All posts by Cory Skeates


Flying Tigers Return Home With All-You-Can-Eat Night; Fireworks Saturday

The Lakeland Flying Tigers return home for an eight-game homestand beginning Wednesday, July 13 at Joker Marchant Stadium.  Lakeland will host the St. Lucie Mets July 13-16 and the Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays) July 17-20.  Tickets for all home games are available by calling the Flying Tigers at (863) 686-8075.  Box seats are $6 and reserved seats are $5 and seniors 55 and over and children 14 and under receive a $1.00 discount.  Saturday tickets are an additional $1.  Wednesday All-You-Can-Eat tickets are $10.  Parking is FREE.

Wednesday, July 13 vs. St. Lucie Mets @ 7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 6:00 p.m.)
All-You-Can-Eat Night
Wednesday is All-You-Can-Eat Night sponsored by Natalie’s Sports Bar & Grill.  Tickets are just $10 and includes admission to the game and all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, cracker jacks, popcorn, pretzels and chips as well as food from Natalie’s from 6:00-9:00 p.m. or while supplies last.

Thursday, July 14 vs. St. Lucie Mets @ 7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 5:30 p.m.)
Thirsty Thursday
Fans can enjoy $1 beer and soda every Thursday home game.  Beer sales begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at the conclusion of the 7th inning.

Friday, July 15 vs. St. Lucie Mets @ 7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 6:00 p.m.)
Flying Tigers Baseball Card Giveaway Sponsored by Magnify Credit Union
The Flying Tigers will be giving away team baseball card sets to the first 500 paid fans.

Bark in the Park Night – Bring your dog to the game.  There will be dog vendors, adoptable dogs, door prizes and fun!  Part of advanced sales benefits the SPCA (http:ly/spcatickets).

Bat for the Cure Night – Prostate Awareness Night

Saturday, July 16 vs. St. Lucie Mets @ 6:00 p.m. (Gates open at 4:30 p.m.)
Fireworks Extravaganza following the game (weather permitting).
Enjoy the final fireworks show of the season following the game.

Christmas in July Sponsored by Lakeland Square Mall
There will be Christmas decorations, music and “presents” will be given away by Lakeland Square Mall and its merchants.  Gifts, gift cards and/or gift baskets will be given away by Lakeland Square Mall, Charlotte Russe, Bath & Body Works, Barnies, Macy’s Herstyler and more.

Faith Night
Bring your church, youth groups, friends and families to celebrate faith and be part of the fun and excitement at Joker Marchant Stadium.  There will be a pre-game music performance by Keilan Creech in the main concourse area.

Sunday, July 17 vs. Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays) @ 1:00 p.m. (Gates open at Noon)
Sunday is Kids Day.  All kids 14 and under will receive free admission to the game.  Kids can play catch on the field beginning at noon (weather permitting).  Kids can also run the bases just
like the Flying Tigers following the game (weather permitting).  All fans will receive a voucher for a free sundae, compliments of Dairy Queen – North Lakeland.

Monday, July 18 vs. Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays) @ 7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 6:00 p.m.)
Monday is $1 hot dog night.  Fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs all night.  Also, check The Ledger for a special two-for-one ticket offer compliments of the Ledger Media Group.

Tuesday, July 19 vs. Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays) @ 7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 6:00 p.m.)
Baseball Wingo Sponsored by Natalie’s Sports Bar & Grille
Fans can play Baseball Bingo during the game for a chance to win wings from Natalie’s and prizes from the Flying Tigers.

Silver Sluggers
Flying Tigers Silver Sluggers Tuesday presented by Humana.  Silver Sluggers members will receive free admission to the game as well as a complimentary soda.  For more
information on the Silver Sluggers program please contact the Flying Tigers at (863) 686-8075 or visit

KRAFT Singles Tuesday Tickets
KRAFT Singles Tuesday Tickets.  Fans receive a special buy one, get one free ticket offer by bringing a KRAFT Singles package wrapper to the ticket office.

Wednesday, July 20 vs. Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays) @ 7:00 p.m. (Gates open at 6:00 p.m.)
All-You-Can-Eat Night
Wednesday is All-You-Can-Eat Night sponsored by Hooters.  Tickets are just $10 and includes admission to the game and all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, cracker jacks, popcorn, pretzels and chips as well as food from Hooters from 6:00-9:00 p.m. or while supplies last.


