
survival is the cause du jour.
a violation reaches that point, it is not likely
that the municipality will ever see any fine
But because of the personal connections
of a place like Frostproof, a solution was
found. A local church agreed to step in and
purchase the land in question and fix all the
violations. Eventually, they hope to build
their own church on the land.
In return, the city agreed to a settlement
of about half of what was owed in fines. The
city figured that was its actual cost in work-
ing on the case.
To seek more would be punitive to the
church which was providing such a tidy and
Smith has a thankless job, to be sure. But-
finding such a creative solution is proof that
by the book isn't always the best way react to
a given problem.
The city's flexibility and common sense,
along with Smith's willingness to work with
potential violators many of whom were
never aware they might not be in compli-
ance should continue to make sure not
only Frostproof is the Friendly City, but a
fine looking one as well.
It does not predict that 86 percent of
the recipients will do so.
(S. L. Frisbie is retired, 100 percent
of the time. He rejects the notion that
anybody who disagrees with his politi-
cal positions is either a hopeless fool or
a heartless knave, though perhaps 86
percent of the people who initiate these
Chicken Little e-mails fall into one
group or the other)
The Frostproof News
Jim Gouvellis Publisher
* Aileen Hood General Manager Jeff Roslow Editor Brian Ackley Managing Editor
Published every Wednesday at
140 E. Stuart Avenue
by Sun Coast Media Group, Inc. at its Office.
Periodical postage paid at Lake Wales, Florida and
additional Entry Office
*Phone (863) 676-3467 -Fax (863) 678-1297
Postmaster: Send address changes to
140 E. Stuart Ave.,
Lake Wales, FL 33853-4198
HOME DELIVERY SUBSCRIPTION PRICE IN POLK COUNTY
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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 nilti.i 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 Frostproof
area can send letters and column submissions to letters@
-lakewalesnews.com or mail them to 140 East Stuart Avenue, Lake
Wales Fl. 33853.
June 22, 2011
Page 4A Frostproof News
Frostproof News Page 5A
The Inquiring Photographer
How much are your summer vacation plans
going to change in the light of the price of
"Real bad things are too
"Never go anywhere anyhow
so not gonna change much"
Doug High Heather Payne
"Just do everything local" "Not gonna change anything
we are going to Washington DC
as a gift to our son James who
just graduated from FHS"
of democracy at work
Being the dedicated public servants
of the people that they are, members
of the Florida Legislature have begun
a grand tour of the state to gauge the
hearts and minds of the citizenry,
'which, of course, they treasure about as
much as the CIA seeking out the advice
of the Pakistanis on how to track down
The purpose of the road show is to
gather public input on redrawing the
district maps for state and congressio-
nal legislative seats. This means some
people will gain power, while oth-
ers lose some juice. It also means the
elected folks in charge of this process
will embrace it with all the fervor of
contemplating a bowl of cold peas.
But not to worry about your voice
being heard. Rep. Will Weatherford,
R-Marcel Marceau, who will become
speaker of the House after the 2012
elections after serving for all of 20 min-
utes in Tallahassee, insists everyone's
vote is of incredible value, especially on
That probably explains why your
voice may be the only thing that's
heard, since current House Speaker
Dean Cannon, R-Emmett Kelly, and
Senate President Mike Haridopolos,
R-Be Vewry, Vewry Quiet, have ordered
their members to take a vow of silence
during the public redistricting hearings.
Members have been told not to
utter so much as a request for a legal-
ized bribe or ask any questions at the
forums. And, in a classic Tallahassee
homage to transparency and open gov-
ernment, legislative staffers have been
forbidden to draw proposed legislative
district maps that include any individu'"
al legislator's home.
Whew, for a minute there one might
have suspected these glad-handers were
trying to cook the books.
The gag order on the legislators is
predicated on fears if they say anything
at all, such as: "Where's my check?" or
perhaps even nod in the general direc-
tion of a constituent, the remark will
only fuel the expected legal challenges
to the new maps.
So lawmakers will adhere to the
caution often attributed to Abraham
Lincoln, "Better to remain silent and
be thought a fool than speak out and
remove all doubt." The result: Attend-
ees at the redistricting events will likely
be confronted by legislators posing as
Easter Island statues. Think of this as
sort of the political equivalent of the
While legislative districts are redrawn
every 10 years using census data, this
time around the process is fraught
with danger for politicians since voters
in 2010 approved two constitutional
amendments requiring districts to be
more fairly mapped out so that no one
political party is unduly favored.
And that means legislative districts
should no longer be gerrymandered to
look like a blood splatter scene from
Reservoir Dogs. This fairness stuff can
only go so far.
This does take some of the fun out of
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Lake Wales, FL 33853
Page 6A Frostproof News
Friends, family gather for Thornton's 80th birthday
Of course, there were plenty of good eats to help Marie
Thornton celebrate her 80th birthday recently. Thornton
reitred from the Lake Wales Police Department as a dispatcher
and worked part time for a while as a dispatcher for the Frost-
proof police department.
Marie, in front, with her children from left: Oran Thornton, Jr., Deloris Thornton Manley, Wayne
Thornton and Theresa Thornton.
A photo caption in last weeks' Frostproof News was incorrect. Making one more forever memory
are Ariana Drainville, left, and Samantha Emmerth, following graduation ceremonies held June 7
at Faris Brannen Stadium.
Lawrence C. "Larry" Connelly of Ft. Myers,
Florida passed away Thursday, June 2, 2011 at Hope
Hospice, Cape Coral, Florida. He was 66 years old.
Larry loved life, his family, his friends, and his Lord.
He was often described as a gentleman and a gentle
man, but foremost, he was a Christian man.
He was born December 8, 1944 in Lake Wales,
Florida to the late Walter and Myra Connelly.
Larry graduated from Lake Wales High School in
1962 and joined the U.S. Air Force upon
Larry was preceded in death by his parents and
an infant sister, Jacqueline Connelly. Survivors
include his wife of 20 years, Sherry Unsinger
4Connelly; sonil, Matthew Connelly (Kristen) of
Croswell, \flhi.-,r, daughter, Leslie Connelly-Costa
(Jorge) of Los A-, .. California; stepdaughter,
Larry Connelly Lori McLeod (John) of Lehigh Acres, Florida;
stepson, I)avid Cline of Dover, New Hampshire:
grandchildren, Lily and Aubrey Connelly, lan and Christian McLeod, and Dane Cline.
Larry is also survived by his sister, Helen Stegman (Robert); and brothers, Byron
Connelly (Judy), Charles Connelly (Betty Sue), all of Lake Wales, Florida.
A celebration of Larry's life will be held on Saturday, July 9, from 12:30 3:00 p.m.
at Tim Violette's Highlander Farm on Spring Lake Road, Lake Wales, Florida.
SFor those who wish, donation imax he made to Hope HFlospice at 2430 D)iplomat
Parkway E., Cape Coral, Florida 3 ..
June 22, 2011
Murder mystery features 'veteran' cast
There will be another "murder" in
Frostproof on June 25, but there will be
no need to call the Polk County Sher-
The Frostproof Chamber will hosting
another murder mystery dinner theater
event that Saturday night at the Ramon
Theater. The cast of potential murder-
ers features a number of local actors
and actresses who have appeared in
some of the most popular Chamber
murder mysteries in past years.
The June 25 production is "Death
Plays A Role." In this whodunnit, Irish
actress Eileen Sullivan is premier-
ing a new play written by playwright
Pader O'Connor when her death scene
proved to be all too real. The emotional
thespian has, it seems, faced her final
Another popular veteran of the series is Gayle
Reeder, who will also be part of the June 25
Sullivan, the Irish actress whose
fame extends to both sides of the
Atlantic Ocean, was the star attraction
at the Killarney Lake Theatre last night
in the premiere performance of Pader
O'Connor's new play, "Death Be Not
O'Connor, for reasons known but to
himself, had not authored a play for
two decades. This new production was
to have been his triumphant return to
prominence as a playwright. And in
what was considered a major coup -
he was able to secure Sullivan for the
lead role. Not only would he be assured
of presenting a stellar theatrical attrac-
tion, but he would also be certain that
the story of his return to the theatre
would be covered by members of the
Yet, as Sullivan was acting out the
scene that would make this play one
for the ages, she suddenly grabbed at
her throat and fell to the stage. At first,
the hushed audience thought this was
part of the plot, but it soon became ap-
parent that the actress would no longer
appear in front of the footlights. She
Now, who could aspire to take her
place and be recognized as one of the
10 greatest living actresses in the Brit-
Among those who will appear are
Jim Reddick as Seamus Sullivan, Diana
Biehl as Rebecca Somerset, Carol Hill
as Carla Chamberlain, Wes Wise as
Dack Gimlet, Sue Prince as Darlene
Kelly, and Gail Reeder as The Banshee.
Rebecca Somerset is Seamus Sul-
livan's current love interest. She is an
English actress who met Sullivan last
year in Chicago after a starring perfor-
mance in "She Who Wears.The Crown."
Seamus Sullivan is Eileen's older
brother. He is a shipping tycoon and
owner of Omega Shipping.
Carla Chamberlain is also an author.
She is currently finishing a book en-
titled "The 10 Greatest Living Actresses
in the British Isles." Chamberlain is in
Killarney Lake to interview Eileen Sul-
livan for the book.
Dack Gimlet is Eileen Sullivan's
American theatrical agent. He was
retained late last year to represent Sul-
livan's interests in the States. His office
is in New York. Darlene Kelly is the
theatrical critic for "News of the Lake."
She once filled a similar position with
a Dublin newspaper, but returned to
America, finding employment with this
small local newspaper.
The Banshee is a mysterious person
who had been following Eileen Sullivan
for the past two months. In the guise
of an ethereal Irish spirit, she had been
telling all who would listen that Eileen
Sullivan would soon be dead.
