A Haines City man was arrested on Tuesday over online threats online linked to Washington D.C. and President Trump declaring martial law. Identified as Shannon Badgett, the man was charged with communicating a written threat to conduct a mass shooting or act of terrorism. Badgett, 53, made the threats onContinue Reading

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday the arrests of two suspects wanted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for desecrating graves and stealing human remains in Mount Dora, after a positive DNA hit from evidence left behind during the crimes positively identified the first suspect, 43-year-old Brian Montalvo Tolentino,Continue Reading

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) announced the arrest of 37-year-old Thomas Lee Simmons of Winter Haven for Armed Sexual Battery (FL), Armed Robbery (FL), Grand Theft (F3), Dealing in Stolen Property (F2), False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer (M1). The victim called 911 from the Stay Plus Inn inContinue Reading

On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, Traffic Homicide detectives arrested 31-year-old Justin Mathis of Highland City for DUI Manslaughter (F2) and DUI with Property Damage (M1). Mathis was the at-fault driver of a two-vehicle crash that occurred on November 20, 2020, which killed his passengers, 34-year-old Christopher Lofton and 38-year-old David Weldon,Continue Reading

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of  48-year-old Daniel Darren Sweeney, a registered sex offender, on the charge of video voyeurism. Following a tip, detectives searched Sweeney’s electronic devices and located pornographic (nude) videos of a child to whom he had access. The victim had no knowledge of theContinue Reading

An assistant principal at Pasco High School in Dade City was arrested this week in Polk County on multiple drug possession charges and Driving under the Influence (DUI). According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 49-year-old Ralph Stewart from Plant City was determined to be impaired and arrested at a crashContinue Reading

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

Polk County Sheriff’s Fraud detectives arrested 32-year-old Amanda Brown of Frostproof and charged her with five counts criminal use of personal ID (F2), one count grand theft (F3), one count misrepresentation of proceeds (F3), one count fraud (F3), for fraudulently misrepresenting three homicide victims’ families and collecting over $11,000 from GoFundMe onContinue Reading

In a follow-up on the triple murder in Frostproof, Florida, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) announced the arrest of three suspects–26-year-old Tony “TJ” Wiggins and his girlfriend, 27-year-old Mary Whittemore; Tony’s brother, 21-year-old William “Robert” Wiggins. According to the PCSO, during a search of the crime scene, detectives found aContinue Reading

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said today they are seeking the public’s help in a triple homicide in Frostproof, Florida. There are three adult male victims who were fishing on Lake Streety last night (Friday, July 17, 2020) prior to being murdered. Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) have identified theContinue 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

A Polk County middle school teacher,  Leslie Bushart, was arrested Thursday for having sexual relations with a juvenile, after the boy’s parents notified the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on June 16. Bushart, 49, confessed to another person at a graduation party on June 6 that she performed oral sex onContinue Reading

U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has sentenced Antonie Latimore (36, Winter Haven) to 10 years and 10 months years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine base. Latimore had pleaded guilty on March 6, 2020. According to court documents, the FBI received information that Latimore, spelled in someContinue Reading

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of James “Jamie” Wetherington, 45 and Elizabeth Wetherington, 36, both of Mulberry for stealing from Mulberry Dixie Youth Baseball League. According to officials, during the transition from the former league president (Wetherington) to the current league president, suspicious transactions on the previous MulberryContinue Reading

Polk County schools are planning now for a fall reopening. Over 30,000 parents responded to a Polk County survey to integrate with the district’s task force. “We see a strong sense for students to return to some sense of normalcy,” said Michelle Townley, interim assistant superintendent of curriculum. “This hasContinue Reading

crime scene

A Winter Haven man stabbed his mother at her home Wednesday morning, June 10, 2020, then shot at three Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies, forcing the deputies to return fire. 36-year-old Phillip Dibenedetto died at the scene, and his 62-year-old mother was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center inContinue 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