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Bartow Florida FL Warrant Search

If you want to search for outstanding arrest warrants in Bartow Florida FL - the easiest and safest way would be to use an online warrant search service that will allow you to gather information from several different local and national databases and provide you with a detailed report regarding the individual's warrant status, without leaving the comfort of your home or office.

If you are doing a new search on yourself, it is recommended that you use govwarrantsearch.org. This is a discreet warrant search service that will allow you to search anonymously without fear of prosecution. This is probably one of the most trusted and thorough services in the industry.

With govwarrantsearch.org, you will have access to the same technology that both law enforcement and private investigators use on a daily basis. The service will compile everything about your subject in one detailed report and make for easy analysis. Having all of this information in less than a minute is as easy as filling out the form above.

If you prefer the "manual" approach - You can always visit your local law enforcement office for this information. The police officer will charge you a nominal fee and provide you with a print-out of the individual's warrant record. It is not suggested to do this type of search on yourself. Obviously, the police officer will be forced to arrest you if they find that you have a Florida FL warrant against your record.

The Definition of a Warrant

The simplest way to define a warrant is: a court document that commands police to take a particular action. There are several different types of warrants, but the most common are arrest warrants and search warrants.
While arrest warrants command police to arrest individuals, search warrants command of the police to search specified locations. A warrant is a legal document, signed by a judge and administered by the police.

The Definition of an Arrest Warrant

Fortunately in the United States, Police Departments are not allowed to randomly arrest its citizens. First, a judge must sign a legal document called an arrest warrant before law enforcement can make an arrest. Arrest warrants can be issued for various reasons, but, failure to appear at court is the most common cause. Keep in mind that police officers will enter homes and places of business to incarcerate fugitives with arrest warrants on their record.

How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant in Bartow Florida FL:

Whether you're searching for a warrant on yourself or others, you have a few options to get the job done. The first option is to head down to your local police department and make a warrant request. The only problem with this option is that you usually need a good reason to do a search on someone else. If you convinced the officer that you have a good reason - obtaining a warrant report will cost a nominal fee, and a bit of patience. Keep in mind that this is a low priority request, and the police officer at the front desk will often take their time with your arrest warrant search.
A word of warning: this method is not suggested if you are doing an arrest warrant search on yourself. If the police determine that you have an active warrant, they will arrest you and you will not have a chance to prepare your defense. You also shouldn't use this method when checking on the status of family members or close friends as well. This is because the police will attempt to gather information about the person's whereabouts. You could even be brought into the situation if you attempt to deceive the police, as obstructing justice is a crime.

The easiest and safest way to check if someone has an outstanding warrant on file is by using a public online search engine, like govwarrantsearch.org. This site will allow you to instantly investigate anyone's background using all national databases and receive the information that you need without having to go anywhere in person. You can easily gather information from many databases with a single click, and either conduct an in-state search for warrants in Bartow Florida FL, or use the "Nationwide" option to search for warrants anywhere else in the entire United States. Aside from being quick and easy, an online search is also beneficial because of the privacy that it affords you. You can avoid putting your freedom in jeopardy by searching online. Using a public online search like govwarrantsearch.org is the recommended method for anyone that needs arrest warrant information.

Bench Warrants Defined

A bench warrant is placed against any individual that does not show up for a court date as scheduled. This warrant directs law enforcement to seek out this individual and place them into custody. As far as the police are concerned, an individual with a bench warrant is a fugitive at large.

If you have a bench warrant against you, it is important to take care of the situation as soon as possible. Usually, local law enforcement officers are very active when it comes to serving bench warrants. It is not uncommon for the police to arrive at your home at 2 AM to take you to jail.

Search Warrants Defined

A search warrant is a court order document that allows a particular law enforcement agency to search a home or place of business for proof of illegal activity. Search warrants are signed by a judge and very specific in nature. Law enforcement must adhere to the verbiage of the document or risk having their evidence inadmissible in court. Search warrants have a specific expiration date and the police cannot continue to return without a new search warrant.

