MEET RP: Entertainment writer Paul Catala profiles Robert Palmer (LinkedIn), the 1998 LHS grad and super successful real estate entrepreneur behind the rebranding of The Lakeland Center into the RP Funding Center.
PAYING FORWARD: Rodney Snow, a family nurse practitioner, was honored by Blake Academy for his role in a program that provides school yearbooks to students who can’t afford them and encourages them to pay it forward later in life | Video
Check out photos (below) and a video from Saturday’s VIP grand opening for Lakeland Loft, Solomon Wassef’s jazz and cigar bar opening Tuesday on the second floor at the corner of Main Street and Tennessee Avenue. Live music is planned for this Friday and Saturday. If you go, check out the dress code.
SMART GALS: It’s all in the family for Mary Claire Madden, who graduated as LHS’ valedictorian Thursday. Her sister, mother and maternal grandmother were all vals at their high schools.
Grady Judd’s deputies have a suspect and the stolen truck that was used, but they’re still looking for a large Swansation sculpture that was hauled away from a local business. One thing’s for sure: This story’s gonna put Lakeland back in the tabloids, despite the lack of a gator playing dress-up or terrifying tourists.
Deb Hunseder, half of the folk-pop duo Halcyon (anybody else remember when they played one of Joe Prine’s early Lakeland shows?), performs at Fresco’s tonight. Tomorrow night following the Flying Tigers game, expect a few rebel flags as Nuthin’ Fancy rocks a tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Check listings after the jump.
Grady Palmer has been found in good health and reunited with his family, Lakeland police report. Earlier:
STORM: Yesterday’s wind and rain felled an oak on West Pine, toppled a sign on Memorial and left nearly 600 Lakeland Electric customers without power.
FREDDIE: Lakeland entertainment maestro, dance artist and character-about-town Freddie DeJesus heads the cast of “ButchQueen and the Bad Habits” (Facebook), playing three times this weekend at the Orlando Fringe Festival.
The colorful street mural marks the East Main Street gateway to downtown Lakeland in an area that city planners envision as Lakeland’s design district. It was painted Sunday by students from Harrison School for the Arts and Rochelle School of the Arts.
The usual warnings apply: Lock your car and keep valuables out of sight.
KC’s Artisan Pizza (web) in south Lakeland gets a 3 1/2-star review from dining critic Eric Pera, who praises its appealing rusticity and says Lakeland needs more eateries similarly “informal and moderately priced, with food that’s freshly prepared and tilts to the exotic.”