The General Election takes place Nov. 3, and as we put together our plan to cover local elections, we thought it was time to share our Editorial Ethics Policywith you — right here in the newsletter.
First things first. Though we’re a staff of people with individual backgrounds, views, and personalities, we will remain unbiased in our reporting to support productive conversations around our growing community. Our goal has been, and continues to be, getting you all of the need-to-know information you need to begin your day in Lakeland.
• Facilitation of positive dialogue around locally relevant conversations • Broad diversity of thought (local content you might not typically find in your Facebook News Feed) • Accreditation + links to attribute resources and build credibility • Healthy dialogue around growing city topics including infrastructure, tourism, housing, diversity and inclusion, economic development, non-profits, sustainability, budget, connectivity, public safety, and more • An invitation for everyone to participate in conversations
We refrain from indicating personal or brand preference on the following topics (along with any topic deemed controversial or highly politicized on a national level) to avoid bias or perceived bias: politics, religion, sexuality, entitlements, and gun control.
When these topics have a direct local impact, we strive to provide only factual information to inform our readers about their local relevance.
As this concerns upcoming elections, we will educate and activate our community with unbiased information to encourage individual voter participation. (I.e. vote for whoever + whatever you want to, just make sure to vote. 🗳️)
In our newsletter, you will find resources like:
• How and where to vote (everything from registration to the polls) • Who’s running (you’ll want to know which candidates are in your district) • Understanding elected positions (like what a councilperson does) • Balanced coverage of local candidates (that’s right, only local candidates) • Minimal coverage of candidates (with direct links to resources for each candidate) • Notice that a national candidate is visiting or an associated event is happening locally (so you can avoid the traffic, or attend if you’re interested) • Results (that’s right, we’ll be sure to let you know who wins or what passes)
You won’t find political advertising, endorsements, opinions or other bias.
At the end of the day, we believe in a healthy and productive dialogue around growing city topics and believe that by educating you, our lovely readers, on how you can proactively participate in conversations, we can activate you to participate in a manner that has the best long-term outcome for our community as a whole.
○ Just weeks after reopening for the school year, McKeel Academy has confirmed that one teacher has tested positive for COVID-19. That teacher is currently home, quarantining + McKeel is sanitizing and cleaning all of their campuses daily. At this time, all three of the school’s campuses will remain open + operational. (The Ledger)
○ With some Florida schools already open + others on their way to reopening, schools have begun streamlininglunches as a COVID-19 precaution. Cafeterias are calling for enhanced cleaning procedures, grab + go meals and social distancing. Click here to see Polk’s plan. (Bay News 9)
○ According to The Ledger, close to half of Polk’s government divisions have tested positive for COVID-19. For those workers with positive tests, they are required to complete 10-days of at-home quarantine. Currently, the division hit the hardest with positive cases is the Fire Rescue Division with 13 positive tests. The county government is made up of 2,100 employees, meaning 1.6% have tested positive. (The Ledger)
○ Polk State Kids at College was a hit this year, despite going virtual due to COVID-19. The launch of Kids at College: Online! and Kids at College: Facebook allowed students to remain engaged + still have something to look forward to over the summer. Plus, due to the virtual nature of the online programs, students across the state and beyond Florida were able to participate.
Hey, there. Looking for today’s #MustDo events? In accordance with the
CDC’s recommendations regarding public gatherings, we have decided to postpone public event coverage for the time being. We look forward to bringing you Lakeland’s #MustDo events soon (until then, feel free to submit your virtual events
Childhood hunger is already rampant + with the added strain of COVID-19 and its effects, many more children (an estimated 132 million) are facing this issue.
Luckily, One More Child (1015 Sikes Blvd.) is fighting to help with this by allowing communities to work together to help feed hungry children and their families.
The best way to do this, according to One More Child? A “meal packing party.” These can be hosted at a local church or business and allow you, your co-workers, or friends to package meals for those in need. Read more here.
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #LALtoday on social media.