If you are served with a search warrant, you should ask to read the warrant to ensure that the police are following the court order properly. It will detail the types of evidence that can be removed, when they are allowed to search, as well as the limitations on where law enforcement are allowed to search. While law enforcement officers are allowed to confiscate any contraband that they locate during the search (drugs, unregistered weapons, etc.), they can only remove evidence listed in the search warrant.

Outstanding Warrants and Active Warrants Explained

Both active warrants and outstanding warrants have the same meaning and can be used equally in the eyes of the law. With that being said, the term, "outstanding warrant" is most often used to describe warrants that are several years old. Regardless of the chosen phrase, both outstanding warrants and active warrants are court-ordered documents that allow law enforcement to arrest an individual using any means necessary.

I Have Not Been Notified By The Police - Could I Still Have An Arrest Warrant On File?
You should never wait on notification from the police to determine if you have an arrest warrant on file. The sad truth is that the majority of individuals arrested were unaware of a warrant on their record. Silvia Conrad experienced this first hand when a police officer randomly appeared at her place of work. She was completely unaware of a warrant placed against her, but was hauled off to jail. While it may create an embarrassing experience, the police will do whatever it takes to apprehend you.

To understand why you may not be notified properly, you should look at it from the prospective of the police. It basically makes law enforcement's job much easier. The police would rather catch you off guard than prepared and ready to run. Bottom Line - Whether you have been notified or not, the police will find you and arrest you to serve their warrant.
How to Avoid Being Picked Up On An Arrest Warrant

Before you get your hopes up and think that you can actually live a normal life with an arrest warrant on your record, you must realize that this is an impossible venture. Even if you were capable of eluding the police for quite some time, your life would be anything but normal. The thought of a looming arrest would always be on your mind, and would force you to constantly `watch your back' for the police.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that the majority of arrest warrants get served years after the warrant is issued. "Don't Run!" is probably the best advice that one can receive. Its much better to take care of the problem as soon as possible than wait until you've gotten your life back together and find that you're being drawn back into the same old situation..

Do Arrest Warrants Expire?

Regardless of the state that the warrant was filed, there is no expiration of an arrest warrant. These warrants will only go away in the case of:
a) Death
b) Appearance before the judge that ordered the warrant
c) Arrest

