City News Blog

rss

The latest happenings in your city government.


World’s Only Flying B-29 Superfortress Heads to Lakeland Tuesday

LAKELAND, FL (March 10, 2014) — CAF AirPower History Tour will bring FIFI and other rare World War II aircraft.

When: Tuesday, March 11 at 12:00 p.m.

Where: Lakeland Linder Regional Airport,Main Terminal

What: EXCLUSIVE MEDIA ACCESS TO AIRCRAFT AND CREW for the arrival of FIFI, the only flying B29 Superfortress in the world, the only flying SB2C Helldiver in the world, a C-45 Expeditor, aDouglas Skyraider, a PT-17 Stearman and pilot Sarah Wilson with her newly restored Stearman Junior Speedmail.

About the event: The aircraft, all part of the CAF AirPower History Tour, will be on display and offering rides throughout the stop. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the B-29 and purchase rides on all of the visiting aircraft. The airplanes will be on the ramp Tuesday March 11 through Sunday, March 16. The aircraft, all part of the CAF AirPower History Tour, will be on display and offering rides throughout the stop. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the B-29 and purchase rides on all of the visiting aircraft.

Hours: Tuesday -- 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday -- 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for children age 11 through 17. Children 10 and under free. Admission price includes free B-29 cockpit tour.

Rides: Rides range from $75 to $1595 depending on aircraft and seat selection. Rides can be booked online or purchased at the event.

For More Information: Information about the event can be found at www.AirPowerTour.org.

About the B-29: The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944 and is perhaps best known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped bring about the end of World War II. It was designed as a replacement for the older B-17s and B-24s, with longer range and greater bomb loads. The B-29 was also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s.

FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s when a group of CAF members found her at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, California where she was being used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued and restored and flew for over thirty years until 2006when the chief pilot made the decision to ground her pending a complete power plant re-fit. What followed was an extensive four year restoration that included replacing all four engines with new custom built hybrid engines. FIFI returned to the sky in 2010 and since that time has traveled coast to coastattracting large crowds at every tour stop. Learn more about FIFI and her tour schedule at www.AirPowerTour.org.


VETERAN’S DAY CELEBRATION

EVENTS INCLUDE MOVIE, PARADE & DISPLAYS

 

 

LAKELAND, FL  (November 6, 2013) – The City of Lakeland will observe Veteran’s Day with festivities beginning Friday, November 8th at 6 p.m. with a free movie, the Glenn Miller Story at Lake Mirror. The movie is part of the Pics on the Promenade series and the night will include a rededication of the Frances Langford Promenade. The promenade was originally dedicated in 1946 with Langford in attendance.  Langford grew up in Lakeland and attended Lakeland High School before capturing the hearts of many entertaining the troops with Bob Hope during WWII. Langford actually plays a part in the Glenn Miller Story.  The Frances Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror is located at 121 S. Lake Avenue, Lakeland, FL.

 

The celebration will continue on Saturday, November 9th at 10 a.m. with a ceremony honoring all those that have served in the armed forces. The annual Veterans Day Parade will immediately follow the honor ceremony. The parade begins at 11 a.m. from The Lakeland Center and will end in Munn Park.  Munn Park will be the highlight of activity immediately following the parade with military displays, memorabilia, camaraderie and refreshments.  Park events will conclude at 3 p.m.

 

Honor Flight Mission #15 launches from Lakeland Linder Airport on Tuesday, November 12th taking 80 WWII veterans and their guardians to Washington DC to visit the WWII Memorial.  Join in the Welcome Home Celebration at 8:00 p.m. at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport Terminal that evening.  Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. The organization transports US veteran heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

 

The public is encouraged to attend all events celebrating the sacrifice and dedication of all veterans. Veterans groups wishing to participate in the parade are invited to contact Gary Clark at (863) 688-1725 or through email at gary@cpalliance.com.  Please visit the Polk County Veteran’s Council website atwww.polkveteranscouncil.com for information regarding veteran affairs and www.picsonthepromenade.com for more information regarding the Pics on the Promenade movie series.

 

 


PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

TEMPORARY SOUTHWEST LAKELAND FIRE STATION OFFICIALLY OPENS

 

WHO: Lakeland Fire Department

WHAT: Unveiling of new Fire Engine 71 at the Temporary Southwest Lakeland Fire Station located at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport

WHY: To provide fire and rescue service to Southwest Lakeland residents and businesses

WHEN: Monday, June 10, 2013 at 9 a.m.

