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(39) stories found containing 'fort meade'


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  • "Safe Zones" Offer a Place for Custody Exchanges of Children, Sale of Merchandise

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jul 15, 2024

    Twelve "Safe Zones" under the monitoring of the Polk County Sheriff's Office are now available to all Polk County residents for the purposes of custody exchanges of e-commerce sales, according to officials with the sheriff's office. The locations offer 24/7 continuously-monitored video surveillance with recordings retained for at least 45 days. They also provide adequate lighting and signage for safety. The Florida Legislature recently passed a law which requires count...

  • Fort Meade Hires New City Manager to Deal With Nearly $7 Million in Grants

    Robert Connors|Updated Jul 11, 2024

    After a year of interim managers, Fort Meade has at last settled upon a new leader to manage city affairs, and he is arriving just in time to face a "problem" some wouldn't mind dealing with. On a 4-1 vote, city commissioners had offered the role to Edward Walker Dean last month, and his signing of the deal was reported during Tuesday's meeting of the board. His immediate challenge: trying to salvage an unused $5 million grant. Fort Meade was the only Polk County city to...

  • SE Polk Cities See Rise in Property Values

    Robert Connors|Updated Jul 11, 2024

    Cities across the county are seeing significant rises in property tax income, according to the preliminary tax roll published by Polk County Property Appraiser Marsha Faux. Despite the recent surge in home prices and the value of new construction, however, property values in most Ridge-area municipalities have seen only modest increases so far. The valuations have significant impacts on city budgets, since local shares of the taxes are based upon the millage rates set by...

  • County Begins Development of New Lake Buffum Boat Ramp

    Robert Connnors|Updated Jul 1, 2024

    A new county boat ramp is being constructed to provide public access to Lake Buffum in un-incorporated southern Polk County. According to county officials, the new boat ramp "will include a walled channel to provide entry to the lake no matter the water level." The annual fluctuation of water levels in the 1,268 acre lake have often caused problems for launching boats. While the new boat ramp is under construction, the old boat ramp is open for public use. The new ramp is...

  • Blue-Green Algae Warning Extended, Use Caution in Area Lakes, Peace River

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jun 18, 2024

    The Florida Department of Health in Polk County (DOH-Polk) is once again cautioning the public about the presence of blue-green algae in several area lakes. Although none has been reported in Ridge-area lakes, not every lake is tested, so boaters, swimmers, and fishers should be aware of the potential and take precautions. Water samples taken from Scott Lake, Lake Van, Lake Hancock, Lake Gibson, and Lake Conine on May 23 detected blue-green algae that have the potential to...

  • Minister and Coach Arrested on Separate Molestation Charges

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jun 17, 2024

    Two instances of molestation of children by adult authority figures, a minister and a coach, have resulted in the arrest of two individuals by the Polk County Sheriff's Office. In an incident that took place in Frostproof, 20-year-old Skylar Ready of Fort Meade was charged with four felonies related to an illegal and inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old student at the school, whom he allegedly threatened to kill is she had sex with anyone else. Ready had served as a...

  • Deanna Dawn Spiller, 1979-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Jun 16, 2024

    Deanna Dawn Spiller, age 44, passed away Saturday, June 8, 2024. She was born September 16, 1979 in Bartow, FL to James and Delila Mercer. She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Gary Faust and Roy Phillips. Deanna is survived by her children Keely Vanlanot of Haines City, Daniel Spiller of Fort Meade, Alana Spiller of Bartow, Cameran Spiller of Auburndale and Zachary Spiller of Auburndale, grandson Dusten "DJ" Davis, Jr, siblings Rebecca Mosher, James...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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,"...

  • Fort Meade Seeking New Logo, Image for City

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    Fort Meade's traditional seal, a crest featuring a fort, citrus fruits and a horse-drawn street car may soon be a thing of the past. The Fort Meade city commission has created the "Mayor's Blue Ribbon Committee for New Signage and City Logo" to design new signage for the north and south entryways on Highway 17, along with a city logo. The new media assets are expected to be a part of the city's larger efforts to rebrand itself to attract more residents, businesses, and...