General Information from wikipedia: 
Bartow, Florida Bartow (pronounced /ˈbɑrtoʊ/ BAR-toh) is the county seat of Polk County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1851 as Fort Blount, the city was renamed in honor of Francis S. Bartow the first brigade commander to die in combat during the American Civil War. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2000 Census, the city had a population of 15,340 and an estimated population of 16,959 in 2009. It is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 584,383 in 2009. As of 2010, the mayor of Bartow is Wayne Lewis.Located near the source of the Peace River, Bartow is approximately 39 miles (63 km) east of the Tampa Bay Area and 50 miles (80 km) southwest of the Greater Orlando area. The city is near the center of 'Lightning Alley' and has frequent afternoon thunderstorms in the summer, but typically has sunny and mild winters. Government, mining, and agriculture are the major sectors of the area's economy. The primary roads in the Bartow area are U.S. Route 17, U.S. Route 98 and State Road 60 which provide access to locations throughout Central Florida.The official city nickname is the 'City of Oaks and Azaleas', but informally it is often called 'the 'Tow'. Three districts within the city are on the National Register of Historical Places. Other historic landmarks include the Old Polk County Courthouse built in 1909 and Bartow High School, formerly Summerlin Institute, the oldest high school in the county. Although Bartow has been eclipsed in population, importance and name recognition by other cities in the county, particularly Lakeland and Winter Haven, the city has retained its small city heritage and its distinctive Southern culture. With the annexation of 18,000 acres (73 km2) of former phosphate mining land owned by the Clear Springs Land Company, Bartow's population is projected to increase to over 25,000 by 2015 and over 45,000 by 2030. History A Spanish map of the Florida peninsula drawn in 1527 shows a native settlement called Rio de la Paz near present day Bartow. Little is known about these Native Americans who made their home near present day Bartow, but it is likely that they suffered the same fate as pre-Columbian natives elsewhere- death by European diseases such as small pox and yellow fever. The remnants of these pre-Columbian peoples probably joined Creek Indians who arrived from the north and become the Seminole Indian tribe.The first non-Indian settlement in the area was a colony of Black Seminoles who established Minatti south of Lake Hancock in the late 1810s. These 'maroons', as they were commonly called, were escaped slaves from Georgia and the Carolinas. The Black Seminoles of Minatti were allies of the Red Stick Creek in Talakchopko, near present day Fort Meade. The Seminole leader Osceola had strong ties to Talakchopko, and many of the events leading up to the Second Seminole War were associated with Osceola and the Minatti war chief Harry. By the end of the Second Seminole War in 1842, both Minatti and Talakchopko had been destroyed.The Armed Occupation Act of 1842 facilitated settlement of the Florida peninsula in the 1840s, although the act did prohibit settlement near the Peace River as that was considered Seminole land. Enforcement of that part of the act was not strictly enforced; however, and settlers eventually moved out of the Tampa Bay area and into the area. As settlement grew, the residents began to plant citrus trees and build one room school houses and churches. In 1851, Fort Blount was established by Redding Blount just west of current downtown Bartow. At some point in the 1850s, Fort Blount became Peace Creek or Peas Creek, a name dating back to the Rio de la Paz of early Spanish maps.About a month after the secession of Florida in 1861, the state established Polk County from the eastern portion of Hillsborough County. A few months later, the American Civil War began with the Battle of Fort Sumter. Because of the turmoil of secession and the war, the county had no official county seat for the first six years of its existence. The state legislature had directed the voters of Polk County to chose a site for the county seat and mandated that the site be named 'Reidsville.' During the war, the area's major contribution to the Confederacy was food supplies. The Union army and navy had effective control of the west coast of Florida, and many cattlemen retreated inland and formed the 'Cow Cavalry' as a defense against Union troops. One of the wealthiest members of the Cow Cavalry was Jacob Summerlin. Summerlin purchased the Blount property in 1862 and donated a large parcel of land to build a county courthouse, two churches and a school. Later that year, the town which had been known as Fort Blount, Peace Creek, Peas Creek, and briefly Reidsville was permanently renamed Bartow in honor of Francis S. Bartow, the first confederate officer to die during the war.Like much of the south, Bartow recovered slowly from the war as inefficient and often corrupt Reconstruction governments did little to rebuild the fractured infrastructure. The first Polk County Courthouse was built in 1867 and this did solidify the city's position as county seat. Although Florida formally