[Florida] Polk County Sheriff punches man twice while in handcuffs.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A video posted to Facebook, that appears to show a Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputy hitting a man in handcuffs, has made its way to Sheriff Grady Judd. 

According to Judd, a complete and thorough investigation will be completed, but there is more to the story than what the video show. 

The eight-minute video, which captures a fight that broke out on Chesnut Rd. in Lakeland on May 6, is below.

In the video, two men can be seen hitting each other, while a woman and another man in a neon shirt stand nearby.

Eventually, the fight stops, and the man in the neon shirt walks off with one of the men allegedly involved in the fight. At the same time, the video shows another fight breaking out across the street.

That’s when multiple sheriff’s office patrol cars arrived.

According to Judd, deputies arrived in “emergency mode” and began working the scene in order to sort out: What is going on? Who is fighting? Is anyone hurt? And is there guns or knives?

While doing so deputies attempted to talk to, the man in the neon shirt, now known as 20-year-old Fernando Jimenez, who they say, witnessed the first fight and was in the area of the second fight. But, he attempted to leave, according to the sheriff’s office. 

That’s when deputies attempted to arrest Jimenez who, Sheriff Judd said then resisted and spit on a female deputy. 

“I don’t need to tell you at this time of COVID when everybody’s supposed to be socially distancing,” Judd started before explaining how the group was not socially distancing. “But, when I look at that , and then one of my deputies gets spit directly in the face by a guy, never mind HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, but now we have COVID.”

As for where the video appears to show one of the deputies strike Jimenez twice while he is held against the trunk area– Judd confirms this, saying the deputy hit him while attempting to get Jimenez under control.

Then deputies worked to place Jimenez in the back of a patrol car where his legs were tethered together to keep him from kicking out any windows, according to the sheriff’s office.

He also had a spit guard placed on his face because “this guy [was] trying to spit on everybody,” according to Sheriff Judd.

Now, the incident is under a complete and “thorough” investigation. 

“I can tell you one thing we are going to do a complete and thorough investigation. I have built a reputation of doing what’s right. If there’s a violation of the rules then they will be held accountable for that,” Judd said. “But, I can tell you clearly and unequivocally in this day and age of COVID, HIV, Hepatitis, how would you respond if somebody spit in your face today? In the middle of this pandemic? When the state of Florida is under a state of emergency. You would stop it, you would stop it.”

Both deputies are set to be tested for COVID-19.

The sheriff’s office said the video is also under review as it was just obtained on Thursday. 

But, Judd is grateful for the video for another reason, sharing that it allows them to get a clearer picture of the fights and charge people who may not yet have been charged.

Jimenez is facing charges for resisting without violence, resisting with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer. He has since bonded out of jail. 

[Florida] Polk County Sheriffs Violate Citizens Rights And Slam Innocent Man.

Polk County Sheriff’s office and Lake Hamilton Police department in Florida was dispatched to an address in lake hamilton, Florida on April 18th, 2020 at approximately 1:30 am, searching for a Tyrek Washington. The homeowners advised the officers that Washington was not at the residence and that they do not consent to a search of their home without a warrant.

The homeowner proceeded to close the door as he was exercising his rights when the officers slammed him to the ground and charged him with Assault on a Leo and resisting arrest. This is a perfect example of how the Polk County Sheriff’s office violates the rights of the residence in Polk County, Florida.

Watch this daunting video of how it all went down.

After the officers slam the homeowner for no reason, his daughter calls 911 reaching out for justice from the police and she was charged for Misuse of an emergency hotline and resisting arrest. I guess, if the police are violating your rights and slamming you illegally, then you are deemed helpless.

The family has retained a private attorney and plan on filing a complaint against the Sheriff’s department as well as Lake Hamilton Police department. Additionally, the family has reached out to several news outlets to bring awareness and to potentially slow the spread of these outrageous actions taken by the people who are supposed to protect and serve us.

[Covid-19] Stimulus checks will be in your hand within 3 weeks!