Show time is 7 p.m. The cost of each
ticket is $25, which includes the meal
and a chance with the rest of the din-
ner guests to solve a whodunit. Con-
tact the Chamber at 635-9112 for more
information or tickets.
Diana Biehlis no stranger to the Frostproof Chamber's murder mystery dinner theater. She always
goes all out for her part. She will be one of the players in the next event, scheduled June 25.
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June 22. 2011
Mary Ruth Thomas
Elizabeth Clement "Libbet" Weidlein
Thomas, 89, 533
June 1,2011 at her .
She was born
January 6, 1922
Ga., the daughter
of the late J. Roy
and Pearl RobertsMa Ruth Thomas
King. Her hus- omas
band of 44 years,
Thomas, Jr., died in 1988.
Mary Ruth was an active member of
Gettysburg Presbyterian Church since
1944. She graduated Valedictorian from
Frostproof High School. Mary Ruth
completed business college in Orlando,-
Fla. and in 1943 she was employed at
Hendrick's Air Field in Sebring, Fla.
where she met her future husband who
was training to become a B-17 pilot.
They married and moved to Gettysburg.
For over 20 years, Mrs. Thomas was em-
ployed as a Supervisory Park Guide for
the Gettysburg National Military Park
based in the Cyclorama Center. Mary
Ruth was a volunteer in Gettysburg for;
Meals-On-Wheels, the Lincoln Fellow-
ship and the Adams County Library.
She enjoyed bridge, travel, gardening
and spending time with her family and
Jane Cameron White, 82, wife of John
R. White, Jr., daughter of Bee Kelley
Cameron Aikin and Hugh McLauren
Cameron; born Dec. 28, 1928 and reared
in Lake Wales. She was the granddaugh-
ter of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin P. Kelley,
early Florida Settlers.
Mrs. White attended Lake Wales
schools grades 1-12. Upon graduation,
she continued her education at Florida
Southern College in Lakeland where
she received a degree in Speech Arts
and Elementary Education. She was
President of Delta Zeta Sorority and the
Panhellenic Association. She was the
sweetheart ofTheta Chi Fraternity, Miss
Southern 1950, and the recipient of an
award for Meritorious Service from FSC
by President Ludd M. Spivey and the
Board of Trustees. She was a lifelong
member of the Dinx.
Mrs. White was active in community
affairs and the Episcopal Church.
She is survived by her college sweet-
heart and husband of 60 years; daugh-
ters, Victoria Kelley White and Kimberly
White Boyer; son, John R. White III;
granddaughters, Kimberly Hellmuth
Mary Ruth is survived by four chil-
dren; Marilyn "Toni" W. Blackwell of
Babson Park, Fla., EdmundW. Thomas,
III and his wife Barbara ofWoodlyn, Pa.,
Beverly T. Sontheimer and her husband
Peter of Gettysburg, Pa., Christine T.
Armstrong and her husband Andrew
of Orrtanna, Pa., six grandchildren; J.
Chad Blackwell of Orlando, Fla., Mi-
chael E. Thomas of Jupiter, Fla., Robert
T. Lanane, II of Lemoore, Calif., Ted
T. Lanane of Gettysburg, Pa., Mark E.
Armstrong of West Conshohocken, Pa.,
Thomas R. Armstrong of Norfolk, Va.,
eight great grandchildren, a sister Inez
Sullivan of Frostproof, Fla., a brother,
William Donohoe of Bartow, Fla. and a
brother-in-law Richard B. Thomas of El
A Memorial service will be held Sat-
urday, July 9 at 11 a.m. from Gettysburg
Presbyterian Church with Rev. Louis Ny-
iri officiating. Interment will be private
in Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pa.
The family will receive friends following
the service. Memorials can be made to
Adams County Library System, 140 Bal-
timore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 or
Lutheran Homecare and Hospice, 260
West High Street, Gettysburg, Pa. 17325.
Online condolences and obituary avail-
able at monahanfuneralhome.com.
Monahan Funeral Home is in charge
(Daniel) and Kelley Boyer; one great-
grandson, John Tyrie Willis Hellmuth;
cousins, Alick and Donna Gerard,
Phillip and Priscilla Gerard, and their
families; the Earl V. Norton family.
Memorial services will be held at
Grace Episcopal Chapel in Orange Park,
Fla. on June 30, 2011 at 2 p.m., with re-
ception following at the Club Continen-
tal. In lieu of flowers, donations may be
made to the Lake Wales Literacy Coun-
cil (140 E. Park Avenue, Lake Wales, Fla.
33853) or the St. Augustine Humane
Society (P.O. Box 133, St. Augustine, Fla.
32085). Condolences may be sent to the
family at www.marionnelsonfuneral-
Marion Nelson Funeral Home is in
charge of arrangements.
Clement "Libbet" .
Weidlein, 81, of '
peacefully at her
home on Friday,
June 17, 2011.
She was born
Aug. 25, 1929,
to Hugh O'Neal
Clement, in Engle- Elizabeth Clement
wood, N.J. She "Libbet"Weidlein
was a 1947 gradu-
ate of the Dana Hall School in Wellesley,
Mass., began her university studies at
Bennington Women's College in Ben-
nington, Vt., and earned a B.S. in sociol-
ogy from the University of Pittsburgh in
197A. Libbet's interests were many and
varied: she was active for many years
on the women's committee at Christ
Episcopal Church, Greensburg, and
Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake
Wales, Fla. She was a volunteer with the
Stephen Ministries. She participated
in many programs of the Westmore-
land Museum of American Art, and the
Westmoreland Garden Club. She sup-
ported many local charities, including
the Southwest Pennsylvania School for
Blind Children. An avid golfer, Libbet
was a member of Rolling Rock Club in
Ligonier, and Mountain Lake in Lake
Wales and a former member of the. Pike
Run Club and Greensburg Country
In addition to her parents, she was
preceded in death by her husband of
29 years, Robert Butts Weidlein; and by
her previous husband, Robert Leonard
Lewis, with whom she had her two sur-
viving children, Peter James Lewis and
Elizabeth Pixley Schiciano. She is also
survived by two grandchildren, Eliza-
beth Christina Schiciano and Nicholas
Thomas Schiciano; three stepchildren,
George M. Weidlein, William B. Weidlein
and Hazel L. Carney; and five step-
grandchildren, Karen E. and Elaine M.
Carney, and Sarah E., Katherine A. and
Emily M. Weidlein. Family and friends
are welcome from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednes-
day at the KEPPLE-GRAFT FUNERAL
HOME INC., 524 N. Main St., Greens-
burg. A funeral service will be held at
10 a.m. Thursday in Christ Episcopal
Church, 145 N. Main St., Greensburg,
with the Rev. Larry Knotts officiating.
After a reception in the undercroft,
private interment will be in Ligonier
Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Libbet's
family requests memorial donations to
the Westmoreland Museum of Ameri-
can Art, 221 N. Main St., Greensburg,
PA 15601 or the Stephen Ministries, 221
S. Fourth St., Lake Wales, FL 33853. Ter-
ence L. Graft, funeral director, entrusted
with arrangements. For online condo-
lences and information, please visit
W l i th
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June 22, 2011
e gaP 8A Frostproof News
VBS time to sail on the High Seas
PHOTO BY ED MIGA
High Point Church hosted the High Seas Expedition theme Vacation Bible School this past week with an average of a hundred kids each night
ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.
PHOTO BY ED MIGA
Playing a game of dodge ball, 9-year-old Bryce
Gary made it to the last five kids.
Schools Summit June 30
The Polk County School Board,
elected officials from 15 municipal
governments, members of the Florida
delegation and members of the state
legislature are scheduled to meet on
The schools summit will give an
update on school concurrency which
provides coordinated planning among
county and municipal governments
and the school district to ensure school
capacity is available at the time of resi-
The meeting is at the Davenport
School of the Arts, 4751 C.R. 547 N.,
The summit will include an update of
educational facilities completed, under
construction, in planning stages and
facility usage information.
The program will highlight the school
district's tie-in with the county com-
mission's Livable and Healthy Com-
munities initiative that includes open
campuses, physical education pro-
grams and healthy school meals.
The school district will also present
information about its STEM initiative.
STEM is an acronym for a national pro-
gram to enhance instruction in science,
technology, engineering and math.
The presentation will also include
photographs from the various con-
struction stages of the new Davenport
School of the Arts.
For information, call Larry Helton at
534-0811, firstname.lastname@example.org for
further information on the Educational
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PHOTO BY ED MIGA
Enjoying a snack, High Point Church on Burns Avenue served their version of a kabob that
consisted of fresh fruit served on long coffee straws.
"The smartest move I ever made.-
When you've earned Eagle Scout, the highest rank possible
in the Boy Scouts of America, by age 19 and attended three
national jamborees' over a period of 10 years, you know a thing
or two about what you want out of life.
For Bob Murley, scoutingset the foundation fora life well spent -
beginning in 1945 and spanning three decades either as a Scout
or as an organizational leader in one of his many roles. And, it
reminded him that 'being prepared' is always smart. Recently, Bobs
daughter asked, "Why stay in this big house alone7' Bob agreed
and before long discovered Waters Edge which he proudly calls
"the smartest move I ever made."
It seems all the traits of this Eagle Scout still serve him well today)
of Lake Wales
10 Grove Avenue West
Lake Wales, Flor:da 33853
4 or rf. Fonda Chian Hm, Cmmrr,
Frostproof News Page 9A
uJ ne 22 2011
MKeel again fills in for JD Alexander
McKeel again fills in for JD Alexander
June 22, 2011
says Medicaid costs
out of control'
By STEVE STEINER
The fact that for the second time within the past
several weeks, Florida Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake
Wales, canceled out of an appearance this time at
the Tiger Bay Club of Polk County did not sit well
with some attendees.
