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!

 Local Kids Invited to Join In Free Event

LAKELAND, FL- On March 10th, 2012, Lakeland area young people ages 8-17 will have the opportunity to take to the skies as Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) hosts a Young Eagles Flight Rally at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. 

The rally is part of the EAA Young Eagles Program, created to interest young people in aviation.  Since the program was launched in1992, Volunteer EAA pilots have flown more than 1.6 million young people who reside in more than 90 countries.

“Free airplane rides are just part of the Flight Rally,” said Sal Capra, spokesman for the event. “We hope to build one-on-one relationship between pilots and young people, giving a new generation a chance to learn more about the possibilities that exist in the world of aviation.”

Pilots at the event will also explain more about their airplanes allowing young people to discover how airplanes work and how pilots ensure safety is the prime concern before every flight.

Following the flight, each child will receive a certificate making them an official Young Eagle. Their name will then be entered into the “World’s Largest Logbook,” which is on permanent display at the EAA Air Adventure Museum in Oshkosh, WI.

Those attending the flight rally on March 10th are asked to come to the hangar west of the blue roofed airport terminal, 3480 Airfield Dr West, Lakeland, FL. 33811 and look for event signage. The event begins at 9:00 a.m. and will conclude by early afternoon  (2pm). For more information, please call Sal Capra: 863.206.3991.

Special thanks go to the local pilots, the staff of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and to Columbia Air Services for their help and sponsorship.




Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Invasive Plant division in cooperation with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will treat Lake Hollingsworth for hydrilla beginning on Feb. 27th, weather permitting. The entire lake will be treated by air boat, using the aquatic herbicide SONAR.

Once the herbicide treatment has been applied to Lake Hollingsworth, using water from the lake to irrigate could result in injury to irrigated vegetation.  An irrigation precaution is recommended for at least 90 days during the SONAR treatment process. The City of Lakeland Division of Lakes and Stormwater will be monitoring the herbicide concentrations in the lake throughout the hydrilla treatment period with water sampling and lab tests.  Area residents will be notified when the herbicide concentrations have dissipated and it is safe to resume irrigation with lake water.

There are no restrictions for fishing or swimming associated with this treatment. SONAR is approved for use in lakes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Hydrilla is an exotic aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout the state's lakes and rivers. It clogs waterways, making recreational activities difficult or impossible and it chokes out beneficial native plants. Managing and treating it is necessary for the health of Florida's waters and to enable continued recreational boating and other aquatic activities.

On February 22, 2012, contractors will begin resurfacing Pilgrim Lane, Mayflower Drive, Baker Drive, and Standish Drive. Work is expected to take 2 days to complete.  Any detours will be clearly marked and City of Lakeland employees will be on-site to address any concerns.

City crews are upgrading the sidewalks along both sides of Main Street from Bartow Highway to Fern Road. Lane closures can be expected.

February 20, 2012, contractors working for the City of Lakeland will be resurfacing the following streets:

Orange view Lane; Pinellas Street.; High view Lane.;  Carleton Circle. ; Carleton Court.; Carleton Place;  Carleton Street.; Aberdeen Court. N;Aberdeen Court. S.; Polk Ave.; Tiffany Trail.; Oak Drive.; Circle Drive;  and Collins Lane. There will be City personnel on site to assist with any concerns.  All detours will be clearly marked.

Contact Michael Whigham at 834-3300 with questions and continue to check this number (8 3 4 - r o a d) for updated information.

LAKELAND, Fla. – Though sadly missed, the memory of two dedicated volunteers will live on in the naming of a special memorial pass gate created in honor of long-term community volunteers, Joe O’Leary and Cecil “Pete” Haupert. The memorial pass gate is located on the northwest side of Jenkins Arena and welcomes hundreds of athletes, FHSAA officials, members of the media and guests each year. As long time members of the Championship volunteer committee responsible for the management of this pass gate, both gentleman were instrumental in the hospitality provided for the state tournaments. A special dedication ceremony and unveiling of a commemorative plaque is planned for Tuesday, February 21st at 1:00pm in conjunction with the first day of the FHSAA Girls Basketball Championships. The public is invited to attend the ceremony.  

Pete Haupert was a member of the Lakeland High School Century Club, Florida Southern College Sixth Man Club and the University of Florida Gator Boosters. He was an active member of First United Methodist Church of Lakeland. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Frances Coleman Haupert and three children.  Pete passed away in 2009. Joe O’Leary was a founding member of Resurrection Catholic Church and served as a volunteer with Lakeland Vision, Polk Vision, United Way and Santa Fe High School. He is survived by Mary Jo O'Leary, his wife of 58 years, eight children and eleven grandchildren. Joe passed away in 2011.

Lakeland Center Executive Director, Mike LaPan had this to say about the upcoming ceremony, “Pete and Joe were pillars of the community and dedicated many hours of service to our annual tournaments. This gate will be a testament to the power of volunteerism and will serve as a reminder to those who enter of the importance of leadership and community spirit. The O’Leary and Haupert families are honored by our salute to these fine gentlemen and we are grateful for the opportunity to offer such a fitting tribute.”

The Lakeland Center offers a full variety of sporting events, concerts and shows. Located minutes between Orlando and Tampa in Lakeland, Florida off I-4 on Lime Street, The Lakeland Center is a short drive from anywhere in Central Florida. Regular box office hours are Monday-Friday 9:30am-5:30pm and two hours prior to most events. For ticket information, call the Box Office at (863)834-8111 or visit our website at