- Hometown stories that count from people who care


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3 Generations Serve Community through Rotary on the Ridge

Nature or nurture? It's probably both when you look at three generations of women sharing a heart for serving the community. When she turned 18 in July, Jillian Gillis became... — Updated 9/9/2021 Full story


Hometown Hero and Former Police Chief Helm Remembered

Retired Lake Wales Police Chief Gary Helm died July 29 after a lengthy illness and hospitalization. He was 74. Many people in Lake Wales remember him as a community hero, who as a... — Updated 7/31/2021


Andrew Allen Leaving Lake Wales Arts Council

Andrew Allen has resigned as executive director of the Lake Wales Arts Council. His last day is Aug. 5. Board Chair Rusty Ingley announced Allen's planned departure with "both... — Updated 7/30/2021


First United Methodist Celebrates Organist of 50 years, Caroline Reddick

The congregation of First United Methodist Church will celebrate Caroline Reddick of Lake Wales for 50 years of faithful service to the church and to God as Church Organist with... — Updated 7/29/2021


Library Displays Artistic Book-Related Banners

The Lake Wales Public Library is home to a unique new exhibit of public art. In partnership with the Lake Wales Arts Council and the Lake Wales Library Association the Book Bounce... — Updated 7/29/2021


Polk Commissioners Choose Randy Mink as Next County Attorney

The Polk County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the selection of Randy Mink as the next County Attorney. Mink will succeed current County Attorney Michael Craig... — Updated 7/29/2021

 By Grady Judd    People

Sheriff Grady Judd on Police Reform

Does Congress really want professional police reform? Police professionals support and welcome real police reform. Why is Congress missing a huge opportunity to change and improve... — Updated 7/15/2021


Polk State President Falconetti to Chair Florida College System Council of Presidents

Polk State College President Angela Garcia Falconetti was inducted in June as Chair of the Florida College System Council of Presidents for 2021-2022. The Council of Presidents... — Updated 7/15/2021


Nominating Committee Seeking Applicants for County Judge Vacancy

Qualified attorneys who would like to be considered for a county judge opening have until 5 p.m. Friday, July 23 to apply. The Tenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission has been... — Updated 7/15/2021


Northwest Neighborhood Association Names First President

Michelle Threatt has been named first president of the newly created Northwest Neighborhood Association, Michelle Threatt. She has lived in the Northwest Neighborhood since 2004,... — Updated 6/14/2021


McLaughlin Students Help Rotary Spread Water Safety Message

Drama students at McLaughlin Middle School & Fine Arts Academy presented a special Josh the Baby Otter water safety program to Head Start pre-kindergarten students June 1.... — Updated 6/9/2021


Polk Avenue Celebrates Principal's Retirement, Legacy of Leadership

A courtyard packed full of well-wishers gathered May 27 to celebrate the life and leadership legacy of Polk Avenue Elementary Principal Gail Quam, who is retiring after 36 years at... — Updated 6/4/2021


Leadership Polk Holds Two-Class Graduation

Polk Vision welcomed 45 program members to accomplished ranks of Leadership Polk Alumni on Friday, May 21, 2021 at the Balmoral Estates. Those with close ties to Lake Wales... — Updated 5/29/2021


Family Creates Florida Poly Scholarship to Honor Legacy of John Alexander

A scholarship program supporting talented students in achieving their technology-fueled goals at Florida Polytechnic University, received a significant boost from the family of one... — Updated 5/29/2021


Polk Fire Promotes Two to Deputy Chief Including First Woman

The promotion of two long-time Polk County Fire Rescue veterans to deputy chief also brings a first for the division – it's first woman to hold the rank of deputy chief. Jennifer... — Updated 5/21/2021


Passion for Math is a 'Plus' for Lander Soccer Player Macy Sinner

If Macy Sinner's life could be a mathematics equation, it might look something like this: Academic Achiever + Soccer Star = Outstanding! At Lander University, the graduating senior... — Updated 5/6/2021


Early Learning Coalition Offers Child Care Assistance

Florida child care now can be more expensive than in-state college tuition, so the Early Learning Coalition of Polk County wants to help. The Coalition says many parents are... — Updated 4/29/2021


Commissioner Gibson Announces Plans to Run for Mayor in 2022

At the end of his last official meeting April 20, City Commissioner Curtis Gibson announced plans to run for Lake Wales mayor in 2022, saying he is "excited for new adventures."... — Updated 4/29/2021


Missing Chihuahua Valdez Returns Home After 9 Months

Sandy Dent never gave up hope, and after more than nine months her missing chihuahua, Valdez, is finally home. Dent regularly checked lost pet sites and posted photos on social... — Updated 4/22/2021


Smithsonian Exhibit in Polk Celebrates Accomplishments of Women

A Smithsonian poster exhibit that celebrates the invention accomplishments of both locally and nationally known women is on display through March 31 in lobby of the Polk County... — Updated 4/1/2021


Kris Fitzgerald, Lake Wales City Commission Seat 4 Candidate

Editor's Note: Candidates for City Commission were asked to complete a questionnaire. Their responses are being printed as submitted. Kris T.Y. Fitzgerald Lake Wales City... — Updated 4/1/2021 Full story


Daniel Williams, Lake Wales City Commission Seat 2 Candidate

Editor's Note: Candidates for City Commission were asked to complete a questionnaire. Their responses are being printed as submitted. Daniel Williams Lake Wales City Commission... — Updated 4/1/2021 Full story


Dr. Ricardo Navarro, Lake Wales City Commission Seat 2 Candidate

Editor's Note: Candidates for City Commission were asked to complete a questionnaire. Their responses are being printed as submitted. Dr. Ricardo Navarro Lake Wales City Commission... — Updated 4/1/2021 Full story


Al Goldstein, Lake Wales City Commission Seat 4 Incumbent

Editor's Note: Candidates for City Commission were asked to complete a questionnaire. Their responses are being printed as submitted. Al Goldstein Lake Wales City Commission Seat 4... — Updated 4/1/2021 Full story


Woman's Club Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser March 25

The Woman's Club of Lake Wales is hosting its 33rd Annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser on Thursday, March 25. The meals are $10 each and include salad, pasta, garlic bread and... — Updated 3/24/2021


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