The other cancellation of recent occurrence was
several weeks ago, when Alexander was supposed to
conduct an elected officials forum at the Farm Bureau
However, it was not only these last two incidents
that some found irksome.
"I'm with the pool industry, and with the solar
industry, and he refused to meet with us," said Dillon
Daniels, with Pool Works Pool & Spa, and Allsolar
Service Company Inc., who added, tongue firmly
in cheek, "I understand the citrus industry is very
pleased with JD."
Daniels was referring to measures in which the
Citrus Commission had been affected by legislation
many believed Alexander ramrodded through in a
manner that not only misled citrus committee mem-
bers, but which he never fully vetted with them.
Because Alexander could not attend, Florida Rep.
Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland, was asked to fill in for Al-
exander/ this time it was as guest speaker at the Tiger
Bay Club of Polk County's July event.
It was the second time McKeel had agreed to step
in, the previous time being the Farm Bureau lun-
It was also the second time McKeel had appeared
as guest speaker at Tiger Bay within the past 12
months. Being familiar with the procedures, giving
a 10-minute presentation and then taking questions
submitted on index cards, McKeel raced through his
presentation. The first topic he touched upon was
the state budget, which "takes the oxygen out of the
room," he said.
Like almost all states, Florida has struggled, but
not as badly as some states, such as California, which
McKeel said might be on the brink of bankruptcy, or
New York, which is looking to raise taxes yet again. In
the same breath, he compliniented Texas on the good
job it had done, and took a dig at the federal govern-
"We don't have the ability to spend our way out of
debt," said McKeel, and added that Florida also did
not have the ability to borrow from future genera-
tions of Floridians.
PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER
Florida House of Representative Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland, filled in again for Florida Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, this time at
the Tiger Bay Club of Polk County July luncheon.
Two important issues face Florida, he said, educa-
tion and transportation, and the cuts made to those
two were "difficult decisions." However the major
challenge before the Legislature, said McKeel, was
Medicaid spending, which now costs Florida more
than $19 billion ($20.2 billion, with $1.4 billion out-
of-state general revenue i.e. money that flows into
the state such as sales tax, document stamps, etc.,
that is not earmarked for any specific project).
"Those costs are escalating out of control. The
more dollars Medicaid 'eats,' the less there is for
other programs," said McKeel. "There are people in
the state who depend upon the state to survive. If we
don't put our hands on Medicaid growth, we're going
to be in very deep trouble."
School nutrition was a hot button topic for McK-
eel, who added that while that issue ranked low at
the Department of Education,-it ranked high with
Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam, which is
why school nutrition was moved from the DOE to the
Other topics McKeel touched upon included educa-
tion and energy. These would also arise during the
question and answer segment. However, the domi-
nant theme was the budget, once again, the issue of
Medicaid. He favored privatization, one reason being
that it would place the onus of controlling costs -
and fraud upon the provider.
One of the final questions McKeel took was wheth-
er he would encourage his children and others to
enter politics. Yes. In his response, he said the system
was deliberately designed to make the passage of bills
and other matters difficult.
"It's always fun poking fun at the process. The pro-
cess was designed not to work very well," he said. "If
it worked very well, you'd have tyranny."
As an example, he spoke of the most previous
session. "We filed over 3,000 bills," said McKeel. "We
Swiftmud names interim exec director
William S. Bilenky is the Southwest Florida Water
Management District's interim executive director.
Previous Executive Director David Moore's resig-
nation was accepted by the governing board at its
meeting last week. He had served in that post since
March 2003, and resigned on May 26. Moore will
continue to serve in an advisory capacity until July
Bilenky has been with Swiftmud since September
1999 and was its general counsel since March 2000.
As general counsel, Bilenky provided legal advice
and support to the Governing Board and Swiftmud,
appearing on their behalf before the Department of
Administrative Hearings, the Legislature, the state
trial and appellate courts, and federal agencies and
Before joining Swiftmud, Bilenky was in private
practice and has also been the general counsel to
'the Florida Public Service Commission.
He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engi-
neering from Cornell University, a master's degree
in business administration from Florida State Uni-
versity and a juris doctorate from the University of
.Florida. He has been admitted to the Virginia State
Bar; The Florida Bar; the Bars of the United States
Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeal
for the 4th, 5th, 11th and D.C. Circuit; the Federal
District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts
of Virginia; and the Bankruptcy Court Bar for the
Eastern District of Virginia.
Bilenky is also a Florida Supreme Court-Certified
Circuit Court mediator.
While Bilenky is to serve as the executive director,
the agency is conducting a nationwide search for a
permanent replacement for Moore.
The executive director functions as the chief ex-
ecutive officer of the District, which includes daily
direction and operating responsibility for more than
700 full-time staff members, the District's $280 mil-
lion budget and all organization assets.
The executive director is also responsible for rec-
ommending and implementing policies adopted by
the District's 13-member Governing Board.
The executive director will be appointed by the
District's Governing Board. However, the appoint-
ment is subject to approval by the Governor and
confirmation by the Florida Senate upon employ-
The position is posted on the District's website
at WaterMatters.org/jobs. The deadline to apply is
Friday, July 15, at 5 p.m.
Pa e 10A Frost roof Ne s
Rob Clancey, an administrator at
Polk State College, was elected Presi-
dent-elect of the National Council for
Continuing Education and Training for
Clancey served as Director of Polk
State's Corporate College since 2003
and has served on the NCCET Board of
Directors since 2005.
NCCET is an association for con-
tinuing education professionals. The
Council's membership includes more
than 300 institutions from across the
United States and works to promote
best practices in continuing and con-
Clancey plans to "work with my
colleagues on the Board as well as the
Council's staff to continue to execute
and refine strategic plans we have
worked on over the last several years,
during my prior terms as an NCCET
board member," he said.
At Polk State College, Clancey's re-
sponsibility includes a $2 million con-
tract training operation, headquartered
at Polk State's Airside facility in Lake-
land and serving 12,000 students from
PSC, hailed the
as a validation
of the important
and his staff do
on a daily basis:
"There is no
doubt that con-
tion is one of
the ways that we
will get not only
also the nation's
In addition to
its Airside Cen-
Rob Clancey, an
administrator at Polk
State College, has been
of the National Council
for Continuing Educa-
tion and Training for the
ter, Polk State College has campuses
in Winter Haven and Lakelarid and a
center in Lake Wales.
banned on state land
Extreme drought conditions and
increasing wildfire threats have brought
a temporary statewide ban on open
campfires on all state lands.
Enacted by the Division of Forestry,
the temporary restriction prohibits
all fires placed openly on the ground
until further notice or until the threat
of wildfire is significantly diminished.
Cooking fires contained in commercial-
ly-designated apparatuses such as grills
and embedded metal fire rings are not
prohibited at this time.
"We need the public's help in keeping
visitors and natural resources safe by
refraining from lighting campfires on
state lands,"said Jim Karels, director of
the Division of Forestry.
The restriction applies to state forest
lands and public lands managed by the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission, Department of Environ-
mental Protection and regional Water
In the past six months, Forestry
personnel have responded to more
than 3,300 wildfires and battled almost
200,000 acres of burning wildlands
across the state. While the majority of
these fires were caused by lightning
strikes, a large number were acts of
arson or human carelessness.
For information regarding the
campfire restrictions on state lands or
Florida wildfire activity and to learn
how you can help, visit www.fl-dof.
com or contact your local Division of
Violators could get up to 60 days in
jail and a $500 fine.
FDOT invites trans-
portation investment in
Florida to grow jobs
Florida Department of Transporta-
tion Secretary Ananth Prasad wants to
people to know the Florida is open for
business and now is the time to invest
in Florida's transportation future as
we help initiate private sector employ-
The annual application and award
cycle for the State Infrastructure Bank
Program will run from begin July 1-Aug.
The SIB Program is a revolving loan
and credit enhancement vehicle con-
sisting of two separate accounts and is
used to leverage funds to improve proj-
ect feasibility. It can provide loans and
other assistance to public and private
entities carrying out or proposing to
carry out transportation projects.
Projects awarded from the federally
funded account must be eligible for
assistance under title 23 United States
Code or capital projects as defined in
Section 5302 or title 49 USC and must
be included in the adopted compre-
hensive plans of the applicable Met-
ropolitan Planning Organization and
must conform to all federal and state
laws, rules and standards.
Loans may bear interest at or below
market interest rates and are expected
to be announced Oct. 21. Funds avail-
able July 1, 2012.
Application and award dates are pre-
liminary and are subject to change.
For further information, visit http://
finance/sib.shtm or call Jennifer G.
Weeks, SIB program manager at (850)
414-4459 or e-mail jenniferg.weeks@
"Art for the Middle Classes: Amer-
ica's Illustrated Magazines of the
1840s" by Cynthia Patterson of the
University of South Florida Poly-
technic was chosen to receive the
only honorable mention awarded to
books published last year in the field
of American periodical studies by the
Adjudication Panel for the EBSCO-
Research Society for American Peri-
odicals Book Prize.
Patterson's book was "esteemed
by its readers and judged a 'pioneer-
ing work' that will be 'essential to
the study of 19th Century Ameri-
can literature and culture ... and a
model for periodical studies more
broadly,'" said Craig Monk, associate
dean of the University of Lethbridge
in Alberta, Canada and co-editor of
Patterson, an assistant professor of
English, said: "To have my first book
pronounced receive such recogni-
tion by a very distinguished panel of
judges who are my peers and experts
in the field of periodical studies is
indeed truly rewarding. I am deeply
honored by this recognition from my
colleagues for my work."
The book provides a history of the
periodicals that brought art and so-
phistication to the rising middle class
in the American heartland. Patterson
examines the economics of artistic
production, innovative engrav-
ing techniques, regional imitators,
textual illustrations accompanying
engravings, and the principal artists
and engravers contributing to these
"Art for the Middle Classes: Amer-
ica's Illustrated Magazines of the
1840s" is available from the Univer-
sity Press of Mississippi.
