Month: December 2015

International Market World Evacuated

 PCSO has evacuated the International Market World, also known as the Auburndale Flea Market, located at 1052 US Hwy 92 West in Auburndale, after receiving a verbal bomb threat at 10:50 a.m. today, Sunday, December 27, 2015.

All of the buildings have been evacuated at this time and PCSO is conducting a thorough search of the property with a bomb-sniffing canine.

I will send out another update when the search is complete and the evacuation has been lifted.

Traffic Homicide closes I4

Polk County Sheriff’s Office traffic homicide deputies are investigating a crash that occurred at 4:00 p.m. on east bound I-4 between U.S. 27 and the Polk/Osceola county line.  The Interstate is closed east bound, and will likely remain closed until 8:00 p.m.  East bound traffic is being diverted at State Road 557.  Traffic re-enters at Osceola Polk Line Road. The crash involved three vehicles and occurred during stop-and-go traffic.  A Blue Nissan rammed into the back of a Honda SUV, which ran into a Chrysler van in the east bound lanes of I-4. The adult male driver of the Nissan was transported to an area hospital, as were two small children.  The adult female passenger in the Nissan is deceased.  Two adults and two children in the Honda SUV were also transported to area hospitals. No one was transported to the hospital from the Chrysler van. All those transported are in various conditions, but none of the injuries appear, at this point, to be life threatening.  This is all I have right now; we will provide an update later this evening.

North Central Landfill holiday operations

BARTOW, Fla. (December 17, 2015) – The North Central Landfill will be closed on Christmas Day, which is Friday, December 25 and New Year’s Day, which is Friday, January 1. Also, no residential collection services (including all garbage, yard waste collection and recycling) in all unincorporated areas will occur on those days.

The North Central Landfill will re-open on Saturday, December 26 and Saturday, January 2. Collection services will be delayed by one day. Therefore, collection will take place on Saturday. Regularly scheduled pick-ups will resume on Monday.

Christmas Parade Success…!!! WINNERS:

Fort Meade chamber announces winner’s from this year’s Christmas parade

1. Best Service Entry (tie)
VFW Color Guard 
CAPS City Mobile Home Park
2. Best Use of Theme (tie)
Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary
Summerlin Academy
3. Best Professional Entry
Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership
4. Best Church Entry
New Beginning Church of God
5. Best Cart Entry
Forrest Jameison
6. Best Small Business Entry
A. Keck’s
7. Best Youth Entry
Wendy’s Dance Company

Governor Rick Scott Issues Proclamation for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott ordered the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff on Monday, December 7, 2015, in honor of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  


WHEREAS, on December 7, 1941, the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands was attacked by the Naval Forces of the Japanese Empire; and

                                                                WHEREAS, more than 2,400 American lives were lost in the sudden attack that Sunday morning, and a major portion of the United States Navy’s Pacific Fleet was destroyed; and

WHEREAS, the attack on Pearl Harbor led to America’s entry into World War II; and

WHEREAS, the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces are forever remembered for their courage, selfless dedication, and sacrifice during World War II; and

WHEREAS, the State of Florida appreciates and encourages the efforts of the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors to keep their parents’ legacy, bravery, and heroism in the minds of all Floridians; and

WHEREAS, December 7, 2015, marks the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor; and

WHEREAS, this 74th anniversary marks a time for communities, individuals, and organizations to gather across our Country and throughout the State of Florida to perform acts of charity, to pray, and to support one another as we honor and remember those who lost their lives on December 7, 1941; and

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, hereby direct the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds throughout the State of Florida, from sunrise to sunset, on Monday, December 7, 2015. In addition, I encourage all people of our great state to observe this National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities to remember and honor those who died in defense of our freedom on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor.


December Happenings at the History Center

Bartow, Fla. (Dec. 2, 2015) – Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are open to the public and free of charge:

·         December’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity – All Month

o   Uncover kid-friendly activities at the Polk County History Center. Can you feel it in the air? Winter is certainly drawing near. Although Polk seems to escape much of the bitter cold, it is still fun to celebrate. Explore the history of the winter solstice and the allure of citrus during the season. Visit the Children’s Discovery Room to begin your quest and later you can create a citrus bird feeder, a Popsicle stick snowman or an ornament for our Christmas tree.

·         No Lunch and Learn for the Month of December

Lunch and Learn programming goes on hiatus this month as we encourage our friends of the museum to spend time with loved ones during this season of celebration. Please consider a visit to the Historical and Genealogical Library to explore your own history and preserve it for generations to come. Call LuAnn Mims or Dorinda Morrison-Garrard at (863) 534-4380 and begin your journey.


The Lunch and Learn schedule for 2016 includes:

§  Jan. 19 – Florida Citrus Crate Labels: Florida’s First Billboards

§  Feb. 16 – The Legacy of Spessard Lindsey Holland

§  March 15 – They Dared to Dream: Women Who Shaped Florida History

§  April 19 – Avon Park Army Airfield: Florida during World War II

§  May 17 – Polk’s Jewish Families: 1925 – Today

§  June 21 – Cypress Gardens: America’s Tropical Wonderland

§  July 19 – Polk Voting Trends: Past, Present and Future

§  Aug. 16 – Florida’s Evolving Springs

§  Sept. 20 – Voices from Mariel: The Mariel Boatlift 1980

§  Oct. 18 – John Vincent Atanasoff: Forgotten Father of the Computer

§  Nov. 15 – The Other War of 1812: Florida’s Patriot War


·         Now Through Dec. 12 – Festival of Wreaths and Silent Auction

o   The Fifth Annual Festival of Wreaths and Silent Auction continues through Dec. 12. Get in the holiday spirit with a visit to the History Center to view the 42 beautiful wreaths adorning the doorways and rotunda area throughout the museum. Decorators include local organizations, individuals and all five Polk constitutional officers. Place your bid in the 2015 silent auction atwww.polkhistorycenter.orgby clicking on the Festival of Wreaths icon.

·         Dec. 19 , 11 a.m. – Architectural Tour

o   Join us for a family friendly architectural tour of the History Center and learn more about neoclassical architecture, the construction of the building and the stories behind the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse. The architectural tour is on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.


·         Holiday Closings

o   The History Center will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas, and will reopen Dec. 26.

o   The History Center will be closed Jan. 1 in observance of New Year’s Day and will reopen Jan. 2.


·         On-going Temporary Exhibits

Very Much A Lady: Lifestyle and Fashion of the Proper Woman, 1900-1920

December is your last chance to return to a more elegant and stylish era with this exhibit featuring unique and vintage couture fashion and accessories. The exhibit is curated from the private collection of Polk County resident Joanna Godwin. Mrs. Godwin leads personalized tours of the exhibit every Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The exhibit is on display through the end of the month.

o   Good Reasons for Good Roads: Celebrating the Dixie Highway at 100 Years

The exhibit explores early highways, the people who travelled them and a new era of development in the state’s history. Artifacts in the exhibit include dozens of mid-century souvenirs from Polk’s early attractions and the first automobile license plate ever issued in Polk. The Dixie Highway’s initial route officially opened in 1915 and transformed the cultural landscape of Florida. The exhibit will be on display through August.

o   Victory Florida: Honoring Polk County’s WWII Contributions

The exhibit tells the story of ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things for their country during World War II. This year was the 70th anniversary of V-Day, or Victory Day, which marked the end of World War II in 1945. Victory Florida: Honoring Polk County’s WWII Contributions will be on display through September.

About the Polk County History Center: The History Center is located at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. or call(863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All events and programming are free and open to the public.