Month: April 2015

PCSO Investigating Traffic Homicide


At approximately 9:58 pm on Sunday, April 26, 2015, 41-year-old Lori Marlene Young, Terri Terrace, Fort Meade, wearing dark clothing, was walking south on 80 Foot Road. The roadway has no lighting.

22-year-old Crista Kay Todd, Avenue U, Winter Haven, was traveling south on 80 Foot Road in a 2013, white, Nissan Altima.  After passing J. Stenger Road, Todd saw Young in the roadway and attempted to avoid hitting Young but was unsuccessful and the front right of the Altima struck Young.

Todd stopped and called for assistance.   Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies along with Polk County Fire Rescue responded and attempted to render aide, however, Young was pronounced deceased at the scene

Based on witnesses statements and evidence at the scene, it appears Young had been traveling with her husband along 80 Foot Road, and had a verbal disagreement with her husband.  Young exited the vehicle to end the disagreement.

At this time speed does not appear to be a factor in this incident.  Todd was wearing her seat belt.  There are no pending criminal charges at this time.

The investigation is ongoing.

**** All information contained in this article was courtesy of PCSO****

28th Annual Polk County Peace Officers’ Memorial Service

In observance of 2015 National Police Week (May 10th through May 16th) the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Polk County Lodge #46 and the Polk County Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (PCLEMF), Inc., will present the 28th Annual Polk County Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on Thursday, May 7th, 2015, 10:00 a.m., at the Polk County Law Enforcement Memorial in Lakeland Veterans Park. The park is located on Lime Street, between Lake Beulah Drive and the west side of the Lakeland Center.

There are 32 Law Enforcement and Corrections officers, who made the “supreme sacrifice and died in the line of duty” while serving the citizens of Polk County with various State, County and local Law Enforcement and Corrections agencies, who will also be honored during the Memorial Service “Roll Call of Heroes.”

The Harrison Center for Visual and Performing Arts “Encore Singers” will perform.

Speakers will include:

• PCSO Deputy Sheriff Mike Braswell, President, FOP Polk County Lodge #46
• Bill LePere, PCLEMF, Inc., Chairman of the Board
• Keynote Speaker will be Deputy County Manager Gary Hester
• PCSO Retired Major Marvin Pittman will lead the invocation and benediction

Immediately following the memorial service, The 28th Annual Memorial Service Luncheon hosted by the FOP Polk County Lodge #46 and the Polk County Law Enforcement Memorial Fund Inc., will take place at the FOP Polk County Lodge #46, located at 125 West Brannen Rd, Lakeland (east from South Florida Ave. @ Sonny’s).

The public and media are invited to attend the memorial service and luncheon. For more information, please call Bill LePere PCLEMF, Inc., Chairman, at 863-688-1725

**** All information within this article is courtesy of Polk County Sheriff’s Office ****

Fort Meade: Commission receives news about Biosolids Lawsuit


Fort Meade Florida – During the last city commission meeting held on April 6th, commissioners were made aware that there has been a response to the court from Biosolids in reference to the lawsuit which was filed in Polk County court in October of 2014.

There was a Federal lawsuit which was filed in September 2014 by the Biosolids facility against the City of Fort Meade which was promptly dismissed. After this suit was dismissed, the city of Fort Meade promptly filed in Polk County Court in order to have this matter resolved.

The lawsuit which was filed mainly due to the discovery that the Biosolids facility, 1491 N.W. 14th Street in Fort Meade, was in violation of land usage ordinance. Biosolids, retains that the facility has all of the necessary documentation to continue to operate in the manner that has been the same since ownership changed hands in 2013 from Environmental Ag. According to the city of Fort Meade, Biosolids changed the overall process in which they treat the city’s waste water sludge. This change according to city officials has not only put a strain on the city waste water treatment system but has also cost the city a lot of money. This money would have come from sewer rates that would have been collected if in fact the Biosolids facility was paying for the use of that system. City Attorney Tim Cloud has estimated that amount to be some where in the neighborhood of $30,000.00 per month that has been lost due to this issue and it is the standing of the City of Fort Meade, that Biosolids should be obligated to pay for the impact to the city. City Attorney Tim Cloud states “They continue to bring in truck loads of nasty stuff with out paying for the use of the sewer system”.

In the meeting on April 6th 2015, City Attorney Tim Cloud made the commission aware that the Biosolids facility has indeed sent a response to the court in reference to this lawsuit, however he stopped short of any details of the response or counter suit which was filed. He did make note that the city would be moving forward in the process with a hearing date and discovery portion of the legal process. Commissioners were put on notice however, that within this response was a request for approximately 30,000 documents in accordance with the public information act.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

City Seeks Approval for New Ordinance


Fort Meade Florida – Fort Meade City Commission is seeking a change to an ordinance which would modify certain parts of code of ordinances of the city of Fort Meade. This ordinance was read the first time at the city commission meeting on April 6th 2015 and there is a required second reading with a public forum that will take place on April 21st at 6:00 p.m.

