Vin's People: AMI's extraordinary baker eyes competition in Las Vegas

June 21, 2013 

Look out, Las Vegas.

When pie baker extraordinaire Andrea Spring won Best in Show for the third time at Orlando's annual American Pie Council/Crisco National Pie Championships, she also won a ticket to the $300,000 World Food Championships in Vegas, Nov. 7-10.

She'll be in a field of 500 competitors from the biggest and best food competitions around the world.

Andrea will be accompanied by her husband, Ed, and Sam Major, their assistant pastry chef at Sign of the Mermaid, the Anna Maria restaurant they've owned for 21 years.

Category winners get $25,000.

The event's overall winner gets $50,000.

• Connie and Bill Howard celebrate 50 years of wedded bliss Saturday.

• The Carl Weeks Retirement Tour makes a stop June 28 at the Palmetto Boys & Girls Club. The Boys & Girls Club of Manatee president, who's riding off into the sunset in August after 42 years with the organization, will be honored by Denver Bronco Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's DRC Foundation and his father, Stanley Cromartie.

The event is in conjunction with the DRC Foundation's Summer Basketball Camp' Championship Friday awards ceremony at the Palmetto club.

• Jim Smith is 62.

• Big ups to Bradenton's J.R. Murphy, 22-year-old catcher recently promoted to the New York Yankees Triple-A ballclub in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

• Bradenton Police Department Chief Mike Radzilowski marks his 44th year in law enforcement Saturday. He was 19 when he first wore the badge in Washington, D.C., and has been chief here for 10 years.

• Eleanor Clune, who moved here 45 years ago from Gary, Ind., is 95 years young Saturday.

Cheers from her "baby brother," Vincent Rork, 90, and sister-in-law Margaret, and Team Clune, including Johnny, Tom, Terry, Jim, Eleanor and Mary Kay.

• What a week for McKechnie Field.

First, the announcement it will host the 2014 Florida State League All-Star Game, bound to be a big bash for B'town.

Then the news its Independence Day celebration is July 2 with country music's David Nail performing after the Marauders' 5:30 p.m. game with Fort Myers.

Finally, 2012 Cy Young winner David Price makes his first rehab start Friday when Tampa Bay Rays' affiliate Charlotte Stone Crabs play the Marauders.

Game time is 6:30 p.m.

• Palmetto High School's 74th annual FFA Award recipients: Kathleen McClure, Farm Bureau Leadership; Aubrey Rife, Star Green Hand Award; Austin Hamblin, Star Agri-Business Award; Kara Varnadore, Jack Gay Leadership Award; Darrylin Cannon, Blue and Gold Spirit Award;

Kristie Teachey, FFA Pride Award; Shea Hartford, Agriculture Scholar Award; Tyler Harper, Outstanding Beef Showmanship; Colin Kirker, Outstanding Swine Showmanship; Hannah Farabee, Outstanding Goat Showmanship;

Jackie Ervin, Bradenton Kiwanis Award; Caleb Summeralls, Work Horse Award; Sam Jackson, Callon Keen Sr. Award; Chrissy White, Leona Keen Award; Rebecca Keefer, Susan Keen Award; Kelly Lowimore, Horticulture Crop In Honor of BL Groover;

Avery Kotlarczyk,Jack Gay Dairy Award; Kaitlyn Richman, Outstanding Rabbit Showmanship; Deven Penaloza, Outstanding Poultry Showmanship; Shelby Falsetti, Jeanette Gay Horticulture Award;

Bill Tillett, Mosaic; Audrey May, John P O'Conner Award and CattleWomen Award; Sierra Oliver, Cattle Men Award; and Tabetha Lex, Conservation Award.

Vin's People, is by local columnist Vin Mannix. He can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix.

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