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Swan statue stolen by naked man has been found in Florida

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A large, black-and-white checkered statue of a swan that was stolen in Florida by a naked man was found on Friday. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says the statue was found by a 32-year-old man who was fishing on a pond in Lakeland. The man returned home from fishing Thursday and told his family about the statue. When they saw the news of the stolen statue on TV Friday, they called authorities. Officials say the swan doesn’t appear to be…

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Fear grips Latino communities in Florida as deportations increase

in 2017/Top Headlines by

here is palpable fear amongst the undocumented community after the Department of Homeland Security issued new memos that gives U.S. officials sweeping latitude to target “removable aliens” for deportation, effectively making most of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. priority targets. Under Barack Obama, immigration officials were told to focus on convicted criminals instead of the broader undocumented population. The memos issued out this week by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly instruct agents to also prioritize undocumented immigrants who have been charged…

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Child welfare investigator, mother arrested for cocaine, heroin in home

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A recently-fired employee of the Florida Department of Children and Families, who had worked as a child protection investigator since 2015, was taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies on drug trafficking charges after a warrant was issued for her arrest, a spokesperson with the agency said Tuesday. According to the Lakeland Ledger, Laymeshia Hicks, 25, turned herself into the Polk County Sheriff’s Office late Monday afternoon. She and her boyfriend, Xzaiveous Scott, 31, are each facing charges of trafficking in…

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Polk political notebook: Strong mayors, weak spellcheck and dueling websites

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Strong mayor pushed because of weak responses The city of Lakeland has been going through a series of bipolar political moves or lack of moves over the last few decades. Its leaders and business executives in the city can’t seem to figure out if they want to be a big municipality or a small town. A strong mayor is the sign of a large city, supporters say. But at the same time supporters are pushing for that big city appeal and…

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Today on Context Florida: Public records, forfeitures, scam artists, Key West housing and risks & reward

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Today on Context Florida: They call us the Sunshine State, but Diane Roberts says Florida’s government prefers to operate in the shadows. Like vampire bats, cockroaches and mold spores. If you can’t see what the government is doing, you can’t fight it. That explains the 74 public records exemption bills before the Legislature this session. Yes, Robert says, there are 74 new attacks on your right to know what’s going on. There’s CS/HB 905, the Matt Gaetz Mug Shot Relief Act,…

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