Good morning, Lakeland. Editor Kaylee here. Since LALtoday launched in 2018, it has been both an honor + a privilege to share parts of Lakeland’s grand and growing story with you all — my fellow Lakelanders.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. I want to show you some of the coolest things I got to do as an LALtoday Editor, starting in 2018, when I “adopted” Buddy Holly for the day through the SPCA. (FYI, if hired, you get to do some pretty cool stuff within the city too.)
So, we’re looking to fill my job as Editor of LALtoday with a locally-based multimedia storyteller who’s fired up about all things Lakeland. It’s a fast-paced, exciting job that includes both newsletter creation and our social media. Oh, and you’ll have the best co-editor ever – Katelyn Schur.
Or how about when I toured the Polk Theatre at midnight + then joined the FMOFM podcast to talk about the spookier side of said theatre?
You might be a good fit if – ● You know Lakeland like the back of your hand, from current city commission meeting topics to the buzziest restaurant openings. ● You’re engaged on social media, and always ready to try new things. ● You’re excited to dig into topics ranging from civic and development to food + bev, history, and the great outdoors. ● You love to write. You’ll be doing a lot of it. ● You’re a team player and you see feedback as a gift. ● You think on your feet and work fast, butdiligently.
Know someone who’d be perfect for this? Share it with them.👇
Weather ○86º | Partly Cloudy | 23% chance of rain
Number ○ 99. The number of units the Lakeland Housing Authority is proposing be built on 10 acres of land near10th St. W. and Saratoga Ave.While the development — which will offer affordable homeownership opportunities — has not yet been named, it will consist of a combination of two, three, and four-bedroom units + may include a community clubhouse. Officials from the Lakeland Housing Authority believe the development could suit local teachers, young professionals, and those in the emergency response industry, among others. A second phase of the development may include 10-12 quieter townhomes for seniors. 🏘️ (The Ledger) ○ 200. That’s how many acres of land in Polk County were torched by members of the Florida Forest Service this week. While fighting fire with fire may seem counterintuitive, the purpose of the prescribed burn of the land was to help prevent catastrophic wildfires. (Fox 13 News) ○ 85. The number of years Payne Air Conditioning has beenserving Central Florida. Need a repair or thinking about installing a new HVAC system? Consult a technician. Ⓟ
Civic ○ In a recent city meeting, commissioners shared their thoughts + goals for the future — including an increase in residential living + adding a new Publix location, in Downtown Lakeland. Other priorities — specifically on Mayor Mutz’s list — include a business incubation center for minority businesses, providing a park to Southwest Lakeland, and deploying smart city technologies(like providing gigabit-speed + adding on a tech council). 💭 (LkldNow) ○ Lake Wales will soon bethe first city in Polk County to deploy body cameras to city police officers. City Commissioners made this decision earlier this week, along with a five-year contract that approves several body cameras, costing $75,000. (WFTS Tampa Bay)
WaterCooler ○ FOX Sports has committed to airing four Lakeland Magic basketball games, starting with today’s game against the Erie Bayhawks at 3:30 p.m. See the full on-air game schedule (plus two additional tapings)here. 🏀
Coronavirus ○A pastor in Lake Wales is using his influence to assist in spreading the word about vaccinations in his community — and has already helped in the effort to vaccinate 600 residents this week. Rev. Joseph J. Pierce Sr. from First Institutional Missionary Baptist Churchworked to contact the Florida Department of Health and around two dozen nearby churches to get people registered at his event. WFLA News Channel 8) ○ On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health announced 7,342 new cases of COVID-19 and157 additional deaths in Florida. That brings the total number of cases in FL of COVID-19 to 1,844,627 + the total deaths to 29,311.You can find more updates concerning COVID-19 case numbers on the Florida Department of Health dashboard. See Lakeland + Polk numbers here. ○ Monitor the Florida Department of Health in Polk’s website for the latest information regarding vaccines. Seniors can register for the vaccination here.
TBT ○When 90-year-old Billy Joe Flanagan first opened his MIDFLORIDA Credit Union account, it was still the Polk County Teachers Credit Union – located in the basement of what was then Lakeland’s junior high school. Learn more about one of MIDFLORIDA’s first memberswho is still a member today. Ⓟ
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #LALtoday on social media.
Show ○ Brenna Stross // Justin Bellamy | Thurs., Feb 18 | 6:30 p.m. | Hillcrest Coffee, 119 Hillcrest St. | Prices vary | For a donation-based entry, listen to two cool local performers while sipping on hot coffee. ○ Blingo & Hits and Giggles| Thurs., Feb. 18 | 8 p.m. | Virtual | Free | Watch this performance on Facebook Live. 🎹
Drink ○ National Drink Wine Day | Thurs., Feb 18 | 12 p.m. | The Brass Tap, 1515 Town Center Dr. | Prices vary | BOGO wine all day. 🍷
Learn ○ Companion Planting| Thurs., Feb. 18 | 6-8 p.m. | Truth Theatre, 2151 S. Combee Rd. | Free | Learn the whys + the hows of planting and watch your garden grow. 🪴 ○ Concealed Carry Classes| Thurs., Feb. 18 | 6 p.m. | Lakeland Firearms Training Center, 1709 E. Memorial Blvd. | Prices vary | Call to sign up.
Health ○ Postpartum Essentials| Thurs., Feb. 18 | 5:30-6:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free, RSVP | A quick class for parents or guardians-to-be.
Job ○ Hiring Event 300+ Jobs| Thurs., Feb. 18 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Spherion Staffing Lakeland Florida, 1925 E. Edgewood Dr. | Free | Available jobs include data entry associates, warehouse workers, general laborers + more. 💼
TryThis ○ Drag BINGO & ThrowBACK Singles Night | Thurs., Feb 18 | 6 p.m. | Federal Bar Lakeland, 124 S. Tennessee Ave. | Free | The full food + drink menu will be available to peruse.
TheBuy ○ Second Market Weekend | Thurs., Feb 18 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Decades Reclaimed Vintage Depot, 502 W. Brannen Rd. | Prices vary | Shop for vintage + upcycled goods. 🛍️
PlanAhead ○ The Fire Outside: The Fire Film Festival | Fri., Feb. 19-Sat., Feb. 20 | times vary | Southeastern University, Silver Moon Drive-in | $10-20 | The 2021 festival, sponsored by Allen & Co. and Visit Central Florida, features in-person sessions at SEU and festival screenings at the Silver Moon Drive-In. Ⓟ
FeaturedEvent ○Grab a lunch on us at Trinity Medical Group | Thursdays through Apr. 1 | 12-2 p.m. | 3240 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland | Free | Trinity Medical Group is offering free, pre-packaged meals prepared according to COVID-19 safety measures, to seniors 65+ at their Lakeland location. RSVP at 863-602-8916. Limit one meal per person.Ⓟ
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.