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Plant City

Dan Raulerson resigning from Florida House in August

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Dan Raulerson is resigning from the Florida House. The Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday that the Plant City Republican has announced he will resign his seat effective Aug. 15. The announcement, according to the report, comes about a month after he made public comments critical of House leadership.

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‘Free’ Plant City orange grove sparks turf war between family, neighbors

in Local Courts by

A turf war has broken out over a five-acre orange grove in Plant City. After her husband, Russell L. Lightsey, died in 2009 at the age of 90, Josephine Lightsey, an 87-year-old Plant City resident, no longer wanted to deal with a 6.5-acre property the couple bought together in 2003. To avoid paying taxes on the large property, Lightsey split it into two sectors: a 1-acre lot containing her home, the other 5.5 acres containing orange groves. She gave the…

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Tampa townhome builder slams contractor for cascade of collapsing walls

in Local Courts by

A Plant City contractor is on the hook for a faulty wall installation at a construction site in Tampa that resulted in a cascading domino effect, nearly ruining an entire townhome project. On July 4, 2015, a third-floor masonry wall collapsed at the site of a pair townhomes being developed on a vacant lot at 206 Audubon Ave. in Tampa. The failure, due to improper bracing, caused surrounding walls to cascade, with estimated damage of nearly $100,000. American Zurich Insurance…

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Tom Jackson: Old-school Democrat hopes Hillsborough can make a deal

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They’d reached closing statements at a recent forum for Hillsborough County Commission District 6 Democratic hopefuls in Bealsville, near Plant City, and Pat Kemp, the Tampa lawyer and serial candidate, was feeling magnanimous. The town center was a thing of beauty, she said. The town hall, expanded library, a roundabout with a flag at its center, the lovely boulevards linking them all. Just marvelous, she said. People of Plant City must be proud. As Kemp finished and took her seat,…

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Hillsborough film company looking for tax incentives on new production

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Hillsborough County commissioners are poised this week to consider $25,000 in incentives for a local film company to shoot a film in the Tampa Bay area. Noah Pransky of WTSP reports the subsidies will be the latest attempt by lawmakers to support the county’s struggling film industry. But in contrast to “The Infiltrator,” a big-name motion picture filmed in 2015 with the help incentives, the latest potential recipient is working with both a smaller cast and budget If approved, the…

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Tampa Chamber is backing proposed half-cent sales tax for Hillsborough transportation

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A key business group is supporting the proposed half-cent sales tax to fund Hillsborough County transportation. “Based on our study of the issue, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce supports a half-cent sales tax for a duration of at least 20 years to fund transportation options within Hillsborough County, including the incorporated cities of Plant City, Tampa and Temple Terrace,” the group said in a press release Thursday. Tampa Chamber President Bob Rohrlack added that internal polls and surveys conducted…

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Forklift driver faces lawsuit after running over toddler and allegedly refusing calls to 911

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Want to get fuming mad? Keep reading this and prepare to curse at your computer screen. A forklift driver at the Plant City Farm & Flea Market ran over a toddler with a forklift two years ago. Tragic, but not necessarily infuriating. That forklift driver, Kevin Naftzger, and his supervisor allegedly told Elvira De Leon Guzman her son’s injuries were her fault, shoved the mother and then allegedly told other workers they would be banned from the flea market if…

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