Communication Builds Our Community

Articles from the December 6, 2023 edition


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  • It's Going to Snow! Yes, It's Time to "Make It Magical" This Friday Night

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 11, 2023

    A delightful evening filled with colorful holiday décor, music, happiness, and yes, snow, will fill the streets of downtown Lake Wales with families getting themselves deeply into the holiday spirit. The annual "Make It Magical" event, hosted by Lake Wales Main Street and a host of sponsors, has become a holiday tradition for area residents who pour into the downtown streets to share in the festive air. The 9th annual event will happen this Friday night, December 8, along...

  • Christmas Night Parade Happens Saturday, December 9 in Lake Wales

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 11, 2023

    "Toys on Parade" will dazzle children and adults alike this weekend in Lake Wales as the annual Christmas night parade steps off. The parade happens this Saturday at 6:00 and thousands are expected to line First Street and Central Avenue along the roughly one-mile route. The display of creative and colorfully-lighted floats and bands, along with dancers, musicians, and other examples of holiday cheer is following a new route this year due to ongoing construction on Park...

  • December 5, 1923 Highlander

    News Research Staff|Updated Dec 10, 2023

    The big news from 100 years ago included the sale of the historic first box of fruit from the Orphan Grove for $1,000, which was enough to purchase some homes in the city at the time. Other news stories told of an exploratory "oil well" being bored near Polk City. The area is now well-known to be the deepest region of the Floridan Aquifer, which is the source of the area's drinking water. Also in the news was word of yet another expansion to the growing network of paved roads...

  • Cut Your Own Christmas Tree at Lake Wales Ridge State Forest

    News Staff Reports|Updated Dec 9, 2023

    In a program offered annually at the nearby public lands, Lake Wales area residents are able to cut their own tree, but they have to use a hand-saw to do the work. No power tools are allowed in the forest. A tree-cutting permit costs only $10, a great deal when fresh trees cut in other states and brought to Florida cost far more. Available trees are 10 feet to 15 feet tall, but may be trimmed back to the desired size after leaving the forest. Trees will be harvested along...

  • Dr. Nelson Marquez Is New Webber International University President

    Ryan Reis|Updated Dec 7, 2023

    Webber International University, located just south of Lake Wales near Crooked Lake, has a new president and CEO following action by the school's board of directors. Dr. Nelson Marquez was named during the semi-annual meeting of the Board of Trustees on December 1, when the board unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Marquez effective that date. Dr. Marquez replaces Dr. H. Keith Wade who has served as the University's President/CEO since 2008. Dr. Marquez had served as...

  • Violent Gang Task Force Arrests Winter Haven Man Charged With Waverly Area Shooting

    News Staff Reports|Updated Dec 7, 2023

    Daquan Carey, a 23-year-old Winter Haven man who is a "documented gang member," according to the Polk County Violent Gang Investigative Task Force, was arrested in Winter Haven and charged with numerous felonies related to a drive-by shooting in the Waverly area of Lake Wales. The incident happened on 3rd Street in Waverly at about 3:20 am on November 22, according to a statement from the Polk County Sheriff's office. At that scene detectives met with two victims who reported...

  • Solar Farms Provide a Model for Mixed-Use Land Management

    Jerald Pinson, Florida Museum|Updated Dec 6, 2023

    The expansion of solar farms across the U.S. is similarly creating an abundance of bright, open spaces that require regular upkeep. Unused areas near the solar arrays are increasingly being viewed as prime real estate for growing native flowering plants that support pollinators. Duke Energy Florida recently completed construction of a new solar site in High Springs, Florida, and approached Daniels to see if he'd be willing to conduct a feasibility study that would assess plant...

  • Drew Truitt's Passing Left Community Shocked

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 5, 2023

    Hundreds in Lake Wales were left stunned and saddened recently by the sudden passing of Drew Truitt, a community volunteer described by one friend as a "social instigator." Truitt, 67, had celebrated his birthday only days earlier at a meeting of Rotary on the Ridge, which was one of several avenues for his enthusiasm and willingness to help. Truitt had been named Rotarian of the Year in 2018-19 largely due to his contagious enthusiasm for volunteer projects and his...

  • Nancy Mae (Keyes) Sharkey, 1952-2023

    News Obituary Service|Updated Dec 4, 2023

    Nancy Mae (Keyes) Sharkey, age 71, of Nalcrest, FL, passed away on November 21, 2023. Nancy was born April 24, 1952 to William and Phyllis Keyes in Worcester, MA She is survived by her husband, James Sharkey; her daughter, Danielle Kurtzweil and son, Nicholas Kurtzweil; her grandchildren Rebecca Kurtzweil, Demetrious and Mary Williams, Zoe Williams, MacKenzie Williams, Charlene Kurtzweil and Jayden Kurtzweil; her siblings June (Keyes) Wild, Barbara (Keyes)and Larry Hillyer,...

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