Communication Builds Our Community

(1127) stories found containing 'city of lake wales'


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  • OPINION: Slaton Faces Choice That Will Affect Thousands

    News Editorial Board|Updated Jun 21, 2024

    Lake Wales City Manager James Slaton finds his relaxation, he recently told Lake Wales News, by fishing, typically on salt water far from the ring of a telephone. It's an understandable outlet. Slaton has demonstrated that he can play just as well on dry land, whatever the game. The job of city manager is undoubtedly one of the more interesting and challenging careers in the modern workforce. Charged with running a government as an appointed, rather than elected, official,...

  • Scenic Highway Closure, Detour to Last 30 Days, FDOT Says

    Robert Connors|Updated Jun 20, 2024

    A busy stretch of South Scenic Highway in Lake Wales will be closed for at least 30 days beginning Monday, June 17 between Winston Avenue and Alvina Avenue, a distance of about four blocks. Florida Department of Transportation crews have closed Scenic Highway from Grove Avenue to Hillcrest Avenue. The closure will require a detour for motorists using the roadway, routing traffic along South 4th Street to avoid construction. The Florida Department of Transportation will be...

  • One Dead After Shooting on Northside Drive

    Howard Davies|Updated Jun 20, 2024

    UPDATE: An argument between two young men who had known each other since high school near a recently-constructed county football field led to a shooting that left one dead around 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening in Lake Wales. The incident happened outside city limits near a county-owned sports park on W. Northside Drive, about 200 feet north of Washington Avenue. According to a preliminary report from Polk Sheriff's investigators, Vincent Thomas, Jr., 21, arrived in a car at a...

  • Lake Wales Heritage Volunteers Planting Again as Drought Ends

    Robert Connnors|Updated Jun 19, 2024

    A team of civic-minded volunteers from Lake Wales Heritage took advantage of the rainier weather this week to work on the organization's ongoing streetscaping project. Monday morning found a team of volunteers planting nine young lemon bottlebrush trees on South 4th Street. The trees were replacements for some lost due to heat stress and drought this spring. "Now that the seasonal monsoon rain season has begun, the time is right," said Heritage volunteer director Preston...

  • Tommy C. Gaffney, 1961-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Jun 19, 2024

    Tommy C. Gaffney, age 63, passed away June 14, 2024, at Bartow Regional Medical Center in Bartow. He was born on May 16, 1961, in Haines City, FL. He worked in Records Management for Polk County Board of County Commissioners. He was a Representative for the Florida Mobile Homes Organization, former Teamster Representative and former Moose Lodge Governor. He enjoyed spending time with family, traveling and playing jokes. He was preceded in death by parents Raymond Gaffney &...

  • City's New "Turf Manager" J.C. White Eager to Put Athletic Fields in Top Condition for Area Sports Leagues

    Eric Marshall|Updated Jun 18, 2024

    Keeping fit and active is important for thousands of Lake Wales residents, so the City of Lake Wales is now making an extra effort to see that the sports facilities they use are in top shape. J.C. White is now in charge of making the town's many sports fields look their very best. White is Lake Wales' new Athletic Turf Superintendent, which places him in charge of bringing the athletic fields 'up to snuff,' where they deserve to be. With 16 baseball and softball fields and sev...

  • Lake Wales Development Promises Economic Benefits

    Maricruz Gutierrez Mejia|Updated Jun 15, 2024

    (Editor's note: This story introduces a new series addressing the economic impacts of real estate development in the Lake Wales and east Polk County area.) Lake Wales has a need for economic development, and it can only be achieved through responsible growth. Attracting new businesses will provide greater opportunities for the community. In recent years, Polk County has experienced a fast growing population which has stimulated developments across the area. According to the U....

  • Lake Wales Envisioned Documentary Wins 2024 Communicator Award

    News Staff Report|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    Lake Wales Envisioned, a film documenting the development of the eponymous project created to help guide the community through the challenges of rapid development, has been named as a recipient of the 2024 Communicator Award for excellence in film-making. The 30-minute film was created by Lee Dover of the planning firm of Dover, Kohl & Partners, who were the lead planners responsible for the award-winning plan. It was selected for screening at the Redfish Film Festival in...

