Thursday, August 30, 2012

First-place true black grouper winning meal, too

There's a familiar face gracing the cover of September’s Saltwater Sportsman.
It's Bradenton's Shaya Flathman holding a 35-pound true black grouper she caught for first place in June’s fifth annual Fire Charity Fishing Tournament to raise money for burn victims.
Shaya teamed up with brother Trever, boyfriend BJ Grant, pal Jon Cannon and boat owner John Smith to win the tournament’s offshore division and $2,500 prize money.
Thing is, they spent $5,000 on fuel for the weekend tournament trip from Sarasota Bay to the Dry Tortugas in Smith’s 39-foot Contender powered by triple Yamahas.
They sold a lot of the fish they caught to help cover fuel costs.
But the big ol' grouper they kept and ate.
“They are absolutely amazing tasting and the filets are pristine white,” Shaya said.

Check out Kirby Stewart American Legion Post 24’s Labor Day BBQ, music and karaoke with Frank Bowling at 2000 75th Street West.

If you’re looking for a place to go after a high school football game, Pat and Lynne Goneau and their son Kyle are back in business at the newly relocated Beef O Brady’s, 4935 Cortez Road, after a nine-month hiatus.
They’d been at their old Manatee Avenue West location for 10 years.
Call Beef's at 798-6939.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Downtown Tampa sure secure these days

Think it was Monday morning when the talk radio guy said it:
"Downtown Tampa looks like Baghdad."
Not the bombed out Iraqi capital, understand.
He meant the concrete barriers and tall chain link fences manned by some serious security for the Republican National Convention.
Security bearing automatic weapons.
On our way to the Tampa Convention Center Wednesday morning, my Herald colleagues and I must've gone through three separate checkpoints in our car.
At least.
Got the full going-over at one of them, with one guy sliding a mirror device under the car, while another checked out the trunk and another went under the hood.
Their badges said Secret Service.
Next to them were armed soldiers.
Up ahead were police.
Matter of fact, there must've been a cop or two on every corner.
Downtown Tampa was sure secure, all right.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chance encounter with a genuine American hero

It was Jan. 20, 1979, a Saturday morning at the Bull & Bear, a popular mom-and-pop restaurant in downtown Boca Raton.
The place was abuzz about Super Bowl XIII between Dallas and Pittsburgh the next day in Miami, but that changed not long after two couples entered and sat in a booth near the door.
I was seated at the counter and recognized one of the gentlemen.
Then, I thought, naaah, can't be him.
What would one of the most famous men in the world be doing here?
So I beckoned to owner Toni Brez, a real character.
See that guy over there, I said, the one facing us?
Isn't he an astronaut?
"How the heck should I know," Toni said. "Go ask him."
So I did, but not without some trepidation.
I knew the man valued his privacy.
I went up to the table and apologized for the interruption.
"Aren't you Neil Armstrong?" I asked.
"Yes, I am," he said, smiling.
I told him all I'd like to do was shake his hand and said how proud I was to meet him.
It was a brief encounter and Armstrong, who died last Saturday at 82, couldn't have been more gracious.
After I returned to my seat at the counter, Toni Brez came back.
"So, who is he?" she said.
Neil Armstrong, I said. The first man to walk on the moon.
Brez nodded and went about her business.
I figured that was that.
Five minutes later, I turned around and there was a line of patrons and waitresses queued up at Armstrong's table, each holding a napkin or piece of paper, hoping for an autograph.
Or just for a chance to meet this American hero, whose feat held a world spellbound almost 10 years earlier.
Later, when Armstrong's party finished breakfast and got up to leave, he turned at the door, smiled once more and all of us waved goodbye from the Bull & Bear.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Waiting and watching for Isaac's arrival

Most weeks the TV watching at our house is routine.
For Sherri, it’s the Rays.
For me, it’s whatever is on ESPN.
Not last week.
It felt like we were glued 24/7 to The Weather Channel.
That is, when we weren’t tuning into Channel 7’s dapper chief meteorologist Bob “Hurricane” Harrigan, hanging on his every word at six and 11 p.m. daily.
With Isaac on the horizon, there’s no such thing as having too much information.
Although TWC comes close.
They can inform and overwhelm you all at the same time.
Which is why we also want to hear Harrigan break down what Isaac can be expected to do right where we live.

Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on

Old ghosts return from a season long ago

The field no longer bore the chalk yard lines etched in memory.
Instead there were saplings and tall grass fed by a stream that ran out of a large culvert, coursing along the eastern edge of campus bordered by Sheboygan County Road M.
Across the road from the old practice field remained a familiar backdrop, hilly farmland like much of the surrounding Wisconsin countryside dotted with silos.
The terrain was virtually the same that August in 1967 when I arrived at Lakeland College for preseason football practice, a 17-year-old walk-on from Kinnelon, N.J.
Forty-five years later it hadn’t changed that much.
Nor had my affection for the place, a distant horizon from my youth.

Read more in Sunday's Herald sports on

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Promotions, new firefighters at West Bradenton

West Manatee Fire Rescue promoted Capt. Rich Jasinski to battalion chief, Lt. Jimmy Leigh to captain, Firefighter Ben Rigney to lieutenant and Firefighter Andrew Lauricella to first class.
Chief Andy Price introduced firefighters Adam Baggett, Corey Hill and Tyler MacDonald, too.

Big ups to Lauren Pierce, named captain of the Manatee School for the Arts Heat dance team.

Manatee High’s Class of 1967 has expanded its 45th reunion to include the classes of 1966 and 1968. The fun begins with a meet-and-greet Sept. 28 at the Courtyard Marriott. On Sept. 29, there’s a dinner buffet at the Bradenton Country Club.
Reservations are requested by Aug. 30.
Contact Sue Moran Robertson at 941-776-8330. Or Linda Norwood Kinnan at 941-795-6213.
Or visit

Manatee Memorial Hospital Employee Activities Committee members Michelle Cervantes, Cindy May and Karen Sobolewski brought backpacks filled with school supplies, donated by MMH employees, to Palmetto Elementary.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Checked out hurricane websites today?

Uh, hellooooo Isaac?
Don't look now, but judging by the National Hurricane Center website and other tropical related websites akin to the NHC, there might be a little tropical storm activity heading our way.
Of course, it's too early for the experts to predict what's going exactly where.
But ...
First, there is the system presently tagged "Invest 94L."
At 4 p.m. Monday, it was cranking along at 20-25 mph and headed west, 900 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.
The NHC gave it an 80 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone -- that would be Isaac -- in the next 48 hours.
And right behind is another potential storm the NHC gives a 30-percent chance of turning into trouble.
That one is too far away to focus on yet.
Not Invest 94L.
What really got our attention were the "spaghetti models" -- potential storm tracks -- on
They've got one line curving up our side of Florida.
There's another line that cuts across Cuba and is aimed at South Florida, too.
The most prominent line has it curving away from us and the U.S. East Coast altogether.
Hope that last one's on the money.

Friday, August 17, 2012

How not to get ready for new school year

It was some week for the Manatee County School District.
One principal resigned.
Another is disciplined, if you want to call it that.
A primary race results in a runoff with potential repercussions for the school board.
And some 15-year-old nitwit is arrested for allegedly threatening on Facebook to blow up Manatee High School.
What a way to start the new school year that begins Monday.

Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stork arrives in Indy for Team Ribley

That wily ol’ stork touched down in Indianapolis last Saturday bringing Janie Mo and Pepi Ribley their firstborn, a boy, Weston James.
Wes Ribley? Great name for a ballplayer like his ol’ man not long ago with the Rollins College Tars.
The proud family includes grands Jim and Mama Jane Simpson, uncle Joey and aunt Jodie Kerns and uncle Adam and aunt Jen Mott.

Happy 72nd to my main man, Ray W. Kelly.

Speaking of that wily ol’ stork, it’s enroute again for Skyway Community Chapel Pastor Jason Lane and wife Lizzy.
Their children, Isaiah, Elijah and Rebecca will be getting another sibling in March.

