City Anticipates $23 Million Grant to Complete "Connected" Project

A grant application for " the Complete Streets redesign of remaining portions of 1st Street, Central Avenue, and Lincoln Avenue" has been given a high probability of success by a... — Updated 3/1/2024

Court Clears Path for Redevelopment of Walesbilt Hotel, Rules in Favor of City

BARTOW - A Circuit Court ruling Thursday has set the stage for reverting ownership of the historic Walesbilt Hotel in Lake Wales back to the city, ending a years-long legal battle... — Updated 3/2/2024

Lake Wales Crash at 137 MPH Leads to Death, Manslaughter Charges

A Lake Wales woman is in custody after a horrific accident on Saturday morning resulted in the death of a passenger in her vehicle. After what police described as "a very active... — Updated 2/28/2024

Business Incubator Officers Invited to Defend Operations After Critical Report

Business owners lined up at the beginning of the Lake Wales City Commission meeting Tuesday evening to explain to commissioners the various ways they are working to enhance the... — Updated 2/22/2024

Two Forums Offer Voters Insight into City Election Choices

Voters will have two chances next week to see and hear incumbents and candidates for seats on the Lake Wales City Commission air their views and positions on a wide variety of... — Updated 2/29/2024

Yarnell, Cohassett, Hillcrest Among Streets to Be Paved in Coming Days

As part of the city's ongoing effort to resurface streets in the city, contractors will begin paving operations on four city streets this week. Crews will begin resurfacing... — Updated 3/1/2024

Lake Wales Has a Good "Squeeze" Coming

In an effort to help address the need for transportation around the downtown area, City Manager James Slaton and staff have brought another solution forward. The "Squeeze" is an... — Updated 2/17/2024

Lake Alta Proposal Modified by Developer, No Longer Impacts Park

A development proposal adjacent to Lake Alta on the near north side of Lake Wales has been modified by the developer in an apparent attempt to reach a compromise with neighboring... — Updated 2/17/2024

Lake Wales Arts Festival Happening This Weekend

Ideal weather conditions and a wide area of beautiful works of art are expected to draw residents and visitors alike to the shores of Lake Wailes this weekend as the 53rd annual... — Updated 2/27/2024

Five Candidates Will Vie for Two Commission Seats

The final ballot is set for the April 2 City Commission election is set, and all registered voters within the city limits of Lake Wales will have an opportunity to choose two two... — Updated 2/28/2024

Mahalak Golf Outing Will Help Conquer Cancer

The 11th annual "18 Aces to Conquer Cancer" golf outing to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research and patient aid will take place on January 8 at the Country Club of Winter... — Updated 10/31/2023

Soccer Skills Focus of Polk State Events

Polk State Soccer Head Coach Dee Shivraman and Assistant Coach and Recruiting Director Tawanda Kaseke are taking a community approach as they begin their first year with the... — Updated 8/22/2023

State Champion Lake Wales Highlanders Eye Start of New Season

A new school year means many things: getting used to new schedules, making new friends, and for fans of the defending state championship Lake Wales Highlanders, a new season of... — Updated 8/18/2023

Highlander Softball Team Advances to State Championship Game Thursday

The Lake Wales High School Softball team is angling to bring back a second state championship in a single scholastic year after defeating Lemon Bay (Englewood) 5-0 in a semifinal... — Updated 5/25/2023

Highlanders Win State Championship Game

The women of the Lake Wales High School softball team were all smiles in Clermont Thursday afternoon after winning the state softball class with 7-2 a victory over Wakulla. The... — Updated 6/15/2023

TrophyCatch Research: Proper Bass Handling

We know anglers care about big bass, which means they also care about how they handle big bass. Especially in recent years, concerns have been voiced about how anglers handle bass... — Updated 5/12/2023

Dyer Difference Award Goes to Local Volleyball League

A $3000 grant has been awarded to a local athletic league that will allow them to continue to provide participation and support for local athletes wishing to participate in their... — Updated 3/28/2023

Lake Reedy Bass Tournament to Benefit Youth Activities

Increased numbers of boats and anglers are expected on Lake Reedy in Frostproof this Saturday, March 25, as the Frostproof Church of God hosts their 12th Annual Bass Tournament.... — Updated 3/22/2023

