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(216) stories found containing 'frostproof'


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  • Frostproof Teacher Murdered by Her Own Son in Stabbing Attack

    News Staff Reports|Updated Apr 9, 2024

    UPDATED The horrifying murder of a second grade teacher has shocked residents of Frostproof and the surrounding area. Elvia Espinoza, who taught second grade at Ben Hill Griffin Elementary School in Frostproof, was stabbed to death by her own son after he returned home from college for a family gathering. Espinoza, 46, was attacked after opening the door to her home in the Sun Ray neighborhood her son, 21-year-old Emmanuel Espinoza, who had just arrived after driving from...

  • Elvia Alvarado Espinoza, 1977-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Apr 8, 2024

    Elvia Alvarado Espinoza of Frostproof passed away Saturday, April 6, 2024 at her residence. She was born July 13, 1977 in San Lucas, Michoacan, Mexico to Silvano an Herminia Alvarado. Elvia was a second-grade teacher for Ben Hill Griffin Elementary School where she loved teaching. She loved the town of Frostproof and was passionate about the needs of children. Elvia was full of life and loved her family, especially her grandchildren. Elvia truly enjoyed spending time with her...

  • Gary Eugene Fenner, 1945-2024

    Newsx Obituary Service|Updated Mar 27, 2024

    Gary Eugene Fenner of Frostproof passed away Monday, March 25, 2024 at his residence. He was born May 18, 1945 in Illinois; he moved to Florida from Illinois over 40 years ago. Gary was a welder and enjoyed fishing. He was an animal lover and favored dogs and horses. Gary was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Fenner and brother. He is survived by his son; friends, Manuel and Sylvia Andrade; and his dog Abraham that he rescued from the Winter Haven Human Society. No...

  • Lorey Blackwelder, 1970-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Feb 15, 2024

    Lorey Blackwelder of Frostproof passed away Thursday, February 8, 2024, at her residence. She was born July 18, 1970 in Winter Haven to the late Alvin and Mary Meadows; she was a lifelong resident of the area. She was a homemaker and attended the First Presbyterian Church in Frostproof. She loved being with her family and enjoyed football. Survivors include her husband of 28 years, Alan Blackwelder; daughter, Savanna Blackwelder of Frostproof; son, Joshua Alan Blackwelder and...

  • JaLeeann Johnston, 1977-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Jan 31, 2024

    JaLeeann Johnston, age 46, passed away Sunday, January 21, 2024 at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL due to a brain injury resulting from an accidental fall at her home. She was born November 17, 1977 in Winter Haven, FL. JaLeeann graduated from Lake Wales High School class of 1995. Following her graduation she went to the University of Florida and graduated in 1999 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Performance. She began her career in Naples, FL with...

  • Linda Marie Baker, 1962-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Jan 29, 2024

    Linda Marie Baker, 61, of Frostproof, FL, passed away on January 20, 2024. Linda was born March 9, 1962, to the late Robert Felesky and Norma Herzog. She moved to Frostproof from Key West in 2014 and lived in Maryland prior to Key West. Linda met the love of her life Butch (Merritt K.) Baker in FL, and they married July 21, 2012. Linda worked for the Polk County Department of Health. Linda was the administrative assistant for the Tobacco Program. She was instrumental in...

  • Frostproof Native Crosses Lake Okeechobee on Paddleboard

    Special to the News|Updated Jan 13, 2024

    Frostproof native Mason Gravley was part of a two-person team that has apparently established a new endurance record for Florida. The duo paddle-boarded approximately 34 miles over the course of 11 hours and 27 minutes, navigating the vast and unpredictable waters of Lake Okeechobee. Mason Gravley of Palmetto and Jordon Wolfram of Lakeland successfully completed the crossing on January 1 after a 5:00 am start, marking the first-ever recorded journey of its kind. The...

  • Minister and Coach Arrested on Separate Molestation Charges

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jan 10, 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...

  • Olivia Maldonado De La Torre, 1976-2024

    News Obituary Service|Updated Jan 8, 2024

    Olivia Maldonado De La Torre of Frostproof passed away Sunday, January 7, 2024. She was born November 18, 1976 in Zacatecas, Mexico; she moved to Frostproof from Villa De Cos, Mexico in May of 2023. Olivia was a cosmetologist and loved working on the family farm. She was a hard worker, brave, and protected her family. Olivia was preceded in death by her father, Amador Maldonado Lopez. She is survived by her daughter, Samantha Medina Maldonado; son, Jesus Abied Esquivel...

  • 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...

  • Hundreds of Animals in Home Lead to Elder and Animal Neglect Charges in Horrifying Frostproof Case

    News Staff Reports|Updated Dec 22, 2023

    A horrifying discovery by a sheriff's deputy led to the arrest of a Frostproof woman Thursday morning on charges of felony animal cruelty, animal neglect, and elder neglect. A 75-year old woman was removed from the Fazzini Drive mobile home after air monitors proved a hazardous level of ammonia in the home due to animal urine, as well as feces on the floors and walls. Lisa Lacharite, 48, of Frostproof was booked into the Polk County Jail charged with five counts of animal...

  • Roberta ("Bobbie") Freeman Harriman, 1931-2023

    News Obituary Service|Updated Dec 12, 2023

    Roberta ("Bobbie") Freeman Harriman, 92, formerly of Lake Wales, FL passed away on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, in Orlando, FL, where she resided with her daughter, Cheryl ("Sheri") Sherman since 2014. Roberta was born in Cordova, AL and enjoyed a childhood filled with adventures on the family farm. She moved to Frostproof, FL in 1942 and graduated from Frostproof High School as salutatorian of the class of 1949. She loved Polk County and moved to Lake Wales where she met...

