Communication Builds Our Community

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  • Camp Squeeze Offers Kids a Summer of Fun

    Special to the News|Updated May 29, 2024

    Giving young kids safe and fun outlets to help them burn off all that extra energy is a challenge that may have a solution. Parents may rejoice thanks to a new summer program offered by staff the City of Lake Wales' Family Recreation Center. Kids entering kindergarten through 5th grade are eligible to attend Camp Squeeze. Camp Squeeze will offer campers an array of themed science, art, and sporting activities. They'll learn how to make their own Mars rovers during Space Week,...

  • Local Scout Earns Silver Award With Environmental Service Project

    Special to the News|Updated May 26, 2024

    Awareness of the rapid disappearance of pollinators, critically important for agriculture, has inspired one local Girl Scout Cadet to achieve the Silver Award, the highest award in Scouting, while teaching people about these important species. River Selser, an 8th grade student attending the FLVS Florida Virtual School, is the moving force behind P4P, or "Planting for Pollinators." Selser raise the funds and conducted the project on property owned by the Green Horizon Land Tru...

  • Dangerous Algae Present on Western Polk Lakes

    Special to the News|Updated May 25, 2024

    The Florida Department of Health in Polk County (DOH-Polk) is cautioning the public of the presence of blue-green algae in several lakes in the Lakeland and Winter Haven area. Although none has been reported in Ridge-area lakes, boaters, swimmers, and fishers should be aware of the potential and take precautions. Water samples taken from Scott Lake, Lake Van, Lake Hancock, Lake Gibson, and Lake Conine on May 23 detected blue-green algae that have the potential to produce toxin...

  • Investigation Results in Multiple Arrests on Child Predator Charges

    Special to the News|Updated May 23, 2024

    During an eight-day-long undercover sting investigation during February entitled "Operation Child Predator V," area police detectives filed 27 felony charges against eight suspects accused of crimes against children. Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives, along with police in Lake Wales, Auburndale, Davenport, Lakeland, and the Hardee County Sheriff's Office, charged eight suspects with crimes related to those who prey upon and travel to meet children for unlawful sexual...

  • City Staff Win "Telly" Awards for Educational Video Series

    Special to the News|Updated May 22, 2024

    Staff in the City of Lake Wales Communications & Engagement Department and Police Department were awarded four 2024 Telly Awards in four categories for their "Locating a Missing Person – Police K-9 Unit" video – Social Video for People's Telly Award, Public Relations, Health & Safety for Social Video and Education & Training. The video features Sergeant Matthew Rhoden, K-9 Officer Michael Yodonis and K-9 Officer Rhaegar track a missing person from the scent of an article of...

  • Ridge Brass to Offer Free Patriotic Memorial Day Concert At Lake Wales Arts Center

    Special to the News|Updated May 22, 2024

    A free patriotic concert on Memorial Day weekend will be offered to the public to mark the Memorial Day weekend. The Ridge Brass will offer "many familiar standbys of American music that will stir hearts to renewed love of our great country," said Arts Council spokesperson Carrie Ingley. The Ridge Brass was formerly known as the Lake Wales Brass Ensemble, and is familiar to many music-lovers in the area, having accompanied the Lake Wales Chorale at many past performances. Spon...

  • Lake Wales Arts Council Offers "Summer Studio Pass" to Unleash Your Creativity

    Special to the News|Updated May 22, 2024

    Area residents with a desire to unleash their creative side are invited to participate in a summer program at the Lake Wales Arts Center. Whether you're an experienced artist or just starting your creative journey, the Summer Studio Pass offers "a supportive environment where you can explore different art media, collaborate with fellow makers, and grow as an artist," according to Arts Council Executive Director Tommy Frank. You are invited to immerse yourself in the world of...

  • Polk Region Population at Higher Risk of Deadly Stroke

    Special to the News|Updated May 21, 2024

    Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, including Florida, with an even higher risk in Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties. Florida Health Department data shows in 2022, Highlands County had an age-adjusted stroke death rate of about 64 per 100,000 people, compared to Florida's overall rate of 47.6. Similarly, Polk County had a stroke death rate of around 54 per 100,000 people, also higher than the state average. Hardee County had the highest age-adjusted...

