Competition Begins For Cleveland Teen Participating In National Scholarship Program

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday marks the start of competition for Halla Maynard, the Cleveland teen competing in the 60th Distinguished Young Women National Finals. Ms. Maynard, along with 50 other state representatives, has been in Mobile, Ala. for the past two weeks participating in community activities and preparing for the national scholarship competition. 

The program’s evaluation process includes scholastics (25 percent), interview (25 percent), fitness (15 percent), talent (20 percent) and self-expression (15 percent). During the preliminary competition Thursday and next Friday, each participant will compete in the categories of self-expression, fitness and talent. Ms. Maynard has completed an individual interview with a panel of five judges and her scholastic performance has been scored through an evaluation process of her high school academic record and standardized test scores.
On Saturday, July 1, 10 finalists will be selected from the group of 51 young women and will compete for the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2017 and for a share of thousands of dollars in cash scholarships. 

“The 51 state representatives have an energy, enthusiasm, intellect and drive that serve as a reminder of the power of our youth and show us that the future is in good hands,” said Kendra Haskins, executive director of Distinguished Young Women. “Throughout their two weeks in Mobile they have left a mark upon all they have met - whether through volunteer service, a kind word to a child, or the staff and crew of the program who work with them during their stay.  We are thrilled to be celebrating the 60th anniversary of this program and of impacting the lives of not only the young women who are with us in Mobile, but the thousands of others Distinguished Young Women inspires to be their best.” 

For her talent presentation, Ms. Maynard will perform “Crazy for You” by Adele. Ms. Maynard is a 2017 graduate of Bradley Central High School and the daughter of Kendra Steveson and Jason Steveson. 

To view the live webcast of the Distinguished Young Women National Finals, visit on Thursday-Saturday, June 29-July 1, at 7 p.m. CST. To see photos of participants from their time in Mobile, visit

PHOTOS: Full House Greets Steve Wariner At Songbirds

Back Alley To Produce Original Work “Draft House,” Exploring Childhood, Memory And Family

Award-winning theatre company Back Alley Productions will present its first original theatre stage play “Draft House,” written and directed by Thomas White. Performances for this full-length play are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m., from April 27 through May 13 at the Historic Mars Theatre.   The theatre is at 117 N. Chattanooga Ave. in Lafayette. ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)