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Police Chief asking for leadership council members

Police Chief asking for leadership council members

Winter Haven, Florida - Winter Haven Police Chief Gary Hester is seeking applicants, who are over the age of 18, to participate in the inaugural Winter Haven Police Leadership Council.

The Council will consist of approximately 20 members who will serve voluntarily and meet bi-monthly with Chief Hester and agency members for a total of six meetings. Participants will be asked to complete assignments and provide feedback on Department operations.

Members of the Council will experience hands-on activities over the course of the six weeks while gaining a much better understanding of what it takes to operate a Municipal Police Department.

Ridge Community High School student gets “published”

Ridge Community High School student gets “published”

Another life goal was accomplished this fall for Ridge Community High School 11th grader and Future Farmers of America member Shadiya Almallah.

Shadiya’s two-page article she was asked to write was featured in the Polk County Agriculture magazine “In the Field.”  Her article, along with two color photographs, was published in the Sept. 15, 2011, edition of the magazine, which covers everything that grows in Polk County.

Shadiya’s article is about her recent mission trip to Guatemala, where she helped provide food and improve living conditions for those residents during her stay.  The 16-year-old’s article also covers her activities with the Polk County Youth Fair Share and how those two events in her life have similar responsibilities. 

Volunteers needed for Halloween event

Volunteers needed for Halloween event

Polk County is looking for volunteers to help during the 15th Annual Haunted Halloween Hayride and Happenings—a safe alternative to trick-or-treating. 

This family event will take place on Oct. 22, at Loyce E. Harpe Park, located at 500 West Carter Road in Mulberry. Volunteers must check in 3:30  – 4:30 p.m. and will be dismissed at 10 p.m.

Volunteers will operate carnival games, arts and crafts tables, a pumpkin patch, inflatable bounce houses, and other assignments. There is space available for more than 150 volunteers who are at least 14 years old. Adult volunteers representing businesses or organizations are welcome. Volunteers do not have to be receiving credit for school but cannot be completing court-ordered volunteer service. Alternative assignments are available.

Red Cross opens shelter in Lake Wales

Red Cross opens shelter in Lake Wales

Lake Wales, FL -- An American Red Cross shelter will open at 6 p.m. tonight at the First Presbyterian Church located at 16 N. 3rd Street in Lake Wales.

The shelter will serve as a safe and dry place for residents affected by flooding in the Polk County area. The shelter will also serve as a Red Cross service delivery site for residents with flood damage.

Firefighter and EMS memorial going up at Hero's Park

Firefighter and EMS memorial going up at Hero's Park

Bartow, FL -- A new memorial dedicated to Polk County’s fallen firefighters and EMS workers is being unveiled in Hero’s Park on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m.

The memorial is designed with three intersecting pieces constructed of deep-hued red and black granite with firefighter and EMS insignias engraved at the top. Between the two main pivotal pieces is a smaller pedestal which holds a bell to ring in memory of those who gave all in service to the Polk County community.

The memorial was designed and sponsored by the Polk County Professional Firefighters Local 3531, Inc., Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, and Century Granite of Elberton, Georgia.

Fire Department receives grant for vital equipment

Fire Department receives grant for vital equipment

Lakeland, FL -- Lakeland Fire Department operates on a limited budget and faces ongoing needs for new gear and training equipment. But now, thanks to a $6,315 grant, the fire department will be able to purchase a state-of-the-art forcible entry door simulator.

The simulator is a large, sturdy door and frame combination that gives the firefighters hands-on experience at forcing open locked doors. All 129 firefighters in the department will have practice with pry bars, hand tools and power tools. Repeated practice increases the speed of entry, which saves valuable time during emergencies.

Florida Presbyterian Homes was instrumental in identifying the fire department’s need for this grant and Brown & Brown partnered with Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to fund the grant.

Sheriff's Office fighting to find bone marrow match

Sheriff's Office fighting to find bone marrow match

Winter Haven, Florida -  The Polk County Sheriff's Office is fighting to find a bone marrow match for one of it's own.

Polk County Sheriff's Office Court Process Server Scott Rohrbaugh joined the Polk County Sheriff's Office family in 2004, after retiring from the York City Police Department in Pennsylvania.

Scott served 28 years as a police officer, retiring as a Detective First Class. He was an investigator for Crimes Against Children, Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence. He is now serving civil process for the Sheriff's Office.