An agreement between the Polk school district and the Polk Education Association gives teachers more planning time and removes some lesson plan templates. More
City commissioners are expected to approve an affordable housing plan Monday that encourages building homes on vacant city-owned lots and selling them to residents who have very-low to moderate incomes. More
The proposed design for Summit Consulting’s upcoming nine-story headquarters downtown drew positive comments from city commissioners Friday before the conversation diverted to a discussion about a future “highline” pedestrian walkway. More
Note to Lake Hollingsworth walkers and joggers: “There’s nothing to see here. Move along.” That was the gist of a pair of city of Lakeland Facebook posts (here and here) after a city resident’s post (here) warned of dangerous snakes nested along the lake near the roundabout. City lakes expert inspected the area in question and found only non-lethal Florida water snakes gathered in a tree to mate, but they conceded on that they can’t rule out other species being in the area. Yellow caution tape will mark the area until mating season ends.
Live music highlights this weekend include a trio of Valentine-themed shows and a host of traveling musicians playing Lakeland. Keep scrolling for details and our updated live music calendar: More
Despite calls and emails in opposition, the Florida House Education Committee advanced a bill that would place Florida Polytechnic University under the wing of the University of Florida and make New College in Sarasota a satellite campus of Florida State University.
Have you heard about Lakeland Electric’s upcoming Customer Appreciation game? Lakeland Electric values its customers and loves being part of this community. To show appreciation, they are hosting a free Customer Appreciation Night at the Florida Tropics indoor soccer game on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 5:05 p.m. More
Deputies on Monday filed reckless driving charges against an 18-year-old and 17-year-old who they say were racing on Cherry Lane before they ran the stop sign at Lunn Road, crashing into a pickup truck and a tree. Nine people were hospitalized in the Christmas night crash.
Opposition is mounting to a surprise proposal to integrate Florida Polytechnic University into the University of Florida. The Lakeland-based STEM university’s president said he would attend today’s Florida House Education Committee meeting to oppose the bill, and Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, said she will press to keep Florida Poly “autonomous.” More
A Florida House bill (read it here) that is being heard Wednesday by the Education Committee would consolidate Florida Polytechnic University into the University of Florida and Sarasota’s New College into Florida State University. Rep. Randy Fine, a backer, said it’s a cost-cutting measure: “Unfortunately, degrees earned from Florida Poly and New College cost an order of magnitude more than they do at the other 10 universities” | ALSO: Florida Politics coverage
U.S. Rep. Ross Spano, a Dover Republican whose district includes most of Lakeland, is being investigated by the Florida Bar for campaign finance irregularities, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Spano concedes that campaign loans, also being investigated by the Federal Elections Commission, were probably a violation, but says they resulted from a mistake, not maliciousness. A campaign spokesman said the Florida Bar has not contacted Spano and accused The Times of “doing the work of the left.”
A 42-year-old Orlando land surveyor died around lunchtime Monday after he was struck by a pickup truck as he worked in the roadway on Lakeland Highlands Road near the Polk Parkway, according to Lakeland police. More
- HURRICANE RECOVERY: FEMA has awarded the city of Lakeland $2.4 million in one of 28 requests totaling $18.2 million in reimbursement for funds spent in recovering from Hurricane Irma 2 1/2 years ago.
- POLY: In the wake of scandals elsewhere involving foreign influence on academic research, Florida Polytechnic University has responded to federal and state inquiries that it is not aware of any staff members involved in Chinese-funded programs and that employees must disclose all research activities and any conflicts of interest.
With the Detroit Tigers setting up their 85th Spring Training in Lakeland, the focus this year will be on trying out new players as the team rebuilds.