MAILED BALLOTS: Voters have returned about 3,000 of the approximately 18,000 ballots that were mailed to Lakeland voters for the January 15th City Commissioner race. Walk-in early voting begins today at the Polk Supervisor of Election offices in Bartow and Winter Haven. City Clerk Kelly Koos noted that typically half of the populace is voting by mail and half in person. Patrick Shawn Jones, Sara Roberts McCarley, and William Watts are vying for the Southwest seat on the city commission. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, a runoff election will be held February 12th.
ARRESTED: Police charged Brein Basarich, 31, of Lakeland with written threats to kill, do bodily injury or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. Basarich posted on Tumblr under the user name “taking lives” about alleged urges to commit homicide, “I had a vision…of a very public place, only one way in and one way out. Preferably a bar/club on a busy night. 2019 has a lot in store if my plans go according!” Basarich was employed at Plant City’s Showgirls Men’s Club.
LAKELAND LINDER: Lakeland firefighters will train with live fires Jan. 7th through the 12th at Lakeland Linder International Airport. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day Lakelanders may see smoke, but the fire department has the situation under control.