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(92) stories found containing 'lake kissimmee'


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  • Ollie's Department Store to Open in Lake Wales

    Robert Connors|Updated Jul 3, 2024

    A long-vacant space in the Orange Grove Shopping Center in Lake Wales will soon be home to a large new Ollie's store amid a burst of new residential development in the area. Ollie's is a discount department store with 521 locations, and more opening this month in other states. There are several locations in central Florida, including one adjacent to the Lakeland Square Mall. Other nearby Ollie's locations include Avon Park and Kissimmee. Ollie's stores feature more than 20 sep...

  • 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...

  • Frostproof Native Crosses Lake Okeechobee on Paddleboard

    Special to the News|Updated Jun 17, 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...

  • Dangerous Algae Present on Western Polk Lakes

    Special to the News|Updated May 25, 2024

    The Florida Department of Health in Polk County (DOH-Polk) is cautioning the public of the presence of blue-green algae in several lakes in the Lakeland and Winter Haven area. Although none has been reported in Ridge-area lakes, 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 produce toxin...

  • Crash With Dump Truck Takes Life of Lake Wales Woman

    News Staff Reports|Updated May 22, 2024

    A traffic crash with a loaded dump truck took the life of a local woman Tuesday afternoon in an unincorporated area of Lake Wales. Polk deputies and Polk Fire Rescue responded to the emergency call around 2:30 p.m. from the rural intersection of Canal Road and Lake Mabel Loop Road. They found one person deceased at the scene. Minerva Cruz, 79, of Lake Wales, was the driver of a 2011 Silver Toyota Yaris that apparently entered the path of a 2020 Kenworth dump truck loaded with...

  • Volunteer Lake Alta Park Cleanup Results in Oil Spill

    News Staff Reports|Updated May 4, 2024

    A recent volunteer effort to clean trash, tires and debris from the tiny Lake Alta Park resulted in the recovery of a huge mound of garbage, but the spilling of gallons of used motor oil, apparently by a city crew. Resident Alex Clemons has lived on nearby Wiltshire Avenue his entire life and has conducted cleanups a half-dozen times. "I grew up in that park," Clemons said. "I've seen all kinds of wildlife there. There's a gopher tortoise burrow about a hundred feet away from...

  • City Commission Votes Down Lake Alta High-Density Residential Project

    Robert Connors|Updated Apr 17, 2024

    A proposal that some city commissioners and staff saw as the best opportunity so far to implement the Lake Wales Envisioned plan died Tuesday night on a 3-2 vote. The concept of a 24-unit single-family community on a 1.46 acre parcel generated intense opposition from residents of the neighborhood, located around the 3.566 acre Lake Alta Park. Commissioners received a letter signed by two dozen of them asking that the proposal be denied, and multiple speakers had criticized the...

  • Two More Large Tracts of Land Nominated for Preservation Near Lake Wales

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Apr 8, 2024

    The vision of a "Big Green Network" of environmental lands flanking Lake Wales to the east and west moved a small step closer to reality this week as Polk County's environmental lands program addressed the possibility of acquiring a large tract of land just northeast of the city. The expanse of lands totaling 1,195 acres spanning Masterpiece Road and partially surrounding the former Masterpiece Gardens tourist attraction belong to corporations or individual members of the...

  • More Than 15,660 New Homes Approved By Lake Wales City Commissioners, Expected to Host 42,000 New Residents

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Mar 12, 2024
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    A population boom is expected in Lake Wales in coming months and years as design work or construction is advancing for at least 40 projects within the city limits, in addition to others outside the city. A LakeWalesNews.net calculation shows a total of more than 15,660 new residential units have already met some level of approval by the city commission, with many having already received final plat approval for construction, even as other projects are nearing completion. If the...

  • Lake Alta Proposal Modified by Developer, No Longer Impacts Park

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 17, 2024

    A development proposal adjacent to Lake Alta on the near north side of Lake Wales has been modified by the developer in an apparent attempt to reach a compromise with neighboring residents. Growth Management Division Director Autumn Cochella attended a Community Redevelopment Agency meeting this week to explain to commissioners that developer J. Walter Homes will bring a new proposal back to the city's Planning and Zoning Board at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, calling...

  • City Commission, CRA Considering Sale of City Park For Apartment Complex

    News Staff reports|Updated Feb 15, 2024

    A "pocket park" lying in a quiet neighborhood of single-family homes on the near north side of the city may be converted to a parking lot to serve a new housing complex, Lake Wales News has learned. The Lake Wales City Commission approved a "consent agenda" item on January 16 transferring ownership of the 3.566 acre Lake Alta Park to the Lake Wales Community Redevelopment Agency. The city commission also sits as the CRA board. That body can negotiate property sales directly to...

  • 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...

