LISTEN LIVE

polk county

The Florida state attorney's office says a woman who turned her husband's guns in to authorities will face a misdemeanor trespassing charge, and that she will not be charged with burglary.

Her husband was under arrest for domestic violence charges, accused of ramming her car with his, when the woman brought his guns to police.

Police had originally charged Courtney Irby, 32, with armed burglary and grand theft after she took her husband's guns from his home and gave them to police. She spent six days in jail on the charges.

Leaders from across the Tampa Bay area gathered at the Glazer Family Jewish Community Center in Tampa to announce a new mental health coalition..
Carrie Pinkard / WUSF Public Media

In the Tampa Bay area, one in six people suffers from depression.

One in twelve has a substance abuse disorder.

And there is only one mental health professional for every 700 people in Florida.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Lakeland commissioners will consider in coming weeks whether to close almost half of its voting precincts for the next municipal election.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Despite Democrats' hopes for a 'blue wave,' all U.S. House seats in Tampa Bay remained unchanged Tuesday night with Republicans taking a decisive win in the only hotly contested seat.

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.

The race to replace retiring U.S. Representative Dennis Ross seems to be a dead heat just days before the election.

Regulators Sign Off On TECO Solar Projects

Oct 30, 2018

The Florida Public Service Commission on Monday gave a key approval to a Tampa Electric Co. plan that will add five solar-energy projects in Hillsborough and Polk counties. 

Polk County Sheriff's Office

An Uber driver in Winter Haven claimed self-defense after he fatally shot a man who trailed his car and tried run him off the road, authorities said Wednesday.

Tampa Electric Seeks Approval For Solar Projects

Jul 2, 2018

In a second phase of a plan to increase its use of solar energy, Tampa Electric Co. on Friday asked state regulators for approval to recoup money from customers to pay for five solar projects in Hillsborough and Polk counties. 

Over 4,000 Pasco County voters will be receiving potentially misleading voter registration forms.

It's a warning that comes from the county Supervisor of Elections, Brian Corley.

Ricky Shirah/Facebook; Josie Tomkow/Facebook

Voters in Northeastern Polk County will head to the polls on Tuesday for a special election to replace former state Representative Neil Combee.

Polk County added a new name to their healthcare provider network this week. A new contract with Impower will bring behavioral and mental health services to uninsured residents through a telehealth program.

Polk County Supervisor of Elections

Voters in a number of cities throughout Polk County will go to the polls Tuesday for a variety of municipal elections.

“There are eight city elections including Bartow, Davenport, Eagle Lake, Frostproof, Haines City, Lake Alfred, Mulberry and Polk City. In some of those cities, we have city commission races and in others. we have referendums that the city residents will be voting on.” said Lori Edwards, Supervisor of Elections for Polk County.

Visit Central Florida

While the Florida Grand Prix is taking place in St. Petersburg this weekend, there will also be racing on two wheels elsewhere in the area - and it will happen, rain or shine.

There’s a high chance of storms in Winter Haven this Sunday, but that won’t stop bicyclists from competing in the Chain of Lakes Cycling Classic.

Polk County Sheriff's Office / Facebook

Lakeland attorney John Shannon and his two daughters were among five people killed in the crash of a twin-engine plane at the Bartow Municipal Airport Sunday morning.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

It's been three months since Hurricane Irma hit Florida, and some counties are still cleaning up.

While Pinellas County is getting closer to getting all of the debris out of their area, harder-hit Polk County is setting final collection dates.

Polk County Fire Rescue

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

GOP Candidate Emerges For Combee House Seat In Polk

Nov 8, 2017

Pointing to her family's background in the cattle industry, a Polk City Republican has emerged as a candidate to replace outgoing state Rep. Neil Combee, R-Auburndale.

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.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is deriding the Polk County Sheriff’s decision to check IDs for all evacuees seeking shelter in his county.

Polk County Sheriff's Office

A Polk County veterinarian and her husband have been arrested on felony animal cruelty charges.

Daylina Miller/Wikimedia Commons

Polk County is a place of so many contradictions. It's the home of beautiful lakes, charming downtowns and historic landmarks. But this birthplace of several of Florida's governors, was also named by one recent study as having the country's second largest percentage of people struggling to avoid hunger.


Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Polk County is consistently ranked as having among the highest rates of suburban poverty in the country. And one recent study put it second in the nation for the number of people struggling to avoid hunger. The beautiful lakes and historic downtowns form a stark contrast to the sobering statistics.

Florida Matters recently hosted a town hall discussion on these issues in Lakeland, at Florida Southern College’s Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

On a recent Tuesday, the weekly produce market co-op at the Woodbrook Estates mobile home community in Lakeland was bustling. 

Daylina Miller/WikiMedia Commons

Polk County is a place of so many contradictions. It's the home of beautiful lakes, charming downtowns and historic landmarks. But this birthplace of several of Florida's governors, was also named by one recent study as having the country's second largest percentage of people struggling to avoid hunger.


Mary Wells Frates (Facebook)

Video of a massive alligator caught walking through a Florida nature reserve in front of stunned onlookers has prompted crowds of people hoping to catch their own glimpse.

When Florida voters go to vote on March 15, the state's voting machines may once again be in the spotlight.

Back in 2000, the nation's most spectacular elections meltdown took place in Florida thanks to the infamous paper butterfly ballots, ancient voting machines and poorly trained poll workers. The ensuing chaos led to a massive recount, a Supreme Court battle and a narrow victory for George W. Bush.

A toddler died Tuesday afternoon after he was found by his mother face down and unresponsive in a kiddie pool, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

Ashley Norman told investigators she had left her 18-month-old son Cedric Phipps in a baby swing while she went across the street to check on other children. When she returned, the boy was in the pool.

Family members and neighbors called 911 and attempted CPR.

Sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilder said paramedics attempted to resuscitate Cedric on the way to the hospital, but the boy was declared dead.

Don Becker / U.S. Geological Survey

Residents living in flood prone areas of Polk County are encouraged to be proactive and fill up some free sandbags now.

Polk County Fire Rescue stations at 14 locations are offering free sandbags.  Each household can fill a maximum of 25-30 sandbags beginning at 2 p.m.

Be sure to bring your own shovel.

Polk County Sheriff's Offic

Police have arrested an 82-year-old Lake Wales man for slashing a woman’s tires because he claimed she was sitting in his favorite bingo seat.

Fred Smith faces a charge of criminal mischief after police say he took an ice pick to 88-year-old Ethel Britt’s van during a weekly bingo game at the Lake Ashton Retirement Community Club House.

Police say Smith stormed out of the bingo hall and punctured two of Britt’s tires because she was sitting in a chair he usually sits in. Smith was caught on surveillance video in the act.

Pages