The specific verbiage of this ordinance allows for the “…water system, sewer system and electric distribution system to work as a coordinated and integrated system…” and would be connected in reference to connections, disconnections, and potential liens on property.

One of the changes would potentially affect the existing section 24-4 of the city ordinance for the city of Fort Meade. The addition section would read as follows:

(e) No one may connect to any City utility system without (1)making written application to the City for such utility system service, (2) paying applicable impact fees, and (3) in the case of those requesting sewer (wastewater) service from the City, securing the signature of the owner of said property, who shall be a co-applicant and be equally liable for any unpaid charges and fees”

Within this document the creation of a new section titled 24-12 Lien for unpaid charges; liability for charges has been formed.

Additionally the modification of section 24-157 will state reasons for possible termination of electric service. Two new items to this section will read:

(7) For Violation of city ordinance related to the operation of the City’s water, sewer (wastewater), or electric utility systems.

(8) For failure to pay city utility bills or other system fees or charges for the availability or delivery of water, waste water, or electric services.

These changes will be addressed in a second reading with public forum at a special meeting on April 21st at 6:00 p.m. in the City Commission chambers. All members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Walks With Memaw


Walks With Memaw

By: Karli Land

The sun starts to make its way into the western sky, leaving in the clouds behind it the most radiant shades of red and orange. Dark is coming which only motivates me to clear my dinner plate faster knowing that I won’t be excused from the table until I do. After I get the okay from momma, I jump up from my seat and run full force through the house and out of the front door causing the screen door to slam closed behind me. Dad shouts a warning, “don’t slam the door,” but I don’t even look back. I make my way across the driveway and over into the next yard. Outside, my papaw is watering his well-kept rose bushes and manicured lawn. He lifts the water hose my way, pretending that he is going to soak me with it but I know better from the many times we’ve played this game before. I make my way through his yard and up to the house. I sling open the front door and yell inside. “We going today?” I wait to hear the small, sweet voice of the woman who makes my world turn. I know she’s in the kitchen, finishing up the dinner dishes but I don’t dare step inside with my shoes on. “Almost ready,” I hear my memaw call out.

It doesn’t take much to keep a six-year-old girl from Frostproof, Florida entertained.  We head down the driveway together and start out on our mile-long walk which consists of walking the streets of our neighborhood, Overocker Circle, four times. I don’t remember the days before our walks started, in my mind it’s just what we’ve always done. I don’t think that it was the walks that I enjoyed but rather the games that were played along the way. We sang nursery rhymes, played I-spy, told stories and talked about our day. Walks around that little country block is where I was first introduced to Baa, Baa Black Sheep, The Three Bears, and Henny Penny. I heard my very first Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl with sweaty palms and tired feet after a few times around the circle. I listened to made-up stories and configured my very own tall tales. Those moments were without a doubt where I first formed my love of words. I loved every word that came out of her mouth and now wish so much to have the opportunity to hear them all over again. As I memorized the songs and stories that she would teach me, I immediately began teaching them to my little sister. I just knew that she would need to know them one day for her walks with memaw. As our walks got fewer and fewer, we began taking along a notebook full of our little rhymes and I only recently realized its purpose. My memaw was losing her memories. My little sister would never enjoy the long walks and playful songs with our memaw. Alzheimer’s took that opportunity away before she was old enough to even understand what was happening.

I write every day of my life now. Oftentimes I think of my memaw while I do knowing that she would be proud of me following my dreams. I am so grateful for the time that I had with her and the writer that I have become because of that time. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I keep my own notebook now that I will one day share with my grandchildren as we hurry through our dinner plates, rushing outside to meet for our walks.

Storytelling is important. It keeps our loved ones close long after their passing and is the way precious memories are passed along while we are still around to share them. I have so many sweet memories from my lifetime that I want my children to know of. My desire is for them to see what I saw and feel how I felt. I want them to take the things that I remember about my loved ones and share them with their children. This is why I tell my stories.

Many people knew and loved my grandmother. She was an amazing woman who cared so much for so many people. I lost her too soon. How I wish that she were around to watch my children grow into adults and to guide me on the path of getting them there. And even more than that, I wish that my children knew what life with her was like. I wish that they could sit in the yard under the tree and listen to her as she hummed Amazing Grace. I wish that they could lay their head in her lap during a Sunday morning service at the Church of Christ where she was a faithful member. I wish that they could spend Sunday afternoons waiting in line at Morrison’s Cafeteria discussing which desserts are available.

While they won’t have those experiences like I did, they can still know what it was like to be there.

I encourage every writer I know to share stories. Write them down. They will be very precious to someone someday.