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The Polk County Courthouse, government offices and Bartow Regional Medical Center draw more than 10,000 office workers into the county seat on a daily basis but the 16,000 residents who call Bartow's bucolic neighborhoods home are the luckier ones. The historic housing stock alone - mostly Victorian mansions and restored bungalows - epitomizes Florida's old charm with solid construction and prideful upkeep. Some 3,200 work in the nearby phosphate mines, where fertilizer is produced to grow much of the world's food. Others commute out to Orlando, Sarasota and Tampa, each less than an hour away.

Bartow Features

Florida's Peach Industry Grows Sweet And Sassy

In Florida agriculture, citrus has long been king. But take a closer look at the Sunshine State's newest emerging cash crop: the princely peach. Experts say it soon could become a $100 million industry and provide a tasty boon for the state's economy.

The Aquaculture Evolution: Not Your Grandpa's Guppies

Central Florida is the center of the nation's tropical fish farming universe and Mike Drawdy, a third-generation producer, aims to use technology to reclaim the local industry's place on the world stage. Fancy fish, it turns out, swim spectacularly through cyberspace.

Florida Citrus: Scientists Confront Unprecedented Challenge In Greening

The clock is ticking as an insidious microbe lays waste to Florida's citrus groves, making the entire peninsula an experimental field trial for strategies that researchers hope will fend off the extinction of a crop that contributes billions of dollars and more than 75,000 jobs to the state's economy.

Streamsong Resort Opens For Golfers, Business In Florida

Streamsong Resort in rural Polk County, a creation of phosphate giant Mosaic, is collecting accolades from golf's top magazine critics and players. The 2,300-acre golfing destination showcases Florida's natural environment in an outdoors sporting experience being compared favorably to St. Andrews in Scotland.

ArtHouse3: Creative's Dream Becomes Visual Reality, Tampa

A keen interest in Florida art grows from hobby into career for Katherine Gibson, a Polk County native who now lives in downtown Tampa and travels frequently around Florida to find visual gems she can share with others.
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