Sebring Man Dies in Collision, US 27 Closed for Hours

A Sebring man was killed on US 27 Monday night after filing to slow for a truck making a U-turn at Harbor Drive. Polk County Deputies and Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to... — Updated 11/29/2023

Lake Wales Country Club, Oakwood GC Site of Large New Development Proposal

A large-scale redevelopment proposal that includes both Lake Wales Country Club and the adjacent Oakwood golf course community is raising passions among residents, some of whom... — Updated 11/29/2023

Friedlander Ranch May Become Part of Envisioned Plan's "Big Green Network"

The realization of a "Big Green Network" of environmental lands that will forever form limits to the potential urbanization of the Lake Wales area drew a step closer this week.... — Updated 12/1/2023

Local Man Arrested, Charged With Lewd Exhibition

The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested a pest & lawn service worker twice last week after detectives spoke with two female customers who said the man exposed himself to... — Updated 11/29/2023

Crooked Lake Park's Sunshine Drive to be Closed for at Least Two Months

Construction of a new sewer main and lift station will require the closure of Sunshine Drive in the Crooked Lake Park neighborhood south of Lake Wales for two months starting... — Updated 12/1/2023

Businesses Remain Open as West Park Avenue Transformed into Shady Oasis by Construction

In nothing less than a transformation, the formerly dreary stretch of Park Avenue west of First Street is swiftly becoming an attractive green oasis intended to help draw... — Updated 11/22/2023

Historic Woman's Club Auditorium to Receive CRA Help

A CRA grant will help a local not-for-profit save an aging historic building that serves as an important civic space in downtown Lake Wales. The Lake Wales Woman's Club was awarded... — Updated 11/29/2023

US 27 Resurfacing May Disrupt Traffic in Coming Months

A major resurfacing project is expected to disrupt traffic flow on US 27 during the coming months as contractors undertake improvements to about seven miles of the six-lane... — Updated 11/11/2023

CRA Adopts New Funding Mechanism For Downtown Investors

New life is being breathed into a significant building in the historic center of Lake Wales after actions taken by the Lake Wales Community Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday. The... — Updated 11/15/2023

Family Recreation Center Opens Amid Fanfare

A newly-renovated Family Recreation Center is now open to the public with a full line-up of new equipment and freshened facilities. A ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city... — Updated 11/21/2023

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


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

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

Career Academies Offer Career Pathways to High School Students

Pathways leading to college or directly to highly-paid careers are open to students at Lake Wales High School thanks to the seven "Career Academies" offered at the school.... — Updated 9/30/2023

Roosevelt Academy Educator Matthew Brojanowski Named Finalist

A local educator received a visit from the "Surprise Patrol" today and learned that he has been selected as a finalist in the Polk County School System's annual awards, which are... — Updated 10/3/2023

New Gym Pops Up at McLaughlin School

Like a mushroom after a summer rain, a beautiful new gymnasium has popped up this week on the campus of McLaughlin Middle/High School of Excellence. The building is being... — Updated 9/15/2023

Bok North Ag Students Excited for Future of Their Program

EDITOR'S NOTE: Students enrolled in the Bok Academy North agriculture program are excited for the opportunities they are being offered this year. Among those are participation in... — Updated 9/5/2023

Webber Students Earn Recognition at FBLA National Leadership Conference

For the second year in a row, Webber International University's team has left the annual Future Business Leaders of America conference with a number of awards. Twelve FBLA... — Updated 8/24/2023 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

Area Farmers Eligible to Receive AgPack Benefits

A ten-year-old project helping farmers find a return on their truck investment is being maintained after three Low Payment Kings dealerships recently renewed their eligibility in... — Updated 6/8/2023

Dyer Difference Award Goes to Polk State Lake Wales

Going back to school in August is as intimidating for some students as it is exciting for others. Polk State College understands the challenges faced by many families in our area... — Updated 6/2/2023

Lake Wales Chrysler's Mahalak Auto Group Raising Funds to "Conquer Cancer"

The 10th Annual "18 Aces to Conquer Cancer" golf event is sponsored by the Mahalak Auto Group, owners of a local auto dealership, to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research and... — Updated 5/5/2023

