A bill by state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, that would shield state lawmakers’ home addresses and family members’ income sources passed a committee 4-3 on a party-line vote. The law’s supporters offered no evidence why members of the Legislature need the same protections as judges and law enforcement officers, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Pastor H.B. Holmes spoke of bridging the digital divide at Lakeland’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast, disclosing he is using his background as a communications entrepreneur to bring free wifi to residents near his church, Word of Faith International on Skyview Drive. He also said he’s talking with the city of Lakeland about tapping into the city’s fiber network to expand free Internet to low-income residents.
Three months after naming Palmer Davis interim city attorney, city commissioners are poised to remove the “interim” from his title Tuesday. UPDATE: Commissioners voted unanimously to promote Davis to city attorney. More
A memorial to Lakeland Police Officer Paul Dunn placed near the spot on Lakeland Highlands Road where he died in a motorcycle crash on Jan. 9 was vandalized early Sunday, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. It’s been put back together but a few signs are missing, neighbors said.
Just weeks after celebrating his 109th birthday Jan. 2 at Lake Morton Plaza, Ike Newcomer died on Friday. He was believed to be among the 10 oldest men in the U.S. Newcomer, a native of Hershey, Pa., moved to Florida in 1952 and became a homebuilder, according to a recent Ledger feature. In younger days, he spent summers touring with an Airstream travel trailer, visiting all 49 states he could drive to and every Canadian province.| LPD Facebook post
In an effort to increase safety for students walking to Kathleen High Schools and others heading to public transportation, Polk officials are considering changes to Chestnut Road (map) between Memorial Boulevard and New Tampa Highway. The road would become one-way northbound separated by a concrete divider from a two-way multi-use path occupying the current southbound lane. People can learn more and give opinions at a public meeting Tuesday 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Trinity Life Church of God, 1942 W. Memorial Blvd. | Public notice
- BYRD APOLOGY: If she had it to do over again, Polk Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd said in an email apology to her staff, she would have let teachers know why she forwarded a letter from a state lawyer and assured them they wouldn’t be fired for attending a statewide rally in Tallahassee on a school day | Byrd’s email
- ELECTIONS SUPERVISOR Lori Edwards has picked up opposition for her nonpartisan position. Debbie Hannifan, a Lakeland real estate agent, has filed to run in November’s election against the five-term incumbent.
- HOMELESS: Federal assistance to Polk County for homelessness programs remains at around $1.9 million, but more could be coming.
- THEATER: A three-school collaboration brings students from Lake Gibson high school and middle school to work on a Wendell Watson Elementary School musical being staged Sunday.
Orlando Health, which had a brief affiliation with Lakeland Regional Health that ended 15 months ago, has announced its intention to buy 80 acres in south Lakeland “for a potential future medical campus.” More
The fifth win by a candidate endorsed by a Lakeland-centered political action committee illustrates a new model for winning city campaigns: more focused, more professional and much more expensive. More
A long motorcade traveling South Florida Avenue on Thursday afternoon made a stop so that Vice President Mike Pence could get out at Reececliff Family Diner and enjoy some of its famous pie. Later, at a campaign rally in Kissimmee, he praised the work of LPD Officer Paul Dunn, who died a week earlier in a motorcycle accident on the way to work. See coverage in The Ledger and and keep scrolling for social media videos: More
There’s live music in Lakeland this weekend to suit a wide range of tastes, including Americana, jazz, opera, and rock from the last three decades of the last century. Highlights include: More
A memorial ceremony today for the woman who started Lakeland’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade 40 years ago ended with a dramatic and symbolic release of four caged doves. More
On the eve of his funeral, well wishers have adorned Lakeland Police Officer Paul Dunn’s motorcycle with flowers and mementos. It’s being displayed at the fallen officer memorial in front of LPD headquarters on Massachusetts Avenue. Dunn, 50, died in an accident on Lakeland Highlands Road last Thursday. More