Communication Builds Our Community

Ridge Life


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  • Area Physician Shortage Being Addressed by AdventHealth System

    Special to the News|Updated Jun 21, 2024

    AdventHealth welcomed nearly 50 new resident doctors into its health care system with a White Coat Ceremony Friday, marking the start of their post-graduate training. The new graduates will help alleviate shortage of physicians locally, part of a nationwide problem. AdventHealth operates hospital facilities in Lake Wales, Davenport, Sebring, and Lake Placid, as well as a new Urgent Care facility on Cypress Gardens Boulevard. AdventHealth leaders also honored the first...

  • Lake Wales Heritage Volunteers Planting Again as Drought Ends

    Robert Connnors|Updated Jun 19, 2024

    A team of civic-minded volunteers from Lake Wales Heritage took advantage of the rainier weather this week to work on the organization's ongoing streetscaping project. Monday morning found a team of volunteers planting nine young lemon bottlebrush trees on South 4th Street. The trees were replacements for some lost due to heat stress and drought this spring. "Now that the seasonal monsoon rain season has begun, the time is right," said Heritage volunteer director Preston...

  • Polk's History Shaped by the Compassion of a Former Slave

    Charles Warren|Updated May 31, 2024

    Polk County history is filled with fascinating stories of the people who pioneered the communities we live in today, but few resonate like that of L.B. Brown. Less than two hundred years separate the bustling cities and transportation networks that define Florida from the pristine conditions that existed during the thousands of years when the First Nations people occupied this land. Prior to Emancipation, much of the work of building towns along the Florida frontier was laid...

  • Former Mayor, Community Leader Pat Cain Dead at 76

    News Staff|Updated May 26, 2024

    Life-long resident and supporter of numerous area charitable causes, Dale Patrick Cain of Lake Wales passed away Monday, May 20. Pat, as he was known to his many friends, was a third generation Lake Wales resident who served as a Lake Wales City Commissioner from 1988 until 1992, serving as mayor in 1991-1992. A 1965 graduate of Lake Wales High School, he played both offense and defense on the Highlander football squads in two undefeated seasons in 1963 and 1964, as more...

  • City Staff Win "Telly" Awards for Educational Video Series

    Special to the News|Updated May 22, 2024

    Staff in the City of Lake Wales Communications & Engagement Department and Police Department were awarded four 2024 Telly Awards in four categories for their "Locating a Missing Person – Police K-9 Unit" video – Social Video for People's Telly Award, Public Relations, Health & Safety for Social Video and Education & Training. The video features Sergeant Matthew Rhoden, K-9 Officer Michael Yodonis and K-9 Officer Rhaegar track a missing person from the scent of an article of...

  • Polk Region Population at Higher Risk of Deadly Stroke

    Special to the News|Updated May 21, 2024

    Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, including Florida, with an even higher risk in Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties. Florida Health Department data shows in 2022, Highlands County had an age-adjusted stroke death rate of about 64 per 100,000 people, compared to Florida's overall rate of 47.6. Similarly, Polk County had a stroke death rate of around 54 per 100,000 people, also higher than the state average. Hardee County had the highest age-adjusted...

  • City Video Series Wins "Communicator" Award

    Special to the News|Updated May 10, 2024

    The City of Lake Wales has been awarded a Communicator Award in the category of Campaigns & Series-Public Service & Activism, Distinction 2024. The award was granted for the "Now You Know" video series featuring numerous city employees in speaking roles. The videos were produced in house to share information about city employees, activities, departments, and goals. According to the statement issued by the company, the Communicator Awards "honors work that transcends...

  • AdventHealth Lake Wales Wound Care Center Wins Prestigious Awards

    John Luti Jr., Special to the News|Updated May 6, 2024

    Healogics, the nation's leading provider of advanced wound care services, has recently honored the AdventHealth Lake Wales Wound Care Center with three prestigious awards, including the President's Circle Award, the Center of Distinction Award, and the Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Clinical Excellence Award. These recognitions highlight the center's commitment to exceptional patient satisfaction and the best in clinical outcomes. The Center achieved outstanding clinical outcom...

