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WINTER HAVEN – The Winter Haven Public Education Partnership Center, an after-school program in the Florence Villa neighborhood, looks much more colorful after a group of kids teamed up with some talented artists Jan. 10.

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POLK COUNTY – County commissioners voted Jan. 8 to approve the 2019 Legislative Policy Statement, a document that provides focus for lobbying efforts during the state legislative session.

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POLK COUNTY – County staff recently reported that in fiscal year 2017-18 county residents paid more than $46 million into the half-cent Indigent Health Care Sales Tax that provides health insurance to around 4,600 county residents who are uninsured.

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POLK COUNTY – On Jan. 8, the Polk County School Board decided to instruct Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd to send a letter to a dozen charter school site administrators warning them that next year they may have to provide their own school bus transportation.

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POLK COUNTY – Five of the seven Polk County School Board members participated in a roundtable discussion Jan. 8, offering an opportunity for teachers and parents to be heard on a variety of issues.

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WINTER HAVEN – Recent candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Baxter Troutman was arrested a second time for allegedly abusing his wife, Rebecca “Becky” Troutman, on Jan. 4.

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WINTER HAVEN – A street fight involving 20-30 people resulted in seven arrests Christmas night, with five of those individuals arrested being charged with battery on responding officers.

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LAKE WALES – The Lake Wales Main Street Board of Directors selected the prestigious firm of Dover, Kohl and Partners out of Coral Gables to help redesign the downtown area in July.

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WINTER HAVEN – The Winter Haven Planning Commission, a group of appointed area residents who make recommendations to elected city commissioners, voted to approve four requests Jan. 3.

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The Bartow High School band is set to host one of its signature events, with its annual Prism Concert set to serve up good music and good eats spanning four shows in two days.

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WINTER HAVEN – A good portion of the downtown area was evacuated Saturday, Dec. 29, after two chemicals somehow got mixed, causing noxious fumes that sent two individuals to the hospital.

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POLK COUNTY – The Polk County Commission was scheduled to vote on repealing the county panhandling ordinance Jan. 8. The vote took place after press time, but was likely repealed, based on County Attorney Michael Craig's recommendation.

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