News Columns & Blogs

McKechnie’s funny lesson on real life

Every Bradenton Marauders’ home game, there’s a musical chairs contest with big, inflatable seats.

One night a girl and boy reached the last chair simultaneously.

She was declared the winner.

He didn’t take it well.

Tim McCann, a season ticket holder and City of Bradenton spokesman, made a sage observation.

“Get used to it, kid,” he joked.

n Former state Sen. Ed Price, going strong at 92, and ESPN hoopsmeister Dick Vitale, a spry 70, are among “Florida Icons” profiled in the next Florida Trend magazine.

n Welcome to new Southeast principal Catherine Smith, a fellow Bowling Green alum.

n My man Ray W. Kelly will be 70 years young.

n A bow to Saint Stephen’s alums Megan and Clare Hector.

Megan, 26, earned a doctorate summa cum laude in physical therapy from Atlanta’s Emory University.

She’ll work in Alpharetta, Ga., specializing in pediatric physical therapy for special needs children.

Clare, 24, earned a masters in biology with honors from Wake Forest and received the Gordon A. Melson Outstanding Masters Award.

She’s attending Wake Forest medical school.

Patricia and Dr. Richard Hector are proud.

n Bradenton author Mark Beghtel’s thriller, “Gemstorm, The Comet’s Tale,” is available at

n UF grad Megan Shimandle got an education degree and a teaching job in Palm Beach County.

Props from mom Linda Troxler, husband Bobby and siblings Josh and Jen Shimandle.

n Saturday’s benefit at the Ellenton Ice & Sports Complex is for the families of slain Tampa police officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab.

The “America’s Finest vs. America’s Bravest” charity event includes a 2 p.m. flag football tournament with teams from Southern Manatee, North River and Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

A 3:30 p.m. hockey game matches firefighters from Tampa, Southern Manatee and North River against MCSO.

Also, Olympic skaters Jeremy Barrett and Amanda Evora will be in the dunk tank. Evora will then join Mark Ladwig to skate during the hockey game’s intermission.

Call 723-3663 for details.

Vin’s People is by local columnist Vin Mannix. Please call Vin at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at Please include a phone number for verification.