Seats Still Available to Area Teachers for USFP STEM-Focused Workshop

Current classroom teachers, holding valid teaching certificates, are invited to apply to attend an in-depth, S.T.E.M.-focused Summer Workshop on Florida phosphate offered by the USF Polytechnic FIPR Institute in Bartow, Florida from August 1 – 5, 2011.

The FIPR Institute‘s Summer Workshop is designed to introduce teachers to the importance of phosphate, a local mineral resource with world-wide impact, and its connection to central Florida through field trips, teaching materials, lectures, and classroom-ready hands-on activities. The FIPR Institute is Florida’s internationally recognized center of research on the State’s phosphate-related environmental, public health, and technology issues. Attending teachers will earn in-service points, dependent upon their school district, and will be eligible to apply for a $1,000 mini-grant, plus additional funds for class field trips, through the FIPR Institute’s Education Program.

Interested teachers can apply via the FIPR Institute website:

The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. July 21, 2011. Once accepted, there is a $25.00 non-refundable registration fee (covers non-sponsored meals).

Workshop Contact:

Indira Sukhraj, Education Program Coordinator

Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute

1855 W. Main Street – Bartow, FL 33830

(863) 534-7160


Mornings With the Mayor – July 22

Mayor Gow Fields invites local residents to attend the next Mornings with the Mayor event that will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, July 22nd at the north side Golden Corral located at 4705 US Highway 98 N, Lakeland.

Citizens that attend these informal breakfast sessions get to hear from the Mayor about key issues and initiatives taking place within the City before he invites questions from the audience.  This is a chance for residents to converse directly with Mayor Fields on a topic of interest or concern.

Mayor Fields said, “Accessibility is one of the keys to local government and Mornings with the Mayor provides the opportunity for our citizens to share their views, ask questions and provide feedback on issues that are directly affecting them.” He added, “We have successful asked for public engagement during these events and I look forward to spending valuable face to face time with our residents listening to the concerns that they feel are facing our community.”

Those attending will have to pay for their own breakfast.  The Golden Corral features a breakfast buffet with a host of items for around $7. The premise behind the Mornings with the Mayor program is to make elected officials more accessible to residents in the community and to promote one-on-one communications.

This program allows residents an informal and comfortable forum in which to meet with the Mayor to talk about issues, ask questions, voice concerns and offer comments or suggestions.  Mayor Fields said, “It’s also an excellent way for us to gather candid feedback about how people feel things are going in our City; what amenities they particularly enjoy, areas they feel could use improvement, or what they’d like to see in the future.”


FSC Nursing Students Save Lives, Deliver Babies in Africa

In the city of Arusha, Tanzania, there are newborn twins named Anna and Melissa. Their mother named them after the two extraordinary Florida Southern College nursing students who delivered her babies during a hands-on clinical experience at Mount Meru Regional Hospital in Tanzania.  During the month of May, three FSC students and Dr. John Welton, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, worked in a hospital in Africa to gain an entirely new perspective on healthcare in another country.

“We saw medical cases only seen in textbooks here in America. There was a great deal of trauma and other injuries that we had to treat while we were in a setting that had very basic equipment, medication, and other diagnostic tools,” said Dr. Welton. “It was very challenging.”

One student, Jared Simmons, worked in the Emergency Department (called Casualty in Tanzania) and faced a myriad of cases every day. The other two students, Anna Macaulay and Melissa Nadelman, were paired with midwives in the busy obstetrics unit and delivered 20-30 babies a day. The students personally delivered at least a dozen children while in Africa, including the twins who were born on their final day at the hospital.

The students witnessed and treated a multitude of injuries and diseases, despite a lack of supplies that are standard in American hospitals.

At the Tanzanian hospital, the team was faced with cases of rickets, malaria, and a host of other tropical diseases that are very rarely seen in the U.S. The students learned to treat these diseases while attending to other patient complaints in a facility with antiquated equipment that frequently broke down. In the hospital, patients often had to share beds because there were not enough for each person. Power outages at the hospital were so common that nurses kept kerosene lamps on hand to be able to care for their patients throughout the night. As Dr. Welton said, “We got our students out of their comfort zone. Now they see health care from a whole different perspective.”

