A crash at Cherry Lane and Lunn Road in Medulla (map) sent nine people to the hospital, one of them critically injured. The accident involved two teen-driven vehicles traveling fast side-by-side down the two-lane Cherry Lane, deputies said. One failed to stop at the Lunn Road stop sign and was hit by a pickup truck, whose 41-year-old driver was later charged with DUI, deputies said. No charges have been filed yet against the teen drivers. Neighbors said cars frequently race down Cherry Lane.
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Neighbors describe the three people who died in a Christmas Eve murder-suicide at the 3009 Atlanta Ave. house where police found four children after the shootings took place. Two of the children were daughters of Leighton Josephs, 30, who police say was the gunman, and victim Rachel Ramsey, 30. The other two, a boy and a girl, were the children of the other victim, 27-year-old Christopher Pine, a friend of Ramsey. ALSO: Bay News 9 coverage
Community organizations are reaching out to help the four children who were removed from a home on Atlanta Avenue where three adults died in a murder-suicide Christmas Eve. Police released the name of the gunman but not the other two victims; however, WFLA reports the identities after talking with relatives and the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Live music highlights this weekend include a Key West Christmas and a gathering of the tribes for a three-day outdoor festival complete with jam bands and some rockabilly. Expect a parrothead vibe at Swan Brewing Saturday night as several musicians associated with Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville Radio perform. At Maddox Ranch, folks will be gathering Friday through Saturday for the eighth annual Hometeam New Years Rally with 19 bands, including Cope, The Applebutter Express, Honey Hounds, The Difference, Ajeva, and The Melody Trucks Band. Keep scrolling for our updated music calendar: More
- JENKINS INITIATIVE: A $253,000 gift from the George W. Jenkins Foundation will enable United Way and Feeding Tampa Bay to set up 16 food pantries in parts of Polk County where many families lack access to healthy food.
- MOUNT TABOR: After county commissioners declined 4-1 to waive $3,680 in permit fees for Mt. Tabor Baptist Church to rebuild its tornado-destroyed food pantry, local businesses are providing the funds. Commissioners said they didn’t want to set a precedent in waiving fees.
4 P.M. WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Three adults died of gunshot wounds in a murder-suicide before 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve in a house on Atlanta Avenue near Edgewood Drive, and four children under age 10 were safely removed, Lakeland Police report. More
A 1:30 a.m. fire damaged a barber shop today at 105 W. Oak Drive, across the street from the Southgate Publix. Firefighters extinguished the blaze quickly, but there was smoke damage to a neighboring business. No injuries were reported.
Joseph Clinton Mills, 58, of Lakeland, has been indicted by a grand jury on six charges, including first-degree murder, in the 1981 cold case homicide of Linda Slaten that was cracked by the use of genetic evidence. A judge ordered him held in jail without bail.
Curry Mango, an Indian restaurant with two tandoor ovens and seating for 130 indoors/40 on a patio, opened today at 6625 Florida Ave. Today’s lunch buffet is getting favorable reviews in the Lakeland Food Group on Facebook. The lunch buffet is $10 Tuesdays through Fridays and $12 on weekends. A full menu is available for dinner.
Mike Link, 57, is retiring from the Lakeland Police Department on Dec. 30, more than 34 years after starting as a weekend reserve officer and rising to the rank of assistant chief. He oversaw criminal investigations and started the department’s cold case homicide unit.