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Public HealthPosted by
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Covid Cases, Staff Shortages Force Day Care to Close

Learning Station Academy, a day-care center near the northern tip of Lake Gibson, has had to close. The center took in no revenue when it had to close briefly four times when somebody tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, it has been difficult keeping workers at a time when employers like Amazon were offering higher pay, Fox 13 News reports.
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Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Jean Lynn Eiland Brown, 65

Mrs. Jean Lynn Eiland Brown was born in Lakeland, FL on June 5, 1956. She passed away unexpectedly from natural causes on July 26, 2021 in Lakeland. She was a life long resident of Lakeland and was a graduate of Kathleen High School. Following graduation, she completed nursing school to earn her License in Practical Nursing. She had a successful 43 year nursing career at Watson Clinic and served as the church pianist for 25 years at Crestview Baptist Church. Jean was a loving wife, sister, mother, aunt, friend, and coworker. Jean was a beautiful soul and will be greatly missed.
Tampa, FLPosted by
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Christoffer “Fer” Michael Street, 36

Christoffer “Fer” Michael Street, age 36, passed away Saturday, July 24, 2021, after a brief illness. He was born to Brian and Carol Street on January 5, 1985, in Tampa, Florida. He was affectionately known as Fer and was a devoted son, grandson, brother, uncle, and friend. He grew up in Lakeland, FL and graduated from Kathleen High School. He spent a few years living in Asheville, NC and Minot, ND.
Orlando, FLPosted by
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Watson Clinic’s Center for Long-Haul COVID-19 Patients Has a Six-Month Waiting List

Watson Clinic opened the first center for long-haul COVID-19 patients in Florida and it’s still one of the only ones, Orlando’s WKMG reports. The clinic takes a team approach, with physicians representing different specialties collaborating to discover potential solutions. Founder Dr. Kathleen Haggerty says the team spends a lot of time with each patient, and that’s one of the reasons there’s a six-month waiting list.
Dade City, FLPosted by
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Mabel Jane Temple, 99

Mabel Jane Temple passed peacefully to her eternal home on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at the age of 99. Mabel was born in Jackson, Tennessee, on July 8, 1922, to her parents, Vasco, and Rachel Camp. After graduating from Union University in Jackson, TN, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Mabel met and married her beloved husband, Mark H. Temple IV. She was an elementary school teacher in Dade City, Florida, from 1958 to 1968. She and her family moved to Lakeland in 1968, where she taught at Padgett Elementary School until 1976.
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Nita Jean Wyrick, 90

Nita Jean Wyrick, Age 90, passed away on July 29, 2021 in Lakeland, FL. Nita was born on August 12, 1930 in McKeesPort, PA. She was a medical transcriptionist for many years. Nita loved the Lord and would be offended if you called her “religious”, she valued her relationship with the Lord. Nita loved to cook for her family and also loved to eat her Jr Bacon Cheeseburgers at Wendy’s.
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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LRH Nurses Say They’re Facing Burnout as Covid Surges

Nurses at Lakeland Regional Health tell News Channel 8 they are facing exhaustion as the number of COVID-19 patients increases rapidly and the hospital has had to start putting patients in overflow rooms again. The hospital is offering financial incentives to work extra shifts, the nurses say, and hospital officials are actively recruiting more nurses, seeking to add 150 as winter approaches.
Polk County, FLPosted by
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As Eviction Moratorium Ends, Renters Urged to Seek Assistance

With the federal eviction moratorium ending Saturday, local officials are urging renters who are behind on payments and were affected by COVID-19 to apply for assistance through a Polk County emergency fund; they can also seek help through United Way’s 2-1-1 phone line. Polk courts face a backlog of 765 eviction cases dating to January 2020, The Ledger reports. | MORE: Polk rental assistance.
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Willie Mae “Tunie” Harper, 64

Willie Mae “Tunie” Harper of Lakeland, FL passed away on Friday, July 16th 2021. She was 64. Funeral Services for Willie Mae “Tunie” Harper will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 31st, 2021 at First Baptist Church located at 932 MLK Jr Ave Lakeland FL 33815. The viewing will also be held at First Baptist Church at 10 a.m..
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Tashia “Big Baby” Smith, 40

