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Articles written by Chevon T. Baccus Apr

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McLaughlin Students Help Rotary Spread Water Safety Message

Drama students at McLaughlin Middle School & Fine Arts Academy presented a special Josh the Baby Otter water safety program to Head Start pre-kindergarten students June 1.... — Updated 6/9/2021

 By Chevon T. Baccus APR    News 

City Awaiting Word Whether Governor Will Suspend City Commissioner

Lake Wales City Attorney Chuck Galloway has been tasked with trying to find out if Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to suspend City Commissioner Kris Fitzgerald from office pending the outco... — Updated 6/9/2021


New City Commissioner Arrested, Accused of Using Handgun to Threaten Child

Newly elected Lake Wales City Commissioner Kris Fitzgerald was arrested Thursday, June 3 on two felony charges for allegedly taking an 11-year-old boy from his home without... — Updated 6/7/2021


Polk Avenue Celebrates Principal's Retirement, Legacy of Leadership

A courtyard packed full of well-wishers gathered May 27 to celebrate the life and leadership legacy of Polk Avenue Elementary Principal Gail Quam, who is retiring after 36 years at... — Updated 6/4/2021


Former Hillcrest Principal's Lawsuit Prompts Charter Trustee 'Shade' Meeting

The Lake Wales Charter Schools Trustees will hold a private meeting Monday, May 24 to discuss legal strategy now that former Hillcrest Elementary School Principal Jennifer Barrow... — Updated 5/21/2021


Deputy Police Chief Ending 27-Year Career in Law Enforcement

After 27 years with the Lake Wales Police Department, Deputy Chief Troy Schulze is stepping out on faith and making a career change. May 15 will be his last day on the force, as he... — Updated 5/8/2021 Full story


Affordable Housing Initiative Kicked Off with Groundbreaking May 1

Eleven shovels broke ground Saturday, May 1 to signal the ceremonial start of an affordable housing initiative in the city's northwest community. "I hope you feel as optimistic as... — Updated 5/6/2021


City Commission Approves Full Implementation of Police Body Cameras

With no discussion or public comment the Lake Wales City Commission May 4 approved spending $110,350 for the first year implementation of police worn body cameras for all officers... — Updated 5/6/2021


Commissioners to Consider Full Implementation of Police Body Cameras

When the Lake Wales City Commission on Feb. 16 approved a pilot program to purchase eight police worn body cameras, Mayor Eugene Fultz predicted that eventually every officer would... — Updated 5/3/2021


Local Pastors Issue Invitation to May 6 National Day of Prayer Observance

Lake Wales area pastors invite the public to gather at noon Thursday, May 6 for the annual National Day of Prayer observance. The event will take place outside in the breezeway of... — Updated 5/3/2021


Higher Learning Academy Prepares Children for Bright Future - and Kindergarten

Shapes, colors, math and words are important, but Betty Bent says so are manners and respect. The director of Higher Learning Academy in Lake Wales says educators at her school... — Updated 4/29/2021 Full story


Commissioner Gibson Announces Plans to Run for Mayor in 2022

At the end of his last official meeting April 20, City Commissioner Curtis Gibson announced plans to run for Lake Wales mayor in 2022, saying he is "excited for new adventures."... — Updated 4/29/2021


Missing Chihuahua Valdez Returns Home After 9 Months

Sandy Dent never gave up hope, and after more than nine months her missing chihuahua, Valdez, is finally home. Dent regularly checked lost pet sites and posted photos on social... — Updated 4/22/2021


Taproom and Coffee House Opens Downtown

The Ranch Taproom and Coffeehouse in downtown Lake Wales officially opened April 16 with enthusiastic crowds and rave social media reviews. Owners Jessica Garrett and her mother,... — Updated 4/22/2021


Acting Principal Shares McLaughlin Success

Dr. Debra Wright-Hudson is on a mission. The acting principal of McLaughlin Middle School & Fine Arts Academy is reaching out to the Lake Wales community to share the good news... — Updated 4/22/2021


Mayor Appoints Charter Trustee, Says Commissioner Not Wanted

City commissioners at their April 20 meeting consented to Mayor Eugene Fultz's appointment of Marcus Kirby to the Lake Wales Charter School Trustees. Kirby is transitional housing c... — Updated 4/22/2021


Mayor Bypasses Commission, Claims Sole Authority to Nominate Charter School Trustee

Despite a recent change to the City Charter requiring more input from city commissioners on appointments, Mayor Eugene Fultz did not involve them and is bringing forth only one... — Updated 4/18/2021 Full story


Defeated Commissioner Blames Racism, Says City on "Cusp of Destruction"

Still stinging from his April 6 defeat by just 32 votes, Lake Wales City Commissioner Al Goldstein came out swinging the next morning – citing racism as a primary factor in his... — Updated 4/8/2021 Full story


All Seven City Charter Changes Approved by Wide Margins

Lake Wales voters April 6 approved by wide margins, ranging from 82 to 92 percent, all seven proposed changes to the City Charter. City commissioners appointed a Charter Review... — Updated 4/8/2021


Fitzgerald, Williams Elected to City Commission in Close Vote

Editor's Note: More analysis of the city election will be included in future stories. In the closest races in recent history, Daniel Williams and Kris Fitzgerald won election to... — Updated 4/8/2021 Full story


Fitzgerald and Goldstein for LW City Commission Seat 4

In the April 6 municipal election political newcomer Kris Fitzgerald faces off with incumbent Al Goldstein to represent Seat 4 on the Lake Wales City Commission. One of the few... — Updated 4/3/2021 Full story


Easter Brings Memories of Passion Play in Lake Wales

Editor's Note: We are republishing a past story, remembering the Passion Play during Easter Week. Easter Week always brings fond memories of the three months each winter that the... — Updated 4/1/2021


City Approves Contract for Top-to-Bottom Review of Police Department

A team of law enforcement experts from the Center for Public Safety Management will conduct a full analysis of the Lake Wales Police Department to recommend improvements. The city... — Updated 4/1/2021


City Adopts Framework to Offer Incentives to Redevelop Distressed Property

Lake Wales City Commissioners have adopted a new incentive program to encourage redevelopment or restoration of distressed properties. Commissioners earlier this month approved a... — Updated 4/1/2021


Investigation Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing by Lake Wales Police Officers

Lake Wales Police Chief Chris Velasquez released an investigative report Friday, March 26 that concluded there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by two officers during a Feb.... — Updated 4/1/2021 Full story


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