As its three-month Edgar Degas exhibit closes, the Polk Museum of Art celebrates French culture today with La Francophonie, an afternoon filled with activities. Here’s the schedule: More
Crews started dismantling the Confederate monument in Munn Park this morning as city officials, news crews and a sparse crowd gathered to watch. A crane lifted the statue of a Confederate soldier off its supporting plinth around 10 a.m.
After the jump, view photos and a video from the moments when the soldier was lifted away from the column that has supported it since 1910: More
SCHOOL SIDEWALK: The city of Lakeland agreed to fund $150k of the $800k needed for nearly a mile of sidewalk proposed for Chestnut Road (map) after the heavily walked route to Kathleen High School was determined to be one of Polk’s top school-area paving priorities.
MIRRORTON: There’s been a delay in closing the deal to sell 14.5 acres of vacant city-owned land to the Tampa company planning a multi-family development north of Lake Mirror. Both sides had hoped to finalize the sale this month; now Lakeland CRA leaders hope they can close by the end of June.
FLEETWING: In a lawsuit, SunTrust Bank says Fleetwing Corp. owes it $2.02 million on a 2009 loan; the transport company’s attorney says a deal being worked out with another bank that will end the lawsuit.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: In response to an incident at an Auburndale school, a Polk School Board member and state legislators are proposing more oversight for private schools that receive tax funds through scholarship and voucher programs.
CITYMAKER: Melissa Conord-Morrow, whose parent-serving non-profit The Nest supplements her Celebrate Birth midwifery business, was named March CityMaker by the LoveLakeland organization.
LINKS: LoveLakeland article | The Nest | Celebrate Birth
Railroad work is nearing completion downtown. In this noontime video, CSX workers are applying asphalt after placing rubber bumpers on rails on the crossings at Kentucky and Massachusetts Avenues. Drivers should be able to cross the tracks by Thursday morning, city spokesman Kevin Cook said. Work at Tennessee Avenue will take a bit longer.
As rail construction blocks key downtown intersections longer than expected, the owner of LkldTV said stray construction debris damaged his building.
Swan City Improv founder Nate Fleming will serve up comedy and nuggets of Lakeland history to customers of his new Lkld Food Tours who pay $49 for a 2 1/2-hour walking tour that includes samples from five downtown eateries. The article didn’t name the restaurants, but Instagram posts identify them as MOJO Federal, Frescos, Black & Brew, Palace Pizza and Cafe Roti.
Here’s our roundup of news from Monday’s City Commission meeting, starting with a short video of a wheelchair challenge conducted just before the meeting and also including action on city elections, a new CarMax, Watson Clinic rezoning, rail consternation and more.
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Mobility challenge: Six Lakeland city commissioners and an LPD captain got a first-hand look at the challenges facing people with mobility disabilities this afternoon. Participants said they learned it’s a more difficult physical ordeal than they imagined, and they praised the improvements made around town under the city’s accessibility coordinator. The seven participants traveled via wheelchairs to City Hall from the parking garage across Iowa Street. It required crossing the street, going up an incline and around a corner, up a ramp, through the main doors, backing into an elevator and up to the third floor. #lkld
Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium beat out Clearwater’s Spectrum Field as best spring training stadium in Florida in bracketed voting conducted by BallparkDigest.com.
A rezoning request that goes to the City Commission today would allow five- to six-story buildings in a nearly 19-acre area on the Watson Clinic main campus. More
Scaffolding will go up around the Confederate Monument in Munn Park the middle of next week as city workers continue preparations to move it to Veterans Park, City Manager Tony Delgado told commissioners Friday. More