Academy Prep Center of Lakeland, a new private middle school that emphasizes academic rigor and offers scholarships for low-income students, is rushing to finish construction at the corner of Memorial and Lakeland Hills Boulevards. Classes may start in the new gym if remodeling of the old John Cox Elementary School has not been completed when school begins in about three weeks, the headmaster says | School website
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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
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
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.