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

Endangered Florida Panther Sighting in Lake Wales

APRIL 21 - A Florida panther, an endangered and protected species, has been seen in Lake Wales overnight and during the early morning hours of Friday, April 21. The big cat was... — Updated 4/26/2023

Endangered Florida Panther Spotted in Lake Wales Area

An endangered Florida panther, a rare, protected species, has been seen by several members of the public in the vicinity of Lake Wales Country Club. Area residents are encourage to... — Updated 4/21/2023

Summer Lightning Season is Approaching - Know How to Stay Safe

Florida has long been known as the lightning capital of the United States. In 2022, Polk County led the way in central Florida with 285 lightning strikes per square mile. Lightning... — Updated 4/19/2023

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


EDITORIAL: Limiting Speech at Commission Meetings Is a Bad Idea

Stifling Dissent is Not a Solution The essential freedoms that we often take for granted as Americans set us apart from much of the world, where speaking out against a government... — Updated 1/4/2023

Thousands From Across the Nation Expected to Attend Orange Blossom Review in Lake Wales

Music fans from around the country are expected to gather in Lake Wales Friday and Saturday, December 1 and 2 as a local non-profit hosts the "Orange Blossom Revue." The annual... — Updated 11/29/2023

Movie Review: "Napoleon" Visually Stunning But Lacks Depth

Director Ridley Scott's latest epic, "Napoleon," is a captivating portrayal of the rise and fall of the French Emperor. I have been looking forward to this Napoleon movie for a... — Updated 11/27/2023


Last Chance to Enter Lake Wales' Christmas Night Parade

The deadline for entering a float in the Lake Wales Christmas night parade is fast approaching, according to members of the sponsoring Rotary on the Ridge. Those interested in... — Updated 11/26/2023

A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: A Thrilling and Thought-provoking Prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy.

"The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" is a captivating and suspenseful prequel to the beloved dystopian trilogy. I read the book several years back and very much... — Updated 11/20/2023

There's Still Time to Take Home a Free Pizzano's Pizza!

There's still time for you to be one of our 26 winners who get a free "all-the-works" pizza just by sharing a news story on your social media feed. Yep, you can earn the large... — Updated 11/21/2023

Time to Organize A Krewe for Mardi Gras

Although it's only early November, hundreds of people from Lake Wales and far beyond are preparing for the area's biggest festival of 2024. The 40th annual Lake Wales Mardi Gras... — Updated 11/27/2023

Singing for Theater Offers Young Vocalists a Pathway to Advancement

Aspiring performers between the ages of 9 and 17 have a new opportunity to advance their vocal skills and enhance the talents they bring to future performances. A new partnership... — Updated 11/15/2023

Thanksgiving Morning "Turkey Trot" 5K to Benefit Lake Wales Care Center

The Ultra Ultras, a running club, is offering area walkers and runners a good excuse to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast without overwhelming guilt. An Ultra Ultras Turkey... — Updated 11/15/2023

Movie Review "What Happens Later" Is a Touching Tale of Second Chances and Rekindled Love

"What Happens Later," stands out as a refreshing and poignant exploration of second chances and rekindled love amidst the backdrop of mature relationships. This romantic comedy... — Updated 11/8/2023

On Golden Pond Returns to Theatre Stage

Lake Wales Little Theatre has another entertaining offering on the boards in November, as the company offers the tender classic, "On Golden Pond," which opens Friday, November 3... — Updated 11/3/2023

November 28, 1923 Lake Wales Highlander

The Lake Wales Highlander of 100 years ago offered stories about the very active Lake Wales Woman's Club's hiring of a landscaper to beautify railroad park surrounding the... — Updated 12/1/2023

November 21, 1923 Highlander

Lake Wales voters were facing three election sin a 60-day span 100 years ago, with the first of the separate ballots to decide the burning issue of whether to require the fencing... — Updated 11/23/2023

November 14, 1923 Highlander

The big issue before the voters in the Lake Wales area in 1923 was whether Polk County should opt in to the new state policy of requiring that farm animals be fenced in. Prior to... — Updated 11/15/2023