  • Gibson Proposes "Sergeant at Arms" to Monitor Public Comments at Lake Wales Commission Meetings

    Frank Butler|Updated May 31, 2024
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    A proposal by Lake Wales Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson would appoint at "sergeant at arms" to monitor comments made by the public during city commission meetings. During the commission's Wednesday agenda workshop Gibson cited what he called "personal attacks" that have "driven off good people" as his reasoning behind the proposal. The city has suffered the resignation of several officials during the past two years, but most have simply returned to work at the city as...

  • Camp Squeeze Offers Kids a Summer of Fun

    Special to the News|Updated May 31, 2024

    Giving young kids safe and fun outlets to help them burn off all that extra energy is a challenge that may have a solution. Parents may rejoice thanks to a new summer program offered by staff the City of Lake Wales' Family Recreation Center. Kids entering kindergarten through 5th grade are eligible to attend Camp Squeeze. Camp Squeeze will offer campers an array of themed science, art, and sporting activities. They'll learn how to make their own Mars rovers during Space Week,...

  • Mary Margaret Knabe, 1956-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated May 29, 2024

    Mary Margaret Knabe of Lake Wales passed away Monday, May 27, 2024 at her residence. She was born October 6, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois; she moved to Lake Wales from Chicago 20 years ago. Mary was a retired claims adjuster and was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Mary was a kindhearted person who would help everyone. She loved her nieces, nephews, and family. Mary was preceded in death by her parents William Francis Knabe and Julia Knabe. She is survived by her...

  • Timothy Paul Connors, 1954-2024

    News Obituary Services|Updated May 27, 2024

    Timothy Paul Connors of Lakeland, FL died Thursday, May 23. He was born February 7, 1954 to the late Paul T. and Mary L. Connors. He was a retired lieutenant for the City of Lakeland fire department, a graduate of the Firefighters Academy and a trained Emergency Medical Technician. Tim was a former resident of Lake Wales and a 1972 graduate of Lake Wales High School where he participated in track and football. As an adult he enjoyed golf and participated in numerous leagues an...

  • Hickory Ridge the Latest Housing Project On Southeast Side of Lake Wales

    Robert Connors|Updated May 26, 2024

    Work has begun on Hickory Ridge, an 85-lot single-family subdivision that will rise just east of Lake Wales Country Club. The project is the work of Garden Street Communities Southeast, based in Pensacola, FL. It adds to the growing list of residential projects now under development in the southeast quadrant of the city. Site work is underway, being conducted by Diamondback Civil. The 47-acre project site lies in unincorporated Polk County and includes a significant wetland...

  • Former Mayor, Community Leader Pat Cain Dead at 76

    News Staff|Updated May 26, 2024

    Life-long resident and supporter of numerous area charitable causes, Dale Patrick Cain of Lake Wales passed away Monday, May 20. Pat, as he was known to his many friends, was a third generation Lake Wales resident who served as a Lake Wales City Commissioner from 1988 until 1992, serving as mayor in 1991-1992. A 1965 graduate of Lake Wales High School, he played both offense and defense on the Highlander football squads in two undefeated seasons in 1963 and 1964, as more...

  • Dale Patrick "Pat" Cain, 1947-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated May 26, 2024

    Dale Patrick Cain (Pat) of Lake Wales passed away Monday, May 20, 2024 at his residence after a short battle with cancer. Pat was a third generation Lake Walean born on October 16, 1947 to the late Lucas and Mary Cain. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology on a football scholarship and later graduated with a major in finance from the University of Florida. Pat was in the financial planning industry for over 29 years following many years as owner and operator of...

  • New Dunkin Shop Planned at Southgate Shopping Center Outparcel

    Robert Connors|Updated May 24, 2024

    A new 24-hour Dunkin outlet is planned for a small outparcel facing SR 60 East at Southgate Shopping Center in Lake Wales. Dunkin has two existing outlets in the city, which are expected to remain. Approval of the site plan will be considered by the city's Planning and Zoning Board at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28. Designs for the proposed free-standing building include the 24-hour one-lane drive-through service window as well as an indoor lobby open during more limited hours....

