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

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

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