All posts by Cory Skeates


Downtown Residents: LFD High Rise Training May 24-June 2

The Lakeland Fire Dept. will perform high-rise training at the Lakeland Electric Administration Building (501 East Lemon Street) for six nights over the next two weeks.  The specific dates are:

  • Tuesday, May 24
  • Wednesday, May 25
  • Thursday, May 26
  • Tuesday, May 31
  • Wednesday, June 1
  • Thursday, June 2

The time of the training is 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. each night.  Equipment will be set up on Level 5A of the Iowa Avenue Parking Garage at 4:30 p.m. on each of the practice days.  Fire trucks, police cars and ambulances will be on scene.  As part of the practice, there will be smoke (from a smoke machine) and a mannequin that will be dangling from the building.


Florida Budget – Fiscal Year 2011-12

By law, the Florida Legislature is tasked with one job: to pass a balanced budget. This year proved to be a challenge, as the budget faced a $3.6 billion shortfall. Yet, in the final days of the Legislative Session, the Legislature passed a balanced budget and presented it to Governor Rick Scott for his signature. The Governor has until June 1 to sign the budget.

Below, you’ll find a link to a spreadsheet indicating the funds allotted in the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2011-2012.

This information was referenced and provided by State Senator JD Alexander at the 2011 Chamber Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast.

Click here to download the PDF.


InnerAct Alliance Introduces Program for Families With Babies Through Age 3

InnerAct Alliance is proud to introduce Family InnerActions – Prevention’s First Steps, an exciting new interactive group specially designed for families with babies age newborn through 3 years to come together to enjoy adult conversation, learn, and bond with their babies, and watch them grow in a friendly, supportive environment.

The Family InnerActions group meets on Tuesday mornings from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at tba Church, located at 1815 County Road 540A, in Lakeland. Admission is free and pre-registration is not required. Participants need only to bring their baby, a blanket, and baby toys to play with.

InnerAct Alliance, formerly the Drug Prevention Resource Center, has worked diligently for over 25 years to reduce the abuse and underage use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs through: Community Awareness and Involvement; Prevention Education; Economic Support; and Leadership Development. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency serves as the fiscal agent for the StandUP Polk (adult-based) and UthMpact (youth-based) Coalitions for a Drug-Free Polk to help educate about the dangers of substance abuse and bring about positive changes for Polk County.

For additional information on Family InnerActions, please call Juli Davis, Community Outreach, InnerAct Aliance, at (863) 802-0777 or find us on Facebook at Family InnerActions – Non-Profit Organization.


Prepare for Hurricane Season at Annual Expo June 4

Cover the bases and prepare for hurricane season with family activities at the annual Polk County Hurricane Expo on Saturday, June 4.

Hurricane season begins June 1 and the expo offers the perfect opportunity for families to speak with area experts about products, services, weather and hurricane readiness. The FREE event will take place 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Orange Dome in Winter Haven (210 Cypress Gardens Blvd).

In addition to vendors, Dan Noah with the National Weather Service in Ruskin, Fox 13 Chief Meteorologist Paul Dellegatto, Bay News 9 Meteorologist Josh Linker,  and WTSP 10 News Meteorologist Chris Suchan will be on hand to answer questions.

The International Association of Firefighters (Polk County Fire Rescue, Local Chapter 3531) will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers, with proceeds used to purchase smoke detectors for PCFR’s “Project S.A.F.E.” (Smoke Alarms for Everyone). Each food item purchased at the grill includes one ticket for a chance to win a Brinkmann 5-burner grill with smoker donated by Home Depot

Touch base with vendors for chances to win door prizes consisting of items to include in family disaster supply kits.

Complete and return the event survey at the Information Table for a chance to win the grand prize, a $599 generator, donated by Lowes Home Improvement.

Kids can make new friends with Sparky the Fire Pup, Ace from the Flying Tigers, and fire safety clowns H20 and EMBER. Fire Rescue Explorers will offer fire education safety stations where kids can learn and earn a prize. They can decorate five-gallon buckets and learn what items to include in their own disaster supply kits. Climb in the bounce house before settling down in the K.I.D.s (Kids in Disaster) Korner where Americorps volunteers will share weather-related stories. Paul Davis Restorations will provide face painting.

This year’s expo is sponsored by Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling, Magnify Credit Union, Lowes Home Improvement, Home Depot, A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Regal Automotive Group, and Service Master of Polk County.

For more information about the Hurricane Expo, visit

Can’t attend, participate in the live interactive Webcast below!


Small Business Development Center Opens Satellite at Lakeland Chamber

On Tuesday, June 14, at 4 p.m., the Polk County Small Business Development Center will hold a grand opening at its new satellite location inside the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. From this location, the SBDC will provide free and confidential services twice a month.

The Polk County Small Business Development Center provides counseling related to all aspects of strengthening small business including entrepreneur development, expansion, financing, and management. Certified Business Analyst Dawn Decaminada brings a strong background in marketing and is connected to a state-wide network of SBDCs, with analysts in multiple specialties.

“The partnership between the Chamber and the SBDC is a natural one,” said Terry Ottinger, VP Membership Development. “Ultimately, it is the goal of both organizations for businesses to grow and prosper in Lakeland and Polk County.”

The SBDC office at the Lakeland Chamber will be open on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, beginning July 5, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. This service is free and confidential to any business. Appointments can be made by calling the SBDC at (863) 534-5915.

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is located at 35 Lake Morton Drive in Downtown Lakeland. For more information about the June 14 grand opening, or the Chamber, please call (863) 688-8551.