Manatee County is co-sponsoring Summer Slam 1-6 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Middle School, 305 17th St. E., Palmetto. There will be sports, entertainment, back-to-school giveaways and more.
For details, call Neighborhood Services coordinator Debbie DeLeon at 749-3029, ext. 3482.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Realize Bradenton Volunteer Kick-Off party set

That Riverwalk grand opening is drawing closer and closer.
The good folks at Realize Bradenton, the nonprofit geared toward helping make downtown Bradenton's riverfont community an attractive destination, is holding a Volunteer Kickoff Party on Aug. 28 at Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton.
You can choose either the 8-9:30 a.m. session or the one at 5-7 p.m.
Realize Bradenton will go over upcoming events including the Riverwalk Grand Opening on Oct. 19, the 2012 ArtSlam, the Bradenton Blues Festival and more.
It will also introduce the new "Downtown Ambassadors," a program to provide residents the knowledge and resources to show off Bradenton to family, friends, visitors and organizations.
Contact to RSVP.
Or visit

Monday, August 13, 2012

National teaching award for Manatee alum

Heather Wamsley recently added to an already impressive list of accomplishments.
An assistant professor of clinical pathology at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, the 1990 Manatee High School alum received the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s National Teaching Excellence Award at the AVMA conference in San Diego.
The college’s sophomore veterinary class nominated Wamsley, who was selected out of a host of faculty nominees from veterinary colleges around the nation.
A board-certified clinical pathologist, Wamsley’s academic record is considerable:
1995-2000 — She received her undergraduate degree and her doctor of veterinary medicine degree, both with honors, from the University of Wisconsin.
2000-1 — She performed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York.
2001-4 — She completed a residency in clinical pathology at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine.
2009 — She continued her studies at UF after her residency and received her Ph.D. in the college’s department of infectious diseases and pathology.
Wamsley has received numerous Teacher of the Year awards from various classes of veterinary students and last year was named Teacher of the Year and Pfizer Distinguished Teacher of the Year for the entire
As a new faculty member in 2010, she received the prestigious C.E. Cornelius Young Investigator Award in recognition of her research contributions.

Friday, August 10, 2012

So many political fliers are overkill

Picking up our mail is something I look forward to when I get home Thursday evenings.
That’s when my Sports Illustrated usually arrives.
There it was, too, Jamaica’s charismatic Olympic hero Usain Bolt on the magazine cover.
Guess what was also in our mailbox?
If you said more glossy campaign fliers pertaining to Tuesday’s primary, you are absolutely right.
We hit the jackpot.
There weren’t one or two or three this time, but five fliers.
They included the usual suspects.
One trashing county commission incumbent Joe McClash.
One touting his opponent, Betsy Benac.
One panning Ed Brodsky as state attorney candidate.
One praising him.
Then there was another one from Mike Bennett.

Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Marauders staffer wins FSL scholarship

Marty the Marauder and stadium operations coordinator Kris Koch flank Ellen Hyland.

Big ups to Ellen Hyland.
The Bradenton Marauder staffer was one of 12 $1,500 Florida State League Scholarship recipients and will be a guest of the Miami Marlins in pre-game ceremonies on Sunday.
Hyland has been an employee of the Marauders since the team’s first season in 2010.
The Bellefontaine, Ohio, native is in the physical therapy assistant program at State College of Florida.

Gillian Palino, a Southeast High IB junior, attended the 2012 Girls World Forum in Chicago last month. There were 500 participants from 90 countries to mark the Girl Scouts 100th anniversary. Gillian has been in Girl Scouts 11 years.

The ubiquitous Charles Clapsaddle and the folks at METV celebrate its 20th anniversary next month.