WHERE:  In front of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport Terminal at 3900 Don Emerson Drive

 

LAKELAND, FL (June 7, 2013) – The Lakeland Fire Department will officially open the temporary fire facility at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport on Monday, June 10th at 9 a.m. with an unveiling of the new Fire Engine 71.  The temporary station will house Engine 71 and the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) unit that is dedicated to public safety inside airport property.    The temporary station will house six personnel on a 24-hour rotation with four dedicated to Engine 71 and two dedicated to the ARFF unit.

 

Engine 71 will be dedicated to serving residents and business in the Southwest Lakeland area.  The unit was delivered to the Lakeland Fire Department in early May and then it was outfitted with equipment to get ready for service.  Engine 71 was built in Appleton, Wisconsin by Pierce Manufacturing, a global leader in custom fire trucks and fire apparatus.  The unit is equipped with a 55’ sky boom to assist in elevated aerial firefighting and it will be staffed with at least one paramedic for rescue response.

 

The permanent Fire Station 7 is estimated to be completed summer 2014.  Once the facility is built it will house an additional fire fighting apparatus and 10 personnel on a 24-hour rotation.  Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard said, “Our design team is preparing the bid documents for Station 7 and we expect those packets to be ready later this summer.  We hope to break ground for the new facility by early fall of this year.”  He added, “We are very eager to start providing much needed service to the citizens in Southwest Lakeland and our temporary station will do that until we get our permanent facility built.”

 

-END-

 


Officials want to find ways to avert local airport tower closings

 

Eds., reporters note:  Sen. Nelson will meet with Lakeland Linder Regional Airport’s director and air-traffic controllers tomorrow at 2 p.m. to discuss possibilities for offsetting the FAA’s closing the tower there and those in other Florida cities.  The meeting is open to media.  The airport tower is located at 3900 Don Emerson Dr.  

A local contact for Nelson is Celeste Brown 407-506-6057.


LAKELAND  (March 27, 2013) - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Thursday Congress could avoid the Federal Aviation Administration shuttering of 149 airport towers in Florida and other states by targeting a few projects spread throughout the federal government and deemed by some to be unnecessary, duplicative or wasteful.

In a move one lawmaker likened to “removing stop lights and stop signs from our roads," the FAA has announced it’s closing the towers - 14 of them in Florida – to comply with a mandated across-the-board budget cut at all federal agencies.  The tower closings will take place over four weeks starting April 7. “Congress can’t find the estimated $10 million it would take to keep the towers open in Florida, yet the government’s still able to pay for a lot of questionable stuff,” said Nelson, citing Sen. Tom Coburn's annual slam-book on the government wasting taxpayers’ money. 

A list compiled for 2011 by the Oklahoma Republican included projects, like, some $10 million for a remake of Sesame Street for Pakistan; or, on Coburn’s 2012 list, $24 million in administrative costs the government incurs to manage contracts for items no one buys anymore, like, typewriters. “Right now, I’d rather have the money to spend to on keeping our airport towers open,” Nelson said.  “Look, these regional airports serve not only business and commerce, but also law enforcement, air ambulances, and search and rescue operations.

“These aren’t low-priority operations,” the Florida Democrat said.

Nelson will discuss possible ways of keeping the towers open during a visit Thursday with area officials, including Lakeland Linder Regional Airport Director Gene Conrad.  Linder Airport’s tower is among those slated to be closed unless officials can find some $700,000, which is what the airport estimates the FAA pays a private company to staff it with seven workers each year.

Coincidentally, Coburn’s 2012 list identifies one project that cost taxpayers that amount: the Pentagon is paying $700,000 to several companies to find a new way to make beef jerky.

When the airport cuts were announced earlier this month, the FAA at first proposed closing 189 air-traffic-control towers as part of its plan to cut $637 million under sequestration.  The agency said it would keep open any towers if doing so would be in the country’s interest.  It then said it would close 149 towers.

Besides Lakeland, towers are being shut at Naples Municipal, Boca Raton, New Smyrna Beach Municipal, Page Field in Fort Myers, North Perry in Hollywood, Leesburg International, Ocala International-Jim Taylor Field, Ormond Beach Municipal, Punta Gorda, Northeast Florida Regional in St. Augustine, Albert Whitted in St. Petersburg, Witham Field in Stuart and Space Coast Regional in Titusville.

Airport leaders in Punta Gorda, Naples and some of those other cities are threatening to sue to block the FAA’s action.  Some of the cities also are considering trying to make up the costs themselves, no small task given their own strained budgets.  Lakeland reportedly has received bids ranging from $365,000 to $376,000 a year.

 

 

-END-