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Articles from the December 8, 2021 edition

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  • A Southern Live Oak Decorated for Christmas

    A Christmas Tree That Will Live For Hundreds of Years? It's Available

    News Staff|Updated Dec 15, 2021

    As the price of fresh cut Christmas trees rises due to a national shortage, perhaps it's time to consider a different kind of Christmas tree. "Instead of buying a cut Christmas tree that you will throw away in January, why not spend that same $50 and buy a Southern Live Oak that will live for hundreds of years?" That's the question posed by Lake Wales Heritage, the local not-for-profit working to plant the thousands of street trees called for in the 1930 Lake Wales...

  • Opal Gynell Preston, 1931-2021

    Updated Dec 14, 2021

    Opal Gynell Preston of Lake Wales went to be with her Lord Sunday, November 28, 2021 at AdventHealth Lake Wales. She was born October 31, 1931 in Hackleburg, Alabama to the late William Parker Evans and Mattie E Evans, and was the youngest of five children. She was predeceased by son Danny L. Preston. She is survived by her husband of 74 years Delois Preston of Lake Wales, daughter Jennifer P. Miles and husband Daryl Miles of Auburndale, son William Carl Preston of Orlando,...

  • Enjoy a Historical Christmas at Lake Wales History Museum Party

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 14, 2021

    The staff and members of the Lake Wales History Museum are inviting the public to join them for a special Holiday Party at the museum on Thursday, December 16. The free event will include food, drinks, holiday selfie station, photos with Santa, holiday trivia, and a hot chocolate bar. The party will also feature the delightful sound of Christmas tunes performed by Bok Tower Gardens Carillonneur Geert D'hollander on the piano. The party starts at 6:00 pm and ends at 8:00 pm....

  • City Commission Approves Purchase of Seminole Hotel Despite Last-Minute Appeal of Kebabjian

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 13, 2021

    The long saga of the Seminole Hotel took an unexpected last-minute twist Tuesday night before Lake Wales City Commissioners approved the purchase of the Seminole Hotel for $50,000 plus incidental closing costs. The vote came despite a surprise last-minute appeal from prior owner Harout "Henry" Kebabjian for an additional $17,000 he will now be forced to pay in order to provide a clear title to the property. Kebabjian, represented by an attorney, had agreed during binding...

  • Proposal for Partisan School Boards a Bad Idea

    Editorial Board, LakeWalesNews.Net|Updated Dec 13, 2021

    Democracy relies upon "the consent of the governed" to function. Consent implies an understanding of the questions of importance to the populace, which in turn requires an educated electorate. By these steps of logic, Public education is the bedrock upon which American freedoms are based. More than 20 years ago Florida voters overwhelmingly voted to remove partisan politics from Florida's public school boards, making them among the few Florida public offices, along with most...

  • Fish Are Biting, If You Know Where to Try

    Charlie Wynperle, Fishing Expert|Updated Dec 10, 2021

    The fish are biting in area lakes if you know where to go. At Bridgemaster Fishing Products, also known as the Fisherman's Candy Store, we've got a few tips for you. At Lake Walk-in-water, try drifting minnows for speck (crappie). With cooler temperatures bass are starting to move up into shallow cover water, Try a moving bait such as a Ultravibe speed worm, swim jig, or swim bait. For Lake Hatchineha you may do best using Midsouth jigs on outside grass and pads for speck....

  • City Surprises New Florida Veterans' Department Head With Recognition

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 8, 2021

    It's not easy to surprise a United States Marine. Even more so when that individual is a Major General who had a highly decorated military career. Yet that is exactly what happened Tuesday evening in Lake Wales as Mayor Eugene Fultz read a proclamation declaring General James S. "Hammer" Hartsell Day in Lake Wales. Hartsell, recently named the director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, was born in Lake Wales, and spent his youthful years living on Morningside...

  • City Asks For Participation in "Community Conditions Survey"

    Brian Ackley, City of Lake Wales|Updated Dec 8, 2021

    Lake Wales is getting ready to ask its residents how they think the city is performing. The city plans to conduct a "Community Conditions Survey" in order to assess the current level of service being provided. The project will be headed by ETC Institute, a firm the city has successfully engaged with recently to facilitate the Northwest Neighborhood Community Conditions Survey and again as a sub-consultant to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan team. City Manager James Slaton...

  • Public Comment Invited on Kissimmee Chain Management Plans

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Dec 8, 2021

    Area boaters and fishers using the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes east of Lake Wales may wish to speak up as plans are made for the future management of the public waters. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking public input on their draft Lake Management Plans for the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. The plans cover management activities within the FWC's jurisdiction, including habitat protection, restoration and enhancement, fish management, and invasive...

  • Three Florida Polytechnic Scientists Ranked Among Globes' Top Two Percent

    Linda Guzman, Florida Poly|Updated Dec 7, 2021

    With innovative research in nanomedicine, energy systems, and rare earth element recovery, three Florida Polytechnic University professors have been listed among the top 2% scientists in the world. The prestigious list is compiled annually by Stanford University. Dr. Ajeet Kaushik, assistant professor of environmental engineering; Dr. Hisham Mahmood, assistant professor of electrical engineering; and Dr. Patrick Zhang, director of research mining and beneficiation at the...

  • William E. Delmas, 1939-2021

    Updated Dec 6, 2021

    William E. Delmas of South Carolina passed away Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at The Grove Center in Lake Wales. He was born September 24, 1939 in Mobile, Alabama to the late Helaire and Evelyn Delmas. William was a retired real estate agent and of the Catholic faith. He loved riding his bike around while picking up trash. He loved animals and would keep treats for all of the cats that would wait for him on his many bicycle rides around the neighborhood. Bill also loved...

  • New Fishing Column Added to Local Coverage

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Dec 6, 2021

    Lake Wales isn't known as a fishing capital for nothing. The wide variety of lakes, each with unique habitats for a wide range of species, make our part of Florida a magnet for those seeking a trophy bass, or the limit of other fish. The Lake Kissimmee chain, including Lakes Hatchineha and Rosalie, or the big water of Lake Walk-in-the-Water, offer plenty of opportunity, as do other area waters, such as Crooked Lake. Whether fishing from a boat, or just casting from a pier of...

  • Russell Anthony Robertson, 1946-2021

    Updated Dec 6, 2021

    Russell Anthony Robertson of Jacksonville passed away Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at his residence. He was born October 22, 1946 in Washington D.C. to the late Russell and Bertha Robertson, Sr.; he moved to Jacksonville from Lake Wales 47 years ago. Russell was a retired Chief Petty Officer (E-8) for the United States Navy and served in Vietnam from 1971 until 1973. After the military, he worked as a truck driver for Hartland Express, traveling all over the country. He was an...

  • Robert Mallick Blair, 1921-2021

    Updated Dec 5, 2021

    Robert Mallick Blair of Lake Wales, 100, passed away on November 29, 2021, in Orlando, FL. Born April 9, 1921, in Pittsburgh, PA, he lived in Beaver County most of his life. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Milton and Mary Jane Blair, and his wife Betty Jean Chaffee Blair. He is survived by his stepdaughters Carla Maddox and Linda Cruz and five step grandchildren, and several cousins. Blair was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in the Pacific Theater during...