Communication Builds Our Community

Articles from the May 8, 2024 edition


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  • Class of 2024 includes 186 Graduates at Webber International University

    Ryan Reis|Updated May 10, 2024

    Webber International University conducted its 97th commencement ceremony early this month for a graduating class of 186 students. The May 3 event took place in the Sabbagh Athletic Center on the university's campus. "We have a saying here at Webber which you'll often hear: 'The Webber Way...We Make Things Happen Here.' And all of you are witnesses to how we make things happen here," said Webber President and CEO, Dr. Nelson Marquez. "Our graduates are living proof of that."...

  • 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...

  • McLaughlin Campus "Forest" Dedicated to Memory of Alex Wheeler

    News Staff Reports|Updated May 10, 2024

    A celebration of life for a beloved community leader was combined with a celebration of new life recently as the staff of McLaughlin Middle/High School joined volunteers from Lake Wales Heritage to mark the dedication of 40 trees planted on the Lake Wales school campus. The trees were a gift from Lake Wales Heritage and its supporters in honor of the late Lee A. (Alex) Wheeler, who served as treasurer for the non-profit organization. Wheeler, who died in 2020, was also a...

  • The "Squeeze" Starts Service on Monday, Making Getting Around Downtown a Breeze

    Robert Connors|Updated May 9, 2024
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    Lunch-hour diners and shoppers will find getting around downtown Lake Wales a breeze beginning Monday as the newest city service arrives in town. Described as "fast, frequent, and fun," The Squeeze will offer free transportation around the city's center, ranging between Central and Crystal Avenues between First Street and Market Street. The service will utilize new 8-passenger open-air "golf cart" style vehicles to shuttle guests to and from area businesses. The shuttles will...

  • 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...

  • Martha Ann Lewis, 1963-2024

    News Obituary Services|Updated May 9, 2024

    Martha Ann Lewis, age 61, of Babson Park, FL, died Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at the Forsythe Hospice House in Auburndale, FL. She is survived by her children, Terrance Mosley, Brian Mosley and Jarvis Mosley of Babson Park, FL. Sisters; Christine Barnes and Gladys Tucker of Lake Wales, FL. Brother; Clifford Lewis of Babson Park, FL. Nine grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Visitation with family and friends will take place on Saturday, May 11,...

  • Fire Destroys Rural Home Despite Efforts of Two Departments

    Greg King|Updated May 8, 2024

    The City of Fort Meade Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire today along US 98 east on the outskirts of the city. Although the fire occurred outside of the city, Fort Meade units were the first on the scene, and had put water on the fire and established incident command by the time Polk County Fire Rescue units arrived. "I am really proud of my department. They responded quickly and were able to start battling the fire by the time county units arrived,"...

  • Commissioner Carol Gillespie Joins Lake Wales City Board

    Robert Connors|Updated May 8, 2024

    A brief swearing-in ceremony at the start of Tuesday's city commission meeting saw newly-elected Commissioner Carol Gillespie join the board. Gillespie, joined by her husband Gary Robillard, stood before the audience and repeated the oath as read by City Clerk Jennifer Nanek. Gillespie won seat 4 on the five-person commission by a wide margin over incumbent Danny Krueger. The swearing-in event was met with applause from an enthusiastic group of supporters. Speaking during...

  • City Files For Final Judgement to Regain Walesbilt Hotel Title

    Robert Connors|Updated May 8, 2024

    Attorneys representing the City of Lake Wales have filed a motion for final judgement in their two-year pursuit of a lawsuit against Dixie Walesbilt LLC. The motion seeks to dismiss all counts in the suit beyond the two already decided in favor of the city. The two counts already decided by the court concluded that Dixie Walesbilt principal Ray Brown had committed "fraud in the inducement" to trick the city into assigning the title to his firm. The city had granted title to th...

  • Panera Bread Latest Chain to Confirm Lake Wales Location Plans

    Robert Connors|Updated May 8, 2024

    A new Panera Bread restaurant is expected to rise soon on a vacant parcel adjacent to the Aldi grocery on US 27 north in Lake Wales. City officials have revealed that they have conducted a pre-construction meeting with the developer, and construction should begin within weeks. Panera is the latest in a wave of chain restaurants finding sites on the fast-growing corridor near Eagle Ridge Mall. Panera Bread, based in St. Louis, MO, offers a bakery-café style restaurant that...

  • Dean Burbank, 1944-2024

    News Obituary Services|Updated May 7, 2024

    Dean Burbank, age 80, passed away April 30, 2024, at Bartow Regional Medical Center. He was born on April 30, 1944, in Pleasantville, IA to the late Russel Merton Burbank & Mary Evelyn Burbank. He graduated from Pleasantville High School in 1962, St. Bernard College in 1967 with a BA in Mathematics and University of Alabama in 1979 with a MS in Applied Mathematics. He was a United States Air Force Veteran serving as a B52 Navigator Bombardier in Vietnam. He received the...

  • Linda Gale Fielder, 1965-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated May 7, 2024

    Linda Gale Fielder, age 59, of Zolfo Springs passed away Sunday, May 5, 2024. She was born April 23, 1965 in Avon Park, FL to Richard & Margaret Rhoden. Linda Gale was a Paraeducator for Alturas Elementary School. She was a member of Crewsville Bethel Baptist Church in Zolfo Springs. She was preceded in death by her father Richard Rhoden, brother Larry Rhoden and father in law Lowell Fielder. Linda Gale is survived by her husband of 36 years Brian Fielder of Zolfo Springs, dau...

  • Baking Temperatures Expected This Week Before Relief Arrives

    Robert Connors|Updated May 6, 2024

    Scorching temperatures are expected to bake the Ridge area this week before increasing clouds bring growing rain chances to the area early next week. Floridians acclimated to warmth may still be shocked to encounter temperatures rising into the 90s to near 100° this week under sunny skies. Long-range models are showing that relief could come with more cloud cover beginning as soon as Sunday. The baking temperatures are adding to the stress of gardens, lawns, and even trees....

  • Park Avenue Streetscape Project Advances, Only Tip of the Vast Connected Plan Effort

    Robert Connors|Updated May 6, 2024

    A new Park Avenue is steadily emerging in downtown Lake Wales as work continues on the first phase of a multi-million dollar reimagining of the city's heart. The ongoing work is creating a shady pedestrian oasis in the heart of the city, replete with rows of spreading live oaks, new benches, lighting, wider sidewalks, and brick-paved streets and parking areas. The stretch of Park Avenue between First and Market streets is rapidly nearing completion, offering business owners an...

  • AdventHealth Lake Wales Wound Care Center Wins Prestigious Awards

    John Luti Jr., Special to the News|Updated May 6, 2024

    Healogics, the nation's leading provider of advanced wound care services, has recently honored the AdventHealth Lake Wales Wound Care Center with three prestigious awards, including the President's Circle Award, the Center of Distinction Award, and the Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Clinical Excellence Award. These recognitions highlight the center's commitment to exceptional patient satisfaction and the best in clinical outcomes. The Center achieved outstanding clinical outcom...

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