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Updated: 2 hours 40 min ago

They served their time and are promised the vote — now what?

Sat, 12/15/2018 - 7:46pm
Gail Abodunrin is among an estimated 1.4 million Floridians who will become newly eligible to vote next month following the passage in November of a constitutional amendment dedicated to restoring the rights of convicted felons.

Firefighter arrested for domestic battery

Sat, 12/15/2018 - 7:10pm
HAINES CITY — Murray Mitchell Harris Jr., 32, a lieutenant with the Haines City Fire Department, was arrested for domestic battery on Friday night, according to a report from the Polk County Sheriff's Office.Harris is alleged to have battered his girlfriend in an arrest affidavit.In the arrest report, it is alleged that the two began arguing in the car while driving home from dinner. Once [...]

Commissioner calls to protect Poly area for future

Sat, 12/15/2018 - 7:04pm
LAKELAND — A belief that the area near Florida Polytechnic University is destined for greater things and a warehouse complex planned for southeast of the campus has encouraged one Lakeland commissioner to make sure the city is minding its side of the fence.Auburndale’s leaders already have expressed their concerns about the proposed warehouse project, but a Lakeland commission workshop on the topic Friday was met with some initial confusion, said Commissioner Stephanie [...]

Put a bow on it

Sat, 12/15/2018 - 1:10pm
HAINES CITY – Amid the turmoil that is the Florida citrus industry, one sector, gift fruit shipping, remains quietly prosperous.Although not so quietly these days, as Christmas is the biggest sales period for citrus gift fruit, a traditional item in children’s stockings and on the holiday dinner table.“Christmas is our most hectic time because customers want their fruit BY CHRISTMAS,” said Archie Ritch, the owner of Ridge Island Groves in Haines City [...]

Commissioners OK with increased Garden District building heights

Sat, 12/15/2018 - 5:48am
What was an issue was the lack of design guidelines for the historic area of Lakeland. The second reading of an ordinance that will increase maximum heights for multi-family buildings is Monday.

PVC company to lay off 48 in Auburndale

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 4:04pm
AUBURNDALE – A Fort Worth, Texas-based PVC manufacturer will lay off 48 people at its Auburndale plant next month as part of a consolidation that will move those jobs to Texas.But some employment could return next year if the company decides to expand existing production facilities in Auburndale, Steve Ediger, vice president of operations at Cantex Inc., told The Ledger Friday from the company headquarters.The Cantex plant at 101 Gandy Road in Auburndale notified all the [...]

Business agenda: Upcoming events of interest to Polk businesses

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 3:51pm
Pageantry, empowerment and PR at the FPRA chapter meetingThe Dick Pope/Polk County chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association will meet from 7:30 to 9  a.m. Dec. 19 at Frescos, 132 S. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland. Taylor Tyson, Miss Florida 2018, will share how Miss America empowered her to lead the next generation in pursuing academic excellence, leadership roles and community outreach initiatives. The meeting, which includes breakfast and [...]

Polk School District cancels all after-school activities because of severe weather threat

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 2:37pm
Polk County School District is canceling all after-school activities because of the threat of severe weather Friday afternoon.

Gadget Daddy: Last of Polk's public computer groups powers down

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 12:56pm
The Lakeland Macintosh Users Group met Tuesday night.And that, as the expression goes, "was all she wrote."After nearly two decades of helping users with Apple devices of all kinds, club members were told that the board of directors had decided it was time to go the way of many other public computer clubs in Polk County and lock its doors. LaMUG, in fact, was the last club standing. [...]

Lakeland commissioners discuss potential changes to maximum building heights in Garden District

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 11:36am
LAKELAND — City commissioners didn’t seem to object to increasing maximum building heights in a portion of the Garden District, but the lack of design guidelines for the district was a concern voiced at an agenda review workshop Friday morning.On the agenda for Monday is the second reading of an ordinance that will increase maximum heights for multi-family buildings from 40 to 60 feet. The problem, according to some [...]

Polk State adjunct professors take step to unionize

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 7:35am
LAKELAND — Adjunct professors at Polk State College have joined peers at six other Florida public colleges in filing to establish a union.The action is part of a weeklong campaign that includes similar filings by adjunct professors at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, St. Petersburg College, Lake-Sumter State College in Leesburg, Florida Gateway College in Lake City, Chipola College and South Florida State College in Avon Park, according [...]

West Pipkin Road in Lakeland closes for rail repairs Friday

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 4:59pm
Polk County Board of County Commissioners announces through traffic will be closed in both directions between the hours of 8:30-11 a.m.

Rain postpones Friday's Snow Central event in Winter Haven

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 3:56pm
WINTER HAVEN — Snow Central 2018 — scheduled for Friday — has been postponed because of a forecast of rain, according to a city of Winter Haven statement released Thursday afternoon.It has been rescheduled for Dec. 21 at the same time, 6 to 9 p.m., and at the same place, the Chain of Lakes Complex at 210 Cypress Gardens Boulevard.The event will have the same features, including Santa Claus visits, food trucks, cookie decorating, bounce houses and 70 tons of [...]

Men's Basketball: Southeastern, Warner face NAIA national champ and runner-up

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 1:01pm
The champs are coming to town. And for the Southeastern and Warner men's basketball teams, it means an opportunity to show that they can play with anyone.The SEU Invitational, which will be held Friday and Saturday at The Furnace on Southeastern's campus, brings former No. 1 — currently No. 4 — Indiana Wesleyan and No. 19 St. Francis (Indiana) to Lakeland for a showdown with the Sun Conference's top dogs, No. 8 Southeastern and No. 21 Warner.Indiana Wesleyan is [...]

Polk Sheriff's Office: Blue substance received in mail at Laurel Elementary, prompting evacuation

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 12:55pm
An envelope that contained an unknown blue substance mailed to the principal at Laurel Elementary School in Poinciana is under investigation.

Heading to the coast? Here are this week's tides

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 12:42pm
Whether planning a fishing trip or just putting chairs on the beach, the tidal times come in hand

Blue substance received in mail at Laurel Elementary, prompting evacuation

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 12:27pm
An envelope that contained an unknown blue substance mailed to the principal at Laurel Elementary School is under investigation.According to Carrie Horstman, Polk County Sheriff's Office public information officer, the PCSO was notified around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday about the piece of mail addressed to the principal at the school, which is located on Laurel Avenue in Poinciana.Inside the envelope was a blank piece of paper and an unknown blue substance, Horstman said."The [...]

Trial begins for Haven man accused of 1st-degree murder

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 9:42am
Prosecutors told jurors Wednesday that a web of cellphone records and text messages links Re'shaunte Anglin to the May 2016 murder of 32-year-old Shevon Shawn, who died of a single gunshot wound behind his ear.

Metheney, Medlock are Roland Martin bass series team of the year

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 6:29am
Chuck Metheney and Brandon Medlock won the Roland Martin Marine Center series Team of the Year award during the weekend.In the trail championship during the weekend, Metheney and Medlock finished 11th with 31.21 pounds, enough for a $1,000 payout and the points to keep them atop the standings for the award, sponsored by Ark Rods.Over five tournaments during 2018, all of them on Lake Okeechobee, the duo [...]

Recent fishing results and upcoming tournaments

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 6:27am
• Terry and Kyle Tucker won the Fishing Misfits Dec. 8 tournament at Eagle Lake with 11.16 pounds. Ron Grody and Gary White were close behind, taking second with 10.72 pounds. Corky Gore and Danny Hulett were third with 10.44 pounds, and Dennis Minton and Keith Brown had 10.39 pounds. The big fish was caught by Mark Moody and [...]