Lake Wales High School Weightlifters Win County Olympics Title

Lake Wales weightlifters won the Olympics-style county title while placing second to Lakeland in the traditional competition. In the Olympic competition, Lake Wales won with 53... — Updated 3/16/2023

Canopy-stack video

Skydivers Build Massive Canopy Stacks at Lake Wales Airport

A team of skydivers from a dozen nations cooperated to build canopy stacks of a 54 and 65 persons at Lake Wales Airport this week while descending from well above 10,000 feet. The... — Updated 1/13/2023

Students Invited to Enter Water Conservation Art Contest

Polk County's annual Water Conservation Art Contest is open for all Polk County students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Winning entries will be featured in Polk County... — Updated 2/27/2024

Junior Achievement Receives Grant to Teach Financial Literacy

McLaughlin Middle/High School in Lake Wales is among the schools that will benefit from an effort by Junior Achievement. The JA of Florida Foundation has received a $70,000 grant... — Updated 2/5/2024

Polk State College Lake Wales to Host Open House January 25

Polk State College invites prospective students, their families, and community members to an open house at the Polk State JD Alexander Center on January 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.... — Updated 1/16/2024

"Grants for Great Ideas" to Benefit Local Educational Efforts

Teachers and other school-based professionals that work directly with students at a local school are invited to apply for a mini-grant that will fund classroom activities. The GFWC... — Updated 1/23/2024

Dr. Nelson Marquez Is New Webber International University President

Webber International University, located just south of Lake Wales near Crooked Lake, has a new president and CEO following action by the school's board of directors. Dr. Nelson... — Updated 12/7/2023

Ellen Jones Named to Stamps Scholars at Mercer University

the prestigious Stamps Scholars program at Georgia's Mercer University has welcomed a local resident to the program. Mercer's newest Stamps Scholar class includes Ellen Rose Jones... — Updated 11/29/2023

Polk State College Priority Registration Starts October 30 for Spring Semester

Currently enrolled Polk State students will have a head start opportunity fo enrolling in the Spring 2024 semester. Enrollment for the spring will begin on October 30 with priority... — Updated 11/2/2023

Bok North Ag Students Continue "Adventures" in Education

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was written by middle school students at Bok North Academy. Students enrolled in the Bok Academy North agriculture program are excited for the... — Updated 10/13/2023

Webber International University Dedicates New Health Sciences Facility

A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the new Health Sciences Center at Webber International University drew a large crowd of students,... — Updated 10/14/2023

Lake Wales Native Chosen as New Bok South Academy Principal

Lake Wales Charter School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Rodolfich has announced the appointment of April Barnhardt to become the new principal of Edward Bok Academy South. The... — Updated 9/27/2023

Low Payment Kings Raised Funds During St Jude Radiothon

If you are one of the many customers who took a test drive or made a service visit to Lake Wales Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram or any of the four other area auto dealerships owned by the... — Updated 3/1/2024

Community Open House to Address Economic Development Ideas

The public is invited to take a seat at the table this Tuesday to discuss economic development in the Lake Wales area to "increase the city's economic health." The community forum... — Updated 2/3/2024

Second Bakery Draws Fans to Downtown Lake Wales

A desire to combine family and "flair" has resulted in a business that customers are describing as "a delight. Since opening less than two months ago Mimi's Bakery has quickly... — Updated 1/22/2024 Readership Continues to Rise

A continuing rise in readership and community reach is evidence of the growing awareness and trust of among residents of the Ridge area. The expansion of... — Updated 10/31/2023

New Kualoa Restaurant Celebrates With Ribbon Cutting

Lake Wales newest restaurant, Kualao, celebrated its recent opening with a ribbon cutting this week, hosting an enthusiastic group of fans to free samples of their creative and... — Updated 9/26/2023

Rotary Business Networking Event Hosted at Native Imagery

Several dozen Rotarians, area business people, and many of their customers attended a "Ridge Taking Care of Business" networking opportunity Thursday evening at Native Imagery in... — Updated 9/25/2023

Business Licensing Renewal Deadline is Fast Approaching

The Office of the Tax Collector for Polk County (TCPC), Joe G. Tedder, reminds business owners that the deadline to renew their County Local Business Tax Receipt (BTR) is Monday,... — Updated 9/5/2023

