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Lake Wales police chief suddenly resigns

Lake Wales police chief  suddenly resigns

Lake Wales, FL -- The police chief of Lake Wales resigned suddenly on Friday.

Chief Herbert Gillis cited personal reasons for his departure, and said the resignation was effective immediately.

No further explanation was given.

The department said Assistant Chief Christopher Velasquez would take over as chief on an interim basis.


Missing Winter Haven woman found safe

Missing Winter Haven woman found safe


Winter Haven, FL -- Winter Haven Police say they have safely located a missing woman with the mental capacity of a 2-year-old.

Family members say they last saw 50-year-old Tammy Jane Paprocki head towards a wooded area near the home on Crescent Loop around 10 o'clock Monday morning. 

She was located Monday evening a few miles from her home. 

Missing: 81-year-old Norman Robinson

Missing: 81-year-old Norman Robinson

Polk County, Florida - Deputies in Polk County are asking for the public's help locating a missing 81-year-old man from Lakeland. 

Deputies say Norman Robinson left his home in the 2500 block of D.R. Bryant Road Friday afternoon, he has not been seen since.

Robinson is described as a white male, approximately 5'3 and 150 lbs.  He has brown eyes and was last seen wearing blue "Dickey" pants with a light colored button-up shirt.  He has gray hair and wears glasses.  He is believed to be driving his dark blue, 2001 Jeep Cherokee, with Florida Tag I482TP.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office at (863) 298-6200.

Police asks for public's help to find missing Lakeland man

Police asks for public's help to find missing Lakeland man

Lakeland, FL -- The Polk County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in locating a missing adult.

Curtis Patrick Chancey, 36, whose last known address was 6428 Farris Dr. in Lakeland, was reported missing by his brother on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Chancey was last seen in the area of Bulger's Nursery on 2771 Cozart Road in Mulberry, at approximately 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14.

Family members advised PCSO detectives that Chancey routinely contacts his teenage son but has not had any contact with any family member since Jan. 14. 

New boss of Winter Haven newspaper

New boss of Winter Haven newspaper

Winter Haven, FL -  News veteran Bill Blocher has been named managing editor of the News Chief in Winter Haven.


Blocher has been an editor for The Ledger in Lakeland for 20 years. The Ledger and News Chief are part of the Ledger Media Group, which Ferson heads.

He replaces Joe Braddy, who stepped down as managing editor and is considering another editing position with the News Chief.

Blocher is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

The U.S. Navy veteran has worked at newspapers in Missouri, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia and New Jersey.

Lakeland man killed after crashing into a pole

Lakeland man killed after crashing into a pole

Lakeland, FL -- Lakeland Police are investigating a single car accident that killed a Polk County man early this morning.

Filberto Ramirez, 33, was driving a 2001 Acura heading south on Lakeland Hills Boulevard at "a high rate of speed" when the car's tires left the road and hit the utility pole, according to police.  

Police reported Ramirez, of 5834 Bambi Drive of Lakeland, was the only person in the car and was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

New Polk County Manager named

New Polk County Manager named

Bartow, FL -- Polk County Commissioners had narrowed the field to four. But in the end, they decided to go with what they know in their search for a new County Manager.

By a unanimous vote, commissioners have named Jim Freeman as a replacement for Mike Herr, who resigned last year.

Freeman, 52, had been acting as interim county manager since Herr's departure.