LakeWalesNews.net - Community Requires Communication

A Southern Live Oak Decorated for Christmas

A Christmas Tree That Will Live For Hundreds of Years? It's Available

As the price of fresh cut Christmas trees rises due to a national shortage, perhaps it's time to consider a different kind of Christmas tree. "Instead of buying a cut Christmas... — Updated 12/6/2021

New Fishing Column Added to Local Coverage

Lake Wales isn't known as a fishing capital for nothing. The wide variety of lakes, each with unique habitats for a wide range of species, make our part of Florida a magnet for... — Updated 12/6/2021

Photo of Seminole Hotel

City Gets Seminole Hotel Under Settlement Terms

The City of Lake Wales will apparently acquire the Seminole Hotel as a result of a deal reached during court-ordered mediation on November 12. The terms of the settlement were... — Updated 12/3/2021

Dramatic Video of Crash as Police Cruiser, Two Other Vehicles Destroyed in Crash

A Lake Wales police Department vehicle was totaled in a night-time crash Tuesday evening after the officer stopped to aid a the driver of a disabled vehicle. Miraculously, no one... — Updated 12/2/2021

A bowl painted with an image of Bok Tower looking almost directly up

"Empty Bowls" Effort Will Help Feed Hungry in Our Community

If you like to have fun with paints, and help a good cause, here's an opportunity to do them both at the same time!. Empty Bowls begins this week and will end in February. In an... — Updated 12/4/2021

Lake Wales Marks Passing of Frank M. Hunt, II, Civic and Business Leader

One of the most significant figures in the long history of Florida's citrus industry, Frank M. Hunt II, passed away Saturday, November 27 at his residence in Lake Wales. He was 93,... — Updated 11/30/2021

Prominent Eyesore Property May Be Headed For Change

A crumbling former gasoline station and convenience store that has proven to be a stubborn eyesore may be subject to foreclosure action as City-imposed fines of $500 a day are... — Updated 11/24/2021

City Seeking $500,000 Grant to Clean Up Three "Brownfields"

Funding for a clean-up effort that could pave the way for the construction of a traffic roundabout connecting Scenic Highway with Burns Avenue and Washington Avenue has been... — Updated 11/24/2021

Charter Schools logo

Charter School Superintendent Search Draws 25 Applicants

The search for a new superintendent for the Lake Wales Charter School System has entered its next phase following the close of applications for the position on November 17. Now the... — Updated 11/30/2021

Want to Cut Your Own Fresh Christmas Tree? Here's How

In a year where a shortage of Christmas trees is a looming nationwide problem, hardy individuals are fortunate to have another affordable solution available: cut your own at the... — Updated 11/30/2021

Fish Are Biting, If You Know Where to Try

The fish are biting in area lakes if you know where to go. At Bridgemaster Fishing Products, also known as the Fisherman's Candy Store, we've got a few tips for you. At Lake... — Updated 12/6/2021

Bass Fishing Tournament Draws Hundreds to Camp Mack Saturday

Hundreds of bass fishers, both men and women, are expected to descend on the Lake Wales area this weekend as Camp Mack Resort hosts the Bobby Lane Cup. Some of the top names in... — Updated 12/3/2021

Highlanders Fall in Regional Semi-finals

After a strong showing this season, the Lake Wales Highlanders season came to a close in Ocala Friday night as they fell short 24-13 in a defensive battle with traditional... — Updated 11/20/2021

Lake Wales Defeats Port St. Lucie to Advance to Regional Semifinals

The Lake Wales Highlanders advanced to the Class 6-A Regional semifinals after a solid game against the Port St. Lucie Jaguars Friday night, emerging victorious by a 35-0 score.... — Updated 11/20/2021

Highlanders Face Port St. Lucie in Playoff Opener

After concluding their regular season play with an 8-2 wining record, the Lake Wales Highlanders advance as 6-A District 7 runners-up to the Florida High School Athletic... — Updated 11/20/2021

Lake Wales High Track Team Makes Impressive Showing at Meet

The Lake Wales High School Cross Country athletes ran in competition at Central Winds Park in Winter Springs on Saturday, October 30 in the FHSAA 3A District 3 Championship 2021.... — Updated 11/8/2021