Tashia “Big Baby” Smith of Lakeland, FL passed away on Monday, July 26th 2021. She was 40. Funeral Services for Tashia “Big Baby” Smith will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 7th, 2021 at Greater New Jerusalem Baptist Church located at 1125 N New York Ave, Lakeland, FL 33805. The viewing will also be held at Greater New Jerusalem Baptist Church Church on Friday, August 6th, 2021 from 4 to 5 p.m. for immediate family and 5 to 7 p.m. to the public.
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Elizabeth Dianne Canady, 76

Elizabeth Dianne Canady was born Elizabeth Dollar in Columbus, Georgia on January 31, 1945, and was called home on July 22, 2021 in Lakeland, Florida, the town where she was raised and spent almost her entire life. She is survived by husband Don Canady, son Troy Williams, and brothers Kenneth...
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Dr. Clifton Cannady Wheeler, 74

Dr. Clifton Wheeler entered an eternity with his Savior on Monday, July 26, 2021. He was 74 years old. Clifton was born on October 30, 1946, in Durham, NC, to Clifton Columbus and Alice Green Wheeler. He was also loved and cared for by Miss Stessie Lyons. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1968 at Davidson College, earned his medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine and served his residency at Duke University Medical Center in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Todd Brandonn Christian, 48

Born January 31, 1973, Todd Brandonn Christian, a Virginia native, and a resident of Lakeland since boyhood, died in his sleep on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. He was 48. A proud graduate of Leadership Lakeland XIX, Todd served on the board of the Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association. Todd was also a past board member of Rotary, where he was inducted into the Rotary Hall of Fame, and he was a former board member of Historic Lakeland, having served two terms as president. Todd was currently serving on the VISTE (Volunteers in Service to the Elderly) Advisory Board.
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Health Leaders Seek to Overcome Racial Health Disparities

A few years ago, when Vivian Calloway had a life-threatening allergic reaction to something she ate, she was lucky to be at a church breakfast, surrounded by friends and medical professionals. “We were all eating and all of a sudden, I could feel my body swelling up,” said the 64-year-old...
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Dixieland’s Biscuits and Benedicts Plans a November Opening

After more than two years of waiting, Biscuits and Benedicts plans to open in Lakeland’s Dixieland neighborhood before the end of the year. The owners recently posted on Facebook that the city approved “the last step needed for us to move forward with our opening.”. Co-owner James Kerr, 36, of...
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Silver Alert Canceled After Woman Reunites With Family

Lakeland police have canceled a Silver Alert that was issued this morning for Sherri Carpenter, 56, saying she has been located and is being reunited with her family. Lakeland police are asking for help finding Sherri Carpenter, 56, who has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia. She was last seen Monday afternoon leaving Glengreen Lane in Lakeland driving a red 2014 Nissan Sentra with Florida tag NTC S32.
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Nurses, Other Professionals Sought at LRH Hiring Fairs

To prepare for a winter patient influx and cope with rising Covid cases, Lakeland Regional Health is working to shore up its staff of nurses and other medical professionals via weekly Wednesday walk-in job fairs, ABC Action News reports. The hospital was treating 179 COVID-19 patients on Monday, up from the mid-30s at the start of July. | MORE: LRH Careers on Facebook.
Lakeland, FLPosted by
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Melinda Leann Ray-McFadden, 55

Melinda Leann Ray-McFadden, 55 of Lakeland, FL passed away on July 20th, 2021 at Lakeland Regional Health in Lakeland, FL. Leann was born on January 19th, 1966 in Chillicothe, Ohio. She was a member of the Class of 1984 at Kathleen Senior High School and one of her greatest joys from that time was being part of the Red Devil Marching Band. Leann went on to graduate from Polk Community College with a nursing degree and worked for many years as a NICU RN for Lakeland Regional Health and then Winter Haven Women’s Hospital. She returned to Polk State while continuing to work full time and graduated with a BSN in 2015. Leann loved being a mother above anything else and was always helping others first.