Congress passed the $2 Trillion Stimulus bill that will help with the economic crisis caused by the Cornavirus pandemic.

What Does This Mean For You?

This means that single tax payers will receive $1,200 each and couples will receive $2,400. For each dependent taxpayers will receive an additional $500 for each qualifying child.

When Will You Receive The Money?

The checks and direct deposits are set to reach taxpayers within the next 3 weeks so keep your eyes open for your direct deposit or paper check to arrive. If you owe back child support you can expect to not receive a stimulus check. Those that are on social security are still eligible to get the cash though.

Will you get another check?

Although under the current bill, this is just a one time payment and no further checks are set to be disbursed. It is possible that there will be another bill passed later on, releasing more funds to the taxpayers. Everyone with a social security number is eligible to receive this relief funding as long as you were not claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

Didn’t file your 2019 tax return yet?

If you did not file your 2019 tax return yet, then the irs will look at your 2018 tax return to determine the amount you are eligible to receive. Single tax payers who made less than $75,000 and couples who made less than $150,000 will receive the full amount. If your total gross income is above the threshold amount then your stimulus payment would go down $5 for every $100.

Americans Not Likely To See Stimulus Check Until At least May 2020

Legislation to provide direct financial checks to many Americans, expand unemployment insurance, offer health-care providers additional resources

Lawmakers struck a $2 trillion stimulus deal early Wednesday that includes sending checks directly to individuals amid the coronavirus crisis — but it will likely take until at least May before the money goes out. Under the plan as it was being negotiated, single Americans would receive $1,200, married couples would get $2,400, and parents would see $500 for each child under age 17.

Americans most likely will not see any sign of the Coronavirus ( Covid-19 ) check until at least May.

However, the payments would start to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all. The thresholds are doubled for couples.About 90% of Americans would be eligible to receive full or partial payments, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center. Lawmakers set aside $250 billion for the so-called recovery rebates.

Qualifying income levels will be based on 2019 federal tax returns, if already filed, and otherwise on 2018 returns. (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier this month delayed the filing deadline until July 15.) There are provisions in the bill to include those who don’t earn enough to file returns, but some people may be missed, said Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the center.

Under the legislation being negotiated, lower- and middle-income Americans would receive just over two-thirds of the benefits, Gleckman said. An earlier version of the bill would have given lower-income households less or no assistance.

As for Mnuchin’s recent promise to send the checks in two weeks, that’s not likely to happen.

The Internal Revenue Service has sent out economic stimulus checks before, and although those plans were slightly different, they can offer some insight into how long the process might take.

“Certainly from what we’ve seen in the past, it’s taken a pretty significant amount of time to get checks out after a policy is put in place,” said Erica York, an economist at the Tax Foundation. In 2001, it took six weeks for the IRS to start sending out rebate checks authorized by President George W. Bush’s tax cut. Then in 2008, amid the Great Recession, it took three months for the checks to start going out after the law was signed by Bush. In that case, Americans were required to file their tax return first, in order to get the check. Once they filed their return, it took between eight and 12 weeks to see the money.

Those that had authorized a direct deposit into their bank account likely received their money faster. Those deposits were made over a three-week period in 2008, while paper checks were sent through the mail over a 10-week period, York said.

It’s likely that Americans would receive the stimulus payments faster this time around because more of them file electronically and provide the IRS with their bank information, Gleckman said. Some 88% of individual returns were filed electronically in 2018, compared to 58% in 2008.

But there are other factors that may slow the process. Even absent the coronavirus challenges, the agency is working with a smaller budget and less staff than it had in 2010. Now, because of the coronavirus, the agency has shut down its in-person taxpayer assistance centers located across the country at a time when people are sure to have questions about the emergency checks and other changes.

Treasury announced last week that it is pushing back the tax return deadline to July 15. Additionally, Congress created a new tax credit designed to refund businesses that are offering their employees coronavirus-related paid leave.

“It’s just a recipe for confusion,” said Nina Olson, who served as the IRS’s National Taxpayer Advocate from 2001 to 2019.