Highlanders Defeat Rival Bartow, Prepare for Playoffs

A four-interception defense led the Lake Wales Highlanders to a 24-13 football victory over the Bartow Yellowjackets Friday night on a rain-soaked field in Bartow, leaving the... — Updated 11/6/2021

Highlanders Soccer Team Ready to Start Their 22-game Regular Season

After a successful preseason tournament outing at Auburndale this week, the Lake Wales High School Boys Soccer teans are ready to start their regular season on Monday when they... — Updated 11/6/2021

photo of Robbie Shields wearing his favorite sports gear

Lake Wales Soccer Club Serves Hundreds of Area Youth

Persistence and patience paid off for one dedicated Lake Wales man after a request for a sports field for his children ended up benefiting hundreds of area youngsters who... — Updated 10/26/2021

Highlanders Crush Kissimmee Gateway to Assure Playoff Spot

Wrapping up their District 7 play with a flourish, the Lake Wales Highlanders overwhelmed Kissimmee Gateway by a score of 58-0 Friday night. The win assures the local eleven a... — Updated 10/30/2021

Three Florida Polytechnic Scientists Ranked Among Globes' Top Two Percent

With innovative research in nanomedicine, energy systems, and rare earth element recovery, three Florida Polytechnic University professors have been listed among the top 2%... — Updated 12/7/2021

Federal Funds Allow Polk State to Forgive Student Debt

Polk State College announced that it is eliminating $1.2 million in student debt to alleviate financial burdens for students brought on by the COVID-19 public health emergency.... — Updated 12/3/2021

Polk State Lake Wales Enrollment Doubles to 1,200 Students

Polk State's Lake Wales campus, located entirely in the two-story JD Alexander Center on Central Avenue, has doubled its student population. Enrollment has grown from 600 to 1,200... — Updated 11/30/2021

Statewide Student Art Competition Offered to Fish Fans

Are you a student who knows fish? Got some art talent? The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would like to know about it. The FWC is inviting students in all grades... — Updated 11/8/2021

Congressional Internships Offered to College Students, Recent Grads

College and University students and recent graduates wishing to gain valuable work experience working with a Congressional office are encouraged to apply for one of several... — Updated 11/7/2021

Legoland Florida Employees Eligible for Polk State Scholarships

Want to attend Polk State College but struggling to afford it since you don't have a good job? Go to work at Legoland Florida Resort and you can accomplish both goals at once. As... — Updated 10/29/2021

photo of Dr. Carol Daniel

Approval Granted for Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Webber

After a two-year process, Webber International University has been granted approval to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. The University has begun accepting... — Updated 10/26/2021

Photo of Polk State College Lake Wales

Polk State Spring Enrollment Opens

Enrollment for the Spring 2022 Semester at Polk State College will start on Monday, October 25, 2021, with priority registration for students who have completed at least 50 percent... — Updated 10/20/2021

Charter Schools Search for Superintendent Described as "Transparent"

Finding a new superintendent for the Lake Wales Charter School System is a painstaking process, with huge focus on finding the ideal candidate, according to Bill Vogel. Vogel, 72,... — Updated 10/20/2021

school students wearing masks to prevent covic

Florida Dept. of Education Finally Submits $2.3B Federal Funds Request

The Florida Department of Education has finally submitted a plan outlining how federal relief funds will be used to help schools recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan is... — Updated 10/8/2021

U.S. judge strikes down Florida Legislature's Seminole Gaming Compact

A federal judge has undone a signature achievement of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ time in office by invalidating the Seminole Gaming Compact, a deal between the state and the tribe that purported to OK statewide sports betting and bring... — Updated 11/29/2021

Lake Wales Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Celebrates Anniversary By Supporting Local Causes

"It's a blink of an eye and 30 years have flown by. When Ralph and I started we both had darker hair," said Mike Mahalak, president of the Mahalak Auto Group, in recognition of a... — Updated 11/11/2021

