Two Lakeland leaders with a passion to reduce homelessness shared their visions for the paths forward with a crowd of 450 tonight at a Gospel Inc. “friend raiser.” For Mayor Bill Mutz, it was a goal of a city government working alongside social service agencies to lead the transitional homeless into housing and productive lives. For Brian Seeley, founder of Gospel Inc., it was a night to introduce his vision of Gospel Town, a tiny-house community supporting the chronic homeless. More
Two thirtysomething friends teamed up to help solve a problem for girls who might be embarrassed when they experience their first period at school. Laura Davis, The Ledger’s social media maven, had an excess of decorative makeup bags, and her friend Amelia Hart, a middle school teacher at Blake Academy, has long kept a supply of pads for students who might need them in an awkward emergency. They’re now collecting more Ipsy bags and pads so other teachers will have an unobtrusive way to get them to girls who need them | Learn more: Hello Flo! on Facebook
Michelle Johnson and Delta Ryan quit their jobs as an assistant principal and emergency room nurse respectively to start “Take Heart,” a shop at 248 N. Kentucky Ave. that sells fair-trade, hand-made goods from Africa. The shop is part of a non-profit organization that assists women and orphans in rural Kenya.
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A GoFundMe account set up by Keller Williams Realty Lakeland has raised more than $50,000 for the four young children of their colleague Samantha Keithley, who was killed by her husband in a murder-suicide. In addition, a Texas Keller Williams office raised $24,000, the company’s Chris McLaughlin tells The Tampa Bay Times | GoFundMe campaign
Shelley Thayer (LinkedIn) faces big challenges as new executive director of Lakeland’s SPCA Florida: stabilizing the organization’s finances and working with other agencies to make Polk a “no-kill” county. That would require bringing the county’s live-release rate for shelter animals from 51 percent to at least 90 percent.
Voters will decide in November whether Florida should join 37 other states that allow people convicted of felonies to vote after they have served their sentences, an issue that the Lakeland City Commission decided by a 5-to-2 vote Monday not to take a stand on. More
We don’t write a lot about ourselves at LkldNow, but we’re proud to announce that we’ve been selected to participate in NewsMatch, a national effort to sustain non-profit journalism. This is our first year in the program, which will double donations made by individuals to LkldNow in November and December. More
Chris McArthur, who opened Black & Brew and later Patriot Coffee after returning from active duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom, has launched Operation Heroes Saluted. He sends about 30 bags of his coffee each month to a different U.S. armed forces unit around the world.
A Polk County solar co-op that the Morning Paper wrote about in February and editorialized about in May is launching next month, The Ledger reports. Once organizers get enough home owners to commit to installing solar systems, they’ll seek bids from contractors, who typically offer a 10-20 percent discount, according to Rick Garrity of Lakeland, who helped form a solar co-op in Hillsborough County. The launch ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. Sept. 26 at Polk County government HQ at 330 W. Church Street in Bartow, according to a Facebook post. More