Polk County, FL news including Bartow and Lakeland - WFLA News Channel 8

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  • Explosion at beverage packaging facility in Lakeland

    Explosion at beverage packaging facility in Lakeland

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:24:13 GMT
    An explosion at a Lakeland beverage packaging facility sent a 60,000-pound boiler onto a CSX railroad track Tuesday morning. The boiler, which holds 4,000 gallons of steam, was half-filled.
    An explosion at a Lakeland beverage packaging facility sent a 60,000-pound boiler onto a CSX railroad track Tuesday morning. The boiler, which holds 4,000 gallons of steam, was half-filled.
  • Legoland unveils new character corner

    Legoland unveils new character corner

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:27 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:27:56 GMT
    Photo: Legoland Florida ResortPhoto: Legoland Florida Resort
    On Tuesday, Legoland has announced a new way for guests to meet and mingle with their favorite Lego characters, titled Buddy's Character Corner!
    On Tuesday, Legoland has announced a new way for guests to meet and mingle with their favorite Lego characters, titled Buddy's Character Corner!
  • PF Chang's names Clearwater, Winter Park restaurants in data breach

    PF Chang's names Clearwater, Winter Park restaurants in data breach

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:07 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:07:19 GMT
    PF Changs data breach includes Clearwater and Winter Park locations (Photo from NBC News)PF Changs data breach includes Clearwater and Winter Park locations (Photo from NBC News)
    P.F. Chang's is providing more details on its ongoing investigation into a security breach, saying data may have been stolen from certain credit and debit cards used at 33 P.F. Chang's China Bistro restaurants including in Clearwater and Winter Park.
    P.F. Chang's is providing more details on its ongoing investigation into a security breach, saying data may have been stolen from certain credit and debit cards used at 33 P.F. Chang's China Bistro restaurants including in Clearwater and Winter Park.
  • Lake Wales PD, Polk SO arrest nine in drug crime sweep

    Lake Wales PD, Polk SO arrest nine in drug crime sweep

    Sunday, August 31 2014 8:39 AM EDT2014-08-31 12:39:44 GMT
    Lawson, a 31-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested Friday on a variety of drug-related charges. Lawson, a 31-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested Friday on a variety of drug-related charges.
    In an effort to reduce drug related street crime in Lake Wales the Polk County Sheriff's Office on Friday arrested seven adults and two juveniles on a variety of charges.Officers with the Lake Wales Police Department also took part in the three-month undercover operation.
    In an effort to reduce drug related street crime in Lake Wales the Polk County Sheriff's Office on Friday arrested seven adults and two juveniles on a variety of charges.Officers with the Lake Wales Police Department also took part in the three-month undercover operation.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • Amazon's new fulfillment center opens in Lakeland

    Amazon's new fulfillment center opens in Lakeland

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:27 AM EDT2014-08-29 08:27:34 GMT
    More than 400 employees have reported to work at Amazon's new regional order fulfillment center in central Florida.
    More than 400 employees have reported to work at Amazon's new regional order fulfillment center in central Florida.
  • Medical marijuana debate comes to Lakeland

    Medical marijuana debate comes to Lakeland

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:55 AM EDT2014-08-29 07:55:16 GMT
    There are just two months left to make your decision. Should Florida legalize medical marijuana? Hundreds packed into an auditorium in Lakeland to hear two star players in this debate.
    There are just two months left to make your decision. Should Florida legalize medical marijuana? Hundreds packed into an auditorium in Lakeland to hear two star players in this debate.
  • Meters overheating, to be replaced in Lakeland

    Meters overheating, to be replaced in Lakeland

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:07:37 GMT
    Remote Disconnect smart meter Remote Disconnect smart meter
    More than 10,000 smart meters will soon be replaced in Lakeland due to their possibility of overheating.
    More than 10,000 smart meters will soon be replaced in Lakeland due to their possibility of overheating.
  • 98 arrested during Polk undercover prostitution investigation

    98 arrested during Polk undercover prostitution investigation

    Thursday, August 28 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-08-28 17:28:45 GMT
    A total of 98 people were arrested as part of an undercover prostitution investigation in Polk County targeting human trafficking suspects.
    A total of 98 people were arrested as part of an undercover prostitution investigation in Polk County targeting human trafficking suspects.
  • Arrest made in 1987 Polk cold case murder

    Arrest made in 1987 Polk cold case murder

    Thursday, August 28 2014 1:06 PM EDT2014-08-28 17:06:33 GMT
    A suspect in a murder that happened in Polk County over two decades ago was arrested this week.
    A suspect in a murder that happened in Polk County over two decades ago was arrested this week.
  • Women steal lobster tails from Clearwater market, deputies say

