News Columns & Blogs

BRHS grad deploying to Afghanistan

A salute and Merry Christmas to Airman 2nd Class Joshua Miles.

The 2008 Braden River High grad just turned 21, and will embark on a six-month deployment to Afghanistan Jan. 1.

Presently based at Oklahoma City’s Tinker Air Force Base, the ex-Pirate wrestler will operate the satellite communications aboard a USAF reconnaissance plane.

His proud parents are Barbara and Clint.

n Say it ain’t so! Manatee County Public Library maven Jonathan Sabin hit the Big 5-0!

n 2006 MHS alum and former Sugar ‘Cane Melissa Smith graduated from UF with a degree in civil engineering.

Cheers from parents Mike and Janet and sisters Lindsay and Hilary.

n Christmas “babies” Jean Casko and Terri Mixter are 69 and 58, respectively.

Cheers from Ben Mixter.

n Chris Beauchamp graduated from Clemson University with his degree in computer science.

The 2006 Saint Stephen’s alum is off to San Jose, Calif., as senior software engineer for Kii Inc., which produces software for mobile devices. He had been doing contract work for them developing apps for iPhones.

Props from parents Sharon and Dave and sister Michelle Lowe.

n A holiday bow to the women at Drs. Susan and Tom Wilkinson’s office, whose warmth makes going to see the doctor a welcome experience: Lynda Canelakes, Tekeysha McCloud, Cherie Peake, Billie Rowland, Jane Smith and Chrissy Wilson.

n 2006 PHS alum Jeremy Baker graduated magna cum laude from USF with a degree in mechanical engineering.

His proud family are Phill, Dianna, Joel, Mindy, Caleb, Jordan and Amber.

n Oh, no! Twins Joe and Paul Pedota have hit the Big 4-0!

n 2007 MHS alum Taylor Vaughan graduated from FSU with a degree in rehabilitative services and counseling -- and got a full-time job already!

Cheers from Mark, Lori, Makenzie and Clancy.

n Connor Kimball is 4 and great grampa Kipp Kimball is 84 Tuesday.

n Chefs David Shiplett of SoMa, Greg Campbell of Mattison’s Riverside, Gaetano Cannata of Ortygia and Alana Gerling of MartiniVille vie 6 p.m. Jan. 11 in a competition at Mattison’s Riverside Restaurant, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton.

Some of the proceeds benefit the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee.

Contact Taste Dining &Travel at 366-7950 or

Vin Mannix, local columnist, writes Vin’s People. He can be reached at 745-7055, or