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!

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

LAKELAND, FL (September 14, 2016) - The Simpson Park Community Center (1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue) will host a FREE Lakeland Health and Wellness Fair on September 24th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. All ages are invited. There will be health information for men and women including FREE health screenings and FREE food.

Health professionals from Lakeland Regional Health and Keiser University on hand who will lead workshops on healthy living topics that include:

  • Prostate Cancer and knowing your numbers
  • BMI and blood pressure              
  • Zumba
  • CuRobics    

The Lakeland Health and Wellness Fair is sponsored by Lakeland Regional Health, Coca-Cola, Keiser University and the City of Lakeland.  Participants at the health fair can learn more about how to live a healthy lifestyle that includes regular check-ups, health screenings and regular exercise.  

Contractors working for the City of Lakeland will begin milling Massachusetts Avenue in preparation of resurfacing. The milling process will begin on September 20, 2016 and will be the entire length of Massachusetts Avenue from Lake Morton Drive to Memorial Boulevard. 

Following the milling, the road will be resurfaced, the week of September 26, 2016. We expect the project to be complete in two weeks but weather may impact the time schedule. Message boards will be placed beginning September 12, 2016 to provide advance notification.


Lincoln Avenue Sidewalk

City of Lakeland crews are constructing a new sidewalk on the east side of Lincoln Avenue from Beacon Road to Ariana Street.  Drainage improvements will commence on Lincoln Avenue from Roberts Street to Leyte Street.  While periodic lane closures are necessary during construction, we will make every attempt to minimize delays.    Anticipated completion date for this project is December 2016.

Clarendon Avenue Sidewalk Repair

Crews are repairing sidewalk on Clarendon Avenue.  No delays are expected, however, the presence of construction equipment and personnel will require motorists and pedestrians to use caution.  Anticipated completion date for this project is early September 2016.

Crystal Lake Drive Bike Lane and Sidewalk

The eastbound lane of Crystal Lake Drive from New Jersey Road to Bartow Road continues to be closed.  Bike lane and sidewalk construction is in progress and expected to be complete in December.


Michael Whigham, Manager of Construction & Maintenance | (863) 834-3300


LAKELAND, FL (September 7, 2016) On September 5th at 1:14 a.m., members of the Uniform Patrol Division responded to Max Jewelers, 1553 Town Center Drive, in reference to an alarm activation. Officers discovered that unknown subjects shattered the front glass window and the front door. The jewelry case inside the store on the northeast side, was shattered and appeared to have jewelry items removed from it.

Miscellaneous rings, bracelets and other assorted jewelry items were missing according to a store representative, Abdullah Madi. A store surveillance tape revealed three black male subjects making a force entry into the business. 

At approximately 2:54 a.m. that same morning, Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Bolin spotted a stolen vehicle traveling southbound on Highway 27. The vehicle, a 2008 GMC Sierra pickup, had been reported stolen out of Winter Haven on September 4th.  The Haines City Police Department assisted and a short pursuit ensued. A deputy initiated a precision immobilization technique (PIT) to stop the vehicle. The vehicle crashed in a ditch on Highway 27 at 915 Roberts Road, Lake Hamilton. The passenger was immediately apprehended.  The driver fled on foot and was observed jumping a fence at a business. Haines City Police Department K-9 located and apprehended the driver.

During the course of this investigation, it was discovered that both subjects were in possession of a backpack containing jewelry from Max Jewelers. 

Driver has been identified as: Christopher Dwayne Lewis, 17 years old of 1700 2nd Street NW, Winter Haven. Lewis has been charged with Burglary to an Unoccupied Structure, Grand Theft and Possession of Burglary Tools.

Passenger has been identified as Jovan Tavarus Washington, 15 years of age of 1700 2nd Street NW, Winter Haven. Washington has been charged with Burglary to an Unoccupied Structure and Grand Theft. 

Detectives have identified the third subject involved and additional charges may be forthcoming pending further investigation. The name of the third subject is not being released at this time. Detectives are continuing to investigate this case working with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Winter Haven and Haines City Police Department. For additional information on the stolen vehicle, apprehension and additional charges, please contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Haines City Police Department.

Lakeland, FL (September 7, 2016)- The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) and the Lakeland Police Department (LPD) are excited to present a new “Keep 911 for Emergencies” public safety campaign. The campaign features four public service announcements and related print materials aimed at reminding the community that 911 is for emergencies only and that it should be used responsibly. 

Both LFD and LPD receive a high number of calls for service (22,515 and 108,657, respectively, in 2015). These calls are managed by the Lakeland Public Safety 911 Communications Center, which dispatched 131,172 calls for service last year.

The Lakeland Fire Department and the Lakeland Police Department joined forces to address these issues of mutual concern in hopes of improving response with their current resources while in the process helping make Lakeland a safer community; a priority for both agencies. 

The Lakeland Public Safety 911 Communications Center was consulted when developing this campaign to identify the most common examples of 911 misuse. In Lakeland’s case the leading issues in 911 misuse were: accidental dialing from cell phones by both unknowing adults or children on mobile devices; non-emergency medical calls; and parents calling 911 to threaten disobedient children. Individual public service announcements were created for each of these issues.

The public service announcements are available at:

Lakeland Fire Department | YouTube | Facebook

Lakeland Police Department | YouTube | Facebook

The PSAs may also be downloaded for redistribution at . They will also be shown on the City of Lakeland’s Public Access Channel, LGN.

Everyone is encouraged to share these messages to promote responsible 911 use. 

For interviews, filming, and more information please contact:

Janel Vasallo

Office: (863) 834-8219 | | Lakeland Fire Department

Robin Tillett

Office: (863) 834-2963 | | Lakeland Police Department