BONNET SPRINGS: Over the next 6-7 weeks, earth movers will create two 45-foot “mountains” out of the flat former rail yard that will become part of Bonnet Springs Park as developers race toward an aggressive 2020 planned opening. They’ve applied for permits to create a 7-acre lagoon for boaters rather than opening the whole 80-acre Lake Bonnet to recreation.
VIDEO: View drone aerial footage of the earth-moving operations via the park’s Facebook page.
A California-based air purifier company that got its start with University of South Florida research is returning to Florida via a manufacturing plant it will open west of Lakeland Linder Airport. More
The Ledger continues reducing the size of its news operation, laying off five newsroom employees, including two of the three top editors, according to multiple sources; they said the move was a part of nationwide newsroom layoffs from parent company GateHouse Media. More
After three weekends of soft openings, musician Dan Signor’s Union Hall in Dixieland holds its grand opening Friday night with the Motown-inspired party sounds of The Black Honkeys. (Check the Clearwater showband’s videos.) Tickets may be hard to come by; the event’s ticket page says it’s sold out.
Traveling musicians playing Lakeland this weekend include Friction Farm, a husband-wife folk troubadour duo from Greenville, S.C., at an Among Friends Music house concert Saturday night, and the traditional Irish tunes of Dublin guitarist-singer Martin Healy at Hillcrest Music Saturday at 1 p.m.
Keep scrolling for our updated music calendar: More
AVENT: In a year when many Florida Poly faculty and staff are expected to get no raises, the university’s board granted President Randy Avent a 12 percent bonus, raising his base pay of $441,791 to around $494,800. Avent declined to accept the full 20 percent bonus he was eligible for or a 3.5 percent annual increase, citing a challenging budget year.
BEER: Downtown Lakeland’s Swan Brewing will be sending its creations to other venues. Several of its ales, lagers and stouts will be available on draft at restaurants and bars in Polk and Orange Counties under a newly signed distribution agreement with Sunshine State Distributing of Orlando.
MUSIC: Laura Davis’ “Polk Rising” series on local creatives continues with a look at Lady Moonbeam (Facebook), a musical trio that channels its soul heroes. Catch them at the Maddox Jam on Saturday and LkldLive on June 14.
Alex Rich, who came to Lakeland in 2014 to head Florida Southern College’s art history program and galleries, has been named executive director and chief curator of the Polk Museum Art. He succeeds Claire Orologas, who has announced her retirement after leading the museum since 2012, according to a news release issued today by Florida Southern College, which formed a partnership with the museum two years ago. More
Lakeland Electric wants to make customers aware of a variety of scams that frequently target utility customers. Lakeland Electric representatives will never call requesting payment or ask for your bank or credit card information over the phone. More
The building at 1109 E. Main St. that once housed the Kau Kau Koner nightspot and El Greco restaurant before that is being demolished. The property was purchased in January by Alternative Capital Holdings of Tampa for $88,000. This Facebook post by Merlin Amusements has prompted a lot of nostalgic memories from former patrons.
LALtoday shares a photo of a Lakeland-focused mural being painted on the side of a warehouse on Main Street near Ingraham Avenue. A depiction of Lake Mirror’s Frances Langford Promenade anchors the mural, a creation of artist A.H. Taylor, a Lakeland native known on social media as The Atlanta Illustrator. Sponsors include the Lakeland Community and Economic Development Department, Boring Business Systems and Rochelle School of the Arts. For a brief time, the warehouse was home to the KRaP Art youth creativity venue and this same wall featured a cartoony bunny mural. Learn more about the project via The Ledger and Bay News 9.
View this post on Instagram
ATTN: The Frances Langford Promenade is moving to a new location. Okay, we’re just kidding. But how cool is this new mural of the lakefront icon? 🎨 This community piece by artist, @theatlantaillustrator is a collaboration between @lkldced, @bbslakeland + students from @rochellesota and in true Lakeland fashion will include: @sunnfun_flyin planes, swans, oranges, butterflies + of course, the Frances Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror. 🍊#ProTip: Charge your phones for this new selfie location. 🤳
CHARTER: Lakeland voters will be asked to decide on several proposed changes to the city charter in November, but the ballot will not include the two most controversial measures suggested by a charter committee a couple of years ago: making it easier to sell Lakeland Electric and tightening term limits for commissioners and the mayor.
CITY RETIREES: Lakeland commissioners on Monday upheld a pension board recommendation against granting an ad hoc raise to retired city workers.
- Harry Bopp, Lakeland’s first pediatric dentist, is retiring at 72
- Sarah Dukes McKay received an international Junior League honor
- Charles Mills won June’s Lakeland CityMaker Award for the youth training non-profit he founded
A 50-year lease agreement for Amazon Services Inc.‘s planned jet cargo operation at Lakeland Linder International Airport won the City Commission’s unanimous approval Monday afternoon, but not before commissioners fielded skeptical questions and asked a few of their own. More
Southeastern University’s president talks with The Business Observer about how SEU has grown enrollment 215 percent in eight years and expanded from 30 to 112 satellite campuses in four years. The key is a leadership style based on listening, he says: “Be other-oriented, people-centric. Try to understand where people are coming from. “What are their needs? How can I serve them? Center leadership on those around you.”
Lakeland Linder Airport’s director is talking with American Airlines about starting commercial service between here and Charlotte, N.C., as early as next year, The Ledger reports. Linder’s Gene Conrad says discussions have centered on the possibility of two to three flights a day on aircraft carrying 70 to 90 passengers as American expands its Charlotte hub.
Lakeland’s Broadway Real Estate Services is no longer competing with a Tampa company to purchase a city parking lot just north of its NoBay development downtown and develop it as a high-density residential complex. More
People looking for rentals in Lakeland are discovering that affordability is hard to find in a market that combines a housing shortage, growing population, escalating development costs and stagnant wages.