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Arctic front heading to Polk

Arctic front heading to Polk

Polk County, FL - An arctic front is heading to the Bay area, including a Hard Freeze Watch in effect for Polk and all surrounding counties except Pinellas.

* Lake Wind Advisory in effect this afternoon into the evening. Sustained winds of 20mph likely with higher gusts on area lakes.

* High Surf Advisory in effect this afternoon through Tuesday. 5 to 8 foot surf expected with offshore waves of 10 to possibly 15 feet. Dangerous rip currents likely.

* Small Craft Advisory in effect through Tuesday. Seas build today to 5 - 8 feet then 9 - 12 feet tonight through Monday. Slow improvements into Tuesday.

* Gale Warning in effect for offshore waters out 20 nautical miles and beyond. Winds increase to 25 - 35 kts with gusts over 40 kts. Seas 10 - 15 feet.

* Wind Chill Advisory in effect late tonight through Monday. At times, it will feel like it's in the 20s to mid 30s in the bay area and into the teens for areas to the north.

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Plant pounds Lakeland, 48-6, behind James Wilder

Plant pounds Lakeland, 48-6, behind James Wilder

Tampa, FL-- James Wilder rushed for 208 yards and 5 touchdowns, to lead Plant to a dominating 48-6 win over Lakeland.

Quarterback Phillip Ely didn't play for Plant, with a bad back, but the Panthers didn't miss him.  Eric Patterson returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown, and Plant never looked back.

Wilder scored his first touchdown in the 1st quarter, to make it 14-0.  He scored 2 more in the 2nd, when the Panthers scored 4 times.  Then, Wilder rushed for 2 more in the 3rd.

Plant will play St. Thomas Aquinas next Friday, in Orlando, for the 5A state championship.  Aquinas is the number-1 ranked team in Florida.

 

Editor of The Ledger retires at 64

Editor of The Ledger retires at 64

Lakeland, FL (AP) -- The Ledger's Executive Editor Louis M. "Skip" Perez will retire from the Lakeland newspaper next month.

Perez said Thursday he will retire Jan. 14 and plans to spend more time with his family. The paper reported the 64-year-old is its longest serving editor since being founded in 1924.

Hurricanes bypass Florida, but insurance rates rise

Hurricanes bypass Florida, but insurance rates rise

Tampa, Florida -- Six years ago, Florida saw the massive destruction that hurricanes can cause and that made life miserable for many Floridians.

Those storms were quite a shock to people who had moved to Florida and never experienced a Hurricane. Caroline Garland, who moved to the area in 2003, was a prime example. Garland says the first year she moved here was fine, but the second year when the hurricanes hit she said to her husband, what the heck were they doing here. Garland says before moving to Florida she didn't know what hunker down meant.

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Burglary Victim Holds Naked Robber at Gunpoint

Burglary Victim Holds Naked Robber at Gunpoint

LAKELAND, Fla. -- A burglary victim turned the tables on the robber, holding the man at gunpoint without his clothes, police said.

Lakeland Police said a neighbor saw a man climb through the window of a home on Baycrest Drive after checking the windows and doors.

The neighbor called the victim's brother, who lives close by, police said.

According to authorities, the brother armed himself, came to the home and found 19-year-old Christopher Mathis hiding in a closet.

The brother told police he wasn't sure if Mathis was armed, so he told him to take off his pants, shoes and jacket until police arrived.

Mathis was charged with burglary to a residence and possession of burglary tools.

 

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$500,000 stolen from city of Lake Wales

$500,000 stolen from city of Lake Wales

Lake Wales, Florida - Officials are trying to figure out who stole roughly $500,000 from the city's coffers.

An accountant with the Lake Wales finance department discovered the money missing last week.

Police say the money was stolen electronically through at least 2 different automated withdrawals.

So far officials say they are not ruling anyone out, including city staff or people who work at the bank where the money was kept.

"Basically it's just an ongoing investigation and we're going to work non-stop on it until we find out who did this," said Sgt. Mark Stroup of the Lake Wales Police Department.

Officials say changes have been made to prevent any additional money from being stolen the same way.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is assisting with the investigation.

FL Supreme Court upholds evidence exclusion in Lake Wales case

FL Supreme Court upholds evidence exclusion in Lake Wales case

Tallahassee, FL (AP) -- The Florida Supreme Court has refused to back off from a prior ruling that excludes evidence obtained by police if they knock on a suspect's door but fail to announce why they are there.

The 4-2 decision Thursday, Dec. 9 came in the case of Kathy Jo Cable who was arrested in 2007 at a motel in Lake Wales.

A Polk County deputy announced who he was when he knocked but failed to say he had a warrant for her arrest for failure to appear on a drug possession charge. Once inside he found methamphetamine that resulted in a drug trafficking charge against Cable.

The high court ruled the methamphetamine had to excluded as evidence, citing a 1964 decision in a similar case.