    Women steal lobster tails from Clearwater market, deputies say

    Thursday, August 28 2014 12:20 PM EDT2014-08-28 16:20:13 GMT
    Pinellas County detectives are looking to find two women accused of stealing lobster tails from a Clearwater seafood market.
    Pinellas County detectives are looking to find two women accused of stealing lobster tails from a Clearwater seafood market.
  • Medical marijuana plant planned for Polk County

    Medical marijuana plant planned for Polk County

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:05:02 GMT
    A proposed medical marijuana manufacturing facility is creating quite the 'buzz' in Polk County.
    A proposed medical marijuana manufacturing facility is creating quite the 'buzz' in Polk County.
  • Crist becomes Democratic nominee, rallies with Nan Rich planned

    Crist becomes Democratic nominee, rallies with Nan Rich planned

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-08-27 03:11:41 GMT
    Photo courtesy Florida DemocratsPhoto courtesy Florida Democrats
    Florida Democrats appeared poised Tuesday to select former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist as their nominee to challenge Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a nationally watched race that's part of an unlikely political comeback for Crist.
    Florida Democrats appeared poised Tuesday to select former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist as their nominee to challenge Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a nationally watched race that's part of an unlikely political comeback for Crist.
  • Jurors recommend life in prison for Lakeland cop killer

    Jurors recommend life in prison for Lakeland cop killer

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:12:57 GMT
    File: Kyle WilliamsFile: Kyle Williams
    Jurors in the Kyle Williams case have begun their deliberations in the sentencing phase. They have to recommend a sentence of either life in prison or the death
    Jurors in the Kyle Williams case have begun their deliberations in the sentencing phase. They have to recommend a sentence of either life in prison or the death
  • Jury to recommend life or death for convicted Lakeland cop killer

    Jury to recommend life or death for convicted Lakeland cop killer

    Monday, August 25 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:08:23 GMT
    File photo: Kyle WilliamsFile photo: Kyle Williams
    Emotional testimony in the Kyle Williams sentencing forced Polk County Judge Donald Jacobsen to send out the jury twice. Williams is the man jurors convicted of shooting and killing Lakeland Police Officer Arnulfo Crispin in December of 2011. Crispin's father, Tomas, took the stand and through an interpreter, addressed the jury.
    Emotional testimony in the Kyle Williams sentencing forced Polk County Judge Donald Jacobsen to send out the jury twice. Williams is the man jurors convicted of shooting and killing Lakeland Police Officer Arnulfo Crispin in December of 2011. Crispin's father, Tomas, took the stand and through an interpreter, addressed the jury.
  • Lakeland teen's touchdown is a wish come true

    Lakeland teen's touchdown is a wish come true

    Monday, August 25 2014 4:04 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:04:22 GMT
    A Lakeland mother is basking in her son's happiness after he recently scored a touchdown that was made possible through the sportsmanship of the opposing team.Jason Dryna is 13-years-old and loves football. However, his disabilities make it hard for him to excel at the sport.
    A Lakeland mother is basking in her son's happiness after he recently scored a touchdown that was made possible through the sportsmanship of the opposing team.Jason Dryna is 13-years-old and loves football. However, his disabilities make it hard for him to excel at the sport.
  • Invasive insect a threat to Florida's citrus industry

    Invasive insect a threat to Florida's citrus industry

    Sunday, August 24 2014 11:14 AM EDT2014-08-24 15:14:48 GMT
    The Asian Citrus Psyllid carries a bacteria that feeds off the leaves of citrus trees. The Asian Citrus Psyllid carries a bacteria that feeds off the leaves of citrus trees.
    The tourists stream to Florida in their cars, intent on a week at Disney or a sugar-sand seashore or a nonstop party on South Beach. Road weary and thirsty, they pull over at one of the state's five official welcome centers. They walk inside, and then they look up."The best start under the sun," reads a big sign. "FLORIDA ORANGE JUICE."
    The tourists stream to Florida in their cars, intent on a week at Disney or a sugar-sand seashore or a nonstop party on South Beach. Road weary and thirsty, they pull over at one of the state's five official welcome centers. They walk inside, and then they look up."The best start under the sun," reads a big sign. "FLORIDA ORANGE JUICE."
  • Felon sought in connection with early morning shooting in Winter Haven

    Felon sought in connection with early morning shooting in Winter Haven

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-08-23 16:24:48 GMT
    Authorities consider Matthews to be armed and dangerous. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see him. Authorities consider Matthews to be armed and dangerous. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you see him.
    Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff's Office are on the lookout for a Winter Haven man being sought on armed robbery and attempted murder charges.Brandon Leon Matthews, 29, has an extensive criminal background and is considered armed and dangerous.
    Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff's Office are on the lookout for a Winter Haven man being sought on armed robbery and attempted murder charges.Brandon Leon Matthews, 29, has an extensive criminal background and is considered armed and dangerous.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 11 - 16

