Articles written by Chevon T. Baccus Apr

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3 Generations Serve Community through Rotary on the Ridge

Nature or nurture? It's probably both when you look at three generations of women sharing a heart for serving the community. When she turned 18 in July, Jillian Gillis became... — Updated 9/9/2021


Charter Schools, Community Mourn Loss of Bok South Principal

The Lake Wales Charter Schools and the local community are mourning the passing of Dr. Damien Moses, principal of Bok Academy South. "It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform... — Updated 8/20/2021


Commissioners Unanimously Choose Pastor Hilligoss to Fill Temporary Vacancy

After hearing from supporters of the four applicants, Lake Wales City Commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Jack Hilligoss to the temporary vacancy created by the suspension... — Updated 8/3/2021


Former Commissioner's Wife Now Wants Appointment to His Seat

The wife of former Lake Wales City Commissioner Pete Perez has indicated her interest in filling his old seat, which is vacant now due to the suspension of newly elected Commissione... — Updated 7/31/2021


Former Commissioner Wojcik Offers to Return to City Service

Former Lake Wales City Commissioner Betty Wojcik has applied to fill the temporary vacancy created by the suspension of newly elected Commissioner Kris Fitzgerald. Commissioners at... — Updated 7/31/2021


Pastor Hilligoss Seeks Temporary Appointment to City Commission

Pastor Jack Hilligoss has added his name to the list of people interested in filling the city commission vacancy created by the suspension of newly elected Commissioner Kris... — Updated 7/31/2021


Hometown Hero and Former Police Chief Helm Remembered

Retired Lake Wales Police Chief Gary Helm died July 29 after a lengthy illness and hospitalization. He was 74. Many people in Lake Wales remember him as a community hero, who as a... — Updated 7/31/2021


Major Donor to Local Schools Calls for Mandatory Masks, Vaccines

Some viewed his email as a threat to withhold future funding, but Henry McCance says that's not what he intended. The largest donor to Lake Wales Charter schools, McCance says he... — Updated 7/30/2021


Lake Wales Police Start Body Camera Pilot Implementation

It was a "bumpy start" as Lake Wales rolled out one-fourth of their new police worn body cameras Monday, July 26. Police Chief Chris Velasquez said the department will use the... — Updated 7/29/2021


Commissioners Reject First 3 Applicants for Temporary Appointment

Despite a gathering of supporters, a contingent speaking on his behalf, and the endorsement of the mayor, deputy mayor and a number of Republican elected officials, Al Goldstein on... — Updated 7/23/2021


So Far Few Seeking Appointment to City Commission Vacancy

As of July 19 only three people had expressed an interest in filling the temporary vacancy created by the governor's suspension of newly elected City Commissioner Kris Fitzgerald. F... — Updated 7/19/2021


Suspended City Commissioner's Seat May be Filled July 20

Lake Wales City Commissioners at their July 20 meeting will consider naming a temporary replacement for suspended Commissioner Kris Fitzgerald. The city charter requires... — Updated 7/15/2021


City Approves New Lake Belle Development Despite Neighbor Protests

Despite objections from nearby Ridge Manor residents, the Lake Wales City Commission July 6 approved preliminary plans for an 84-home subdivision on Lake Belle. City Attorney Chuck... — Updated 7/8/2021


City Looking to Regulate Mobile Car Wash, Detailing Businesses

Responding to increased complaints from citizens, Lake Wales City Commissioners agreed they need to put regulations in place on mobile car wash and detailing businesses. But they... — Updated 7/8/2021


Governor Suspends New Commissioner Fitzgerald from Office Over Felony Charges

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order today (July 7) suspending newly elected Lake Wales City Commissioner Kris Fitzgerald from office. Fitzgerald waived her arrai... — Updated 7/8/2021


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


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


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


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


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


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