  • Bill Redmon is Pioneer of the Year

    Anderson Hanna, Lake Wales History Museum|Updated Oct 23, 2023

    Bill Redmon has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2023 Pioneer of the Year for the annual Pioneer Days festival, which will take place at Lake Wailes Park on October 29 and 29. Redmon's extraordinary dedication to his community and his outstanding achievements make him a true pioneer in every sense and led to his selection by the board of the Lake Wales History Museum, sponsors of the long-standing and popular festival. Only 50-year residents of the Lake Wales...

  • Bok North Ag Students Continue "Adventures" in Education

    Seaira Hernandez and Madison ONeal, Bok North Ag Program|Updated Oct 13, 2023

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was written by middle school students at Bok North Academy. Students enrolled in the Bok Academy North agriculture program are excited for the opportunities they are being offered this year. Among those are participation in the Future Farmers of America programs. LakeWalesNews.net plans to publish monthly stories written by students of the program. Instructor Jennifer Williams says she is teaching students that agriculture "is much more than just...

  • Bok North Ag Students Excited for Future of Their Program

    Madison O'Neal and Seaira Hernandez, Bok Academy North FFA|Updated Sep 5, 2023

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Students enrolled in the Bok Academy North agriculture program are excited for the opportunities they are being offered this year. Among those are participation in the Future Farmers of America programs. LakeWalesNews.net plans to publish monthly stories written by students of the program. Instructor Jennifer Williams says she is teaching students that agriculture "is much more than just cattle and oranges." Our members are excited about our new year and so are...

  • 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...

  • Traditional Neighborhood Design to Elevate New Lake Wales Development

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jun 23, 2023

    The first new development to adopt the "Traditional Neighborhood Design" principles adopted by the Lake Wales City Commission has been approved. The concept lies at the heart of the Lake Wales Envisioned plan currently under development by planning consultants. The adopted plan for the 18.66-acre site includes the mixed residential types, rear parking, sidewalks leading to nearby commercial services, a "green street," and other features advocated in the city's adopted set of...

  • 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...

  • ADS to Host Public Meeting Over Pipe Plant Concerns

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Apr 25, 2023

    A public meeting seeking to respond to public concerns over a proposed plastic pipe manufacturing facility will take place on Wednesday, April 26 at the Lake Wales Arts Center. The meeting will be hosted by Advanced Drainage Systems, or ADS, the company seeking to build on a 97-acre site fronting South 11th Street and Hunt Brothers Road. The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm. Some residents have voiced opposition to the "heavy" industrial use of the property, although it has been...

  • Construction Project to Address Dangerous SR 60 Intersection

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Mar 15, 2023

    An effort to reduce or eliminate fatal crashes at a dangerous intersection east of Lake Wales will see the Florida Department of Transportation closing crossing traffic in favor of U-turns. The intersection includes Boy Scout road, which runs north of SR 60 and serves Lake Kissimmee State Park and the Lakes Rosalie and Kissimmee areas. South of SR 60, Walk-in-the-Water Road serves a growing number of residents, as well as serving as a connector to CR 630. Traffic on the two...

  • City Commission Considers Giving Plant Re-Zoning Authority Back to Staff

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Mar 4, 2023

    The Lake Wales City Commission will consider relinquishing authority on major zoning changes to a city planning staff person who will serve as the final decision-maker. That choice may determine who controls decisions related to a proposal for a nearly 100-acre industrial facility on the city's south side. The issue is particularly timely because of the pending rezoning from "light industrial" to "heavy industrial" of the site, which adjoins both Highland Park and Highland Par...

  • Construction Keeping Area Roads Closed

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 22, 2023

    Four separate construction projects are causing lengthy detours for area drivers, according to Bill Skelton, Project Management Liaison for Polk County. Travel delays, some lengthy, can be expected while traffic is detoured to bypass these closures. The newest announced closure is along Lake Wales-Alturas Road North, just west Crews Road, in rural, unincorporated Lake Wales. That road is closing at the railroad crossing on Thursday, February 23 for two to five days to allow...

  • Polk Seeks Volunteers to Direct Lake Access

    Mianne Nelson, Polk BoCC Information Director|Updated Dec 27, 2022

    Polk County commissioners are looking for volunteers who would like to serve on the county's Lake Access Advisory Committee. The Lake Access Advisory Committee studies how to increase public access to Polk County's lakes and reports findings and recommendations back to the County Commission. The Lake Access Advisory Committee includes 10 members appointed by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. Each Commissioner appoints two members to the Committee, with staggered...

  • Undefeated Lake Wales Highlanders Eye District Title

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Oct 21, 2022

    After tearing through a schedule that was expected to present challenges, the Lake wales Highlanders take on their district foes, the Liberty High School Chargers, tonight in Kissimmee. At 0-7 on the season the Osceola County team is not expected to present a a serious obstacle. Now ranked in the top slot among in 3-S District 8 teams, and 5th statewide in the re-shuffled state classification system, the Highlanders have been led through their remarkable season by senior...

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