Communication Builds Our Community

Articles from the February 7, 2024 edition

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  • Audrey Swindal, 1928-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Feb 15, 2024

    Audrey Swindal, age 95, passed away February 4, 2024, at her residence in Bartow. She was born on February 9, 1928, in St. Augustine, FL. She attended FSU where she started the Women's Rifle Team. She spent her career as Environmental Educator where she became known to many as "Mother Nature" She was awarded a Lifetime Membership with LEEF League of Environmental Educators as a historian and supporter. She was a Master Flower Show Judge and member of the Bartow Garden Club for...

  • School Board Member Lori Cunningham Faces Ethics Violation Hearing

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 14, 2024

    The Florida Commission on Ethics had found "probable cause that Polk County School Board member and Lake Wales resident Lori Cunningham has created a conflict of interest for her sales of clothing to the Lake Wales Charter Schools and a Dundee school. According to the complaint, Cunningham's personally-owned company, Applied Images, has been selling school uniform shirts to at least four local schools for years, specifying "over $16,000 in sales made to charter schools since...

  • Cleve Lamar Odom, 1958-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Feb 7, 2024

    Cleve Lamar Odom of Lake Wales passed away Monday, February 5, 2024, at his residence. He was born October 16, 1958, in Fitzgerald, GA to the late William Wilson and Mamie Pearl Odom; he has been a long-time resident of Lake Wales. He was a retired firefighter and EMT and the children's pastor at The Bridge Central Church. Cleve was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law, Detta Odom; two brothers, Larry Davenport and Billy Davenport and one sister, Wanda Jowas. Survivors inc...

  • February 4, 1924 Highlander Offers Glimpse Into City's History

    News Research Staff|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    Controversies including the sudden cancellation of a road bond election by the county commission and a charge that someone illegally added a letter to a bill of deed highlighted local news in early February, 1924. The Lake Wales Highlander faithfully reported on those issues and others affecting the fast-growing community of Lake Wales. Meanwhile, the Lake Wales Woman's Club was conducting their second "Plant a Palm Day" tag sale to help beautify the city....

  • Mary Ruth Dampier, 1931-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    In deepest loving memory, Mary Ruth Dampier, a devoted mother, grandmother and friend, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 26th 2024. She was predeceased by her husband, Jack Lee Dampier, daughter Jacqueline D. Bullard, her brothers John Kennard, Wilbur Whitaker, sister Inez Reiner, and her parents Warnie Grady Whittaker and Nobie Lanier. She is survived by her son, Gregory Lee Dampier (Marion Tonner), daughter Michelle Dusha Christoph (Dr. Jim Christoph), brother...

  • Junior Achievement Receives Grant to Teach Financial Literacy

    Special to the News|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    McLaughlin Middle/High School in Lake Wales is among the schools that will benefit from an effort by Junior Achievement. The JA of Florida Foundation has received a $70,000 grant from State Farm to support a statewide statewide initiative of learning experiences in eight localities throughout Florida, enabling thousands of young people to participate in JA's nationally recognized financial literacy and career readiness learning experiences. At McLaughlin School the Principles...

  • Lake Wales Documentary Selected for Film Festival

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    A documentary film about the creation of the Lake Wales Envisioned planning process has been selected for screening at the annual Redfish festival in Panama City, FL. The film, produced by Lee Dover of the Dover, Kohl & Partners planning film, is a recap of the effort and results of the six-month community-wide effort that resulted in a "roadmap" that may help prevent sprawling residential developments from overwhelming the city in the future. Numerous local residents and...

  • "May December" a Dark Comedy on Netflix

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    This is a dark comedy starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton in a story loosely based on Mary Kay Letourneau and her affair with one of her young students. It is directed by Todd Haynes. In this film, Natalie Portman plays Elizabeth, an actress who is going to play a part in a movie based on the relationship between Gracie and Joe, played respectfully by Julianne Moore and Charles Melton. The movie takes place in Savannah Georgia, a beautiful historic...