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Articles written by Chevon T. Baccus Apr

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 By Chevon T. Baccus APR    News 

City Approves Permit for Arts Festival Feb. 19-21

The Lake Wales City Commission Dec. 1 approved its first permit for a large-scale event in 2021 – the 50th annual arts festival the weekend of Feb. 19-21. Lake Wales Arts Council... — Updated 12/2/2020

 By Chevon T. Baccus APR    News 

Seminole Hotel Owner Asks City to Halt Foreclosure, Waive Fines

Henry Kebabjian is not giving up on his plans to redevelop the historic Seminole Hotel and is still hoping to convince Lake Wales city commissioners to drop their foreclosure... — Updated 12/2/2020


15-Year-Old State Swimming Champion Sets Sights on Olympic Gold

An active swimmer since age 5, Mary Leigh Hardman dreams of some day competing in the Olympics. The Lake Wales High School freshman moved closer to her goal last weekend by winning... — Updated 12/2/2020

 By Chevon T. Baccus APR    News 

Mural of Oranges, Blossoms and Butterflies Brightens Downtown

Lakeland artist Gillian Fazio specializes in "new age flora and fauna." She completed her largest project this week in downtown Lake Wales, a 3,000-square-foot mural of oranges,... — Updated 12/2/2020


Design Team Unveils Market Plaza Redevelopment Concepts

Design team members for the Lake Wales Connected downtown revitalization plan on Nov. 18 unveiled concepts for turning Market Plaza into a community gathering place. About 30... — Updated 11/19/2020


Polk County Fire Rescue Praises Spook Hill Elementary Student for 9-1-1 Call

Fortunately for Angela Lopez, her 6-year-old daughter Esperanza knew to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. On Oct. 21 Lopez fell at her Frostproof home and couldn't get up or call for... — Updated 11/18/2020


Commissioners Approve New City Manager's Employment Contract

The Lake Wales City Commission on Nov. 17 formalized its selection of James Slaton as city manager by approving his employment contract. The Commission voted unanimously Oct. 20 to... — Updated 11/18/2020


Commissioners Agree to Restrict Public Comments at Meetings

To make their meetings more "orderly and efficient," city commissioners agreed Nov. 17 to place restrictions on who can speak during the "communications and petitions" portion at... — Updated 11/18/2020


City Commissioners Define their Official Duties

City Commissioner Al Goldstein said when he took office in 2019 he was a little unclear about what his official responsibilities entailed. The duties of commissioners were not... — Updated 11/18/2020


Commissioners Give Final Look at Proposed Charter Changes

The Lake Wales City Commission will give a final look Nov. 3 to seven proposed changes to the city charter that would go on the April 2021 municipal ballot. Commissioners decided... — Updated 11/11/2020


Retiree Charged with Voyeurism, Accused of Videotaping Nude Teen

A 68-year-old Lake Wales man was arrested Oct. 22 and charged with video voyeurism and tampering with evidence. John Patrick Turley is accused of secretly videotaping a 16-year-old... — Updated 10/30/2020 Full story


Unanimous Commission Names James Slaton as City Manager

Lake Wales City Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday, Oct. 20 to appoint James Slaton as the next city manager. Slaton has been serving as interim city manager since June 2, when... — Updated 10/29/2020


Citizens Police Advisory Board Holding First Public Forum Oct. 26

The Citizens and Police Community Relations Advisory Board will hold its first public forum at 6 p.m. Monday Oct. 26 at the B Street Center. Due to the COVID-19 virus, attendees... — Updated 10/25/2020


100-Plus Pound Weight Loss Makes Local Man Florida TOPS "King"

John Clifford is Florida King, but the pandemic postponed his official coronation. The 83-year-old Lake Wales man lost more than 100 pounds through the international Take Off Pounds... — Updated 10/9/2020


New Leader at Circle of Friends Answered God's Call to Serve

Crystal Higbee gave up a good job as a surgical tech to answer a special calling to become president of Circle of Friends Ministry. Higbee admits like in the story of Jonah and the... — Updated 9/23/2020


Deputy Mayor Asks to Reconsider Raises for City Commission

Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson in July voted against raises for himself and his fellow commissioners, but he's apparently had a change of heart. At the commission's Sept. 16 workshop... — Updated 9/23/2020


Slaton Provides Update on Police Department Priorities

Since his appointment June 2, Interim City Manager James Slaton has worked closely with Lake Wales Police Chief Chris Velasquez to address commissioner and city concerns. Slaton rec... — Updated 9/23/2020


Citizens and Police Advisory Committee Holds Organizational Meeting

The newly recreated Citizens and Police Community Relations Advisory Committee held its first meeting Monday, Sept. 21 to organize and get acquainted. The Lake Wales City... — Updated 9/23/2020


Goldstein Seeking Another 3 Years on City Commission

Al Goldstein didn't realize being a Lake Wales city commissioner would be so time-consuming, but he's eager to sign up for another three years. He was elected without opposition in... — Updated 9/23/2020


New Owner Wants City to Drop Foreclosure, Waive Fines on Seminole Hotel

Henry Kebabjian wants to redevelop the historic Seminole Hotel in downtown Lake Wales, but his timing may be a little off. Kebabjian bought the three-story hotel Aug. 19 at a... — Updated 9/17/2020


Commissioners Appoint Chaplain, Continue Pre-Meeting Invocations

Lake Wales City commissioners by a 4-1 vote Sept. 9 approved an invocation policy that appoints an official chaplain and develops a list of volunteers from local congregations to fi... — Updated 9/16/2020 Full story


Commissioner Gibson Announces Re-Election Bid on His 36th Birthday

Marking the occasion of his 36th birthday, Lake Wales City Commissioner Curtis Gibson on Sept. 11 announced the start of his re-election campaign. Gibson plans to qualify for the Ap... — Updated 9/16/2020


Commissioners Question Why City Hall is Still Closed to Visitors

Lake Wales Interim City Manger James Slaton says if your grocery store has an outbreak of COVID-19 among its employees you can always go to another store. But he says there's no... — Updated 9/10/2020


Florida League of Cities Taps Commissioner Goldstein to Chair Legislative Committee

Lake Wales City Commissioner Al Goldstein has been tapped to chair the Florida League of Cities Land Use and Economic Development Committee. FLC President Tony Ortiz, an Orlando... — Updated 9/10/2020


Lake Ashton Veterans Promote Flying U.S. Flag to Remember Sept. 11 Sacrifice

The Lake Ashton Veterans Association is facilitating an initiative by Wreaths Across America to remember "the sacrifice and impact upon our great country" on September 11, 2001 from... — Updated 9/10/2020 Full story


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