Bravo! The SAINT LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA has announced the appointment of WARD STARE as resident conductor. He will also direct the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.

What do Brad Pitt, Payne Stewart and Walter Cronkite have in common? They were all raised in Missouri! A new book by JOHN BROWN, Missouri Legends: Famous People from the Show Me State, includes profiles of more than 125 famous Missourians. Brown is an anchor and reporter for KTVI Fox 2 News.

In other local book news…Chesterfield author BOB JANSSON has recently published his sixth book, KARI’S SAGA, historical fiction set in Viking Iceland. PR and marketing whiz BRUCE KUPPER has poured his more than 30 years experience into a new book, PERSONALITY SELLS. During his extensive career, he has trained more than 3,000 sales professionals and has been recognized in USA Today, The New York Times, and Business Week.

ARAKA was smokin’ recently when grill master BOBBY FLAY and his wife STEPHANIE came in for dinner. The couple was in town for a stop on Flay’s book tour and they stayed at The Ritz-Carlton.

Congrats to MICDS student MELISSA GALL, who has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the AXA ACHIEVEMENT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. Gall is one of 52 students nationwide to earn the scholarship. She was chosen for demonstrating leadership when she organized the Sing For Safety Foundation to encourage teen drivers to make better choices behind the wheel.

In other celebrity news, award-wining performer and composer RANDY NEWMAN performed recently before a sold-out crowd at a fund-raiser hosted by The Friends of The Sheldon to benefit its educational program for children. The event, which raised $35,000, was chaired by NILA PARADOWSKI of Paradowski Creative and TOM CHULICK of UMB Bank.

The LADUE HUNTING AND FISHING CLUB held its 40th annual KILGEN OZARK TROUT TOURNAMENT recently, with more than 40 members in attendance. The winning fish, a 9 lb., 11 oz. trout, was caught by DOUG BAY. JOHN HOLLAND caught the biggest fish on spin casting.

Congrats to several area students recently named winners in the ‘Celebrating Community, Honoring Diversity’ art competition, sponsored by the Multicultural Task Force of Metropolitan St. Louis Inc. The purpose of the contest is to encourage awareness of diversity within their schools and communities and to express their interpretation of the theme. Winners included three KIRKWOOD HIGH SCHOOL students, STACEY LAWRENCE, GRAHAM AHNER and CHRISTIAN ISRINGHAUS.

Congrats, stat! DR. MITCHELL CORDOVER was recently recognized by the American College of Emergency Physicians as a ‘Hero of Emergency Medicine,’ an honor that applauds emergency physicians who have made a significant contribution to their field. Cordover is a physician at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.