  • Community Mourns Former Bok Carillonneur William DeTurk

    Cassie Jacoby|Updated May 1, 2024

    Former Bok Tower Gardens carillonneur William N. De Turk Jr. passed away on Thursday, March 14 after a fall at his home in Lake Wales. The 78-year-old worked for the National Historic Landmark for 18 years, including seven years as director of Carillon Services. Only the third carillonneur since the opening dedication in 1929, De Turk succeeded Milford Myhre before resigning on Oct. 31, 2011. Myhre was the Singing Tower's second carillonneur who played the bells for 36 years...

  • Mardi Gras Awards $20,000 to Area Non-Profits

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 28, 2024

    Eleven local non-profit organizations benefitted from grants distributed recently by the Lake Wales Mardi Gras Committee. Several dozen representatives and community members gathered at the Lake Wales Arts Center for the annual check presentation. The Lake Wales Mardi Gras Committee and Lake Wales Mardi Gras President Joshua Curchy presented a total of $20,000 from proceeds raised in the 2024 Mardi Gras event. The Mardi Gras celebration, now planning for its 41st year, draws t...

  • Preparing for Hurricane Season Means Considering Water Utilities, Too

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 28, 2024

    Perhaps Benjamin Franklin said it best: "By failing to prepare, you're preparing to fail." As we approach the beginning of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1 - November 30), the Florida Governmental Utility Authority (FGUA) urges all Floridian's to heed these words of wisdom. May 5 – 11 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week, an opportunity to focus our collective efforts on the potentially lifesaving benefits of planning and preparation. The threat this year is g...

  • "Donate Life Month" Highlighted by Tax Collector Joe Tedder

    Ashleigh Mills, Special to the News|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    Mattie Joyner is one Polk County high school senior with a bright future; she will attend Florida Gulf Coast University to study history next fall to become a college professor one day. The gift of organ donation is invaluable for families like the Joyners. Ultimately, her health and success are thanks to a liver transplant she had as a toddler. The Office of the Joe G. Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County (TCPC), is celebrating stories like Mattie's throughout Donate Life Mo...

  • Jewels Stark joins AdventHealth Lake Wales as Chief Nursing Officer

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    AdventHealth has announced that Jewels (Julie) Stark has accepted the role of Chief Nursing Officer at AdventHealth Lake Wales, effective April 21. She will report directly to Royce Brown, President and CEO of AdventHealth Lake Wales. In this role, Stark will be responsible for all nursing services including quality of patient care, treatment and service delivered, staffing, regulatory readiness and financial sustainability. She will also partner with colleges and...

  • Keep Polk County Beautiful Hosts Annual Volunteer Event, Open to Public

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 17, 2024

    The public is invited to attend a Volunteer Appreciation and Silent Auction Fundraiser for Keep Polk County Beautiful, Inc. and the organization celebrates the past year's environmental and volunteer efforts throughout Polk County. The annual event promises a fun filled night at Leland Young's Barn, a well-known location for private music and celebration events. It will be happening on Saturday, April 20th at 6 p.m. at the Barn, located at 2905 Central Avenue in Alturas....

  • Nominations Open Now for Polk Visionary Leader Award

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 12, 2024

    Polk Vision has announced that nominations are open for the Polk Visionary Leader of the Year Award, a recognition in honor of community members who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in advancing, and inspiring others to advance, the shared Vision of improving the overall Quality of Life in Polk County through innovation and collaboration. The deadline for submitting nominations is April 15, 2024, and may be emailed to [email protected]. The award, which...

  • Learn How to Fight Identity Theft With Tips from the Social Security Administration

    Angela Love|Updated Apr 8, 2024

    Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information to impersonate you or steal from you. These crimes can impact your physical, mental, and emotional health and lead to lost opportunities that are often hard to measure. Learning more about identity theft can help you keep your personal information safe. There are two types of identity theft you should be aware of: • Thieves stealing your data, physically or digitally, without contacting you directly. •...

