It will be 2024’s storm season before NOAA’s Lakeland-based Hurricane Hunters can use the Gulfstream 550 they’ve been seeking, the Associated Press reports. NOAA started trying for the new aircraft in 2019, wanting their fourth storm-chasing aircraft to be active in 2022. The agency’s 2022 budget request includes $100 million for the jet, and delivery is expected to Lakeland Linder Airport in time for the 2024 storm season. | Previous coverage
During the city of Lakeland’s annual swan roundup on Tuesday, Steve Platt of the Parks and Recreation Department took Fox 13’s Elizabeth Fry on his boat to show how he and his co-workers catch the fleeing feathered creatures on Lake Morton. Veterinarians from My Pet’s Animal Hospital are performing the swans’ annual checkups today. More
Police are trying to determine who dumped around four dozen tires in Lake Parker over the July 4 weekend. The city of Lakeland’s Brian Rewis told News Channel 8 it’s the most egregious case the city has seen since establishing a dumping hotline (863-834-DUMP) two years ago. “Once (tires) float out into the lake or sink to the bottom of the lake, they become a hazard for generations because they will not biodegrade,” he told Fox 13 News. | MORE: Lakeland anti-dumping info More
Imperial Lakes residents are protesting a proposal to rezone 188 acres of the golf course to build up to 940 houses, ABC Action News reports. A petition signed by 125 residents is aimed at protecting wildlife. The golf course’s owner says most of the wildlife are on the back nine holes, part of which is under a conservation easement and cannot be developed. More
Plans to erect a 110-foot cell phone tower on Harden Boulevard faced a second denial Monday night. City commissioners voted unanimously to uphold an earlier 4-2 decision by the city Planning & Zoning Board to turn down a request by Verizon and 1Source Towers. More
Gov. Ron DeSantis came to Bonnet Springs Park this morning to announce $148 million in infrastructure projects around the state. The biggest award is $42.9 million to the city of Lakeland for a collaboration with Bonnet Springs Park to clean Lake Bonnet and improve drainage, 10 Tampa Bay reports. The funds are part of a federal allocation to help communities affected by recent hurricanes, including Irma, become more resilient to future emergencies. | ALSO: The Ledger | City of Lakeland news release More
The state permit allowing BS Ranch in east Lakeland to treat biosolids expires soon, environment reporter Craig Pittman writes in Florida Phoenix. The owners say they are confident their application to continue operating will be approved by the Department of Environmental Protection, but neighbors who have complained for nearly five years about foul odors and possible water contamination are hoping for denial.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Polk County has been rising recently, along with the positivity rate of testing, prompting Mayor Bill Mutz to say he will call for a renewed mask requirement in Lakeland if the rate of positive tests remains 10% or higher for 14 days, The Ledger reports | LkldNow charts