rejoined the union in 1868, Reconstruction did not end in Florida until 1877.The 1880s and 90s were a period of growth for the city of Bartow; from 1880 to 1900, the city would grow from 386 residents to 1,983. On July 1, 1882 the town was incorporated as a city. In 1885, the Florida Southern Railroad, a north-south route from North Florida to Southwest Florida opened in Bartow. A year later, the Bartow Branch of the South Florida Railroad which connected Tampa and Orlando was completed. The railroads would become a catalyst to the growth of the area; during the Spanish American War, the Bartow rail yards became a crucial part of the supply line headed for troops in Cuba. In 1887, Summerlin Institute, the first brick schoolhouse south of Jacksonville was built. By the turn of the century, Bartow had become the most populous city south of Tampa on the Florida peninsula- larger than either Miami or West Palm Beach.As the city grew, a number of industries moved into the Bartow area. In the first few decades of the 1900s, thousands of acres of land around the city were purchased by the phosphate industry and Bartow would become the hub of the largest phosphate industry in the United States. Polk County was the leading citrus county in the United States for much of the 20th century and the city has several large groves. In 1941, the city built an airport northeast of town. The airport was taken over by the federal government during World War II and was the training location for many Army Air Corps pilots during the war. The airport was returned to the city in 1967 and renamed Bartow Municipal Airport.For most of the 20th century, Bartow's growth was modest, especially in comparison to the rest of the county and state. While other cities in Polk County aggressively annexed adjacent land and allowed rapid growth, the government of Bartow generally took a more cautious approach. Another reason why Bartow's growth had been slow was that most of the land surrounding the city was owned by phosphate mining companies making residential growth unpractical. Although Bartow had been the largest city in Polk county in 1900, by the 1910 U.S. Census Lakeland had surpassed Bartow in population. Bartow remained the second largest city in the county until sometime in the 1950s when Winter Haven become more populous than Bartow.In the late 1990s as phosphate operations in the area moved southward, much of the former phosphate land became available for sale. In 1999 Connecticut financier Stanford Phelps purchased the former Clear Springs phosphate lands east and south of city limits and announced plans for the largest development project in Polk County history. After nearly a decade of delays, the plan received final approval in 2009. The Clear Springs Development includes plans for more than 11,000 new homes, 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of commercial space, three schools, and a golf course. According to the Central Florida Regional Planning Council, Bartow's population is projected to grow to over 25,000 people by 2015. When buildout of the Clear Springs Development is completed by 2030, the population of the city is projected to be over 45,000 residents. Geography Bartow is located slightly southwest of both the geographical centers of Polk County and peninsular Florida. Bartow is approximately 39 miles (63 km) east of Tampa and 51 miles (82 km) southwest of Orlando. The cities of Bartow, Lakeland, and Winter Haven roughly form an equilateral triangle pointed downward with Bartow being the south point, Lakeland the west point, and Winter Haven the east point. The city is located near the headwaters of the Peace River at Lake Hancock. Bartow is located within the Central Florida Highlands area of the Atlantic coastal plain with a terrain consisting of flatland interspersed with gently rolling hills.According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2000 the city had a total area of 29.4 km2 (11.4 mi2). 29.1 km2 (11.2 mi2) of it is land and 0.4 km2 (0.1 mi2) of it (1.23%) is water. As a result of the annexation of over 26,000 acres (110 km2) of undeveloped land, primarily the Clear Springs land, the area of the city has quadrupled to over 52 square miles (130 km2) with more annexation still pending. Physiography and soils Bartow is located on the South Central Florida Ridge, as classified by the USDA. Most soils in the Bartow area are sandy; other soils have sandy surface layers and clay subsoils, and the eastern outskirts of town have a clay-rich floodplain through which the Peace River flows. Drainage outside of the floodplain ranges from good to excessive for the most part except for a poorly drained band which cuts across the northern part of town. Much of Bartow is built on the Fort Meade soil series, which is well drained, high in organic matter, and rich in phosphorus, an uncommon combination in Florida, much appreciated by area gardeners. Climate Bartow, like most of Florida, is located in the humid subtropical zone (Köppen climate classification: Cfa). The climate of Bartow and other inland cities is slightly different than those cities on the coasts of Florida. Typically the ocean or gulf tends to moderate the climate of cities on the coast. As Bartow is