  • Some Local Officials Resigning Over New Disclosure Requirements

    Tom Paulson and Robert Connors|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    A new financial disclosure requirement that has caused hundreds of municipal officials across the state to resign their offices is also having impacts in the Lake Wales area. The state law, which takes effect January 1, requires every elected official in cities, towns, and villages across the state to complete a comprehensive disclosure of income and assets that many consider draconian. The form will replace the simpler, and less invasive, Form 1 previously required. The...

  • Jimmie L. Cotton, Sr., 1940-2023

    News Obituary Service|Updated Dec 27, 2023

    Jimmie L. Cotton, Sr. age 83, passed away Monday, December 25, 2023 at his home in Fort Meade, Florida. He was born February 17, 1940 in Bowling Green, FL to Benny & Bertha Cotton. Jimmie retired from CSX Railroad. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Fort Meade. Jimmie was a Mentor and a Legend in the world of Mountain Biking, he was the Ambassador of the Ridge Riders Mountain Bike Association. Jimmie "Cott," with the help of friends, built and maintained over 10...

  • Donald V. Hendrick, 1939-2023

    News Obituary Service|Updated Oct 6, 2023

    Donald V. Hendrick passed away on his 84th birthday, on October 3, 2023, in Winter Haven, Florida. He was born on October 3, 1939, in Bereah, Florida, to Mr. & Mrs. Vince A. Hendrick. Don attended grade school in Key West, where his father was on shore duty, and in Sulphur Springs. He attended junior high in Fort Meade, Florida, and graduated from Fort Meade High School in 1957. He graduated from Florida State University with a Master's Degree in Genetics and from Queen's Univ...

  • Monday is Deadline for Voter Registration for Lake Wales City Election

    Rachel Harris|Updated Mar 1, 2023

    Residents in Lake Wales who are not already registered to vote, but wish to participate in the April 4th Municipal Elections must register to vote on or before Monday, March 6th. Registration forms may be completed online at PolkElections.gov. Forms are also available at Lake Wales Public Library on Cypress Gardens Lane downtown, and The Lake Wales City Administration building on Central Avenue. Voter registration forms are also available for pick up at many convenient...

  • Registration Open for Polk Senior Games

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jan 23, 2023

    There's still time to register for those wishing to compete in the annual Polk Senior Games, but that window is closing fast!. The games are an annual two-week series of 33 Olympic-style sports and games for men and women 50 years of age and over. The 30th Polk Senior Games begin on Saturday February 25th and end on Saturday March 11. Registration began January 1 and ends February 10. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded in each event and age division. The Games...

  • Patricia "Pat" Schafstall, 1947-2022

    Updated Sep 4, 2022

    Patricia "Pat" Schafstall passed Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at Mercy Hospital, Oklahoma City, OK. She was 74. Pat was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend to many souls on this earth. Pat was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 17, 1947, to Mary Louise and Paul Thomas Connors, and graduated from Lake Wales High School in 1965. She saw her soul mate, Bernard John Schafstall, at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church during her senior year, and they were united in marriage on...

  • Ronald Kyle "Ron" Porter, 1955-2022

    Whidden-McLean Funeral Home|Updated May 25, 2022

    Ronald Kyle "Ron" Porter passed away Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Lake Wales. Born November 21, 1955, in Ironton, OH, he was the son of the late Ronald Keene Porter and Georgia Lea (Conley) Porter. Ron was a longtime member of Peace Creek Baptist Church and K.R.V.S.A. Mr. Porter worked many years for Ashland Chemicals in Bartow. He was an avid airboater known as the "FrogSpit" guy who formerly owned and operated Bullfrog Marine in Fort Meade. He is survived by a loving family that...