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 11 - 16

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:57:41 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from August 11 to 16, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from August 11 to 16, 2014.
  • Massive wasp nest removed from Winter Haven home

    Massive wasp nest removed from Winter Haven home

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:24 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:24:06 GMT
    A massive wasp nest outside a Winter Haven home is being removed Friday morning.
    A massive wasp nest outside a Winter Haven home is being removed Friday morning.
  • Kyle Williams found guilty of murdering Lakeland Police officer

    Kyle Williams found guilty of murdering Lakeland Police officer

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:42:52 GMT
    Kyle Williams, who is accused of killing a Lakeland Police officer was found guilty of murder Thursday afternoon.


    Kyle Williams, who is accused of killing a Lakeland Police officer was found guilty of murder Thursday afternoon.
  • Target to extend store hours, hoping for younger shoppers

    Target to extend store hours, hoping for younger shoppers

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:25 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:25:55 GMT
    Target to expand store hours, hoping to attract younger, late-night shoppersTarget to expand store hours, hoping to attract younger, late-night shoppers
    More than 900 Target stores across the country will be extending store hours in an effort to accommodate late night shoppers, including more than 70 Florida retail locations.Target says that's what customers want and may be a way to get younger shoppers back in the store.
    More than 900 Target stores across the country will be extending store hours in an effort to accommodate late night shoppers, including more than 70 Florida retail locations.Target says that's what customers want and may be a way to get younger shoppers back in the store.
  • Child porn found on Plant City church computer, youth group volunteer arrested

    Child porn found on Plant City church computer, youth group volunteer arrested

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:48:24 GMT
    Jay Howell Bloodworth, 28, was charged with 2 counts of possession of child pornography. Polk Co Jail booking photoJay Howell Bloodworth, 28, was charged with 2 counts of possession of child pornography. Polk Co Jail booking photo
    A Plant City church youth group volunteer is charged with possession of child pornography after church staff told police they discovered images of child pornography on a church computer.Polk County Sheriff's Office Computer Crimes detectives on Wednesday arrested Jay Howell Bloodworth, 28, of Lakeland in connection with the crime.Detectives say Bloodworth is an active member of the Church on the Rock and is a volunteer with the youth group which includes 30 to 40 juveniles under the age of 18...
    A Plant City church youth group volunteer is charged with possession of child pornography after church staff told police they discovered images of child pornography on a church computer.Polk County Sheriff's Office Computer Crimes detectives on Wednesday arrested Jay Howell Bloodworth, 28, of Lakeland in connection with the crime.Detectives say Bloodworth is an active member of the Church on the Rock and is a volunteer with the youth group which includes 30 to 40 juveniles under the age of 18...
  • Complaints of sexual activity in parks lead to 2 arrests in Lakeland

    Complaints of sexual activity in parks lead to 2 arrests in Lakeland

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:37:46 GMT
    Left to right: Hazelton Crawn, 62, and Jose Javier Martinez, 54, were arrested. Jail booking photosLeft to right: Hazelton Crawn, 62, and Jose Javier Martinez, 54, were arrested. Jail booking photos
    Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is warning people not to have sex in parks.  The warning came after the sheriff's office received complaints. The sheriff's office sent undercover detectives to Lakeland's Saddle Creek Park, they wound up arresting two men.
    Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is warning people not to have sex in parks.  The warning came after the sheriff's office received complaints. The sheriff's office sent undercover detectives to Lakeland's Saddle Creek Park, they wound up arresting two men.

  • Restaurant-style lunchrooms in Polk County high schools

    Restaurant-style lunchrooms in Polk County high schools

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-08-21 12:11:05 GMT
    This year the cafeterias in all Polk County High Schools are resemble restaurants more than lunchrooms."We hope they feel like it's something different. Not just a bigger portion size when they get to high school," said Jenna Kaczmarskie, Polk County School Nutrition Coordinator.
    This year the cafeterias in all Polk County High Schools are resemble restaurants more than lunchrooms."We hope they feel like it's something different. Not just a bigger portion size when they get to high school," said Jenna Kaczmarskie, Polk County School Nutrition Coordinator.
  • Jury deliberates fate of accused Lakeland cop killer

    Jury deliberates fate of accused Lakeland cop killer

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:48 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:48:09 GMT
    Kyle Williams is accused of killing a police officerKyle Williams is accused of killing a police officer
    Closing arguments are set for Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of killing a Lakeland Police officer.
    Closing arguments are set for Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of killing a Lakeland Police officer.
  • Lakeland house labeled 'public nuisance' after dozens of police calls

