U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich dismissed some elements of a radiation-contamination lawsuit against developers Drummond Co. but allowed most of it to continue.
CANDIDATES: The Polk County Builders Association has endorsed the mayor and City Commission candidates it thinks will do the most to reign in the Community Development department: Bill Mutz, Larry Durrence, Scott Franklin and Jim Malless.
SCHOOL BAN: A parent at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy has been banned from almost all Polk School District activities. Chris Stephenson says (here and here) he’s being punished for being a whistle blower. The principal says (here) it’s because he threatened to burn the school down.
LPD VESTS: Shield the Badges, a nonprofit org, has donated 240 heavy-duty vests officers can use during active shooter situations.
Groove to reggae-related rhythms at the three-day Irie Vibes Music Festival (Ledger article) starting Friday at the Maddox Ranch. Or re-live late 70s/early 80s commercialized progrock tonight at Classic Albums Live’s re-creation of Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America” at the RP Funding Center. Keep scrolling for more live music listings.
MUTZ: Bill Mutz, the mayoral candidate who has rounded up the big money and endorsements so far, is running on his resume as a civic leader, “not a list of big ideas to be tossed into the political meat grinder or a hot take on a recent issue,” Christopher Guinn writes.
SHERWOOD SMITH, 1925-2017: Smith, administrator of Lakeland General Hospital for 28 years starting in 1956, died Monday at age 92. Read his family-placed obituary.
ART PARTY: A Platform Art event at Just Dance Friday night combines visual arts, film, fashion, live music, performance and entries for ArtPop billboards.
DOWNTOWN BAR: Federal Bar, a lounge and restaurant with live music, will share the 1920s-era Federal Building on Tennessee Avenue with the previously announced Mojo BBQ-and-whiskey spot as downtown Lakeland continues transforming into a nightlife destination. Principals in Federal Bar Lakeland LLC (link) are Barry Carew, an owner of Mason’s Live in south Lakeland, and Stuart Simm, president of MAX Home Inspections.
LPD OFFICER SUSPENDED: Brenda Crispin, who was hired by LPD under fanfare after her brother Arnulfo was gunned down while on duty with the department, has been suspended and is the subject of an internal investigation. Officials are mum about what’s being investigated. The article discloses that Crispin acknowledged on her LPD application she had been affiliated with a gang.
DOGS OF FIRST FRIDAY: The theme of the Sept. 1 First Friday is “Dog Days Downtown,” but a veterinarian urges dog owners to keep their pets at home if they haven’t been vaccinated for canine influenza because the disease has appeared in Polk County.
EMERGING LEADERS: Three Polk organizations for professionals 21-42 recognized five emerging leaders, including two from Lakeland: Derek Oxford, a financial planning analyst with CPS Investment Advisors (LinkedIn), and Alice Koehler, chief development officer at Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine (LinkedIn).
ART SHOW: An outdoor arts festival moves indoors at the Magnolia Building Saturday and Sunday.
The Polk County Government Center, 930 E. Parker St., was evacuated this afternoon when 16 people were exposed to a white powder. After testing, the powder was found to be non-hazardous, but the 50 or so people inside the building went through a “basic decontamination process,” Polk Fire Rescue reported. (News Channel 8 aerial view)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Lakeland Police Department will investigate the incident. The building houses the Lakeland courthouse, offices for the Property Appraiser, Clerk of Courts, County Probation, Public Defender and Polk County Healthy Families.
AFTER CHARLOTTESVILLE: Rep. Neil Combee‘s reaction to Virginia unrest is questioned | Sen. Kelli Stargel says UF shouldn’t give white supremacist Richard Spencer a platform unless someone at the university sponsors him.
“Community beware; he is out, and he shouldn’t be,” Sheriff Grady Judd said after William Torres-Morales was ruled incompetent to stand trial for harsh punishment and sexual assault and sent to live with his father in a neighborhood near Jesse Keen Elementary School.
A lengthy profile traces the 90-year-old patriarch’s path from rural childhood to Navy and college days to opening a Memorial Boulevard tire store and finally to a real estate career pioneering Lakeland’s warehousing boom.
Well over 100 people attended a candlelight vigil against bigotry in Munn Park Sunday evening that was announced on Facebook earlier in the day by members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lakeland. Speakers denounced the violence in Charlottesville, Va., and called for unity. Check a video of some of the speakers.
ALSO: Ledger coverage