Lakeland firefighters will no longer be required to work overtime at Detroit Tigers/Lakeland Flying Tigers games and Lakes Church events, the city and firefighters union agreed in settling a union grievance. Union leader Shannon Turbeville also claimed that the city isn’t paid enough to cover its costs for private events, The Ledger reported; the city’s human resources director responded to the union that the fire chief “will be suggesting modifications” to ensure the city is fully compensated.
Sheriff’s investigators have learned what drew murder suspect Bryan Riley to a quiet north Lakeland neighborhood where his delusions of a sex-trafficking operation led to a rampage that killed four people and wounded another, Sheriff Grady Judd said this morning. More
Gov. Ron DeSantis came to Lakeland today to announce a three-prong legislative plan to attract more recruits to law enforcement, including $5,000 signing bonuses. He said he chose Lakeland for the announcement because he was impressed by the local Police Department’s out-of-state recruitment efforts, Fox 13 News reports. | ALSO: The Ledger | Video: full news conference
Polk County added 7,510 new COVID-19 cases this week, setting a new record for a fifth week in a row, according to the weekly update from the Florida Department of Health. The average positivity rate of tests in Polk dipped to 23.2% this week from last week’s record of 28.9%, but still significantly above the 5% rate desired by public health officials.More
Which face masks and techniques for wearing them offer the best protection against spreading COVID-19? With more people wearing masks again as infections surge, LkldNow asked local public health officials about best practices. More
Following the COVID-19 death of 32-year-old Polk Deputy Christopher Broadhead, Sheriff Grady Judd is urging people to vaccinate against the virus. Fifty of Judd’s 2,000 employees are infected with the virus, and as many as five are in the hospital. Judd, who received the Moderna vaccine when it became available, told News Channel 8 he doesn’t know how many of his officers are vaccinated and won’t say whether Broadhead received a vaccine. But he said he will not mandate his employees be vaccinated, declaring to do so would be government overreach. More
With ambulances stacking up at the Lakeland Regional Health Emergency Room and response times declining under the strain of the COVID-19 surge, Polk County’s fire chief advises residents to avoid calling 9-1-1 if at all possible. More
With Tropical Depression Fred expected to bring tropical storm conditions to Central Florida this weekend, Polk County is offering filled sandbags for flood protection. Nearby pickup locations include 8970 N. Campbell Road in Lakeland and 900 NE 5th St. in Mulberry. More
Lakeland city commissioners are at odds over two key pending decisions: next year’s property tax rate and whether to equip police officers with body cameras. At a budget workshop Tuesday, commissioners discussed either keeping the tax rate at the current $5.46 per $1,000 of assessed value or reducing it to $5.43, The Ledger reported. Both are above the 5.20 “rollback rate,” the level expected to bring in the same amount of property tax revenue as the current year. The 5.43 level pushed by Commissioners Bill Read and Mike Musick is the highest level that can be adopted with a simple majority vote.
Lakeland police have canceled a Silver Alert that was issued this morning for Sherri Carpenter, 56, saying she has been located and is being reunited with her family. More