Calling all lifelong Monopoly bankers. Following last month’sbudget retreat, Lakeland’s city commissioners compiled a list of 34 initiatives for the upcoming 2022 fiscal year.
While city commissioners and city planners work together to decide how to allocate funds, we thought we’d ask our readers how they would distribute these big bucks. Take a look at 3 of this year’s initiatives below, and let us knowwhat you would dowith the city’s budget.
1.Affordable housing. Commissioners unanimously agreed to increase funding for affordable housing by 50% from the previous year’s $500,000 to $750,000. This affordable housing budget is significantly higher than years prior — triple what the city pledged in support over the last three years.
State ○ Gov. DeSantis signed an executive order to end Florida’s State of Emergency + suspend all local COVID-19 emergency orders statewide. An additional bill that exempts businesses from government mandates+ allows schools to remain open for classes was also signed. Read more about the executive order’s specifics here. (WTSP)
Job ○Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to college we go. The Disney College Program is back at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. The program, which allows students to live + work at Disney while completing school, briefly suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is up + running again as of May 3, just in time for Star Wars Day.
Outdoors ○Are you trying to escape a swarm of lovebugs? May is mating season for these pesky pairs, and while it may feel like there’s no escape, the season only lasts 4 weeks. You can read more about these prolific pests (and how to avoid them)here.
Listen ○On a recent episode of Catapult’s podcast Headway,Atenea Lara — founder of Inspiring Fitness — discusses how to grow your brand’s online following no matter what industry you’re in. Listenhere. 🎧 Ⓟ
Health ○ DYK one of the common conditions that general surgeons treat is the gallbladder? Learn more about how the local experts at Lakeland Regional Health deal with gallbladder trouble + how to make an appointment here.Ⓟ
Coronavirus ○On Monday, the Florida Department of Health announced 3,075 new cases of COVID-19 and 39 deaths in Florida. That bringsFL’s total number of cases to 2,245,853+ the total deaths to 35,307. See Lakeland + Polk numbers here. ○ Monitor the Florida Department of Health in Polk’s website for the latest information regarding vaccines.
Give a warm Polk County welcome to Lakeland’s newest foodie account, @lkldfoodwars. Their maiden voyage into foodstagram took them to Plant City, where they tried The Industry Eatery’s charcuterie board + some local pours from Keel + Curley. Where should this cuisine critic dock next?
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #LALtoday on social media.
Show ○ Daniel Peppin | Tues., May 4 | 7-10 p.m. | The Poor Porker, 801 E Main St. | Free | Come by for a solo acoustic performance by Daniel Peppin.
Active ○ Zumba| Tues., May 4 | 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Mulberry Civic Center, 901 NE 5th St. | $3 | Tickets can only be purchased at the door + only cash is accepted.
TryThis ○ May the 4th Be With You| Tues., May 4 | 7 p.m. | Galaxy Bar Lakeland, 5153 US Hwy. 98 N. | Free | Travel to a galaxy far, far away with costume contests, special drinks + collector’s item raffles. 🌌
Cause ○ Mobile Food Pantry| Tues., May 4 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Blessings & Hope Lakeland, 2150 E. Edgewood Dr. | Free | If you’re in need, pick up a box or bag of prepackaged food. 🥫
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.
Hey, teacher’s pets. We asked you to share an excellent educator with us, and you didn’t disappoint. Here’s what some of our readers had to say about their favorite teachers:
“I nominate Lorraine Valerino for outstanding teaching! She’s one of the best!!” — Reader Cindy D.
“Mr. Casey Hall, Digital Arts teacher at Ridge Community High School, has greatly impacted his students, the staff, and the school community. Every day he devotes time to producing new lesson plans that will keep students engaged and excited to learn new skills they can use in real life situations.” — Reader Sam M.
“I want to recognize my wife Lisa Madden as an amazing and awesome teacher! She teaches at Spessard Holland Elementary as an ESE teacher!!!” — Reader William M.
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