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The latest happenings in your city government.


 

 

Two officers with the Lakeland Police Department are gearing up to participate in the 2014 Police Unity Tour. On May 9th, Lieutenant Mike Moran, a 23-year veteran and Sergeant Mike Lewis, a 14-year veteran, will once again set out on a bike ride that will span three days and 250 miles from Portsmouth, VA to Washington, DC. The annual event’s primary purpose is to raise awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty. The tour also raises funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum in Washington, D.C.  This year’s ride will be the 3rd for Lt. Moran and the 2nd for Sgt. Lewis. The pair of riders have been training all year for the ride.


“I am an avid cyclist and also passionate about law enforcement and recognizing the officers that have given their lives for this career,” said Lewis.

Close to their minds and hearts will be fallen officers. Lt. Moran will be riding in memory of Master Deputy Shane Robbins, from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.  The 15-year veteran died in the line of duty on April 26, 2013 when he was involved in a single-vehicle crash.  Sgt. Lewis will be riding to honor the memory of Officer Michael Crain, an 11-year veteran of the Riverside Police Department in California.  Officer Crain was shot and killed in the line of duty after being ambushed at a red light on February 3, 2013. Both Moran and Lewis will wear a metal bracelet with the fallen officer’s name engraved in it. Once arriving at the memorial site, they will present the family members with the bracelets.  

“When you ride into the police memorial in Washington, DC and see the faces of the family that you are riding for, it’s heart wrenching,” said Moran.  “But it’s also amazing when you get to meet the family and see how thankful they are for us remembering their loved one. It’s one of the most gratifying things I’ve done in my life.”

Both will also wear a small memento in honor of their own fallen comrade, Officer Arnulfo Crispin. Crispin was shot in the line of duty on December 18, 2011 and succumbed to his injuries three days later.  “The reason I joined the tour in 2012 was to honor the memory of Arnie,” said Moran. Officer Crispin’s family will be there in Washington to greet Moran, Lewis and the other riders participating in the tour.

Riders in the Unity Tours are either police officers or family members of fallen officers. Officer Lewis shared a memory from his first Unity Tour where a woman who was riding in memory of her husband. The woman began to struggle after about 70 miles into the ride. He watched as another officer whom she had never met put his hand on her back and pushed her for the next 40 miles so that she would not be dropped from the ride. “Riding a bike for 110 miles is impressive, but to push another rider for that distance was simply amazing to witness and truly in the spirit of the tour,” said Lewis.

Started in 1997 with only 18 riders, the event has grown to include over 1,700 riders from all over the United States. In total the event has raised almost $14 million for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  Each year the ride culminates at during National Police Memorial week in Washington, DC.  Riders all converge at the same time at the National Law Enforcement memorial where thousands of family members of fallen officers and law enforcement supporters are waiting.

For each officer to participate they must raise $2,000.  Half of the money covers the expenses of the ride and the other half goes directly to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.  If you would like to support these two officers, you can make a donation through their fundraising websites.

Sgt. Lewis’ fundraising website:  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/MLewis/2014

 

Lt. Moran’s fundraising website:  https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/moranpoliceunitytour/2014

 

 

 

 


Polk County Communities Recognized as Healthy Weight Community Champions

BARTOW- The Florida Department of Health has recognized the City of Lakeland, the City of Winter Haven, and Polk County as Healthy Weight Community Champions. Between November 2013 and February 2014, local governments were invited to submit best practice policies they have implemented to promote physical activity and improve nutrition in their jurisdictions. These “best practices” are exemplified by the Healthy Weight Community Champions.

 

“Efforts to improve health are often most effective at the local level and the Department wants to recognize the outstanding progress made by these communities to promote healthy weight,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong.

“We are very proud of the work our local community leaders have accomplished to make Polk County a healthier place to live, work, and play,” said Dr. Ulyee Choe, FDOH- Polk Director.

Some of the best practices enacted locally include:

  • Sponsorship of low or no cost fitness related events
  • Pursuing healthy community design and complete streets policies
  • Supporting the development of community gardens
  • Including healthier alternatives in vending machines at parks and recreation facilities

    A full list of policy changes for each community is available in the attached document or online at www.mypolkhealth.net/announcments/healthyweight.

    Each municipality will receive their award at an upcoming public meeting. Communities will also receive personalized Healthy Weight graphics and promotional material.

    The Community Champions program is part of the Department’s Healthiest Weight Florida initiative. Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, schools, faith-based organizations and entire communities to help Florida’s children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living.

    To learn more about Healthiest Weight Florida, please visit www.HealthiestWeightFL.com.

    For more information about the Florida Department of Health in Polk County please visit www.mypolkhealth.org.

 


MAYOR'S NIGHT IN
ONE-ON-ONE WITH THE MAYOR

 

LAKELAND, FL (March 7, 2014) -- Mayor Wiggs invites Lakeland residents to participate in a new communications program that allows them to spend face-to-face time with the Mayor.  Residents can talk to the Mayor about any issue and depending upon the number of attendees, the one-on-one chats will last either 5 or 10 minutes.  Mayor Wiggs said, “The one-on-one meetings will allow me to better understand the views of our residents and to hear their concerns first hand. I am looking forward to meeting Lakeland residents and share ideas as we continue to move forward."

Scheduling is on a first come, first served basis.  The meetings will take place at City Hall in the Mayor’s Office on the 1st Monday of each month from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.  City Hall is located at 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801. Dates for the Mayor’s evening hours are as follows:

·      April 7, 2014

·      May 5, 2014

·      June 2, 2014

·      July 7, 2014

·      August 4, 2014

·      September 2, 2014

·      October 6, 2014

·      November 3, 2014

·      December 1, 2014

For those interested in participating, please contact the Mayor's Office at 863/834-6005 to schedule time with Mayor Wiggs during his evening office hours. To assist in scheduling and preparation, residents will be asked to provide information about the subjects they wish to discuss with the Mayor.  For more information regarding City of Lakeland services, events and programs, go to www.lakelandgov.net.

 

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PUBLIC MEETING:  North Wabash Avenue Extension Alignment Study
From 10th Street to Fairbanks Street

The City of Lakeland is holding a Public Hearing regarding the North Wabash Avenue Extension Alignment Study in Lakeland, Florida. The study is evaluating an extension of North Wabash Avenue from 10th Street to Fairbanks Street, a distance of approximately 0.75 miles. This project is shown in the Polk Transportation Planning Organization’s Cost Feasible Plan through construction.     

The Public Hearing will be held Monday, March 17, 2014 at Lakeland City Hall in the City Commission Chambers located on the 3rd Floor of City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801. City staff and representatives from the study team will be available to present the findings and recommendations of the study. The Hearing is part of the scheduled City Commission meeting which begins at 9:00 a.m.

Oral comments will be received at the Public Hearing and all comments will become part of the project’s public record.   

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status.  Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or persons who require translation services, free of charge, should contact: Study Team Project Manager Mr. Marty Peate, at 813-636-2477 or by e-mail to martin.peate@urs.com, at least seven (7) days prior to the workshop.

For more information concerning the project, please contact City of Lakeland Manager Mr. Greg James, at 863-834-6040, by e-mail to greg.james@lakelandgov.net or follow the City of Lakeland Public Works Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fbcolpw.