Month: November 2016


NAPLES, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott released the below statement following the death of Fidel Castro. 

Governor Rick Scott said, “I join Cuban-Americans and Floridians across the country who are incredibly hopeful for the future of Cuba.  After decades of oppression, the Cuban people deserve freedom, peace and democracy.  I have met so many Cubans who have come to Florida to flee the tyranny, brutality, and communism of the Castro brothers’ oppressive regime and now is the time to look at policy changes that will demand democracy in Cuba.  Today’s news should usher in an era of freedom, peace and human dignity for everyone in Cuba and the State of Florida stands ready to assist in that mission.  I spoke to President-elect Trump this morning to let him know that the State of Florida will help his administration in any way to support a pro-democracy movement in Cuba.”

Gov. Scott: Enjoy License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day This Thanksgiving Weekend

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Saturday, November 26th will be a license-free saltwater fishing day for Florida residents and visitors. This free saltwater fishing day is part of the eight license-free fishing days the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers each year. The recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters will also be open for harvest November 25th-27th, the last open dates of the season.

Governor Rick Scott said, “This Thanksgiving weekend is a perfect time for Floridians and visitors to discover why our state is known as the fishing capital of the world. This license-free saltwater fishing day is a great reminder of how thankful we are that our state is home to so many natural treasures and unique outdoor activities. We are expecting to welcome millions of visitors to Florida for the holiday weekend and I hope everyone will take this opportunity to enjoy our beautiful state with their families.”

 FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski said, “A major part of FWC’s mission to conserve all of Florida’s natural resources is the responsibility to provide Floridians and our visitors with access to some of America’s best fishing opportunities. Throughout the year, license-free fishing days give our residents, especially young children, the chance to learn more about natural Florida and the work that goes into its conservation. FWC will continue the responsible management of our state’s fisheries so Floridians can have abundant fishing opportunities. Our hope is that families throughout the state can spend time with loved ones enjoying great fishing while giving thanks this holiday weekend.”

 Saltwater license-free fishing days allow anglers to fish for saltwater species without being required to have a saltwater recreational fishing license. All bag limits, seasons and size restrictions apply on license-free fishing days, and during the red snapper season. To learn more about license-free fishing days, visit For fishing tips, locations and other information

New Trend Spreading Joy with Rocks

By now, you might have seen one when you go to the park, or to the store or just about anywhere in Polk County. Painted Rocks. The new trend came to Florida after Lakeland resident Scott Urquhart and his family attended a wedding in Vancouver. They saw a brightly painted rock and after checking they found this to be a comunity project designed to spread joy and happiness. 
Urquhart and his family knew they had to bring this idea back to their town. They started the Lakeland Rocks page and now are over 20,000 members. 

The idea is simple. Get rocks and supplies, get creative, and hide them in the community. When people find the rocks they can choose to rehide them or keep them if they mean something special to them. There is not a right and wrong way to participate. 

This movement has now moved all over Polk County including our very own Fort Meade. The page is called “Fort Meade Rocks” and admins say they hope everyone gets involved. There have been a few finds so far and people have posted some nice pictures of the finds and hints to the new locations!!! 

Admins of the Fort Meade group say there are a few rules but creativity is never dictated. “People can use this for a means of expression and take joy in knowing that their creation might brighten the day of someone they dont even know”.

In the world today there are very few movements and trends that spread joy and community involvement and founders hope this helps the community of Fort Meade in a very beautiful way. 

Battle of Bowlegs Creek


Fort Meade is preparing for an invasion from the past. Known for its participation in the Second Seminole Wars and later in the American Civil War, Fort Meade will once again provide history in its own backyard at the Battle of Bowlegs Creek.

Beginning on Thurs., Nov. 17, from 5:30 – 8 p.m., the Historical Society of Fort Meade will host the History Trolley Ride Along. Cost is $5 per person over 6 years old. The trolley will leave every 45 minutes from the Museum, 1 Tecumseh Ave. Like a time machine, the trolley will remind visitors of turn-of-the-20th Century transportation from Old Town to New Town. Along the way, the tour captures glimpses of characters throughout the city’s rich history as well-known Historian Debra Howell narrates the highlights of the tour. Tour returns to the Museum for cookies and punch and a tour of the Museum is available. For more information, visit the Museum or go on-line to Fort Meade Historical Society & Museum Facebook page, as well as the Museum’s website:

Friday, Nov. 18 is designated as School Day, a free event for students to visit with re-enactors, as well as participate and observe displays and demonstrations of Civil War living history. Hours are 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Students must be attended by teachers and/or parents and may bring their lunches to enjoy at the Fort Meade Recreational Area, US 98 E on Peace River. To register for School Day, call Priscilla Perry at 285-8406. Registration cut-off is Nov. 4.

Now for the action! Sat. and Sun., Nov. 19-20, from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. Peace River comes alive! Music. Food. Living History.

Entertainment … Florida Music Writer and Performers Jerry Mincey and Larry Mangum, along with special guests Seven Pounds of Bacon will be performing at the small pavilion throughout the day between battles.

Civil War “suttlers” will be selling their wares, as well as modern food vendors throughout the event.

Park opens at 9 a.m[PP1] .

Parking is $10 per car – Admission is free.

Posting of Colors at 10 a.m.

River Naval Invasion on Peace River at 11 a.m.

Ladies’ Tea at noon.

Battle Re-enactment at 2 p.m.

Park closes at 5 p.m.

Beautiful Woman tribe’s village was located on Peace River (close to the US 98 E bridge in Fort Meade) and burned out when Lt. George Meade crossed the river in 1849. Meade ordered a fort be built on the river banks.

It is worth noting the last recorded Seminole Battle during the 3rd Seminole Wars and one of the last Indian Battles east of the Mississippi took place in Fort Meade in 1856, known as the Battle of Tillis Farm. Five men soldiers died and Willoughby Tillis was injured in that battle.

When Louisiana was captured by the Union during the Civil War, Central Florida became the Confederate’s main food source with an ample supply of cattle in the area. To halt the transactions, Union troops came up Peace River twice from Fort Myers – April and May 1864. During the latter skirmish, Fort Meade was burned. Two men were killed and again, Willoughby Tillis was injured in the “Cow Battle” known as the Battle of Bowlegs Creek.