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Harrison, Mulberry Middle excel in Optimist oratorical contests

Harrison, Mulberry Middle excel in Optimist oratorical contests

A Harrison School for the Arts student and students from Mulberry Middle excelled in 2011 oratorical contests coordinated by the North Florida District of Optimist International and the Lakeland Optimist Club.

Simon Cedeno, a Harrison student who resides in Mulberry, won a $2,500 scholarship for winning first place in the boys competition of the North Florida District contest held at the Crown Plaza Tampa Westshore. 

The oratorical contest topic was “If I were leader of the free world, the first issue I would address would be….” The North Florida District of Optimist International encompasses central and north Florida and the panhandle. Simon will be a senior at Harrison in 2011-2012.

Fourth National Merit Scholar from Polk Public Schools named

Fourth National Merit Scholar from Polk Public Schools named

Laura E. Hagerty, a Lakeland resident and 2011 graduate of  Lakeland’s Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts was announced today as a National Merit Scholar by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Laura’s National Merit Scholarship is funded by the University of Florida where she will attend this fall. Laura has listed a probable career field of neuroscience.

Colleges and universities sponsoring National Merit Scholarships provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study.

More than 1.5 million students entered the 2011 National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The 2011 National Merit Scholars represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and are the highest scoring entrants in the country on the test.

Special after-hours concert at Winter Haven Library

Winter Haven, FL -- As part of its summer programming, the Winter Haven Public Library will host a special after-hours concert Friday, July 15. 

Guitarist Jane Rosenbohm will perform her One World, One Guitar program. 

The hour-long concert, from 6 - 7 p.m., will feature music from around the world including selections from Japan, Germany and the United States.

Murder suspect arrested

Murder suspect arrested

Lakeland, FL -- On Thursday, July 7, Antonio Foster was arrested without incident in Tampa.

A bulletin for Foster's arrest was issued by Lakeland police on June 23 for Second Degree Murder in relation to a homicide that occurred on May 15, 2008, at 1300 Robert King High Drive.

The victim, Ronald Rodmon was shot in the road at that location.

The arrest was made following a joint investigation into his whereabouts by the U.S. Marshall's Office and the Lakeland Police Department.

Police search for armed and dangerous teen

Police search for armed and dangerous teen

Winter Haven, FL -- The Winter Haven Police Department is asking the public's help for information on the whereabouts of 16-year-old Larry Lavonsa Hawthorne.

Hawthorne is considered very dangerous and is possibly armed with an automatic rifle.

Hawthorn has several active warrants including two counts of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Felony Burglary, two counts of Resisting Arrest With Violence, Criminal Mischief, two counts of Depriving Law Enforcement Officer of Means of Defense/Communications, two counts of Resisting Arrest Without Violence, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia.

Teen injured in Polk County hit and run

Teen injured in Polk County hit and run

Poinciana, Florida -- Polk deputies are looking for the driver who struck a pedestrian and then fled the scene.

Investigators say shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday, a 16-year-old girl was walking south on County Club Road near Divot Lane when she was struck by a vehicle described as a dark colored, early 1990s Oldsmobile.

The teen suffered serious injuries and was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where she is listed in critical condition.

Summerlin Academy represents Polk at National Drill Team Championships

Summerlin Academy represents Polk at National Drill Team Championships

Bartow’s Summerlin Academy was one of 128 schools to compete at the 2011 National High School Drill Team Championships held in Daytona.

Summerlin was the only Polk school to compete in the national championships and one of 14 Florida schools there displaying their talents in precision drill.

Summerlin Academy has its own building on the Bartow High campus and is a military-oriented high school. Summerlin is a school of choice and attracts students from all parts of Polk County seeking a military-style education similar to the service academies in Annapolis, West Point and Colorado Springs.

Summerlin’s appearance at nationals was highlighted by an overall top 25 finish in team events and top five awards won in an individual and dual competition. The top five awards included two national championships in events.