And….we’re back!

“….the defunct Lakeland Local, a hyperlocal news site.”

Well, maybe not. We’re back.

Why? Simple. I’m moving out of town.

Hold on. That’ll make sense in a moment.

Chuck Welch - Photo by Christina Wellman

Chuck Welch – Photo by Christina Wellman

I created Lakeland Local to simply chronicle my explorations of my new community. I bought the domain before we moved here in May 2005. Instead of exploring Lakeland, I immediately started a freelance writing job.

So Lakeland Local debuted in October 2006 with a short piece on a new exhibit at the Polk Museum of Art. In a few days I added posts about butterfly statues supporting the proposed Commonground Park and a piece entitled “Bike Lakeland.” (I never finished those maps. Maybe I’ll get to it before we move.)

It wasn’t long before my small pieces about parks and bikes were put aside for posts about Red Light Cameras, the USF Lakeland Name Change, and the CSX Hub. All three of those stories hit over a turbulent month in Spring 2007. And the “Lakeland Local” you recognize was born.

I started reporting many more meetings and generally asking local leaders impertinent questions. It was also about the time I wrote my first “Isn’t Billy Townsend doing a great job?” post. And we know where that led.

Actually, where that led is this: On June 1st, I’m handing over LakelandLocal.com and the Lakeland Local Twitter account to Billy Townsend. I am sure Lakeland will benefit from his continued writing on these pages. I’ll help Billy with the quirks of WordPress, but the site will be his to grow.

Until May 31st, I’m going to publish a few new pieces, but generally say goodbye to Lakeland by remembering my favorite articles over the years.

Thanks for reading.