City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland's Blog

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.



LAKELAND, FL (July 28, 2011)The August 19, 2011 Music on the Promenade will feature three up and coming Lakeland bands as part of a local music showcase.  This FREE event is from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Lake Mirror Promenade.

The Brian Sutherland Trio will open the show with their eclectic blend of musical styling.  Sutherland is a singer, songwriter who will easily switch from cello to guitar as he plays his own version of folk, pop, acoustic rock.  He is joined by band mates Zach Rogers and singer Adrienne Kneebone.  This group of Florida Southern students makes up a sound that audiences have struggled to categorize.  Their blend of styles and freedom to improvise places them in more than one genre.  Covering the great artists like Nat King Cole and George Gershwin, all the way to modern day crooners Jason Mraz and Michael Buble.  They are crowd pleasers wherever they play.

Walking Catfish, another local Lakeland band, will take the stage with music that blends the attitude of early classic 70’s punk, the spirit of early 60’s surf music, the mathematical tendencies of krautrock and some curious electronic noises that intertwine melody and harmony into a unique homespun sound. Walking Catfish are a band that makes music on their own terms. The culmination of the eclectic crew and years of experience inspire a blue collar approach to indie rock.

What started in a garage as three to four friends collaboratively writing and rehearsing simple acoustic folk songs has evolved into a band known as the California Baseball Band.  While the songs written by the band are not necessarily themed around California or even baseball for that matter, they have built upon the quaint acoustic folk set with more volume and more instruments.  The California Baseball Band has managed to keep the banjo and mandolin in the forefront of many of their songs; maintaining the simple folk vibe that a wide demographic can enjoy.  The band is literally 6-7 friends having fun doing what they love. Their set will contain most of the songs of their newly completed EP 'Deep Creek' which can be heard by logging onto  

The music series takes place at the Lake Mirror amphitheater which is between Hollis Garden and the Lake Mirror Center. The event is FREE to the public and families are encouraged to attend. There will be food and drink vendors on site so bring a blanket and enjoy the lake setting with music under the stars.

Music on the Promenade is proudly sponsored by the City of Lakeland.  Parking is available at the Lake Mirror Center's parking lot and in the Iowa Avenue parking garage.  No glass bottles within the park please.  For more information regarding the series, contact Kevin Cook at 863/834-6264.

View Poster