Good morning Lakeland, Katelyn here. 👋 Nice to meet you. I’m the most recent newbie to LALtoday, so Kaylee + I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to all of you and for Kaylee to reintroduce herself to any fellow newsletter newbies.
If you didn’t already know, Kaylee + I are Co-Editors – which means we create the newsletter and interact with all of you on our social channels on an alternating schedule. Everything else is operated by the rest of our team over at 6AM City.
Meet Katelyn I’m originally from Richmond, VA, but moved to the area way back in ‘07. I ended up falling in love with the campus over at the University of Tampa where I studied English. From there I did a bit of freelance work + marketing until I found my way to LAL and the rest is history. I’m celebrating my third full week + time is flying. 🤯
What I love about Lakeland: • Something that I’ve noticed about Lakeland from the time I first visited to now is how much it’s grown into a place full of delicious food/drink options. If you can’t tell, I love finding awesome places to enjoy a great meal or drink such as Black and Brew, Revival, and Palace Pizza. They really get me excited. 😋
Favorite place to grab a bite: • It’s nearly impossible for me to choose just one spot, but if I had to narrow it down, I would say Mojo Federal. I could eat the Burnt Ends app for days on end and never get sick of it.
Go-to weekend plans: • On a regular occasion, when we aren’t mid-pandemic, you can find me at Disney World, for sure. I’m a passholder and a full-blooded Disney kid and I could go every single day. 📸
Meet Kaylee What’s up, Lakeland? For the past two years, it’s been a privilege chatting with you each day about our cool little city. I’m a #FloridaGirl through and through + have lived all over the state – from down in Naples to Leesburg to St. Pete. After I graduated from SEU(go fire 🔥), I spent some time deep in the mountains of VA. I moved back to Lakeland shortly after, met my fiance + haven’t looked back since.
What I love about Lakeland: • The community. In times like these, I hold tightly to the sweet stories of Lakelanders – like yourselves – stepping up to the plate to help each other.
Favorite place to grab a bite: • I can only pick one? Dang. Uh…is it too cheesy if I pick Palace Pizza?Because garlic knots for life.
Let’s call it a meet-cute. If you like what we’re doing, be sure to introduce us to your friends using the links below. ⬇️
○ After the Lakeland COVID-19 mask mandate went into effect on July 2, residents have gotten creative with the designs on their face masks. Michael Wilson, a photographer with The Ledger snapped some pictures of masks that people in the community have created that express their individuality + personality. (The Ledger)
○ Florida’s regulators will begin speaking to bars and breweries this Friday about the ways in which they can safely consider reopening. The original order to close bars and breweries was enacted on June 26 with plans to continue until a decline in cases is seen. However, due to the uncertainty surrounding these establishments remaining closed and the potential of losing 100 locations, a safe and smart plan is tentatively underway to reopen in the future. (Orlando Weekly)
○ Statistics show thatone in every 50 FL residents have been infected with COVID-19. The state is now second in the nation for total cases behind CA and passed NY’s case total on Saturday. The state total for positive cases is over 432,000 and the death toll is nearly 6,000. (Orlando Sentinel)
○ Polk County’s COVID-19 record was at a low this past week with the first decline since the beginning of July. While still high at 270 cases per day, this is the first time the number has lessened at all, faltering from 270 to 222 on Sunday. (The Ledger)
○ Cases in Florida as a whole have surged for COVID-19just weeks before schools are set to reopen. As of July 24, 31,150 children have tested positive in Florida. This number increased by 34% since it’s original documentation on July 16. Additionally, the death toll among children went from 4 to 5 and the number of hospitalizations went from 246 to 303. (CNN)
○ The CDC has released its position on reopening schools. Under the guidelines, the CDC suggests that schools implement directives on how to minimize transmission spread, how schools should share the news if there are positive cases, and what to do if transmission levels can’t be decreased. (WFTS Tampa Bay)
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
Well Lakeland, we finally made it. Taylor Swift knows who we are…or, rather, she knows Sound House Studios. 😲
Sound House Studios is a Lakeland-based recording studio owned and operated by Jonathan Gautier, a graduate of UCF and former Walt Disney Entertainment Intern. Now, he can add to his resume: Taylor Swift Folklore album credits.
