MEGACHURCHES: Entertainment reporter Paul Catala peers behind the scenes at the rehearsals and big-sound technology that goes into preparing production-heavy services at Lakeland megachurches.
LAKE GIBSON: Prep sports reporter Roy Fuoco profiles Ryan Vann, a former football coach who became principal of Lake Gibson High School this summer.
Aerial view of downtown Lakeland on a golden evening. "Lakeland was first settled in the 1870s and began to develop as the rail lines passed through the area in 1884 on their way to Tampa. Lakeland was incorporated on 1 January 1885. The town was founded by Abraham Munn (a resident of Louisville, Kentucky), who purchased 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land in what is now downtown Lakeland in 1882 and platted the land for the town in 1884. Lakeland was supposedly named for the many lakes near the town site." #florida #floridaforever #lakeland @cityoflakelandfl @howardwiggs
DINING: Cob and Pen, the restaurant opening soon in Dixieland’s Tudor House, bills itself as a sophisticated setting for craft beer, fine wine and plenty of pork.
POLITICS: There’s a lot separating U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross and challenger Jim Lange. The incumbent Republican supports Donald Trump; the Democrat channels Bernie Sanders. And the fund-raising gap is 50-to-1.
SCHOOLS: At Kathleen Middle School, an energetic principal walks the halls and mines data to steer out of turnaround status.
FESTIVAL: Polk’s Hispanic Festival, held under perfect weather Saturday, grows each year.
An article by the investigative news site Reveal opens with the case of a Lakeland day care operator who rebranded her facility as a religious provider after the center’s state license was revoked. The article focuses on a two-tier system that lets religious schools choose their inspecting agency, sometimes resulting in conflicts of interest and uneven enforcement.
STATE SENATE: Republican Kelli Stargel says the fact that she had her name on 35 Senate bills this year reflects her hard work. Election challenger Debra Wright, a Democrat, says it’s because Stargel gets help from a conservative activist group funded by the Koch brothers.
The NPR affiliate’s Robin Sussingham interviews retired Ledger political editor Bill Rufty, who says it’s possible, but not probable, that Clinton could carry Polk.
Reporter Madison Fantozzi visits the Lakeland middle school and finds a can-do spirit about what the school community is doing to upgrade their state ranking.
West Wild Hogs, 31, was indicted on federal charges related to a five-state journey with a Lakeland child.
“I’m excited to be coming back to Lakeland where I began my professional baseball career,” said Graham, who’s moving up from the Detroit Tigers’ West Michigan team. “I look forward to working hard and bringing a Florida State League championship back to the city of Lakeland.”
The NoBay apartment-and-retail complex in downtown Lakeland, which already has its first residents and store, was dedicated in a ribbon-cutting event this afternoon. Speakers, in order, are Howard Wiggs, Lakeland mayor; Cory Skeates, president of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce; and Matt Clark, president of Broadway Real Estate Services.
Splash some salsa on that nostalgia: Music highlights this weekend include:
- Danceable Caribbean rhythms at the Hispanic Festival at Lake Mirror Saturday afternoon.
- Elvis Presley songs interpreted by several Lakeland musicians (most — probably all — of them not yet born during Elvis’ lifetime) at The Polk Theatre Saturday night (video from a previous performance)
- Some of the sunnier pop sounds of the British Invasion when Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits plays The Lakeland Center Sunday night. (1966 video | 2016 video)