Lake Wales Chamber Hosts Western-Style Gala

Feel like a rodeo cowgirl or cowboy sometimes? Here's your big chance to get out those rhinestones and boots and sparkle your way across a dance floor. The Lake Wales Area Chamber... — Updated 11/11/2021

One Local Restaurant is a Hidden Gem

Local dining food choices aren't as limited as you might believe, and they certainly don't have to be boring. That much is evident after a visit to a local restaurant celebrating... — Updated 11/1/2021

Cheese Shoppe and Deli is Newest Business in Lake Wales

Lovers of Amish cheeses and hearty deli sandwiches will be delighted to learn of Lake Wales' newest business, The Lake Wales Cheese Shoppe and Deli opened for business last week on... — Updated 10/29/2021

Construction Site Theft Becomes Larger Problem in Polk

Building is booming in Polk County and so are construction-related thefts, according to feedback received by the Polk County Building Division. “It really isn’t a surprise to us,” said Building Director Benjamin Dunn.... — Updated 10/20/2021

LakeWalesNews.Net Readership Views Surge to 20,000 Weekly

New features and sections added to LakeWalesNews.Net have driven skyrocketing readership since September 1, reaching well over 80,000 page views during the first month, according... — Updated 10/27/2021

photo of Anita's sign

Lake Wales Loses Mexican Restaurant

A popular lunch spot on Central Avenue has closed, leaving locals hungry for Mexican-style favorites out of luck. Anita's Mexican Restaurant offered a variety of dishes from simple... — Updated 10/13/2021

Lilly and Brown Attorneys Earn Top Reputation

If you can believe the heaps of accolades the firm has received, there is no more preeminent law firm in our area than that of Lilly and Brown, LLP. The duo of personal injury... — Updated 10/3/2021

Chamber's First Friday Coffee Draws Crowd Downtown

Several dozen citizens gathered Friday morning at Kathryn's Christian Books at 205 East Park Avenue for the Chamber of Commerce's First Friday event, which coincided with National... — Updated 10/4/2021

Public Comment Invited on Kissimmee Chain Management Plans

Area boaters and fishers using the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes east of Lake Wales may wish to speak up as plans are made for the future management of the public waters. The Florida... — Updated 12/7/2021

Feds dragging their feet on a plan to feed starving Florida manatees

The first time I met Martine de Wit, she was dressed in scrubs, ready to step into a laboratory containing eight dead manatees. Her job, and that of the dozen people assisting her... — Updated 12/2/2021

Portion of Kissimmee River May be Designated as Wild and Scenic River

In a tribute to the very concept of restoration, a portion of Florida's Kissimmee River that was once reduced to a single canal carrying contaminated water has been approved for... — Updated 11/24/2021

Attracting Wildlife to Our Yards is Easy and Fun

Attracting wildlife to our yards by planning and planting for their needs is simple and satisfying. If we supply adequate food, water and shelter, we can increase the number and... — Updated 10/24/2021

"Last Forest in Orlando" Bulldozed Despite Court Ruling

Swaths of wetlands and waterways in Florida left unprotected when the Trump administration weakened federal standards in early 2020 are being developed in Florida - despite a... — Updated 10/18/2021

Annual Civilian Conservation Corps Festival Happens November 13

Outdoor lovers are invited to attend the 35th Annual Civilian Conservation Corps Festival scheduled for November 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Highlands Hammock State Park.... — Updated 10/10/2021

The lights of Florida from space

Climate Change Action Proposed in Legislature

A group of Democratic lawmakers unveiled an energy-efficiency plan this week that would reward farmers for conserving energy, assess energy efficiency in state-funded buildings,... — Updated 10/17/2021

Rodman Opponents Ready to Gamble Again that Florida Will Finally Free the Ocklawaha

Do you play the lottery? I've been known to purchase a ticket or two when the payoff gets enough zeroes. The fact that I am still writing for a living should tell you how good I... — Updated 10/13/2021

Fish and Wildlife Commission Offers Live MarineQuest 2021

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Service is inviting you to join them on Thursday, October 14 for their virtual MarineQuest 2021 event. This is a live on-line event that will include... — Updated 10/12/2021

an aerial view of the huge gypsum stack

Piney Point Waste Injection Plan Raises Questions

The plan proposed by Manatee County to treat the estimated 270 million gallons of polluted wastewater from the Piney Point gypsum stack ponds and inject it deep underground has... — Updated 10/2/2021

Proposal for Partisan School Boards a Bad Idea

Democracy relies upon "the consent of the governed" to function. Consent implies an understanding of the questions of importance to the populace, which in turn requires an educated... — Updated 12/7/2021

EDITORIAL: How Will Lake Wales Stop "Urban Sprawl" and Maintain its Small-Town Feel?

