In its first year, the city’s rapid re-housing program found permanent housing for 114 Lakelanders who if not already homeless were on the verge of eviction, Mayor Bill Mutz said.
Now the city needs to sign off on paperwork to provide the promised $103,000 so the program administrator, Tri-County Human Services, qualifies for additional grant funding to continue the program for another year. More
The “I Believe in Miracles” Homeless Banquet, held in Tampa since 2007, moved this year to The Dream Center in Lakeland, where it was held Saturday, and organizer Paulette Rolle-Alesnik says she plans to repeat it here yearly.
As city officials entertain new proposals from companies interested in providing broadband services, they should use a formal “request for proposal” process to ensure the city’s needs are met, Commissioner Justin Troller said Friday. Public records requests by reporter Sara-Megan Walsh revealed that the companies the city is dealing with include Grain Management, which recently acquired Orlando’s Summit Broadband, and MetroNet of Evansville, Ind.
- GRIER: Retired LPD Deputy Chief Clarence Grier, 82, was found safe at a Wawa in St. Petersburg Friday night; a Silver Alert had been issued on Wednesday and a license-plate reader spotted his truck north of Ocala on Thursday.
- BYRD: Polk Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd was praised by several School Board members after giving a report on her recent trip to an education conference in California sponsored by charter school advocates. The trip and the fact that it was paid for by an interest group had drawn criticism earlier from board member Billy Townsend.
Though the primary is eight months away, the two Democrats who hope to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Ross Spano are already sniping at one another. Adam Cohn portrays Adam Hattersley as a politician who has done little but try to advance to higher office. Hattersley says that as a former TV reporter, all Cohn does is talk. Bay News 9’s Mitch Perry reports.
Dreams of more vibrant development to the west of downtown Lakeland got a boost today when city commissioners signaled they’d like to see a transportation hub built just north of the RP Funding Center in the next five to 10 years. More
- SUN ‘N FUN: The 46th Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo March 31 to April 5 will feature demonstrations by an Air Force stealth fighter team and the Air Force Thunderbirds.
- POLY: On the same day Florida Polytechnic University announced audacious goals for the next five years, faculty representatives said a recent poll reflecting a demoralized faculty might make those goals hard to attain.
- CHURCH: Once it was First Baptist Church. Then it was First Baptist Church at the Mall. Now that it has three campuses, there’s a new name: Lakes Church.
The Lakeland Police Department has issued a silver alert for retired Deputy Police Chief Clarence Grier. He was last seen around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday leaving a residence on west 8th Street. His 1998 Ford F-150 with tag #ID49LX was spotted north of Ocala early this morning. Grier, 82, suffers from dementia, according to his family. If you have any information on Mr. Grier’s whereabouts, please call 863.834.6900.
Our top live music recommendation this weekend: The musicians on “A Lakeland Christmas, Vol. 1” play their selections from the album and other favorites on Friday and Saturday at Union Hall, hosted/presented by the Vanguard Room. (Read Cary McMullen’s article about the album and hear it on Spotify.) More
- UTILITY: The city of Lakeland would lose access to the $30.9 million “dividend” from Lakeland Electric that funds things like public safety and parks, under a bill filed in the Florida Legislature that the city is planning to fight vigorously.
- POLY: Florida Polytechnic University has its eye on the label “University of Distinction” and the $2 million in state funds that goes with it. To get there, it’s embarking on a five-year quest to become ranked in the top 15 among about 200 engineering programs without doctoral degrees.
- WOMEN/ART: In a new exhibition at the Polk Museum of Art, painter Gabriela Gonzalez Dellosso pays tribute to Old Masters such as Anne Vallayer Coster, Clara Peeters, and Rachel Ruysch who were denied recognition in their times | Learn more
A battle is brewing among two Democrats wanting the party’s nod to run against Republican incumbent Ross Spano for the congressional seat that represents much of Lakeland. Alan Cohn and Adam Hattersley, both from the Hillsborough side of the district, are getting big-name endorsements — including former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham for Cohn and U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park for Hattersley.
GreenWise Market, Publix Super Markets’ updated entry in the natural/specialty foods niche, opens in Lakeland on Thursday, and LkldNow got an early look today. Get a preview via our video by visual journalist Reems Landreth. Brian West, media and community relations manager for Publix, led the guided tour: More
Shoppers in line to check out at Lakeland’s new GreenWise Market, which opens Thursday, will get to ponder an intricate mural showing a cross section of local architecture and people doing interesting things. More
The Central Florida Aerospace Center for Excellence has announced the $4.5 million Project Skylab, which will add an 8,000-square-foot classroom facility with holographic theater to its 14-building campus at Sun ‘n Fun | Learn more
A bill by state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, requiring parents to consent to minors’ abortions passed the Senate Health Policy Committee today 6-3 in a party-line vote.