  • 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...

  • November 21, 1923 Highlander

    News Research|Updated Nov 23, 2023

    Lake Wales voters were facing three election sin a 60-day span 100 years ago, with the first of the separate ballots to decide the burning issue of whether to require the fencing of livestock, thereby ending the "open range" era of life in this part of the state. The decades-long battle between advocates of open range livestock and those who opposed the practice had sometimes led to violence due to incidents including fence-cutting. Those clashes were referred to as "range...

  • Elinor Lorraine Palmatier, 1934-2023

    News Obituary Service|Updated Nov 20, 2023

    Elinor Lorraine Palmatier of Frostproof passed away Saturday, November 18, 2023 at Somers Hospice House in Sebring. She was born September 13, 1934 in Berwyn, Pennsylvania to the late George and Viola Hurd; she has been a resident of the area for many years. Elinor was a member of First Baptist Church of Frostproof. She was an animal lover and enjoyed bird watching. She loved her family overall. Elinor was preceded in death by her husband, James Palmatier; daughter, Karen...

  • Saturday's 39-Mile Yard Sale Expected to Draw Thousands

    Casey Gist, News Correspondent|Updated Nov 6, 2023

    Communities along the entire length of the Ridge Scenic Highway will share in one of the area's most popular annual events this Saturday. The 39-Mile Yard Sale has played an important role in promoting tourism in the Central Florida communities along the Ridge Scenic Highway since 2007. Expected to draw thousands of people, it is known for being an outstanding opportunity to find great deals and interesting treasures, or just as an enjoyable family outing. Shoppers come from a...

  • October 31, 1923 Highlander

    News Research Staff|Updated Oct 31, 2023

    In 1923, 100 years ago this week, the Highlander was celebrating the "paving" of three-foot wide rock shoulders on Scenic Highway from Haines City to Frostproof. That primary road, which extends south to Sebring, will be made even more valuable when the new bridge over the Kissimmee River is completed on the Conners Highway, linking the east and west coasts of the state. Officials from Tampa to West Palm were celebrating the impending completion of the new road. Elsewhere,...

  • LakeWalesNews.net Readership Continues to Rise

    News Staff Reports|Updated Oct 31, 2023

    A continuing rise in readership and community reach is evidence of the growing awareness and trust of LakeWalesNews.net among residents of the Ridge area. The expansion of readership and advertising is powering an expansion of news coverage as well as the News increases coverage of events in Frostproof, Babson Park, Indian Lake, and surrounding communities through the hiring of new staff and correspondents. Analytics provided by Google indicate that LakeWalesNews.net is the to...

  • New Local Bus Service Begins in Lake Wales

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Oct 30, 2023
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    A new "circulator" bus route that will serve the city six days a week on a frequent schedule began this week, making getting around town without a car a much simpler task. Lake Wales should be very proud of the new service, according to Tom Phillips, executive director of Citrus Connection, which operates the buses. "This is only the second city [in Polk County] to have a real circulator route," he told Lake Wales News.net. The circulator will stay within the city limits,...

  • Robert St. Clair Price, 1928-2023

    News Obituary Service|Updated Oct 13, 2023

    Robert St. Clair Price of Frostproof passed away Sunday, October 8, 2023 at The Club of Lake Wales. He was born January 22, 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the late St. Clair and June Price; he and his wife Joyce were winter residents of Frostproof for 30 years before becoming permanent residents 15 years ago. Robert was a retired technician for Eastman-Kodak Photography and a veteran of the United States Army Air Corp. He loved to do needlepoint, read, complete...

  • Rains, But No 'Canes in Weather Outlook

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 24, 2023

    After a two-day spell of autumn-like weather to mark the official start of the season this weekend, summer-like rains are expected to return to Florida, but the threat of a tropical storm or hurricane remains distant. Computer models are showing a benign pattern remaining over the central Atlantic basin, with protective upper-level winds deflecting storms northward and away from Florida. After the rapid pop-up of Tropical Storm Ophelia just off the east coast of Florida last...

  • September 19, 1923 Lake Wales Highlander

    News Research Staff|Updated Sep 20, 2023

    The Lake Wales Highlander of 100 years ago reveals much about the history of our community. Each week the Lake Wales News will publish a front-page image of the former Lake Wales Highlander from 100 years earlier, tracking the growth of the community a century ago, when Florida was in the midst of a great land price boom and rapid population growth. The images are retrieved from the digital archives of the Lake Wales Public Library. The Lake Wales Highlander eventually became...

  • First-Degree Murder Charge Brought Against Father Who Killed Son

    News Staff Reports|Updated Sep 13, 2023

    Stephen Thomas Rodda has been charged with first-degree murder after apparently killing his own 16-year-old son on Monday. Rodda, 37, was booked into the Polk County Jail Monday after he was arrested by Polk County Deputies and charged with killing the teen with an angle-grinder, a power tool normally used to cut metal. He will have a first appearance hearing at 1:00 p.m. today, Tuesday, September 5, 2023. According to the Sheriff's office, the victim's grandfather returned...

  • Lake Wales Junior Woman's Club Kicks Off Fall Festival Planning

    Special to the News|Updated Aug 29, 2023

    Plans are underway for its 2nd Annual Fall Festival, a free event that features food trucks, beer, music, professional carnival games, inflatables including two bounce houses, general vendors, community booths, farm animals from several area schools, selfie photo spots, and more. The annual event is sponsored by the GFWC Lake Wales Junior Woman's Club, and will run from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm on Saturday, October 14. at Lake Wailes Park. Event proceeds will fund programs that...

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