    Lakeland house labeled 'public nuisance' after dozens of police calls

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:00:35 GMT
    919 North Iowa Ave has been labeled a "public nusiance"919 North Iowa Ave has been labeled a "public nusiance"
    A Lakeland triplex was boarded up Wednesday and officially labeled a "public nuisance."
    A Lakeland triplex was boarded up Wednesday and officially labeled a "public nuisance."
  • Florida trucker records crash, then helps

    Florida trucker records crash, then helps

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:12 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:12:27 GMT
    News Channel 8's Peter Bernard interviews trucker David Fredericksen via SkypeNews Channel 8's Peter Bernard interviews trucker David Fredericksen via Skype
    Dash cam video rolled as David Fredericksen and his co-driver witnessed a horrible crash outside Biloxi Mississippi. It happened last Monday, as they drove a load of orange juice in a large tanker truck. A grandmother driving her young granddaughter lost control and slammed into a semi, igniting the truck's fuel tanks.
    Dash cam video rolled as David Fredericksen and his co-driver witnessed a horrible crash outside Biloxi Mississippi. It happened last Monday, as they drove a load of orange juice in a large tanker truck. A grandmother driving her young granddaughter lost control and slammed into a semi, igniting the truck's fuel tanks.
  • Lakeland couple accused of 'caging' kids

    Lakeland couple accused of 'caging' kids

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-08-19 21:53:07 GMT
    Sean Pearson and Jessica Rowland Sean Pearson and Jessica Rowland
    A Lakeland couple is in the Polk County jail, charged with child abuse toward an 11 and 12-year-old.
    A Lakeland couple is in the Polk County jail, charged with child abuse toward an 11 and 12-year-old.
  • Lakeland businesses targets in payment scam

    Lakeland businesses targets in payment scam

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-08-19 18:09:33 GMT
    Palace Italian Restaurant targeted in electric bill scamPalace Italian Restaurant targeted in electric bill scam
    Three Lakeland restaurants have been targeted in a scam designed to scare owners into paying their electric bill to the unknown caller.
    Three Lakeland restaurants have been targeted in a scam designed to scare owners into paying their electric bill to the unknown caller.
  • Highest & Lowest Salaries: Lakeland, Winter Haven

    Highest & Lowest Salaries: Lakeland, Winter Haven

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 1:40 PM EDT2014-08-19 17:40:36 GMT
    Downtown Lakeland. Wikimedia Commons photoDowntown Lakeland. Wikimedia Commons photo

    Ever wonder how your salary stacks up against others? We were curious to find out what the high and low salaries are in the Tampa Bay area.

    Ever wonder how your salary stacks up against others? We were curious to find out what the high and low salaries are in the Tampa Bay area.


  • Lakeland Electric warns customers about phone payment scam

    Lakeland Electric warns customers about phone payment scam

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 12:59 PM EDT2014-08-19 16:59:20 GMT
    Lakeland Electric customers beware of a current scam that involves an individual who calls and acts as if he is a representative of Lakeland Electric.
    Lakeland Electric customers beware of a current scam that involves an individual who calls and acts as if he is a representative of Lakeland Electric.
  • 8 On Your Side helps Winter Haven woman find owner of lost moving boxes

    8 On Your Side helps Winter Haven woman find owner of lost moving boxes

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:07 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:07:14 GMT
    Lydia meets David WhiteLydia meets David White
    A Winter Haven woman got her wish: the owner of the moving boxes that ended up at her house now has his belongings back.
    A Winter Haven woman got her wish: the owner of the moving boxes that ended up at her house now has his belongings back.
  • Mulberry woman struck, killed walking near Highway 60

    Mulberry woman struck, killed walking near Highway 60

    Sunday, August 17 2014 1:36 PM EDT2014-08-17 17:36:36 GMT
    Polk deputies and emergency vehicles arrived at the scene just after 3 am Sunday. Polk deputies and emergency vehicles arrived at the scene just after 3 am Sunday.
    A 45-year-old Mulberry woman died early Sunday after she was hit by a car while walking along Highway 60 in Polk County.Julie Ann Melvin was pronounced dead at the scene just after 3 am.
    A 45-year-old Mulberry woman died early Sunday after she was hit by a car while walking along Highway 60 in Polk County.Julie Ann Melvin was pronounced dead at the scene just after 3 am.
  • Florida's newest university makes debut in Lakeland