further from the coast than almost any other city in Florida, it tends to have higher daytime temperatures during the summer and cooler temperatures at night during the winter. Regardless, the climate pattern prevalent throughout central Florida is evident in Bartow: hot, humid summers with frequent afternoon thunderstorms and relatively drier and mild winters. On average, a tropical system brings hurricane-force winds to the Polk County area less than once every ten year, although the 2004 hurricane season in which three hurricanes hit within 44 days was a case study in the law of averages. Until 2004, the last storm to bring hurricane force winds to the Bartow area had been Hurricane Donna in 1960. While Florida's vulnerability to hurricanes is well known, hurricanes are not the most common severe weather threat seen in the Polk County area. The area is in the center of 'lightning alley', the most concentrated lightning strike area in the United States. Lightning is not the only threat from central Florida thunderstorms. The more severe storms bring the threat of tornadoes, although Florida tornadoes very rarely reach the size of those elsewhere in the United States. Even hail is not out of the question; one storm in March 1996 caused a one foot accumulation of hail to areas of Bartow.Freezes are an occasional occurrence in the Bartow area and can be a problem if temperatures remain below freezing for a sustained period of time. On average, the area can expect freezing temperatures every other winter. Snow is a rare phenomenon in the area, perhaps a few times every century. Government and politics The City of Bartow has a commission-manager form of government. The city commission consists of five commissioners, each elected for a three-year term. The mayor is a member of the city commission elected annually by the commissioners, although traditionally the position is rotated. As of 2010, the mayor of Bartow is Wayne Lewis. The city executive powers rest with the city manager, as contracted by the city commission. In 2010, the city's budget was $74.2 million. Electricity, waste disposal and water are municipal services provided by the city of Bartow to residents in city limits and nearby areas. Bartow is part of the Southwest Florida Water Management District and in times of drought, the city strictly enforces the restrictions set forth by the district. Although it is a private entity outside of the city limits of Bartow, the Bartow Municipal Airport is governed and administrated by the city commission. As of September 2010, the Bartow Police Department employs 52 sworn officers and 27 civilian employees, while the Bartow Fire Department has 21 full time firemen and 3 volunteers. The city of Bartow also operates the Bartow Public library, which was founded in 1897 and has reciprocal borrowing agreements with other public libraries in Polk County.Bartow, as well as the rest of Polk County, is part of the so-called I-4 corridor. The I-4 corridor is seen by political analysts as the most politically competitive part of the state. Polk is considered the most conservative county in the corridor. Even though the majority of the residents of Bartow are members of the Democratic Party, outnumbering the Republican Party in party affiliation (53.3% to 31.7%), voters tend to support Republicans in most state and federal elections. In 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain's lead over Democrat Barack Obama (53.6% to 46.5) in the city was larger than that of both the county and state.All of Bartow's local representation in the state and federal legislatures are members of the Republican Party. Bartow is represented in the state Florida House of Representatives by Seth McKeel and Baxter Troutman. In the Florida Senate, Bartow is represented by J.D. Alexander. In the United States House of Representatives, Bartow is located in Florida's 12th congressional district, and represented by Bartow native Congressman Adam Putnam. The United States Senate representation for Florida, however, contains one Democrat Bill Nelson and one Republican George LeMieux. Demographics As of the census of 2000, there were 15,340 people, 5,531 households, and 3,777 families residing in the city. The population density was 527.4/km2 (1,366.5/mi2). There were 6,099 housing units at an average density of 209.7/km2 (543.3/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 65.91% White, 28.39% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.22% from other races, and 2.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.11% of the population.There were 5,531 households, of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 27.4% of all households consisted of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.02.In the city, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.The median income for a household in the city was $38,568, and the median income for a family was $44,093. Males had a median income of $31,716 versus $21,309 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,487. About 9.7% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.7% of those under age 18 and 9.4% of those age 65 or over.On the 2000 Census, residents self-identified with a variety of ethnic ancestries. People who self-identified as 'American' ancestry numbered 11.2% of the town, with English at 9.1%, Irish at 7.7%, German at 7.3%, Italian at 1.9%, Dutch at 1.8%, French at 1.7%, and Scotch-Irish at 1.7%. 