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Articles written by Howard Davies


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  • City's Audit of BizLINC Finds Inflated Numbers But Leaves Questions Unanswered

    Robert Connors and Howard Davies|Updated Jul 8, 2024

    A long-awaited audit of the operations of a business incubator funded by the city of Lake Wales using federal grant funds has turned up several shortcomings but few details, despite a long delay. The audit, which covers only the first year of operations of the incubator, operated Florida Development Corporation, was ordered by the city following the arrest of the former FDC chief financial officer Charles Young on felony fraud charges. Young was accused by his former business...

  • One Dead After Shooting on Northside Drive

    Howard Davies|Updated Jun 20, 2024

    UPDATE: An argument between two young men who had known each other since high school near a recently-constructed county football field led to a shooting that left one dead around 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening in Lake Wales. The incident happened outside city limits near a county-owned sports park on W. Northside Drive, about 200 feet north of Washington Avenue. According to a preliminary report from Polk Sheriff's investigators, Vincent Thomas, Jr., 21, arrived in a car at a...

  • Junior's Fish Market Closing, May Become Trulieve Dispensary

    Howard Davies|Updated Jun 9, 2024
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    After over two decades serving the Lake Wales community, Montella's Fish Market is closing its doors for good. Owners Lisa and Mike "Junior" Montella have decided that they will retire after running successful fish markets in Florida for 37 years. The property at 1341 SR 60 East may be in for a big change. "The buyer is going to lease it," Montella stated. "He's an investor." Lake Wales News sources indicate that the purchaser of the property scouts, purchases and leases...

  • 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...