State official to participate in ceremony
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is set to be in town today to mark the opening of two pavilions that flank the Evelyn and Batista Madonia Sr. Agricultural Show Center at the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. The pavilions will house livestock and plants for next year's festival.
Village Green plans to be public soon
The public will soon get a glimpse of what downtown might look like someday.
City Manager Greg Horwedel said site plans for the Village Green, the central component of the long-touted Midtown Project, will be available for public viewing later this month or next month.
The green would anchor a mixed-use development on 85 acres in the historic downtown. Shops and offices with residences on top would surround the green on 14 acres owned by the city.
Knotts Hardware shutting its doors
The landmark Knotts Hardware is closing after seven decades.
Ben Knotts opened the downtown business as a general store in the 1930s then switched over to hardware 20 years later. Grandson Johnny Knotts took over in the 1980s.
Knotts blamed big box retailers and the economic downturn for the decision to shut down on Friday.
The store at 314 S Collins St. resembles a Quonset hut, with corrugated metal walls. It contains original wood flooring and exposed rafters.
Rich Shopes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2454.