Communication Builds Our Community

Articles from the January 19, 2022 edition

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  • Lake Wales Investors Purchase Friedlander Building With Plans for Apartments, Restaurant

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Jan 29, 2022

    The historic Friedlander Department Store building has been purchased by Lake Wales investor Tammy James and her husband Stephen James. The building at 101 East Park stands at the corner of Park Avenue and First Street. It was the location of True Value Hardware until 2019, but has been vacant since that time. "We're excited about the changes happening downtown," Tammy James said. "With (new restaurants) Wales Point, Melanie's, and now an ice cream parlor, and The Ranch, it's...

  • 600-unit Development to feature 152 Townhomes Near Winn-Dixie

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jan 29, 2022

    Lake Wales is slated to get its first-ever townhome project this year as the Lake Wales City Commission gave its approval to the preliminary plat for Hunt Club Grove North, a 600-unit subdivision to be built on 130 acres on the southeast side of the city. The entire project is expected to be developed in a single phase, according to City of Lake Wales Development Services staff. All the units will be within easy walking distance of three major shopping centers, a factor that...

  • Walesbilt Hotel Proposal Still Alive, Under Deadline to Avoid Suit

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jan 26, 2022

    A long-awaited proposal to redevelop the prominent former Walesbilt Hotel into a luxury full-service hotel and conference center is still viable, according to representatives of the development team, who pledged to keep working toward an agreement with the city that will assure the success of the project. Citing "progress" but large remaining differences between the parties, the Lake Wales City Commission Tuesday night authorized legal action against Dixie Walesbilt, LLC...

  • Lake Wales Theatre Cancelled January 21-23 Due to Covid Cases

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Jan 26, 2022

    Exposure to the Covid-19 virus among members of the cast and crew at Lake Wales Little Theatre have interrupted the current schedule of performances, causing the cancellation of three shows this Friday through Sunday, February 21-23. ":Due to an exposure to our cast and crew, and out of an abundance of caution, we regret having to cancel the three shows of this weekend's scheduled performance of "Ripcord." a special statement issued by the theatre said. The normal schedule is...

  • Lake Wales' Newest Restaurant Expands Dining Choices

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Jan 21, 2022

    Wales Pointe is the city's newest restaurant and is already proving to be yet another bright spot downtown. Located at 207 East Park Avenue across from the well-known town clock, Wales Pointe occupies space that formerly housed Tres Jolie, a French café restaurant. A few outdoor tables offer dining "al fresco." Serving a varied menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Wales Pointe also hosts a great Sunday brunch that offers a late breakfast menu into the afternoon. Designed to h...

  • US Forest Service is in Paradigm Shift To Use Logging, Controlled Burns

    Jacob Fischler, Florida Phoenix|Updated Jan 21, 2022

    Editor's Note: Controlled burns and selective logging have been employed on certain Florida properties including many environmental preserves. The proven technique is now being adopted for wider use) The Biden administration has announced that it is using $3 billion from last year's infrastructure law to revamp the federal approach to wildfire management, introducing a 10-year plan to deal with the large swaths of the West scientists consider most at risk of destructive...

  • Elections Supervisor Lori Edwards Offering Scholarships

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Jan 21, 2022

    Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards announced today that the Florida Supervisors of Elections (FSE) will award four $1,200 scholarships to Florida students in 2022. Applicants must be: - Registered to vote in the State of Florida - Be a Citizen of the United States - Enrolled as a full-time student in a senior college or university in Florida - Majoring in Political Science/Public or Business Administration or Journalism/Mass Communications Applicants must also...

  • City Gets Title to Seminole Hotel, Prepares to Give it to CRA

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Jan 19, 2022

    One historic downtown hotel has become city property even as city commissioners wrestle with a development proposal on another. City Attorney Chuck Galloway reported to the board at Tuesday night's meeting that the deed to the Seminole Hotel would be recorded today, Wednesday, and that he would soon prepare documents transferring the title again, this time to the Community Redevelopment Agency. The announcements was met with nods from commissioners. The hotel was acquired afte...

  • First New SR 60 Bridge Beams Set Despite Inclement Weather

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Jan 19, 2022

    Construction of the first of two new bridges designed to carry traffic on SR 60 over US 27 took a major step forward over the weekend despite a spate of inclement weather. Crews managed to lift fifteen steel I-beams weighing nearly 30 tons each, placing and securing them to massive concrete bases during a 54-hour window created by the temporary closing of US 27. Numerous police officers were on duty at traffic chokepoints. Heavy rains early Sunday, about 40 hours into the...

  • City Investment in Walesbilt Project Justified

    News Editorial Board|Updated Jan 19, 2022

    Symbols of Success and Failure Long recognized as the dominant symbol of downtown Lake Wales, the eleven-story Walesbilt Hotel is now among the dominant topics of conversation in the city. Opened with great fanfare in 1926, the hotel has seen good times and bad. It fell victim to the Great Depression in its infancy, hit its hey-day during World War II, and was last renovated in 1972. Vacant since 1995, it's been abused, stripped of its prestigious furnishings and trim, and...

