Communication Builds Our Community

Articles from the February 28, 2024 edition


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  • Yarnell, Cohassett, Hillcrest Among Streets to Be Paved in Coming Days

    News Staff Reports|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    As part of the city's ongoing effort to resurface streets in the city, contractors will begin paving operations on four city streets this week. Crews will begin resurfacing portions of the select roadways starting February 27 as part of the pavement management program. The five-year program is funded at a level of $500,000 annually, but was suspended for one of the years of the program. Yarnell Avenue, Frontage Road, Cohasset Avenue and Hillcrest Drive are included in this rou...

  • Court Clears Path for Redevelopment of Walesbilt Hotel, Rules in Favor of City

    Suzie Schottelkotte and Robert Connors|Updated Mar 12, 2024
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    BARTOW - A Circuit Court ruling Thursday has set the stage for reverting ownership of the historic Walesbilt Hotel in Lake Wales back to the city, ending a years-long legal battle for control of the 10-story building. Circuit Judge William T. Sites ruled that the current owner, Dixie-Walesbilt LLC's Raymond Brown, fraudulently induced the city into contracting with him to redevelop the property, and ultimately to sign the deed over to Brown, according to the ruling. The...

  • Lake Wales Arts Council Hosts Solivita Artisan Guild Exhibit

    Special to the News|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    An upcoming exhibit at the Lake Wales Arts Center will feature the Solivita Artisan Guild. The Guild includes artisans and artists in the community located within Poinciana in northeast Polk County. Members will share their interests in a wide range of crafts and fine arts. The special exhibit will open March 4 and include works of painting, drawing, jewelry, photography, sculpture and ceramics, tie-dye and batik, quilting and sewing created by members of the organization....

  • A Free Press Serves as a Watchdog on Government and Politicians

    News Editorial Board|Updated Mar 1, 2024

    Government is complicated. Elected officials, even those responsible for leading a city such as Lake Wales with its billion-dollar budget, face a multitude of questions and issues. It is certainly not within the capacity of any one individual to have total awareness of every matter that must be decided. The role of the press as a watchdog over government is a long-established principle, one that has for nearly 250 years of American history served to keep politicians on the str...

  • 100 Years Ago: The Lake Wales Highlander Feb. 27, 1924

    News Research Staff|Updated Mar 1, 2024

    In 1924 Lake Wales was in the midst of not only a land boom, but a citrus boom. A calculation by local grower Charles M. Hunt showed nearly 12,000 acres of citrus had been planted within a five-mile radius of Lake Wales. Meanwhile, the various rudimentary marketing agencies were being urged to coordinate in what would eventually lead to the creation of Florida Citrus Mutual and a "box tax" on fruit in Florida to be used in marketing the products....

  • Two Forums Offer Voters Insight into City Election Choices

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Voters will have two chances next week to see and hear incumbents and candidates for seats on the Lake Wales City Commission air their views and positions on a wide variety of topics during two candidate forums. Events are planned for both Monday and Wednesday evenings, March 4 and March 6, giving registered voters within city limits extra opportunity to become informed. Five candidates will vie for two seats on the commission in the April 2 vote. Although candidates must...

  • "American Fiction" a Satire That Hits All the Right Notes

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Feb 28, 2024

    "American Fiction" offers us some great satire performed by a stellar cast. Directed and written by the talented Cord Jefferson and starring Jeffrey Wright, this film is a masterpiece in both storytelling and social commentary. This movie is about an African American writer whose books are not accepted by publishers because they don't fit certain specific expected African American themes. This is based on a book written 20 years ago but the issues are still true today. As an...

  • Sylvia Marsee Griner, 1938-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Feb 28, 2024

    Sylvia Marsee Griner died at home surrounded by her family on February 24, 2024, at 8 p,m, due to a lung disease she had for many years. She was 85 years old, and was born June 17, 1938. She was preceded in death by her parents, Rubin Lee Marsee and Flarida Marsee, brother Ray Marsee, and sisters Stella Willene and Fay Juanita. She is survived by her husband Aaron Beal Griner and four children. Brenda Griner Schell (Steven), Treasa Griner McLean (Ken), Kenneth Aaron Griner...

  • Lake Wales Crash at 137 MPH Leads to Death, Manslaughter Charges

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 28, 2024

    A Lake Wales woman is in custody after a horrific accident on Saturday morning resulted in the death of a passenger in her vehicle. After what police described as "a very active and ongoing traffic homicide investigation," the Lake Wales Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Jeanette Gonzalez of Lake Wales for DUI Manslaughter. The crash took place on U.S. Highway 27, in front of Weikert Ford, where officers found 38-year-old Eliecer Padilla of Lake Wales deceased...

  • "Edwards Twins" Musical Impersonators to Perform at Ramon Theatre

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 27, 2024

    A truly unique performance is coming to Frostproof's historic Ramon Theatre in March as the famed musical impersonators Anthony and Eddie Edwards perform their live musical repertoire. Described as "Las Vegas' number one impersonators of all time," the show will be reminiscent of the Variety shows from the 70's & 80's, featuring a rapid-fire series of performances. The Edwards Twins have been recognized by NBC Today, The Boston Globe and USA Today, among others, for their...

  • Students Invited to Enter Water Conservation Art Contest

    Jeff Foley|Updated Feb 27, 2024

    Polk County's annual Water Conservation Art Contest is open for all Polk County students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Winning entries will be featured in Polk County Utilities' 2025 Water Conservation Calendar. Participants are encouraged to create a poster or picture that demonstrates the "how" and/or "why" of water conservation. Students may use words or slogans, images, etc. Suggested subjects include saving water, reclaimed water, stormwater protection (pollution...

  • Business Incubator Officers Invited to Defend Operations After Critical Report

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    Business owners lined up at the beginning of the Lake Wales City Commission meeting Tuesday evening to explain to commissioners the various ways they are working to enhance the Lake Wales economy and the Northwest Neighborhood. They joined Florida Development Corp, Inc. COO Derrick Blue and CEO Frank Cornier after a special presentation period was added to the commission agenda. FDC operates the BizLINC business incubator under a $1.2 million contract with the City of Lake...