Weather ○ 87º | Scattered Thunderstorms | 50% chance of rain ○ At 5 p.m. on Thurs., Florida was in the cone of one of the storms brewing in the Atlantic. The storm, Tropical Depression 13, is expectedto ramp up in intensity with winds up to 70 mph by next week and has the potential to strengthen to a Category 1 Hurricane and would be named Laura. The storm is scheduled to potentially impactFlorida’s West Coast by early Tuesday morning. (The Ledger)
Cause ○ Free rides for Lakeland seniors may come to an enddue to a lack of funding. The company, Elderpoint Ministries, has been a source of transportation for seniors looking to attend doctors’ appointments + other errands. The buses provide 700 free rides per month for those in need, however, the ministry recently lost funding which may cause rides to be slashed exponentially or cut for good. (Fox 13 News)
Digs ○It’s a seller’s market – which means those looking to say farewell to their humble abode are getting top dollar. The local pros at S&D Real Estate created a Home Value Reportto show you how much your home is worth. Simply enter your address to receive an estimate in minutes. 🏡 Ⓟ
DYK ○Hey, have you started prepping for hurricane season?Check out this article by The Identity Tampa Bay, which categorizes the four types of hurricane preppers you may see around Tampa Bay. Whether you’re the compulsive prepper or the hurricane denier, you’re sure to recognize at least one of these characters. 🌧️ (The Identity Tampa Bay) ○Did you miss-ile this piece of news? A live air-to-air missilewas found right here at Lakeland Linder International Airport. Since its discovery, the French S-530 missile has been transported to Macdill where it was deemed “too big to be detonated”. Currently, the team at Macdill is waiting to decide when + where the missile will be detonated instead. (WTSP)
Health ○ Aldi has recently recalled peaches in 16 states for salmonella. The states, including Florida, if affected, should dispose of the product immediately. The contaminated peaches were sold by the “Wawona Peaches” brand and are in 2 lb bags. (Click Orlando)
Family ○The One and Only Ivan releases today on Disney+. The Disney movie, based on the novel by Katherine Applegate, follows the story of a silverback gorilla named Ivan, living in a cage inside of a shopping mall. Be sure to stream it today + don’t forget to read about all of the filming locations right here in Lakeland.🐒 P.S.Want to experience the film’s magic for yourself? We collaborated with local artist Josh “Bump” Galletta to create a map, featuring these film locations for you to drive by for a visit. (Fun fact: Bump created the map with the help of his kids.)
Listen ○ Looking for a new song to jam to? Local artist Michael McArthur’s new EP, How to Fall in Love, was recently released. The song is a reminder that “… real love takes real fight,” said Michael on Instagram. Read more about the song + give it a listen here. 🎧 (The Lakelander)
TryThis ○In need of a fright night? While Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights (HNN) has been cancelled this year, the theme parks have been teasing a potential virtual event for all of you thrill-seekers. It’s unknown at this time just what is being planned, however, here’s a statement from HHN’s Twitter: “…and now we’re invading your devices as we rip and gnaw deep into your nightmares. If you’ve got a screen, you can scream, as we infest your phone, your computer, and your brain with years’ worth of Halloween Horror Nights content.” Stay tuned, goblins.💀 (Bay News 9)
Politics ○ After Florida’s primaries earlier this week, experts are claiming that Florida modeled a smooth mail election. As of 10 p.m. Tuesday night, most of Florida’s results were posted, including votes from a large number of mail-in voters. Due to the success of Florida’s primaries, the state may be used as a model for others on how to conduct an election. (Bay News 9) ○If you experienced confusion regarding the mail-in ballot system, fret not. This issue will be fixed for the general election in Nov. The confusion stemmed from the mail-in votes showing as “not counted,” however management for the Polk County elections website said that the solution for this problem is simple and will be relayed to residents in time for Nov. 3. (Lkld Now)
NowOpen ○Ready to sharpen your blacksmith skills?A Lakeland blacksmithhas opened up a shop to host lessons for those interested in becoming a blacksmith. Ray Nager has always had a love for the trade and hopes to utilize his blacksmith skills + classes as a way to unplug kids from their phones and enjoy something different. Students interested must be 11 years or older to attend lessons. 🛠️ (ABC Action News)
Virtual-learning students will also be able to participate in extracurricular activities either on campus or online if they choose to do so | Photo via Diocese of Orlando
Polk County Catholic Schools opens its doors to students on August 26. To ensure students get back to school on the right foot, administrators and local health officials carefully created a planto navigate the 2020-21 school year.
Here’s what to expect: • Safety measures, like temperature screenings, strategic social distancing + mask wearing, for in-person instruction • Full day virtual learning for students whose parents wish to keep them at home
In an effort to remain transparent, starting today you will be able to find our Editorial Ethics Policy each day at the bottom of the newsletter, right here in The Wrap. If you ever have any questions on the content we cover or refrain from, please reach out to us at [email protected].
🔄 Catch up on any newsletters you may have missed here.
💭 Say Hello: What do you want to know about your city?
✏️️ Want to write an article for us? Find out how here.
👀 Want your business featured in our newsletter? Learn more about advertising opportunities here.