    Florida's newest university makes debut in Lakeland

    Sunday, August 17 2014 10:16 AM EDT2014-08-17 14:16:02 GMT
    The school's Chief Operating Officer Ava L. Parker addresses the crowd on Saturday. The school's Chief Operating Officer Ava L. Parker addresses the crowd on Saturday.
    Florida Polytechnic University officially opened for business Saturday in Lakeland.Governor Rick Scott was among the more than 1,000 supporters, students and faculty that attended the facility's launch celebration. The event marked the school's grand opening and the completion of the Science and Technology Building.
    Florida Polytechnic University officially opened for business Saturday in Lakeland.Governor Rick Scott was among the more than 1,000 supporters, students and faculty that attended the facility's launch celebration. The event marked the school's grand opening and the completion of the Science and Technology Building.
  • Suspect robs Winter Haven check cashing business

    Suspect robs Winter Haven check cashing business

    Sunday, August 17 2014 7:20 AM EDT2014-08-17 11:20:51 GMT
    A surveillance camera captured this image of the suspect. A surveillance camera captured this image of the suspect.
    Authorities in Winter Haven are asking for the public's help in identifying and locating a robbery suspect.The unidentified black male struck Saturday afternoon just after 5 pm at the Rapid Cash location in the 1100 block of 6th St. NW.
    Authorities in Winter Haven are asking for the public's help in identifying and locating a robbery suspect.The unidentified black male struck Saturday afternoon just after 5 pm at the Rapid Cash location in the 1100 block of 6th St. NW.
  • Community to celebrate new university in Lakeland

    Community to celebrate new university in Lakeland

    Friday, August 15 2014 4:23 AM EDT2014-08-15 08:23:55 GMT
    New FL Poly in LakelandNew FL Poly in Lakeland
    Parents and students know college education is expensive. But at the state's newest university it's a bargain.
    Parents and students know college education is expensive. But at the state's newest university it's a bargain.
  • Lakeland Police: men assault 76-year-old woman for $18

    Lakeland Police: men assault 76-year-old woman for $18

    Thursday, August 14 2014 10:18 PM EDT2014-08-15 02:18:53 GMT
    Lakleand Police are looking for these two men, wanted for the assault of a 76-year-old woman.Lakleand Police are looking for these two men, wanted for the assault of a 76-year-old woman.
    A 76-year-old woman was injured during a strong armed robbery in Lakeland on Thursday afternoon. Lakeland Police officers say two men walked into the Mark Twain Smoke Shop at 124 Main Street and then robbed and assaulted the owner.
    A 76-year-old woman was injured during a strong armed robbery in Lakeland on Thursday afternoon. Lakeland Police officers say two men walked into the Mark Twain Smoke Shop at 124 Main Street and then robbed and assaulted the owner.
  • Polk rebuilds from Charley's destruction 10 years later

    Polk rebuilds from Charley's destruction 10 years later

    Wednesday, August 13 2014 4:46 PM EDT2014-08-13 20:46:20 GMT
    Lake Wales after Hurricane Charley hit in 2004 (Photo: National Weather Service Tampa Bay)Lake Wales after Hurricane Charley hit in 2004 (Photo: National Weather Service Tampa Bay)
    They say time flies when you're having fun, but that's also the case when you're rebuilding from hurricane destruction.
    They say time flies when you're having fun, but that's also the case when you're rebuilding from hurricane destruction.
  • Winter Haven mom accused of leaving 4 kids alone in park

    Winter Haven mom accused of leaving 4 kids alone in park

    Wednesday, August 13 2014 12:29 PM EDT2014-08-13 16:29:57 GMT
    A Winter Haven mother of four has been arrested after lettering her kids walk a half-mile to the park where they stayed alone, police say.
    A Winter Haven mother of four has been arrested after lettering her kids walk a half-mile to the park where they stayed alone, police say.
  • Devastation of Hurricane Charley remembered 10 years later

    Devastation of Hurricane Charley remembered 10 years later

    Tuesday, August 12 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-08-13 00:35:46 GMT
    Wednesday marks a decade since Hurricane Charley hit Florida.
    Wednesday marks a decade since Hurricane Charley hit Florida.
  • Polk woman injured when car crashes through restaurant during 95th birthday celebration

    Polk woman injured when car crashes through restaurant during 95th birthday celebration

    Monday, August 11 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-08-12 02:22:24 GMT
    A woman was injured while celebrating her 95th birthday when a car crashed through the restaurant she was dining in with her husband in Lake Wales on Monday evening.
    A woman was injured while celebrating her 95th birthday when a car crashed through the restaurant she was dining in with her husband in Lake Wales on Monday evening.
  • Polk deputies hunting 2 hit-and-run suspects