A Polk County resident, Patterson
joined the USF Polytechnic faculty
in 2005 after completing her Ph.D.
in cultural studies at George Mason
Alico names new CFO
Alico, Inc., announced Monday the
hiring of Mark Humphrey as chief
financial officer, effective June 20.
Humphrey will be responsible for all
corporate finance, treasury and ac-
counting functions for Alico Inc. and its
Humphrey most recently was the
chief financial officer for the Compass
Management Group, LLC, a diversified
company involved in the management
of homeowners associations in South-
west Florida. Prior to his involvement
with the Compass Management Group
he held similar positions with Prime
Microwave, Inc., and Source Interlink
He started his career with Pricewa-
terhouseCoopers and spent two years
in the firm's National Accounting & SEC
Directorate in New York City where he
helped develop Sarbanes Oxley meth-
odology for the firm and its clients.
Humphrey holds a B.S. and M.S.
in accounting from the University of
Florida and he has a CPA designation.
"We are pleased to have Mark join
our team. His background in public ac-
counting and business experience will
be a tremendous benefit to the com-
pany," noted Alico President and CEO
Polk State's Clancey
tapped to lead
prof gets recognition
for first book
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Frostproof News Page llA
uJ ne 22 2011
First Institutional hosts 37th Annual
Session of District Congress
Call goes out for family commitment
By KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ,
AND SHAQUILLE SNELL,
Ask the Reverend Dr. J.J. Pierce if a fa-
ther is a necessary part of a family, and
if a family suffers in the absence of a
father, and he will say, "Yes, it certainly
is, and that's why the family is in such
disarray, because the head is missing.
The head controls the rest of the body.
When that is missing, the home can
easily go away."
Pierce notes it is a man's duty to love
his children, and that is part of the
mission of the church to educate
families how to care for one another.
Hence, the theme was developed
for this year's
Session of the
of the Greater
held at First
about 300 in attendance who came to
learn more about how to keep families
"Calling Families To Faithful Com-
mitment To The Lord."
With Father's Day the Sunday im-
mediately following the conference, the
timing of the conference could have
been considered exqct.
Pierce notes the consequences of
having a family without a father who
loves and cares for the family can be
"Children are misguided and feel
insecure, and look for love in all the
wrong places. Children end up with the
wrong elements, and can get involved
with gang violence, with no motivation
for being productive," he said.
The Reverend adds it is the father
who gives the son a "man's identity,"
much like womanhood is modeled for
little girls by their mothers.
"There needs to be a two-parent
home," he said.
"Unfortunately, it's not the way it is
in every case. But the husband is the
priest of his home, and under that um-
brella comes a lot of things like provid-
er, protector, encourager, disciplinarian
and the one who expresses love in a
three-dimensional way," Pierce notes.
Three-dimensions of love
The three dimensions, he adds, are
loving their families redemptively, sac-
rificially and unconditionally.
Redemptive love is that which loves
one's children "regardless of how kids
"Parents have to understand children
will be children and you have to love
them through that," he said.
When kids rebel and leave the home
in their rebellion, later only to come
to their senses and return home, the
Reverend says one's attitude should not
be "well you left here, you should stay
"If you don't want them, who does?"
Sacrificial love is equally challenging
with the generation gap and the fact
that most children don't understand
what it takes to run a household.
Most children don't equate that
turning down the air conditioner costs
more money, or that eating the food in
the refrigerator is actually consuming
tomorrow's meal, he adds.
Many parents today feel like giving
up and.saying "I'm not going to do it
any more," he said.
Their future is at stake.
"If it takes two jobs to educate them,
then do it, because you love them sac-
rificially," Pierce notes.
The dividends then return not only to
the family, but to the community.
Parents today could learn the art of
"unconditional" love as well, he adds.
"It's hard to find because so many
conditions are placed on caring: 'I'll
love you as long as you do what I say, as
long as you don't talk back' while others
say 'if you give me any trouble, you are
out of here,'" a notion Pierce rejects.
"We've got to love them before they
get upset, after they get upset, while
they're pouting ... and when they make
a mistake, not throw it up in their face."
Preserving a Yearly Tradition
Reverend Roosevelt Cooper served
as the Moderator of the event, which
rotates from year to year as to where it
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PHOTO BY ED MIGA
Rev. Dr. J.J. Pierce is the minister at First Institutional Missionary Baptist Church.
is held. Once every four years, it comes
to Lake Wales. This year, First Institu-
tional Missionary Baptist Church is
hosting both yearly functions, the one
held over Father's Day weekend and
the next District Association meeting in
First Institutional Missionary Baptist
Church is located at 205 "D" Street and
Lincoln Avenue in Lake Wales.
Those serving during the event
included: Rev. Dr. Joseph J. Pierce, Sr.,
Host And District Moderator, Emeritus;
Rev. Lionel E Camel, President; Rev.
Robert L. Rease, Vice President; Rev.
James West, Jr., Dean.
Devotions, scripture and prayer
were brought by the deacons, with the
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PHOTO BY ED MIGA
Local music director
Joseph Leath tells the
choir to sing louder.
June 22, 2011
Page 12A Frostproof News
Frostproof News Page 13A
COMMIT: Call goes out
FROM PAGE 12
singspiration brought by FIMBC Praise
Team. Sister Teresa Lewis brought the
welcome, with Sister Pamela Camel,
the response to the Welcome.
City officials were on hand for Tues-
day's meeting, bringing greetings, and
included: Lake Wales Police Chief Chris
Velasquez, City Commissioners Ter-
rye Howell and Betty Wojcik, and Lake
Wales Mayor Mike Carter.
Greetings from the Polk County
Sheriff's Office were brought by Major
Joe H. Halman. Worship in giving was
brought by the Finance Committee.
Rev. Lawrence Epps, Jr. brought the
introduction of the messenger for
Tuesday night, which was Evangelist
James Wells, Jr. Moderator Coooper
brought introduction of Congress
Officers. Deacon N. Minton brought
Words of Thanks. Remarks provided by
Rev. L.E Camel and Dean, Rev. J.West,
Jr. Benediction was spoken by Rev. Dr.
Wednesday's program, taught by
The Dean's Institute for the adults was
"Christian Ethics." Children ages 3-5
studied "I can do what Jesus did," while
youth, ages 6-8 yrs. old learned "Teach
Me Honesty." Youth ages 9-13 studied
"Teach Me Respect" while ages 12 -17
studied "The Search."
That afternoon, class offerings were
brought, while the Junior Choirs were
enrolled, as were Junior Ushers of all
Thursday morning, the theme "The
Church Foundationally Strong," was
brought by FIMBC.
Evening programs included inspira-
tion devotion, brought by the Deacons,
Choirs, Ushers, St. John First Mission-
ary Baptist Church of Belle Glade, Fla.
and sermon by the Rev. Dr. Robert
Friday morning was Church T-shirt
day, including breakfast by FIMBC.
Youth enjoyed afternoon activities.
Friday Night's inspiration devotion
was brought by DMEC Youth Choir,
while the Rev. Lionel E Camel brought
the President Annual Address.
Rev. Dr. K.T. Turner presented the
Invitation to Christian Discipleship,
while Moderator Rev. Roosevelt Cooper
showed Appreciation for the President.
Saturday morning culminated the
event with an oratorial on "Calling all
Families to a Faithful Commitment to
Those responsible for "Show Some
Sign of Commitment" were the Con-
gress Officers: Rev. Lionel E Camel,
President; Rev. Dr. Robert Rease,
Vice-President; Sis. Jennie Edwards,
Recording Secretary; Bro. Kevin Wright,
Corresponding Secretary; Sis. Ruadean
Butts, Financial Secretary; Elder Dr.
Charlie Ed Reese, Treasurer; Sis. Mary
Autrey, Musician/Chorister; Sis. Eva
The Dean's Institute Staff
includes:Rev. James West Jr., Dean;
Rev. Lemorris Camel, Dean's Assistant;
Dea. C. Foster, Adult Males, Instruc-
tor; Dea. Robert Butts, Adult Males,
Instructor; Sis. Dorothy Davis, Chil-
dren-3 Years to 5 Years, Instructor; Sis.
Edith Henderson, Children-6 Years to
8 Years, Instructor; Sis. Brenda Chavez,
Children-9 years to 11 years, Instruc-
tor; Sis. Eva Reese, Females-12-17
Years, Instructor; Rev. Lemorris Camel,
Males- 12-17 Years, Instructor; Sis. Bo-
nita Moore, Adult Females, Instructor.
Kathy Leigh Berkowitz can be reached
PHOTO BY ED MIGA
Forty or so kids performed at the First Institutional Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday
PHOTO BY ED MIGA
District Youth Choir band joined the powerful voices as one in Saturday morning's gathering.
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State redistricting will be long, contentious battle
By MARY ELLEN KLAS
ST PETERSBURG TIMES
Florida legislators began three
months of public hearings Monday
to hear what voters have to say about
their once-a-decade task of realign-
ing the state's political maps to reflect
shifts in population and growth.
Known as reapportionment of the
population, and redistricting of legisla-
tive and congressional seats, it is an
exercise like no other in state govern-
Redistricting is raw politics to the
core often fostering unusual alli-
ances of ideologically opposite legis-
lators whose goal is to preserve their
own political careers and broaden their
It will be driven by technology, with
new software and databases that allow
lawmakers to determine the voting pat-
terns of every block and enable public
inspection of every map.
It will inevitably erupt into a legal
battle, as new redistricting rules im-
posed by nearly 63 percent of voters in
the 2010 election attempt to ban the
protection of incumbents and shield
minority voting rights but leave more
potential trip wires than ever before.
And it will shape Florida history.
While a fraction of voters may turn out
for a general election and dictate state
politics for two to four years, redistrict-
ing forces politicians to hit the reset
button and that can leave a political
imprint for decades.
