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(20) stories found containing 'kissimmee river'


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  • 100 Years Ago: The Lake Wales Highlander

    News Research Staff|Updated Feb 15, 2024

    Among stories making the front page of the Highlander 100 years ago was a report on the progress of the new State Road 8 which was planned to run to Palm Beach through Okeechobee. The "Conners Highway" is named after the man who was advancing $200,000 towards the project, which was hoped would eventually include a bridge over the Kissimmee River, replacing the ferry that was in temporary use. The road was expected to be in "passable" condition by later that...

  • 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...

  • November 7, 1923 Lake Wales Highlander

    News Research|Updated Nov 8, 2023

    The extension of a local rail line to reach the east coast of Florida was all the talk of Lake Wales residents in November 100 years ago. Many were undoubtedly hoping that the line would be the spur that already extended to Nalaca on the Kissimmee River. That line, which served logging, cattle, and mining interests, passed through Hesperides and Sumica before ending along the river. Today a portion of that former line is the Lake Wales Trailway on the north side of Lake Wailes...

  • 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,...

  • Lake Wales Highlander of July 4, 1923

    News Research Staff|Updated Jul 30, 2023

    Starting this week the Lake Wales News will begin publishing historic reproductions of the Lake Wales Highlander newspapers from 100 years ago. The images, retrieved from the digital archives of the Lake Wales Public Library, will portray the front page of each week's newspaper. The Lake Wales Highlander was a weekly publication that tracked the growth and progress of the fledgling community, which had only recently exceeded a population of 500. At that time it was poised for...

  • 100 Years Ago this Week is New Feature of Ridge Life Section

    News Research Staff|Updated Jul 4, 2023

    Starting this week the Lake Wales News will begin publishing historic reproductions of the Lake Wales highlander newspapers from 100 years ago. The images, retrieved from the digital archives of the Lake Wales Public Library, will portray the front page of each week's newspaper, and will be published in a new subsection of the Ridge Life section. The 1923 Highlander was a weekly publication that tracked the growth and progress of the fledgling community, which had only...

  • River Ranch Named Nation's "Best Glamping Spot" in USA Today Readers Poll

    Michael Hogan, Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing|Updated May 28, 2023

    Westgate River Ranch, just east of Lake Wales, was named the No. 1 Glamping Spot in the nation in the annual USA Today 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards. The largest dude ranch East of the Mississippi River, Westgate River Ranch is rooted in the history of the nation's first cowboys and lies on 1,700 lush acres in the heart of Florida's cattle lands. The location offers cowboy-themed accommodations ranging from tent camping and a lodge to luxurious two-bedroom cabins, Glamping...

  • Rains Are Producing More Fishing Action

    Charlie Wynperle, Fishing Expert|Updated Jul 5, 2022

    For the best local fishing action head to Lake Walk-in-the-Water, where bank fishermen are catching limits of bluegill and shell crackers from the Indian Lake canals. Lake levels coming finally up and bass are more active both early and late. Throw a Whopper Plopper in bluegill around any isolated cover. On Lake Kissimmee fishers are still catching shell crackers in the lily pads near Gobbler Ridge, around Lemon Point, and Bird Island, mostly on red worms. Lots of recent rain...

  • Low Water Presents Fishing Hazards on Lake Hatchineha

    Charlie Wynperle, Fishing Expert|Updated Jun 29, 2022

    For the best local fishing action head to Lake Walk-in-the-Water, where bluegill and shell crackers may be found in lily pads around the lake. Look for the pads shaking, and drop a red worm on the bottom. There are a few bass roaming the shallows at day break and in the evening. Throw a "horny toad" in the junebug color to any isolated cover on the south end. Due to the extremely low water level, Lake Hatchineha is unsafe for boating and fishing, and it is advised to avoid...

  • Low Water Presents Hazards for Fishers, But Catches Being Made

    Charlie Wynperle, Fishing Expert|Updated Jun 13, 2022

    Despite the onset of near-daily rains, the upper Kissimmee chain, including Lake Hatchineha, remains very low. Boaters are urged to use extreme caution to avoid running into concealed shoals, sandbars, or other obstacles that would normally be safely passed over. On Lake Hatchineha, b e especially careful. With the full moon this week, expect to catch shellcrackers in the lily pads across from the port. Bass are schooling at the mouths of canals. On Lake Walk-in-Water, check...

  • Tropical Weather System Left Little to Raise Fishing Hopes

    Charlie Wynperle, Fishing Expert|Updated Jun 8, 2022

    The passing of the season's first tropical system left precious little rain in area gauges, so water levels in area lakes are continuing to suffer, with some still headed lower. Fishing remains in a transitional time until the summer monsoon rains start in earnest.. The upper Kissimmee chain, including Lake Hatchineha, is VERY low. A few bluegill are being caught there by marker ten, and a few bass are being caught on frogs on outside edges early. On Lake Walk-in-Water, the...