Chelsea Hodges, the youngest of Sheila and Ross’s three children, will be a senior at Florida State majoring in speech and communication disorders.
Big brother Spencer is the new offensive line coach for the Ridgeview High Panthers in Orange Park. The ex-Manatee Hurricane graduated from Jacksonville University last spring after three years on the Dolphins offensive line.
Their big sister, Whittni, a Florida Gator and 2011 Stetson Law School grad, passed the bar exam last April and is an assistant state attorney in Bradenton.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gator Club kickoff party Aug. 25

The Manatee County Gator Club is cranking up for the 2012 football season, hosting the ultimate Gator kickoff party Aug. 25 at Pier 22.
The night will include dinner, drinks, Las Vegas style casino tables, a silent auction, raffles and more.
The event is open to all family, friends and University of Florida alumni.
Advance tickets are available at
Or email
Proceeds benefit the Manatee County Gator Club Scholarship Fund.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fieldhouse to be dedicated to late Bulldogs

There will be poignancy Aug. 25 when the East Manatee Youth Football Association holds an opening day ceremony for the 2012 Bulldogs season.
Program officials will dedicate the fieldhouse in memory of Brett Wagner and Josh Rogers, former Bulldogs who died in a tragic vehicular accident on State Road 70 last Christmas night.
The Wagner and Rogers families were cornerstones in the foundation of the Bulldog program that became part of Pop Warner Football in 1995.
The ceremony will be held at approximately 1-2 p.m. between the Pee Wee and Junior Pee Wee games and mark the fulfillment of the program's ambition to construct the fieldhouse.
It includes concessions, offices, equipment storage, meeting room, merchandise shop and outdoor covered shelter.
Visit for more details.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Jurors in Smith trial face daunting task

Presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Fair and impartial.
Beyond a reasonable doubt.
Those are among the key phrases that are going to weigh heavily on the jurors selected for the Delmer Smith III murder trial that begins Monday at the Manatee County Judicial Center.
They must render judgment on a man who has remained a sinister specter in the community’s consciousness for the past three years.
The shaved head.
The scowl.
The history of violence.
Twelve Manatee County residents must look beyond Smith’s severe countenance for the truth as he goes on trial for his life over the brutal slaying of Kathleen Briles at her family’s home just off Terra Ceia Bay on Aug. 3, 2009.
That was three years ago last Friday.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tap Dance troup takes titles in Orlando

The Starfire Tap Dance Company won team and individual honors at the Starpower National Talent Championships in Orlando behind Bruce Colby, Susan Wilcox, Jeanne Wacker, Vickie Inglese, Michelle Del Rosso, Evelyn Sturn and Suzy Berinsky.
They won the adult national tap championship in small group division and were second overall.
Berinsky was national champion adult soloist.
Bonnie Gray’s the choreographer.

The Sarasota-Manatee Ohio State Alumni Club will honor several of its scholarship recipients 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the Holiday Inn Sarasota Airport, 8009 15th St. E., Bradenton.
Among the sophomore honorees are Palmetto High grad Josh Eddington and LRHS alum Emily Auker. Kyle Riley-Hawkins, an LRHS grad and OSU wrestler, will also be there.
Senior honorees are Southeast’s Kathryn Schaulelberger and Braden River’s Kari Schultz.
Then there’s Saint Stephen’s grad Brian Swain, a Ph.D. candidate in ancient Roman history.

Ellie Ohlman joked about her sticker shock after ponying up $40 to take her nephew to the movies with drinks and snacks.
“I had no idea I needed to take out a loan for 3D!” tweeted the former DeSoto Queen and Miss Florida Pageant contestant.

Fireworks Saturday night at McKechnie Field. Game time is 6:30 p.m.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Palmetto Youth Center getting makeover

The Palmetto Youth Center is going to be getting a makeover next week, thanks to Manatee County Government employees, the United Way of Manatee County and area businesses.
The event will start at 8 a.m. Aug. 9 and run until noon.
There will be buildings painted and grounds landscaped among other upgrades.
The event partnering organizations are:
Arrow Fence -- providing fencing repair on entire property.
Alternative MC (clean and sober motorcycle club) -- providing lunch.
Bealls -- providing workers for event.
Coca-Cola -- providing 250 cold drinks.
Father's Eyes Photography -- providing photography for event.
METV -- filming event and producing video.
Sherwin Williams -- providing paint and painting supplies.
Turner Tree and Landscape -- providing two trees for planting on the property.
In addition, Amerson Landscape may be working on the property improving landscape around the flag pole and Terry's Tree Service may be removing a dead tree on playground.
Visit for more details.