“There can be a lot of complexity involved in something as simple as sending a checkout,” Olson added.

First, the IRS will have to calculate each person’s payment amount. Then, it will need the correct direct deposit information or mailing addresses. To get the money to people who don’t usually file tax returns, it might have to request that information from the Social Security Administration or Veterans Affairs. In 2008, those people were required to file a return anyway in order to get their rebates.

Meanwhile, the IRS will inevitably be fielding calls from Americans concerned about when their check will arrive and whether they took all the necessary steps to receive the money. In 2001, the agency sent out letters to taxpayers telling them they didn’t have to do anything in order to receive their check. But instead of staving off calls, the notice had the reverse effect. It resulted in the agency’s first 1 million-call day, Olson said.

Later in 2008, after the economic stimulus checks were sent out, Olson testified before Congress, telling lawmakers that they should fund a new unit within the agency that would be dedicated to facilitating new and emerging initiatives. She argued that it would free up other employees to focus on improving the existing systems and executing the day-to-day work of the agency — but that never happened.

[COVID-19] Florida at risk of being on Lock-Down!

Florida is at risk of joining many other states that are in a mandatory lock-down. A request was sent to Governor Ron Desantis asking that Florida be on a mandatory lock down, amid the Corona virus ( COVID-19 ). Bars are currently closed and restaurants are only allowed to service customers as take out only.

This is just the beginning of what is to come. It only makes sense for Florida to join the rest of the country in containing COVID-19 from spreading too quickly and overwhelming our healthcare system. At some point, most people will likely end up getting COVID-19 unless a vaccine is distributed in a timely fashion.

As of March 20th, 2020, there has been at-least 250 deaths linked to Covid-19 and approximately 20,000 cases in the United States.

Here’s a breakdown of where the deaths have occurred:

83 – Washington
46 – New York 
24 – California
14 – Louisiana
13 – Georgia
11 – New Jersey
10 – Florida
5 – Illinois
5 – Texas
4 – Colorado
3 – Michigan
3 – Oregon
3 – Connecticut
3 – Wisconsin
3 – Indiana
2 – Virginia
2 – Missouri
2 – Kentucky 
2 – Ohio
2 – Vermont
1 – Mississippi
1- Nevada 
1 – Kansas
1 – South Dakota
1 – South Carolina 
1 – Pennsylvania
1 – Maryland
1 – Oklahoma 
1 – Massachusetts  
1 – District of Columbia

You can protect yourself and help prevent spreading the virus to others if you:

  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell
  • Stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean

Introducing Country Music Singer Carolyn Miller

I would like to introduce Carolyn Miller to you guys. I recently came across her profile on the social media site Instagram. After listening to a couple of her videos, i was instantly drawn in, i wanted to listen to more. Miller has amazing talent and she is sure to take her music career in the music industry above and beyond what she could ever imagine. Check her out and make sure you follow her on all of the social media channels!

ABOUT – CAROLYN MILLER

New York’s own emerging country artist Carolyn Miller has been performing professionally since the age of eight. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, Miller’s background is in theatre, film and TV, as well as voice-overs and commercials. Influenced by country music artists like Carrie Underwood and Faith Hill, along with pop icons Kelly Clarkson and Adele, Miller has used her big, powerful voice to create her own style that captures the true essence of country-pop. She released her debut EP Unbreakable in 2018 independently, which peaked during pre-order at #7 on iTunes Country charts. Since then, Carolyn has opened for artists such as Chase Rice, Ashley McBryde, Walker Hayes, and most recently, kicked off NY’s Country 94.7 Stars and Strings event at the Barclays Center starring Sam Hunt, Dustin Lynch, Chris Janson, Runaway June, and more. Carolyn released her highly anticipated single, “What You Can’t Have” in 2019, and the track was named one of the Top 15 Songs at CMA Fest 2019 with features in Hollywood Life, Celebuzz, Whiskey Riff, among others. Her current single, “Summer Time” was recently released to critical acclaim, with features in Taste of Country, The Boot, Sounds Like Nashville, and the music video was added into rotation on The Country Network. Carolyn has been named “One to Watch” by the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and was recently named a Next Up Now artist by CMT. This “NY Entertainer of the Week” (UpFront NY) and “Artist to Watch” (NashVegas) is currently in the studio working on new music, selling out shows around her home state, and opening for major label artists nationwide.

