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(65) stories found containing 'mclaughlin'


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  • Crash With Injury Near McLaughlin School Reminder of Risks Everywhere

    News Staff Reports|Updated May 18, 2024

    Failure to yield the right-of-way resulted in a crash with injuries on 4th Street at the edge of the McLaughlin Middle/High School campus recently. The incident happened at approximately 6 p.m. after the school zone had cleared for the day. The incident happened when a vehicle driven by a woman identified by Lake Wales Police as Laken Taylor Upchurch was driving westbound on Grove Avenue in a 2019 Ford Expedition and "slowed" for a stop sign before entering the path of a 2004...

  • McLaughlin Campus "Forest" Dedicated to Memory of Alex Wheeler

    News Staff Reports|Updated May 10, 2024

    A celebration of life for a beloved community leader was combined with a celebration of new life recently as the staff of McLaughlin Middle/High School joined volunteers from Lake Wales Heritage to mark the dedication of 40 trees planted on the Lake Wales school campus. The trees were a gift from Lake Wales Heritage and its supporters in honor of the late Lee A. (Alex) Wheeler, who served as treasurer for the non-profit organization. Wheeler, who died in 2020, was also a...

  • Junior Achievement Receives Grant to Teach Financial Literacy

    Special to the News|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    McLaughlin Middle/High School in Lake Wales is among the schools that will benefit from an effort by Junior Achievement. The JA of Florida Foundation has received a $70,000 grant from State Farm to support a statewide statewide initiative of learning experiences in eight localities throughout Florida, enabling thousands of young people to participate in JA's nationally recognized financial literacy and career readiness learning experiences. At McLaughlin School the Principles...

  • Heritage Volunteers Landscape McLaughlin Campus in Driving Rain

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jan 3, 2024

    Lake Wales got a good bit greener last Saturday, not only because of welcome rains, but due to the efforts of a team of volunteers from Lake Wales Heritage who braved the damp to landscape the campus of McLaughlin Middle/High School. In a six-hour effort the group planted more than 40 trees on school grounds. "It was a day of bonding for the volunteers, a really rainy day" for the thoroughly saturated group of volunteers, said Heritage Vice President Ron Poller. "It was an...

  • County Approves Huge Development on Hatchineha Road

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 27, 2023

    On a split vote, Polk County Commissioners refused to overturn the narrow approval of a sprawling development on a rural two-lane road in eastern Polk County about ten miles northeast of Lake Wales. The Creek Ranch development required the approval of a binding site plan for the 1,289 acres of rural land to accommodate 1,876 homes plus commercial uses off Hatchineha Road. The site is mostly surrounded by conservation lands and lies north of Lake Pierce and east of Dundee. The...

  • John Spencer Waldrop, 1941-2023

    News Obituary Service|Updated Sep 21, 2023

    John Spencer Waldrop of Lake Wales passed away Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at Forsythe Hospice House in Auburndale. He was born February 5, 1941 in Bonifay to the late Leonard and Pearl Waldrop. He moved to Lake Wales from Gainesville in 1969. John was a science and agriculture teacher for McLaughlin Middle School and Lake Wales Junior High School and was a veteran of the United States Army. John is survived by his wife of 60 years, Barbara Ann Waldrop; daughter, Diane Nave...

  • New Gym Pops Up at McLaughlin School

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 15, 2023

    Like a mushroom after a summer rain, a beautiful new gymnasium has popped up this week on the campus of McLaughlin Middle/High School of Excellence. The building is being constructed using a "tilt-wall" method in which completed solid concrete walls are rapidly erected, rather than a traditional hollow concrete "breeze-block" method, allowing the walls to be erected over a two-day period. Much work remains before the structure will be completed, which is anticipated to happen...

  • Idalia Leaves Heavy Rains, But No Wind Damage

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 30, 2023

    After causing a scare in the east Polk region by approaching Florida from the southwest, Hurricane Idalia behaved much as the computer models had predicted, staying well offshore of Florida's west coast before slamming into the Big Bend Area of the state as a Category Four hurricane. That course left the Lake Wales area and surrounding communities undamaged due to winds. Three times during the overnight hours tornado warnings caused alarms to sound on phones and tablets in...