    Polk deputies hunting 2 hit-and-run suspects

    Monday, August 11 2014 5:27 PM EDT2014-08-11 21:27:07 GMT
    Sheriff Grady Judd speaks about Jill BraddockSheriff Grady Judd speaks about Jill Braddock
    The Polk County Sheriff had strong words for the two drivers responsible for hitting and killing a bicyclist and pedestrian over the weekend."You can hide from us, but you can't hide from God," Sheriff Grady Judd said.The Sheriff's Office has not received any leads on who is behind the fatalities and they are asking anyone who knows anything to come forward with information.The first crash occurred around 2:17 a.m. Saturday on US Hwy 92 in the westbound lanes, at the intersection with Payne S...
    The Polk County Sheriff had strong words for the two drivers responsible for hitting and killing a bicyclist and pedestrian over the weekend."You can hide from us, but you can't hide from God," Sheriff Grady Judd said.The Sheriff's Office has not received any leads on who is behind the fatalities and they are asking anyone who knows anything to come forward with information.The first crash occurred around 2:17 a.m. Saturday on US Hwy 92 in the westbound lanes, at the intersection with Payne S...
  • Polk deputies investigate fatal crash in Auburndale

    Polk deputies investigate fatal crash in Auburndale

    Saturday, August 9 2014 10:43 AM EDT2014-08-09 14:43:11 GMT
    Deputies are working to identify the man who was riding this bicycle early Saturday morning in Auburndale. Deputies are working to identify the man who was riding this bicycle early Saturday morning in Auburndale.
    Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff's Office are looking for information in a fatal crash that claimed the life of an unidentified Hispanic man early Saturday in Auburndale.The victim was struck and killed by one or more vehicles as he rode his bicycle along US Highway 92.
    Investigators with the Polk County Sheriff's Office are looking for information in a fatal crash that claimed the life of an unidentified Hispanic man early Saturday in Auburndale.The victim was struck and killed by one or more vehicles as he rode his bicycle along US Highway 92.
  • Winter Haven Police seek pair of armed robbery suspects

    Winter Haven Police seek pair of armed robbery suspects

    Saturday, August 9 2014 8:39 AM EDT2014-08-09 12:39:36 GMT
    Neal, 21, is being held without bond at the Polk County Jail. Neal, 21, is being held without bond at the Polk County Jail.
    One suspect is behind bars and two more are being sought for an armed robbery that occurred in broad daylight Friday afternoon in Polk County.Deontae Neal is facing a variety of charges including armed robbery and resisting arrest. Police are still looking for his partners in crime – Jamario Harvey and Carlos A. Leondre.
    One suspect is behind bars and two more are being sought for an armed robbery that occurred in broad daylight Friday afternoon in Polk County.Deontae Neal is facing a variety of charges including armed robbery and resisting arrest. Police are still looking for his partners in crime – Jamario Harvey and Carlos A. Leondre.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 28 - Aug. 2

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 28 - Aug. 2

    Friday, August 8 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-08-08 21:53:07 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 28 to Aug. 2, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 28 to Aug. 2, 2014.

  • Sidewalk construction begins on dangerous Polk road

    Sidewalk construction begins on dangerous Polk road

    Friday, August 8 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-08 19:28:35 GMT
    John Batton knows Old Dixie Highway. He's live on the road in Polk County, near Auburndale and Lakeland, for the last fifty years. "It's just a bad situation," Batton said. He's glad construction crews started putting in sidewalks Friday.
    John Batton knows Old Dixie Highway. He's live on the road in Polk County, near Auburndale and Lakeland, for the last fifty years. "It's just a bad situation," Batton said. He's glad construction crews started putting in sidewalks Friday.
  • Trial underway for man accused of killing Lakeland police officer

    Trial underway for man accused of killing Lakeland police officer

    Friday, August 8 2014 12:46 PM EDT2014-08-08 16:46:59 GMT
    The trial for the man accused of killing a Lakeland police officer in 2011 got a late start Friday.
    The trial for the man accused of killing a Lakeland police officer in 2011 got a late start Friday.
  • 14-year-old Lakeland gang member killed in shootout

    14-year-old Lakeland gang member killed in shootout

    Thursday, August 7 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-08-07 19:46:30 GMT
    Lakeland police continue to investigate death of a known 14-year-old gang member in Lakeland's latest shooting.Lakeland police continue to investigate death of a known 14-year-old gang member in Lakeland's latest shooting.
    A 14-year-old was shot and killed Wednesday night after an altercation with a 43-year-old man in Lakeland. Police say the teen, Davion Smith, was a documented gang member in Lakeland.
    A 14-year-old was shot and killed Wednesday night after an altercation with a 43-year-old man in Lakeland. Police say the teen, Davion Smith, was a documented gang member in Lakeland.
  • Polk deputies thanked for consoling kids & their puppy after crash

