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Pageant News Bureau
Lin Wood, attorney for John and Pasty Ramsey, says Mrs. Ramsey, 56, who was Miss West Virginia 1977 under her maiden name, Patricia Ann Paugh, is doing well in recovering from cancer. The Ramseys' 6-year-old daughter, JonBenet, a sometime beauty queen, was found slain in the family's home in Boulder, Colo., on Dec. 26, 1996. The slaying focused police suspicion on the Ramseys. They have always adamantly denied any involvement, but over the years, some supermarket tabloids have attacked the couple scurrilously. The latest unsubstantiated report is that Mrs. Ramsey, who first battled cancer in 1993, is dying. In a bit of bright news for the Ramseys, who now live in Atlanta, the theory that an intruder killed their daughter has been gaining more credibility in the mainstream American media.
A Georgia teenager who was named the winner of a high school pageant and then was told it was a mix-up is threatening to sue. Ashley Bryant was crowned Miss Beach High School in Savannah, but officials later said they had determined the real winner was Courtney Middleton, who was then awarded the crown. The reconsideration determined that Ms. Bryant was not even a runner-up. Earlier in 2002, in a somewhat similar case, a former Miss Utah USA settled a lawsuit against the former owners of Miss Universe Inc., over her scores. She had contended her scores were inaccurately recorded at the 1996 Miss USA Pageant, costing her the opportunity to advance. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and no fault was acknowledged.
Erica McLain, Miss Mississippi Junior National Teen-Ager 2002, was the celebrity guest at the Jackson Bandits vs. Baton Rouge Kingfish ECHL Hockey game on Dec. 28, 2002.
Patti Dunn, who was Miss Georgia USA 2000, is the featured model for the Style section of the Sunday edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for Dec. 29, 2002. The feature concerns dressing for New Year's Eve festivities.
Paul Charles Learn, 84, a former editor of The Press of Atlantic City newspaper, died Dec. 13, 2002. He was a lifetime member of the Press Club of Atlantic City, for which he served a term as team president. During his 45 years as a journalist, Learn served in various positions, including editor of South Jersey Living, a Sunday Press weekly magazine supplement which he initiated. That paper provided in-depth coverage of the Miss America Pageant. He also had his own public relations firm, Ocean Promotion, which, among other things, gave individual attention to covering Miss America contestants for their hometown newspapers.
Pageant coach and author Jamie Swenson, who was Miss South Dakota USA 1997 and founded Creating A Winner, Inc., is expecting a son on April 12, 2003. Ms. Swenson gave few details, except to tell PNB that she has no current plans to marry. She said her son will be born in South Dakota. (For much of her life, Ms. Swenson has divided her time between South Dakota and Arizona.)
University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student LaShawn Annette Welch, 24, who was Miss Norfork State University 1998 and a non-finalist talent winner at the 1998 Miss Virginia Pageant, had a starring role as Player Queen, Osric, and Lady in Waiting in the recent production of "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare Dec. 4-8 and 10-12, 2002, at the Hemsely Theatre in Madison. This past summer, she had the honor of performing as an Egyptian lady in Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" at the renowned American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis. The Virginia Beach native will graduate from UW-Madison in May 2003 with a masters of fine arts in theater.
Miss Wisconsin Teen USA 2003, Jenna Christine Tighe, 17, of Madison is among the "snowflakes" and "Merlitons Corps" in the annual production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" presented by the Madison Ballet on Dec. 13-15 and 20-22, 2002, in Madison. The high school senior has been dancing for 13 years and this is her fifth year in the Madison Ballet Youth Company.
Kentucky Lt. Gov. Steve Henry and his wife, Heather Renee French Henry, who was Miss Kentucky 1999 and Miss America 2000, are expecting their second child. The child is expected in summer 2003. The couple have an 18-month-old daughter, Harper Renee.
