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Articles written by Chevon T. Baccus Apr

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 By Chevon T. Baccus APR    News 

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

 
 By Chevon T. Baccus APR    News 

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

 

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

 

City Charter Review Moving Quickly; More Citizen Input Welcome

The Lake Wales Charter Review Committee is ahead of schedule and looking for public input on changes that can make city government operate better. The next Committee meeting will... — Updated 9/10/2020

 

Commissioners Choose Invocation Policy with Chaplain and Rotating Ministers

Lake Wales Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson said he would prefer city commission meetings begin with a moment of silence, but the mayor and other commissioners agreed at their Sept. 2... — Updated 9/3/2020

 

Police Officer Worley Files Grievance Over 8-Hour Suspension

Lake Wales Police Officer Travis Worley has filed a grievance through his union representative claiming the discipline he received for using profanity against a citizen – an... — Updated 9/3/2020

 

Suspended Detective Returned to Work, Disciplined for Profanity

Lake Wales Police Detective Travis Worley is back on active duty after a 10-week suspension with pay. An internal investigation determined he acted unprofessionally by using... — Updated 8/26/2020

 

Crystal Lake Trail Design Plans Unveiled

The city's consultants in an online open house Aug. 20 unveiled a design plan for a Crystal Lake Connector Trail that links downtown to the trail around Lake Wailes. City staff... — Updated 8/20/2020

 

Split Commission Imposes Citywide Mask Mandate to be Enforced by Police

People on both sides of the face mask debate voiced strong opinions to the Lake Wales City Commission Aug. 18, and in the end commissioners in a 3-2 vote imposed a citywide mask... — Updated 8/20/2020

 

Commissioners Delay Invocation Policy Amid Threat of Lawsuit

After hearing a national organization might file a lawsuit, Lake Wales City commissioners Aug. 18 paused their plans to adopt guidelines for invocations before meetings .... — Updated 8/19/2020

 

Despite Revenue Shortfall, City Optimistic About 2021 Budget

Lake Wales City Commissioners got good news at their second budget workshop Aug. 12. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic's negative impact on the economy, projected state revenue is... — Updated 8/19/2020

 

Deputy Mayor Proposes Mask Compromise to Exclude Business Enforcement

Responding to continued concerns from members of the business community, Lake Wales Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson is proposing a possible modification to the mask mandate ordinance up... — Updated 8/17/2020

 

City Commission to Adopt Invocation Policy, Appoint Official Chaplain

The city's unofficial chaplain, Dr. James Moyer, is likely to become the city's official chaplain Aug. 18, two weeks after a firestorm erupted when the Lake Wales city clerk... — Updated 8/13/2020

 

Split Commission Moves Forward with Mask Mandate

Lake Wales commissioners in a 3-2 split vote Aug. 4 took the first step toward mandating masks in businesses throughout the city. Their ordinance would not take effect until after... — Updated 8/6/2020

 

Atheist Offering Invocation at Commission Meeting Met with Resistance, Prayer

About 30 people stood outside the Lake Wales city administration building praying to God while Sarah Ray of the Atheist Community of Polk County gave the invocation at the city... — Updated 8/5/2020

 

Commissioners Unhappy Atheist to Give Invocation at Aug. 4 Meeting

Some Lake Wales city commissioners are not happy with the "special guest" Lake Wales City Clerk Jennifer Nanek announced would be praying at their Tuesday, Aug. 4 meeting. With the... — Updated 8/4/2020

 

Commissioners in Split Vote Reject Raises for Themselves

Although it would only cost about an extra $8,300 for the year, the Lake Wales City Commission in a split vote decided not to approve a potential 30 percent salary hike for... — Updated 7/30/2020

 

Lake Wales Chamber Board Votes to Support Face Mask Mandate

The Lake Wales Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council Board of Directors went on record Friday July 24 calling for the city commission to adopt an emergency resolution... — Updated 7/30/2020

 

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 9/17/2020

 

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

 

Despite Pandemic Impact, Highlander Band Director Remains Optimistic

Stephen Cornelius had big plans to grow the Lake Wales High School Highlander Band, and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Now starting his second year as director, Cornelius is... — Updated 8/5/2020

 

Woman Holds Out Hope of Finding Sick Chihuahua Lost During July 4 Fireworks

Sandy Dent is very worried about her 9-pound chihuahua that got frightened and ran off during to the July 4 fireworks. Valdez has kidney disease and without special food he could... — Updated 8/5/2020

 

Summer Arts Camp Now Online and Free for All

Lake Wales Arts Council Executive Director Andrew Allen supports the philosophy "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade." Instead of canceling summer arts camp due to COVID-19... — Updated 7/30/2020

 

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