Citing private property rights and the current broad wave of development interest around Lake Wales, the City Commission is faced with a tough balancing act: allowing rapid growth... — Updated 11/30/2021

Enjoy a Historical Christmas at Lake Wales History Museum Party

The staff and members of the Lake Wales History Museum are inviting the public to join them for a special Holiday Party at the museum on Thursday, December 16. The free event will... — Updated 12/5/2021

Free "Date Night" Concert in the Park Friday

The public is invited to a free concert this Friday featuring covers of classic rock and roll, country, and classic pop songs by "I-4 North" at 7:30 pm in Library Park. That show... — Updated 11/20/2021

Victorian-Style Christmas Event Will Include Caroling, Costumes, Tree Lighting

A Christmas event that recalls the era of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge, complete with Victorian-Era costumes, caroling, and a tree lighting. The evening will be a... — Updated 11/22/2021

REVIEW: "Avocado Queens" Offers Evening of Slapstick Comedy

A zany comedic presentation fills the stage at Lake Wales Little Theatre through November 21 as they present "The Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens." The farcical production is... — Updated 11/6/2021

Lake Wales Little Theatre Offers Wild Comedy

A rollicking comedy promises lots of laughs as Lake Wales Little Theatre presents "The Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens." This "Southern-fried comedy" by Jessie Jones, Nicholas... — Updated 11/3/2021

Oktoberfest Happens Friday Night in Lake Wales

The downtown MarketPlace plaza will host crowds of socializers this Friday evening, October 29 as the Lake Wales Main Street organization hosts their back-in-business Oktoberfest.... — Updated 11/2/2021

Spaghetti Dinner Will Ease This Week's Cooking Chores

A delicious spaghetti dinner with all the favorite sides is available for an easy take out meal on Thursday this week as the Woman's Club of Lake Wales offers its popular biannual... — Updated 10/30/2021

Pioneer Days Happening October 23 and 24

Lake Wales 45th Annual Pioneer Days festival is expected to draw some 10,000 visitors to Lake Wailes Park over two days later this month, and staff at the Lake Wales History... — Updated 10/13/2021

a graphic play poster

"The Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens" Opens November 5

Ready for some laughs to brighten up your life? Well, Lake Wales Little Theatre is ready for you, offering a three-weekend run of a comedy that seems guaranteed to make you... — Updated 10/14/2021

Auditions Begin Sept. 23 for Next Little Theatre Production

Lake Wales Little Theatre has announced open auditions beginning Thursday, Sept. 23 for its next production, Last Roundup of the Guacamole Queens. Co-directors Chevon and Michael... — Updated 9/17/2021

History Museum Hosts "Black Masculinity in Florida" Program

A Thursday evening virtual presentation by a renowned speaker Dr. Vincent Adejumo, who will explore the history of race in the United States and the impacts of specific events such... — Updated 12/5/2021

Unknown caller on cell phone

Don't Become a Victim - Avoid Being Scammed, Protect Your Personal Identity

It may come as at text message, a phone call, or an email. Someone may warn you that an account is in arrears, your Social Security Number is being "suspended," or that you may be... — Updated 11/24/2021

Polk State Lake Wales Grows to 1,200 Students, Thanks to One Man's Efforts

The inspiration of hard-working parents who wanted their children to have a better life has led their son to "pay it forward" by leading others to higher callings through Polk... — Updated 11/30/2021

Legal Sports Gambling Coming to Florida

As anyone who has spent time following the Florida sports betting saga will know, it now appears to be moving slowly towards an end. Rows in the state legislature have persisted... — Updated 11/23/2021