  • Huge Polk County Development May Impact Lake Wales Area

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 28, 2023

    A huge development proposal in unincorporated Polk County not far from Lake Wales is drawing fervent opposition from neighbors and residents, who are showing up in Bartow to argue their case against the project. The Creek Ranch development requires the approval of a binding site plan for the 1,289 acres of rural land to accommodate 1,876 homes and commercial uses off Hatchineha Road. The site is mostly surrounded by conservation lands and lies north of Lake Pierce and east of...

  • Thousands of Students Return to Classes Tomorrow

    News Staff Reports|Updated Aug 10, 2023

    Thousands of area students will stream back to school tomorrow for an unusual Friday start to the new school year. Seven schools operated by Lake Wales Charter Schools and several other area schools controlled by the Polk School District will draw in more than 5,000 students to face the new academic year with high hopes. Some students in the northwestern portion of the Lake Wales area will be assigned to a new elementary school in southeast Winter Haven, which has changed...

  • Beauty Not Forgotten in McLaughlin Expansion

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 5, 2023

    An aggressive facilities expansion to add a high school to the campus of McLaughlin School of Excellence has been devastating to the landscape at the school, but help is coming from unexpected directions, according to McLaughlin Principal Dr. Debra Wright-Hudson. A local non-profit, private citizens, and the project contractor are seeing to the green side of things by assisting school leaders in providing new gardens around two sides of the school. Wright-Hudson lauded the...

  • Lake Wales Arts Council Staff Honor Volunteers

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 2, 2023

    The critical importance of volunteers who help to keep the Lake Wales Arts Council and its many programs running was emphasized by director Tommy Frank at a special reception organized to thank those who step up to support the efforts of the Council. Each volunteer present was awarded a certificate and a custom, artistically hand-crafted ceramic mug. The Monday evening reception at the Arts Center drew a small crowd how shared refreshments and conversation before Fran...

  • McLaughlin Receives Dyer Difference Grant Award

    Special to the News, Ilena Luts|Updated Jul 24, 2023

    As McLaughlin Academy of Excellence completes its transformation from a middle school to a middle-high school, community organizations are stepping up to support the effort. Students at McLaughlin are as at home in Fine Arts Classes as they are in Electrical Technician training. The well-rounded nature of education at McLaughlin Academy of Excellence caught the attention of the Dyer Difference Award Committee, which celebrates the school and its dedication to producing...

  • Ken Suarez Comes to Lake Wales

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jul 14, 2023

    A face and voice familiar to most Polk County residents will soon be sharing lots of information about Lake Wales as Ken Suarez begins his duties. No stranger to the camera, the long-time Tampa Bay-area broadcaster recently left his full-time job as a television journalist to begin serving the City of Lake Wales as part-time host of a video series about events in the area. Suarez worked for years at WINK TV in Fort Myers before moving into the Tampa market almost 35 years...

  • Construction of New $15 Million Gymnasium Underway at McLaughlin

    Robert Connors|Updated Jun 23, 2023

    The conversion of the former McLaughlin Academy of Excellence, a middle school, into McLaughlin Middle/High School is moving ahead with the construction of a new gymnasium, the first of several new facilities that will be added to the school's 38-acre campus in coming months and years. The new gymnasium will serve the full line-up of athletics anticipated for the McLaughlin Phoenix teams. The 28,300 square-foot gymnasium will host a variety of athletic programs, including...

  • Vaughn Cofer, 1928-2023

    News Obituary Service|Updated Jun 21, 2023

    Vaughn Cofer of Babson Park passed away Saturday, June 17, 2023 at George G. Forsythe Hospice House in Auburndale. She was born October 14, 1928 in Glade Hill, Virginia to the late Ulis and Nannie Powell; she moved to Babson Park from Frostproof in 1958. Vaughn worked as secretary, environmental teacher, and substitute teacher for the Polk County School System for 10 years. She then worked for 10 years as a staff writer and family news writer for the Daily Highlander where...

  • Arthur R. Falconer, 1943-2023

    News Obituary Service|Updated May 24, 2023

    Arthur R. Falconer, 79, died peacefully at his home in Lake Wales, Florida on May 8, 2023. He was born on October 5, 1943 in East Orange, New Jersey. Art was a teacher at McLaughlin Middle School for 32 years, from 1973 until 2003, before retired. After retired from the Polk County School Board, he taught Geography at Polk State College and Warner Southern University. Art was passionate about sharing his love of geography and the natural world and helping students find their...

