The Ledger

Subscribe to The Ledger feed delivers up-to-the-minute news and information on the latest top stories, weather, entertainment, politics and more.
Updated: 50 min 25 sec ago

Fishing results: 9-pounder helps seal the win in Lakeland Lunkers tourney

2 hours 14 min ago
A monster 9.12-pound tournament lunker propelled Brandon Davis and Robert Walls to the win in the Lakeland Lunkers with a 22.13-pound total on Lake Parker on May 18. Kyle Stafford and Spencer Williams had 18.2 pounds for second place. Drew Carter and Coty Hyde were third with 15.8 pounds.• Wayne Yohn and Kenny Vann pulled in 22.66 pounds [...]

Lakeland Manny's Chophouse closes

2 hours 57 min ago
Tuesday's closure caught employees and customers by surprise. The company apologized to its customers on Facebook, giving no indication as to what prompted the sudden closure.

Community open house, work session set in Polk City

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:02pm
POLK CITY — Polk City is hosting a commission workshop to give residents an opportunity to weigh in on concepts for future enhancements such as a community garden.The event at City Hall, 123 Broadway Blvd. SE, begins Tuesday with an informal open house from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by the work session.For more information about the town’s community enhancements, contact Jennifer Codo-Salisbury [...]

TECO customers to get one-time refund

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:01pm
POLK COUNTY — Tampa Electric residential customers will receive a one-time refund in January's bill. The average consumer with a monthly usage of 1,000 kilowatt-hours of power will receive about $8, the utility announced Tuesday. The refund will appear as a line item on the bill.The $11.5 million total refund is the remainder from a 2017 tax reduction after some of the tax benefit was used for hurricane repairs.

Local named 'Notable' Junior Leagues International member

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:00pm
LAKELAND — Sarah Dukes McKay was one of 19 women named a notable member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, the Junior League of Greater Lakeland announced.McKay first became a member of the service organization in 1955 when it was known as the Junior Welfare League. Its main projects at the time were the creation and operation of a "bookmobile" mobile library, providing crutches and braces to children with disabilities [...]

Lakeland-area chamber seeking nominations for women in leadership

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 10:59pm
LAKELAND — The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is preparing to honor women in leadership with the Athena Award, which will be presented in August.The chamber is looking for nominations by June 7 of women who have contributed "significant or measurable achievements that have produced exceptional organizational impact" in their workplaces. The award also considers community service and support for other professional women. [...]

Lakeland CityMaker gives up business to give back

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 6:23pm
LAKELAND — A Lakeland native realized after remodeling homes for more than 20 years that his skills could be put to better use reshaping lives. He shut down a successful business to start up a nonprofit.Charles Mills, the founder and director of operations of Mills Building & Training Association, was named Lakeland's May CityMaker by Mayor Bill Mutz and LoveLakeland organizer Chrissanne Long for quietly teaching foster children the trade skills they need to succeed while [...]

Lakeland charter changes headed to ballot

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 6:19pm
The list was compiled by the City Charter Review Committee in 2016 and 2017, prior to the election of a majority of the current City Commission. The amendments were then shelved for a later election so as not to confuse a strong mayor initiative on the 2017 ballot.

Commission rejects additional bonus payment to city retirees

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 6:09pm
LAKELAND — The city’s retirees will have to hold out a little longer if they hope to receive a bonus.Lakeland commissioners accepted the Pension Board’s suggestion that the city should forego handing out an ad-hoc bonus this year to its retirees Monday, despite the pension fund making a better return on investment than expected. The reports show the fund investments gained 8.1% last fiscal year, above the 7.25% annual expectation.The requests of pensioners [...]

County to receive FEMA funds for generators

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 5:54pm
LAKELAND — When Hurricane Irma tore through the state in 2017, Polk County wasn’t ready to handle long-term power outages to lift stations, which pump wastewater.Utility workers were forced to use portable generators and move them from lift stations throughout the county, said Paul Womble, the county’s emergency management director.As power outages continued, workers were limited in the amount of work they could accomplish, Womble said.On [...]

Lakeland dental pioneer plans farewell

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 5:39pm
Harry Bopp will treat his final batch of children June 11 before retiring after 43 years. He established the first pediatric dental practice in Lakeland in 1976.

1 person airlifted after US 27 crash near Lake Wales

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 5:26pm
LAKE WALES — One person was airlifted with life-threatening head injuries and another was taken to Lake Wales Medical Center after a multi-vehicle crash on US 27 near Waverly Road in Lake Wales on Tuesday.The crash occurred about 11 a.m., when a 2008 white Mercury Sedan driven by Nancy Vanroo, 88, of 56 Lake Daisy Blvd., Winter Haven, lost control and began to rotate clockwise. Her vehicle traveled northeast across the center and right lanes and left the road at the entrance of [...]

Polk Sheriff Grady Judd: 154 arrested in prostitution sting

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 1:34pm
A large-scale prostitution sting by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of 154 people, Sheriff Grady Judd announced at a news conference Tuesday.

This week in golf: PGA heads to Colonial; plus the Senior PGA Championship

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 12:35pm
PGA TOUREvent: Charles Schwab ChallengeSite: Fort Worth, Texas.Course: Colonial CC. Yardage: 7,209. Par: 70.Purse: $7.3 million. Winner's share: $1,314,000.Television: Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).Defending champion: Justin Rose.Last [...]

Local golf league results, holes-in-one and upcoming events

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 12:22pm
Results from golf league play around Polk County through May 20.

Augusta Chairman Fred Ridley, a Polk County native, in Bartow Wednesday

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 12:22pm
Polk county golf fans, we are in for a treat.Few, if any, positions within the game of golf carry more weight than the Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club. The person who holds that post, Fred Ridley, just so happens to be a Polk County native.Ridley, who lives in Tampa, will be speaking at the Bartow Civic Center on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in conjunction with the Bartow Youth Villa, which also kicks off Wednesday. The women’s event begins with a shotgun at 9 a.m. The [...]

Judge denies stand-your-ground defense in Polk murder case

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 9:54am
James “Jimbo” Pennington faces mandatory life imprisonment for the shooting death of Devyn Martin at Indian Lake Estates east of Lake Wales.

Lakeland CRA given 90 days to sell downtown lots

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 8:17pm
LAKELAND — The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency has been given 90 days to strike a deal to sell off surplus city-owned land.Lakeland CRA manager Alis Drumgo was directed Monday by the City Commission to negotiate the sale of two lots at 313 and 321 N. Massachusetts Ave. The goal is to have a sale agreement by Aug. 20.“There is a recommendation from the CRA advisory board to negotiate this within 90 days because they would presumably like to see [...]

Lakeland welcomes Amazon, but it’s not all open arms

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 8:02pm
LAKELAND — City commissioners are excited to sign a deal with Amazon to build a new air cargo facility at Lakeland’s airport. Residents were less enthusiastic.Lakeland officials unanimously approved a 20-year deal with Amazon to lease 47.2 acres at Lakeland Linder International Airport to construct a seven-jet cargo hangar with additional support facilities. It is expected to bring 800 to 1,000 jobs to the area.“This is a home run for us,” said Gene [...]

Lakeland charity could receive $700,000 from state budget

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 7:33pm
LAKELAND — One More Child, a Lakeland-based charity, is poised to receive more than twice as much funding from the Florida Legislature as it did last year.When legislators passed the $91.1 billion budget on May 4, they included four appropriations totaling $700,000 for One More Child. Now the charity's leaders must wait to see whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoes any of the items.DeSantis has until Friday to sign the budget, and the governor has the [...]