By working in a developing country with medical professionals from around the world, the students learned to surmount culture and language differences while providing treatment. They learned enough Swahili to be able to communicate with patients and they also came to understand the local Maasai tribe’s cultural traditions. “Just because we are a rich nation, that doesn’t mean we can impose our values and beliefs on other nations. The students learned to experience the culture and understand it on its own terms,” said Dr. Welton.

Despite the many differences in supplies and facilities, Dr. Welton says the human connection between nurses is universal. One of the hospital’s own nurses collapsed and passed away while the FSC students were present. They witnessed the entire hospital staff lining the halls, singing while they followed their departed friend and coworker to the morgue. Recalling the event, Dr. Welton became filled with emotion. “Nursing is essentially the same everywhere — we each strive to provide the best care possible for our patients. That event showed us the humanity and connecting spirit of nurses and all healthcare providers around the world.”

The students were also able to witness the ravages of the crippling epidemic of AIDS. There were end-stage AIDS patients in the hospital for whom the nurses were unable to do much except make them as comfortable as possible. AIDS has claimed the lives of millions of Africans, leaving their grieving families and children behind, many of whom end up in orphanages. The FSC group visited one orphanage, which left a lasting mark on nursing student Anna Macaulay. “I will never forget the day that we went to the Paradiso orphanage and met the most beautiful children in the world.  Most are AIDS orphans who have been taken in by a pastor and his family. ‘Babu’ (the Swahili word for grandfather) and ‘Bibi’ (grandmother) founded the orphanage and share the love of Christ with the children.”

“The overwhelming success of this clinical placement will be measured by the lifetime of memories our students have of the experiences they took part in and the people they met in Tanzania,” said Dr. Welton. “We look forward to many other opportunities around the world in the future.” The School of Nursing and Health Sciences plans to continue clinical experiences for students in various countries, including Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. “We are thrilled to provide students with experiences to enhance their overall education. These trips give participants a better perspective on how to recognize differences between other cultures and other people, while also teaching them to seek out similarities as they learn from one another.”

For more information on Florida Southern College’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences, please visit or call 863-680-3951.


USF Poly Partnership Tutors Homeless Children

Thanks to an innovative partnership between the University of South Florida Polytechnic and the Salvation Army, 10 homeless children received tutoring in reading this summer.

Eight USF Poly graduate students diagnosed and tutored 15 elementary and middle school students.  Ten of these children come from Salvation Army shelters to take part in the clinic.   During interaction with these youngsters, graduate candidates prepared case studies to demonstrate competence in assessment, instruction, and effective communication with peers, parents, teachers, and administrators.

The reading clinic met twice weekly for three-hour sessions June13-30.

The project developed after Kevin Bickford, the Salvation Army’s youth outreach minister, contacted Dr. John Liontas, director of USFP’s Education Division, to discuss opportunities for collaborative tutoring projects for homeless children.

“I invited interested faculty to meet with Mr. Bickford and me, and during the meeting it became evident that the goals of this community organization and some teacher education courses were compatible for developing a service learning tutoring project,” says Liontas.

Service learning is an educational experience in which students take part in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs. The experience gives students the chance to reflect on the service activity and gain further understanding of the course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.

According to Liontas, “It is a course-based experience that produces the best outcomes when meaningful service activities are related to course objectives and materials.”

As the graduate course, RED 6846 Practicum in Reading, engages in-service teachers in a reading clinic to assess and tutor youngsters.  Dr. Rita Meadows, an instructor in the elementary education and reading programs, followed up with Bickford in considering an arrangement to involve graduate students in working with Salvation Army youth.  Subsequent discussions resulted in the reading tutoring project, which aimed to provide reciprocal benefit for both partners.

“Service learning is one approach to provide experiential application of knowledge in an authentic educational environment that mutually benefits the community,” says Meadows. “This collaborative project is an example of a polytechnic pedagogical delivery system to educate learners.  It is strongly connected to USF Polytechnic’s commitment to collaborative partnerships that support economic, social, and community development. “