  • Substitute School Crossing Guards Sought

    Special to the News|Updated May 14, 2024

    The safety of children walking to and from area schools is the subject of an appeal for substitute crossing guards to fill in when demand arises. School Crossing Guard services are funded by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. The vital program provides adult crossing guards at selected hazardous school crossings to ensure the safety of elementary school children walking to and from school. According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, substitute school crossing...

  • City Video Series Wins "Communicator" Award

    Special to the News|Updated May 10, 2024

    The City of Lake Wales has been awarded a Communicator Award in the category of Campaigns & Series-Public Service & Activism, Distinction 2024. The award was granted for the "Now You Know" video series featuring numerous city employees in speaking roles. The videos were produced in house to share information about city employees, activities, departments, and goals. According to the statement issued by the company, the Communicator Awards "honors work that transcends...

  • Classern Quartet Performs Two Shows Saturday at Lake Wales Arts Center

    Special to the News|Updated May 9, 2024

    Music lovers of all ages are invited to enjoy not one, but two concerts this Saturday, May 11 at the Lake Wales Arts Center as Classern Quartet, a distinguished ensemble from Orlando, presents two completely different musical programs at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Arts Council staff invites you to "indulge in an afternoon of refined elegance and musical brilliance for a captivating concert that celebrates the timeless allure of classical strings." The first event will feature the harmo...

  • Mardi Gras Awards $20,000 to Area Non-Profits

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 28, 2024

    Eleven local non-profit organizations benefitted from grants distributed recently by the Lake Wales Mardi Gras Committee. Several dozen representatives and community members gathered at the Lake Wales Arts Center for the annual check presentation. The Lake Wales Mardi Gras Committee and Lake Wales Mardi Gras President Joshua Curchy presented a total of $20,000 from proceeds raised in the 2024 Mardi Gras event. The Mardi Gras celebration, now planning for its 41st year, draws t...

  • Preparing for Hurricane Season Means Considering Water Utilities, Too

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 28, 2024

    Perhaps Benjamin Franklin said it best: "By failing to prepare, you're preparing to fail." As we approach the beginning of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1 - November 30), the Florida Governmental Utility Authority (FGUA) urges all Floridian's to heed these words of wisdom. May 5 – 11 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week, an opportunity to focus our collective efforts on the potentially lifesaving benefits of planning and preparation. The threat this year is g...

  • Fort Meade Seeking New Logo, Image for City

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    Fort Meade's traditional seal, a crest featuring a fort, citrus fruits and a horse-drawn street car may soon be a thing of the past. The Fort Meade city commission has created the "Mayor's Blue Ribbon Committee for New Signage and City Logo" to design new signage for the north and south entryways on Highway 17, along with a city logo. The new media assets are expected to be a part of the city's larger efforts to rebrand itself to attract more residents, businesses, and...

  • Lake Wales Airport Hosted Florida Secretary of Commerce, Regional Planning Council Tour

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    Lake Wales Municipal Airport was among stops on a multi-county tour hosted by the Central Florida Regional Planning Council for Florida's Secretary of Commerce Alex Kelly. The multi-county tour was conducted in partnership with cities, counties, and economic development partners over two days on April 8th and 9th. The visit aimed to showcase rural communities, aviation, and the work of the many economic development agencies in the region. Lake Wales City Manager James Slaton...

  • Jewels Stark joins AdventHealth Lake Wales as Chief Nursing Officer

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    AdventHealth has announced that Jewels (Julie) Stark has accepted the role of Chief Nursing Officer at AdventHealth Lake Wales, effective April 21. She will report directly to Royce Brown, President and CEO of AdventHealth Lake Wales. In this role, Stark will be responsible for all nursing services including quality of patient care, treatment and service delivered, staffing, regulatory readiness and financial sustainability. She will also partner with colleges and...

  • Keep Polk County Beautiful Hosts Annual Volunteer Event, Open to Public

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 17, 2024

    The public is invited to attend a Volunteer Appreciation and Silent Auction Fundraiser for Keep Polk County Beautiful, Inc. and the organization celebrates the past year's environmental and volunteer efforts throughout Polk County. The annual event promises a fun filled night at Leland Young's Barn, a well-known location for private music and celebration events. It will be happening on Saturday, April 20th at 6 p.m. at the Barn, located at 2905 Central Avenue in Alturas....

