George Jenkins High School has fielded a hockey team for 18 years, but has never been able to play a home game until Friday. The team is one of several based at the new Lakeland Ice Arena.
William Long, 47, a Lakeland police officer since 2001, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of making a false report of child abuse, abandon, or neglect, a third-degree felony. The case involved a child custody dispute he was involved with, 10 News reports. He has been placed on administrative leave.
Phillip Walker was re-elected to the Lakeland City Commission today since he did not receive opposition for his northwest Lakeland seat by noon, the end of the period to qualify for office.
In an unexpected move, former School Board member and County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson entered a five-way race for an open City Commission seat. And in the other contested race, incumbent Bill Read picked up an opponent, Jiwa Farrell. More
When asked what starting time would boost attendance at City Commission meetings, Lakeland Now readers overwhelmingly favored evening meetings. More
Carol Erkes didn’t imagine she would go from being a dancer to an impresario, managing an arts organization instead of creating art. “I never had any intention of getting to where we are today. It snowballed,” she said.
KATHLEEN: Despite stiff opposition from neighbors, the Polk County Commission voted 3-1 to approve a 125-house Highland Homes subdivision near Kathleen and Duff Roads. Neighbors objected to its density of 4.2 houses per acre compared with nearby densities of 1 to 5 houses per acre.
SWANTOBERFEST: Lakeland’s version of the German Oktoberfest takes place 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Munn Park. The event, in its second year, remains free, but a $50 VIP pass has been added | ALSO: LALtoday preview
Should the city of Lakeland approve plans for a single-user office building on a prime parcel overlooking Lake Mirror — or should it take a long-term view and hold out for a potential multi-use project more in keeping with the vision of downtown planners?
That was the question posed by Lakeland Downtown Development Authority board member Greg Sanoba this morning before the board voted 4-1 to approve the design concept for an eight-story office building/parking garage planned by Summit Consulting. More
I asked millennial music maven Megan about which local shows we should highlight this weekend. I’m going to go with her text response and add some hyperlinks. The music calendar (newly updated by Megan) follows. More
ROUNDABOUT: A roundabout is being planned along Drane Field Road at Don Emerson Drive, the entrance to Lakeland Linder Airport. It will be large enough to handle tractor-trailers as the area grows as a logistics center. News of the roundabout is getting heaps of praise and criticism on the insta-feedback tool known as Facebook.
IMPACT FEES: As Lakeland grows, the need for new roads is outstripping the city’s ability to pay for them, so a consultant is recommending an increase in impact fees on new construction to the tune of 53 percent for single-family homes and 60 percent for multi-family. City commissioners say they’ll consult local businesses before holding a public hearing Nov. 4.
Summit Consulting is negotiating with the city of Lakeland to buy a key property on Lake Mirror and build an eight-story office building there. It’s being hailed as the largest downtown construction project in decades, and supporters say it will transform the skyline, bring 500 mostly high-wage jobs downtown and spur more private development. More
The physical education teacher responsible for students involved in a fight in a Blake Academy locker room last week has been put on administrative leave, Bay News 9 reports. The mother of the victim is demanding he be fired and that the boy who attacked her son be expelled. She asked the Polk School Board at its Tuesday night meeting to implement “school policies that align with protecting victims’ rights, not sheltering the accused.”
EARLIER: Tampa Bay Times coverage
A Shells restaurant, part of a Tampa Bay chain of casual seafood eateries with entrees in the $10-$20 range, is coming to the South Florida Avenue location recently vacated by Manny’s Chophouse.
A year after the Lakeland City Commission changed the starting time of its twice-a-month meetings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at least one commissioner wants to return to a morning start. More