FIRE ARREST: A 62-year-old man was charged with setting a fire that destroyed a north Lakeland house, displacing him and 11 other people. The article includes raw video of the fire, showing interactions between deputies and the man they arrested, and ends with a heart-wrenching quote from the daughter of the home-owner: “My mom gave Charles a place to live because he was living in the woods. She opened her doors to help homeless people and she is now homeless.”

NO DEBATE: Josie Tomkow, the 22-year-old Republican nominee for a Florida House seat, pulled out of the only debate scheduled prior to the May 1 election. Democratic opponent Ricky Shirah, 64, was disappointed: “Anybody that asks me to meet her, any time I will sit down and meet with her.”

NO THUNDERBIRDS: (UPDATE) The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have cancelled their April 14-15 appearances at the Sun’n Fun Fly-In following the death of a pilot during a training flight, and Fly-In organizers are looking for another military aircraft demonstration.

PASSENGER FLIGHTS: The director of Lakeland Linder Airport is telling airlines that the 4,300 local residents who fly in and out of Orlando and Tampa daily proves that Lakeland is ready for passenger service. He and City Manager Tony Delgado are asking city commissioners to consider offering airlines a revenue guarantee as an incentive.

Source: The Ledger

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Barry Friedman

Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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