Kelli Stargel’s appointment to Senate budget chief is a big deal for Lakeland, so why didn’t the local paper cover it?

The (Lakeland) Ledger’s top story on its website Saturday morning is about a Polk County man who avoided prison time in a high-profile child abuse case.

Nowhere on its page, or anywhere on its website for that matter, is there a headline about Sen. Kelli Stargel, one of the region’s favorite daughters, being named Senate budget chief.

We don’t want to pick on The Ledger. They’re a relatively small community newspaper and times are tough for newsrooms like theirs.

But how could they not have coverage of one of the most impactful government decisions to its readers?

Behind Senate President and House Speaker, chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations is, arguably, the most powerful position in the Legislature. Stargel will be directly responsible for overseeing a massive state budget … and at a time when the belt is certain to be tightened, making local appropriations projects less of a priority.

With their own local Senator at the helm of that process, Stargel will wield massive influence over which projects to keep and which to slash. With her own district covering the Lakeland area, that could mean fewer local projects affecting The Ledger’s readership get

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