90.9% of all Bartow residents speak English as a first language. Those who speak Spanish at home number 6.8%. Religion The first two churches built in town, the First Baptist and the First Methodist churches, were built on land given by the city founder Jacob Summerlin in 1867. These churches, although not housed in the same buildings, are still extant today. In 1919, more than 8,000 people came to Bartow to hear former baseball star and traveling evangelist Billy Sunday preach, which was twice as much as the population of Bartow and more than the population of the county's largest city Lakeland at the time. As of 2010, there are more than 70 churches within the Bartow area.Like most of the Bible Belt, Bartow has a high number of people affiliated with evangelical Protestant denominations with over 62% of churchgoers belonging to evangelical denominations. According to data published by the Glenmary Research Center in 2000, the denomination which has the largest number of adherents in Bartow is the Southern Baptist Convention with 27%, followed by the Roman Catholic church with 19%. Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are also prominent making up 17% of Bartow's church attendance. The Pentecostal experience known as the Lakeland revival, which attracted controversy for its claims of supernatural healing, was started down the road at the Carpenter's Home Church in Lakeland. Other churches which have a presence in Bartow include the United Methodist Church at 9%, and the Episcopal and Lutheran churches with 2% apiece. While there are no synagogues in town for Jewish Bartownians, Temple Emanuel is a conservative synagogue only 12 miles (19 km) away in Lakeland. There are also a couple of Muslim mosques and a Hindu temple in the county.The Bartow Church Service Center is a cooperative of local churches sponsored by the United Way which provide food and clothing throughout the year, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although separation concerns over matters of church and state deter the city from directly involved in its operation, the service center has been renting a building from the city for $1 per year since 1966. In 2009, the building the service center was housed in burned to the ground and after a temporary stay at the First Baptist Church, the center was moved to a building, twice the size of its previous abode, down the road. Economy The economy of Bartow is driven by four sectors: government, mining, agriculture, and tourism. While Bartow is a small city, it is shaped by its proximity to several large centers of population. Within a 100-mile (160 km) radius of the center of town, there are close to 8 million people.The dominant force in the economy of Bartow is city, county and state government. As a small city which is the seat of a county with over half a million people, Bartow has an unusually large number of government jobs. In addition to city and county offices, there are also a number of regional, state, and federal offices located within Bartow city limits. Nine of the seventeen largest employers in Bartow are government entities. The largest by far is the Polk County School Board with over 12,000 employees. Other county entities which employ many people in the Bartow area include the county commission, the sheriff's department, the clerk of court, the tax collector, and the property appraiser. The Florida Department of Transportation District One office is located in Bartow and is responsible for southwest Florida's transportation needs.There are several large businesses with headquarters elsewhere which were founded in Bartow. The large international law firm of Holland & Knight was founded in Bartow in 1929. What eventually become the large Burdines and Sons department store chain was founded in Bartow in 1896 as Payne and Burdines. A couple years after opening his store, William M. Burdines opened a store in Miami and relocated his operations there.Phospate mining has been a major player in Bartow's economy since the discovery of phosphate rock in 1881. Polk County is part of the Bone Valley which is the richest source of phosphate rock in the world; 75% of the United States's supply and 25% of the world's supply come from the Bone Valley. The largest employer in the phosphate industry is Mosaic which employees over 3,000 people in the area.In terms of area, Polk County has 600,000 acres (2,400 km2) dedicated to agriculture. According to the US Census of Agriculture, Polk County is the top citrus production county in Florida. Polk County is also ranked second in the state in production of honey and fourth in number of heads of cattle. Since 1997 the new bumper crop in the area is blueberry. From 2000–07 the area has more than doubled its production of blueberries and accounts for more than 35% of the state's production of the fruit. While spring is usually a 'dead' time for every other blueberry growing area in North and South America, Polk County blueberries peak from March to May.Although there are no major tourist