  • Nominations Open Now for Polk Visionary Leader Award

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 12, 2024

    Polk Vision has announced that nominations are open for the Polk Visionary Leader of the Year Award, a recognition in honor of community members who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in advancing, and inspiring others to advance, the shared Vision of improving the overall Quality of Life in Polk County through innovation and collaboration. The deadline for submitting nominations is April 15, 2024, and may be emailed to [email protected]. The award, which...

  • Thousands of New Career Openings in Field of Renewable Energy

    Special to the News, NAPSI|Updated Apr 10, 2024

    (NAPSI)-Addressing climate change is an all-hands-on-deck undertaking. It requires a smarter, stronger, and cleaner energy grid that provides affordable, reliable power when and where people need it. The grid of the future will have to be at least twice the size of what it is today-most likely even bigger. That means jobs-thousands and thousands of them across a wide variety of industries, from manufacturing technology, such as batteries and wind turbines, to electric vehicle...

  • Hispanics, African Americans at Higher Risk of Eye Disease

    Special to the News, NAPSI|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    (NAPSI)-If you think you'd know if you were losing vision to an eye disease, you might want to think again. The symptoms of glaucoma can start so slowly that you may not notice them. That's why half the people with glaucoma don't even know they have it. The good news is that regular eye exams and timely treatment can preserve your sight. But, the only way to find out if you have glaucoma is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommen...

  • Social Security Administration Offers Respite From High Overpayment Costs

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    Accidental overpayments of Social Security benefits sometimes occur due to certain incorrect data entered into computer databases. Although rare, those situations have sometimes been devastating to recipients who found themselves owing hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the Social Security Administration. When a person has been overpaid, the law requires the agency to seek repayment, which can create financial difficulties for beneficiaries. Recognizing the extreme...

  • Historic Photo Reveals Evidence of "Monster" that Once Inhabited Area Lakes

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 1, 2024

    An old photograph of Crystal Lake, reportedly taken by a pioneer resident, has revealed a long-overlooked secret. Visible in the background is what appears to be a large animal, it's head and neck protruding from the water, partially obscured by palm trees in the foreground. "The image appears to be unaltered, and further evidence that there actually was a large beast living in local waters," said Dr. Jonathan B. Normativo, saying that the image reinforces one story of the ori...

  • Final Chance to "Meet the Candidates" Offered Saturday

    Special to the News|Updated Mar 25, 2024

    With only days remaining before the election, an "old-fashioned picnic-style candidates forum" this Saturday will give Lake Wales voters a final opportunity to meet and ask questions of candidates for the two city commission seats which will be filled in the Tuesday vote. The event, to be held at the city's "B Street Center," will feature "food and drink alongside a lively candidate debate," according to event co-organizer and moderator B L Francis. All five candidates running...

  • Lake Wales Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to Host National AgDay March 19th.

    Special to the News|Updated Mar 19, 2024

    Westfield, N.C. (March 07, 2024) – The Certified Agriculture Dealer (CAD) Program, and their partner RFD-TV, announce they have selected the 8 Certified Agriculture Dealer locations for the March 19, 2024, to help bring a local flavor to the Washington D.C. events scheduled to celebrate National Agriculture Day. "This is AgRally's fourth year as America's only national springtime agriculture event. From calves dropping everywhere between both coasts, to the season's first seed...

  • Freddy's Joins Lake Wales Restaurant Scene

    Special to the News|Updated Mar 13, 2024

    Freddy's, a "fast-casual restaurant concept," will become the newest addition to the Lake Wales restaurant scene as it opens this week. The 2,751 square-foot, freestanding restaurant seats 76 guests, has additional seating on the patio and offers drive-thru service. Mobile ordering is available through the Freddy's app and website. The new eatery opens Thursday, March 14, at 23525 Hwy 27, just across from Eagle Ridge Mall. "Freddy's is committed to providing high quality food...

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