Plus, meet Hocus Pocus Comics tonight.
September 19, 2023 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

86º | Mostly sunny | 10% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:21 a.m. | Sunset 7:13 p.m.

Home is where the history is
A front view of a three-story home surrounded by trees. A brick pathway leads to the front door across the lawn.
The Biltmore-Cumberland neighborhood is home to many historic houses like this. | Photo provided by Cassie Miller, RE/MAX Experts
The City of Lakeland’s biennial Historic Home Workshop will soon return for the first time since 2019. Those who own historic homes or are interested in preservation are invited to this free event on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Florida Southern College.

Familiar names on the speaker list include LuAnn Mims of the Lakeland Public Library and Emily Foster from the city’s Historic Preservation office. Experts will give hour-long talks on topics like:
  • Discover Your Home’s Past
  • The Basics of Building Permitting and Code Enforcement
  • Follies and Fables of Historic Home Renovations
  • The Quest for the Perfect Wood Window
An exterior shot of the historic Ordway Building at Florida Southern College. The building has a modern design and is surrounded by walking paths, trees, and landscaped bushes.

The Ordway Building is a short distance from the South Lake Morton and Biltmore-Cumberland districts.


Photo via Google Maps

The workshop itself will even take place in a historic structure: The Lucius Pond Ordway Building (1049 Frank Lloyd Wright Way). This building was designed by — you guessed it — Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1952. Pro tip: Join a free tour of Florida Southern’s architecture, limited to 25 participants, at the end of the workshop.

Lakeland is home to 1,600+ historic buildings and landmarks in seven historic districts. Thanks to a recent resurvey of the East and South Lake Morton districts, more houses have been recommended as contributing structures.

