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Polk State President Awarded

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society recently announced Polk State College President Angela Garcia Falconetti as a 2019 Paragon Award for New Presidents and Regional Distinguished Service Award recipient for her dedication to students and their success.  More than 500 college presidents were eligible for the Paragon Award, with only 25 being chosen.


Wind Up Winter Haven

Artist Trent Manning has proposed an idea to the Winter Haven Downtown CRA Advisory Committee to paint the water tower.  He would like to paint the structure to look like a wind-up toy complete with wind-up key and a face.  A few hundred local residents recently signed a petition on social media in support.  No decisions have been made.  


Rabies, Rabies, Rabies

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Section confirmed on Friday, February 15, the third positive Rabies case in Polk County for the year.  On February 13, PCSO received a call that a raccoon had been attacked by two dogs on Lakehurst Street in Lakeland. The raccoon was killed by the dog’s owner.  The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control impounded the raccoon which was sent for rabies testing and was confirmed positive for rabies.


Crime Down 

Crime in the Polk County Sheriff’s Office primary law enforcement response area is down 5.9%  comparing 2017 to 2018. According to Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data, as reported semi-annually and annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).  There were 6,642 crimes in 2018, as compared to 7,057 in 2017, a total reduction in reported crimes of 5.9%.


Group Wedding Tradition Continues

On Valentine’s Day, 14 couples were joined in matrimony at the Polk County Clerk’s Office in Bartow.  This is the sixth year that the office has offered the service.  Following the ceremony, a party was held on the second floor courtroom inside.  A group from the Harrison School for the Arts sang and Judge Mary Catherine Green delivered a poem to the happy couples.  


Teacher Receives Research Grant

David Lockett, a science teacher at Edward W. Bok Academy in Lake Wales has received a $5,000 STEM Research Grant from the Society for Science & the Public to purchase equipment, such as, Google Chromebooks and digital microscopes for his classroom.  His students are 50% low-income and 50% of underrepresented ethnicity.  Funding at his school is in short supply due to damages to their buildings from Hurricane Irma.


Unique Art Experience

The Haines City Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) launched a citywide arts initiative, Haines City WINGS, to engage residents and visitors in the selfie-crazed world.  This mural project, Haines City WINGS, is a community arts engagement program organized to breathe vitality and  new life into neighborhoods and districts designated as CRA responsibility.  LA artist, Colette Miller plans to visit and share her support by painting an original mural for her Global Angel Wings Project. 


Scholarships Available

Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, (FSASE), will award three $1,200 scholarships to Florida students in 2019. Applicants must be: Registered to vote in Florida, Be a US Citizen, Enrolled as a full-time student in a senior college or university in Florida, Majoring in Political Science/Public or Business Administration or Journalism/Mass Communications.  For more info interested students may contact Lori Edwards at 863-534-5888, or by email at  The deadline is March 29.


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