The netting, expected to protect 95 percent of the seats at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, is among the thinnest and strongest available, the team says. It measures 1.2 millimeters, compared with the 2.16-millimeter netting previously used between the dugouts.
Lakeland’s Blue Steel Development, headed by Marcobay Construction President Howard Bayless, is about to start construction of a 520,000-square-foot speculative industrial building at 5300 Allen Breed Highway (map) next to Key Safety Systems. When completed, it will be the largest warehouse space available along the I-4 corridor since Pepsico leased a 605,000-square-foot spec building at Centerstate Logistics Park across I-4 from Florida Poly in October.
SCHOOL BOARD: This morning brings news that Hazel Sellers has decided against running for a fifth term on the Polk County School Board and has endorsed Scott Jones, 35, a Publix Super Markets store manager who lives in Mulberry. Other candidates for the seat Sellers is vacating include Kala Ivy Tedder, 18, a senior at George Jenkins High School’s academy of legal studies; and Sarah Fortney, a science teacher at Stambaugh Middle School.
POWER: Thursday’s low of 25 set a temperature record for the day and a near record on electricity consumption, with Lakeland Electric reporting its highest demand since a freeze in 2010.
It’s a weekend of musical celebration, starting with Friday night’s “Songbird” tribute to Fleetwood Mac at LkldLive. Local musicians will revive the Brit-American collaborative’s songs (mostly from the Buckingham-Nicks years, I’m told.) On Saturday, you can go for high culture at the ISO’s annual Night at the Opera (Gianni Schicchi) at Branscomb Auditorium (Ledger article) or you can help public school musicians who need instruments by attending Play It Forward 2018 at the Polk Theatre (Ledger article). Check more listings after the jump.
HEALTH: Polk lags the state and nation in residents’ access to health care in general and mental health care in particular, according to a recent assessment by Lakeland Regional Health.
TEACHERS: An impasse over teacher salaries appears to be ending as union members ratified a contract that includes raises of 2 to 3.5 percent.
LAKE: Plans to develop a massive private park west of downtown have prompted city officials to step up efforts to clean Lake Bonnet. Commissioners have authorized a $198k study needed to apply for grants to remove algae-fostering nutrients.
John Shiver of Lakeland has been found in Clermont and is safe, the Polk Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. The silver alert has been cancelled.
The central Lakeland neighborhood again has a permanent letter carrier after temps kept mis-delivering letters.
CHARTER: The new group of city commissioners agree with their predecessors that Lakeland voters should get a chance to vote on changes to the City Charter recommended by a review committee — but without two provisions involving Lakeland Electric and term limits. But they disagreed Tuesday with the timing of the vote; rather than holding an April special election costing $63k, they decided to wait until the next city election, which is set for November 2019.
INCENTIVES: The Lakeland Economic Development Council’s Steve Scruggs pressed city commissioners Tuesday for two new local incentives to lure businesses that pay average wages of at least $46k. (Scruggs also makes the case for the incentives on the LEDC blog.)
Lakeland Electric workers who traveled to Puerto Rico to help with power recovery after Hurricane Maria encountered chaos that left them sitting around far more than working, according to a newspaper review of records that contradict managers’ claims of productivity.
Cameron Alley was rushed to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center trauma unit after being blown back from Puerto Rico, where the IBEW lineman fell from a cable suspending him from a helicopter over transmission towers.
HIKING/BIRDING: Watch for a possible February soft opening of Se7en Wetlands, a 1,640-acre park with 8.5 miles of hiking trails south of Lakeland between Polk County’s Loyce Harp Park and Lakeland Highlands Scrub Preserve.
CITY CHARTER: It looks like it will be later than this spring before Lakeland voters get a chance to pass or reject proposed changes to the City Charter.