attractions in the immediate Bartow area, the city is located less than 50 miles (80 km) from both the Walt Disney World Resort and Busch Gardens Tampa. The city is also less than 20 miles (32 km) from the future Legoland Florida in Winter Haven and Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. As a city with many historical sites dating back over 100 years, Bartow is also a point of interest for those interested in historical sites and monuments. Annual festivals and other events There are several annual events in the Bartow area which have a long tradition. Many of these are large events which draw people from other communities to the city such as the Cricket Club Halloween Parade and Carnival held each year since 1942 or the annual Fourth of July Celebration held at Mosaic Park. The Bloomin' Arts Festival is an art show held in early April by the Bartow Art Guild. The Tour de Tow is an annual cycling tour held in September. November brings the Annual Caribbean Festival of Polk County at the L.B. Brown House on Second Avenue.The Polk County Arts Alliance based in Bartow is designated the official Art Agency by the county commission and is in charge of furthering the performing arts in the county. The Bartow Performing Arts Series sponsors five performances every year. The Imperial Symphony Orchestra is an ensemble of ninety volunteer musicians throughout the county who perform a dozen or so events every year including a concert 'under the stars.' The city also has a volunteer band, the Bartow Community Band, which performs several shows a year. On the third Friday of every month, Main Street is blocked off for Friday Fest at 6 p.m. for a night of live music and entertainment, informally known as 'Tow Jam' by natives. Media Bartow is part of the Tampa/St. Pete television market, the 13th largest in the country. There are two AM radio stations within the city: WQXM (1460 AM) and WWBF (1130 AM). These stations are part of the local Lakeland/Winter Haven radio market, which is the 94th largest in the country. In addition to the stations in the local market, people in the area have the choice of both Tampa Bay and Orlando area radio stations and as of the 2010 market sweeps several of the most listened to stations in the market are in the Tampa Bay area.The Polk County Democrat is the only newspaper published within Bartow. It is a semi-weekly paper which began publication in 1931. The dominant daily newspaper is The Ledger out of Lakeland, although the Tampa Tribune, the News Chief out of Winter Haven and the Orlando Sentinel have some circulation in town. Parks and other recreational activities Many of the recreational opportunities in the area are outdoor activities designed to take advantage of the warm subtropical climate. There are eighteen parks in the City of Bartow Department of Parks and Recreation. Mary Holland Park, named after the wife of former Florida governor Spessard Holland, is a 119-acre (0.48 km2) park with three lakes, an overnight camping area, and a skateboard park. The Bartow Civic Center is a 31-acre (130,000 m2) complex with meeting rooms, concert facilities and a public pool. Bartow Park is a 95-acre (380,000 m2) complex with softball, baseball and soccer fields and a track for remote control cars. The Bartow Golf Course is a par 72, 6,300 yard course with a restaurant and an area for barbecuing.The Fort Fraser Trail is a 7.7 miles (12.4 km) path leading from Bartow to south Lakeland. The path follows an abandoned CSX railroad line and is popular with area cyclists, joggers, and in-line skaters. Plans have been made to build a replica of the historic Fort Fraser along the path, as well as adding historical markers. Five picnic areas and six rest shelters are available along the path.Polk County has over 550 lakes. Most of these lakes were formerly strip mines; they are closed to the public, only 88 of the lakes are open to the public via boat ramp access. The area has a national reputation for largemouth bass fishing and there are tournaments held weekly almost year round. Some of the lakes on the east side of Bartow offer anglers the opportunity to catch 50 largemouth bass a day. Historic buildings and landmarks The city's Historic Architecture Review Board is responsible for the preservation, enhancement and promotion of historic buildings, landmarks and districts within the city. Three districts in the city, the Bartow Downtown Commercial District, the Northeast Bartow Residential District, and the South Bartow Residential District have been designated as historic districts. New construction within these districts is regulated by the board and they have the power to veto construction which might alter the character of the neighborhood.While the towering oaks and ever-present azalea bushes which spawned the city's nickname give many of the historic landmarks of the city a distinctive Southern 'look and feel', many styles of architecture are represented in Bartow's historic buildings. The South Bartow and Northeast Bartow historic districts are characterized by masonry vernacular and various revival styles, while downtown is dominated by frame vernacular and classical revival styles. Other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places