The hotel being built next to the RP Funding Center will be managed by somebody who knows a thing or two about running a hotel near an entertainment/convention center. John Loute has been named general manager of the 126-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott, according to a news release. His extensive hospitality resume includes nearly eight years (1999-2007) as manager of the Hyatt Place, the next-door neighbor to his new hotel. For the last eight years, he was manager of the La Quinta Inn & Suites near Lakeland Square mall.
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The head of the Lakeland NAACP chapter is asking the State Attorney’s Office and Lakeland Police Department to have an outside agency review whether police were operating within standards the night they shot and killed 17-year-old Michael Jerome Taylor in a restaurant parking lot. Prosecutors said they’ve done their job in determining that deadly force was justified. The police chief said his agency is looking into whether their procedures need to change and suggested the NAACP is welcome to hire its own expert, saying the records are open to public inspection.
The parents of a 10-year-old boy claim in a lawsuit that their son was injured when he fell 20 feet from the “Sky Rider” zipline at Urban Air Adventure Park at Lakeland Square mall because employees failed to secure him properly. The company released a statement saying it takes safety seriously and the employees involved are no longer working there.
TALBOT HOUSE: In a Sunday ceremony, the faith-based homeless services provider placed memorial pavers for four supporters: Beverly Daniel, a “loyal advocate;” Michael Klingaman, an Air Force veteran who spearheaded the Memorial Garden; Capt. Clarence “Clancy” LeMasters, a past president of the organization’s board, and Peggy Watkins, a past president of the Ministerial Alliance.
BETSYE KAY FINCH: The late dancer, known in Lakeland for her dance studio, was remembered at a Manhattan luncheon that launched a scholarship to help Lakeland-area high school seniors pursue careers in dance or musical theater. (No link yet; we’ll add it if the article gets posted online.)
ELSEWHERE: Charlotte Observer – Former U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, who grew up in Lakeland, was remembered at a memorial service Sunday | Orlando Sentinel – “Reflections on a Lost Post,” a concerto for clairnet and woodwinds by Lakeland’s Howard Buss honoring fallen soldiers, debuts at UCF Thursday.
Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets reported several gains for the third quarter of its 2019 fiscal year: sales were up 6.3%, as were same-store sales. Stock, available only to associates and board members, was at a record $47.10 per share on Nov. 1, up from $44.10 in the second quarter; the previous high was $45.20 in March 2016. | Stock price chart
Community support welled up after a tornado punched a hole in the roof of Kathleen Middle School, so much so that the school no longer has the space to store the donated supplies. But monetary contributions are still being accepted via the Polk Education Foundation | Donate online
The people who put on Art Crawl in Munn Park ordered up good weather for Saturday, and it looks like they’re getting it. Their stage will host a variety of local music and dance performers from 9:30 to 4. Musicians include include Anisette Mayer, Space Panda, Shae Kripinsky and Oxford Noland. Also:
- The Gary Love Band revives “Nirvana Unplugged” at LkldLive Saturday night; openers include Shane Lawlor re-creating Oasis (video), a band he opened for in 2005, and Nancye Blair Black playing ’90s covers.
- Will Kimbrough, an Alabama-to-Nashville singer-songwriter known for his fancy fretwork, takes the stage at Swan Brewing Sunday afternoon.
And here’s the updated local live music calendar: More