Lake Wales Auto Agency Mahalak Auto Group Goes Solar

Another Lake Wales business is joining the growing wave of movement to solar power, with installation of a large rooftop array slated for this fall. The Low Payment Kings... — Updated 8/12/2023

Polk Vision Annual Meeting Inspires Area Leaders

A celebration of 19 years of contribution toward the development of community leaders drew some 200 guests to the annual meeting of Polk Vision Wednesday evening. The gathering in... — Updated 8/17/2023

New BizLINC Business Incubator Expected to Spur Economic Development

A new business incubator funded in large part by the City of Lake Wales was celebrated at a recent ribbon cutting featuring a host of government and business representatives. The... — Updated 8/5/2023

Frostproof Native Crosses Lake Okeechobee on Paddleboard

Frostproof native Mason Gravley was part of a two-person team that has apparently established a new endurance record for Florida. The duo paddle-boarded approximately 34 miles... — Updated 1/13/2024

Don't Cut Down That Dead Tree (Unless it's a Risk to Safety)

Have you ever seen an old, dead tree standing in a forest and thought, "Shouldn't that tree be taken down?" It turns out there are good reasons land managers choose to leave dead... — Updated 12/30/2023

Solar Farms Provide a Model for Mixed-Use Land Management

The expansion of solar farms across the U.S. is similarly creating an abundance of bright, open spaces that require regular upkeep. Unused areas near the solar arrays are... — Updated 12/6/2023

Polk County Seeks Volunteers to Guide Lake Access

Polk County commissioners are looking for volunteers who would like to serve on the county's Lake Access Advisory Committee. The LAAC studies how to increase public access to Polk... — Updated 9/27/2023

Water Management District Offers Access to Nearly 70 Recreation Sites

The Southwest Florida Water Management District has published its new, free recreational guide highlighting nearly 70 properties. With its new sleeker design, users can scan QR... — Updated 10/2/2023

Florida Natural History Museum Works to Preserve Endangered Andean Birds

A team of researchers from Florida is making a significant contribution to the survival of a number of bird species endangered by deforstation in their Andean home. Birds native... — Updated 8/22/2023

Polk County Accepting Environmental Land Nominations for Purchase or Conservation Easements

Polk County's Environmental Land's program is opening the process for accepting site nomination forms from landowners beginning August 1. A 2022 voter-approved referendum created... — Updated 8/8/2023

How to Deal With Protected Bears in Unexpected Areas

Close on the heels of the recent discovery of a black bear hiding in a tree on the Lake Wailes Trail, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is sharing the... — Updated 6/11/2023

Stormwater Management A Major Challenge for Many Local Governments

It's raining hard. You need to get to an important appointment. You're halfway to your destination when you hit a roadblock. The intersection is flooded, wind gusts have downed... — Updated 5/9/2023

Polk is Subject to Tornadoes Both Winter and Summer - Here Are Some Safety Tips

Did you know that, according to Florida State University's Climate Center, Florida is the state with the most tornadoes per 10,000 square miles? This means that, while other states... — Updated 5/2/2023

A Free Press Serves as a Watchdog on Government and Politicians

Government is complicated. Elected officials, even those responsible for leading a city such as Lake Wales with its billion-dollar budget, face a multitude of questions and issues.... — Updated 3/1/2024

Facts, Not innuendo, Should Guide City Business, Citizen Behavior

People often look to their perceived "leaders" for guidance on conduct. In an atmosphere of charged and heated politics on a national level, it is no wonder that people are too often quick to accuse or insinuate wrongdoing even... — Updated 2/22/2024

Guest Editorial: Bill in Florida Legislature Would Block Local Government Efforts to Prepare for Storms

Next week, the Florida Legislature is holding a special session to address a number of topics ahead of the regularly scheduled 2024 session that begins in January. We are concerned... — Updated 11/2/2023

Public Health a Winner in Lake Wales Envisioned Plan

Editor's Note: This guest Commentary is the third of a series of guest editorials that will address the effort known as Lake Wales Envisioned. Public health will be a big winner if... — Updated 10/24/2023

1000 Friends of Florida Endorses the Lake Wales Envisioned Plan

Editor's Note: This guest Commentary is the second of a series of guest editorials that will address the effort known as Lake Wales Envisioned. Since our founding in 1986, 1000... — Updated 10/12/2023

