City News Blog


This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!

Beginning Monday Sept.12th, 2011, Lake Beulah Drive will be closed between Lime Street and Lemon Street as City crews begin the Lake Beulah Brick Street Restoration Project. This project will be completed in sections. Detours will be clearly marked and City personnel will be on site to assist with any issues that might arise.

If you have any questions, please contact Matthew Glen at 834.3305.

LAKELAND, FL (August 15, 2011) – Cleveland Heights Golf Course will play host to guitarist Michael Bell and his band for Music at the Heights on Thursday, August 25, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Bell and friends bring a fusion of rock and roll, blues, and country music and are sure to be a crowd pleaser. There will be no cover charge for the event.

The Music at the Heights series features local artists on the last Thursday of each month in Rueben’s Lounge at the golf course, located at 2900 Buckingham Ave. For more information about this event or future Music at the Heights events, contact Thom Grenkowski at (863) 834-2326.


On April 15, 2009, Lakeland Police were called to 600 East Main Street, Lakeland, after the  remains of an adult female were found on AmTrak Train property.  It was determined the woman, identified as Shawn Hazel Turk, age 34, had died of asphyxia. 

The investigation indicated that Shawn had only been in Lakeland for approximately one day before being violently killed.  Shawn had traveled to Lakeland from South Carolina with her boyfriend, a long distance truck driver.  Shawn and her boyfriend were involved in a domestic related altercation while in Lakeland and he put her out of his truck and left town.

Shawn was stranded.  The investigation indicates that she utilized pay phones in the downtown area at a 24 hour food mart and the bus station in an attempt to contact relatives for assistance.   The last phone call made by Shawn was at 11:00 pm on April 9th at the Greyhound Bus Station, 303 N Massachusetts Ave (next door to the Lakeland Police Department).  Investigators believe that Shawn had already met Reginald Riggins (DOB:  10/8/77) and that he was standing with her at the time she made her last call from the bus station.  One reason that Shawn may not have attempted to contact police for assistance is because she believed she had an outstanding warrant.  Another reason is because Shawn also had a substance abuse issue.

Investigators believe that Riggins met Shawn at the bus station and offered her crack cocaine in exchange for sex.  This was a random meeting and neither knew each other before this time.  The two of them walked down to Lake Mirror and smoked crack cocaine, then walked over the train station.  At this time it is believed that Shawn refused to have sex with Riggins.  Riggins became enraged, attacked Shawn, and killed her.

In July, 2011, Detective Brad Grice received a tip that led police to Reginald Riggins.  Riggins was a suspect of another homicide that occurred in Fort Myers, Florida.   Detective Grice was able to develop this lead causing LPD Detectives to travel to St.  Petersburg, Florida.   Once there, Lakeland Police worked with other agencies to facilitate the apprehension of Riggins.  The homicide in Fort Myers, as well as the homicide of Shawn Hazel Turk in Lakeland, has been brought to their proper conclusion because of the multi-agency cooperation and assistance in working these cases.

Yesterday, 8/11/2011, the Grand Jury indicted Reginald Riggins for the murder of Shawn Hazel Turk.   Riggins will now stand trial for two homicides.


LAKELAND, FL (August 12, 2011) -- The City of Lakeland will play host to the Greater Lakeland Multi-Cultural Festival, September 16, 2011 when the reggae band Democracy takes the stage from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. during the FREE music and cultural event.

The Multi-Cultural Festival will take place at the Lake Mirror amphitheater which is in-between Hollis Garden and the Lake Mirror Center. The event is free to the public and families are encouraged to attend. The Multi-Cultural Festival will include ethnic food vendors and displays.  There will be additional cultural entertainment that will take place during music breaks.

Democracy will bring their energetic form of island music to the stage as band leader Oswald Caines leads the group into crowd pleasing favorites. The band really knows how to work an audience and for more than a decade, Democracy has been one of the finest, most innovative reggae bands to hit the greater Tampa Bay area. They have supported reggae superstars such as Pato Banton, Yellowman, Inner Circle, Steel Pulse, Third World and Shabba Ranks.

Democracy has won numerous awards including the Best Reggae/Caribbean band in the Tampa Bay area and they have performed in Jamaica as part of the Air Jamaica Festival.  Democracy always leaves the audience wanting for more and this Friday night will be no different.

The Greater Lakeland Multi-Cultural Festival is proudly sponsored by the City of Lakeland, Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department, Center Door Productions and the University of South Florida. Parking is available at the Lake Mirror Center's parking lot and in the Iowa Street parking garage. No glass bottles within the park please. For more information regarding the series, contact Kevin Cook at 863/834-6264.