Auburndale students design logo
High School students Conner Grove, Caitlynn McCahill, Ross Persichetti & Jaedyn Smith came up with a new logo for the Polk County School Board with the slogan, Students First. The students had help from teacher Emily Kauwell. Persichetti said they chose the color teal becaus it represents growth, stability and success.
First-round draft pick, Derwin James
Haines City grad became a first-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers . James paid homage to those who helped him get to where he’s at by reading a letter written by his mother. James also brought his mom to the draft in Dallas, walking the red-carpet together.
Amendment 4 on the Nov. ballot
On May 3rd there was a town hall meeting about an amendment to the Florida Constitution that would automatically restore voting rights of felons (other than murderers and some sexual offenders) who had completed sentencing. This is the fourth amendment to make the ballot.
Two new charter schools to open
Two charter schools whose applications were previously denied were approved by the Polk County School Board on April 24. Bok Academy North in Lake Wales and Language and Literacy Academy for Learning in Winter Haven were approved. (Formerly Our Children’s of Winter Haven) The new Winter Haven school will open Aug. 13 with a lottery to find out who gets in. The school will be for disabled kids 12 months old through 8th grade.
Half cent sales tax
The Polk County School Board passed a resolution on May 15 requesting that the Board of County Commissioners officially place the renewal of the half cent sales tax on the November 2018 ballot. According to PC Half Cent Sales Tax Oversight Committee Chairman Ashley Troutman, if voters do not renew the sales tax, county public schools could subsequently have a $40M budget deficit.
Cheshire accepted into West Point
Nicholas Cheshire, 18 of Lakeland, from the Summerlin Academy has been accepted into the U.S. Army Academy at West Point. He is one of five West Point freshman accepted on the rifle team. Summerlin Academy Rifle Team Coach SFC (Ret) Steve Beck said Cheshire is a natural who required very little coaching.
Bond Clinic celebrates 70 years
The new Bond Clinic building on First Street, open since January, had a ribbon cutting celebration on May 2. With the new building, the staff have been able to evaluate and treat twice to three times more patients. In honor of their 70th Anniversary, Bond Clinic staff have introduced a new logo with more events planned in the future.
Jeff Spence retires after 35 years
County commissioners unanimously voted to confirm the appointment of Gaye Sharpe as Parks and Natural Resources Director May 1. Sharpe, who has been working in the parks & rec dept. Since 1990, replaces the retiring Jeff Spence who has worked for the county since 1983.