City News Blog

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The latest happenings in your city government.


It's not too late to register for the Youth Basketball League at the Kelly Recreation Complex.  The City has extended the deadline for new registrations until Monday, October 14th. 


2013-2014 KELLY RECREATION YOUTH BASKETBALL LEAGUE

 

FEES

PARTICIPANT FEE: $60.00

TRAINING LEAGUE AGES 4-7: $40.00

ALL FEES MUST BE PAID IN FULL UPON REGISTRATION. FEES INCLUDE 10 GAMES, END OF SEASON TOURNAMENT, TROPHY AND JERSEY. THERE WILL BE $15.00 LATE FEE FOR ANYONE REGISTERING AFTER OCTOBER 14, 2013.

 

LEAGUES AND DIVISIONS

LEAGUES: TRAINING LEAGUE: AGES 4-7

DIVISIONS: BOYS: AGES 8-10, 11-12,

BOYS: AGES 13-15

GIRLS: AGES 8-11

GIRLS: AGES 12-15

 

DRAFT

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2013

6:00PM-6:45PM - BOYS- 11-12 YR OLDS

7:00PM-7:45PM - BOYS- 13-15 YR OLDS

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2013

6:00PM-6:30PM - BOYS- 8-10 YR OLDS

6:45PM-7:15PM - GIRLS- 8-11 YR OLDS

7:30PM-8:00PM - GIRLS- 12-15 YR OLDS


For more information contact the Kelly Recreation Complex at 863.834.3284.

 

 


Lakeland --- At approximately 8:15 PM, the Lakeland Fire Department responded to a home fire at 1408 Phyllis Street, Lakeland, FL.  Fire crews breached the front door to find heavy smoke conditions and a bedroom on the east side of the home consumed in flames. Crews extinguished the fire without incident but upon searching the structure for occupants discovered 3 pets; a large dog and two cats.

The home was occupied by siblings Thomas Watkins and Pamela Burton, neither of which were home when the fire began. The fire is believed to have begun after Watkins briefly left the home for a walk. Upon returning Watkins discovered the fire and entered to rescue the aforementioned pets. Mr. Watkins was assessed and air lifted from the scene to Tampa General Hospital for treatment.

Extensive resuscitation attempts were made on all three of the pets by LFD firefighters. One cat was revived after being administered oxygen, however the second cat and the dog perished from their injuries, even after resuscitation attempts by crews which included full intubation and Advanced Life Support treatment. The LFD crews are trained and all of the department’s rescue apparatuses are equipped with specialized equipment designed for pet rescue and resuscitation.

It is important to remind pet owners that however difficult it may be to do, please do not enter a burning structure to save a pet. If a building is on fire or shows signs of fire, like smoke, stay out! Pets are very much loved and seen as members of the family but people should not jeopardize their safety in the event of a fire or other emergency. Responders are specially trained to rescue everyone, including pets. 

 

LFD’s fire investigator determined that that the fire was started by smoking materials in the affected bedroom and was accidental. The fire caused $25,000 in damage to the home.

 

8 apparatuses and 24 firefighters responded to the incident.

If any further information is needed contact Janel Vasallo.

 


US98 AT BELLA VISTA FLASHING YELLOW ARROW SIGNAL NOW ENERGIZED

Join the City & FDOT to Celebrate

 

LAKELAND, FL (October 1, 2013) - Please join us to celebrate the new fully-operational traffic signal at the US 98/Bella Vista intersection in Lakeland.  This celebration will be held on Thursday, October 3rd, starting at 9:00 a.m. in the southwest corner of the US 98/Bella Vista intersection, in front of the Lakeland Fire Department station at 110 West Bella Vista Street. 

 

The new US 98/Bella Vista traffic signal features the first use of a “Flashing Yellow Arrow” signal in Polk County and it is the first such traffic signal located within the twelve counties served by the Florida Department of Transportation District One. 

 

Flashing Yellow Arrows remind motorists to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians when making left turns at signalized intersections and have enhanced traffic safety where they have been installed around the United States.  District Secretary Billy Hattaway will provide remarks regarding this project and the benefits of using a Flashing Yellow Arrow. 