"We are starting with a blank slate"
House Redistricting Chairman Will
Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, told a
Tallahassee radio station this month.
"It is a pain. It's a lot of work but I think
it's very important. What you're really
doing is making sure everyone's vote is
The House and Senate redistricting
committees will begin their so-call "lis-
tening tour" of 26 cities in Tallahassee
Monday with some basic facts:
Florida grew from 15.98 million in
2000 to 18.8 million in 2010, enough to
reward the state with two new congres-
sional districts a total of 27.
The rebalancing of population will
mean that the "ideal" sized congres-
sional district will grow from 639,000
people to 696,000. The 40 districts in
the state Senate will grow in popula-
tion from 399,000 to 470,000, and the
120 state House seats will expand from
133,000 to 157,000.
Lawmakers want people to bring
their ideas and concerns to the public
hearings, which will continue through
the Panhandle this week, go to the
Northeast Coast and Central Florida in
July, hit South Florida in mid August
and finish up in Tampa, St. Petersburg
and Southwest Florida in late August.
The most obvious changes will come
in the districts that have seen the most
growth in the past decade, or whose
stagnant growth makes them smaller
than the new ideal district. That
includes the super-crowded district
of freshman Congressmen Richard
Nugent, R-Brooksville, which is 33.5
percent overpopulated. The district of
U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Cape Coral,
is 23 percent overcapacity and U.S.
Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, has seen
his district grow 21 percent.
In the state Senate, the districts of
Republican Sens. Alan Hays of Uma-
tilla, Ronda Storms of Valrico and Paula
Dockery of Lakeland also will have
to shrink. Rep. Stephen Precourt, an
Orlando Republican, has the dubious
distinction of having the most bloated
district in state government, having
grown 61 percent over capacity in the
Weatherford, the House's designated
speaker in 2012, has a district that must
lose 55 percent of its'population. Down
state, freshman Rep. Greg Steube, R-
Sarasota, has to lose 54 percent of his
Several legislative districts, however,
won't contract, but will have to ex-
pand potentially pitting incumbents
against each other. The districts that
are now smaller than the ideal size are
those of Republican Sen. Dennis Jones
of Seminole and Reps. Larry Ahern of
St. Petersburg, Ed Hooper of Clearwa-
ter, Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg and
Erik Fresen of Miami. Democratic Reps.
Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg, Daryl
Rouson of St. Petersburg and Daphne
Campbell of Miami Shores also must
cover more geography to reach the
are expected to
district population goal.
Unlike the redistricting efforts in
1992 and 2002, which allowed for the
quiet protection of incumbents as long
as minority representation was given
priority, the new Amendments 5 and
6 explicitly say that congressional or
legislative districts "may not be drawn
to favor or disfavor an incumbent or
Even stronger are the amendments'
requirement that districts "shall not
be drawn to deny racial or language
minorities the equal opportunity to
participate in the political process and
elect representatives of their choice"
a provision that Republican leaders
say is a stronger protection than exist-
ing law. And, finally, the constitutional
mandate imposes what is considered
a second tier priority that dis-
tricts must be contiguous, compact,
"as equal in population as feasible,
and where feasible must make use of
existing city, county and geographical
That is a heavy lift for a Legislature
that two decades ago created Florida's
Third Congressional District, an ink-
splat-shaped splotch that strings to-
gether a majority of African-American
and Democratic voters across nine
counties and 140 miles from Jackson-
ville to Orlando.
The district is held by Democrat
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown and it helped
her become and remain one of three
African Americans elected to Congress
from Florida in 1992 the first time
In 1992, Brown was a state represen-
tative and part of a coalition of black
lawmakers who joined with Republi-
cans then the minority party to
concentrate black voters into a dis-
trict comprising a majority of African
American voters. It's a process called
"bleaching," which former Supreme
Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
once called "legislative apartheid."
By removing reliably Democratic
black voters from surrounding dis-
tricts, the realignment helped Florida
Republicans win control of the Legisla-
ture and eventually the congressional
As a testament to the lasting power of
redistricting, Brown's district remained
intact through the redistricting process
of 2002 and is now regarded as one
of the most severely gerrymandered
districts in the nation.
A 2002 legal challenge to the Leg-
islature's redistricting maps argued
that the districts weren't compact or
community based. The Florida Su-
preme Court rejected that challenge,
however, saying that compactness and
community-based boundaries were not
constitutionally required. The web-
site Redistricting the Nation, run by
the software firm Azavea, has studied
Florida's congressional districts and
ranks them among the least compact in
The state's new redistricting stan-
dards aim to change that. Meanwhile,
a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a
North Carolina case found that the only
election districts entitled to the minor-
ity voting rights protections of the fed-
eral Civil Rights Act are those districts
in which minorities make up at least 50
percent of the voting age population.
The redistricting rules and the federal
court decisions now raise the ques-
tion of whether Brown's district and
many others like it in Florida that
were designed to produce a political
outcome will withstand this year's
"That's the million-dollar question"
said Susan MacManus a University of
South Florida political science profes-
sor and redistricting expert. "I liken it
to a kaleidoscope. You turn it one way
and everything else changes. People are
going to see the plans and judge them
differently. It's a formula for uncer-
The day after voters approved the re-
districting Amendments 5 and 6, Brown
sued, along with U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz
Balart, a Miami Republican who as a
legislator in 2002 helped draw himself a
successful congressional seat. They ar-
gued that the amendments will reverse
their hard-fought attempts to gain
black and Hispanic representative in
Congress. They fear that their districts,
now packed with minority voters, will
be diluted and make it potentially more
difficult for minorities to stay in office.
The Florida House joined the lawsuit,
June 22, 2011
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Growers could get ready for aerial assault
"Whirlybird' could prove useful in war on
By TAMARA LUSH
LAKE ALFRED (AP) The knee-
high contraption resting on a patch of
dirt near an orange grove looked like a
cross between a tiny helicopter and a
But this toy isn't for kids; the helicop-
ter made for hobbyists is actually the
latest technology in crop monitoring.
Standing nearby with a shiny silver
control panel that looks like something
out of a Star Trek episode, University of
Florida researcher Reza Ehsani is the
pilot of the remote-controlled chop-
per. He flipped a few switches and the
miniature aircraft lifted gently into the
air and whizzed over the green trees.
Ehsani fiddled with a toggle and the
helicopter hovered some 30 feet in the
air over an orange tree.
"I call it the whirlybird," he said.
Although the idea is still in the re-
search stage, Ehsani and other Florida
researchers said it's a promising and
inexpensive way to view crops from
above, giving farmers much-needed
clues about what's really happening
between the leaves and branches.
They've attached a GPS device under
its domed top and expensive camera
equipment to its belly. Using those GPS
coordinates, researchers can visit an
area more than once, snapping high-
resolution images from above. The
photos help researchers and farmers do
everything from count individual trees
and detect problems with watering
to monitor the deadly citrus greening
disease, a vital task in Florida.
The Florida researchers' technology
A remote control helicopterfitted with a special camera flies toward an orange crop recently in Lake Alfred.. The device allows researchers to take
photos of crops from the air and detect disease or other problems.
has also been used for crops in Or-
egon, Nebraska and Arkansas and even
Malaysia. It costs between $3,000 and
$20,000, depending on the size of the
model chopper and sophistication of
the camera. The images are then down-
loaded and scrutinized with computer
"We want to be able to see individual
leaves," Ehsani said.
University of Florida citrus researcher Reza Ehsani holds a remote control helicopter. The device is
fitted with a camera and is used to monitor crops from the air.
He and other researchers.have looked
into aerial crop monitoring for years
with limited success. Full-sized heli-
copters and fixed-wing airplanes flown
by a human pilot were too costly for
most farmers to use regularly. Schedul-
ing flight time and weather also ham-
pered repeat monitoring. And photos
weren't great because the planes and
helicopters couldn't get close to the
Ehsani also considered using more
traditional remote-controlled planes to
"You have to have a very well-trained
pilot," he laughed. "The plane crashes,
and you lose your expensive sensor and
Enter the Mikrokopter.
Made in Germany, the helicopter
varies in size and power. Some models
have four rotors, others, six or eight.
The Florida researchers modified it
- Ehsani acknowledged the tweaks
required some electronics know-how
- and mounted a swiveling carriage at
the bottom so the camera will always
be steady, even under windy condi-
tions. The six-rotor copter can carry
about 5 pounds in weight and fly for
more than a half hour. It's powered by a
lithium ion polymer battery.
The Florida team can put different
cameras on the helicopter so it can take
various types of photos.
In Oregon, the members helped a
farmer at a nursery count potted trees.
In Malaysia, they checked out the size
and height of palm trees grown for oil.
Richard Ferguson of the University
of Nebraska has a helicopter on order.
He will use it to look at irrigation in the
state's corn crops and to research with
his graduate students to look at nitro-
gen fertilizer applications and water
Ferguson added: "The aspect of fun
also comes in here."
Dharmendra Saraswat, a professor
at the University of Arkansas, calls the
contraption "a farmer-friendly unit"
that will help the state's farmers while
also saving them money. He saw the
helicopter in action when Oregon
researchers used it to count the trees in
a nursery. When he spoke with farmers
in Arkansas about the technology, one
pumpkin farmer wondered whether it
could help determine the size of each
individual pumpkin in his crop.
Saraswat was intrigued.
"There is a possibility that if we can
count trees, then we can count the size
of pumpkins, too," he said. "We have
not characterized the limits of this."
In Florida, the team used an expen-
sive infrared camera to look at orange
trees and the resulting images
showed how some trees were fat and
green, while others were smaller and
"Healthy trees reflect infrared light,"
he said. "This tells the farmer that
something is wrong."
