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Police search for burglary suspects

Police search for burglary suspects

Lakeland, FL -- Lakeland Police are trying to identify suspects of an attempted burglary that occurred on June 25, 2011, at approximately 5 p.m. in the area of Ariana Village MPH and Kings Manor MHP. 

A neighbor observed the two men trying to break into a residence and called police. The men fled the area on foot. Both suspects are described as black or hispanic males, approximately 5’10” tall.

Polk deputies break up prostitution ring using teenage girls

Polk deputies break up prostitution ring using teenage girls

Bartow, Florida - A Polk County school bus monitor and Haines City police officer are under arrest for their part in what deputies call a prostitution ring involving minors.

Sheriff Grady Judd says both men gave a "startling confession." Judd says 27 year old Paul Aaron Jr. picked up two runaway girls 14 and 15 years old in July 2009 and forced them into a life of prostitution until they escaped in February 2010.

During that time, Judd says Aaron would use his business Genuine Quality Entertainment and take the girls clubbing to Haines City at M&M Sports Bar on 611 Jones Avenue and Club City AKA Jamaican Lounge at 220 Railroad Avenue.

Former county probation officer arrested for taking money, falsifying docs

Former county probation officer arrested for taking money, falsifying docs

Lakeland, FL -- A former Polk County Probation and Parole officer was arrested Wednesday, July 13 after investigation revealed he took money from and falsified documents in reference to probationers he was supervising, without their knowledge.

According to the arrest affidavit, 27-year-old William McDonald III, of Lakeland, was employed by the county Probation and Parole Office from September 2008 until his resignation on May 23, 2011.

McDonald’s resignation was a result of his arrest in April 2011 for domestic violence, which is unrelated to this case.  From April to May 2011, McDonald was placed on suspension pending his domestic violence charge. During this leave of absence, other probation officers worked the cases that had been assigned to McDonald.

Through conversations with probationers formerly supervised by McDonald, two probation officers began to suspect that McDonald had taken cash payments from them, which he told them he was using to pay their fines and court costs in lieu of them completing community service hours.

Man arrested for 2010 hit and run death of Lakeland man

Man arrested for 2010 hit and run death of Lakeland man

Lakeland, FL -- On the morning of July 14, Highway Patrol investigators arrested a Plant City man on charges of leaving the scene of a crash back in 2010 that killed a Lakeland man. 

According to investigators, the charges against 22-year-old Kyle A. Brown, of Plant City, stem from a Sept. 19, 2010, fatal traffic crash that killed 63-year-old David N. Rife.  Brown was taken to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office jail and issued a bond of $15,000.

The FHP investigation revealed that the early morning crash occurred as both men traveled south in the inside lane on SR-700 near Duff Road. 

Aerospace expert named State Air Force Association Teacher Of The Year, National Runner-Up

Aerospace expert named State Air Force Association Teacher Of The Year,  National Runner-Up

Lakeland, Florida -- The accolades continue to pour in for Central Florida Aerospace Academy science teacher Lori Bradner.

Lori, one of Polk’s most celebrated teachers, was honored as the Air Force Association’s (AFA)  2011 Florida Teacher of the Year during an event on Saturday, July 9 in Ocala.  Lori earned the state title after being named both the AFA’s Polk County and Central Florida Teacher of the Year earlier in 2011.  The Central Florida AFA  chapter includes the counties of Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole.

In addition, at the Ocala event, Lori learned that she was runner-up for the national AFA Teacher of the Year.

Her local, regional, state and national AFA Teacher of the Year honors have earned her nearly $5,000, complimentary Civil Air Patrol memberships, a personalized flight jacket and other gifts.

Commissioner Edwin V. Smith earns Advanced County Commissioner Certification

Commissioner Edwin V. Smith earns Advanced County Commissioner Certification

Polk County, FL -- Polk County Commissioner Edwin V. Smith was presented the Advanced County Commissioner designation by the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) recently at the FAC 2011 Annual Conference and Educational Exposition in Orlando.

Commissioner Smith completed the comprehensive Advanced County Commissioner (ACC) certification program which is designed to provide information and enhance skills relevant to commissioner duties and responsibilities.

The ACC program consists of three educational seminars, with 27 hours of course work.

“I consider this training invaluable in preparing a county commissioner to be more effective in serving the people of Polk County,” Smith said. “Lessons learned over time are compressed by attending training and lectures presented by experts in various fields.”