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
The CSX work to replace rails in downtown Lakeland didn’t finish today, as the rail company told city officials, and the new word is that the crossings at Massachusetts, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri Avenues will remain closed until at least Tuesday.
The city of Lakeland expects to be able to repave the crossings on Tuesday, meaning vehicles should be able to cross again on Wednesday.
In a speech heavy on positivity and spunk, former astronaut Mae Jemison told Florida Southern College students that as a youngster, she knew she was going to go into space even though no woman or person of color had become an astronaut yet. More
A plan to reduce the number of polling places for November’s city elections appears doomed. The proposal got no support from city commissioners today in informal discussions before they take a formal vote on Monday. More
CAT: An emotional Facebook post about a euthanized cat prompted a Ledger article about how the SPCA learned from an incident in which the agency didn’t maintain its normal four-day hold and euthanized the frail, elderly feline.
CAPTAIN: In his resignation letter, former Polk Fire Rescue Captain James Williams blamed the media for distorting facts for ratings and said he never jeopardized anybody’s life.
Coming up Saturday: a new monthly music series, a roving troubadour and Willie Nelson’s cowpunk granddaughter:
Maddox Ranch, the outdoor venue near I-4 and Kathleen Road that usually hosts jam band and EDM camp-a-thons, is starting a monthly series of one-day mini-festivals featuring local musicians. Eight of the 10 performers at Saturday’s kickoff are from Lakeland, according to organizer Britt Mathis, who performs as Space Panda. Gates open at noon; music starts at 3 and lasts until midnight or whenever.
Swan Brewing on Saturday night hosts the Raelyn Nelson Band, which “mixes old country and dirty garage rock,” according to Rolling Stone Country. Sounds like she has some of grandpa Willie’s rebel spirit.
Keep scrolling for our updated live music calendar: More
CSX construction in downtown Lakeland leaves pedestrians stepping gingerly as they try to cross over debris. The word is that work is expected to be completed Friday, but no work was seen Wednesday morning or afternoon.
FSC are double basketball champs. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams won Sunshine State Conference championships.
The men’s team had just advanced past Saint Leo after a buzzer-beater layup, and they then went on to get the semi-final win over Lynn University and finally defeated Nova Southeastern for the title. The women’s team likewise advanced past both Barry and Nova Southeastern before defeating Eckerd 61-60 for the title. More
Southbound Florida Avenue lanes are closed south of the Polk Parkway because of a water main break at Doris Drive, the Lakeland Police Department reports.
It will be at least 9 p.m. tonight before the road re-opens, according to an LPD tweet.
At 1:45 p.m., Google Maps showed traffic congested past the Polk Parkway to WalMart, and by 2:25 it was backed up nearly to Edgewood Drive. More
Railroad work blocking downtown crossings at Massachusetts, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri Avenues is expected to be completed by Friday, the city of Lakeland says in a new Facebook post. City crews will follow up by adding new asphalt over the weekend so that regular traffic can resume on Monday.
The replacing of CSX rails downtown has snarled roadways this week as north-south traffic has been forced to Florida Avenue, creating a bottleneck. Those who can bypass downtown via U.S. 98 or Sykes Boulevard are urged to do so. More