American tennis great Pete Sampras and his wife, Bridgette Wilson Sampras, have announced the birth of their first child, Christian Charles, who was born Nov. 21, 2002.. Mrs. Sampras is an actress who was Miss Oregon Teen USA 1990 and Miss Teen USA 1990. She is in the movie "Extreme Ops," which opened Nov. 27.
Janelle Woods, Miss Dallas United States, Rebecca K. Eliseo, Miss New York Galaxy 2002, and Holly Campbell Bradley, Ms. All American Woman, have been accepted as members of Alpha Delta Omega Pageant Sorority Inc. Ms. Woods will be the organization's Texas state chairwoman, and Ms. Eliseo will be the New York chairwoman.
Miss Universe 1993, Dayanara Torres Delgado, married her husband, singer Marc Anthony, in a lavish Roman Catholic ceremony at the Grand Cathedral of San Juan in Puerto Rico's capital city on Dec. 7, 2002. They were originally married in a civil ceremony in Las Vegas on May 10, 2000. Early in 2002, they were reported to have separated and later to have reconciled. The church wedding is apparently a signal to the world that they are together for good. Anthony's real name is Marco Antonio Muniz.
Katie Harman of Oregon, who was Miss America 2002, has become engaged to be married to Tim Ebner, a captain and pilot in the Oregon Air National Guard. They met in May 2002 when she was making a public appearance, and they dated discreetly. She finished her reign in September 2002. Ms. Harman was known as an outspoken Miss America who often made her displeasure with pageant policies known to the media.
The individual known as the Gingerbread Man, who distributes an online newsletter about pageants, is launching a pageant magazine called East Coast Glitz.
VH-1 aired a special called "Driven" on Halle Berry (Miss Teen All American 1985 and other titles) on Nov. 26, 2002. With publicity surrounding her role in the new James Bond film, "Die Another Day," her star continues to rise.
Miss America, Erika Natali Harold, served as grand marshal of the Annual Jingle Elf Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2002. She is from Illinois, so it will be a homecoming of sorts. Miss USA 2002, Shauntay R. Hinton, did the honors at the Macy's Parade in New York City. For decades, it was informal tradition that Miss America took part in the Macy's parade. But that tradition ended, perhaps for good, in 2001. Miss America 1993, Leanza Cornett-Steines, and her husband, Mark Steines, co-anchored the pre-taped Thanksgiving parade in Miami, which aired Thanksgiving Day on CBS.
Selsa Castillo, Ms. Minnesota Belleza Latina, has been cast as the Ghost of Chistmas Past in the 2002 University of Minnesota production of "A Christmas Carol."
Miss America 2003, Erika Natali Louise Harold, sang the national anthem and shared the stage with Illinois Gov. George Ryan, Springfield Mayor Karen Hasara, U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw (who served as master of ceremonies) at the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library on Nov. 18, 2002, in Springfield. The library, the latest of many presidential libraries and museums, will be managed and operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and will be open to the public in early 2003. Most U.S. presidential libraries are dedicated to chief executives of the 20th century, but the historical importance of Lincoln led Illinois to create the library.
Miss Teen USA, Vanessa Semrow of Wisconsin, celebrated her 18th birthday on Nov. 17, 2002, and received a surprise party. Those wishing to congratulate her (this time it will be no surprise) can e-mail Vanessa@missuniverse.com.
Leilani Pacheco, a former Ms. Kona Coffee and finalist for Ms. Hawaii, has been selected by the QFAD committee to be the State of Hawaii director for "Queen for a Day," a non-profit organization developed to raise the self-esteem and self-confidence of girls stricken with cancer. QFAD is sponsored by Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network, and has been recognized by People magazine, and was recognized and awarded by the Ford Motor Corporation for their charity efforts. The effort helps involve girls in the pageant experience, and Ms. Pacheco is seeking tiaras and other items for the cause.