Monitoring the trees from above is
especially helpful for citrus farmers,
who have a difficult time determining
whether the crop has contracted citrus
greening, a bacterial disease that kills
the trees. Greening begins at the top
of the tree, which is nearly impossible
to see from the ground. Even though
farmers hire people to visually inspect
the trees, they are incorrect 40 percent
of the time when monitoring, Ehsani
With the tiny helicopter, the.treetops
are visible in crisp detail.
The technology also allows farmers
to precisely check the same area of the
crop multiple times something they
can't do on foot or with a larger, piloted
AP PHOTOS /TAMARA LUSH
University of Florida citrus researcher Reza
Ehsani stands near a remote control helicopter.
The device is fitted with a camera and is used
to monitor crops from the air.
June 22, 2011
61 A p Fl P rn fNTwr
Multiple fundraising efforts under way
for Haines City soldier injured in Iraq
By SALLI O' QUINN
Army Spc. Charles "Charlie" Lemon
was just 53 days away from finishing
his hitch in the military when his tank
ran over an explosive device in Iraq
on June 8, causing injuries and burns
which resulted in the loss of both legs.
You might think that makes him un-
PHOTO BY SALLY O'QUINN
Nancy Towns O'Neal and David Towns, Charles
Lemon's aunt and uncle, were a part of the
fundraising event held June 18. Lemon was
injured in an lED explosion in Iraq.
lucky, but this soldier is lucky in other
A 2001 graduate of Haines City High
School, Lemon has a support system of
family and friends who are praying fer-
vently for his recovery and organizing
fundraisers to help him and his family
through this difficult time. One such
event was held Saturday, June 18, in
Winter Haven's downtown Central Park,
as "Clicks for Charlie" offered 45-min-
ute photography sessions from 9 a.m.-6
p.m., with all proceeds going to benefit
The event was organized by his
cousin, Brianna Towns, who doesn't
mind taking on responsibility when it's
for a good cause. She explained that a
PayPal account, "Charlie's Change for
Change," has also been set up for dona-
tions online. In addition to Saturday's
photography sessions, a raffle was
scheduled, with prizes including a gift
basket of toiletries and an adorable
Yorkshire terrier puppy who napped in
a nearby cage.
The gift basket was donated by Missy
Eby, the "Coupon Queen" of Auburn-
dale, who has made multiple appear-
ances on TLC's reality show, Extreme
"-She wanted to donate something
for Charlie," said Nancy Towns O'Neal,
Lemon's aunt. "We had a celebrity here
O'Neal and her brother, Lemon's
uncle David Towns, offered information
on Lemon's progress at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center in Washington,
D.C., where Lemon has been released
from ICU, amazingly after only one
"He's got people praying for him all
over the country," explained O'Neal.
President Obama visited the hospi-
tal on Friday to greet the 21 wounded
service members from Iraq and
Afghanistan. Unfortunately, Lemon
was undergoing a 10-hour surgery and
missed meeting the president.
"But he (Obama) spoke to (Charlie's
sister) Kim," David Towns explained.
"And he signed his banner, thanking
him for his service. r consider it an
Lemon's family was not the only
support group at the June 18 event.
Friends and former co-workers were
on hand, offering facepainting sessions
and getting the word out about future
fundraising efforts. Jacqueline Colello,
who once worked with Charlie at Ben-
nigan's, in Tampa, said a car wash and
event nights at local Tampa bars and
restaurants are upcoming. Hamburger
Mary's will offer a-bingo night and The
Press Box, a favorite of Lemon's, also
wants to help out in some way.
"By next week, we should have our
website up and running," said Colello,
who wore a T-shirt with the message,
"You're Amazing Charlie!" in red, white
and blue letters. "It's going to be called
It was a reference to Lemon's first
Facebook message after he regained
consciousness, "There you go. I'm
awake, I can talk and I can do back-
flips." In addition to organizational up-
dates, the website will sell wristbands,
hats and T-shirts to raise money.
Cherylene Towns, Lemon's mother,
PHOTO BY SALLY O' QUINN
Brianna Towns, Charles Lemon's cousin, and the organizer of a fundraising event held June 18,
stands alongside a drawing her younger brother, Will, made.
PHOTO BY SALLY O'QUINN
acqueline Colello, Jillian Richards, Jen Marshall and Nicole Logsdo (from left) are organizing
events in the Tampa area for Charles Lemon, who was severely injured in an IED blast while
serving in Iraq.
is also in Washington to be near her Lemon will be transferred to the Army
son, along with his sister, Kim Lemon. Burn Center in San Antonio, Texas, to
However, recent health problems have undergo skin grafts on his amputations.
not allowed his father Herman Towns "He's strong," said Charlie's aunts,
to leave Florida for a visit. The family uncles and cousins.
presently waits for a release date when
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Frostproof News Page 17A
June 22, 2011
Native American and American Patriotic
exhibits on display at Depot Museum
The Historic Lake Wales Society and
Depot Museum is featuring Native
American artifacts from many tribes in
the United States, director Mimi Hard-
man announced today.
Donors for this exhibit include: na-
tive pictures and artifacts from Don
Scheck, including five sculptures of
Native Americans representing emo-
tions of life and experiences of Fury,
Joy, Trust, Grief and Mother Earth.
Scheck's sculptures can be seen in mu-
seums in Chicago and New York as well.
Blair Peterson Updike has loaned
some pottery, shards and utensils to
the Lake Wales exhibit.
The Janie Fleming family exhibit
includes unique items from Native
American sites throughout the United
States, and the Florida Museum of
Natural History has donated prehistoric
arrowheads, spear points and tools.
Red Fox Ely's collection includes
tomahawk heads, a peace pipe, and
The original Native American art-
work and prints include paintings by
Frederick Remington and many other
portrait prints from the McKenney Hall
Also, the award-winning Seminole
Chiefs premier portfolio by James
Hutchenson are on display.
A special feature of the exhibit are
two Native American canoes, carbon
dated at 1100 and 1500 years old.
A collection of Seminole dolls owned
by Dir. Mimi Hardman is also on ex-
The Depot Museum is open Monday
through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The
museum is closed on Sunday.
Admission is $2.
PHOTO BY MARY CANNADAY
This collection of military headgear, contrib-
uted by local residents and others, is a high-
light of the summer exhibit called "Patriotic."
This collection along with a collection of Native
American artifacts in the adjoining room,
provide for hours of browsing while learning.
PHOTO BY MARY CANNADAY
This replica of a Seminole Indian head-dress is
one of many colorful articles chronicling and
celebrating the Native American culture. Also
on exhibit through August is a collection of
American Patriotic artifacts.
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Page 18A Frostproof News
June 22, 2011
lune 22, 2011 Frostproof News Page 19A
Scott stands behind his citrus
But is willing to reexamine them in the future
By CLINTON BURTON
ESTERO Speaking at a meeting of
the Florida Citrus Commission in Lee
County Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott
tried to assuage a full house of grow-
ers and their concerns that a recently-
signed bill making sweeping changes
to the Department of Citrus would be
detrimental to the industry.
The provisions of SB 2122 signed
into law May 26 that have the citrus
industry up in arms include a cap on
citrus box taxes that fund advertising
by the Florida Department of Citrus.
Growers also are unhappy with the
bill's reduction of the citrus commis-
sion's 12-person panel to a nine-mem-
ber board by reducing the number of
citrus districts. Growers have expressed
concern that the reduction would
mean less representation for the citrus
industry in Tallahassee.
The bill also ended the term of all
current commissioners as of July 1 and
allowed Scott to appoint the nine new
The commission also will limit the
department's executive director to a
four-year term and make the appoint-
ment subject to Senate. confirmation.
Signing the bill is not the only shot
the citrus industry has taken from Scott
this year. Before signing the state's
$69 billion budget last month, Scott
vetoed $2 million in funding to conduct
research to fight the HLB disease, also
known as citrus greening.
Growers had lobbied hard for the
state money for research into citrus
greening, a bacterial disease that could
devastate commercial citrus growing
in Florida. The veto forced the state
citrus commission to shift money from
its critical marketing budget and other
sources to help pay for research.
Speaking to a luncheon for invited
guests and media at the Coconut Point
Hyatt hotel in Estero, Scott defended
his changing the Citrus Commission.
The bill was introduced by state Sen. JD
Alexander, R-Lake Wales, at the end of
the legislative session.
A citrus grower himself, Alexander
has refuted claims that the bill was not
properly vetted, saying he discussed
the legislation with citrus industry
leaders a month before it was intro-
Among other things, the bill includes
a cap on state per-box citrus taxes,
which fund the marketing activities of
the Florida Department of Citrus, and
increases legislative oversight of the de-
partment and its $54.7 million budget.
On Tuesday, Scott reappointed five
of the current commissioners and two
new ones, including Michael W Hay-
cock, vice president of operations for
Scott said Wednesday that he had
spoken to Alexander about the bill and
Alexander was willing to reconsider
some aspects of the restructuring.
The state is going to continue to do
x\har is best for the multibillion-dollar
citrus industry, he said.
"(The bill) made progress on where
the citrus commission should go, but
there are always areas where you can
improve," Scott said.
Commissioner Martin McKenna, one
of the commissioners reappointed by
Scott, acknowledged that flap over the
bill the last month "hasn't been pleas-
"I think it's had the impact of draw-
ing our industry closer together," said
Commissioner Jesse "Jay" Clark, who
was also reappointed by Scott. "We
realize the significance and importance
of being united and having a voice in
Tallahassee with our political leaders
up there. We like to talk in one single
voice in Tallahassee, so I hope the im-
pact draws us closer together."
In defending his action, Scott told the
citrus commissioners there was a lot to
look at in trying to make the right deci-
sions for the state.
"There were 3,036 lines in the budget
and you have to go through the lines
and try to allocate the money as best
that you can and figure out where you
are going to get the biggest return," he
said. "I'm going to continue to look at
that because I know it is an issue for
The Florida citrus industry says it
employs nearly 76,000 people, creating
a $9 billion annual economic impact.
