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Police identify Marathon robber

Police identify Marathon robber

Lakeland, FL -- Polk County Sheriff's Robbery detectives have positively identified the man responsible for the Armed Robbery at the Marathon Food Mart Sunday.

The man, identified as 26-year-old Colin Creel, of 3115 Socrum Loop Road in Lakeland, has a warrant out for his arrest and is currently on probation for Petit Theft.

He may be driving a metallic blue/green Toyota Avalon with FL tag 597 5GU. He is to be considered ARMED and DANGEROUS.

Anyone with any information who wishes to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or log onto www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com.

Local educators prepare for NASA flight with student-developed product

Local educators prepare for NASA flight with student-developed product

A group of Lakeland educators will go to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston from June 24 to July 3 to fly on NASA’s “Weightless Wonder” aircraft.  They were selected to participate in NASA’s “Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program” giving educators and others the opportunity to fly on a reduced microgravity aircraft and perform experiments.  The Weightless Wonder is a modified 727 jumbo jet.

The Lakeland group will test a compound during the flight developed by chemistry and engineering students at Lakeland’s Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA), a career academy of Kathleen High.

Approximately 75 students of CFAA teachers George Bartuska and Lori Bradner developed a foam colloidal sealant that is designed not to expand during microgravity flights. The foam is meant to act as insulation during microgravity flight and keep necessary liquid gases inside the craft. CFAA named their project “Ups and Downs with Colloids.”

Anchors aweigh for Ridge Community High student

Anchors aweigh for Ridge Community High student

Nicholas Sweat, who will be a senior at Davenport’s Ridge Community High in the 2011-2012 school year, is among 2,250 students nationally and internationally selected to participate in the U.S. Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar in Annapolis, Md.  from June 18 to 23.

A news release from the Naval Academy said that the “Summer Seminar is a fast-paced experience for high achievers who have completed their junior year in high school and are considering applying for admission to USNA (U.S. Naval Academy) after graduation”.

Nicholas, a Davenport resident, is a member of Ridge Community High’s Army JROTC. Major Mark Miles is the senior army instructor at Ridge Community High.

Police search for teen runaway

Police search for teen runaway

Winter Haven, FL -- Winter Haven police are looking for a 15-year-old girl who left her home on Monday, June 13 and has not returned.

According to police, Samantha Newby was last seen by her mother at their home, located at 1112 Sunshine Way in Winter Haven.

When Samantha's mother came home from work Monday at 2:30 p.m., Samantha was gone.

Police believe she could be with Dominique Light of Lakeland possibly in the area of 301 Pear St. or 929 Gilmore Ave., both in Lakeland.

Police: Former Polk County firefighter arrested for Facebook rants

Police: Former Polk County firefighter arrested for Facebook rants

Polk County, FL -- A former Polk County firefighter was arrested Thursday after he made public rants on his Facebook page toward former employees.

According to a release from the county, part-time Polk County Fire Rescue firefighter Christopher Baird was fired on June 8 from his job after it was determined that recent conduct was inconsistent with requirements of a fire service professional.

In May, Baird was removed from the work schedule for personal reasons.  He later tried to reestablish his duty status. It was during this time, he published rants on his public Facebook page.

Polk students to compete at National History Fair

Polk students to compete at National History Fair

A team of students from Bartow International Baccalaureate won a first place award at the State History Fair and are among 66 Florida students qualified to compete at the National History Day program held at the University of Maryland-College Park from June 12 to 16.

The State History Fair was held last month at Tallahassee Community College and the Bartow IB students’ first place history fair project was titled “The Scramble for Africa”.

It won first place in the senior high group website category.  Their website can viewed at http://14065439.nhd.weebly.com/index.html. More than 950 students from 28 counties competed at the state event.  The first place finish qualified the Bartow IB students for the national event.

Student represents Polk at state capitol

Student represents Polk at state capitol

Bianca Mulaney, a Lakeland resident and junior at Bartow International Baccalaureate, represented Polk County at the state capitol as part of a student organization, Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL).

Mulaney, a state FBLA-PBL vice president, was one of 15 students statewide chosen to visit the capitol earlier this year as a FBLA-PBL state officer.

FBLA-PBL is a student organization with approximately 250,000 students preparing for careers in business and related fields.  The program is intended for middle, high school, and college students to develop vocational and career competencies. FBLA-PBL is one of the leading student business organizations internationally.