Karen Thorsell Sause, 69, who was Miss Maine America 1953, died Sept. 10, 2002. At age 17 she was crowned Miss Maine and later represented the state at the 1953 Miss America Pageant, which was won by Miss Pennsylvania, Evelyn Margaret Ay. Mrs. Sause, a 1957 graduate of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was born in Framingham, Mass., the daughter of the Rev. Ernest A. and Helen Thorsell of Portland and Kennebunk, Maine. After her family moved to Maine in the late 1940s, she quickly established herself as a singer and entertainer. She first appeared at Portland City Hall in 1948, accompanied by Sandy Grant at the Kotzschmar organ. She later became a television actress and on a recent trip to California with her son, Ian, she experienced her first earthquake.
Miss Illinois 2002, Michelle Lane LaGroue, 22, of Naperville, faces two traffic charges stemming from a Nov. 6, 2002, road accident in Eureka, Ill. She has been summoned to appear in Woodford County Circuit Court on Dec. 4, for alleged failure to yield and failure to stop at a stop sign. She and a woman in another vehicle were injured in the accident, but required only brief hospitalization. Ms. LaGroue assumed the state title in October 2002 after Miss Illinois 2002, Erika Natali Louise Harold, of Urbana, was crowned Miss America 2003 in September.
Lisa Costantino, who was Miss Vermont USA 1997 and is an on-air personality and writer and aspiring therapist, recently signed a contract as a contributing writer in Kay Allenbaugh's bestselling series "Chocolate for the Woman's Soul." Ms. Costantino will be one of 77 authors in the "Chocolate for Teens" series to be released in 2004 by Simon and Schuster. The story recounts her extraordinary journey to her authentic self in her quest for the title of Miss Vermont. The story offers an empowering view of how an ordinary girl achieved an extraordinary dream. This will be Ms. Costantino's writing debut to a national audience as she continues working on her own book with bestselling authors Nido Qubein, Hanoch McCarty, Tom Lagana, Laura Lagana, Ellie Braun Haley and many others.
Shirley Walters, Mrs. All American 2000, has won a seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives, defeating the Democratic incumbent. Mrs. Walters, a Republican, is the owner of Sebastian County Abstract and Title, with two locations in Little Rock. Her husband, Bill, is a former Arkansas state senator. U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) -- husband of lobbyist Linda Hall Daschle, Miss Kansas 1976 and former deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration -- lost his role as Senate majority leader after elections shifted the balance of power in the chamber to Republicans. Wisconsin Gov. Scott McCallum -- a Republican whose wife, first lady Laurie Riach McCallum, was Miss Arrowhead and fourth runner-up to Miss Minnesota 1969 -- lost to a Democratic challenger. Miss Oregon 1989, Lynette Boggs-McDonald, a Republican, won 43 percent of the vote but lost her race to unseat U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada). Canadian-born state Attorney General Jennifer Granholm was elected governor of Michigan. The 43-year-old mother of three was a contestant on the 1970s show "The Dating Game" and was Miss San Carlos (Calif.) at age 18. (In some news accounts, she has expressed embarrassment at her pageant past.) She is a Democrat and will become Michigan's first female governor under her married name of Jennifer Granholm Mulhern.
Miss Universe 1988, Porntip Nakhirunkanok has arrived back in her homeland of Thailand for her wedding to wealthy American Herb Simon. The nuptials promise to be among the most lavish, and expensive, in Thai history.
Las Vegas Councilwoman Lynette Boggs McDonald, who was Miss Oregon 1989, appeared in a Nevada 1st Congressional District debate on Oct. 31, 2002. She is challenging Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley.
Miss America 1971, Phyllis Ann George, 53, tells Parade magazine that Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is her greatest inspiration. (He was an American Protestant minister and leading inspirational writer for much of the 20th century.) She also says her new book, "Never Say Never Ten Lessons To Turn 'You Can't Into Yes I Can' " (McGraw-Hill) is now on the market. The sports broadcast veteran and former Kentucky first lady says it features anecdotes from Muhammad Ali, Larry King and others she has interviewed.