  • Lakeshore Club Villas May Qualify for Federal Infrastructure Funds

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jan 18, 2022

    An initiative by Congressman Darren Soto may bring help for a problematic sewer system that may be polluting surface waters. Rep. Soto was involved in the passage of the INVERT Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which he called the "biggest infrastructure investment in America since Eisenhower." Soto described his previous work with the Lakeshore community, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma a few years ago. "We were really worried about how long it might take to get...

  • Caroline Dykes. 1931-2022

    Whidden-McLean Funeral Home|Updated Jan 18, 2022

    Caroline Dykes, age 90, passed away January 6, 2022, at Advent Health Lake Wales. She was born on October 7, 1931, in Monroe, MI She was a Homemaker. She enjoyed reading, watching game shows and couponing. Most of all she loved her family and taking care of them. She was preceded in death by her husband Delbert Dykes and one grandson. She is survived by a loving family that includes her daughters, Evonne Grace and Karen Redding, both of Lake Wales, one granddaughter, six...

  • Lake Wales Observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Events

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jan 17, 2022

    Congressman Darren Soto, Mayor Eugene Fultz, Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson and other elected officials were among speakers presenting Monday as Lake Wales marks the national holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A rich program was offered by the Dr, Joseph A Wiltshire Scholarship Foundation to mark the day. The program began with the 10th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Legacy Breakfast. and included a showing of the landmark film "Selma" during the afternoon. The film is based...

  • There's Some Hot Fishing Action on Area Lakes

    Charlie Wynperle, Fishing Expert|Updated Jan 17, 2022

    With the recent rains and changing temperatures, fish are on the move around southeast Polk. Lakes large and small are seeing good activity. On Lake Kissimmee, always a hot spot, Bass have moved in shallow. When you think you're shallow, go a little bit shallower, into the pads and flags. Throw an Ol' Monster or Junebug for good reactions. On Walk-in-the-Water, Speck fishing is heating up at night using minnows. Drift with a light until you draw their attention. Bass are up...

  • Wanda Gail Ward, 1954 – 2021

    Updated Jan 15, 2022

    Wanda Gail Ward passed away December 19, 2021 at the age of 67 in Tampa Florida. She was born Feb 5 1954. A life-long resident of Florida, she was a house wife and a long-haul truck driver for Airtec Sprayers. Gail was born in Ozark, Alabama on February 5, 1954. Her family moved to Florida when she was very young. She went to college for business and financing and drove for Polk County school systems. Gail was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and all around great...

  • William V. "Sonny" Gibson, 1930-2021

    Whidden-McLean Funeral Home|Updated Jan 15, 2022

    William V. "Sonny" Gibson, Jr. passed away on Thursday, December 30, 2021 in Bartow. Born Sept. 22, 1930 in Bartow, Sonny was the son of the late William V. Gibson, Sr. and Mary Lee (Monzingo) Gibson. In 1947 at age 17, he joined the Army Air Forces and later transferred to the paratroopers. He was with the Rangers in the Korean War and received a Purple Heart after being wounded in a rocket attack. He then went on to instruct at jump school at Fort Bragg, NC with the 82nd...

  • Theatre Review: "Ripcord" Offers an Evening of Entertaining Fun

    Kyra Love Harriage, News Staff Writer|Updated Jan 15, 2022

    An evening of often hilarious one-upmanship between roommates with a dash of Halloween flair is the basis of plenty of great gags as Lake Wales Little Theater (LWLT) presents "Ripcord," a comedy by David Lindsay-Abaire about learning to live with others despite perceived differences. Set in a senior living facility, the play features some atypical competition between roommates. Resident Abby Binder, played by Dorinda Morrison-Garrard, is a grouchy woman who seems to prefer...

  • Mardi Gras Party to Open Festivities on February 19th

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Jan 12, 2022

    A festive evening of colorful costumes, dance music, food and fun is in store for guests at a special Mardi Gras themed party hosted by the Lake wales Woman's Club. The party, slated for Saturday, February 19, comes exactly a week ahead of the climactic day of the Lake Wales Mardi Gras, when area "krewes" will parade through the streets of the city showing off their best costumes and floats. The party will be the first return to a long tradition of krewe costume balls that...

  • "Ripcord" Offers Evening of Entertainment at Lake Wales Little Theatre

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Jan 12, 2022

    Live theatre offers a great alternative to pre-recorded television shows, and that "anything can happen" excitement makes for some surprising moments. The opportunity to take in live play in Lake Wales is back as Lake Wales Little Theatre presents "Ripcord" beginning this Friday night. The intimate theatre offers great views from every seat, and tickets may be purchased in advance online. "Ripcord" offers a different twist on the roommate problems you may remember from your ow...

  • City To Expand Again With Large Voluntary Annexations

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jan 12, 2022

    The ongoing transition of the Lake Wales area from broad tracts of citrus to new housing projects is taking another leap forward as two prominent citrus families have proposed voluntary annexations totaling some 266 acres. The tracts lie immediately north and south of the present city center. Annexation will make the sites eligible for municipal water and sewer services, allowing development at attractive densities. The largest of the new annexation applications covers about...