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(179) stories found containing 'Scenic Highway'


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  • Babson Park Marks 100th Anniversary of Woman's Club

    Saundra Roach and Lisa Hernandez|Updated Nov 11, 2023

    An anniversary worth noting is happening this month, as a local institution marks its 100th birthday. The Babson Park Woman's Club (BPWC) is a designated national historic landmark standing just across the street from Webber University. Established in the fall of 1923, the Babson Park Woman's Club turns 100-years old on November 16, 2023, marking a full century of significant contributions to the community and nation, ranging from local social activities to WWII bandage...

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

    Casey Gist, News Correspondent|Updated Nov 3, 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...

  • Free Downtown Concert Series Starts Friday, November 10

    Special to the News|Updated Nov 1, 2023

    A series of free downtown street concerts will enliven evenings downtown over the coming months, thanks to an alliance between the Lake Wales main Street, Lake Wales Arts Council, and the City of Lake Wales. The shows kick-off with the Outta Hand Band on Friday, November 10. "Lake Wales Live" will offer residents good reason to visit the downtown area, and perhaps get a sneak peek at the ongoing transformation of the area as the Lake Wales Connected plan proceeds, according to...

  • 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 Hatchineha Road to be Closed Starting Tuesday

    News Staff Reports|Updated Oct 7, 2023

    A weeklong sewer extension project in Lake Hamilton will require the closure of a stretch of Lake Hatchineha Road for several days. According to Bill Skelton of the Polk County Roads & Drainage Division, the closure will affect a portion of the road just east of Scenic Highway. The project was previously scheduled to begin on September 26, but has now been rescheduled to start Tuesday morning, October 10, with an expedited reopening no later than Friday afternoon October 13....

  • New Brick Street Will Dress Up Park Avenue

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Oct 7, 2023
    2

    The multi-million-dollar reconstruction of Park Avenue is proceeding close to schedule, as evidenced by the hard-working crews who have been seen laying the thousands of bricks that will eventually form the surface of the new street and parking spaces. The new high-quality clay-brick pavers were selected as the most durable and traditional surface for the project after a study by engineers and architects involved in the design of the project, an early phase of the multi-phase...

  • City Commission Rejects Development on 2-2 Vote

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 20, 2023

    A proposal to construct 64 single-family homes on 19.1 acres of land on the north side of Lake Wales was denied in a 2-2 vote in the Lake Wales City Commission. The development proposal for the tract fronting North Scenic Highway had been recommended for denial by the city's Planning and Zoning board, as well as by planning staff at the newly-renamed Growth Management Division. The site lies just south of the vast Tampa Electric solar energy project. The plan for the...

  • Driver Escapes Injury in Dramatic Canopy Collapse

    News Staff Reports|Updated Sep 13, 2023

    The dramatic, and very loud, collapse of a large gas station canopy at Scenic Highway and Polk Avenue Tuesday afternoon brought a quick response from emergency services, but happily no one required medical attention. The 3:00 pm collapse was heard by area residents, who said it made a "very loud boom" that brought them out to see what had happened. It was apparent, they said, that a tractor trailer that was driving past the structure had clipped it and destabilized it. The...

  • Temporary Traffic Pattern Change Coming to Downtown Lake Wales Starting Monday

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 6, 2023

    The changing face of downtown Lake Wales is moving forward as contractors begin the second phase of a multi-part project to reconstruct Park Avenue between Wetmore Street and Scenic Highway. A closure of a block of First Street will begin Monday morning, August 28, and is expected to last until November. At that time the street will reopen along with the completed western block of Park Avenue between First and Wetmore, which will then be open to two-way traffic for the first...

  • August 29, 1923 Highlander

    News Research Staff|Updated Sep 5, 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...

  • 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...

  • Orange and Crystal Avenues to Receive Major Streetscape Facelifts

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 28, 2023

    A million-dollar reconstruction of block-long stretches of Orange and Crystal Avenues is anticipated thanks to a federal grant and an intergovernmental agreement. The dramatic change will see new streetlights, street furniture, curbing, and the installation of numerous trees and other plants installed in rain gardens that will help absorb stormwater, . The work will include the resurfacing of the two streets east of First Street through and including their intersections with...

  • Coleden Snowden Charged After Fatal High-Speed Crash

    News Staff Reports|Updated Aug 23, 2023

    A Babson Park man has been arrested and charged after a crash that took the life of a local woman. Coleden Snowden was arrested by Polk County Sheriff's deputies after an extensive investigation indicated that he was driving as fast as 112 miles per hour just prior to causing a crash that resulted in the death of a Frostproof woman in March. Snowden, 20, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, a second degree felony. According to investigators, a reconstruction of the...

  • Nominations Sought for Pioneer of the Year

    Special to the News|Updated Aug 22, 2023

    Who will be the next "Pioneer of the Year?" That's a honor you may have a hand in deciding. The annual honor of Pioneer of the Year has been a highlight of the two-day Pioneer Days festival in Lake Wales since Morris Jones won the honor in 1978. Now it's time for the community to step forward to nominate another honoree. The award is bestowed by the Lake Wales History Museum, which has announced the commencement of nominations for the 2023 award. This accolade celebrates...

