Month: September 2015


Easy, Fun Ballroom Dance Class begins Thurs., Oct. 1 at 6:30 pm at Gause Riverside campus (Adult Education Center) on E. 6th St. in Fort Meade. Fundraiser for HELP of Fort Meade .. $5 per person per class. Grab a partner, slick-soled shoes and let’s give it whirl. Adults and teens. This is NOT competition or formal but rather “survival on the dance floor.” First lessons will begin with traditional Lindy and evolving into the Shag! Contact Priscilla Perry, 285-8406.


The Sign Shop and More Ribbon Cutting Grand Opening


By Ramona Waibel – The Sign Shop and More is a relatively new business in the Fort Meade area after moving from Wauchula to re home their business here. The Sign Shop and More is located at the intersection of Broadway and Hwy 17 right next door to the Pharmacy. On September 21st, City Officials officially welcomed the new business to the area with a ribbon cutting.

David and Tami Poucher say they are thankful that they have made this move for their business and are already in love with the area and look forward to serving the community.

The sign shop and more offers a wide variety of custom made items, such as hats, t-shirts, hair bows, and much more. They are currently in the process of new styles of t-shirts to be available for the Miner fans.

In conjunction with the grand opening this week, all orders that are placed this week will receive 10% off. In addition, there will also be a drawing on Friday at 5:30 pm. The winner will receive their choice of either a t-shirt, hair bow, bangle, hat, Halloween shirt & bow, or a $25 gift certificate.

Polk County Water Cooperative Formation Meeting On Friday, September 18


Bartow, Florida (Sept. 14, 2015) — More than 90 percent of all the public water supply in Polk County comes from the aquifer system. As our communities continue to grow, there is a need to identify new sustainable water resources to meet increased demand. We currently do not have the needed infrastructure to utilize new sustainable water resources, nor the capability to obtain it without a concerted inter-local effort.

On Friday, Sept. 18 an initial meeting involving representatives of the Board of County Commissioners and from some or all of the Polk County municipalities will be held to begin to address the future of water county-wide. It will be held from 9 a.m.1 p.m. at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. These representatives will review, discuss and select the terms and conditions for inclusion in the interlocal goveranance agreement that will create the Polk Regional Water Cooperative.

The Cooperative’s role is to pro-actively identify alternative water resources and projects that ensure the future sustainability of our regional water supply. It will specifically identify sustainable groundwater sources, develop strategies that meet water demands, determine needed infrastructure and establish consistent rules.

The meeting is open to the public. Lake Myrtle Sports Complex is at 2701 Lake Myrtle Park Road, Auburndale

Accident 640 & 17


Use caution accident blocking  roadway on southbound lane of hwy 17 going towards fort meade just passed hwy 640. One trauma is confirmed,  but no names have been released.  Traffic delays estimated between 30-45 minutes. Please use caution while going through area.  Updates will be posted as they are available

Martial Arts Instructor Charged in Sexual Crimes Has Ties to Program at Local Church


Lake Wales, Florida – Chase Woolman, 26 was arrested and charged with Sexual battery by custodian and lewd molestation after it was reported by a former student and instructor of the Tae Kwon Do School of Excellence in Lake Wales that since 2010 Woolman made many sexual advances towards her and eventually had sex with her. The victim who has not been revealed because of age at the time of the incident stated in statement to police that she was forced into multiple situations sexual in nature over the course of the 3 years incident.

According to reports, Woolman told investigators that he did indeed have sex with the victim and advised everyday that he was concerned that police were going to show up and take him to jail. 

Woolman, a 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do has been doing martial arts in Lake Wales since 1996 with the Tae Kwon Do School of Excellence. The school in more recent years opened a satellite extension program at First Baptist Church Frostproof. According to sources, Woolman was an active participant in activities at this location. The Tae Kwon Do School of Excellence as well as the ministry program at First Baptist Church are currently governed by the Victory Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan located in Bloomington Illinois. Master Manny Sosa is the head of this organization and to this point has not been reachable for comment about this incident. 

A statement was released by the Tae Kwon Do School of Excellence which reads

We are deeply saddened by the accusations that have been brought against Master Chase. The Tae Kwon Do School of Excellence prides itself on nearly 20 years of serving the Lake Wales community with distinction. Accordingly, we do not take this situation or these accusations lightly. We are praying and hopeful that this matter can be quickly and justly resolved. However, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation, Master Chase has been placed on a mandatory leave of absence.

We would like to assure all students, families, and community partners that the Tae Kwon Do School of Excellence will remain fully committed to offering all martial arts classes and after school supervision. The school will remain open and fully operational. We are blessed to have professional and qualified instructors and staff members who will continue to offer the best instruction and supervision in the Central Florida area.
As you can imagine, his wife and all members of the Woolman family are under a great deal of duress. We humbly request that members of the media and the community respect their privacy and join us in helping protect his young children from any undue harm.

The Tae Kwon Do School of Excellence makes no apology for its Christian values and principles. We ask that you join with us in prayer for clarity and peace in the days ahead.
We will update our students and families regularly throughout this process.


The Tae Kwon Do School of Excellence

As of  September 3rd 2015, Woolman was released on bond of $15,000.00 for the charge of sexual battery by custodian and $5,000.00 on charge of Lewd Molestation.

As this is an ongoing investigation by the Lake Wales Police, it is not known at this time if there will be further charges filed due to other victims or if there are other similar cases that  have could be connected to this Tae Kwon Do school.

Fort Meade Daily News will continue to investigate this incident and will report any and all updates in this case.



A well known Lake Wales Tae Kwon Do instructor is facing several sex charges, according to the Lake Wales Police Department.

Chase Woolman, 26, has been charged with sexual battery by a custodian with the victim being 12 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age and lewd molestation defendant older than 18 years of age and victim is older than 12 years of age but less than 16 years of age.

According to a report from the LWPD, the victim met with investigators at the Lake Wales Police Department on Tuesday, and she stated she had been a student at the Tae Kwon Do School of Excellence in Lake Wales for many years. She told detectives that in 2010 Woolman was one of the lead instructors at the school, and alleged that Woolman began making sexual advances toward her in 2010 while the school was on a trip.

Based on information provided by the victim, Woolman’s behavior continued when they arrived back home, according to the police. The victim stated Woolman forced her to put her hand down his pants to touch his penis, he made her perform oral sex on him, and he eventually had sexual intercourse with her, according to the arrest affidavit. She reported these acts occurred over a period of time in Woolman’s truck and inside the Tae Kwon Do School. During the time of these sexual acts the victim was 16 years of age or younger and Woolman was over the age of 18, according to police, who added that being one of the instructors of the Tae Kwon Do School Woolman was in a position of custodial care of the victim when these acts were committed. The victim stated the sexual encounters came to an end in 2013.

According to the LWPD, detectives heard Woolman confirm having had sex with the victim during a conversation between the two. Based on the information provided by the victim and the statements made during the conversation Woolman was placed under arrest. He was booked into the Polk County Jail for the charges of sexual battery by a custodian with the victim being 12 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age and lewd molestation defendant older than 18 years of age and victim is older than 12 years of age but less than 16 years of age.

This is an ongoing investigation and at this time police say they do not know if there will be any additional charges. It is also unknown if there are any other victims. Anyone who has information about this case or similar cases is asked to contact Detective Michael Yodonis at (863) 678-4223 extension 276.

*** Report is courtesy of Lake Wales News ***  *** Updates will be posted as they become available ***