News Columns & Blogs

Noles get cookin’ at state culinary competition

Well done to Southeast’s Ben Carpenter, Treavor Eaton and Samm Shaw, silver medalists at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Competition for Culinary Arts competition in Orlando.

Each received a $500 scholarship to Johnson and Wales University’s North Miami campus.

Salutes, as well, to Kelly Robinson, a silver medalist for chapter showcase manual; Gabe Ramirez, a silver medalist for decorative food centerpiece, junior division; and Ruth Alvena and Mitzi Mejia, bronze medalists for chapter showcase display and manuals.

Chef Mike Neiwodowski oversees Southeast’s culinary arts program, which is co-sponsored by Colleen Keip.

n Oh, no! Steve Lezman, Tropicana/PepsiCo’s director of government affairs, hit the Big 5-0!

n If there’s one youngster who’s made out nice at McKechnie Field during spring training, it’s Elliott Gitt.

The 6-year-old caught five balls tossed into the stands by Pirate players this Grapefruit League season.

He’s collected 13 over the past three years, sitting in parents, Steve and Tara’s box seats behind the Pirates’ dugout.

But he’s also done the right thing, giving balls away to other kids who never got one.

Like Carlos Escalante, 7, son of Carlos and Annie. And Charlie Sherrill, 5, son of Gardner and Dannie.

n Greg Steube, a candidate for Ron Reagan’s legislative seat, joined Najmy Thompson law firm’s Lakewood Ranch office.

n Charissa and Stan Brown named daughter Brooklyn’s new baby sister Baylee Charissa Brown.

The redhead’s proud family includes grands Sharon Pantuso, Dan May and Karen Brown; aunts Carrie Ling, Cassi Stewart, Christie Carlow, Abby May and Kaela Brown; uncles Craig May, George Ling and Nick Stewart; cousins LibbyAnn Ling, Landen Ling, Lawson Ling, Jakob Stewart and

Riley May.

Vin’s People, by local columnist Vin Mannix, runs Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Have a column item? A photo you want to share? Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at vmannix@