News Columns & Blogs

Commentary | Fair pageant seeks more contestants

Think your daughter or granddaughter would look regal in a Manatee County Fair queen’s crown?

Ellen Meade says give that young lady a try.

The 2011 Miss Manatee County Fair Pageant -- Meade is the longtime producer -- is Jan. 7 at Braden River High School, 6545 S.R. 70 E, and they are still taking entries.

Visit for an application form and bring it to Ellen Meade Studios, 1323 63rd Ave. E., Bradenton, by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Call 755-1757 for details.

By the way, contestants will vie for the crowns presently worn by “Mini Miss” Kayla Gunst, “Little Miss” Leah Roddenberry, “Junior Miss” Dakota Schoettle and “Miss” Tiffany Elder.

n The honorable Ed Price is 94 Sunday. May he stay forever young.

n Among the more than 4,000 people who mourned slain Lakeland Police Officer Arnulfo Crispin last Tuesday were Manatee Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard members Lieutenants John Murrell and Lorenzo Waiters, Deputies Damon Ackerman, Anthony Brown and David Byington, as well as Detectives Darryl Davis and Jason Carey.

The MSO motorcycle unit, Sgt. Mike Kenyan and Deputies Cyril Niklinski and Mathew Hall, was also there.

n Uh, oh! Jenny (Egger) Townley hit the Big 4-0! Cheers from husband Will, kids Katie and Nicholas, and her mom, Lynn.

Her pop, Doug, feels old.

n And Heritage Park’s Ann Joseph is 100.

n Big ups to Rachel Brown. The Bradenton Christian senior hoopster broke 1,000 points for her BCS scoring career in the Smoothie King Classic.

Props from parents Gina, Gene and big brother Ryan.

n Tracey Vita is 39. Again.

n And Cori Rigney is 26.

n West Manatee Fire Rescue District promoted firefighter John Balzer to 2nd class firefighter and firefighter Chad Brunner to 3rd class firefighter.

Balzer began his career as a reserve firefighter in 2006 and joined the district in 2009.

Brunner began his career as a reserve firefighter in 2009 and joined the district last June.

n Oh, no! Robbie Ringler hit the Big 5-0!

n And Don Swank is 51.

n Dental hygienist Charlie Collins’s New Year’s resolution is to give up eBay. Or was it Facebook?

n Michael Ward Morrissey is 42.

n And Kurt Schultheis is 29. Again.

n The 13th annual Manatee Hurricanes Baseball Steakout & Reunion is Feb. 3 at McKechnie Field. Call head coach Dwayne Strong at 725-2293. Or Bruce Braithwaite at 720-9224.

Vin’s People, is by local columnist Vin Mannix. He can be reached at 941-745-7055, or