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

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.

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Lakes Education/Action Drive (LE/AD), in partnership with Lakeland Clean & Beautiful, the City of Lakeland and Lakeland Vision’s Lakes Alliance present Lakeland’s Eighth Annual Cardboard Boat Challenge and Lakes Festival on Saturday, September 17, from 8:30 a.m. – noon at the Lake Hollingsworth boat ramp (race starts at 10 a.m.).  This event is designed to help raise public awareness about our lakes and the precious resources we have in our area.  Environmental exhibitors will provide fun activities for children and supply information on area lakes and water resources.  Entertainment will be the Cardboard Boat Challenge!

The challenge will be to design, construct and race a boat made of cardboard around a marked course in Lake Hollingsworth.  We know what you’re thinking, but a cardboard boat really can float if you construct it wisely!  Teams must have a minimum of four and maximum of 10 people, but only two will set sail in the boat.  Race teams will be in four divisions: community/corporate, elementary/middle school-age youth, high school-age youth and family.  First, second and third-place awards will be given in each race division.  The Cardboard Boat Challenge and Lake Festival is a great opportunity for youth groups, scouts, civic clubs, families and businesses to have fun together while enjoying our beautiful lake.  For the second year now we will have the “Pre-Built” category.  Teams construct their boats out of corrugated cardboard in advance and race around the designated course.  Judging will be for “People’s Choice” and speed.  Pre-Built will be limited to 8 teams.

Registration is $35 per team if received by September 2, 2011.  After September 2, registration is $40 per team.  Registration fee includes all tools and materials needed to construct boats (in on-site building only) and two commemorative t-shirts.  Additional shirts will be available to purchase on the day of the event.  To register or for more information, contact the City of Lakeland Lakes & Stormwater Division at (863) 834-8429 or LE/AD at (863) 221-5323.  Register now because the race is limited to 35 teams!  If space is available, registration will be available on race day on a first come/first served basis.

Event supporters include the Alafia River, Hillsborough River and the Peace River basin boards of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Lakes Education/Action Drive,

Lakeland Clean & Beautiful, the City of Lakeland, Lakeland Vision, MaxPak, Lakeland Family YMCA, Crowder Brothers – Ace Hardware, Amec, JBT Food Tech, Inc. and Woodmen of the World.  Even if you don’t participate in the boat challenge, come watch the boat race and cheer on your favorite team!