DINING: Ovation Bistro and Bar, which specializes in grilled meats, is expanding to Lakeland next month, opening in the space at 4715 S. Florida Ave. previously occupied by Square One Burger. The first two Ovation locations in Davenport and Winter Haven get overwhelmingly positive reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google. Links: Website | Menu | Reviews | Location
TEACHER SALARIES: A new contract between the Polk school district and its teachers union gives teachers, paraeducators and support personnel $300 cost of living adjustments this year in addition to normal step increases. Health coverage that includes an “average family” will add about $200 per month to insurance costs.
COUNTY TAXES: Polk County commissioners voted 3-2 Monday to raise the property tax rate on their portion of the tax bill from 6.78 to 7.15 mills, citing a need to buy more ambulances and hire more firefighters and emergency personnel. A final vote comes Monday at 6 p.m. (In Lakeland, city commissioners voted last week to maintain the city tax rate at the current 5.56 mills and hold a final vote at a meeting Sept. 20 at 6 p.m.)