Citrus growing covers about 875 square
miles in the state.
"We've done a very good job for our
counties," he said.
Scott said the state's focus on educa-
tion and Medicaid reform, as well a
new requirement for drug testing for
welfare applicants and a cut in prop-
erty and business taxes, are positives
for all of Florida.
Scott touted decreased unemploy-
ment numbers as an indicator of the
success of his administration, but
repeatedly skirted the question about
policies to aid struggling rural counties.
Afterward, Florida Citrus Mutual's
Director of Communications Andrew
Meadows said the commission accom-
plished its goal of making the governor
aware of its concerns, but he was un-
sure of what the results would be.
"The point of this meeting was to
communicate our disappointment,
work with him in the future and get
him to understand that we are a power-
ful economic engine in the state," he
Information from The Associated
Press was used in this story.
Gov. Rick Scott speaks with citrus growers at the Florida Citrus Mutual 2011 annual conference
Luxury Motor Coach: ..
-. Video access and Restroom Facilities I
Package Includes: Dinner at Sweet Tomatoes
* Admission to Park Snack on the Bus -10-12 Hour Tour
To purchase tickets: www.saywhow.com
S tudent & Children Rates Available. Groups Welcome
nI o call 863-978-0880 or email: email@example.com
Lake Wales Native
Tish Chambers Turner of Manchester,
Tn., graduated from Belmont University
with a Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Degree on May 14, 2011, during the
Nashville school's spring commence-
Tish is the daughter of Ronnie and
Dorothy Chambers of Lake Wales and
granddaughter of the late Julia Effie
Gov. Rick Scott shows off his custom embroi-
dered cowboy boots as he exits the Florida
Citrus Mutual 2011 Annual Conference
Luncheon in Estero Wednesday.
Frostproof News Page 19A
June 22, 2011
Page 20A Frostproof News June 22, 2011
'Produce a business
climate second to none
By PEGGY KEHOE
Freshman state Rep. Ben Albritton
learned some things quickly in his first
"The best thing in Tallahassee is
the people, and the worst thing is the
people," while "the biggest challenge is
the rule book."
Giving an update to the Bartow
Chamber Committee of 100 last Friday,
Albritton said he went to Tallahassee
"with no expectations."
One of the most "profound" mo-
ments he had was when he realized
"it's easier to kill a bill than pass one,"
but admitted that "might be a good
thing." This year's session passed one
of the smallest number of bills of any,
-Legislative staffers are "great," Albrit-
ton said, and have a historical perspec-
tive that was especially important with
43 freshman legislators this year.
Albritton, a citrus grower who has
served as chairman of the Florida
STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Florida's unemployment rate fell to
10.6 percent in May, the lowest since
The jobless rate was 10.8 percent in
April, and peaked in December at 12
Florida's total nonagricultural em-
ployment in May was 7.2 million, an
increase of 28,000 jobs from April.
"Today's announcement that un-
employment continues to drop and
businesses continue to add thousands
of jobs shows that Florida's economy
is moving in the right direction," said
Agency for Workforce Innovation Direc-
tor Cynthia R. Lorenzo.
According to officials from Polk
Works, the unemployment rate in Polkl
County for the month of May was at
10.8 percent, the same as the previous
month. That was a decrease of 0.9 per-
centage point from the rate the region
posted in the same month last year. In
May 2011, Polk County's unemploy-
ment rate was 0.3 percentage point
higher than the state rate of 10.5 per-
cent and 2.1 percentage points above
the national rate of 8.7 percent.
sion, focused on
speaking to the
Committee of 100.
and taxation are
two issues that
Albritton feels the
Legislature did a
"very good job" on
this year. These
two items are
what can attract
Out of a labor force of 274,493, there
were 29,674 unemployed Polk county
residents, local officials added. Florida
remains one of the hardest hit states in
the national when it comes to unem-
ployment. About 980,000 people still
remain unemployed in the state. That
number would be much higher if it
included workers who have stopped
looking for work or others who work
part time but would like to be fully
employed. The national unemployment
rate for May was 9.1 percent.
The industry gaining the most jobs in
Florida compared to May 2010 was lei-
sure and hospitality, up by 45,100 or 4.9
percent. Other industries gaining jobs
include private education and health
services (up 24,500 jobs or 2.3 percent);
trade, transportation, and utilities (up
10,500 jobs or 0.7 percent), and profes-
sional and business services (up 6,600
jobs, or 0.6 percent).
Industries that lost jobs since May
of last year include government (down
41,500 jobs or 3.6 percent); construc-
tion (down 14,300 jobs or 4.1 percent);
information (down 4,700 jobs or 3.5
percent); financial activities (down
1,300 jobs or 0.3 percent); and manu-
facturing (down 900 jobs or 0.3 percent.
from other states, Ben Albritton
he said. .
to "produce a business climate in this
state second to none."
He suggested committee members
check out the Florida Chamber of
Acknowledging that not everyone
would agree on this year's legislation,
Albritton said "I will always be a good
listener, but we may not come to agree-
Legislation that the Wauchula resi-
dent believes will help Florida are the
elimination of duplicative seaport se-
curity and deregulation of the telecom-
The state will save money by not
duplicating the services of Homeland
Security in guarding ports.
Deregulation of telecommunications
also was a good step, he said.
"At what point in time should a busi-
ness be deregulated?" Albritton asked.
"When it's mature, when it's going to
serve the customer best, when com-
petition is strong enough to regulate
More controversial perhaps was the
passage of several growth management
bills which gave much of the decision-
making to communities and counties.
'As it relates to expanding business,
it has never been as important as it is
today. Why does it not make sense to
make those decisions locally?"
Competition "keeps costs down and
produces better results." When it comes
to smaller communities versus larger
ones in competing to attract new busi-
ness, "is there a disadvantage? Maybe,"
Albritton admitted. But "I still think it's
better" to manage growth issues locally.
Communities then are "free to make
choices of how your community is
going to look in five years, 10 years. To
me that is wonderful, that's the way it's
supposed to be."
Albritton also discussed hurricanes
and home insurance.
"We're all supporting a system that
won't work," he said, referring to Citi-
zens Insurance. "The state can't afford
it ... We've got to fix this. Rates will go
"We're all paying for property around
the state," he asserted. "We don't live in
those homes, but we pay for them."
Asked what the alternative would be,
Albritton acknowledged, "That's going
to be a challenge. If you can breed
competition in the insurance business,
then you can get those houses covered.
More insurance companies won't come
in with Citizens in place."
Albritton supported the controversial
teacher bill, which includes perfor-
mance pay, based on a three-year-
average. Nothing that both his wife and
mother-in-law are longtime teachers,
he urged his listeners to read the bill for
"I know education is not exactly the
same as business," Albritton said, but
teachers should "be accountable and
be rewarded ... Not everyone that wants
to be a teacher should be.
"Teachers have to adapt; we have
bigger challenges today." He also said
teachers need more discipline tools.
His time in Tallahassee was busy.
Usually freshmen are assigned to five
committees: Albritton was named to
nine. "It was a real honor, but a bit of a
Albritton's District 66 spans three
counties, including southeast Polk, all
of Hardee County and a sliver of north-
western Highlands County.
'WinterHaven: 863.294.6612 'V
Lake Wales: 863.678.0222:
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Lake Wales News, Frostproof News, Fort Meade Leader
and Polk County Democrat! Call Vicki today! 863-676-3467
ruo oca ti orze ca
Page 20A Frostproof News
June 22, 2011
Onward and upward
PHOTO COURTESY CAROL HILL
Sherri Macklin was feted by friends and
co-workers last week in a gathering at the
Frostproof Care Center community room. She is
leaving her position as assistant vice-presdient
and office manager of the Citizen's Bank and
Trust branch in Frostproof. Macklin is staying
with the bank, She will be working in the
bank's loan division going forward.
HiliO F $,AM
.7 '02 JEEP LIBERTY '09 HYUNDAI SONATA
B 1 .988 1 16.488
'08 LINCOLN TOWN CAR '04 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER '01 MERCURY GR MARQUIS '05 BUICKLESABRE CUSTOM '05 PONTIAC MONTANA '08 CHEVROLET HHR LT '06 SCION XB '04 SUZUKI AERIO
$19,988 10,988 $5,9885 6,988 4,988 I13,988 $10,988 $4,488
'07 SUZUKI FORENZA '08 TOYOTA CAMRY '09 TOYOTA COROLLA '05 FORD ESCAPE '06 TOYOTA TUNDRA '06 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER What A Bank Should Be
6,988 14,988 13,988 8,988 13,988 16,988 FINANCING AVAILABLE
Frostproof News Page 21A
uJ ne 22 2011
BoWoW owner looking for the record
Attempt to break dog wedding record
By JEFF ROSLOW
Be prepared if you go to the Eagle
Ridge Mall this weekend as the dogs
will be out. And, they may be dressed
for it, too.
BoWoW, a bakery boutique specializ-
ing in gourmet dog treats and clothing
items, is trying to get into the Guiness
World Records for the most number of
dog weddings in one day. Her goal is
to marry 300 at the Holy Moly Mutt-
ramony Saturday, June 25.
The current record is 178:
"We want to do more than break it,"
Jennifer Lucas said. "We want to an-
Jill Kobe set the record in May 2007
in Littleton, Colo., at the Aspen Grove
mall where she was the general man-
ager. The event cost $50 per person and
the money went to the Dumb Friends
League, an animal-welfare organization
She was excited at the idea the record
could be broken and gives it a thumbs
up, but it has been tried and failed
There was an attempt to break the
record at the royal wedding for Prince
William and Princess Kate, she said.
Other attempts were made to break
the record but they all failed, she noted.
She is giving a warning, or maybe a
heads up, to Lucas. This could be a big-
ger event than she planned it to be.
