- Lakeland and Polk could be without a resident representing us in Congress, under a plan being pushed by the Florida Senate.
- The Lakeland Yacht & Country Club, where the elite meet to eat, has a new board after many members defected over a proposed $10,000 assessment
- Where the not-so-elite eat, Agape Food Bank is expanding capacity thanks to corporate donations.
- Harry’s Restaurant on Main Street — the breakfast-and-lunch spot at Ingraham, not the N’awlins place downtown — has closed again; the owner of the property said it’s a sign of the hard times facing businesses east of downtown.
- Jim Birkhold, the longtime clerk of the 2nd DCA who died in a car crash, is remembered as a compassionate advocate and good listener who liked helping others.
- In a hasty compromise, four Lakeland city commissioners directed their staff to prepare a budget based on a .9 mill increase in property taxes; the other three hope the final figure is lower.
- In a surprise announcement, City Manager Doug Thomas says he’s leaving his job in one month to join a consulting firm.
- In education, Southeastern University is opening a $6 million building for natural and health sciences, while Florida Southern College announces a $1 million endowment to provide scholarships for business students in need.
- And in philanthropy, United Way of Central Florida kicks off its $9 million campaign with the hashtag #GameChangers.