As longtime government, political and general assignment reporter in Polk County and the wider I-4 corridor Billy Townsend wrote extensively about Polk’s unique regional identity and the issues shaping it, including USF Polytechnic, the Heartland Parkway and the CSX rail deal.
While Billy left professional reporting to take a corporate writing job, he keeps close tabs on news of all stripes (especially political news) and the changes in modern journalism. Joining Lakeland Local in 2008, Billy became the site's guiding force in 2013.
Billy’s wife is Julie Townsend, executive director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority. They live with their children in the Lake Morton area.
Billy Townsend's New Book
A near civil war swept Florida-and much of America-in the wake of World War I and Prohibition. It pitted white versus black, Protestant versus Catholic, wet versus dry, and savagery versus civilization. Age of Barbarity: The Forgotten Fight for the Soul of Florida is the untold story of this civil war, as lived through the eyes of the people who fought.