- Christmas Parade forecast: Good cheer bolstered by mild temps and punctuated by a fair chance of rain. Those who stay home Thursday evening can view the festivities via the city’s LGN on cable or Internet. Map | Participants
- Kathleen Road: Expect intermittent lane closures from downtown to I-4 as crews prepare for paving that starts in January and could end as soon as March. Learn more.
- Dreadnaughts: Deaf basketball players rely on visual cues.
Parks: Donations, like the one from an insurance company that will upgrade Webster Park, are essential for the city rec system, an official says.
Fish tales: A Lakeland-based fisheries biologist spends work hours checking lakes. His PhD wife studies salt-water creatures. Their dinner conversation: “some pretty nerdy fish conversations.”
Busted: Hippy-looking undercover detective pumping gas starts talking to a guy who pulled up. Guy offers to sell him $10 worth of pot. Arrest ensues.
- Florida Poly: The university police chief has left his $113k job after 15 months. (No, the position isn’t posted.)
- Thanksgiving: An immigrant couple is especially grateful for freedom.
- Democracy: City Commissioners are looking at moving public comments to the start of their meetings.
- Mamma Mia: Here I go again. The musical is coming to The Lakeland Center on Monday.
- Alan Thicke: “The Toy Shoppe” opens its 15-town Christmas tour at the Polk Theatre on Friday.
- With bulldozers preparing a just-closed parking lot for construction of Broadway Real Estate’s NoBay retail-residential complex downtown, a neighboring property owner and merchant is hopping mad — at the city, not the developer.
- As she retires from The Ledger after more than 30 years, medical writer Robin Williams Adams looks at Lakeland Regional Health‘s recent rapid growth. As of now, the front-page story isn’t online; we’ll post a link if one becomes available.
- Lakeland High School‘s 21-11 victory over Tampa’s Plant High sends it to Viera next Friday for the regional finals. Also: Gallery | Bright House Sports Network story and video | Tampa Bay Times | TBO | Rivals.com
A grieving mom thanks Lakeland-based FHP staffers for their compassion … Obituary: Tanya Comparetto Friel, former president of Lakeland Bar Association, dies at 55 … That “rain-slicked devil named El Niño” is the main threat to renovating Joker Marchant Stadium by spring training … A CSX train hits a truck hauling new cars
- Responding to a Lakeland mother’s request, a Polk School District committee recommends 10-20 minutes of recess daily for grades K-2 and 50-80 minutes weekly for grades 3-5.
- Polk County is unlikely to follow Lakeland’s lead in relaxing Sunday alcohol restrictions. Commissioner Ed Smith: “If I had my way, I’d bring back Prohibition.”
- Two citrus industry leaders, including Lakeland’s Jim Horrisberger, died in a helicopter crash in Nicaragua.
- A block north of downtown that used to house the Salvation Army is being transformed into an artists’ colony, shared commercial kitchen space and housing for urban pioneers.
- Lakeland resident Bob Behr, who holds a doctorate in agricultural economics, is taking over as CEO of Florida’s Natural Growers.