About two dozen Florida Poly students and faculty members attended a rally on campus before a Board of Trustees meeting today to highlight issues, including the recent termination of three union leaders. The university president expressed disappointment that the union is veering into topics other than collective bargaining negotiations and going public with its grievances | Read more, including a counter-rally by 10 faculty members: Ledger coverage
The Polk School Board voted to raise starting salaries for bus drivers to $13.40 an hour and downgrade the requirement that drivers have a high school diploma or GED in an effort to ease a driver shortage | Also: Ledger coverage
LAKE MORTON PLAZA: Two months after fire forced an evacuation, elderly residents of the Lake Morton Plaza began moving back in Friday. Move-ins will take place gradually, filling the 10-story tower from the bottom up; floors 3 and 4 are expected to be ready in two weeks.
VOTING: Although the Florida House District 56 race between Republicans Melony Bell and Jeff Mann was postponed until November, it still appeared on ballots in Tuesday’s primary and more than 9,000 people voted anyway. The results (Bell 67%, Mann 33%) were mistakenly posted on a state website but later removed.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL:
- George Jenkins 48, Bartow 0
- Lake Gibson 22, Kathleen 16
- Lakeland 55, Cooper City 7
- Lakeland Christian 14, Auburndale 13
- Victory Christian 28, Tenoroc 6
- All Saints 48, First Academy 14
- Santa Fe 9, Seven Rivers Christian 6
Citing community health needs, Florida Southern College is investing $6 million — its highest ever for a new academic program — to launch a doctor of physical therapy program in fall 2019.
WATER QUALITY: The Polk school district is testing the quality of drinking and cooking water at schools, starting with older buildings. The numbers so far: 5 schools tested; 4 found to have elevated lead levels; 2 are in Lakeland: Cleveland Court Elementary and Winston Academy of Engineering. The remedy: replacing fixtures — or re-piping, if necessary.
ABUSE LAWSUIT: A jury on Thursday awarded a former Kathleen High football player $125,000 in a lawsuit against the Polk School Board. The player contended school administrators were negligent in allowing a former KHS coach to punish him by twisting his nipple.
ARREST: A 16-year-old Kathleen High student was charged with writing a threat to kill or injure after deputies saw Instagram posts that said, “Active shooter drill tomorrow lol it would be a shame if it was real” Wednesday” and “someone will die today.”
Polk State College students with financial need will get help finding college and community resources under a new, $100,000 program co-sponsored by United Way of Central Florida aimed at improving graduation rates. Case worker Casmore Shaw will be available on the Lakeland campus 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays in LTB 1272 | News release
Florida Southern College film students worked alongside movie professionals when they played major behind-the-camera roles in a film shot in Lakeland last month. “My Florida Home” is a psychological drama written and directed by Matthew Herbertz, who launched a film studies concentration for communications majors at FSC last year | About the film | About the writer/director
Crystal Lake Elementary School’s transition to a community partnership school, taking effect next week, includes a health clinic for students and nearby residents.
The Tampa Bay Times takes a look at mental health services for students at Florida Polytechnic University and questions whether a suicide on campus last week might have been preventable. Students no longer have a full-time counselor to visit since the recent dismissal of Casey Fox, the school’s sole mental health counselor. The move came as the university began outsourcing its mental health care, providing a telephone hotline and a counselor who will visit the campus four to eight hours per week.
ADDENDUM: Florida Poly’s president issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying the university offers more mental health services under their new arrangement and that students are aware of the transition.