Embrace Lake Wales Envisioned: A Model for the Nation

Editor's Note: This guest Commentary, offered by two distinguished scholars of the works of the father and son who shared the honored name of Frederick Law Olmsted, is the first of... — Updated 10/6/2023

Will Lake Wales be Overrun by Growth? Envisioned Effort Offers an Alternative, But it Needs Your Input

Change is coming to Lake Wales. Are you worried? If so, your concerns are shared by thousands of your friends and neighbors. Ours is a growing community. This special place has... — Updated 8/2/2023

Enforcement Needed to End Carnage on Area Roads

A bloody toll of fatalities and serious injuries during the month of May has left multiple area families mourning their losses. The rash of deadly crashes is a clear call for... — Updated 5/18/2023

"Welcome Home" : Honoring Vietnam Veterans 50 Years Later Still the Right Thing to Do

Honoring those who have served to defend is a longstanding tradition in nations around the world, no less so in the United States. The freedoms we enjoy, so easily eroded from... — Updated 4/12/2023

Lake Wales Envisioned Offers Us Each a Chance to Protect Our Quality of Life

"Growth" is a word that means opportunity for some and strikes fear in the hearts of others. It has been the driver of both the economic health and the environmental destruction... — Updated 2/23/2023

"American Fiction" a Satire That Hits All the Right Notes

"American Fiction" offers us some great satire performed by a stellar cast. Directed and written by the talented Cord Jefferson and starring Jeffrey Wright, this film is a... — Updated 2/28/2024

"Edwards Twins" Musical Impersonators to Perform at Ramon Theatre

A truly unique performance is coming to Frostproof's historic Ramon Theatre in March as the famed musical impersonators Anthony and Eddie Edwards perform their live musical... — Updated 2/27/2024

Lake Wales Arts Festival Happens February 24 and 25

An annual event that draws thousands of art lovers from Lake Wales and around the state, the 53rd Annual Lake Wales Arts Festival ill be happening Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24 and... — Updated 2/22/2024

"Good Grief," is a Heartfelt Exploration of Friendship and Discovery

I recently had the opportunity to watch Dan Levy's directorial debut, Good Grief, on Netflix. Dan Levy is best known for his comedy Schitt's Creek. I love that show, it's... — Updated 2/15/2024

"May December" a Dark Comedy on Netflix

This is a dark comedy starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton in a story loosely based on Mary Kay Letourneau and her affair with one of her young students. It... — Updated 2/5/2024

The Color Purple: A Triumphant Return

The beloved story of Celie Johnson is returned to the big screen, and this time, it's singing its heart out. "The Color Purple" (2023) is a triumphant musical adaptation of Alice... — Updated 1/29/2024

Aquaman 2 and the Lost Kingdom: A Surprisingly Enjoyable Dip in Troubled Waters

I was a bit delayed watching Aquaman 2 as I was gone over the holidays. I finally got to see it recently. I went into Aquaman 2 expecting a shipwreck, weighed down by the... — Updated 1/20/2024

Downtown to Resound With Free Lake Wales Live Concert Series

Music and entertainment fans will welcome the news of a sensational series of free Friday night concerts that promise to infuse the community with camaraderie, live music, and... — Updated 2/5/2024

"Bed, Breakfast and Broadway" Offers Entertaining Romp, Surprises

The guiding axiom of theatre is "the show must go on," and that's exactly the spirit exhibited by the resilient troupe of actors at Lake Wales Little Theatre as they present "Bed,... — Updated 1/20/2024

Movie Review of "Wonka" : A Sweet Surprise (with a Few Wonky Bits)

I'll admit, I walked into the new Wonka movie bracing myself for disappointment. The shadow of Gene Wilder's iconic performance loomed large, and the more recent Johnny Depp... — Updated 1/9/2024

100 Years Ago: The Lake Wales Highlander Feb. 27, 1924

In 1924 Lake Wales was in the midst of not only a land boom, but a citrus boom. A calculation by local grower Charles M. Hunt showed nearly 12,000 acres of citrus had been planted... — Updated 3/1/2024

Lake Wales Arts Council Hosts Solivita Artisan Guild Exhibit

An upcoming exhibit at the Lake Wales Arts Center will feature the Solivita Artisan Guild. The Guild includes artisans and artists in the community located within Poinciana in... — Updated 3/1/2024

