A $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study autonomous and connected vehicles will help Lakeland’s Florida Polytechnic University become a leading center for research in the development of self-driving vehicles, engineering professor Arman Sargolzaei tells Tampa Bay Business Journal.
NEWS RELEASE: Grant focuses on a large-scale Hardware-in-the-Loop simulation facility.
National and international publications have picked up on the story of Lakeland teen Darcy Kruger being denied entrance to the Tampa Bay Homeschool Homecoming dance because she was wearing a dressy jumpsuit instead of a dress. The Tampa Bay Times catches up with her, her mom and the event planner who wouldn’t let her into the dance.
While the amount of new industrial space in Lakeland has declined from its 2017 peak, leasing activity is steady and there are signs of pent-up demand, according to a Business Observer summary of a report from CoStar, a real estate analytics firm. The CoStar report, available only to subscribers, has this sub-headline: Conn’s HomePlus Distribution Center announcement is the latest success in robust construction pipeline | Conn’s announcement last month
Tim McCausland has retired from his position as Lakeland city attorney after 27 years as a city employee. He submitted a letter of retirement today, two days after he was arrested in Hillsborough County under suspicion of committing so-called “precursor acts facilitating prostitution.” More
Melissa Nichols of Kathleen, who say she spends about 12 hours a day on her smartphone, found out what it was like to curb her addiction when she spent a week using a flip phone only and won a contest sponsored by Frontier Communications. She donated her $1,000 winnings to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas.
Cedric Wilson spent years on the wrong side of the law, but now owns a promotional business in North Lakeland and directs music videos, including a new version of local rapper Stephon’s “Ducking Grady” that features appearances by Polk County’s sheriff. Judd tells Bay News 9 he agreed to appear in the video because “it’s the right thing to do” and will strengthen ties between law enforcement and the community.
A Florida Southern College senior majoring in math and accounting and active in intramural sports was found dead in his Lake Hollingsworth apartment. The school’s security chief said there were no signs of foul play and Dalton Beitel of Titusville appears to have died of natural causes.
A section of Interstate 4 near Lakeland has been dedicated to the memory of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper John C. Hagerty, who died at age 44 on March 18, 1970, when his sky patrol plane was struck by a low-flying Navy jet near the Green Swamp. The portion is from exit 33 (the northern of the two S.R. 33 exits) to exit 44 (the S.R. 559 exit north of Auburndale.)
We’re not sure how much of the music will be live, but one of the more interesting events this weekend is a free, family-friendly “Down the Rabbit Hole” performing arts festival at Munn Park on Saturday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Performers include singer-songwriter Courtney Plummer and several local dance troupes, as well as roaming actors dressed as characters from Tim Burton movies. Also: food trucks and other vendors.
Also, Creative Loafing says it’s worth driving from Tampa to Lakeland Friday night to hear Jeremy & the Clones, Clang! and The Welzeins at Hillcrest Coffee. So it’s probably really worth it to drive, bike or walk from wherever you are in Lakeland. Keep scrolling for our updated live music calendar. More
Lakeland City Attorney Tim McCausland was arrested in Hillsborough County just before noon Wednesday under suspicion of committing so-called “precursor acts facilitating prostitution,” according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office records. More
SWAN BREWING is expanding by the end of the year to a second location — the spot in Highland Plaza on Lakeland Highlands Road previously occupied by Buddha’s Pub and Lakeland’s Beer Rev (now moved to South Florida Avenue and rebranded as Craft + Kitchen.) Principal partner Dan Thumberg plans 16 taps, multiple TV monitors, pool table, arcade games, darts and a jukebox | Facebook
CHARGES DROPPED: We noted in July 2017 that the morning paper deviated from its practice of not writing about internal issues when it reported third-degree felony charges filed against its former marketing manager Nanay Pittman in a case involving the newspaper. Those charges have been dropped.
FIRE TRAINING: Construction is expected to begin soon on new training facilities for the Lakeland Fire Department. The complex, being built for $2.4 million by Strickland Construction, includes a burn building and a small warehouse on the site of the current training facility near Tigertown.
PARKS/REC FEES: City commissioners delayed voting on proposed increases in parks and recreation fees until their staff can answer why they want large increases in things like weekend rentals of the Lake Mirror Auditorium and Magnolia Building | Proposed fees
The six candidates for Lakeland City Commission in the Nov. 5 election answered questions during a forum at today’s meeting of The Lakeland Rotary Club. The forum was moderated by Jack Lowman of Avon Leasing, a former president of the club. Topics included, in order:
- Whether the city should launch a broadband utility.
- Summit Consulting’s proposed eight-story office building and garage on the western shore of Lake Mirror.
- A planned “road diet” to reduce Florida Avenue from five lanes to three in Dixieland.
- Funding for homelessness programs.
- The city’s role in solving employment barriers: transportation, child care, affordable housing.
- Forgiving increases in Lakeland Regional Health’s lease payments to the city.
- Methods to make Lakeland more attractive to young professionals.
Two Lakeland teens, including one who used the CPR he learned at Kathleen Middle School, rescued another teen from the bottom of a pool and revived him. For that, they were honored for heroism Monday by the Lakeland Fire Department. More