"I didn't expect this to get national
attention," Kobe said. "It was on every-
thing. It was on ABC, Fox News, The
Associated Press came out to the event
and Ellen DeGeneres wanted to put it
on her show, but something happened
and it wasn't. It was also in InTouch
magazine and broadcast and written
about all over eastern Europe and in
In fact, if you type in "dog wedding"
and "Colorado" in Google there are
thousands of returns, including videos
of Kobe's event on YouTube.
Lucas is aware of that. She said a
company from Germany that saw the
event on the Internet has contacted her
and wants to do a documentary.
The dog wedding coming up this
weekend is an event that will help Bud-
dies Animal Rescue in Avon Park. It will
cost $2.50 to pre-register for the event
or $5 per dog the day of the event.
Lucas said the event will be held in the
back parking lot of the mall and she
wants to get everyone registered by 5:30
p.m. so the event can start at 6 p.m.
There will also be a speed dating
event that starts at 4:30 so "the dogs
can meet someone," she said.
The event will have two different sets
of vows. One is a companions mar-
riage and the other is a forever friends
"They don't have to do the whole
bride and groom thing," Lucas said.
"Everybody that comes gets a wed-
ding certificate and something that
says they helped to break a world
record," Lucas said.
Lucas got the idea because among
the items she sells are wedding dresses.
That isn't exactly where Kobe came
up with the idea. It happened because
she took her pug to work with her one
day and a friend of her's suggested that
pug could marry her pug. And it took
Five-year-old Aayla and 2-year-old Roli pose in wedding garb designed and sold at BoWow.
off from there.
"It was right around the time of the
bachelor's show and I thought it would
be hilarious," she said.
And her record-setting mind hasn't
stopped either. In the years since her
dog marriage record-setting event,
Kobe has moved to Sanibel on the Gulf
of Mexico. She now works as the execu-
tive director of the Sanibel Community
House, which hosts civic and private
"Sanibel is known as the shelling
capital of the world and we have the
75th anniversary of the shell fair com-
ing up," she said.
She wants to set the world record
for the largest scavenger hunt and
that probably would involve shells.
The current record is 212 participants
which was set in Canada on June 18,
2010. So far, Kobe said she has more
participants than that but she would
not reveal hovw many thire are because,
she said, you never know who might
The show is Sept. 17.
"I love publicity stunts," she said. "I
like marketing by humor."
Meanwhile Lucas is hopeful but con-
fident the record will be broken. '.
"Our goal is 300 pair and I'm not sure
we'll break that goal but we should,"
she said. "We want to make it hard for
the next people."
She said 300 sounded like a good
number because there are so many
dog-lovers in Polk County.
PHOTO BY ED MIGA
Here are some products available at BoWow in
the Eagle Ridge Mall.
Lake Wales Perkins closes
Lake Wales lost one restaurant chain,
as it fell to a larger circumstance.
According to an article in Ameri-
can City Business Journals, Perkins
and Marie Callender's Inc. closed 13 K ..
restaurants in California on June 12 in
advance of filing for Chapter 11 bank-
ruptcy protection the next day.
The closings in Florida include the
Perkins Restaurant in Lake Wales.
American City Business Journals said -
the company intends to implement a
financial restructuring plan which will
likely be complete by October. \ \\\'\
The Journals note "Wells Fargo Capi-
tal Finance is providing the restaurant
company with $21 million in financing,
which it will use with its cash on hand
to run operations during the restruc-
'After restructuring, the company
will be majority-controlled by private
investment funds managed by Wayzata
Investment Partners LLC, a Minnesota-
based private equity firm," the Journals... ....
state, adding "Perkins has stated that -
the continuing weak economy has hurt ... -
its business, noting that the recession
and the decline of housing prices hit
hardest in markets where the compa- PHOTO BY DEBRA GOUVELLIS
ny's restaurants are most concentrated:
Florida, California and Nevada." Perkins Restaurant in Lake Wales is now dosed.
June 22, 2011
Page 22A Frostproof News
Tune__ 22 01Fotro esPg 3
ZONING: Land purchased by church
FROM PAGE 1
had been cited for a number of violations stemming
from a small abandoned building on the land, to an
abandoned boat to weeds.
Liens against the property totaled some $5,800, city
officials indicated. In the settlement, the city will get
$2,500 of that, which officials indicated would cover
actual costs associated with the long enforcement
"We've been working on this property for some
time," City Manager T.R. Croley said. She added that
this solution was preferable to foreclosure.
"They've committed that they will take care of all
the code violations that currently are in effect."
Pastor Kelly Galati said the plan for a new church
had been discussed for some time.
"We've looked at this piece of property for some
time," Galati said.
"We've been in the desert for five years, and we're
ready to put the tent down. We will bring everything
out of violation."
Mayor Kay Hutzelman said everyone seemed satis-
fied with the outcome. It gained unanimous approval
of the council.
"I think this is a win-win situation for the city and
the church and for the (property) owners," she said.
A peach of a money making idea
Dustin Saiz was the winner of the I-Pad, being congratulated by Coach Price Harris and Quarter-
back Club representative Steve Maxwell.
Dakota McCullers was also
among the top fundraisers,
and his name was picked as the
winner of a cool hundred bucks,
which makes some of the hot
day workouts a little more
bearable we're sure.
FROM PAGE 5
the exercise of raw political power by
the likes of Cannon and Haridopolos
to reward friends and punish enemies
if they are now required to be fair and
Cannon took the lead in attempting
to have the redistricting measures re-
moved from last year's ballot, arguing if
they were passed it would ultimately be
undemocratic, socialist, union-loving,
teacher-friendly anarchist judges decid-
ing how districts would be drawn rather
than a bunch of conniving, self-serving,
partisan panhandling ideological pols.
When the Florida Supreme Court in
effect told Cannon he was a silly person
and left the measures on the ballot
to eventually pass, the pouty speaker
reacted by trying to break up the high
court, essentially replacing it with the
American Idol judges.
That didn't work either.
In the end, whether legislators babble
on like a sobbing Glenn Beck will have
relatively little effect on the likely litiga-
tion stemming from the redistricting
exercise. Someone is always going to
feel shortchanged or mapped out of the
Take Florida Democratic U.S. Rep.
Corrine Brown's district, which stretch-
es from Jacksonville all the way down
to west of Orlando and includes much
of the Ocala National Forest. As we
all know, as the Ocala National Forest
goes, so goes Florida.
The district, which looks like a melted
Dali watch, was clearly carved out to
give Brown as many black votes as pos-
sible while preserving safe Republican
districts. Under the new rules, Brown
could conceivably lose her safe district
if it is reapportioned along more logical
contiguous borders. The same could
happen to stacked-deck Republican
There's a genuine risk of an outbreak
of democracy. Little wonder then that
chaps like Weatherford, Cannon and
Haridopolos are telling their underlings
to clam up. If the public catches on that
real representative government might
be in the offing, no good can from this.
Now if the political leadership in Tal-
lahassee would take a vow of omerta
during the legislative session we might
be onto something. But that's probably
a wish too far.
County seeks board applicants
Polk County is seeking interested
individuals to serve as regular and
alternate members on two volunteer
citizen boards: the Planning Commis-
sion and the Board of Adjustment.
Citizen board volunteers must live
in Polk County. All applicants will be
considered as positions on each board
The planning commission reviews
applications for planned develop-
ments, conditional uses, Compre-
hensive Plan amendments, district
changes and Land Development Code
text amendments. The board nor-
mally meets on the first Wednesday of
the month at 9 a.m.
The BOA reviews applications for
variances to setback requirements,
special exceptions for commercial
truck parking, and temporary spe-
cial exceptions for mobile homes for
medical hardship. The board normal-
ly meets on the fourth Thursday of the
month at 1:30 p.m.
Both boards meet in the Commis-
sion.Chambers located in the Neil
Combee Administration Building, 330
West Church Street in Bartow.
Any interested person may be ap-
pointed to one of the citizen boards.
However, whenever practical, each
board should include members repre-
senting each of the following areas:
An AICP-certified planner.
A licensed professional engineer,
surveyor and mapper, architect, or
A natural or environmental spe-
A farmer, rancher, or extension
agent, or an individual involved in
other aspects of agriculture; and
A business person, which may
include a licepsed realtor, licensed
general contractor, or subcontractor.
CHURCH: Eyeing new home
FROM PAGE 1
the community for that.
He also noted the church comes with
about $80,000 worth of sound, light and
video equipment used in connection
with their upbeat services. He said that
equipment could either be taken out
each week, or kept at the auditorium
for use by the city at other events if
Normally, the city charges a flat fee of
$300 for four hours use of the audi-
torium, and an additional amount if
additional hours are needed. However,
city officials said one of the difficulties
in establishing a rental price for the
church was getting a handle on how
much electricity would be needed.
The building only has one electric
meter for the entire structure. Croley
said she will talk to Progress Energy to
see what would be involved in getting a
meter installed just for use in the audi-
No decisions were made by either
side Monday night, with both express-
ing some concerns and some optimism
that a deal could be brokered.
"We're going to have to work together
on this to see if its feasible," Mayor Kay
"My concern would be cost and secu-
rity," added councilwoman Diana Biehl.
"For everything we do, we need to be
recapturing the costs."
Weatherholt said the church was
willing to consider paying what was
"We're looking at this like any other
organization that uses the auditorium,
we're just asking for irmltiple days," he
said. "We're not asking for any special
favors. We're asking for a straightfor-
ward lease. We just want a fair price."
The only other auditorium in the city,
at the Ramon Theater, was recently
rented out on Sundays for use by the
Kings Ranch Christian Church.
A three-month trial period was
viewed as a good option should the two
sides move forward.
"That's a positive both ways," Biehl
"We can take a test drive and see if
it works well for the city as well as for
us," Weatherholt said. "If it doesn't work
well for either side, we can walk away
I-. N .
Frostproof News Page 23A
Tune 22. 2011
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