Private Gated Estate In Lakeland Will Set You Back $2 million

LAKELAND, FL —This private, gated estate in Lakeland sits on 3.5 beautifully landscaped acres. Priced at $2 million, the stunning property features an ornate library with built-in shelves and its own guest house.

With a gorgeous view of Lake Scott, the estate boasts its own wine room, refinished dock and brand new boat house.

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Price: $1,995,000 Square Feet: 6124 Bedrooms: 5 Bathrooms: 4 Full and 1 Half Baths Built: 1996 Features: This private gated estate on 3.5 beautifully landscaped acres has 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms along with top of the line features and finishes. Also on the property is a 2,000 sq ft guest house with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms perfect for guests or multigenerational families. Entering into the impressive foyer, straight ahead is the library with ornate built in bookshelves and a gorgeous view of Scott Lake. To the left is the formal dining room with pocket door leading to butler’s pantry and kitchen. The eat-in gourmet kitchen with large island and built in desk area features built in refrigerated drawers, built in fridge, gas range, double ovens, dishwasher and trash compactor. Just off the kitchen is a cozy living room with gas fireplace. This home boasts a huge bonus room with vaulted wood ceiling, wet bar, wine room, and guest bath perfect for entertaining guests. The first floor master has tray ceilings, a gas fireplace, and lake views. The master bath is luxurious, like taking a trip to the spa with its jacuzzi tub and steam shower. Upstairs you will find the other 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths. Stepping outside you will find a large lanai with outdoor living room, outdoor kitchen, and salt water pool with spa and waterfall. Also included is, a home gym space, home generator, garages for 5 cars, decorative window treatments and chandeliers, and a refinished dock, brand new boat house, and boat lift. If you are looking for privacy and luxury, this home is for you!

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‘Bumbling’ Florida Burglar Drops Shorts During Heist

LAKELAND, FL — A "bumbling" Florida burglar lost his shorts during a recent heist at a Hyundai dealership and Lakeland police are asking for the public’s help in tracking him down, preferably with his shorts back on.

"Can you help identify this not-so-smooth criminal," police said in releasing video of the Nov. 18 burglary Thursday. The incident took place around 9 p.m. at night. The dealership is located at 1430 W. Memorial Blvd.

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The crook used a fire extinguisher to break through a wall.

"Climbing in through the hole in the wall wasn’t as easy as he thought," police said. "He even lost his shorts on the way in. However he was able to make off with a generator and was last seen heading southbound on Brunnell Parkway."

To report a tip, call Detective Scott Hutton at 863.834.8969. Alternatively, or to remain anonymous call Heartland Crime Stoppers Florida at 800-226-TIPS or log onto to submit your tip via the web. For a secure and password protected mobile app for your smart device, go to the app store and download the free "P3tips" mobile app.

Photo and video courtesy Lakeland Police Department

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Thanksgiving 2018: Get Your Gobble On Around Lakeland

LAKELAND, FL — There’s options around Lakeland this Thanksgiving if you are looking for a great holiday meal but don’t want to cook.

Patch consulted for our restaurant roundup for the Lakeland area. We’ll keep updating right up until the plump turkey sings so refresh your browser and check back often.

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Here now is our Thanksgiving 2018 roundup:

The restaurant is open on Black Friday but closed on Thanksgiving. This upscale Latin-inspired restaurant uses a number of locally-sourced products. The restaurant pigs and chickens that are raised naturally.

The Bay Street Bistro is open on Black Friday but closed on Thanksgiving. This eclectic restaurant and art gallery serves French, Italian and American cuisine, as well as displaying the areas most talented artists.

The Bay Street Bistro is your destination for top quality dining in a relaxed atmosphere, located conveniently in downtown Lakeland. The business prides itself on making everything possible from scratch, using the highest quality ingredients!

It is also available for private bookings, dinner parties, business meetings and catering for your next event.

A full Thanksgiving offering will be served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The cost is $55 per person. Reservations are required.

Discover why The Terrace Grille is recognized as one of the top restaurants in Central Florida.

Offering a relaxed, fine dining atmosphere and a savory menu right on site, the Terrace Grille features masterfully restored historic architecture in addition to delectable menu selections.

bd’s will be closed on Thanksgiving but will reopen on Black Friday. Since 1992, bd’s Mongolian Grill has been delivering unique, interactive dining experiences that sets the restaurant apart from the competition and has made it a great Create Your Own Stir-Fry restaurant concept.

The restaurant’s "Stir It Up, Your Way!" philosophy gives guests ownership in choosing ingredients from a great variety of choice meats and seafood, fresh vegetables, crisp salads, and flavor-packed sauces and spices that are Always Market Fresh. The food is then prepared by expert grillers on a 500° 7-foot grill.

The restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving but will reopen on Black Friday. For nearly 40 years, Texas Cattle Company, a family owned and operated restaurant, has been a local favorite serving only select U.S.D.A. Choice and Prime, three-year-old grain-fed beef. Texas Cattle Company steers clear of fancy cooking methods, flame-broiling steaks on a custom-built pit over a natural wood-burning fire made from Florida orange-wood and oak. Managers cut and season steaks daily to guarantee the absolute best tasting steaks anywhere! The restaurant shops for the freshest local seafood and produce available to ensure that you will have an amazing dining experience. Whether you’re having a family celebration or a casual meal for two, remember Texas Cattle Company and experience the taste that has everyone all "Fired-Up"!

The restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving but will reopen on Black Friday. Ovation Bistro & Bar is unashamedly passionate about the food and drinks it creates. The family-owned and operated business, is always ready to serve mouthwatering ribs and in-house smoked meats. Sit back and relax with a refreshing drink in a warm and casual atmosphere. Voted the #1 restaurant in Davenport and the Best Smokehouse in Central Florida, the restaurant guarantees Ovation Bistro & Bar will never disappoint you!

The restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving but will reopen on Black Friday with its regular menu. Come in for a taste and you will stay for the flavor. Café Roti, where "every day is festive and every meal is a feast."

The restaurant is closed on Thanksgiving but will reopen on Black Friday. Red Lobster welcomes you by offering PRIORITY SEATING to reduce your wait time in the restaurant, so you can spend more time doing the things you love. Or, come enjoy a drink at the bar and a Tasting Plate while you wait. Red Lobster is the world’s largest and most loved seafood restaurant company, offering high quality, freshly-prepared seafood, sourced in a way that is traceable, sustainable and responsible. The restaurant offers lunch and dinner daily, featuring classics like the Ultimate Feast®, Garlic Shrimp Scampi and Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, and feature limited time flavors and preparations during events like Lobsterfest®, Crabfest® and Endless Shrimp®. And, who can resist the famous warm and cheesy Cheddar Bay Biscuits®?

Photo via Shutterstock

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LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) – A Confederate soldier monument will be moving from a Florida city’s downtown park now that money has been found to pay for it.

The Lakeland Ledger reports that the city commission voted to use $225,000 from red light camera violations to move the monument from Munn Park in Lakeland’s downtown to a local park dedicated to veterans. The move is expected to be completed by Jan. 31.

The commission voted in May to move the statue to the veterans park but provided no taxpayer money to pay for it. Private donations fell well short of the amount needed.

The statue, like many others across the South, depicts a generic Confederate soldier atop a pediment. Some commissioners said the veterans’ park is a more appropriate site for the monument.

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Lakeland Man Kills Self After 3 1/2-Hour Standoff With SWAT Team

LAKELAND, FL — A mother and son have been found safe following a domestic dispute that turned into a standoff with Polk County Sheriff’s deputies Thursday, Nov. 1.

At 7:27 p.m., two deputies went to a home near Skyview Drive and Goodyear Avenue in Lakeland after receiving a domestic violence complaint. When they arrived, the resident, Michael Manning, shot at them five times with a shotgun.

"The shots went on either side of one of the deputies, narrowly missing both deputies," said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd. "It was only by the Grace of God that these deputies were not hurt."

A 3 1/2-hour standoff ensued. At about 10:50, SWAT team members heard a muffled gunshot followed by a thump. They went into the home and found Manning dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The domestic violence victims, Manning’s wife, 44-year-old Jennifer Manning, and their 14-year-old son, Shawn, were not inside. Detectives found out later that they left the home prior to deputies arriving.

Image via Shutterstock

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Drowsy Driver Causes Massive Crash At Florida Toll Booth

A drowsy driver caused a huge accident at a toll booth in Polk County, Florida, slamming their GMC Envoy into the back of a Chevrolet Silverado, propelling the pickup truck forward with a lot of force.

As a result, the Envoy ended up getting stuck underneath the Chevy, although its driver, who received a citation for careless driving from Florida Highway Patrol troopers, was nowhere near as injured as the driver of the Silverado.

ABC News reports that the 32-year old Silverado driver, one T.J. Lawson, was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with a broken leg. Unfortunately, he also suffered a seizure for which he had to be placed in intensive care.

“My heart as his sister like can you imagine the impact coming on you? You can’t even help yourself,” said Antayvia Lawson, adding that her brother was very confused following the crash.

“He was like totally lost, wondering what happened, why I’m here, what went on. He didn’t understand his leg was broke. He thought he was going to get up and walk.”

According to data released by the FHP, there have been 4,329 crashes due to drowsy driving last year, resulting in 28 fatalities. Polk County alone saw 28 crashes, a small sample size compared to the statewide numbers.

Troopers also say that toll booth accidents aren’t common, especially since the speed limit is 25 mph (40 km/h).

