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Bartow residents will be finding their annual tax rates and other city-levied fees about the same on their 2020 tax bills, according to the city's annual $133.8 million budget recently adopted by the city commission.

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WINTER HAVEN – On Sept. 15, the Winter Haven City Commission voted to extend an emergency ordinance requiring the wearing of masks in certain indoor locations within city limits for another 30 days.

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POLK COUNTY – Polk County residents and the rest of the world have been facing uncharted waters dealing with COVID-19. With all the new norms, familiarity is welcome — and it can be found, to some extent, within the public libraries in Bartow and Lake Wales.

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WINTER HAVEN – On Sept. 9, after 10 years in the planning stage, city staff revealed an ambitious long-term plan to try and restore thousands of acres of wetlands, build a bike/pedestrian trail surrounding the city, improve water quality in the Chain of Lakes and help ensure there is enough …

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LAKE WALES – Extra land has been purchased, the designs are all complete and now it's time for contractors to start work on a $57 million upgrade to the bridge that crosses U.S.27 at State Road 60.

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The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently announced plans to help make a difference during the upcoming academic year with the award of nearly $120,000 in literacy grants in Florida. With these funds, educators at 59 schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations across the Florida com…

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HAINES CITY – During a city commission meeting Sept. 3, City Manager Deric Feacher reminded city commissioners that they have repeatedly asked his staff to apply for more grants to supplement income generated by local taxes.

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BARTOW — Bartow City Commissioners had planned to talk about several issues at an unusual session on Wednesday, Sept. 2, that included a workshop to discuss installing a citywide fiber-optic network and the formal approval of the 2020/2021 tax rate and budget.

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WINTER HAVEN — The Heart of Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association recently awarded three Polk County projects for excellence, recognizing one project in the planning stage and two projects built out in 2019.

HAINES CITY – Members of the Haines City Commission took a moment of silence Sept. 3 to reflect on the passing of former mayor Philip James Hinkle, who died Aug. 22 at age 58.

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TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week he will allow visitors into nursing homes and assisted living facilities, nearly six months after the state blocked visitation during the first wave of coronavirus infections.

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Lake Wales City Commissioners are looking to reduce or eliminate a small increase in the city’s fire fee when the first reading and public hearing on a proposed 2020-21 budget is held on Sept. 9.

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TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis said he hopes to give Floridians the “ability to have some enjoyment in their life” by soon lifting on-site drinking restrictions imposed on bars and craft breweries since late June.

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It may not be called a “bark park” but there may still have been lots of barks heard last week when the Bartow Dog Park, located in the city's Mary Holland Park, unofficially opened its gates to furry visitors and their owners.

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Florida plans to take part in a program that President Donald Trump announced this month to boost unemployment benefits for people who have lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week.

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