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Fire rescue teams extinguish chili contest competitors

Fire rescue teams extinguish chili contest competitors

Polk County, FL -- On April 14, three teams of Polk County Fire Rescue firefighters and emergency medical service workers smoked their competition during the Second Annual Chili Throwdown at Tigertown to benefit the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region.

Showing off their infamous cooking skills in two categories, teams from Lakeland and Polk County fire stations battled for the chance to be named the Flying Tigers Chili Throwdown Champions.

PCFR Firewalkers 480 earned second place in the People’s Choice Category and second place overall as determined by the judges. Team members were Lt. Alan Edwards, Lt. Andrew Gagliano, Nikki Wilson and Nick Esposito.

Local volunteers depoly to tornado ravaged Alabama

Local volunteers depoly to tornado ravaged Alabama

Winter Haven, FL -- Two Polk County volunteers are among 16 from the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region who are on their way to Hoover, Alabama.

Bobbi and Russell Miller left Winter Haven Friday morning in an Emergency Response Vehicle.

The husband and wife team will assist in the relief efforts for victims of the tornadoes that swept Alabama on Wednesday.

Both were inspired to volunteer several years ago after a hurricane destroyed their home and they decided to give back to the community after receiving assistance themselves.

Polk schools embrace the arts with TV broadcasts, art shows

Polk schools embrace the arts with TV broadcasts, art shows

Elementary Art Shows

The Polk Museum of Art is displaying the best artwork of students in kindergarten through fifth grade.  The “Free to be Me: Third To Fifth Grade Elementary Exhibition” art show is now until May 15. “The Learning to be Me: K-2 Elementary Exhibition” art show opens May 21 and goes until June 18.  The art is displayed in the student gallery during regular museum hours. Standard museum admission fees apply. The Polk Museum of Art is located at 800 East Palmetto Street, Lakeland. Information: Patricia Lamb, (863) 647-4730, patricia.lamb@polk-fl.net.

Polk Video Awards

The Polk Video Awards will be broadcast live on television on Tuesday, May 3 from 5 p.m. to approximately 9 p.m. The awards recognize the best student-produced videos in categories that include documentaries, animations, music videos and school news broadcasts.  The elementary awards event begins at 5 p.m. followed by the middle and high school awards at approximately 7 p.m.

Westwood Middle Teacher Is Also National Park Ranger

Westwood Middle Teacher Is Also National Park Ranger

Winter Haven’s Westwood Middle did not have to look far to find a National Park Ranger to include as part of its National Park Week Celebration.

National Park Week was April 16 - 24 and Westwood Middle science teacher Cassandra Ehlendt is a national park ranger during the summer.

Cassandra, also Westwood’s 2010-2011 Teacher Of The Year, is in her second year as a National Park Ranger.  She was stationed at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona in 2010 and she will report this summer to Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.

2011 Centennial Mayor's Prayer Breakfast

2011 Centennial Mayor's Prayer Breakfast

Winter Haven, FL -- On the 2011 National Day of Prayer, the public is invited to come together for the Centennial Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, hosted by Winter Haven Mayor Jeff Potter.

The breakfast will be at 7:30 a.m., May 5, in the Poolside Room at the Chain O' Lakes Complex, 210 Cypress Gardens Blvd.

Food will be catered by Fred's Market.

Easter Bunny visits hospitalized kids

Lakeland, Florida -- Pepsi and the Polk County Sheriff's Office partnered to bring the Easter Bunny to Lakeland Regional's Pediatric Unit again this year, making sure the children get the same holiday experience they would if they weren't in the hospital.

"We started the Easter Bunny here at the hospital six years ago, with Pepsi partnered with Polk County Sheriff's Office, to make sure each kid here in the hospital was given a toy during the week of Easter, says a Pepsi representative in the video above, that LRMC shared with us.

Aerospace Academy Engineering Student Also Excels In The Arts

Aerospace Academy Engineering Student Also Excels In The Arts

Lakeland, FL -- Lyudmilla Fuentes, a Lakeland resident and ninth grader at Kathleen High’s Central Florida Aerospace Academy, won a first place award in a National Association of Teachers Of Singing (NATS) competition held in Bradenton.

NATS is Florida-based and considered the largest association of singing teachers in the world,  http://www.nats.org/.

The NATS competition in Bradenton included vocalists from the central and southwest Florida areas from all grade levels, the college level and adults. Lyudmilla won first place in the first year high school female solo category.