Summer Time ( Official Music Video )

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

https://www.carolynmillermusic.com

SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerMusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolynmillermusic

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Carolyn_Miller

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8ZfZ3QeHCuapWaa1EeX4Dw

Man Who Spent 38 Years in Prison After Wrongful Murder Convictions Gets $21 Million Settlement

Simi Valley reached a $21-million settlement with a man who spent more than 38 years wrongfully incarcerated in the brutal 1978 murders of a woman and her 4-year-old son, officials said.

Craig Coley, 71, was released from prison in 2017 after he was pardoned by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, who said that DNA evidence and a painstaking re-investigation of the Simi Valley murders proved his innocence.

The city said Saturday that the agreement would mitigate long, costly and unnecessary legal proceedings. Simi Valley will be on the hook for roughly $4.9 million of the settlement, while the rest is expected to be paid by insurance and other sources, officials said.

“While no amount of money can make up for what happened to Mr. Coley, settling this case is the right thing to do for Mr. Coley and our community,” City Manager Eric Levitt said in a statement. “The monetary cost of going to trial would be astronomical and it would be irresponsible for us to move forward in that direction.”

The state approved a separate, much smaller payout last year. Brown approved a $1.95-million payment for Coley — $140 for each day he was wrongfully behind bars — that marked the largest payout by the state’s Victim Compensation Board for an erroneous conviction.

The victims were discovered by a relative who grew concerned when Rhonda Wicht didn’t show up for a family get-together. The 24-year-old had been strangled with an 11-foot macrame rope, her son, Donald, smothered in his bed.

Coley, a Vietnam War veteran who was going through a breakup with Wicht, was held for questioning that day and ultimately charged with the two murders. He did not have a prior criminal record.

A key witness against Coley was Wicht’s next-door neighbor, who said she heard banging noises and saw Coley’s truck parked outside the apartment complex the morning of the murders. She testified that someone with medium-length hair drove it away.

Another neighbor who lived downstairs told jurors that he heard noises from Wicht’s apartment at 5:30 a.m.

At Coley’s first trial, jurors spent four weeks deliberating before announcing they were deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of guilt. A second jury convicted him of two counts of first-degree murder in 1980, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

But he always maintained his innocence. A retired Simi Valley detective named Mike Bender was instrumental in pushing law enforcement agencies to reexamine the case.

Bender has said that in 2015, he caught the right ear in Brown’s office. A year later, Simi Valley Police Chief David Livingstone also launched an investigation, just as he was taking the helm of the department.

In Coley’s claim for compensation and other court filings, his attorneys and prosecutors detailed troubling inconsistencies in the evidence against him.

The neighbor who heard noises from downstairs first told police, hours after the murders, that he heard the commotion not at 5:30 a.m., but an hour earlier, exactly when Coley, who worked as a night manager at a restaurant, was out socializing with former co-workers. Coley dropped one off at 4:45 a.m.

The new investigation also raised questions about Wicht’s next-door neighbor’s claim that she had seen a man matching Coley’s description drive away the morning of the killings. Exactly 39 years after Wicht’s murder, detectives returned to the neighbor’s apartment to peer out her window.

There was no way, they concluded, that she could have seen from her window whoever was inside a truck parked outside.

But the most indisputable finding that officials said supported Coley’s innocence came when detectives located DNA evidence once thought destroyed.

Craig Coley when he was booked on suspicion of murder, left, and after he was informed by authorities that he’d been cleared

A piece of Wicht’s bedsheet the night she was found dead contained another man’s sperm, along with a man’s epithelial cells. Coley’s DNA was not found on the sheet.

