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Bartow police release sketch of home invasion suspect IYN

BARTOW, Florida -- The Bartow Police Department is actively investigating a reported Home Invasion that occurred in the subdivision of Laurel Meadows, located in southwest Bartow.

The incident, according to investigators, occurred on Monday, Jan. 10 at or around 12:30 a.m.

During the incident, detectives say two women were attacked and fought off the unknown suspect. 

As a result of the altercation, it is believed the suspect received injuries to his face, including possible bruising and scratches.

The suspect is described as a white male, late 20's early 30s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, medium build, short hair and was unshaven.

The Police Department is urging anyone with information, or who may recognize the suspect from the sketch, to notify Sergeant David Wyant or Detective David Reynolds at the Bartow Police Department (863)534-5040 or Crime-stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS. 

Callers may remain anonymous.

Death certificates now offered in Lakeland

Death certificates now offered in Lakeland

Lakeland, FL -- The Polk County Health Department has announced that the Vital Statistics office at their Lakeland Clinic will now provide certified copies of Polk County death certificates Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The office is located at 3241 Lakeland Hills Blvd.

"This new branch of the vital statistics office will make it more convenient for persons living or working in Lakeland and the surrounding areas to obtain death certificates without having to travel to our main office in Bartow," Dr. Daniel Haight, Director of the Polk County Health Department said in a statement.

Flu warning level raised in Polk County

Flu warning level raised in Polk County

Bartow, FL -- Polk County health officials say it's not an all-out outbreak...not yet.

But they have seen enough of an increase in reported cases to raise the incidence rate from mild to moderate.

According to the county's website:

"The Polk County Health Department offers seasonal flu and pneumonia shots for adults at several clinic locations. The cost of a seasonal flu shot is $25. Medicare Part B is accepted as payment with pre-verification prior to service being rendered.  HMOs and PPOs are not accepted."

12-year-old arrested for mall purse snatching

LAKELAND, Florida -- A 12-year-old has been arrested in connection to a purse snatching in the Lakeland Square Mall parking lot.

Police got a tip that around 4:00 p.m. Monday, 74-year-old Helga Lange and her husband were going into the mall when they noticed a suspicious boy.

As the elderly couple reached the doors to the mall, the young boy ran from behind, grabbed Lange's purse, then took off.

A witness inside the store saw what happened and tried to help them.

The next day, the witness of the purse snatching the day before, recognized the suspect in the mall and called police.

When the police arrived, they arrested 12-year-old Corey Sutton and charged him robbery.

Winter Haven man gets 10 years for striking bicyclist

BARTOW, FL - A judge has sentenced 29-year-old Michael Waters of Polk City to 10 years in prison and five years probation.

Prosecutors say Waters was driving on Cass Road in March 2010 when he struck a bicyclist who was thrown into the windshield of his van.

Authorities say Waters jumped out of the van and starting running along the road until he met up with a deputy.

Waters, they say, had admitted to drinking and using meth earlier that morning.

Deputies also found a loaded rifle and a bottle of beer inside Waters' van.

Waters had pleaded no contest to charges of leaving the scene of a crash with injury and DUI.



Polk sheriff looks for owners of recovered stolen property

Lake Wales, Florida -- Robbery victims seeking to reclaim their property may get a chance to do that this week.

The sheriff's office is allowing public viewing of stolen property it recovered during a search warrant last month at a house in Wahneta.

The viewing is scheduled for Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the sheriff's Southeast District substation at 4011 Sgt. Mary Campbell Way in Lake Wales.

The list of stolen items which can be claimed if ownership is proved, includes:

Polk students speak with astronauts orbiting Earth

Lakeland, Florida - At the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, students soak up all aspects of aviation. It's a specialized career school that aims to inspire students to new heights. And on Tuesday, the spirits there couldn't get much higher.

Cheers broke out at a morning assembly when students heard this: "We have you loud and clear. Welcome aboard the International Space Station!"

The video image of the crew came and went, but with the help of NASA, students were able to talk with astronauts aboard the ISS. Some teens admitted to nerves while taking the stage to ask their questions, but the butterflies were all worth it.

"I thought it was amazing to talk with the astronauts while they were up in space... I thought it was awesome," said 9th grader Ashleigh Suter.