  • Women Who Made History Recognized by Lake Wales AAUW

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    Women Who Made History on the Ridge was the theme of three awards granted by the Laker Wales chapter of the American Association of University Women this week. Dr. Glenda Morgan and two former mayors of Lake Wales, Linda Kimbrough and Kathy Manry Smith, were honored for their years of contributions to the community at a luncheon at the Good Shepherd Church March 12. Each of the three was introduced by Lake Wales City Clerk Jennifer Nanek, who included personal anecdotes of...

  • Hispanics, African Americans at Higher Risk of Eye Disease

    Special to the News, NAPSI|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    (NAPSI)-If you think you'd know if you were losing vision to an eye disease, you might want to think again. The symptoms of glaucoma can start so slowly that you may not notice them. That's why half the people with glaucoma don't even know they have it. The good news is that regular eye exams and timely treatment can preserve your sight. But, the only way to find out if you have glaucoma is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommen...

  • Social Security Administration Offers Respite From High Overpayment Costs

    Special to the News|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    Accidental overpayments of Social Security benefits sometimes occur due to certain incorrect data entered into computer databases. Although rare, those situations have sometimes been devastating to recipients who found themselves owing hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the Social Security Administration. When a person has been overpaid, the law requires the agency to seek repayment, which can create financial difficulties for beneficiaries. Recognizing the extreme...

  • April Fools' Day: The Roots of our Silliest Holiday

    Stacker, Andrea Vale|Updated Apr 1, 2024

    People have always been stymied about the origins of April Fools' Day, dating all the way back to the late Middle Ages (as far as academics could confidently say). In 1760, the parody periodical Poor Robin's Almanac astutely asked a question on everyone's mind, including the line: "The First of April some do say/ Is set apart for all Fool's Day/ But why the people call it so/ Nor I nor they themselves do know." From its origins—whether in Ancient Rome, medieval England, or Ren...

  • Lake Wales Arts Council Hosts Solivita Artisan Guild Exhibit

    Special to the News|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    An upcoming exhibit at the Lake Wales Arts Center will feature the Solivita Artisan Guild. The Guild includes artisans and artists in the community located within Poinciana in northeast Polk County. Members will share their interests in a wide range of crafts and fine arts. The special exhibit will open March 4 and include works of painting, drawing, jewelry, photography, sculpture and ceramics, tie-dye and batik, quilting and sewing created by members of the organization....

  • This Week in History: Lake Wales Highlander, March 6, 1924

    News Research Staff|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    The Lake Wales Highlander of 100 years ago reveals much about the history of our community. In 1924 a new Ford truck would cost you $490, a considerable sum at the time. 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 Lake Wales Highlander eventually became The...

  • 100 Years Ago: The Lake Wales Highlander Feb. 27, 1924

    News Research Staff|Updated Mar 1, 2024

    In 1924 Lake Wales was in the midst of not only a land boom, but a citrus boom. A calculation by local grower Charles M. Hunt showed nearly 12,000 acres of citrus had been planted within a five-mile radius of Lake Wales. Meanwhile, the various rudimentary marketing agencies were being urged to coordinate in what would eventually lead to the creation of Florida Citrus Mutual and a "box tax" on fruit in Florida to be used in marketing the products....

  • This Week in History: The Highlander, Feb. 20, 1924

    News Research Staff|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    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 Lake Wales Highlander eventually became The Daily Highlander, and under several different names was published six times a...

  • Lake Wales High's Class of '74 Planning Trip Down Memory Lane

    Special to the News|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    High school reunions are still a part of American culture and life experience that can offer a way to reflect on a lifetime of work and achievement. The Lake Wales High School Class of 1974 is going back...back to where it all began. On Friday, March 15, 2024, the class will be taking a trip down memory lane celebrating 50 years. It's not unusual for classes to celebrate 50 years, but this class is somewhat unique. They hold the bragging rights of being the last class to...

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