Investigators also tested stains, blood and semen on a child’s Mickey Mouse T-shirt that police at the time said they discovered in a pile of dirty clothes during a search of Coley’s apartment after the murders. New tests on the shirt revealed the boy’s DNA, as well as the sperm of several individuals. None of them matched Coley.

Soon after Coley was pardoned, a judge declared him factually innocent. Simi Valley police have not arrested anyone else in the killings.

Ron Kaye, an attorney representing Coley, said the settlement offers some closure and vindication for his client, though no amount of money can compensate him for the life he missed while imprisoned.

“He now can live the rest of his life, which we hope will be really well into the future, with the security he deserves,” Kaye said.

Craig Coley spent more than 38 years incarcerated for a grisly 1978 double murder in Simi Valley that he didn’t commit.

2019 IRS Tax Refund Schedule

If anyone tells you that they have the 2019 tax filing season all figured, they’re lying. By all accounts, the upcoming tax season is going to be tricky. Despite a shoestring staff due to the shutdown, new tax forms and new tax rules, the 2019 tax season is still set to open on January 28, 2019. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claims that the season will operate as close to normal as possible—including issuing tax refunds.

So when are those tax refunds coming? Assuming no delays, what follows are my best guesses for expected returns based on filing dates and information from the IRS:

No matter when you filed your tax return, if you claimed the EITC or the ACTC, don’t forget to take into consideration the required hold. Keep reading for more.

I can’t stress enough that these are simply educated guesses. I like math and charts as much as the next girl, but many factors could affect your tax refund.

My numbers are based on an expected IRS receipt date beginning on the open of tax season, January 28, 2019, through the close of tax season on April 15, 2019. To keep the chart manageable, I’ve assumed the IRS received your e-filed tax return on the first business day of the week; that’s usually a Monday, but if there’s a holiday (like President’s Day), I’ve skipped ahead until Tuesday. If you file on a Tuesday, the chart assumes that your refund will be processed the following Monday. That’s true even though the IRS can receive and process tax returns on each business day.

The same logic holds true for issuing tax refunds. For purposes of the chart, I’m assuming that the IRS will issue your direct deposit within two weeks of receipt of your return and issue paper checks the following Friday. In reality, the IRS issues tax refunds on every business day, so the date could move forward or backward depending on the day your return was received.

The IRS says that most refunds are issued within 21 days. Statistically, the IRS has pegged the number at 90%. Anecdotally, taxpayers with fairly straightforward returns and no flags or other issues receive their tax refunds in an average of 10-14 days. That means that assuming a window within 2-3 weeks of receipt—not from the date of filing or mailing—from the following Monday is a reasonable assumption.

Other sites may have different numbers, but remember they’re just guessing, too, since the IRS no longer makes their tax refund processing chart public. Do not rely on any tax refund chart—mine included—for date-specific planning like a large purchase or a paying back a loan. Relying on a date certain, especially in uncertain times, is a recipe for disaster.

Finally, don’t get ahead of yourself if you claim the earned-income tax credit (EITC) and the additional child tax credit (ACTC). By law, the IRS must wait until mid-February to begin issuing refunds to taxpayers who claim the EITC or the ACTC. In addition to normal processing times for banks, factoring in weekends and the President’s Day holiday, the earliest EITC and ACTC-related refunds are expected to be available on February 27, 2019; that’s assuming direct deposit and no other issues. If you’re looking for more information, the “Where’s My Refund?” tool will be updated with projected deposit dates for affected filers after February 23, 2019.

If you want to get your tax refund as fast as possible, the IRS recommends that you e-file your tax return and use direct deposit. If you file by paper, it will take longer. The IRS notes that processing times can take up to four weeks in a “normal” tax season, and this tax season promises to be far from normal. 

Even if you request direct deposit, you may still receive a paper check. Since 2014, the IRS has limited the number of refunds that can be deposited into a single account or applied to a prepaid debit card to three. Taxpayers who exceed the limit will instead receive a paper check. Additionally, the IRS won’t issue a refund by direct deposit into just any account: It can only be deposited into an account in your name, your spouse’s name or both of your names if married with a joint account. If there’s an issue with the account, the IRS will send a paper check.