    Polk deputies thanked for consoling kids & their puppy after crash

    Thursday, August 7 2014 2:26 PM EDT2014-08-07 18:26:05 GMT
    After a traumatic crash with her children and new puppy in the car, a Polk County woman took the time to send in thanks to the deputy that came to the aid of her family - and their new puppy!
    After a traumatic crash with her children and new puppy in the car, a Polk County woman took the time to send in thanks to the deputy that came to the aid of her family - and their new puppy!
  • Winter Haven woman searches for owner of lost moving boxes

    Winter Haven woman searches for owner of lost moving boxes

    Wednesday, August 6 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-08-06 23:49:53 GMT
    Three months after a Kansas woman moved to Florida, the moving company finally delivered her belongings. But she also got someone else's prized possessions, and wants help finding the owner.
    Three months after a Kansas woman moved to Florida, the moving company finally delivered her belongings. But she also got someone else's prized possessions, and wants help finding the owner.
  • Polk man arrested in murder-for-hire plot to kill wife

    Polk man arrested in murder-for-hire plot to kill wife

    Wednesday, August 6 2014 7:45 PM EDT2014-08-06 23:45:46 GMT
    Vincent Abraham Madhavath booking photo (Polk County Sheriff's Office)Vincent Abraham Madhavath booking photo (Polk County Sheriff's Office)
    A Winter Haven man has been arrested after he allegedly offered an undercover officer $15,000 to murder his wife.
    A Winter Haven man has been arrested after he allegedly offered an undercover officer $15,000 to murder his wife.
  • Medical examiner: Body recovered in Osceola is Alexandria Chery, 16

    Medical examiner: Body recovered in Osceola is Alexandria Chery, 16

    Wednesday, August 6 2014 3:44 PM EDT2014-08-06 19:44:41 GMT
    Alexandria Chery, 16, of Orange County. Family photoAlexandria Chery, 16, of Orange County. Family photo
    The badly decomposed body found in Osceola County is 16-year-old Alexandria Chery, the medical examiner confirmed Wednesday.
    The badly decomposed body found in Osceola County is 16-year-old Alexandria Chery, the medical examiner confirmed Wednesday.
  • Restaurant Buzz: Ruth's Chris Steak House coming, Green Iguana, GrillSmith closures

    Restaurant Buzz: Ruth's Chris Steak House coming, Green Iguana, GrillSmith closures

    Tuesday, August 5 2014 5:46 PM EDT2014-08-05 21:46:39 GMT
     Ruth’s Chris Steak House will be opening a location in St. Pete.  Facebook photo Ruth’s Chris Steak House will be opening a location in St. Pete. Facebook photo
    No doubt, dining out is a popular pastime here in Tampa Bay. We're here to keep you informed. Here's this week's "dish" about what's happening at Tampa Bay restaurants.
    No doubt, dining out is a popular pastime here in Tampa Bay. We're here to keep you informed. Here's this week's "dish" about what's happening at Tampa Bay restaurants.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 19 - 26

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 19 - 26

    Friday, August 1 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-08-01 18:44:14 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 21 to 26, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 21 to 26, 2014.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 14 -19

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: July 14 -19

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:38 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:38:43 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 14 to 19, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from July 14 to 19, 2014.
  • FWC hosts coyote class after Lakeland cat killings

    FWC hosts coyote class after Lakeland cat killings

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:43 AM EDT2014-07-23 09:43:10 GMT
    image APimage AP
    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is hosting a community forum on coyotes Wednesday in response to the recent mutilations of several pet cats in Lakeland.
    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is hosting a community forum on coyotes Wednesday in response to the recent mutilations of several pet cats in Lakeland.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: June 30 - July 5

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: June 30 - July 5

    Monday, July 14 2014 7:10 PM EDT2014-07-14 23:10:41 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from June 30 to July 5, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from June 30 to July 5, 2014.
  • State attorney: former Lakeland PD chief's claim of extortion 'nonsense'

    State attorney: former Lakeland PD chief's claim of extortion 'nonsense'

    Wednesday, July 2 2014 5:30 PM EDT2014-07-02 21:30:42 GMT
    "I think that for whatever reason she wants to blame everything that's occurred in her life maybe on someone else," said State Attorney Jerry Hill.
    "I think that for whatever reason she wants to blame everything that's occurred in her life maybe on someone else," said State Attorney Jerry Hill.
  • Thousands lose health insurance after Orlando company folds

    Thousands lose health insurance after Orlando company folds

    Monday, June 30 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-06-30 22:33:05 GMT
    Bill Cope spends a lot of time at the doctor. So you can imagine his shock - then pure panic - when his pharmacist said he no longer had insurance.
    Bill Cope spends a lot of time at the doctor. So you can imagine his shock - then pure panic - when his pharmacist said he no longer had insurance.
  • 16 dead rodents found at Tampa Bay restaurant

    16 dead rodents found at Tampa Bay restaurant

    Monday, June 30 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-06-30 16:27:59 GMT
    State inspectors temporarily closed five Tampa Bay eateries from June 9 through 20, 2014 after discovering rodents or roaches.
    State inspectors temporarily closed five Tampa Bay eateries from June 9 through 20, 2014 after discovering rodents or roaches.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: June 16 - 21

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: June 16 - 21

    Friday, June 27 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-06-27 22:26:36 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from June 16 to 21, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from June 16 to 21, 2014.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: June 9 - 13

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: June 9 - 13

    Friday, June 20 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-06-20 22:46:39 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from June 9 to 13, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from June 9 to 13, 2014.

