Blueberries, Transparency and, of course, Baseball for Week 17


At the Lakeland Derby
Lakeland, Fla. April 29, 2011

On Lakeland Local for Week 17:

The Illusion of Transparency in Gifts to Legislators was Kemp Brinson’s take on a column published by St. Pete Times columnist Howard Troxler on April 23rd.

Citrus Building Sold to TLC Church was the first local report of the sale. Kevin Bouffard had the story the next day. A good report, but the Ledger oddly put the dateline as “Haines City.”

Blueberries and Benny was Lorrie Delk Walker’s excellent first-person account of her experiences with Bartow’s Benny Tew.

You could almost hear the glee when Billy Townsend presented The Market Hates “Atlas Shrugged, Part 1”

Cathy Hayes & Courtney Philpot were Off to See the Wizard at Platform #17 with fashion photographs by Dustin Prickett.


Brent Wyatt, Myron Noodleman and Kenny Faulk
Lakeland Flying Tigers vs Clearwater Threshers -- April 29, 2011.

Lakeland Flying Tigers Coverage:

The Manatees Invade Lakeland
  Wild Pitch Wild End tp Lakeland 4-3 Win
  Manatees Blast Flying Tigers 12-3
The Flying Tigers Take on the Threshers  
  Clearwater Holds Off the Flying Tigers 8-6

(Due to a lack of net access we were unable to bring you Wayne Koehler’s write up for Thursday & Friday’s games…here they are as written after each game..

Thursday, April 28: Pinch-hitter Brent Wyatt finished with three hits while Tony Plagman drove in four runs, three coming on a homer in a four-run ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough as Lakeland fell 9-6 at Clearwater. Wade Gaynor, Avisail Garcia and Michael Rockett each had two hits for the Flying Tigers. Clearwater collected 15 hits in the gamer with seven players each collecting two hits. Lakeland and Clearwater bring their series to Marchant Stadium on Friday for a 7 pm game.

Friday, April 29: Lakeland erupted for four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and went on to defeat Clearwater 4-2 on Friday in Lakeland. After the Threshers had taken a 2-0 lead in the third, the Flying Tigers sent nine men to the plate in the fifth collecting a lead-off double by Corey Jones and singles by Julio Rodriguez, Gustavo Nunez and a two-run single by Wade Gaynor. All of the runs came off Clearwater starter Jon Pettibone, who entered the game with a 3-0 record and a 0.38 ERA. Jay Voss got the win for Lakeland working 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while Kenny Faulk picked up his fifth save. Lakeland hits the road to Brevard County for three games. The next home game is Wednesday, May 4 with a 10:30 am start.

  Hits Abound for Brevard County in 6-1 Win Over Lakeland
Two More in Brevard for the Flying Tigers


Where newspapers shine is in the expensive coverage of often complicated stories. A great example is The ledger’s coverage of Crimestoppers. Reporters Jeremy Maready and Suzie Schottelkotte are looking into all the nooks and crannies of the story.

Two Crimestoppers Board Members, One Assistant, Resign
Three People Quit Crimestoppers, Director Survives Board Vote
Cold-Case Playing Card Maker Came About After the Cards
The Florida Attorney General’s Office Is Investigating Crimestoppers’ Finances
Job Reviews Lacking for Director of Heartland Crimestoppers
Conflict Questioned in Ownership of Business
Sheriff Judd Withholds Polk Funds During Crimestoppers Investigation

Not every newspaper bothers linking to the full text of background matierial. Kudos to the Ledger for these two:
Crimestoppers Contract With State of Florida
Crimestoppers Playing Card Bids

In Other Lakeland News:

‘Endure’ Headed To Redbox [Gary White] is the latest installment of the film from the Lakeland-based NFocus pictures. (Disclosure: I am helping the company with their latest film, Voices From Mariel)

Smart meters were always about a way to charge customers for “time of day” use. So is it a surprise Questions About Smart Grid Meters Persist [John Chambliss]

Lakeland is still a part of Polk County and your tax dollars were affected when County Panel OKs Taking From Indigent-Care Fund [Tom Palmer] Note the line: “Public comment was unanimously against the change.”

You can hear the soft footsteps of partisan politics all over this: Bill Would Restrict Citrus Commission’s Authority to Hire Director

Congratulations to Michael Wilson: Ledger Photographer’s Courtroom Photo Wins National Award

It’s not news, but Lakeland Local writer Lorrie Delk Walker sometimes writes for cash. Check out Online Network a Way to Find What You Want, Get Rid of What You Don’t If you’d like to hire her, check out her website at

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tom Hagerty for Lakeland Local