If you’re looking for more information about the timing of your tax refund, don’t reach out to your tax professional. Instead, the IRS encourages you to use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool. Have your Social security number or ITIN, filing status and exact refund amount handy. Refund updates should appear 24 hours after e-filing or four weeks after you mailed your paper return. The IRS updates the site once per day, usually overnight, so there’s no need to check more than once during the day.

If you’re looking for tax information on the go, you can check your refund status with IRS2Go, the official mobile app of the IRS. The app includes a tax refund status tracker.

If, after 21 days following the day you e-filed your return, or six weeks since you filed your paper return, you still haven’t received your refund and you did not claim the EITC or ACTC, there may be a problem. There might be an error on your return, it may be incomplete or require review, or you may have been impacted by identity theft. If the IRS needs more info, they will contact you by mail. Otherwise, you can try calling the IRS, but remember that phone lines may be affected by the shutdown. The days leading up to President’s Day weekend (February 16-18, 2019) are the busiest for IRS, so expect longer than average wait times even if the government is back in business.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2019/01/21/2019-tax-refund-chart-can-help-you-guess-when-youll-receive-your-money/#1e5337a54ba2

Kelly Phillips Erb Senior Contributor


Martin Luther King Jr HOLIDAY

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an American holiday honoring one of the most influential and iconic leaders of the civil rights movement. It is celebrated each year on the third Monday of January, near his birthday of January 15th.

History


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

King was born in 1929. His given name was Michael, but later he had it changed to Martin. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia attending segregated public schools. After earning his high school diploma and starting college at only 15 years old, he went on to obtain a doctorate in 1955. While working on his doctorate in Boston, he met Coretta Scott. They were married and had four children – two daughters and two sons. King became pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist church in Atlanta.

In 1964, after moving to the forefront of the American civil rights movement, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to establish equal rights for African-Americans. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The site is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum.

Establishing a holiday in honor of Dr. King was a long process, full of controversy. The holiday was first proposed just four days after King’s death by John Conyers, a Democratic congressman from Michigan. The bill failed to pass year after year. Critics claimed that anyone who opposed it would be automatically deemed a racist and that the country should not be bullied into recognizing King above many other figures who were equally deserving of the honor. Others pointed to his suspected communist ties and alleged indiscretions and demanded his FBI records to be released to the public. Proponents of the bill had the easier job – promoting his tireless, undeniable efforts toward equality. Finally Congress in 1970, Conyers convinced New York to recognize King’s birthday. It was a small but important first step toward establishing a national holiday.

After more than ten years of rejection and despite continued harsh opposition, including an effort to have the holiday changed to “National Civil Rights Day”, Congress finally passed the bill in 1983. President Ronald Regan, in his proclamation speech, defended King’s worthiness of the honor: “This year marks the first observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a national holiday. It is a time for rejoicing and reflecting. We rejoice because, in his short life, Dr. King, by his preaching, his example, and his leadership, helped to move us closer to the ideals on which America was founded. . . . He challenged us to make real the promise of America as a land of freedom, equality, opportunity, and brotherhood.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of the battle. It was three years, in 1986, before the federal government actually began to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Some areas of the south continued to protest by holding Confederate celebrations on the same day. It wasn’t until the 90’s that MLK day was accepted and celebrated all over the country. New Hampshire was the final state to adopt it as a paid holiday in 1999.

This holiday is celebrated in Us virgin islands, Puerto Rico & United States

Source: http://www.holidayscalendar.com/event/martin-luther-king-jr-day/

Lake Wales Singer, Josh Blevins, Reaching for the stars

Josh Blevins spent several days recently singing one particular song over and over and over again. This wasn’t a case of earworm. It was part of the task of filming his first country music video.