Actress Kelly Hu, Miss Teen USA 1985 and Miss Hawaii USA 1993, is filming the movie "X2," which will be released in 2003.The Miss Black World Organization honored Latin star Jade Esteban Estrada on Oct. 27, 2002, with its prestigious Presidential Award for his continued work with the global pageant circuit and his support of the organization. The surprise award was given at the 2003 Miss Black World New York Pageant at the Penn Plaza Hotel in New York City while he was hosting. Estrada has hosted every event for the pageant system since 1999 and was awarded the 2001 Man of Distinction honor from the MBWO. He was also awarded the Premio Estrella at the 9th Annual Encuentro Awards in Miami on Oct. 12, 2002. The Human Rights Campaign spokesman is currently preparing for the New York engagement of his one-man show ICONS at the Grand Theatre at the Producer's Club in Manhattan's Theater District. A frequent host for pageants with the Miss Universe Organization and the Miss America Scholarship Program, Estrada appears on the cover of the new book "Award-winning Men" by best-selling author Ed Karvoski Jr. Estrada has come to be known as "The Prince of Pageantry."
"Hell Hath No Fury," starring Miss Connecticut USA 1998 Kristina Hughes and Brian Vermiere, is currently airing on American Movie Classics as part of the network's "Short Screamers" promotion for Halloween. This film is one of a series of 60-second horror shorts commissioned by AMC in partnership with noted filmmaker John Carpenter. "Hell Hath No Fury" will air on Halloween night when all the "Short Screamers" are broadcast beginning at midnight. It can also be viewed on the Net by going to www.moving-ideas.com and clicking on "Project #2 Hell Hath No Fury." Special thanks to Starshiners! Productions.
Barbara Burk Baugh Waters, who was Miss Milwaukee and Miss Wisconsin 1967, died Oct. 26, 2002, at home in Brookfield, Wis., after a long battle with cancer. She was a 20-year-old junior at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., majoring in piano and music when she won the state title and went on to become second runner-up to Miss America 1968, Debra Dene Barnes of Kansas. Prior to her first attempt in Wisconsin, the lifelong Brookfield resident was Miss Moline (Illinois) 1966 and first runner-up to Miss Illinois 1966, Mary Lee Theresa Inzerello. Barbara, whose middle name Burk was her mother's maiden name, was a preliminary talent and swimsuit winner at the 1967 Miss Wisconsin Pageant where she sang "Mira" from the musical "Carnival" to which "There She Is" composer Bernie Wayne said she should also sing for talent at Miss America. They became friends when Wayne came to Oshkosh to perform at the state pageant. In 2001, Ms. Waters, who once attended the Juilliard School in New York City, sang "Mira" along with other songs for a Christmas CD for her family. A memorial service she planned and organized was held Oct. 29 in Brookfield.
Holly Campbell-Bradley, 2001 Ms. Plus All American Woman, has been named national producer for the 2003 All American Pageants. She has 21 years of pageant production experience, including 18 years as associate producer of the Miss Ohio (America) Program. She has a strong theater background, working three summers in New York City and judging pageants and talent competitions throughout the United States. She is the reigning Ohio Woman Plus for the Global America Pageants.
Singer Marc Anthony and former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres have patched up their marital difficulties and are looking forward to a long future together.
Marian Bergeron Setzer, who was crowned Miss America in 1933 at age 15, died on Oct. 22, 2002. She was 84. Mrs. Setzer, who was from Connecticut and won the title under her maiden name of Marian Bergeron, was the youngest woman ever to become Miss America. She was also the last Miss America to be crowned in a gown until the the late 1940s. She was a winner at a most inopportune time -- when the pageant had been dormant for six years and was about to go dormant briefly again -- and she had little reign to speak of. She went on to become a successful big band singer, sometimes under the name Marian Leeds, and did not publicize her one-time title for years. But from the 1950s on, she became active in Miss America circles.
