Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — - To Charlie Donahue, a St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School eighth-grader and winner of the Grand Traverse Regional Spelling Bee, who made it through rounds two and three at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. He correctly spelled “foggara” and “acedia” but didn’t make it to the semifinals.
- To Nicole “Niki” Tubacki, a Traverse City Central High School graduate who was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar, placing her in an elite group of about 140 students from around the country. In June she’ll fly to Washington, D.C. to receive a Presidential Medallion and possibly meet President Obama. She plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study biomedical engineering. Tubacki has battled a series of medical setbacks throughout her life, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and mixed connective tissue disease, the umbrella name for several diseases that attack muscles, skin and organs.
- To the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy for its new Farmability program, which will pay farmers in Whitewater, Torch Lake, Elk Rapids and Milton townships $10 an acre to keep farmland active for 10 years. The non-permanent program is intended to encourage conservation.
- To Elk Rapids Middle School, the first northern Michigan middle school to be recognized as an International Baccalaureate school. The IB curriculum emphasizes independent and critical thinking. A $3 million Kellogg Foundation grant will help develop IB programming in Kalkaska, Leland, Traverse City and Elk Rapids.
- To the nearly 170 people who showed up for auditions for an upcoming production of Les Misérables at the Old Town Playhouse. The theater added a fourth audition after a record number of people showed up to try out.
- To the Downtown Traverse City Association for sponsoring two metal mobiles made from car hoods that will hang in the three-story Hardy Parking Deck.
- To the American Military League, which since 1981 has welcomed veterans of all branches of the military with no restrictions, cut-off dates or requirements of overseas service. In 1980 Robert Herzberg and some volunteers created a meeting place for all veterans; the League has grown from about a dozen members to more than 600 today.
- To the Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society, Zonta Club of Traverse City and history writers Gini LeClaire and Richard Fidler for arranging to have a headstone erected at Oakwood Cemetery for Augusta Rosenthal-Thompson, Traverse City’s first woman doctor, and her 6-year-old son, who died in the 1896. She graduated from the University of Michigan medical school in 1884, at age 25, and opened her Traverse City practice in 1886. She died in 1954 at age 94.