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The latest happenings in your city government.


Lakeland Awarded Bronze-Level Walk Friendly Communities Designation

Lakeland, FL – The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has designated the City of Lakeland a Bronze-Level Walk Friendly Community for its walkability initiatives and programs. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and FedEx, Walk Friendly Communities is a national recognition program aimed at recognizing communities for their commitment to pedestrian safety.

For a medium sized city in central Florida, Lakeland offers many opportunities for people to walk safely and conveniently with more than 260 miles of sidewalks and 26 miles of off-road trails, within the metro area.  These sidewalks and trails connect downtown Lakeland with the surrounding neighborhoods, parks and scenic lakes making walking a pleasant experience.  

Among the top reasons cited by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center for the designation are:

·       A well-connected network of parks and trails, with future trails planned.

·       Good planning policies to promote infill development and Complete Streets.

·       Collaboration among city departments and with other agencies, such as Polk County Board of County Commissioners and the Florida Department of Transportation, to improve pedestrian safety.

This designation acknowledges the sustained efforts that the city is engaged in to build a healthy and active community for all Lakelanders to enjoy” comments the City of Lakeland Community Development Director, Jim Studiale. 

Lakeland is among four communities recognized in the latest round of Walk Friendly Communities announced. The Walk Friendly Community designation, awarded from bronze to platinum, is given to applicant communities that have demonstrated a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies. To date, 47 communities in the U.S. have been designated as Walk Friendly Communities.

For more information on Walk Friendly Communities, please visit http://www.walkfriendly.org.

Additional Resources:

Walk Friendly Communities Website

http://www.walkfriendly.org

 

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Website

http://www.pedbikeinfo.org

 

Federal Highway Administration Website

http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/


Two Drive-By Shootings

 

 

LAKELAND, FL (April 26, 2014) - On April 26th, at 3:00pm, Dayquon Raheem Longs, 15 years old, was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling southbound on Brunnell Parkway near George Jenkins Boulevard. There were three other subjects in the vehicle. A vehicle, unknown make and model, passed them firing rounds at the vehicle striking Longs in the left arm. The other subjects drove him to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center and police were notified by hospital personnel. His condition is unknown at this time. Patrol officers located the crime scene at 3:58 p.m. and Violent Crime Detectives responded to investigate. A passenger in this vehicle, Bayshawn Kelly, 15 years old is the victim in the next shooting described below.

 

While detectives were investigating the first shooting, another shooting occurred.  The second drive-by shooting occurred at 2nd Street and Jewel Avenue  at 6:50pm. The victim, Bayshawn Kelly was standing outside at this location when a vehicle drove by and fired several rounds hitting him in the back and arm. He was airlifted to Tampa in critical condition. There is no vehicle or suspect description in either case.

 

Both of these cases are currently under investigation and its unknown at this time if this was gang related or not. There is no additional information at this time. Anyone with information on either shooting can call 863-834-6900 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.

 

 

 

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.


Armed Robberies, Easter Monrning

Lakeland Police need to identify this suspect of one armed robbery with a knife and one attempted robbery with a knife thatoccurred on April 20, 2014, within minutes of each other. One robbery occurred at the 7-11, 3071 S. Road 98 and the other at the Grove Park Chevron, 1315 S. Rd 98, Lakeland. The robberies occurred between 6:00am and 7:00am.

In both robberies the suspect entered the stores with a shirt wrapped around his face, brandished a knife and demanded cash from the store clerk. At the 7-11, the store clerk ran into the cooler and the suspect fled with no money. Minutes later, the suspect appeared at the Grove Park Chevron where the clerk gave the suspect cash and he fled on foot. 

The images were taken off the surveillance camera from the Grove Park Chevron. Neither victim was injured during the robbery. 
The man is described as a white male, 5’08” to 5’11, 130 pounds, 18 to 25 years of age. He was wearing gray sweat pants, a two tone black and gray long sleeve shirt, and black shoes. 

If you have any information regarding these robberies, please call Detective Stacey Pough at 863-834-6966.

 


GREEN CELEBRATION HONORING EARTH DAY
LAKE MIRROR EVENT WILL FEATURE LIVE MUSIC & GREEN LIVING DISPLAYS

LAKELAND, FL (April 14, 2014) - On Friday, April 18th there will be a free Green Celebration in honor of Earth Day with a concert & showcase at the Lake Mirror Promenade from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. There will be live music from the Sofa Kings along with a variety of exhibits and displays promoting green living initiatives. 

The Sofa Kings will provide an entertaining mix of dance, pop and rock with groovy antics to please the crowd. The band grooves audiences into a soulful mood like no other and they are a perfect fit to celebrate the 43rd Anniversary of Earth Day. Their music includes Southern Rock favorites along with crowd pleasers from the Beatles, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Buffett intertwined with hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. 

The Green Celebration honors Earth Day, a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and it is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22nd as International Mother Earth Day. 

There will be a number of exhibits and vendors that will have displays at the Green Celebration. The Polk County School Board will showcase programs and earth friendly initiatives designed to promote a greener more sustainable future. This year, Polk County Schools will exhibit a “green fair”. The audience along with a panel of judges will decide on the most innovative project that promotes a cleaner, greener environment. The City of Lakeland will also unveil six new recycling trucks that have oversized wraps decorated with art created by local elementary schools that depicts a recycling message. 

The Green Celebration invites the Lakeland community to attend the free event. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and enjoy the festivities as we celebrate Earth Day. Participants are encouraged to recycle, reclaim, reuse and ride a bike.