Who will wear the crowns as the new queen and princess for the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society?
The nine young women vying for the tiaras presently worn by Queen Haley Geraldson and Princess Megan Briggs are:
Madison Taylor Brown, 19, Lennard High School, Hillsborough Community College.
Brianna Dawn DiTommaso, 18, Manatee, State College of Florida.
Stephanie MacConnell, 21, Braden River, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.
Melissa Deana McFall, 19, Braden River, USF-S/M.
Hannah Rowland, 19, Lakewood Ranch, Florida State University.
Rachel Lee Schmitt, 18, Manatee, USF-Tampa.
Kara Jean Noel Varnadore, 18, Palmetto, Manatee Technical Institute Culinary Arts Program.
Jercoiya Kristine Waiters, 19, Bradenton Christian, SCF.
Brianne Nicole Wilson, 21, Manatee, SCF.
Crowning will be April 25 during the DeSoto Ball at the Bradenton Convention Center.
Oh, no! Iraq War veteran John Jasper hit the Big 5-0! The milestone landed on the 32-year U.S. Army veteran Wednesday. Cheers from wife, Tina, and Sean, Ashley, Landon, Barbara, Paula, Sue, Jim, Kristin, Isaiah, Alyssa, Cody, Camden,Marcus, Sarry, Simone and Julie.
Congrats to HomeBanc's new director of retail operations, my wife, Sherri Mannix.
Calla Marjorie Kinnan is 2. Cheers from parents Chris and Amanda, brother, Harry, in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and grands Harry and Sue.
Calla got her middle name from late, great grandmother Marjorie Kinnan.
Props to Ben Cendana. The Saint Joseph Catholic School eighth-grader is the Knights of Columbus State Spelling Bee champion.
He won it Feb. 1 in Orlando, correctly spelling words such as benign and encephalitis. His winning word was sufficient.
Palmetto's First United Methodist Church is hosting a piano-and-violin concert welcoming pianist George Kern and wife, Sarah, an opera singer, 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the church, 330 11th Ave. W.
A graduate of the Juil
liard School, Kern recently retired from the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, Austria. He will be accompanied Sunday by longtime friend, violinist Anne Hooper, national Scottish fiddle champion.
Lora Fair, bartender, waitress and the real brains at the Cortez Clam Factory, is 43 Sunday.
Florida State University senior Erin Lisch spent national signing day assisting ESPN's Holly Rowe Wednesday in Tallahassee and tweeted updates for ESPNU.
Matt Clark is 41. Cheers from sweetheart Annie Madison.
Jane Evers may be gone, but the Feeding Empty Little Tummies founder's legacy endures. Supporters will host a memorial food drive in her memory, 3:30-7 p.m. Friday at Renaissance on Ninth, 1816 Ninth St. W. Bring backpack friendly goods -- i.e, oatmeal packets, canned tuna or chicken, Vienna sausage -- for donations.
Call Kim Bailey at 941-705-2320.
Finally, a big Manatee County welcome to Dan Eck, interim president of Lakeland College, Sheboygan, Wis., and Professor J. Garland Schilcutt, who taught there when yours truly was a dorky freshman many moons ago.