Over the weekend, the team at Sound House awoke to the news that a client of theirs,Bobby Hawk Music, had been tracking strings for Taylor’s new album Folklore. Congratulations, crew. 🎉
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #LALtoday on social media.
Weather ○90º | PM Thunderstorms | 60% chance of rain ○Goodbye Gonzalo, hello new Atlantic weather system? If you missed it, Gonzalo is officially gone-zo. It dissipated after forecasters believed it would turn into a hurricane. Now, that “he’s” out of the way, a new potential storm is brewing in the Atlantic. The area of low pressure is said to sit near the Lesser Antilles by tomorrow night bringing rain or gusts to those islands + Puerto Rico. The known impacts to Florida are currently unknown as the storm’s future potential is still to be uncovered.
Announced ○ Hold the turkey – or whatever you eat for Thanksgiving. Target has announced that its US stores will not be open on Thanksgiving day. However, the franchise will be starting its holiday season in October so shoppers can have a longer time to feast on must-have sales. There are two Targets in Lakeland: (3570 Harden Blvd) + (4005 US Hwy 98 N). 🦃 (Wesh 2 News)
Civic ○ Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards is looking to recruit100 county workers, school teachers, and/or municipal employees to work at the Aug. 18 primary election. Edwards is also recruiting 600 more workers to volunteer for the general election on Nov. 3. Due to the coronavirus, there has been a decrease in volunteers. (The Ledger)
Stat ○ 58.1% of Polk County residents have taken the 2020 Census survey so far. The top three cities with the highest percentages are Polk City (63.6.%), the City of Davenport (63.5%), and the City of Auburndale (62.6%). Florida’s state response rate is at 59.5% and the nation is at 62.4%. The census is 10 questions long + takes about 10 minutes to fill out. You can take it here.
Number ○ We hope this doesn’t bug you. There are now over 700 species of moths found in Polk County. Journalist and conservation blogger, Tom Palmer, documents his experience hunting for new moth species during National Moth Week, which was July 18-24, as well as other insect findings. (News Chief)
Ranked ○ 22. The ranking that Florida has when it comes to 2020’s states with the best and worst school systems. This number was established based on metrics such as blue ribbon schools per capita, math test scores, drop out rate, school safety plan requirement + more. (Wallethub)
Talk ○Check this out. PBS Books and Scholar, Martha Jones, will be holding an author talk during a live event tomorrow at 8 p.m. Dr. Jones will also be accompanied by novelist Tayari Jones and poet Evie Shockley. The three will discuss Jones’ soon-to-be-released book about equality, “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.” #ProTip: Go to the PBS Books Facebook page for the link to the event. 📖
TheBuy ○ Hey Florida residents, looking for a sign to return to Disney World? The parks recently launched a new FL resident ticket: “Magic Flex Ticket” that is available for a 2-day, 3-day, and 4-day park option at a discounted rate. Tickets are all under $200 and proof of residency must be proven to receive the discount. 🎈
Drink ○All-natural green juice cleanse Organifi Green Juice is a fresh-tasting, 100% USDA certified organic superfood blend loaded with vitamins, minerals + antioxidants from 11 carefully-chosen superfoods. 250,000+ customers have kicked off their day with the detoxing green stuff.Shop here. Ⓟ
Correction ○ Yesterday, we ran two News Notesstating two different total COVID-19 death counts in Florida from two separate sources. The correct death count total for Friday, July 24 was 5,653. You can find the latest numbers + charts here.
🍗 Here’s your sweet treat for making it all the way to the bottom of the newsletter today. Yesterday – in honor of National Chicken Tender Day – we put our chicken where our mouth is + taste-tested the rare Chicken Tender Milkshake from the PDQ on S. Florida Ave. (Because 2020, amirite?)