FLEETWING: Former Fleetwing President David Ricketts is awarded $3.4 million plus attorneys’ fees in his breach-of-contract lawsuit against the employer that fired him in 2015.
LAKELAND ELECTRIC: A giant, new electronic display at the city utility’s headquarters lets employees quickly spot the precise locations of outages and other grid issues.
U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich denied Drummond Corp.’s move to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Oakbridge and Grasslands homeowners alleging their property was contaminated by gamma radiation.
Gregory Pilkington of Indian Lake Estates is focusing on public education in his bid for the Democratic nomination to succeed Dennis Ross in Congress. His platform includes relieving teachers from having to pay federal income tax.
Lakeland homebuilder Sean Harper (LinkedIn profile) is the newest likely candidate named as the Tampa Bay Times reports that the GOP primary for the Congressional seat being vacated by Dennis Ross is shaping up as a Polk-vs.-Hillsborough battle. Hillsborough has more voters in District 15 as a result of the latest reapportionment of Florida’s U.S. House districts. On the Democratic side, The Times reports: “Andrew Learned of Valrico is mounting a spirited campaign. There are no signs of new Democrats joining the race.”
NURSING HOMES: As the owners of Oakbridge Healthcare Center prepare to appeal a 20-year ban on being a Medicaid provider, they reached an agreement with the state to preserve threatened licenses at dozens of other facilities. An incident in which an Oakbridge patient was discharged to the wrong family illustrates the disarray just before the facility was closed, The Ledger reports.
VETERINARIAN: Dr. Marc Presnell of Santa Fe Animal Hospital in north Lakeland has been elected president of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association.
POLICE: After videos of a violent arrest sparked Facebook criticism of the Lakeland Police Department, Chief Giddens took his case to The Ledger editorial board, who concluded “the police deserve the benefit of the doubt because what we see is not the whole story.”
MAGIC BUS: The host of the Beatnik Exchange vintage market tonight debuts Indie Blu, a colorful trolley that serves as a rolling art studio and market.
As a municipal utility, Lakeland Electric ranks giving back to the community as a high priority. We do this in many ways. We offer grants to local charities, scholarships to students, and sponsor and volunteer at many community events. Another way we give back is by supporting local sports organizations. These organizations use our city facilities, boost our local economy, and enhance our customers’ quality of life.
CONGRESS: Greg Pilkington, a 55-year-old former customs enforcement executive who lives in Indian Lake Estates, is running for the Democratic nomination for the District 15 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives being vacated by Dennis Ross.
TOM SHAW B&B: At 93, former City Commissioner Tom Shaw is retiring and selling his bed and breakfast on Orange Street. Buyer Chris Graznow said she’ll lease rooms via AirBnB and continue to offer the second floor to bridal parties preparing for weddings across the street in Hollis Gardens.
VINYL: Stocking up on new and vintage vinyl albums for Saturday’s International Record Store Day, the owner of Jesse Carl Vinyl says starting small at the downtown curb market prepared her for success in her brick-and-mortar store in NoBay Village.
UPDATE: If you’re going to Lakeland City Hall to meet with an individual, plan to arrive a few minutes early. New security measures that take effect April 30 will require visitors to sign in, receive a visitor pass and wait for an escort for individual meetings. No check-in or escort will be required to attend public meetings.
“It was not easy. I mean the lake had two to three feet of mud in it. He was dead weight,” said Jonathan Turbeville. The Lakeland Water Utilities worker was honored for heroism in going into Lake Parker to rescue a man struggling 30 feet from shore.
Neil Combee of Polk City, who recently resigned from the Florida House of Representatives to take a federal agriculture position, has announced he is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Dennis Ross. Other announced candidates for the GOP nomination include Loretta Miller of Clermont, Danny Kushmer of Brandon, Ed Shoemaker of Lakeland and Florida Rep. Ross Spano of Dover.
Parking lots at parks and gyms are being hit more often by thieves, Sheriff Grady Judd says. It’s not enough to hide your stuff in your car because burglars know what to look for, he says, adding: “It’s got to be locked in the trunk and out of sight.”
NEW LVIM/NEW SCHOOL: In a deal that Barney Barnett called a “win-win,” Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine is planning to sell its current property at the former John Cox Elementary School to Academy Preparatory Center, a school for promising, disadvantaged youth, and apply the proceeds toward a larger, modern campus on the northwest side of Lake Wire.
FLEETWING: The lawyer for Fleetwing Corp. has been accused of stalling tactics in a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed against the company by its former president.
Jonathan Turbeville, a technician with Lakeland Water Utilities, was recognized for heroism at this morning’s City Commission meeting. After a city crew spotted a man struggling in Lake Parker on March 27, Turbeville ran into the lake and pulled the man out, according to city water chief Robert Connor, right, who presented the award. Recognizing that the man was suffering from hypothermia, Turbeville found warm clothes and assisted police and emergency medical responders, Connor said, adding, “His actions were prompt, decisive and selfless to help someone who was clearly in crisis.” #lkld #heroism
ALSO: Ledger coverage