  • Free Downtown "Squeeze" Shuttle Service Off to a Fast Start

    Robert Connors|Updated May 24, 2024

    The newly-bricked and landscaped Park Avenue served as the backdrop for a recent ribbon cutting marking the official start of service by the new downtown shuttle known as The Squeeze. A happy crowd of citizens and officials representing Lake Wales Main Street, the Citrus Connection, the City of Lake Wales, and the Community Redevelopment agency shared the moment, celebrating the rapid changes coming to the city. The service is already earning great reviews from shoppers and lu...

  • Commercial Activity Center Planned at Burns Avenue, Buck Moore Road Intersection

    Robert Connors|Updated May 24, 2024

    A new convenience store "with gasoline service and outdoor display and sales" is planned for the northeast side of Lake Wales, according to a proposed site plan on the Tuesday agenda of the city's Planning and Zoning board. The seven-member P&Z board will consider whether to recommend approval of a Special Exception Use Permit for the 3.1 acre site on the southwest corner of Burns Avenue and Buck Moore Road. The intersection is presently signalized but a long-term...

  • Investigation Results in Multiple Arrests on Child Predator Charges

    Special to the News|Updated May 23, 2024

    During an eight-day-long undercover sting investigation during February entitled "Operation Child Predator V," area police detectives filed 27 felony charges against eight suspects accused of crimes against children. Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives, along with police in Lake Wales, Auburndale, Davenport, Lakeland, and the Hardee County Sheriff's Office, charged eight suspects with crimes related to those who prey upon and travel to meet children for unlawful sexual...

  • William Braunlin, 1948-2024

    News Obituary Services|Updated May 22, 2024

    William Braunlin of Lake Wales passed away Saturday, May 11, 2024 at AdventHealth Lake Wales. He was born September 10, 1948 in New Jersey City, New Jersey to the late William and Isabell Braunlin; he was a resident of Lake Wales for most of his life. William was a cab driver and a veteran of the United States Marines. He was a very friendly person who loved fishing and talking to people. William is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sharon Braunlin. No services are scheduled...

  • City Staff Win "Telly" Awards for Educational Video Series

    Special to the News|Updated May 22, 2024

    Staff in the City of Lake Wales Communications & Engagement Department and Police Department were awarded four 2024 Telly Awards in four categories for their "Locating a Missing Person – Police K-9 Unit" video – Social Video for People's Telly Award, Public Relations, Health & Safety for Social Video and Education & Training. The video features Sergeant Matthew Rhoden, K-9 Officer Michael Yodonis and K-9 Officer Rhaegar track a missing person from the scent of an article of...

  • Slaton a Finalist for New Smyrna Beach Position, Gets High Marks From Treasure Island Commission in New Job Search

    Robert Connors|Updated May 18, 2024

    Lake Wales City manager James is among a group of five finalists and two alternates that have been winnowed from a long list of candidates being considered for the city manager's job there following a Thursday evening special meeting of the beach town's city commission. The discussion among that city's board focused on the mechanisms that will be employed in interviewing the candidates, some of whom come from distant states and will fly in to inte4rviews. Discussion within...

  • Community Open-House to Focus on Economic Development

    Robert Connors|Updated May 14, 2024

    A community "open house" planned for Monday, May 20 will give area residents an opportunity to discuss key economic issues and and perceived opportunities that may help shape the future of Lake Wales. The five-hour "drop in" will be hosted by the Central Florida Regional Planning Council under a contract with the City of Lake Wales. Residents are invited to share their thoughts on the draft Economic Development Strategy and discuss the "identified goals, strategies, and next...

  • Substitute School Crossing Guards Sought

    Special to the News|Updated May 14, 2024

    The safety of children walking to and from area schools is the subject of an appeal for substitute crossing guards to fill in when demand arises. School Crossing Guard services are funded by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. The vital program provides adult crossing guards at selected hazardous school crossings to ensure the safety of elementary school children walking to and from school. According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, substitute school crossing...

  • 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...

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