Dressed in the uniform of an 1898 U.S. Army cavalry soldier, Richard Wilder came to today’s City Commission meeting with a simple request: Promote Lakeland tourism and pride by naming a park between Lake Wire and Florida Avenue after the Buffalo Soldiers who camped along the lake 121 years ago. More
The Fort Lauderdale-based developers of a planned 80-unit below-market-rate apartment complex on Parker Street has asked for a loan from the city to help cover increases in construction costs. The Lakeland Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board last week approved a loan of $162,000 loan, half the amount requested by Green Mills Group (website). A final decision on the loan request will come from the City Commission. Construction at Parker Street and Stella Avenue is scheduled to start in September.
The Tampa developer that plans to develop 14 vacant acres east of the Lakeland Police Department headquarters into the Mirrorton apartment/townhouse community is considering asking the city for 60 more days before finalizing the $3.66 million land purchase. The Framework Group was first scheduled to close the deal by May but has the right to delay until September 21 and may seek 60 days beyond that, Lakeland Community Redevelopment Director Alis Drumgo said. The agency’s advisory board could either agree to an extension request or opt to seek a new developer.
The cavalry troops known as buffalo soldiers who camped on the shore of Lake Wire in 1898 are remembered by a historic marker on the Peachtree Street side of the lake. But buffalo soldier re-enactor Richard Wilder wants a more significant commemoration. On Monday, he will ask city commissioners to change the name of nearby Freedom Park — a grass field along Florida Avenue near Lawton Chiles Middle School — to Buffalo Soldiers Park. The buffalo soldiers were a U.S. Army horseback regiment made up of African-American soldiers who had served in western states.
ALSO: Bay News 9 coverage | Video: buffalo soldier re-enactment
On a recent, 98-degree afternoon, the lot shared by Lakeland Public Library and Polk Museum of Art was mostly full. Patrons wandered into the library. Black & Brew’s porch near the library entrance held people reading, studying, and just taking in a quiet moment. A small group sat at one of Red Door’s shaded patio tables. A runner passed by, headed toward Lake Morton. Cars made brief stops at Mr. Fish on East Palmetto Street and a little further down at the Stop N Shop convenience store, while a few people carefully folded laundry at Lake Morton Coin Laundry.
But two buildings along East Palmetto sit unfilled and largely ignored, except for the occasional wonderer of whether Marco’s Pizza is actually “coming soon” to the building at 719 E. Palmetto St. or whether anything actually operates out of the one at 801 E. Palmetto St. More
A fire that damaged a tall sliding board at Dobbins Park Saturday morning is the most recent of 16 vandalism fires reported to Lakeland police over the last few weeks. All have been in the early morning hours in Dixieland and neighborhoods near Lake Morton.
First, seven garbage and recycling containers were set ablaze on June 12, according to police spokeswoman Robin Tillet. Six more were set afire Friday morning. Also Friday morning, five lawn chairs were torched on a truck bed on Lake Morton Drive, and so was a construction dumpster at a work site on Florida Avenue at East Ridgewood Street. More
In neighborhoods near Lake Morton, houses with broad front porches, striking columns, latticed crawl spaces and jutting windows have settled into the Earth for more than 100 years, standing despite hurricanes, gnawing termites, technical advances and human desire for change.
Michael Maguire, a South Lake Morton neighborhood resident, wanted to recognize these old homes. He created the Lake Morton Century Homes project to identify these structures and is hosting a picnic celebration for the homeowners and neighborhood residents Thursday on the lawn of the Lakeland Public Library. More
“I didn’t know if I should stay in the car or run away. I was shocked. I was terrified,” Pablo del Valle said of seeing a bear as he arrived at work Monday morning at Ferrera Tooling, just west of Lakeland Linder Airport. The bear that del Valle and others reported seeing is thought to be the same juvenile recently spotted near Plant City and elsewhere in south Lakeland. Game officials urge people seeing bears to stay calm since the animal’s instinct is to flee.
ALSO: ABC Action News video
Here’s a story that bears watching: Two bear sightings have been reported in south Lakeland this week, according to the Polk Sheriff’s Office, which got a call on Sunday about a bear spotted near Ewell Road. On Monday, someone reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that they saw a bear near Drane Field Road. More