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Lakeland man cruises the streets in customized Radio Flyer hot rod

LAKELAND - As a child growing up in Muncie, Ind., Curtis Hutchison said he never had a red Radio Flyer wagon to pull around the neighborhood and take his friends for a spin. Now, about 65 years later and 1,000 miles from his hometown, Hutchison doesn't have to fantasize about pulling a toy wagon aro

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-24 06:00:00

Lake Wales man gets 20 years for sexually assaulting teen

BARTOW - A Lake Wales man who admitted to authorities that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl in 2015 has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime. Steve Allen Harris, 38, pleaded no contest this month to two counts of sexual battery on a child 12 to 18, one count of incest and one count

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-24 02:05:24

County takes emergency action on trash

BARTOW - Uncollected trash is no longer just a matter of contract compliance but of public health, Polk County officials announced Sunday following thousands of residents' complaints. The county's two next contracted trash collectors, FCC Environmental and Advanced Disposal, "will be functioning in

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 02:05:08

Winter Haven man gets 30 years for molesting young girls

BARTOW - A Winter Haven man who slit his own throat in 2015 after he was accused of molesting two young girls has pleaded guilty to reduced criminal charges in that case. Bradley David Moore, 27, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for three counts of attempted sexual battery on a child under 12. Ha

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 02:02:45

Lakeland officials say Irma estimated to cost $23 million

Hurricane Irma is expected to cost Lakeland as much as two of the three hurricanes that crossed Polk County in 2004, city officials estimate. LAKELAND - Hurricane Irma is expected to cost Lakeland as much as two of the three hurricanes that crossed Polk County in 2004, city officials estimate. In 2

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 02:12:53

Irma power outages spark review of electric grid

SARASOTA - Most of Florida was spared serious damage from Hurricane Irma, but the massive power outage caused by the storm was a major inconvenience that proved life-threatening for some, and elected leaders already are talking about how to limit the severity and duration of similar events in the fu

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 01:43:14

Falling Stars: Reporter reels after wife's skydiving death

Second of two parts After Rickie Wasik's fall into a field beside Green Air Park, officers from the Brevard County Sheriff's Department soon arrived and began investigating. Not long after that, reporters started to show up as well. A front-page report the next day in Cocoa's Today newspaper include

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 03:00:41

Official: Hurricane Maria set Puerto Rico back decades

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez, Puerto Rico's nonvoting representative in the U.S. Congress, said Sunday that Hurricane Maria's destruction has set the island back decades, even as authorities worked to assess the extent of the damage. By Danica Coto, The Associated Press SAN JUAN, Puerto

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 03:01:13

Man goes from alligator wrestler to reptile scientist

ORLANDO - Nick Clark was 33 and coming off a $72,000-a-year salary when he made a radical career change - wrestling alligators at Gatorland for $6 an hour. He said his previous employer had fired him when, "burnt out," he refused to sell an A/C unit to a couple who didn't need it. To Clark, grapplin

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 01:44:16

On the agenda for meetings in Polk County this week

MONDAY FROSTPROOF CITY COUNCIL TIME: 6 p.m. LOCATION: City Hall, 111 W. First St. AGENDA: Regular meeting. WINTER HAVEN CITY COMMISSION TIME: 7 p.m. LOCATION: City Hall, 451 Third St., NW. AGENDA: Regular meeting. TUESDAY FROSTPROOF CITY COUNCIL TIME: 5:05 p.m. LOCATION: City Hall, 111 W

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 01:58:37

Southwest Middle School to celebrate deaf awareness

LAKELAND - Southwest Middle School invites the community to its campus Monday and Tuesday to take part in activities designed to introduce students to the world of the deaf and hearing-impaired. Special activities are planned each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southwest campus at 2815 Eden Parkw

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 01:37:19

2 linemen lost their wedding rings near Tampa

TAMPA - Two linemen who spent days restoring power in the Tampa Bay area had the same unfortunate mishap: They lost their wedding rings. Both were heartbroken, frustrated and hoping for some kind of mini-miracle. One of the couples got lucky and now the other may have reason not to give up hope. T

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 01:32:19

Opposition from GOP senators grows, jeopardizes health bill

Republican opposition to the GOP health care bill swelled to near-fatal numbers Sunday as Sen. Susan Collins all but closed the door on supporting the last-ditch effort to scrap the Obama health care law and Sen. Ted Cruz said that "right now" he doesn't back it. By Alan Fram, The Associated Press

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 02:52:48

Political news and events in Polk County

Lakeland woman receives Republican award Florida Republican leader Dena Stebbins DeCamp was awarded the Ronald Reagan Leadership Award during the National Federation of Republican Women 39th Biennial Convention held Sept. 14-17 in Philadelphia. A resident of Lakeland and president of the Florida F

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 01:51:25

BARTOW - County commissioners are expected to pass a $1.3 billion budget Monday.

A hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the county administration building in Bartow. The tax rate for residents within cities is expected to remain steady at $6.78 per $1,000 of taxable value. That means someone with a home with a taxable value of $150,000 and $50,000 in homestead exemptions would pa

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 01:38:28

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. with an open house, followed by a presentation at 6 p.m. It will take place at High Point Church, 501 Burns Ave., Lake Wales.

LAKE WALES - The state Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting Tuesday to discuss preliminary plans for redesigning the intersection of State Road 60 and U.S. 27 in Lake Wales. Project team members will be available to speak one-on-one with the public about proposed changes to the i

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-25 01:36:16

Haines City police chief resigns

HAINES CITY - Police Chief Gary Hester has given his resignation after just more than four months on the job, according to an email from the city manager to the City Commission. "After much thought and consideration, I have submitted my letter of resignation as the chief of police for the City of Ha

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-22 20:47:20

Snakes tempt thousands to attend convention

LAKELAND - Faced with the prospect of how to spend a Saturday afternoon with his twin 6-year-olds, Jeremy Salove took them to a place where they would be surrounded by scaly, fanged creatures. The twins, Matteo and Cecilia, didn't seem to mind at all. Cecilia reached out to pet a ball python wrapped

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-24 02:07:56

Tom Palmer: The signs of fall are here

The breezes seem subtly cooler. The days are beginning to become shorter. Fall is finally arriving. Officially, the season changed at 4:02 p.m. Friday. The signs have been slowly appearing. In late afternoon in isolated wetlands in northeast Polk County, I recently watched a rare endemic wildflower

THE LEDGER - 2017-09-24 02:06:35

Police: Florida daycare workers taunted, attacked autistic boy

WINTER HAVEN - Police on Friday arrested two former childcare workers who they say were caught on video berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an 8-year-old boy with autism. Winter Haven police announced on Friday morning that Kaderrica Smith of Haines City and Alexis Henderson of Dundee turn

ORLANDO SENTINEL - 2017-09-22 14:35:00