  • Fishing Still Active as Rains Begin

    Charlie Wynperle, Fishing Expert|Updated May 24, 2022

    The beginning of the wet summer season is upon us, and that means lots of changes in fishing patters. The dry spring has left some lakes very low, which also means that boaters should exercise caution around potential shoals. On Lake Walk-in-Water, try drifting with a Whack-em jig off shore for specks. Anglers are catching 10-15 per trip with some really good ones mixed in. Bass are offshore and out in front of the big pier at Indian Lake on the east side of lake. Drag a...

  • Changing Seasons Mean Changes in Fishing Tactics

    Charlie Wynperle, Fishing Expert|Updated Apr 4, 2022

    With warming weather and recent rains, fishing patterns keep changing. Keep checking back for the latest updates. On big Lake Walk-in-the-Water, bluegill and shell cracker are still being caught on red worms and crickets in the lily pads and grass. Bass are schooling on shad in the grass first thing in the morning. Try throwing a white horny toad lure around the grass margins. On Lake Hatchineha, a few local anglers are still catching specks at day light in Gator Cove using...

  • Portion of Kissimmee River May be Designated as Wild and Scenic River

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Nov 24, 2021

    In a tribute to the very concept of restoration, a portion of Florida's Kissimmee River that was once reduced to a single canal carrying contaminated water has been approved for status as a Wild and Scenic River under legislation passed by the US Congress. The river fell victim to a misguided flood control effort by the US Army Corps of Engineers following repeated floods after hurricanes dumped record rains across central Florida. The project turned a 103-mile meandering rive...

  • Lake Wales Pioneer and Longtime Teacher Mary Zipprer Dies at 103

    Updated Jul 22, 2020

    Mary Louise Zipprer, 103, of Lake Wales passed away on Sunday, July 12, 2020 at the Lakeland Nursing and Rehab Center. Born July 17, 1916, at Rosalie, a small settlement on the Kissimmee River, her family moved to Lake Wales in 1919. Mary saw the transformation of the wooded area in front of her home into a beautiful park and a marshland converted into a football field. Downtown, with its livery stable and other wooden buildings, gradually made many changes including the...

  • Activist Wynkoop Named Democratic Woman of the Year

    Chevon T. Baccus APR, Executive Editor|Updated Oct 9, 2019

    After 30 years and countless volunteer hours for candidates and issues, Becky Wynkoop of Lake Wales finally earned recognition Friday Sept. 27 as the 2019 Marlene Duffy Young Polk County Outstanding Democratic Woman of the Year. "She has truly been a mentor for me and a leader in the Polk County Democrats," said Kathie Sutherland, chairwoman of the Polk County Democratic Executive Committee. "She just has so much history. It's about time she got this award. She's very...

  • Derelict Vessel Removal Makes Waterways More Beautiful

    Chevon T. Baccus APR, Executive Editor|Updated May 1, 2019

    Under the watchful eye of a neighborly alligator, a team assembled by Keep Polk County Beautiful recently dismantled and carted off a derelict houseboat just outside the Camp Mack boat ramp on the Kissimmee River at Camp Lester. KPCB Executive Director Katie Yoxall said the eyesore had plagued the area for at least 17 years. Yoxall said her organization doesn't really have the funds for derelict vessel removal, which can run thousands of dollars, but she was able to use a...

  • Big Changes Coming to SR 60, US 27

    Robert Connors, Associate Editor|Updated Apr 22, 2019

    "The road to progress is always under construction," Lily Tomlin reminded us many years ago, and that is no less true around Lake Wales. Keeping up with the rapid growth of the Lake Wales area will require major changes in how we travel. Several major road construction projects are planned. With them, of course, will come many disruptions. How will they affect you? Let us count the ways. The biggest changes will be along our major highways, US 27 and SR 60. Those projects...

  • Revamped Camp Mack Offers Lots of Fun

    Terri Miller, Staff Writer|Updated Feb 25, 2019

    If you are looking for something fun to do on a Friday or Saturday night in Lake Wales, head out east of town on U.S. Highway 60, take a left on Boy Scout Road then a right on Camp Mack Road. You will drive right to Guy Harvey's Camp Mack's River Resort at 14900 Camp Mack Road, northeast of Lake Wales. The old Liar's Lair bar has been masterfully remodeled into Gator Mack's - a full liquor bar with pool tables, dart boards, and a great jukebox. The smoke-free Gator Mack's...

  • Hundreds of Airboats Take Freedom Ride

    Terri Miller|Updated Feb 25, 2019

    The largest group of airboat enthusiasts in the United States and perhaps the world gathered Saturday, Feb. 16 on Lake Kissimmee east of Lake Wales. Hundreds of airboaters started launching before dawn on that chilly morning, many from Guy Harvey's Outpost Camp Mack River Resort in Lake Wales and all heading to Miles Point on the south side of the lake close to the Kissimmee State Park. At Miles Point, the Kissimmee River Valley Sportsman Association (KRVSA), led by their...