Beat/Position: Social Services Reporter and Food Critic
Pera started with The Ledger in July 1990 as a general assignment reporter, based in Winter Haven, where he served in a variety of capacities, primarily covering city beats throughout East Polk County.
In 1997 Pera moved to The Ledger’s Lakeland headquarters to cover issues related to Polk’s spectrum of social services.
For the past eight years or so, Pera has had the added responsibility of coordinating The Ledger’s annual Newspaper with a Heart program, which raises funds to assist people in need with rent, utilities and other resources.
Pera also serves as The Ledger’s restaurant critic, and he writes a weekly beer column. Before coming to The Ledger, he worked as copywriter for several advertising and marketing firms. Prior to that he worked for eight years in the radio industry as on-air talent, copywriter and production manager.
Published December 2, 2013
Christmas 2012 was anything but merry at Kim Bosley's house. Separated from her husband in Babson Park, the mother of six had attempted a start at a new life in Lakeland, where she rented a mobile home for her and her two youngest children.
Published November 27, 2013
Sitting fireside under a starry sky, sipping a sturdy pinot, soaking up the sounds of soft, live jazz. It's really all about al fresco at this cozy tavern on the outskirts of Lakeland's South Lake Morton neighborhood.
Published November 24, 2013
Thanksgiving came early for hundreds of people in Lakeland and Mulberry courtesy of ElderPoint Ministries, one of several Polk County charities providing free meals this season.
Published November 20, 2013
America's insatiable appetite for beef steak is giving way to a number of new products and methodologies, lending new meaning to the term "cash cow."Grass fed. Dry aged. Kobe vs. Wagyu.
Published November 15, 2013
Fans of Palace Pizza can look forward to their favorite pies rolling to any number of local public events once the restaurant gets its new food truck on the road sometime before Christmas.
Published November 13, 2013
Swaddled in his mother's shawl and quietly working a pacifier, a Brevard County infant appeared Tuesday before a Lakeland audience to symbolize success of Florida's Safe Haven law.
Published November 12, 2013
Monday night's ceremony at the Polk Theatre in Lakeland served to acknowledge the good deeds of dozens of Polk County's residents who lead by example, often to little or no acclaim.