  • Leta Mitchell Wright, 1924-2021

    Whidden-McLean Funeral Home|Updated Nov 17, 2021

    Leta Mitchell Wright, 97, retired educator, volunteer, and champion of her hometown passed away Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at her home in Fort Meade. Mrs. Leta Wright, or "Mama Leta", as she was lovingly called by her grandchildren and numerous friends, was born in Fort Meade, Florida, on January 12, 1924 to Elbert Franklin and Belle Hendrix Mitchell. She graduated from Fort Meade High School before moving to DeLand, Florida to attend Stetson University where she earned her...

  • Yvonne Marie Davis, 1944-2021

    Whidden-McLean Funeral Home|Updated Nov 15, 2021

    Yvonne Marie Davis, age 76, passed away Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at Vitas Hospice in Winter Garden, FL. She was born December 19, 1944 in Alabama to Venus & Vita Smith Williams. Yvonne was a Housewife. She was of the Baptist Faith. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Dick Davis, sister Janice Jared, two nephews Graham Jared and Ethan Jared. She is survived by two step daughters Patricia Caswall of Longwood, FL, Donna White of Winter Park, FL, niece Julie Jared...

  • James E. Gargus, 1944-2021

    Updated Nov 3, 2021

    James E. Gargus, age 77, passed away Saturday, October 30, 2021 at his residence in Bowling Green, FL. He was born August 31, 1944 in Deering, MO to Wade & Isabelle Gargus. James was a Correctional Officer in Hardee County. He was an avid Chicago Bears fan. He is survived by his wife Carol Gargus, three sons Dennis Gargus (Linda), Robert Gargus (Stormy), Edward Gargus (Lynn), daughter Laura Carver, two brothers Daniel Gargus (Debra), Bob Gargus (Rosemary), two sisters Willie...

  • Timothy Robert Jones, 1956-2021

    Updated Oct 19, 2021

    Timothy Robert Jones of Fort Meade passed away Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at Advent Health Sebring. He was born February 21, 1956 in Aurora, Illinois to Robert and Janet Jones; he moved to Lake Wales from South Carolina three years ago. Timothy was the Director of Environmental Services for the Hospital Housekeeping Services and held a master's degree in business administration. He led a life marked by faith and was a member of Christ Fellowship. His strength of character...

  • Supervisor of Elections to Conduct Voter Registration Drive

    Betsy Cleveland|Updated Sep 22, 2021

    The Polk County Supervisor of Elections will join in a nationwide effort to register voters on Tuesday, September 28th in celebration of National Voter Registration Day. Registration tables will be available at seven locations around Polk County. New voters will have the opportunity to register to vote, and current voters will be able to update their record if they have moved, or changed their name. October 4th is the deadline to register to vote in Polk County’s November 2nd Municipal Elections in Fort Meade, Lakeland and W...

  • David Lester, 1950-2021

    Updated Sep 2, 2021

    David Arthur Lester, 70, of Lake Wales passed away Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 at Winter Haven Hospital. He was born October 1, 1950 in Winter Haven to the late D. Donald and Frances "Frankie" Lester. David took great pride in being a University of Florida graduate. He worked for the State of Florida and later worked at Disney as a resort security manager. He was of strong Catholic faith. He took great joy in making wonderful meals for his family and friends, taking trips with famil...

  • Wade Scaggs, 1948-2021

    Updated Aug 29, 2021

    Wade C. Scaggs, 72, of Lake Wales passed away Friday, Aug. 3, 2021 at the AdventHealth Lake Wales. He was born September 16, 1948 in Lake Wales to the late Frank and Sarah Jane Scaggs; he started his professional career in Tallahassee in 1968, then continued his work in Tampa and later Newberry before returning to Lake Wales in 1988. He was a retired investigator for the State of Florida States Attorney’s office and in the U.S. Navy Reserves and U.S. Army Reserves, 600th MP Battalion, 4th ARCOM. He was a member of the Church...

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