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Lakeland City Commissioner will seek re-election for seat

Lakeland City Commissioner will seek re-election for seat

Lakeland, FL -- Glenn Higgins, in his ninth year as a Lakeland City Commissioner, has announced that he will seek re-election for the Lakeland City Commission North East District Seat.

Higgins said in a statement, “Lakeland, like much of the country, faces significant challenges. Now more than ever citizens need elected officials who will stand up for them and represent their interests.”  He added, “As a commitment to the citizens of Lakeland, I will make the most informed and knowledgeable decisions possible and I will always be an advocate for the residents with the best interest of the community in my heart.”

Higgins retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1979 and in 1997 retired from Polk County Schools where he was the senior ROTC instructor at Lake Gibson High School. He was inducted into the Lake Gibson High School Hall of Fame in 2005.

Bartow's CRA Executive Director calls it quits

Bartow's CRA Executive Director calls it quits

BARTOW, FL -- Jim Duane, the embattled Executive Director of Bartow's Community Redevelopment Association has decided to call it quits.

Duane became the center of controversy for his handling of a $250,000 federal loan which was supposed to be used for a downtown parking garage. Instead the city money ended-up being funneled through the CRA for a proposed park.

Duane, 71, admits the controversy influenced his decision to leave, but says he'd been thinking about retirement for some time.

Lakeland Commission gives city attorney approval to work on future HSR Plan

Lakeland Commission gives city attorney approval to work on future HSR Plan

Lakeland, FL -- The Lakeland City Commission voted in a unanimous decision to give City Attorney Tim McCausland the approval to work with other agencies in creating the legal framework for an independent agency to oversee the future development of high speed rail.


McCausland will be working with Cities of Tampa and Orlando and their legal teams in creating an independent agency that would manage future development of the proposed high speed rail project. 


This independent oversight group would insulate taxpayers from any financial risk and divert the $2.4 billion in federal funding to a new entity such as a regional planning group.

Polk County Commissioners want to keep high speed rail project viable

Polk County Commissioners want to keep high speed rail project viable

Polk County, FL -- The Polk County Board of County Commissioners announces strong support for the efforts by Tampa, Lakeland and Orlando mayors and other local, regional, state and federal leaders, as well as the private sector, in pursuing alternative plans for high speed rail.

“We recognize the governor’s fiscal responsibility, but we also have to consider the long-term economic impact, as well as highway safety issues,” Commissioner Edwin Smith, chairman of the Polk County Board of County Commissioners said in a statement.

Want to help improve Winter Haven schools?

Want to help improve Winter Haven schools?

Winter Haven, FL -- The Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce is asking for educators, parents, students, business leaders and community members to help their educational steering committee improve the city's public schools.


The chamber intends to implement programs within Winter Haven middle schools and high schools designed to inspire the students to achieve their vocational and educational objectives.


The committee will submit a report to the Chamber and the community in May 2011, in time to begin implementation of the proposals for the 2011-2012 school year.


The report will address the current status of Winter Haven's public schools. It will involve statistical analysis, surveys and personal interviews. 

Mayor calls for high speed rail pow-wow with governor

Mayor calls for high speed rail pow-wow with governor

Lakeland, FL -- The mayor of Lakeland is calling on Gov. Rick Scott to meet with him and the mayors of Tampa and Orlando.


Mayor Gow Fields told reporters Monday morning he wants a chance to tell Governor Scott why a high speed rail line is crucial to all three cities.


Lakeland's City Commission began meeting shortly after Fields' announcement.


Last week, that same City Commission surprised a lot of people by voting to pick a preferred site for Polk County's high speed rail stop.

Public Town Hall meeting tomorrow

Public Town Hall meeting tomorrow

Winter Haven, FL -- Rep. Dennis Ross will host a live Town Hall meeting tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Chain of Lakes Complex in the South Entrance.

The complex is located at 210 Cypress Gardens Blvd. in Winter Haven. The event is open to the public.