 

For more information on the Flashing Yellow Arrow, please visit the City of Lakeland Web page athttp://www.lakelandgov.net/BellaVistaSignalization.aspx. City staff will also be present to discuss other planned area transportation projects, including the Bella Vista Trail between Martin Luther King Avenue and West Lake Parker Drive.

 

Following remarks by Mayor Gow Fields and Secretary Hattaway, refreshments will be served in the Community Room at Larry R. Jackson Branch Library.  We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

 

 


Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas

Response to Media

 

As reported in at least one media outlet, I did speak with Commissioner Wiggs yesterday afternoon.  We have worked together for 10 years and I am obviously disappointed by his statement.  I have carefully followed the plan of action that was publicly outlined at the July 22nd Town Hall meeting including working closely with the Commission endorsed Lakeland Police Advisory Commission (LPAC) as we address the issues facing the Lakeland Police Department. Howard is a respected member of the Lakeland City Commission but as City Manager, I work for the Mayor and City Commission as a whole and therefore understand that different opinions regarding my management of the City are inevitable, especially during the stressful times we are experiencing.

 

I believe I have been responsive to what the City Commission has asked me to do. As requested at the June 28th Agenda Study Session, I had Police Chief Womack meet with the City Commission on July 1st to speak about the actions she and the command staff were taking in response to the issues facing the LPD.  Further, during my comments at the July 22nd Town Hall Meeting, I outlined the specifics of a plan to ensure our investigations followed all required state laws, collective bargaining agreement provisions and due process and to issue appropriate levels of discipline based upon the results of those investigations.

 

I promised and have delivered upon my commitment to keep both the City Commission and the public informed as to results of the various investigations as they were completed, which have included advance notice to City Commissioners followed by public media releases, press conferences and posting on the City’s special LPD microsite.  Recognizing the importance of transparency in response to these issues, this same microsite also includes a robust listing of virtually every piece of information that has been generated throughout our efforts and has become a widely accessed and trusted source of information by our community, our employees and the news media. 

 

I also pledged the support of both myself and the entire municipal organization to work with and promptly respond to any information or request by the Commission endorsed LPAC as they carried out their mission and charge to address the following:

1.      Do we – the City of Lakeland and the LPD – have the appropriate processes in place to address the challenges we are confronting today?

2.      What can be done to improve a speak-up culture within the LPD and City Hall?

3.      What can be done to improve a culture in which citizens can know their complaints will be heard, fairly evaluated and acted upon promptly?

4.      What measurements can we set in place to fairly judge our success?

The LPAC was asked to provide an update to the City Commission within 30 days of their first meeting which was done on September 3rd and complete their final report within 60 to 90 days.  They are on schedule and are planning to present their findings and recommendations at the October 21, 2013 City Commission meeting.

Lastly, in addition to my commitment to work with the LPAC, I stated as City Manager that I would simultaneously be developing a specific plan of action that will address what we learned from our investigations; why our established policies and procedures failed; and outline a framework of initiatives that I and the LPD administration will be implementing to prevent such matters from occurring in the future.  In our September 11thpresentation to the LPAC, Chief Womack and I highlighted our accountability for our respective operations, the status of our investigations, disciplinary actions taken, current responses to issues and most importantly, a comprehensive blueprint of the steps and programs we believe will be required going forward.

 

At a Lakeland Chamber of Commerce function that very same evening, I encouraged Commissioner Wiggs to watch the presentation on the LPD microsite as several of his colleagues had attended the meeting and were very complementary of the information provided.  I was surprised to learn during yesterday’s conversation that he has not yet watched the video presentation.  That presentation was intended to serve as the basis of my final report and recommendations to the City Commission on October 21st following their receipt of the LPAC report.

 

My job as City Manager is to professionally lead and oversee the operations of this organization and I will continue to do so to the best of my abilities during these trying times.  I have carried out exactly what I committed to do dating back to the July 22nd Town Hall meeting. I reaffirmed that same path of action with the consent of the City Commission at their August 5th meeting and we are within weeks of completing that process.  The City of Lakeland has accomplished tremendous success during my tenure as City Manager through a productive and collaborative relationship with the City Commission, and I am confident that this foundation will enable us to successfully resolve our current challenges as well.