During public comments at the end of their regular meeting Monday, city commissioners faced a barrage of criticism (and a bit of support) for their 4-3 decision three days earlier to use red-light camera funds to move the Confederate monument from Munn Park to Veterans Park. Former Mayor Howard Wiggs said it was disingenuous to claim the funds collected from fines “do not belong to our citizens.” An assistant city attorney said commissioners will be asked to make a formal vote on the red-light camera appropriations at their Nov. 19 meeting. ALSO: Video of the monument discussion
A four-prong attempt to reduce homelessness in Lakeland kicks off in January after city commissioners decided 4-3 Friday to fund it with $190,000 in red-light camera fines that had been held in reserve. The package has the backing of the Polk Homeless Coalition and the major local non-profits that serve the homeless, Mayor Bill Mutz said.
With two locations in Winter Haven, Tsunami added hibachi/teppanyaki cooking when it expanded to downtown Lakeland. A massive saltwater aquarium near the entrance doubles as a cocktail bar. The owners sit down with The Ledger’s Eric Pera for a QA. (They declined an interview request with a LkldNow correspondent prior to opening.)
After two late-night armed robberies of downtown pedestrians over a five-week span, police have added patrols and Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens will meet with business owners Tuesday morning to discuss safety measures. More
There’s a misconception about downtown parking that city officials want to clear up, and they’re creating new signs with that in mind. The two hours of free parking allowed on downtown streets isn’t supposed to be banked for use throughout the day, the city’s traffic/parking chief says: “It’s up to two hours for the first visit — unused time doesn’t flow over to a second visit.”
SURVEY: Give your feedback on the latest proposed sign wording.
Jon and Sarah Bucklew have big plans for the former Lakeland Brewing Co. building on Lake Mirror: They’re converting it into an artisan food hall with six or seven eateries and a brewery/tasting room. More
Before a divided City Commission voted 4-3 today to proceed with plans to convert part of New York Avenue downtown into a two-way bicycle path, the project was endorsed by two people who said they were skeptical initially. More
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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