A jury took just over an hour late Friday to recommend that Judge Jalal Harb sentence Cheyanne Jessie of Lakeland to death in the killing of her 6-year-old daughter and a life sentence in the killing of her father | ALSO: Ledger coverage
The new $80 million estimate to build a network that covers the area within the city limits cuts $30 million from a 2016 ballpark estimate prepared by Magellan Advisors, the city’s broadband consultant. The Colorado-based company was hired by the city this year to create a business plan for a proposed retail internet service. More
Sampling everything on the menu was a pivotal moment for Becky and Ryan Richmond, owners of the newly opened Teriyaki Madness at downtown’s NoBay Village. More
Sarasota-based The Business Observer profiles Lakeland’s BRIDGE Local and founder Chrissanne Long. The organization, whose goal is to connect entrepreneurs and promote their businesses, evolved from Lakeland Business Leaders and offers annual memberships from $150 to $500 a year.
It would be an understatement to say that Peelander-Yellow attracts attention. A headline in the Japan Times May 30 declared: “Peelander-Yellow makes a triumphant homecoming from outer space.” Now the punk rocker with an action-comic-book persona is kicking off his Yellow Nite Fever tour (and local art exhibition) Saturday at LkldLive in his only Florida stop. Art exhibition reception is 5 to 7; music starts at 8. Admission: a pay-what-you-want donation to the non-profit LkldLive.
Also coming to Lakeland this weekend — but only from Atlanta, not from outer space: Indie rockers Gringo Star debut their new album “Controlled Burn (Live in Atlanta)” at Hillcrest Coffee tonight at 7. A hometown critic praised the band’s “magic mix of garage rock grit and sunny pop haze.”
Keep scrolling for our updated live music calendar: More
CONVICTED: It took a jury just under three hours to find Cheyanne Jessie of Lakeland guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her 6-year-old daughter and her 50-year-old father.
FIRE ENGINE: The Lakeland Fire Department is displaying its newest fire engine at a public ceremony at 9 a.m. Aug. 5 at Fire Station 5, 3101 Lakeland Highlands Road. It’s the city’s first clean cab engine, meaning it’s set up so that firefighters returning from an emergency are shielded from carcinogens that might have contaminated their gear.
DINING: Cuban Delight Cafe, 1039 E. County Road 540A, delighted restaurant reviewer Eric Pera, who awarded it four stars out of five for food | The eighth store in the Crafty Crab Seafood chain is planned for U.S. 98 N. and Sleepy Hill Road.
Facing financial challenges, Lakeland Regional Health has asked the city of Lakeland to forego planned rent increases through 2025. If city commissioners approve the request, it would mean a $48.6 million revenue reduction over the next few years for the city and a possible property tax increase for residents.
As the Florida Board of Education starts a meeting today at Polk State College’s Lakeland campus, parents are gathering outside to protest policies they say starve public schools and expand the power of state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. The board is scheduled to approve plans for an “external operator” to help struggling schools in Polk and five other counties | Rally information
An Irish pub anchors the new restaurant-catering service at Cleveland Heights Golf Course, and city officials are optimistic that their fourth private partner providing clubhouse cuisine will be their lucky charm. More
A 35-year-old Lake Wales bicyclist was killed during a pre-dawn ride on Galloway Road this morning after being hit by two vehicles, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Mitchell Johnson suffered head trauma and died shortly after arriving at Lakeland Regional Health, the Sheriff’s Department reported. More
Polk County Commissioners today unanimously approved a $200,000 settlement with the family of Loretta Pickard, who died in a house fire off Rockridge Road last November. Fallout from the fire led to changes in leadership and procedure at Polk County Fire Rescue.
CITY CHARTER: Lakeland’s November election ballot will include all recommendations made by a committee that reviewed the City Charter, city commissioners decided Monday. The ballot wording is scheduled to be decided Aug. 5. (VIDEO: View the discussion)
ELECTRIC RATES: Lakeland Electric’s projections show revenue rising but not enough to keep up with escalating labor and maintenance costs. So the utility plans a cost of service study next year that could lead to a rate increase, city commissioners were told Monday. (VIDEO: View the presentation and discussion)
FATALITY: John Stevens, 33, of Lakeland, was probably riding between 80 and 100 mph when his motorcycle slammed into a flatbed trailer crossing U.S. 92 at Fish Hatchery Road Monday morning, killing him, according to the Polk Sheriff’s Office.
Dressed in the uniform of an 1898 U.S. Army cavalry soldier, Richard Wilder came to today’s City Commission meeting with a simple request: Promote Lakeland tourism and pride by naming a park between Lake Wire and Florida Avenue after the Buffalo Soldiers who camped along the lake 121 years ago. More
Straughn Trout Architects, named to Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Fast 50 list of quickest-growing companies in the region, attributes its growth to its focus on the human dimension of architecture, managing principal Tim Hoeft tells the newspaper. The company’s $2.5 million in revenue and 12 employees places it at 30th largest architecture firm in the region, according to a TBBJ list that includes one other Lakeland firm, The Lunz Group, at No. 7.
Brian Burns, who is known as a fierce advocate for his employees, has announced he is leaving his job as publisher of The Ledger, a position he has held since January 2017. Burns, 45, says he plans to launch a digital publishing company in the Tampa Bay area and is developing a smartphone app that can capture print images and use them to deliver enhanced information.