  • Medium Density Residential Approved for First Street Property

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 18, 2023

    Several innovative designs presented for possible development of a site south of Southgate Shopping Center led the Lake Wales City Commission to approve the rezoning of a 6.5 acre parcel to allow higher density development. The change from LDR, or low density to MDR, or medium density, will allow up to 42 residential units in a variety of housing types in the various scenarios. The change would allow up to 12 units p[er acre rather than the five units common in subdivisions....

  • Student Killed by Truck at School Bus Stop

    News Staff Reports|Updated Feb 3, 2023

    Tragedy struck Friday morning as a McLaughlin Middle School student was killed after being struck by a truck while waiting near a school bus stop in the fog. Lake Wales Police Department reports indicate that Jadin Galindo, 13, was waiting for his school bus in the dark at about 6:15 am when he was struck by a 2013 GMC Sierra truck. According to police reports the alleyway where he was sitting, near the intersection of Miami Street and Dr. JA Wiltshire Avenue, near Florida's N...

  • Rear-end Crash Destroys Vehicles, Street Lights on Scenic Highway

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jan 27, 2023

    Lake Wales Police are working a traffic investigation as a result of a crash on Scenic Highway. The location of the incident is within a school zone for McLaughlin Middle-Senior High, but the zone was not believed to have been active at the time. A driver attempting to make a left turn from north-bound Scenic Highway to Winston Avenue early Wednesday afternoon was struck from behind by a Honda SUV and pushed more than 200 feet into a streetlight. The streetlight support pole...

  • NBA Great Amar'e Stoudemire Guest at McLaughlin Gym Groundbreaking

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 21, 2022

    Thursday was an exciting day for both students and administrators of Lake Wales' McLaughlin Middle/High School as they broke ground for a new $15 million gymnasium, and welcomed back former student Amar'e Stoudemire to give a keynote address. Stoudemire brought a message of encouragement to students hoping to follow his success as a "student athlete. "Hard work" was the repeated theme he share. Highlighting the need for education as well as athletics, he proudly announced his...

  • Amar'e Stoudemire Arrested in Miami Only Two Days After Lake Wales Visit

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 18, 2022

    Former Lake Wales resident and NBA great Amar'e Stoudemire was arrested in Miami Saturday, only two days after speaking to students and faculty at McLaughlin Middle/High school in Lake Wales. Stoudemire is alleged to have entered the room of his teenage daughter and punched her after believing that she had been disrespectful to her grandmother. His unidentified daughter was reportedly left with a bloody nose. According to a police report, one of the responding officers "observ...

  • A Tip to Police May Have Averted Tragedy

    Special to the News|Updated Dec 12, 2022

    A concerned student, a responsive parent, and quick action by Lake Wales Police may have averted a tragic ending after a student's "toy" gun was revealed to be a very dangerous, loaded pistol. Lake Wales Police Officers responded to the entrance of Dinner Lake, a subdivision on Chalet Suzanne Road, after receiving a report that a “toy gun” might be hidden in bushes near a school bus stop there. Police located a purple drawstring backpack behind one of the bushes near the ent...

  • Middle and High School Students Offered Free Extra-Credit Educational Program

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Nov 6, 2022
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    A special free learning opportunity is being offered to area Middle and High School students, who will learn and earn a special completion certificate as "Student Naturalists."The program is being offered in special Saturday events at Lake Wales Public Library, and will be led by certified Florida educators. The three-hour educational program, described as "a fun experience," is being hosted by Lake Wales Heritage, a local non-profit endeavoring to recreate the "garden city"...

  • Students Can Earn Special Certificate on Lake Wales Patrimony

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Nov 6, 2022

    A special free learning opportunity is being offered to area Middle and High School students, who will learn and earn a special completion certificate as "Student Naturalists."The program is being offered in special Saturday events at Lake Wales Public Library, and will be led by certified Florida educators. The three-hour educational program is being hosted by Lake Wales Heritage, a local non-profit endeavoring to recreate the "garden city" envisioned by city founders. While...

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