LISTEN LIVE

lakeland

Computer Keyboard
Wikimedia Commons

By Adam Bakst

With recent cyber attacks on Riviera Beach and Lake City, security of computer systems and information seems to be a growing concern even for the smallest of cities.

This is leading local information technology departments throughout the state to try and control this problem before they fall victim to hackers.

Map showing proposed layout of new Amazon cargo operation at Lakeland Linder International Airport.
Lakeland City Commission

Amazon is planning to bring one of its biggest U.S. facilities in the Southeast to the Tampa Bay area.

The online retail giant plans to build a $17 million center on the northwest side of Lakeland Linder International Airport.

Florida Public Archaeology Network

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit aimed at blocking Lakeland from moving a statute honoring Confederate soldiers.

District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington dismissed the lawsuit this week filed by Confederate rights groups against Lakeland. The city plans to move a statue of a Confederate soldier from a park where it was erected in 1910 to a veterans cemetery where it will be placed among statues honoring the dead from other wars.

Newly elected U.S. Representative Ross Spano has admitted to receiving more than $175,000 in personal loans from friends and funneling the loans into his political campaign, a possible violation of federal regulations.

With John Deere tractors and country music greeting supporters, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis made a last-minute appeal to the rural and suburban voters of Polk County on Saturday.

Lakeland City Commission

Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn has resigned less than four days after a grand jury indicted him on charges of second-degree murder.

Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn on Friday was indicted on charges of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Christobal Lopez on Oct. 3.

Lakeland Police Department

Prosecutors are trying to determine whether a Florida city commissioner should be charged in the fatal shooting of a man he accused of shoplifting a hatchet from an Army-Navy surplus store.

Vet's Army Navy Surplus / Facebook

Police in Lakeland are investigating after City Commissioner Michael Dunn shot and killed a man in the military surplus store Dunn owns.

Wikimedia Commons

Distracted and speeding drivers seem to be problems in any neighborhood, but in one Lakeland community, it’s threatening local wildlife. In just three weeks, five of Lake Morton’s swans have been killed by vehicles, and residents are searching for an answer.

City of Lakeland/Facebook

Lakeland’s historic district, peppered with low-to-the-ground bungalow-style homes covered by a thick canopy of trees, could start to feel the effects of the city’s growing urban presence.

jared422_80/Flickr

With new bars and restaraunts going up in Downtown Lakeland, one city commissioner thinks allowing people to walk the downtown streets with alcoholic beverages could be a boon for businesses.

Josh Hallett/Flickr

More than a month after the Lakeland City Commission voted to move the Confederate memorial from the center of downtown, fundraising has slowed and tensions continue.

Roberto Roldan

When Lakeland resident Judy Smith walks by Munn Park she isn't bothered by the 26-foot tall Confederate Monument.

She's heard other people say it is racist or that it symbolizes slavery. But when Smith looks at the Confederate soldier on top of the marble memorial, that's not what she sees.

Polk County Fire Rescue

Officials say a faulty bearing caused the derailment of a train hauling molten sulfur in Florida.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Lakeland voters rejected a change to a strong mayor form of government.

Nearly 69 percent of voters said no to the amendment to the city charter, which means that the city will continue to be governed by an elected city council and an appointed city manager.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Lakeland voters will soon decide  on whether to change their form of government, and the heated campaign has pitted the grandson of Publix founder George Jenkins against  city leaders and establishment.

Florida Hospital has purchased about 100 acres along Interstate 4 in Lakeland where it plans to build a freestanding emergency room and eventually a 200-bed hospital.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Hurricane Irma left the congregation of an area synagogue homeless just as the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah begins Wednesday evening. But a local church has stepped forward with help.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Polk County took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, with the storm hitting Lakeland just after midnight Sunday night.

The winds caused widespread damage -- but no reported injuries -- throughout the county, toppling massive trees onto houses and power lines.

About 80 percent of Polk is without power, and towering piles of debris line the roads.

Photo Courtesy The Ledger

One of the longest-serving mayors in Lakeland's history has died. Mayor Ralph "Buddy" Fletcher passed away Tuesday at the age of 84.

Cathy Carter/WUSF News

For baseball fans, spring training means winter is almost over and pennant dreams can be renewed.  But in Florida, baseball’s six week warm-up means big business.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of several thousand at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport on Wednesday, but made no mention of the controversy that has plagued his campaign since Friday.

Meet the Non-Voters - in Lakeland

Dec 7, 2015

A reporter from the National Journal takes a journey to Lakeland - considered one of the buckles in the belt of the nation's largest swing state - to find out why some people vote, and others don't. He finds out it boils down to income levels, and a distrust of government.

George Jenkins High School

There's growing concern about the risks of concussions in young athletes. For years, high school coaches have had to take courses on the dangers of head injuries. This year, for the first time, all high school athletes in Florida are required to educate themselves about concussions before they can compete.

Reececliff Family Diner in Lakeland has been turning out its award winning pies since the 1930s, and lots of families rely on them every year for their Thanksgiving dessert. The restaurant has been operating in the Dixieland neighborhood since 1934.

Residents in Sebring and Lakeland are less likely to own a computer or have high-speed Internet compared to other parts of Florida.

A report released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week shows that those interior parts of the state lag behind coastal parts of the state when it comes to computer ownership and fast Internet service.

Only about three-quarters of Sebring households have a computer, and only about two-thirds of Lakeland households have high-speed Internet.

Open House Seat Creates Polk County Battle

Aug 13, 2014

With powerful House budget chief Seth McKeel leaving office this fall because of term limits, the vacancy has created a hotly contested Republican primary in a GOP-leaning Polk County district.

Former non-profit executive Colleen Burton and attorney John Hugh Shannon are battling for the nomination in a race that has included attacks accusing Burton of being "just too liberal" and reports about Shannon having longstanding tax problems.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE at 8:30 p.m. May 27: Law enforcement officials now say David Eugene Smith, a suspect in a triple murder in Lakeland, has died at a Tennessee hospital from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

UPDATE at 2:55 p.m. May 27: Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says police in Knoxville, Tennessee, have taken David Eugene Smith, a suspect in a triple murder in Lakeland, into custody.

The Lakelander

You often hear that print media is out -- or going digital.  So when an upmarket, city magazine  with big  production values suddenly appears in a mid-sized town like Lakeland, can it succeed? Publishers of the new magazine, The Lakelander, are banking on it.

Pages