“The limited access roadways like our Suncoast Parkway, Veterans Expressway, Polk Parkway are generally relatively safe for the number of cars that go through there every day,” said Sgt. Steve Gaskins of the Florida Highway Patrol.

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Video: Florida city official shoots alleged shoplifter, watches him die

Warning: This article contains graphic and disturbing imagery.

Police in Lakeland, Florida, have released disturbing surveillance footage of a city official fatally shooting a man who tried to shoplift from his store, Vice News reports. The video’s release on Monday came as police are trying to determine whether the shooter should face criminal charges.

The footage shows Lakeland’s city commissioner Michael Dunn, who owns Vets Army & Navy surplus store, shooting 50-year-old Cristobal Lopez. According to police, Lopez was in the store with his father, who made a purchase as Lopez took a hatchet and concealed it before trying to leave the store. Dunn saw this unfold, and the video shows him grab Lopez by his shirt as he’s attempting to walk through the exit.

In the 38-second clip, Dunn can be seen drawing his gun, shooting Lopez at close range, and then watching him die on the ground just outside the door.

Lakeland police told Vice News that no charges have been filed, but an investigation is underway. Officials are trying to determine whether Dunn’s actions fall under Florida’s stand your ground law, which says a person can use deadly force if they believe their life or someone else’s life is threatened.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Dunn, 47, is a gun rights activist and hosted a rally to counter a March For Our Lives protest organized by Parkland shooting survivors in July. According to the Lakeland Ledger, Dunn accidentally shot a man when he was 19, but the victim survived.


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Florida deputy accused of sexually battering trainee

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) – A Florida sheriff’s deputy faces a charge of sexually battering a trainee.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that Scott Walker met the male trainee last Wednesday so he could help him write reports. At the time, Walker was armed and working an off-duty detail at a residence.

The affidavit says after Walker helped the trainee, he demanded a sex act and reached into the trainee’s underwear and sexually battered him.

When the trainee resisted, Walker went to lock the residence, giving the trainee time to text a friend. Concerned that someone knew what was happening, Walker let the trainee go.

Court records show Walker was in jail Saturday and couldn’t be reached for comment.

He told investigators he touched the trainee as a joke and only outside his pants.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

10/6/2018 10:40:46 AM (GMT -4:00)

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Publix expanding Lakeland headquarters, adding 700 new workers

A rendering of the Publix headquarters expansion in Lakeland. (Handout from Publix)

Publix Super Markets plans to double the size of its workforce at its Lakeland headquarters with an expansion that will add 700 employees.

Publix announced Thursday that it plans to complete the expansion by 2027, bringing the workforce there to 1,400 employees.

Publix has applied with the state for economic incentives and said it plans to spend about $25 million on the project. The state has not said how much in incentives Publix will be eligible for.

“These additional jobs will help us support our store associates as they continue to provide the premier service our customers expect,” Publix CEO and President Todd Jones said in a statement. “We are proud of the role we continue to play in the great state of Florida.”

Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate, was in Lakeland to make the announcement.

Publix has 1,198 stores in seven states, including 749 in Florida. It also has about 190,000 employees.

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Growing medical center company acquires two Lakeland medical groups – Tampa Bay Business Journal

Palm Medical Centers, a portfolio company of private equity firm MBF Healthcare Partners, has acquired Lakeland-based Jay Care Medical Center Inc., a primary care physician medical practice, and Parkview Medical Group, an affiliated hospital group.

“Jay Care will serve as the foundation for our growth strategy in Central Florida as we continue to partner with other providers and leverage our experience in the managed care space," Juan M. Ortiz, CEO of Palm Medical Centers, said in a statement.

The combination will include 14 medical centers and serve more than 28,000 Medicare and Medicaid patients in the state, Ortiz said.

Dr. Japinder Singh, founder and CEO of Jay Care, said, in a statement: “We are pleased to be joining Palm Medical Centers and we believe that our mutual focus on patient engagement and healthy outcomes will continue to drive our success moving forward.”

Tampa-based Hyde Park Capital served as the exclusive investment banker to Jay Care in the transaction. “The team of professionals at MBF Healthcare and Palm Medical Centers represent an excellent fit with Jay Care’s culture and Dr. Singh’s vision in building a leading primary care practice throughout Central and West Florida," said Keith Hodgdon, managing director with Hyde Park Capital.

Jay Care Medical Center is a primary care physician practice providing internal medicine, family medicine, and related services at seven clinics throughout Florida’s Polk and Hillsborough counties.

MBF Healthcare is based in Coral Gables and invests in growth-oriented health care companies.

Largest Tampa Bay Physician Groups

Ranked by Local physicians

Rank Business name Local physicians 1 BayCare Medical Group 699 2 USF Health 468 3 All Children’s Specialty Physicians 243 View This List

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