  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: June 2 - 7

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: June 2 - 7

    Friday, June 13 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-06-13 22:10:09 GMT
    We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from June 2 to 7, 2014.
    We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from June 2 to 7, 2014.
  • Lakeland mom questions behind-the-wheel selfies, ads in school drivers ed manuals

    Lakeland mom questions behind-the-wheel selfies, ads in school drivers ed manuals

    Friday, June 6 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-06-06 23:08:35 GMT
    A page from the “Florida Driver Handbook” issued by Lowest Price Traffic School out of Jacksonville.A page from the “Florida Driver Handbook” issued by Lowest Price Traffic School out of Jacksonville.
    Selfies behind the wheel. It's a far cry from what makes a responsible driver. A Lakeland mother doesn't understand why a Polk County school is handing out so-called "drivers manuals" that promote such lax behavior.
    Selfies behind the wheel. It's a far cry from what makes a responsible driver. A Lakeland mother doesn't understand why a Polk County school is handing out so-called "drivers manuals" that promote such lax behavior.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: May 26 - 31

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: May 26 - 31

    Friday, June 6 2014 4:52 PM EDT2014-06-06 20:52:01 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from May 26 to 31, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from May 26 to 31, 2014.

  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: May 12 - 17

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: May 12 - 17

    Friday, May 23 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-05-23 18:11:28 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from May 12 to 17, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from May 12 to 17, 2014.
  • Lakeland student tests positive for TB

    Lakeland student tests positive for TB

    Wednesday, May 21 2014 4:17 AM EDT2014-05-21 08:17:06 GMT
    A student at Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland has tested positive for tuberculosis.A student at Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland has tested positive for tuberculosis.
    The Florida Department of Health in Polk County has confirmed that a student at Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland has tested positive for tuberculosis.
    The Florida Department of Health in Polk County has confirmed that a student at Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland has tested positive for tuberculosis.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: May 5 - 11

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: May 5 - 11

    Monday, May 19 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-05-19 15:04:11 GMT
    A lizard, rodent urine and droppings, live roaches, and ants in sugar were just a few of the problems that state inspectors found at Tampa Bay restaurants during the week of May 5-11, 2014.
    A lizard, rodent urine and droppings, live roaches, and ants in sugar were just a few of the problems that state inspectors found at Tampa Bay restaurants during the week of May 5-11, 2014.
  • Volunteer attorneys wanted to help veterans

    Volunteer attorneys wanted to help veterans

    Thursday, May 15 2014 12:16 PM EDT2014-05-15 16:16:36 GMT
    Stetson University Veterans Law Institute photoStetson University Veterans Law Institute photo
    Stetson University College of Law is seeking attorneys to volunteer civil legal services to military members, veterans and their families as part of its Veterans Pro Bono Initiative Team.
    Stetson University College of Law is seeking attorneys to volunteer civil legal services to military members, veterans and their families as part of its Veterans Pro Bono Initiative Team.
  • Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 28 - May 2

    Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 28 - May 2

    Friday, May 9 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-05-09 22:00:50 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 28 to May 2, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 28 to May 2, 2014.

  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: April 21-27

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: April 21-27

    Friday, May 2 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-05-03 00:49:08 GMT
    State inspectors found problems with rodents, roaches and a spider during inspections from April 21 to 27, 2014. We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations.
    State inspectors found problems with rodents, roaches and a spider during inspections from April 21 to 27, 2014. We’ve gathered details about the 30 Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations.
  • Brandon woman says romantic rival leaked her medical info

    Brandon woman says romantic rival leaked her medical info

    Thursday, May 1 2014 10:44 PM EDT2014-05-02 02:44:59 GMT
    Brandon resident Courtney Oliver, 25, thought the bitter feud she was having with her boyfriend's soon-to-be ex-wife couldn't get any dirtier.
    Brandon resident Courtney Oliver, 25, thought the bitter feud she was having with her boyfriend's soon-to-be ex-wife couldn't get any dirtier.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: April 14-20

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: April 14-20

    Tuesday, April 29 2014 3:37 PM EDT2014-04-29 19:37:25 GMT
    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: April 14-20
    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: April 14-20
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