  • August 8, 1923 Highlander

    News Research staff|Updated Aug 17, 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...

  • Annual 39 Mile Yard Sale Happens November 4

    Special to the News|Updated Aug 4, 2023

    You can expect to meet crowds of bargain-hunters on one area roadway as the 16th annual Ridge Scenic Highway "39 Mile Yard Sale" takes place on on Saturday, November 4th. The event typically draws thousands of visitors from across central Florida and beyond, coming to seek unusual finds and great bargains brought forth from barns, garages, attics, and other treasure storerooms. The sale runs from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm along the entire length of the Ridge Scenic Highway,...

  • City Expands Utility System to Address Growth, Improve Service

    Eric Marshall|Updated Jul 30, 2023

    City staff in the Lake Wales Public Works department are working on three projects that include replacing antiquated water lines, increasing water flow, and adding select neighborhoods to the city’s central sewer system, eliminating septic systems in those areas. The enhancements are part of the Public Works Department’s master plans for water, stormwater and wastewater. The multi-year plans are designed to target expansion, stormwater quality and increase water reusability. ...

  • Park Avenue Will Remain "Open For Business" During Transformation

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jul 11, 2023

    Continuous access to downtown businesses will be maintained during construction of the transformative Lake Wales Connected designs, representatives of Gomez Construction assured gathered merchants at a Tuesday morning meeting. Project manager Mahmoud Heda said that, despite unavoidable traffic detours, "sidewalks will never be shut down during business hours." The 8:30 am gathering at The Marketplace Café allowed Heda and Main Street Manager Ronni Wood to explain the complex...

  • Huge Lake Wales Solar Farm Advancing Toward Completion

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jul 11, 2023

    A 600-acre solar farm on the north side of Lake Wales containing some 170,000 to 200,000 solar panels has passed the 50% completion mark and is expected to come online before the end of the year. According to a press release issued by Tampa Electric Media Spokesperson Cherie Jacobs at the time of the application, the project will generate 74.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 11,500 homes. Jacobs noted that the project will produce no emissions and generate virt...

  • New Ridge Scenic Highway Trail to Link Existing Trails to Form Network

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jul 8, 2023

    A new bicycle and pedestrian trail will continue the expansion of a growing network connecting neighborhoods across Lake Wales following city commission approval of an interlocal agreement with Polk County on Wednesday. Creation of a functional network of trails is a repeated recommendation contained in the Lake Wales Connected plan, cited as a significant contributor to the health and well-being of residents. The Ridge Scenic Highway Trail segment will extend 3,975 feet and...

  • 300 Townhomes Planned for Lake Caroline in Lake Wales

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jul 7, 2023

    A 300-unit "luxury" townhome development may soon provide a different option for home-buyers in Lake Wales. The complex dubbed Ridge Luxury Townhomes will include 55 new buildings to be located off Old Scenic Highway adjacent to the Duke Energy maintenance facility. Lake Caroline, a small lake just south of the nearly 30-acre site, will offer views for some units, and a community center with a proposed water feature will also be constructed. The project is one of several...

  • First Phase Approved for 67-Lot Residential Development

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jul 4, 2023

    An accepted phase one final plat for a new subdivision will allow construction to begin at Harper Estates, a 67-lot development that was approved by the Lake Wales city commission last year. The first phase will consist of 29 lots. Harper Estates will lie adjacent to Orange Lake, a small body of water on the south side of Mountain Lake Road just west of US 27, near Speedway Auto Sales. The site is also adjacent to a tract of the Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge,...

  • Deputy Wounded, Shooter Killed in Frostproof Incident

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jun 30, 2023

    An attempted traffic stop by a Highlands County deputy sheriff near Avon Park Thursday evening ended in a chase to Frostproof, an exchange of gunfire, the wounding of a deputy sheriff, and the death of a shooter. The shooter, identified as Ramon Martinez, 37, had an active felony warrant for his arrest for violation of probation, and a criminal history that included 16 previous felonies and 13 misdemeanors. According to police reports, the deputy attempted to stop a car...

  • Large Lake Wales Development Rejected for Failure to Meet City Aspirations

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jun 29, 2023
    1

    Two large residential developments proposed by the same developer recently met with very different responses from the Lake Wales city commission. After unanimously approving a 930-lot single-family subdivision known as the Grove at Orchard Hills, the commission's 3-2 vote rejected a neighboring 300-unit project brought by the same developer. David Waronker of Celebration has been the developer of record for several large subdivision projects in Lake Wales, including the expans...

  • Steeple Chase Proposal Delayed in Face of Commission Resistance

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated May 25, 2023

    A 300-unit subdivision that would wrap around the northern and eastern sides of Ridge Manor has been delayed after the withdrawal of an application for a permit from the city. The project, dubbed Steeple Chase, would occupy almost 98 acres on three parcels stretching east from Scenic Highway to beyond 9th Street. Developers had requested a Preliminary Subdivision Plat and a Special Exception Use Permit. After their application was subject to a 35-minute discussion at a...

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