Latest news about how Lakeland, Polk and Central Florida are coping with Hurricane Irma.
USAmeriBank, which renovated the former Purity Ice building on Florida Avenue, is merging with Valley National Bank of New Jersey.
Gator trapper Julie Harter fried and served the reptiles she catches at a Lakeland dinner for 100 visiting electric workers helping with Hurricane Irma recovery.
Members of the Cleveland Heights Neighborhood Association heard from three candidates for mayor and both sides of the strong-mayor debate in an election forum tonight. Here is video from the event; the audio peters out toward the end, so you may want to switch at that point to this version.
LKLDTV: The Morning Paper, which never acknowledged the existence of LkldTV when it was operating, finally writes about it when owner Randy Borden announced the operation, which chronicled Lakeland people and organizations via video, is shutting down.
- After its sanctuary suffered storm damage, Temple Emanuel will hold High Holy Day Services at First Presbyterian Church.
- Damage to their respective Lakeland homes displaced sisters Liz Cruz and Janet Sabo.
- The heart attack death of Carlos Arencibia is the second Polk fatality attributed to Irma.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS: Ten readers share varying opinions about the Munn Park statue and other rebel monuments in a collection of letters to the editor.
With a rock and a brick as weapons, City Commissioner Bill “Tiger” Read got a 10-foot alligator to release a neighbor’s dog from its jaws | Read his version on Facebook
With 400 workers on duty, including 100 who arrived today, Lakeland Electric says it’s on track to meet its goal of restoring power to 95 percent of the 78,000 customers who were knocked out by Hurricane Irma.
Photographer David Dickey Jr., who chronicles Lakeland with a documentarian’s eye, has posted a Facebook gallery of Irma images, from preparation to damage to recovery.
A dozen musicians delivered an evening of jazz and swing standards at LkdLive Friday night. Styles varied from the Judy Garland stylings of Victoria Anastasio to the gypsy jazz of Dean Johanesen to the soulful ballads (and fancy footwork) of Kristy Scott. Check the video to see how three of the songs ended.
Lakeland Electric has identified the parts of its grid that were hit the hardest by Hurricane Irma and said some of the roughly 2,000 people there can expect to be without power until Tuesday or Wednesday. All others without power should be restored by Sunday, the utility said in a Facebook post.
The areas that will take longer include:
- Lake Hollingsworth area (southwest side of the lake)
- Southgate Area (Beacon Road south to Imperial Boulevard)
- Sylvester Road area (sest of U.S. 98 and between Sylvester Road and Crystal Lake Road)
As flooding persists off Rock Ridge Road and the Pineville Apartments on Swindell Avenue, Lakeland Electric expects 95 percent of customers to have power by Sunday afternoon and cable companies caution that their service won’t always be available when power returns.
Amid a few Irma-related cancellations, most Lakeland music events remain on schedule for this weekend. Highlights include the Classic Albums Live note-for-note rendition of “Woodstock” tonight at The Lakeland Center and Summertime Swingtime Review (rescheduled from last weekend) at LkldLive on Friday.
Cancellations include the re-creation of Radiohead’s “OK Computer” by Copeland and other bands that had been scheduled for Saturday at LkdLive. The concert will be rescheduled, LkldLive says, but the date is undecided.
A few venues, including Lakeland Loft, are starting music earlier than normal to accommodate Polk County’s post-hurricane curfew. It’s best to call or check venue Facebook pages before leaving home to see if the event you’re interested in has been changed. Check our music calendar after the jump.