This Week in History: The Highlander, Feb. 20, 1924

The Lake Wales Highlander of 100 years ago reveals much about the history of our community. Each week the Lake Wales News will publish a front-page image of the former Lake Wales... — Updated 2/22/2024

Lake Wales High's Class of '74 Planning Trip Down Memory Lane

High school reunions are still a part of American culture and life experience that can offer a way to reflect on a lifetime of work and achievement. The Lake Wales High School... — Updated 2/6/2024

100 Years Ago: The Lake Wales Highlander

 — Updated 2/15/2024

February 4, 1924 Highlander Offers Glimpse Into City's History

Controversies including the sudden cancellation of a road bond election by the county commission and a charge that someone illegally added a letter to a bill of deed highlighted... — Updated 2/6/2024

January 30, 1924 Highlander

The January 30, 1924 issue of the Highlander was filled with significant reports, including one claiming that Polk County, with it's sparse population, had been recorded as having... — Updated 2/2/2024

Lake Wales Police Partner With Wallet Card Project to Help Protect Those With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder may be at special risk as they move about in the community, and the Lake Wales Police Department is reaching out in an effort to encourage... — Updated 1/20/2024

Leigh Ann Wynn Named Executive Director of AdventHealth Foundation West Florida

AdventHealth Foundation West Florida is delighted to announce the appointment of Leigh Ann Wynn as the new Executive Director for the Polk County region. As a seventh-generation... — Updated 1/24/2024

January 23, 1924 Highlander

A murder, a automobile crash on Scenic Highway, and the doings of the Board of Trade were among the topics that made the front page of The Highlander 100 years ago this week.... — Updated 1/24/2024

Sylvia Marsee Griner, 1938-2024

Sylvia Marsee Griner died at home surrounded by her family on February 24, 2024, at 8 p,m, due to a lung disease she had for many years. She was 85 years old, and was born June 17,... — Updated 2/28/2024

Patsy Draper, 1941-2024

Patsy Draper of Lake Wales passed away Monday, February 19, 2024 at her residence. She was born September 23, 1941 in Dundee to the late Milton and Trummie Hathcock. She has been a... — Updated 2/21/2024

Dr. Alexander "Fleet" Ryland, III, 1946-2024

Dr. Alexander “Fleet” Ryland, III, 77, of Lake Wales, passed away on Monday, February 5, 2024, surrounded by loved ones at AdventHealth in Lake Wales. Born on April 5, 1946, in... — Updated 2/12/2024

Sally Ann Boyer, 1942-2024

Sally Ann Boyer of Lake Wales passed away Thursday, February 15, 2024 at AdventHealth Lake Wales. She was born March 27, 1942 in New Castle, Pennsylvania to the late Paul and... — Updated 2/15/2024

Lorey Blackwelder, 1970-2024

Lorey Blackwelder of Frostproof passed away Thursday, February 8, 2024, at her residence. She was born July 18, 1970 in Winter Haven to the late Alvin and Mary Meadows; she was a... — Updated 2/15/2024

Donald Gene Clingenpeel, 1939-2024

Donald Gene Clingenpeel of Haines City passed away Thursday, February 16, 2024 at his residence. He was born September 5, 1939 in Stillwater, Oklahoma to the late James Earl and... — Updated 2/17/2024

Mary Ruth Dampier, 1931-2024

In deepest loving memory, Mary Ruth Dampier, a devoted mother, grandmother and friend, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 26th 2024. She was predeceased by her husband, Jack... — Updated 2/6/2024

Cleve Lamar Odom, 1958-2024

Cleve Lamar Odom of Lake Wales passed away Monday, February 5, 2024, at his residence. He was born October 16, 1958, in Fitzgerald, GA to the late William Wilson and Mamie Pearl... — Updated 2/7/2024

Audrey Swindal, 1928-2024

Audrey Swindal, age 95, passed away February 4, 2024, at her residence in Bartow. She was born on February 9, 1928, in St. Augustine, FL. She attended FSU where she started the... — Updated 2/15/2024

JaLeeann Johnston, 1977-2024

JaLeeann Johnston, age 46, passed away Sunday, January 21, 2024 at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL due to a brain injury resulting from an accidental fall at her home. She was born... — Updated 1/31/2024

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