Avoiding Food Waste at Thanksgiving Can Save a Family Big Bucks

(NAPSI)-Each year, the average American family of four loses $1,500 to uneaten food-that's about 1,160 pounds of food. At holiday or any time, it's a good idea to think about how... — Updated 11/18/2021

Video

Woman's Club of Lake Wales Boosts "World Kindness Day"

World Kindness Day is an international holiday that was formed in 1998, to promote kindness throughout the world and is observed annually on November 13 as part of the World... — Updated 11/11/2021

Lake Wales Farmers Market a Popular Bi-monthly Event Happening This Week

Imagine a place filled with the tantalizing aromas of fresh breads and flowers, the colors of fancy beadwork and bottles filled with bright liquids, and the sounds of friendly... — Updated 11/14/2021

A Change of Heart on Vaccines

Stephanie Bramlett of Winder, Georgia, is one of many in the Southeast region who has experienced the effects of COVID-19 firsthand. Earlier this year, when the entrepreneur and... — Updated 10/27/2021

Library Brings Back "Food for Fines" Program

Remember that library book, and the DVD you checked out last year and forgot to return? Yeah, that one... Well, there's good news. Now you don't have to pay the fine! Just bring a... — Updated 10/29/2021

a photo of Siena Italy

The Magic of Traveling in Italy

Editors Note: Lake Wales resident Mike Spotswood and his wife Irene are avid travelers. Their frequent journeys through Italy have inspired many of their friends to "get off the... — Updated 10/19/2021

Robert Mallick Blair, 1921-2021

Robert Mallick Blair of Lake Wales, 100, passed away on November 29, 2021, in Orlando, FL. Born April 9, 1921, in Pittsburgh, PA, he lived in Beaver County most of his life. He was... — Updated 12/5/2021

William E. Delmas, 1939-2021

William E. Delmas of South Carolina passed away Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at The Grove Center in Lake Wales. He was born September 24, 1939 in Mobile, Alabama to the late... — Updated 12/6/2021

Russell Anthony Robertson, 1946-2021

Russell Anthony Robertson of Jacksonville passed away Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at his residence. He was born October 22, 1946 in Washington D.C. to the late Russell and Bertha... — Updated 12/6/2021

Janice Theresa Koziol, 1949-2021

Janice Theresa Koziol, 72, passed away peacefully Sunday, November 28, 2021 with her family members by her side. She is survived by her husband, Phillip; daughter, Lisa (St.... — Updated 11/30/2021

Michael Duane "Mike" Taylor, 1946-2021

Michael Duane “Mike” Taylor of Indian Lake Estates passed away Friday, December 3, 2021 at AdventHealth Lake Wales. He was born August 24, 1946 in Stockton, California to the... — Updated 12/3/2021

Esther McKenzie, 1924-2021

Esther McKenzie of Frostproof passed away Thursday, December 2, 2021 at her residence. She was born March 14, 1924 in Ironwood, Michigan to the late Peter and Grace Schiavetti; she... — Updated 12/3/2021

Franklin O. "Frank" Blachly, 1926-2021

Franklin O. “Frank” Blachly of River Ranch passed away Thursday, December 2, 2021 at Advent Health Lake Wales. He was born April 18, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York to the late... — Updated 12/3/2021

Frank M. Hunt, II, 1928-2021

Frank M. Hunt, II of Lake Wales passed away Saturday, November 27, 2021 at his residence. He was born April 2, 1928 in Lake Wales to the late Deeley A. and Louise E. Hunt; he was a... — Updated 11/29/2021

Mary Arline Shirey, 1959-2021

Mary Arline Shirey of Lake Wales passed away Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at AdventHealth Lake Wales. She was born February 9, 1959 in LaGrange, Indiana to Richard and Effie Jones;... — Updated 11/24/2021

Sue Webster, 1921-2021

Sue Webster, age 100, passed away November 22, 2021, at Savannah Court Assisted Living Facility in Bartow. She was born on October 11, 1921, in Anderson, Indiana, and was was a... — Updated 11/24/2021

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