Shot on location at Music Ranch in North Lakeland, his path to this video project is paved with “Talent Quest” competitions, “American Idol” auditions, an attempt to audition for “The Voice,” and singing in bands before striking out on his own to perform original music.

Blevins, who has opened for such big country names as Kip Moore, Tyler Farr, Charlie Worsham, Joe Nichols, The Swon Brothers, and Daryle Singletary, has been offered record deals that he’s turned down. He’s still looking for the perfect record deal. The Lake Wales resident has been working with Larry Howard, a blues artist from Lakeland, to produce an album of original music by year’s end, but took a break from the studio in June to record the video.

The video is for a song called “She Ain’t Country Enough,” written about his wife Dusty, who also co-wrote it. Blevins, 29, drives a Ford F250 that is “jacked up on 38s.” (For the uninitiated, that means big tires.)
While driving to a show one night, Dusty Blevins tried applying makeup from the passenger seat, but the rough riding truck on those big tires made the task difficult. Later, she leaned in toward her husband to snap a quick selfie. Again, the bumpy truck spoiled the moment.

Dusty Blevins uttered these words: “Gosh, I hate your truck. Blevins is
They both joked about how there was a country song in that statement. They horsed around with lyrics the rest of the way to the show. In the early-morning hours after returning home, the couple wrote the song in about 30 minutes on their front porch. Here are some of the lyrics:
She hates how rough my big truck rides
Trying to take a picture from the passenger side
Of me and her as we ride these old back roads
She says, OMG why does it ride so rough?
You need some smaller tires or a brand new truck
I just laugh and I think to myself, she ain’t country enough
Blevins said he wouldn’t have made the video if not for Phillip Stevens, owner of Music Ranch, a fan who sees the potential for Blevins to make it big in country music.

Stevens said he was hooked the first time he heard Blevins sing. It was an acoustic performance for a wedding at Music Ranch.
“His voice just touched me,” Stevens said. “I told my wife, ‘Get out here. You have to listen to this guy.‘“

Stevens didn’t plan on getting involved in Blevins’ career; he just wanted to let him open for musicians at Music Ranch in the hope that someone would hear him. But the drive to see Blevins make it big meant he couldn’t say no when Blevins asked him to be his manager. Stevens also funded the video production. Although it’s a pricey venture, Stevens said it’s a cause he believes in.

What he likes most is Blevins appears to be the whole country package. He compares him to country greats George Strait and Garth Brooks, who could take nearly any song and make it a hit, Stevens said.
“It’s that tone,” he said. “I feel like Josh has that same connection. He’s got that something, that appeal that you can’t explain.“
Another reason he supports Blevins is there is a wholesome, all-American heart in him.

“I feel like he’s bringing it back to the original country,” Stevens said. “disc jockeys have any tattoos. He’s clean. Country singers today have tattoos, earrings, and they’re singing duets with Pitbull.“
It performed on said that Blevins comes by the wholesomeness honestly. This Williamson, W.Va., native is the son of a Pentecostal preacher. He began singing in his dad’s church at age 4 and picked up the guitar at 10. Facebook to Polk County in 2004. His parents, Ralph and Laura Blevins, the in Dundee.

Blevins performed on his own as an adult, but quit playing after his daughter Austin, 8, was born. A year later, the Blevinses’ son Josh Jr. came along. Then one night at a Lake Wales bar, someone handed him a guitar and told him to sing. He sang “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. He’s been singing everywhere since then.

The disc jockeys at 97 Country have taken a liking to Blevins, and he’s performed on the radio several times. That relationship opened the door for him to open for Clint Black, a career highlight.
“He’s the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet,” Blevins said.
Blevins is paying his dues, and if social media is a gauge for success, he ’s picking up steam. During the shooting of the video, which should be ready for release in the fall, his Facebook page had been “blowing up for the past three days,” he said, to the point he no longer could reply to everyone. He’s getting lots of friend requests.
“I add everybody but old girlfriends,” he said.

SOURCE: https://www.theledger.com/news/20140712/lake-wales-singer-reaching-for-the-stars