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City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland's Blog

Public Nuisance Triplex Closed for 1 year



LAKELAND, FL  (August 18, 2014)  On August 20, 2014 at 10:00am, the Lakeland Police Department will be boarding up property located at 919 North Iowa Avenue, an apartment building consisting of three (3) apartment units (“triplex”). We will also be posting signage stating the triplex was closed as a public nuisance. This is the third location LPD has closed within 9 months and is the first triplex closed as a nuisance. The Lakeland Police Department continues to work towards improving personal safety for residents and landlords by keeping drugs and other illegal activity off their property. Several members of the Lakeland Police Department will be present to discuss the abatement process and answer questions.

 

The Lakeland Police Department had received numerous citizen complaints about drug activity at this location. Detectives using confidential sources purchased felony amounts of marijuana from apartment #2. On May 22nd, a search warrant was executed at apartment #2 and the following items were seized: approx. 17 grams of “crack” cocaine in 9 separate baggies, 58 grams of cannabis in 26 baggies, a mask, scales, loaded .380 caliber handgun, magazine and 9mm rounds and drug paraphernalia. Detectives were also able to determine that two individuals that left apartment #2 just prior to the search warrant were staying with the resident in apartment #1.

 

Detectives observed cannabis cigarettes on the window sill of apartment #3 and as a result obtained a search warrant that same day on May 22nd. The following items were seized: approx. 27 grams of “crack” cocaine in 2 separate baggies; 3 cannabis cigarettes, approx. 22 grams  of cannabis in a baggie; a 40 caliber handgun; and a 38 caliber round along with a box of .357 caliber rounds.

 

On May 23, a confidential source informed LPD that deliveries of controlled substances resumed at apartment #3 and this same day a confidential source purchased “crack cocaine and cannabis from an occupant inside of apartment #3.

 

On June 11, 2014, a second search warrant was obtained for apartment #3 and the following items seized: approx. 12.31 grams of “crack” cocaine, 52 grams of cannabis, and 4 pipes used to inhale cocaine.

 

In July, detectives recovered two additional firearms from a vehicle that had just left the parking lot of 919 North Iowa Avenue. Two individuals that were identified in the parking lot were staying with a resident in apartment #1. Detectives testified that the illegal controlled substance activities occurring on the property have involved all 3 units of the property including that the tenant residing in apartment unit #1 had direct knowledge of the illegal controlled substance activity occurring in units #2 and #3 of the property.

 

Lakeland Police Department General Counsel Roger Mallory presented an overview of the case to the to the Nuisance Abetment Board stating that it constitutes a “public nuisance”.

 

The Nuisance Abatement Boards findings were:

 

1. The entire Property, apartment #1, #2 and #3 has a reputation as a location where controlled substances are illegally possessed and can be illegally purchased.

2. The Boards finds that qualifying illegal controlled substances activity is inextricable intertwined with the entire property.

3. The Boards finds that a period of closure of the property for 1 year is necessary to discourage continued unlawful controlled substance activity on the Property and to abate the public nuisance.

 

 

Closure will take place:

August 20th, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Location:  919 N. Iowa Avenue.

The doors and windows will be boarded up at that time as well

as a sign being posted in the front yard stating that property is closed as a drug nuisance.

 


SIGN UP TODAY FOR THE LAKELAND ELECTRIC CUSTOMER ACADEMY
CLASS STARTS SEPTEMBER 9TH


The Lakeland Electric Customer Academy is a free, interactive informational program that allows you, our customer, the opportunity to gain insight into your community-owned electric utility and discuss energy industry “hot topics” with subject matter experts.  

The academy will consist of six (6),  two-hour evening sessions, with sessions held on every other Tuesday from 6-8 p.m.  Refreshments will be served prior to each session between 5:30-6:00 p.m. Participants are highly encouraged to attend all six sessions to get the most from the program.  Class size is limited to the first thirty (30) Lakeland Electric customers.

 Academy Topics include:

  • Explanation of Electricity—from generation to billing
  • Power Plant and Substation Tours
  • Accessing your “Smart Meter” information on the web
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Utility financials and rate structures

Sign Up Online at bit.ly/1tiXhQ9

 


SCAM ALERT

INDIVIDUALS IMPERSONATING LAKELAND ELECTRIC EMPLOYEES REQUESTING OVER THE PHONE PAYMENT


LAKELAND, FL (August 18, 2014) — Lakeland Electric customers beware of a current scam that involves an individual who calls and acts as if he is a representative of Lakeland Electric.  The scammers ultimately demand that a business provide some type of electronic payment over the phone in order to avoid a disruption in their service.