Babson Park Marks 100th Anniversary of Woman's Club

An anniversary worth noting is happening this month, as a local institution marks its 100th birthday. The Babson Park Woman's Club (BPWC) is a designated national historic landmark... — Updated 11/11/2023

November 7, 1923 Lake Wales Highlander

The extension of a local rail line to reach the east coast of Florida was all the talk of Lake Wales residents in November 100 years ago. Many were undoubtedly hoping that the... — Updated 11/8/2023

Lake Wales Main Street Director Honored for "Lifetime Achievement"

Ronni Wood, a seasoned and dedicated professional in the field of downtown redevelopment, was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Florida Redevelopment... — Updated 11/20/2023

Mobile Vet Care Provides Convenience for Busy Pet Owners

Are you a busy pet owner in the Lake Wales area? Do you find it difficult to schedule regular vet appointments due to your hectic schedule? If so, mobile vet care may be the... — Updated 11/8/2023

October 31, 1923 Highlander

In 1923, 100 years ago this week, the Highlander was celebrating the "paving" of three-foot wide rock shoulders on Scenic Highway from Haines City to Frostproof. That primary... — Updated 10/31/2023

Bill Redmon is Pioneer of the Year

Bill Redmon has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2023 Pioneer of the Year for the annual Pioneer Days festival, which will take place at Lake Wailes Park on... — Updated 10/23/2023

October 24, 1923 Highlander

100 years ago the young Highlander newspaper celebrated the area with a 24-page special edition of "Who's Who and What's What" in the Lake Wales area. The edition was packed with... — Updated 10/31/2023

Nancy M. Hunt, 1932-2023

Nancy M. Hunt, 90, passed away peacefully Monday, November 13, 2023 surrounded by beloved family members. Nancy was born December 30, 1932 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the late... — Updated 11/26/2023

Judith Anne Reid, 1961-2023

Judith Anne Reid of Lake Wales passed away Sunday, November 26, 2023 at AdventHealth Lake Wales under the care of Vitas Hospice. She was born March 26, 1961 in Saint Charles,... — Updated 11/29/2023

Donna Colleen May, 1949-2023

Donna Colleen May arrived on April 6, 1949, and "moved on" November 22, 2023. According to stories, Donna showed intelligence and mischief early on. Music and reading were early... — Updated 11/30/2023

Walter D.Chaney Jr., 1942-2023

Walter D. Chaney Jr., 81, loving husband and father, passed away on November 19th,2023. He is survived by his wife Susan L. Chaney, son Patrick, step daughter Diana, grandsons... — Updated 11/22/2023

Brian Paul Herr

Polk County firefighter/paramedic Brian Paul Herr died in a traffic accident Saturday, November 18, in Davenport. He was 41. Herr, of Lutz, Florida, is survived by his mother:... — Updated 11/21/2023

Kenneth "Cricket" Bessette, 1958-2023

Kenneth “Cricket” Bessette of Lake Wales passed away Thursday, November 16, 2023 at AdventHealth Lake Wales. He was born October 12, 1958 in England to the late Kenneth... — Updated 11/20/2023

Elinor Lorraine Palmatier, 1934-2023

Elinor Lorraine Palmatier of Frostproof passed away Saturday, November 18, 2023 at Somers Hospice House in Sebring. She was born September 13, 1934 in Berwyn, Pennsylvania to the... — Updated 11/20/2023

Arlie "Skipper" Richards, 1961-2023

Arlie "Skipper" Richards of Lake Wales passed away Friday, November 17, 2023 at James A. Haley Hospital in Tampa. He was born May 8, 1961 in Portsmouth, Virginia to the late Arlie... — Updated 11/24/2023

Robert Lee Whittemore

Robert Lee Whittemore of Lake Wales, passed away Wednesday, November 8, 2023 in the home that he built. Born January 21st, 1939 in Lake Wales, Robert was a Baptist, a retired... — Updated 11/13/2023

Donald John Garty, 1952-2023

Donald John Garty of Lake Wales passed away Monday, November 6, 2023 at Forsythe Hospice House. He was born June 21, 1952 in Flint, Michigan to the late William Garty and Earlene... — Updated 11/11/2023

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