Resurveys are planned for the Dixieland and Downtown/Munn Park districts in the 2024 fiscal year, followed by the Beacon Hill, Biltmore-Cumberland, and Lake Hunter Terrace districts in the 2026 fiscal year. If you live in these areas, it’s a great time to attend the workshop to prepare for your historic home’s future.
Tuesday, Sept. 19
  • Auditions: “The Humans” | Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 6:30-9 p.m. | Lakeland Community Theatre, 121 S. Lake Ave., Lakeland | Free | Take your talents to the stage and audition for this one-act play that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2016.
  • Graphic Novel Talk — “For the Man Who Has Everything” | Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 7-8 p.m. | Revival, 119 S. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland | Free entry | Join other readers on a journey through the pages of “For the Man Who Has Everything.”
Wednesday, Sept. 20
  • 2023 Diversity Luncheon | Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave., Bartow | $20 | Attend the City of Bartow’s Diversity Luncheon to see which organization and individual will be presented with the annual Diversity Award — buy tickets in advance.
  • Yoga Wine Tasting | Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 6-7 p.m. | Keel Farms, 5202 Thonotosassa Rd., Plant City | $10 | Learn about the featured wine during this 50-minute guided yoga practice — registration includes the class and the wine.
Thursday, Sept. 21
  • City Budget Hearing | Thursday, Sept. 21 | 6 p.m. | Lakeland City Hall, 228 S. Massachusetts Ave., Lakeland | Free | Join this public meeting in the City Commission chambers to learn about the proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
  • Lakeland Learn & Grow: Trivia Night | Thursday, Sept. 21 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Unfiltered Lakeland, 801 E. Main St., Lakeland | Free | See how well you know flora facts at this trivia night to celebrate National Indoor Plant Week.
Friday, Sept. 22
  • Alzheimer’s Association Creating Moments That Matter | Friday, Sept. 22 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Dr., Lakeland | Free | Learn how to create moments that matter along with other caregivers at this event featuring author and speaker, Jolene Brackey.
  • Harvest Holler Corn Maze | Friday, Sept. 22 | 4-8 p.m. | Harvest Holler Corn Maze, 950 Tavares Rd., Polk City | $12-$15 | Explore a corn maze and pumpkin patch, or take a hayride through this fall farm.
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News Notes
  • 1,300. That’s how many affordable housing units Lakeland will have added since October 2019 once several ongoing projects have finished. Yesterday, city commissioners allocated $1.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for more affordable housing projects — one on Griffin Road and one at Gospel Village. (LkldNow)
  • Polk County has approved $1.65 million in funding for a partnership to form the Lake Marion Scrub project, similar to Lakeland’s Circle B Bar Reserve. This public-private project will acquire and protect 602 acres of land east of Lake Marion, between Haines City and Poinciana. (The Ledger)
  • No. 1. That’s what Florida Polytechnic University ranked on U.S. News & World Report’s list of top public colleges in the South. Florida Southern College also made the rankings at No. 11 on the list of Regional Universities South. (U.S. News & World Report)
  • Keep an eye out for traffic changes on Griffin Road starting Monday, Sept. 25 as wastewater infrastructure is replaced between Providence Road and Pyramid Parkway. Work will take place Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. through April 2024.
  • David Bayhan has been named the city’s Director of Water Utilities after serving as Interim Director since April. Bayhan, a Lakeland native, first began working with the Water Utilities Department in 2000.
Coming Soon
  • Austin’s Backyard Garden will open a mini-shop at Unfiltered Lakeland called The Rustic Jungle. Visit the grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 30 to create your own terrarium and purchase new plants.
  • The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce hosted the ATHENA Awards last week, honoring local women and organizations. Libby Chappell of First Presbyterian Church won the Leadership Award, Michelle Netwal of Bank of Central Florida won the Young Professional Award, and Lakeland Regional Health took home the Organizational Award.
  • Spots are filling up fast for October book clubs at Pressed. Buy your copy and register online to discuss these books: “The Breakaway” by Jennifer Weiner, “Mother-Daughter Murder Night” by Nina Simon, or “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides.
  • Calm your mind and move your body at a free Tai Chi class hosted at Bonnet Springs Park. Satya Life Yoga will lead individuals of all experience levels on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 8 a.m.
  • Marvelous Mud Pottery Studio is teaching a four-week pottery and candle-making course on Thursdays in October. Sign up to learn how to make candle holders and pour your own candles. Pro tip: This course will count as a prerequisite for studio membership.
  • It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Brightline — the new, eco-friendly rail service connecting Orlando International Airport’s new train station to South Florida — will officially launch services this Friday, Sept. 22. Book a ticket + see details and limited-time deals.*
Pro Tip
  • #TerraceTabletop: The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner, and The Terrace Hotel & Grille’s team is ready to help you create an unforgettable and magical holiday celebration. Explore the hotel’s on-site restaurant menus and multiple spaces that can accommodate business meetings, private dinners, special celebrations + more.*
It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus
Rebecca and Dwight MacPherson, owners of Hocus Pocus Comics
Meet Rebecca and Dwight, the couple behind HP Comics. | Photo provided by Hocus Pocus Comics
Looking for a new read? Try a comic book or graphic novel created right here in Lakeland by Hocus Pocus Comics.

Dwight and Rebecca MacPherson first met through work — Rebecca worked in film production and called to inquire about the rights to Dwight’s comic book — and they married soon after. (Call that a rom-com.) With experience in the comic industry working for big names like DC Comics, they decided to self-publish their own books.

Rebecca and Dwight say they find inspiration everywhere, from literature to music to art, and their passion for education. You can find their books in classrooms, universities, local independent bookstores, and even the Lakeland Public Library.

Meet the Hocus Pocus Comics team at tonight’s Author Spotlight Night at Pressed from 6 to 8 p.m. They’ll be signing books and speaking on a panel with other local authors at 6:30 p.m.
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The Wrap
Connor-Keith-Headshot-LAL Today’s edition by:
From the editor
It’s a great week to be a reader in Lakeland: The new elibrary is now open at the Kelly Rec Complex, and you can meet with writers tonight at the Author Spotlight Night. Don’t forget to join our local book clubs + storytimes, too.
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