 

The caller does have a sophisticated piece of equipment that alters the caller ID.  The calls look as if they are coming from 863-834-9535 but the calls are actually coming from 305-514-9961. In all three of the known scam cases that have been reported, the caller had the victim’s business account number.  Sergeant Terri Smith with the Lakeland Police Department said, “The most concerning thing about these recent scams is the use of a City of Lakeland telephone number even though it is a false number. This may confuse some of our elderly and make them more vulnerable to these scams.” Smith said, "There are many ways that City of Lakeland account numbers can be obtained by scammers: by request because account names and numbers are considered public information; through mail theft; and by going through garbage and culling out discarded bills."

 

Basic Tips to Avoid Scams

·      DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON—follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts. Make sure you meet people in a public and secure place, such as your local police department lobby.

·      NEVER AGREE TO PURCHASE GIFT CARDS, GREEN DOT CARD, OR MONEY PACK CARDS and give the card numbers to someone over the telephone.

·      NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or other wire service – if a business or unknown person asks then they are likely a scammers.

·      FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON—BANKS WILL HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later. Contact your bank and work with them to establish whether or not a money order or check is fraudulent before you spend it or give anyone property in return for it.

·      NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.). If you get a call from your bank asking for anything like this, hang up and call your bank independently to verify information.

 

Lakeland Electric would never call a customer and demand a bankcard, prepaid credit card or even a retail card such as a prepaid Wal-Mart, Walgreens or CVS card.  Lakeland Electric customers are encouraged to sign up for eServices by visitingwww.lakelandelectric.com.  Through eServices, customers can monitor their energy usage, receive text notifications and pay their utility bill via a secure network connection.  Customers are encouraged to call a real representative at Lakeland Electric (863-834-9535) if they have been involved in a possible scam by someone claiming to be a Lakeland Electric employee.


 


11th Annual Lakeland Cardboard Boat Challenge
and Lakes Festival on Lake Hollingsworth



Lakes Education/Action Drive (LE/AD), in partnership with Lakeland Clean & Beautiful, the City of Lakeland and Lakeland Vision present Lakeland’s 11th Annual Cardboard Boat Challenge and Lakes Festival on Saturday, September 13, from 8:00 a.m. – noon at the Lake Hollingsworth boat ramp (race starts at 10 a.m.). This event is designed to help raise public awareness about our lakes and the precious resources we have in our area.  Environmental exhibitors will provide fun activities for children and supply information on area lakes and water resources. Entertainment will be the Cardboard Boat Challenge!

The challenge will be to design, construct and race a boat made of cardboard around a marked course in Lake Hollingsworth. We know what you’re thinking, but a cardboard boat really can float if you construct it wisely! Teams must have a minimum of four and maximum of 10 people, but only two will set sail in the boat. Race teams will be in four divisions: community/corporate, elementary/middle school-age youth, high school-age youth and family. First, second and third-place awards will be given in each race division. The Cardboard Boat Challenge and Lake Festival is a great opportunity for youth groups, scouts, civic clubs, families and businesses to have fun together while enjoying our beautiful lake. For the fourth year now we will have the “Pre-Built” category. Teams construct their boats out of corrugated cardboard in advance and race around the designated course. Judging will be for “People’s Choice” and speed. Pre-Built will be limited to 8 teams. 

Registration is $35 per team if received by August 31, 2014. After August 31, registration is $40 per team. Registration fee includes all tools and materials needed to construct boats (in on-site building only) and two commemorative t-shirts. Additional shirts will be available to purchase on the day of the event. To register or for more information, contact the City of Lakeland Lakes & Stormwater Division at (863) 834-8429 or LE/AD at (863) 221-5323. Register now because the race is limited to 35 teams! If space is available, registration will be available on race day on a first come/first served basis.  Registration forms are available at www.le-ad.org.

Event supporters include the Lakes Education/Action Drive, Lakeland Clean & Beautiful, the City of Lakeland, Lakeland Vision, AMEC, MaxPak, Lakeland Family YMCA, Crowder Brothers – Ace Hardware, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rita’s Italian Ice, Ledger Media Group, and Southwest Florida Water Management District.  Even if you don’t participate in the boat challenge, come watch the boat race and cheer on your favorite team!

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