The 11-year-old girl who survived with wounds as four others died at the hands of a gun-wielding stranger on Sunday morning in two north Lakeland houses will remain at Tampa General Hospital for several months, family members tell Fox 13 News. She has undergone four surgeries for her 10 wounds, but she is awake, talking, reading, writing, and in good spirits, family members say. | ALSO: News Channel 8 – Girl told investigators she survived by playing dead More
The recent surge in COVID-19 infections is being felt at Lakeland City Hall. During August, 154 city employees tested positive for the virus. That is almost three times the 53 infected last December, the previous high month. And it represents 28.6% of the total 539 cases reported among city workers since April 2020. More
Some Central Florida hospitals say they’re seeing signs that the surge in COVID-19 patients is leveling off, but that’s not the case at Lakeland Regional Health. The hospital’s snapshot of patient load at 10:30 a.m. today showed that 443 patients had tested positive for the virus, the highest number reported yet. More
In the wake of the chaos left by the Covid crisis, some nonprofit organizations emerged with new goals, names and plans. Polk County’s only professional orchestra is no exception.
After being known for more than 30 years as the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, it will enter the 2021-2022 season as the Lakeland Symphony Orchestra, the name it originally had when it was formed in 1965. But that’s only the start of changes in store. The orchestra will have a different home and day of the week for its major concerts, shorten its programs and hold multiple small concerts around the county. More
- LAKE MORTON residents met to seek solutions to loud partying and parking problems at Airbnbs and other short-term rentals in the neighborhood. City officials explain that state law gives them little enforcement power. One suggestion: Have short-term rental owners give neighbors their contact information to let them know when things get rowdy. (Subscribers-only story)
- A SHARK BITE sent Katie Wood, 35, of Lakeland, to the hospital with deep cuts on her foot during a trip to Satellite Beach. Still, the avid beachgoer doesn’t blame the shark: “We’re in their habitat.” (Subscribers-only story)
BS Ranch and Farm in east Lakeland has been fined $88,000 by a Polk county code enforcement magistrate who found the business violated the county’s off-site odor regulations, News Channel 8 reported. The company, which turns solid waste into soil, has 10 days to appeal the ruling.
Overall crime in Polk County dropped 12% last year, from 13,787 incidents in 2019 to 12,117 in 2020, but violent crime increased more than 6% from 1,990 to 2,115, according to recent data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Similarly in Lakeland, property crimes were down but violent crimes were up, Chief Ruben Garcia told The Ledger. | MORE: Florida county crime stats | Other FDLE crime reports
Minutes after city commissioners approved a 20-year partnership today with Summit Broadband of Orlando to provide high-speed Internet service to Lakeland residents and businesses, the CEO of the company told reporters the company should be ready to serve its first local customers within four months. More
- Her parents said though an attorney that they were never given details of her May 2020 death and are “actively pursuing this matter.”
- The academy’s director said the organization has nothing to hide and is cooperating with authorities.
- Naomi’s roommate said girls in the program knew that requests to see a doctor would go unanswered.
- POLITICS: Lakeland Christian School teacher Jennifer Canady has a significant fund-raising lead in the fall 2022 race for a seat in the Florida House of Representatives, collecting $115,508, compared with the $36,960 raised by Lakeland City Commissioner Phillip Walker.
- PAGEANT: The Miss Florida Scholarship Competition returns to Lakeland this week. It will be held June 24-26 at the RP Funding Center. | Learn more