Lakeland Police Officer Paul Dunn, 50, died this morning when he hit a concrete median and lost control of his department-issued motorcycle on Lakeland Highlands Road near Lake Miriam Drive, according to the Polk Sheriff’s Office. More
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Lakeland police are seeking help locating two teens who were last seen leaving the Motel 6 on U.S. 98 near Interstate 4 on New Year’s Day. Haleigh Cole, 15, and Jorden Payne, 16, were visiting Jorden’s parents there; they left on foot, saying they were going to a store, but did not return.
Jorden was wearing a red Nike jacket and gray shorts, according to an LPD Facebook post. Haleigh was wearing denim overalls and a “Friends” T-shirt, her mother said on Facebook. Jorden has family in Valdosta, Ga., LPD said.
Anyone with information about the teens’ location is asked to contact Detective Charlene Ali at 863.834.8974 or Charlene.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- BULLYING: Lakelander Jaylen Arnold’s anti-bullying campaign is getting help from jet-setting model Daniela Braga, herself a bullying target during her gangly teen years.
- STARBUCKS: Lakeland’s newest Starbucks is coming to the Christina area this summer. It will front South Florida Avenue between Home Depot and Bob Evans.
- HIT-AND-RUN TRIAL: William Ray Hull did not stop his pickup the afternoon in 2017 he hit and injured an 11-year-old girl near Lake Parker because he thought he hit a rock or a piece of wood, his attorney said as his hit-and-run trial started | Background: 2017 coverage
A short followup on our Friday article about a young couple who wants to introduce electric scooter rentals to Lakeland, focused on downtown, Florida Southern College and routes between the two:
The couple, Jed Irvine and Latisha Forsberg, came to Monday’s City Commission meeting to answer commissioners’ questions about Leaf, the business they started in Duluth, Minn., last summer and they’d like to move to Florida during winters. More
- TROLLLER: In a farewell speech Monday lasting 39 minutes, Justin Troller reviewed his last 12 years as a city commissioner, which he said was marked by “being a vocal champion for issues that affect all Lakelanders, not just the privileged few.”
- RIP: Trent Rowe, 78, The Ledger’s witty (and sometimes lovably corny) food writer/restaurant reviewer/copy editor for 22 years.
You may have come to LkldNow on Sunday afternoon and the website looked a little strange. And there will be periods today when things look a little strange again. We’re working through some technical issues, and fixing them requires us to switch to different templates temporarily. Please bear with us. Our WordPress guru, Chuck Welch, says we’ll get these problems licked today.
Two houses a little over a mile apart near Lake Gibson High School were destroyed in separate fires Saturday morning. No people were injured, but two dogs died, according to Polk County Fire Rescue. The first fire was reported at 4:28 a.m. at 258 Padgett Place, and the other one was about an hour later at 7515 Socrum Loop Road N. MORE COVERAGE: 10 News
The Lakeland Police Department has been sued in federal court by a man seeking $150,000-plus in damages for an incident (summarized here), claiming officers used excessive force in shooting and injuring him at his apartment in 2015. Police said Wesley Cook refused to drop his handgun when they responded to a domestic disturbance call. Cook says in the lawsuit that physical force was unnecessary because he didn’t threaten anybody with the weapon.
The corner of Massachusetts and Parker got brightened up this week when artist Gillian Fazio painted a citrusy summerscape on the wall of The Yard on Mass facing Parker Street.