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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!


PRESS CONFERENCE

ANNOUNCING 160+ ACRE REGIONAL PARK

 

WHO: Local philanthropists including Barnett Family, David Bunch and former Parks & Recreation Director Bill Tinsley 

 

WHAT: Event to introduce 160+ Acre privately-funded regional park

 

WHERE: Property includes former CSX railyard bordered by Lake Bonnet, Kathleen Road, Memorial Boulevard and George Jenkins Boulevard. Press Conference attendees will enter park from North Webster Avenue (720 N. Webster Ave). There will way finding signage off George Jenkins Boulevard to assist participants with direction.

 

WHEN: Wednesday, February 8th at 11 a.m.

 

WHY: Two former industrial areas being mitigated to create regional urban park with numerous amenities that include: walking trails, multiple play areas, amphitheater, botanical gardens and public art displays.


LAKELAND, FL (February 6, 2017) - The media is invited to a press conference to introduce the vision and name of a 160+ acre regional park.  This park will be situated within 200 acres of assembled property that includes the former CSX Railyard, the former Florida Tile industrial site and the adjoining historical parcels that once occupied this tract of land.  Local visionaries including the Barnett Family (Barney, Carol, Wesley and Nicholas), longtime Lakeland commercial real estate broker David Bunch along with former City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Director Bill Tinsley have quietly assembled the property to bring the vision of a regional urban park to life.  

 

This property has over one mile of lake front, features oak hammocks with grandfather oaks, a small spring and a natural setting for an amphitheater. A great deal of work has already been done and the media is invited to hear the vision and tour this great fantastic piece of land. “Lakeland needs an incredible green space to improve its residents’ lives by bringing them closer to nature. This park will provide visitors with an educational experience and there will be multiple avenues for family enjoyment and entertainment,” said  Barney Barnett. “The City of Lakeland has built an incredible park system but this new endeavor will be like nothing our residents and visitors have ever seen here, both in scale and possibility.” 

 

The current plan is to restore the two industrial land areas and enable them to return to a productive use. The former Florida Tile site -which is not planned as part of the park - will be cleaned up, revitalized and reintroduced to the market place as a high density, quality mixed-use development comparable with the proposed park to support Lakeland’s downtown needs.  Proceeds from the sale of this development will be put back into the regional park project.  Proposed plans for the regional park include nature trails, an amphitheater, multiple playground areas, historically-themed areas, a miniature train, botanical gardens, bike paths, public art displays and much more. The park is slated to open by 2020. 


 

Arrest in Homicide Investigation of Gregory Allen Ross Jr.

 

Suspect Information:
Jimmy Jermaine Brown, B/M,
DOB 11/16/84
814 Quincy Street, Lakeland, Fla

 

LAKELAND, FL (March 11, 2014) On Saturday, March 8, 2014, at approximately 8:23 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 833 N. Florence Avenue in reference to a homicide. Inside the dwelling officers discovered Gregory Allen Ross Jr. (B/M 06/17/94) deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. At the time of the homicide, the dwelling was being utilized as an illegal drug distribution point commonly known as a drug trap house. Evidence found inside the dwelling included firearms and illegal drugs. Crime scene personnel recovered spent bullet casings and projectiles inside the dwelling.

On Monday, March 10, 2014, an autopsy was conducted at the Medical Examiner’s Office by Dr. Nelson. The results of the procedure identified five gunshot wounds to the decedent, to include shots to the head and upper torso area.

According to two witnesses that were in the dwelling prior to the homicide, only four people were inside which consisted of: Jimmy Brown, the decedent and two witnesses. Both witnesses had left the dwelling when they heard five separate gunshots. One of the witnesses returned to the dwelling and observed Jimmy Brown running out the front door. The witness followed Jimmy Brown for several blocks before catching up with him. The witness stated that Jimmy Brown told him he had robbed the decedent of an amount of drugs, to include powder cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana, which he showed the witness. Jimmy Brown told the witness he accidentally shot the decedent during a struggle.

Detectives obtained the arrest warrant on March 11th and attempted to locate Brown at various locations throughout the evening. Jimmy Brown later turned himself in at the Lakeland Police Department yesterday evening without incident and was later transported to the Polk County Jail.