Julie Whitmire Celebrates Anniversary at Wauchula State Bank

Lake Placid, Fla., July 13, 2019 – Residential Lender Julie Whitmire recently celebrated her 30th anniversary at Wauchula State Bank. Whitmire is based at the bank’s downtown Lake Placid office, 102 East Interlake Blvd.

“We appreciate Julie’s years of service,” said Wauchula State Bank President Donna McKown. “She has used her knowledge and experience to help countless residents acquire their homes. She always puts her customers first and believes service is our most important product.”

“l love helping make dreams come true and being part of life’s most important decisions,” Whitmire said.

A lifelong resident of Lake Placid, Whitmire began her banking career at Wauchula State Bank in 1989. She spent 10 years a teller and 15 years a loan secretary before becoming a residential lender five years ago. As a member of the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS), she carries a unique identifying number (803388). Customers gave her a five-star rating on Zillow, a leading real estate and rental marketplace website (www.zillow.com).

Whitmire, a Leadership Highlands graduate, completed the American Bankers Association Principles of Banking course. She is a former Treasurer of the Lake Placid Junior Woman’s Club and has worked on many projects and fundraisers for the club and the bank over the years. She is a strong supporter of the Habitat for Humanity and other community organizations. In her spare time, she enjoys hunting and boating.

Whitmire may be reached at 863-531-5207 or jwhitmire@wauchulastatebank.com.


ABOUT WAUCHULA STATE BANK – Based in Wauchula, Fla., Wauchula State Bank has served the Florida Heartland since 1929 as a family owned, locally managed community bank. The late J.W. Crews Sr. (father of the current vice chairman) purchased controlling interest in the bank in 1932, and the bank is still owned and operated by the Crews family. With over $640 million in assets and seven branches located in Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties, Wauchula State Bank is the largest among the family of banks under Crews Bank Corp., the others including Charlotte State Bank & Trust, Englewood Bank & Trust and Crews Bank & Trust. To learn more, visit www.wauchulastatebank.com. Member FDIC / Equal Housing Lender


Historic agreement to provide seamless path from Polk State College to Florida Poly

Lakeland, July 11, 2019 — Polk State College President Angela Garcia Falconetti and Florida Polytechnic University President Randy Avent will sign an articulation agreement establishing the first seamless pathway for students from Polk County’s state college to the leading institution of engineering and applied sciences.


The event will be held Tuesday, July 16, at 11:30 a.m. in LLC 2188 on the Polk State Lakeland Campus, located at 3425 Winter Lake Road in Lakeland.


Polk State and Florida Poly have worked toward this transfer-articulation agreement for the past year and it will allow Polk State Associate in Arts graduates to enter Florida Poly with substantial credit toward a bachelor’s degree of their choice. It also includes a 2+2 pathway for the Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics, providing students the opportunity to earn an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in four years.


Polk State students who plan to transfer will have access to Florida Poly advisors to ensure they complete prerequisites and are prepared to meet all admission requirements.


“The establishment of this partnership is monumental as it is the first in the history of the relationship between our two higher education institutions,” Falconetti said. “This articulation agreement will provide Polk State students with the opportunity to seamlessly transfer to Florida Polytechnic University, from one quality program to another.”


“By partnering with Polk State College, Florida Poly opens the door of opportunity to many local students who choose to join the University and complete their education with an in-demand four-year STEM degree,” Avent said. “We’re excited to welcome Polk State students in a smooth transition and look forward to their achievements as Florida Poly graduates and highly sought-after high-tech professionals.”


The completion of this agreement is timely, supporting the Florida Legislature’s ongoing interest in improving retention and on-time completion, as well as fulfilling a requirement outlined in Senate Bill 190, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in June. SB 190, sponsored by Senator Kelli Stargel, requires Florida colleges to execute at least one 2+2 articulation agreement with one or more state universities by the end of the 2019-20 academic year. The 2+2 articulation agreements guarantee all students with Associate in Arts degrees admittance to a state university.


“Florida has an excellent higher education system and one contributing factor is our innovative 2+2 articulation agreement. This agreement allows students to stay closer to home to finish their degrees, often with less debt.  That is why I worked hard to encourage these opportunities for students,” Stargel said. “I am excited for the students who attend Polk State College to have a seamless pathway for their credits to be accepted in a bachelor’s program at Florida Polytechnic University. I am thrilled that two of Polk County’s quality higher education entities can work together to offer this excellent educational process to our local students.”


While Florida’s state colleges enjoy the 2+2 articulation agreement with the State University System, which guarantees all students with Associate in Arts degrees admittance to a state university, articulation agreements with specific universities offer students benefits such as guaranteed admittance into specific programs and access to university resources. Polk State students currently benefit from such agreements including the University of Central Florida’s Transfer Connect, the University of South Florida’s Fuse, and the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s Ignite.


About Polk State College

Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools.

Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.


About Florida Polytechnic University

Florida Polytechnic University is an accredited member of the State University System of Florida, dedicated exclusively to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The University is a powerful economic engine within the state of Florida, blending applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. The campus is located in Lakeland, Florida along the I-4 High Tech Corridor. Connect with Florida Poly.



Florida Department of Transportation – RoadWatch Advisory

RoadWatch Advisory
What: Final field testing of the new Lakeland Intelligent Rail Bypass System is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 11. During testing, motorists may not be able to cross the tracks for up to six minutes at a time even when a train is not present. Motorists should expect delays during testing times.
The new system is designed to alert motorists and point them to an alternate route when a train is crossing their path on Florida Avenue in downtown Lakeland. The system activates when a train is approaching Florida Avenue between Main Street and Pine Street. Once activated signs light up along Florida Avenue with messages notifying motorists of delays ahead and guiding them to an alternate route.
This is the final testing phase of the new system and is expected to be completed in one day.
Who: Motorists traveling on SR 37 (Florida Avenue) in Downtown Lakeland
Where: Polk County – Florida Avenue at Main Street
When: Thursday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.