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Journalists and PR professionals, learn how to deal with social media

Journalists and PR professionals, learn how to deal with social media

Polk County, FL -- Residents have the opportunity to learn the challenges professional communicators, both journalists and public relations practitioners alike, face when they take to the slopes of social media when Orlando public relations agency co-founder Roger Pynn of Curley & Pynn Public Relations & Marketing Communications comes to Polk County.

Pynn’s comments will be featured at the July 20 meeting of the Dick Pope/Polk County Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association.

The meeting will take place at the Lakeland Yacht Club, 929 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33807.

Registration and networking will begin at 11:30 a.m.  A buffet lunch will follow.

“Journalists and public relations people face a slippery slope when engaging in online conversation where there is little distinction between personal and professional contributions to the chatter of social media from Twitter and Facebook to company and personal blogs or message boards and blogs on websites,” Pynn said in release.

Grow house bust in Polk County

Grow house bust in Polk County

Bartow, Florida -- Polk deputies say a stolen vehicle investigation led them to a marijuana grow house.

Investigators say a person who previously reported his work van stolen notified deputies he found the vehicle parked outside a Bartow residence on Thursday.

Responding deputies knocked on the door and were greeted by 23-year-old Jonathan Morales-Diaz and a strong odor of cannabis.

When asked about the stolen van in his driveway, Morales-Diaz told deputies he didn't know how it got into his yard, but he did move it to another part of his property.

Nearly 27,000 school volunteers donate more than 800,000 service hours in 2010-2011

Nearly 27,000 school volunteers donate more than 800,000 service hours in 2010-2011

The school district honored 112 individuals with a Volunteer of the Year Award during an event near the end of the 2010-2011 school year held at Winter Haven’s Nora Mayo Hall.  Schools chose one person as their Volunteer of the Year.

A total of 26,901 volunteers performed 801, 624 hours of service in the 2010-2011 school year in the Polk Public Schools. This represents and in-kind monetary donation of $16,072,561.

Volunteers are mentors, tutors, chaperones, classroom speakers or volunteer in other roles.  They volunteer during school hours and extracurricular activities.  Volunteers are parents, students’ family members, community members, business partners, school neighbors or other supporters.

In addition, five Volunteers of the Year earned special countywide honors at the year-end event.  They were:

Lakeland student wins international art contest

Lakeland student wins international art contest

Lakeland, FL -- Local artist Russell Mank, a recent Harrison School of the Arts graduate, was announced as the 2011 National Grand Prize Winner at the National Young Artists & Authors Showcase.

The event was sponsored by Sister Cities International, Washington, D.C.

Mank will be officially recognized by the City of Lakeland at a July 5 City Commission meeting.

His piece entitled Green Future is slated to tour throughout the United States as part of the Young Artist Showcase. 

Mank won $1,000 cash and another $400 towards travel to the Sister City conference in California where the showcase works of art are now on display. 

The winning art and literature pieces are scheduled to tour the United States for a year with announced stops in San Diego, California, Dayton, Ohio and Suffolk, Virginia.  New stops will be introduced as part of the 2012 portion of the art tour.

Polk County man gets 42 years in federal prison

Polk County man gets 42 years in federal prison

Polk County, FL -- U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announced that 29-year-old Akimmie D. Wesley, of Polk County, was sentenced Monday by a United States District Judge to 42 years in federal prison for robbery, carjacking, bank robbery, carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to court documents, on the morning of May 3, 2010, Wesley robbed, at gunpoint, the owner of the Hurricane Bay Carwash in Polk County.

Wesley then forced the owner of the carwash into her vehicle and ordered her to drive to a branch of MidFlorida Credit Union where Wesley forced her to withdraw $6,500 from the drive-thru ATM and a drive-thru teller.

Teen girl dies in weekend accident

Teen girl dies in weekend accident

Lake Wales, FL -- A 16-year-old Lake Wales girl died of injuries she sustained in a single car crash on CR 640 Saturday afternoon.

Katlyn Gilbert, of 3900 Fast Trot Trail, was sitting in the front passenger seat in the 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer when the SUV hit a pine tree while heading east on CR 640 around 2:50 p.m. on June 25.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, she was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Gilbert was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where she was declared dead.

Nine Polk teachers attend television show, receive education-related gifts

Nine Polk teachers attend television show, receive education-related gifts

Nine Polk County teachers participated in a statewide professional development event in the 2010-2011 school year in Orlando and received an unexpected surprise, an “Oprah-style” giveaway.  They were among 100 teachers participating in the Florida Department of Education’s (FDOE) monthly “Teacher Talk” television show.

Teacher Talk is a show about new approaches to education. It is produced and broadcast by the Florida Knowledge Network and focuses on Florida teachers and their innovations both in and out of the classroom.

The teachers thought they would only be participating in a program about the STEM initiative. STEM is an acronym for a national education initiative to enhance instruction in science, technology, engineering and math.  They didn’t know that 20 companies donated educational products totaling $180,000 that they could use in their classrooms.