Breaking News from Winter Haven FL

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Massive alligator found wandering Florida neighborhood

MIAMI — Officials say they were forced to euthanize an 11-foot alligator that broke through a chain-link fence into the backyard of a Miami home. Police and officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tried to capture the 600-pound reptile at first.


More Than 5,000 Eggs Collected At Winter Haven Hoppin’ Hunt

More Than 5,000 Eggs Collected At Winter Haven Hoppin’ Hunt. The Easter Bunny arrived one day early to drop off more than 5,000 brightly-colored eggs along the shore of Lake Silver in Winter Haven.


Polk banking veteran opens county's newest bank, Prime Meridian

LAKELAND – Michael Micallef Jr. has come home, and he hopes former friends and customers will join him. Micallef is the Polk County market president for the county’s newest bank, Tallahassee-based Prime Meridian Bank, which opened on April 16 at 3340 S. Florida Ave.


Mullen explains back story behind spring game attendance troll

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Florida coach Dan Mullen is making the rounds in the state following spring football, meeting with various Gator Clubs to do his part to raise excitement ahead of the 2019 season.


Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage reports success in 2018-19

Sound finances. A successful 2019 festival. And, there’s the possibility of keeping some Australian pine trees while restoration continues at the FISH Preserve. About 20 members of the nonprofit Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage heard the highlights of the past year April 15 at their annual m


Dog found in Colorado ditch reunited with Florida family after 2017 theft

A dog found abandoned in Colorado has been returned to its family, nearly two years after it was stolen in Florida as a puppy. Animal charity organization Wings of Rescue says the German Shepherd named Cedar was covered with snow in a rural Colorado ditch, apparently malnourished with an injured leg


UPDATE: Florida Highway Patrol Identifies Mother and Her Son as Victims of Fatal Motorcycle Crash

victims were Mark Buffington from Daytona Beach and his mother, Heidi Buffington of Palm Bay. BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A mother and her son were killed Saturday afternoon when a pickup truck crashed into their motorcycle on Babcock Street and Burgandy Street, according to the Florida Highway Patrol


Saturday tests of Lakeland’s new bus routes set for May 4, 18

LAKELAND — Residents will have the opportunity to try out the proposed changes to Lakeland’s public transit routes without the stress of needing to get to work on time. Citrus Connection will host two "Super Saturdays" to encourage passengers to hop a free ride on one of the five color-coded bus lin


Driver Dies When Tires Blows Out on I-4

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – A Tampa man died Saturday (April 20) when his SUV crashed after a tire blew out on I-4, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The identity of the dead man, who is from Tampa, was withheld pending notification of his next of kin. He was not wearing a seat belt, according to troopers.


Peace officers memorial service set for May 9

LAKELAND — Polk County law enforcement agencies will honor officers who died in the line of duty at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 9 at Veterans Memorial Park in Lakeland, 141 Lake Beulah Dr.


Florida environmental groups battle highway expansion bill

Calling it the most environmentally damaging bill to advance in the Florida Legislature in 20 years, environmental advocates used Earth Day to draw attention to toll road legislation that critics contend would spark massive suburban sprawl.


Orlando man pleads guilty to spree of bank robberies in Florida, Alabama

An Orlando man arrested in November and charged in a spree of bank robberies pleaded guilty Friday, according to the United States Attorney’s Office. Myron Williams Ernst, 61 was arrested in Lakeland in a stolen truck after robbing or attempting to rob nine banks in Alabama and Florida.


Polk, U.S. returning to the small-farm lifestyle

LAKELAND – The seeds of a new agriculture have taken root and are growing. The new agriculture is being built on a small scale and pointedly rejects the industrial, single-crop production model practiced on most commercial farms.


Rep. Darren Soto to discuss prescription drugs at town hall

HAINES CITY — U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, will host a town hall Thursday in Haines City to discuss prescription drug prices. Soto, whose district includes part of Polk County, will release a congressional report on the high price of diabetes medications and its impact on diabetes patients. T


Here Are 8 Ways LEGOLAND Florida Helps Protect The Environment

Here Are 8 Ways LEGOLAND Florida Helps Protect The Environment. Since opening in 2011, LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven has been leaving a major impact, be it in the lives of the guests who visit the park, or in the local economy through economic development. However, one impact that the reso


Check out unique Central Florida museums you didn't know existed

ORLANDO, Fla. - Central Florida is known for its theme parks and beaches, but the Orlando area is also home to several museums, many of which you've probably never heard of. From railroads and garbage trucks to treasures, police and fire, there are many unique museums across the region.


Sunday Real Estate: Mansion With Hair Salon, Home Theaters, More

LAKELAND, FL -- This week's Sunday Real Estate takes you to Parkland, Sarasota, Bradenton and Lakeland. We visit a mansion that comes with its own very own hair salon and others that boast amazing views along with high-end home theaters.


Mullen brings winning back to Gator Gatherings

LAKELAND — Florida football coach Dan Mullen was quick to point out a fact during his stop Monday for the annual Polk County Gator Gathering. He's undefeated against Florida State.


Some Florida orchards see recovery from citrus greening

Orange Groves in the central part of Florida are experiencing a recovery after dealing with the destructive Citrus Greening disease. Just west of Orlando there is Polk County. Abby Crawford of Warner University says Polk County is an important place for one agricultural crop: "Florida ranks first in


Bok Tower Gardens Vying for Top Spot in Best Botanical Garden Ranking

LAKE WALES, Fla. — A Polk County national historic landmark is in the running to be North America's best botanical garden. Bok Tower Gardens listed in USA Today top botanical gardens ranking.