Read It in the Morning Paper, Evening Edition

(Barry Friedman is relaxing for the holidays. I’m taking over your favorite Lakeland news source. My first day and I’m late. I promise it will get better.)

FIRE CHIEF ANNOUNCED: City Manager Tony Delgado announced Doug Riley will take over for retiring Lakeland Fire Department Chief Gary Ballard. Riley, a 30-year veteran of the department, starts Saturday.

EXTENDED CONTRACT: The Citrus Connection board extended the contract for Executive Director Tom Phillips.

EAST LAKE MORTON: A Neighborhood Watch area is being organized by the Polk Museum of Art. It’ll cover the area bounded by East Palmetto Street, East Lime Street, Lake Morton Drive, and Michigan Avenue. For more information call Lakeland Police Department representative Gwen Stanislowski at 863-834-3974.

PEDESTRIAN KILLED: At approximately 12:30 pm on Thursday, Brenda Salyers, 60, was struck by an Amtrak train near US 92 E and Fairway Avenue.