Communication Builds Our Community

Articles written by Frank Butler

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  • Gibson Proposes "Sergeant at Arms" to Monitor Public Comments at Lake Wales Commission Meetings

    Frank Butler|Updated May 31, 2024

    A proposal by Lake Wales Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson would appoint at "sergeant at arms" to monitor comments made by the public during city commission meetings. During the commission's Wednesday agenda workshop Gibson cited what he called "personal attacks" that have "driven off good people" as his reasoning behind the proposal. The city has suffered the resignation of several officials during the past two years, but most have simply returned to work at the city as...

  • Young Released on $50,000 Bond on Fraud and Grand Theft Charges

    Frank Butler|Updated May 1, 2024

    Lake Wales business incubator CFO Charles Young Jr. was released Friday from Polk County Jail after posting bond on two first-degree felony charges. Young was arrested last Saturday morning at a residence in Lithia in Hillsborough County following an investigation of a complaint filed last year by his business partners. Young was a partner in Florida Development Corp LLC, which entered into a $1.2 million no-recourse contract with the City of Lake Wales in 2022 for the...

  • Lake Wales Growth Manager Autumn Cochella Resigns

    Frank Butler and Howard Davies|Updated Apr 5, 2024

    Lake Wales' Interim Growth Management Director Autumn Cochella has announced her decision to step down from her role effective April 12. Her announcement may have come at an inopportune moment as the city commission is currently contemplating the adoption of new ordinances governing Planned Development Projects and Traditional Neighborhood Design. Cochella was appointed to the interim position in January 2023 after the resignation of former director Mark Bennett. A...