with distinctive architectural styles include the Thompson and Company Cigar Factory built in a Mission Revival Style and the L.B. Brown House built with distinctive Victorian ornamentation. The L.B. Brown House is notable as perhaps the only house still standing in Florida built by a freedman. The Old Polk County Courthouse, Bartow's most recognizable symbol seen on its city seal, was built in 1909 in a neoclassical style.There are several other notable buildings in Bartow which are not on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wonder House at 1075 Mann Road features natural air-conditioning (using rainwater), secluded outdoor bathtubs, and numerous mirrors that let occupants see who is at the door from other parts of the home. The Thomas Lee Wilson House, also known as the Stanford Inn, at 555 East Stanford Street was the 'Sultenfuss Funeral Parlor' in the movie My Girl. The house at 935 South Oak Avenue known as 'Windsweep' was the residence used in the movie China Moon. Transportation The street grid of Bartow is a typical four quadrant grid with Main Street as the east-west axis and Broadway Avenue as the north-south axis. Broadway is co-signed with U.S. Route 98 in the northern commercial district and leads southward into the center of town before heading into one of the older residential sections of town. Main Street is the old Florida State Road 60 leading into the historic heart of downtown Bartow.The primary numbered routes going through Bartow are Florida State Road 60 and U.S. Route 17 and U.S. Route 98. State Road 60 is a major state highway leading to both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and is the major east-west route through town. Originally traveling along Main Street, State Road 60 now follows Van Fleet Drive bypassing the downtown area, and is commonly known as 'the 60 Bypass' by locals. Heading east on State Road 60 leads to Lake Wales and on to Vero Beach, while westbound leads to Mulberry and eventually Tampa. U.S. 17 is the main north-south route on the east side of town. It is a four lane divided highway leading north to Winter Haven and south to Fort Meade. U.S. 98 is cosigned with U.S. 17 until its intersection with SR 60. Briefly cosigned with State Road 60 until its intersection with Broadway Avenue. US 98 then turns northward onto Broadway Avenue heading towards Lakeland. State Road 570, known as the Polk Parkway, is a toll road located (10 km) north of city limits on U.S. 98. The Polk Parkway provides direct freeway access to Tampa and Orlando via Interstate 4.The explosive growth expected in the area in the next few decades has created a need for a reexamination of the area's transportation infrastructure. The Central Polk Parkway is a proposed limited access highway that would connect the Polk Parkway with U.S. 17 and State Road 60. The Northern Bartow Connector, which is expected to be completed by 2015, is a partial loop around the north part of town connecting U.S. 98 with State Road 60 east of town.For small aviation needs, Bartow Municipal Airport is available. The airport has three runways and includes an industrial park and warehouse storage. Both Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Orlando International Airport (MCO) are within 60 miles (97 km) driving distance from the center of Bartow.Bartow has its own bus system, the Bartow Shuttle, which runs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Citrus Connection has buses that serve the Bartow downtown area from Lakeland, and Winter Haven Area Transit serves Bartow from Winter Haven and Fort Meade. Education The schools in Bartow are operated by the Polk County School Board, although several of them predate the establishment of the school board, and were autonomous at one time. Bartow High School, formerly Summerlin Institute, is the oldest high school in the county and one of the oldest high schools in the state of Florida. In 1923 Union Academy, the first African-American high school in Polk County was opened. Court-ordered integration began in Bartow during the fall of 1969, and the former black high school Union Academy became a middle school. In 1971, Summerlin Institute officially became Bartow High School, a name it had been known as informally at least since the early 1900s. There are currently seven elementary schools and two middle schools which are feeder schools of Bartow High School. Located at the campus of Bartow High School is the International Baccalaureate School of Polk County which offers an academically challenging environment and the Summerlin Academy which offers a military-oriented education.It is expected that the rapid growth of the Clear Springs development will necessitate the building of at least two elementary schools and a middle school within the next twenty years. As part of this development, a new Polk State College campus called The PSC Advanced Technology Center at Clear Springs is projected to open by 2012. This 20 acres (81,000 m2) campus will be located near the intersection of State Road 60 and 80 Foot Road.While there are currently no colleges or universities in Bartow, there are several within a 20 mile (32 km) radius of Bartow. The
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