Pageant star Lisa Tallarigo Card has made her debut as a comedian, performing on amateur night in a prestigious comedy club. By her own acknowledgment, her material had a "sarcastic" tone, but was well received. Besides the usual life topics, she talked about her experiences in pageants.
Popular pageant personality Dana Rosengard has successfully defended his dissertation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, thus earning the Ph.D. from the University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In his academic dissection of college curriculum supporting student newscasts, Dr. Rosengard combined two of his three passions in this original research project teaching and television. He continues to pursue pageantry, his third passion, as co-producer and Master of Ceremonies this fall pageant season on the Miss USA stages in Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. He will also judge the Miss Colorado USA pageant this fall. Dr. Rosengard is now a professor at the University of Memphis which is where he also bases his pageant preparation program for contestants around the mid-South. With his more than 15 years in pageantry, television, and education, Dr. Rosengard's areas of expertise are interviewing skills and competition motivation.
Clara Faye Arnold Broyhill, 65, of Lenoir, N.C., who was Miss North Carolina 1955 and third runner-up to Miss America 1956, Sharon Kay Ritchie of Colorado, died Oct. 14, 2002, of cancer. She was 18 at the time of the pageant and won a preliminary swimsuit award. For the talent competition, she read excerpts of Samuel Taylor's play "Sabrina Fair," which portrayed a girl in love with life. (The film version, Billy Wilder's "Sabrina," was then very popular.) She later married Paul Broyhill, a member of the Broyhill Furniture fortune. A "Faye Arnold Broyhill Talent Award" was named in her honor at the state pageant, and she was involved with the "I Have A Dream" award, which presents a two-year Caldwell Community College scholarship to any child in junior high school who is committed to staying in school.
University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate Kim Li Gnewuch, who was Miss Lakeshore 1992 and fourth runner-up to Miss Wisconsin 1992, lost her mother, Maria Teresa Lopez Gnewuch, after a short battle with cancer on October 8, 2002. Mrs. Gnewuch, a Catholic, evangelized her faith and devotion to people in her birth country of Mexico and in Chile, Guatemala, and Peru. Memorials can be sent to Los Ninos de Dios (Children of God), PO Box 8, Oregon, Wisconsin 53575, to benefit children she touched in those countries. Kim Li Gnewuch, now married, currently works for a major airline and lives in Texas.
Elaine Munson, executive director of the All American Pageants, lost her sister Lynn on Oct. 12, 2002, at age 41. She leaves behind a husband and two daughters.
SAN Piper Productions, producer of Miss Volunteer America, has been named an official participant in the Business Supporting America campaign, one of President Bush's Freedom Corps efforts. The USA Freedom Corps is Bush's call to action for every American to commit at least two years to the service of their neighbors and their nation.
Miss America 2003, Erika Harold of Illinois, has alleged that pageant officials have discouraged her from her longtime platform of teen sexual abstinence and steered her toward her current platform of opposing teen violence. Friends allege that she is annoyed about the change, and she has indicated she will continue to be a chastity advocate.
On the evening of Oct. 6, 2002, Noama Aslam, aka Sabeen, the second runner-up at Miss Pakistan Quest 2002 and head of the IT Department of the organization, became engaged. Ms. Aslam resigned her position after the engagement.
The marriage of Patti Dunn, who was Miss Georgia USA 2000, and Donald Crocker has ended in divorce. On Sept. 22, 2002, she married Brennon Simmons, whom she describes as her longtime best friend and the love of her life.
Rachel Boston, who was Miss Tennessee Teen USA 1999, is in the cast of the new ABC-TV musical drama "American Dreams." The program, which is built around Dick Clark's long-running rock 'n' roll variety show "American Bandstand," contains actual footage from the program. It premiered on Sept. 29, 2002.
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