The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced recently the arrest of a Lakeland High School teacher and coach for possessing child pornography. 46-year-old Shawn Fitzgerald was charged with 408 counts of possessing child pornography. Fitzgerald was also a Youth Director at First United Methodist Church in Bartow. The investigation began afterContinue Reading

Lakeland Hospitality Group, McKibbon Hospitality, and local officials gathered for the grand opening of Lakeland’s newest and cleanest hotel, SpringHill Suites Lakeland. Located next door to the RP Funding Center, the hotel suites are within walking distance to not only the convention center, but to many local eateries, shops, andContinue Reading

Four of the biggest names in sports are hitting the greens in Florida this weekend in support of COVID-19 charities, and LEGOLAND® Florida Resort wanted a sneak peek at what’s happening on the links. To commemorate this mega matchup of Tiger Woods with Peyton Manning and Phil Mickelson with Tom Brady, MasterContinue Reading

Lakeland police report two brothers have been arrested after a man died from an apparent gunshot wound. Roberto Rodriguez, 31, and his younger brother, Reynaldo Rodriguez, 30, were arrested on Sunday in connection to the Friday evening murder near the 400 block of Cornelia Avenue. Officials explained that the pairContinue Reading

Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) report the investigation of a murder that appears to have started over an ongoing dispute regarding an alleged theft of a horse. 24-year-old Henry Fernandez-Soto of Lakeland was shot Wednesday evening, January 8, 2020, at 1735 Oakland Road East in Lakeland.  The PCSO Emergency CommunicationsContinue Reading

Detectives from the Lakeland Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit have made an arrest in a 38-year-old cold case involving the murder of Linda Patterson Slaten. Joseph Clinton Mills, age 58, was recently arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail, charged with First Degree Murder, Sexual Battery, and Burglary withContinue Reading

Polk County Sheriff’s Office is reporting the arrest of 36-year-old Mary Whitehead and her husband, 41-year-old Antonio Whitehead of Lakeland for drug possession. On Friday, December 13, 2019, undercover narcotics detectives served a search warrant at 1133 North Swindell Avenue in response to tips received about possible drug activity at the home. DuringContinue Reading

Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Vice Unit conducted a special investigation known as “Operation Santa’s Naughty List” over six days where undercover detectives identified and helped victims of human trafficking who might be forced into prostitution.  Assisting PCSO in the operation which began on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, were officers fromContinue Reading

This week, Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control responded Towering Pines Drive in Lakeland, in reference to a fight between a dog and a raccoon.  The owner of the dachshund separated the two animals and confined the raccoon until Animal Control responded and took it into custody. The raccoon wasContinue Reading

Publix’s sales for the three months ended Sept. 28, 2019 were $9.3 billion, a 6.3% increase from $8.8 billion in 2018. Comparable store sales for the three months ended Sept. 28, 2019 increased 4.3%. The company estimates sales for the three months ended Sept. 28, 2019 increased 0.9% due toContinue Reading

Today, the Foundation for Florida’s Future released the 2019 Florida Education Report Card, which grades legislators on their efforts to improve student outcomes and access to a quality education in the Sunshine State. Two Lakeland lawmakers earned a spot on the report card’s Honor Roll, which recognizes the legislative champions whoContinue Reading

The latest breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s disease research will be the primary topic discussed at “Discoveries,” a free and educational program to be hosted by the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association on Tuesday, June 11 in Lakeland. Featuring presentations regarding “Healthy Living for Your Body and Brain” andContinue Reading