Journalist LISA LING will be coming to town sooner than expected. Her Maryville University St. Louis Speakers Series appearance at Powell Hall is now slated for Thursday, Jan. 27. And look for Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan to appear Tuesday, Feb. 22. Ling is host of National Geographic Explorer and field correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her new show, Our America with Lisa Ling, premieres Feb. 16 on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Sunrise, Sunset Hills…Ever done Zumba for a good cause? There’ll be a Zumba Fitness Party Jan. 29 at Sunset Hills Community Center to benefit the victims of the New Year’s Eve tornadoes. Proceeds benefit the CITY OF SUNSET HILLS TORNADO ASSISTANCE FUND.

Also in Sunset Hills, three people are being honored as ‘Historians of the Year’ by the Sunset Hills Historical Society. Society co-founders JOYCE FRANKLIN and PAT BESSIGNER and local historian GINNY SCHMITZ will be feted Jan. 24 at the community center.

Longtime Kirkwood resident MARCI SOTO has released Ray & Me, a book about her 30-year love affair with music icon RAY CHARLES. Soto, now in her early 70s, tells of how she first fell in love with the singer after hearing his voice on the radio. Soto was able to reach Charles’ manager in Los Angeles, and through him, spoke to Charles on the phone. The rest—as they say—is history. The book contains transcripts from more than 40 taped phone conversations with Charles and eight pages of photos, many of them taken when the singer visited Soto at her Kirkwood home.

Retired cartographer and Saint Louis University professor FREDERICK HODES is out with the second of his multi-volume history on St. Louis, Rising on the River: St. Louis 1822 to 1850, Explosive Growth from Town to City. He’ll be discussing his work and sign copies of the book Jan. 23 at the Hawken House in Webster Groves.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of President RONALD REAGAN’s birth, his son, author and political commentator RON REAGAN, has released My Father at 100. The author will be at Saint Louis County Library headquarters Feb. 4 to discuss and sign copies of the memoir. There will also be an onstage interview with Reagan, moderated by CHARLIE BRENNAN.

He’s only 17, but classical guitar whiz TIM CALLOBRE has already garnered a lifetime’s worth of accolades, including winning the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition for Guitar at age 13, and finishing tops in the worldwide Christopher Parkening Young Guitarist Competition in 2009. Tim also has performed at Carnegie Hall and as part of the White House Music Series. He’ll be in town Jan. 22 for a St. Louis Classical Guitar Society performance at The Ethical Society. For more information, visit

Save the date to shop ’til you drop—for a great cause! The CASH & CARRY BOUTIQUE WAREHOUSE SALE, featuring more than 5,000 discounted designer items from local boutiques, takes place Jan. 28 and 29. This year, the sale is moving west to Amini’s in Chesterfield, where the store will convert its lower level into an entertainment lounge/man cave with pool tables, darts, video games and more. A portion of the entrance fee for Jan. 28 (VIP night) and from 9 to 11 a.m. Jan. 29 (doors close at 3 p.m.) will be donated to Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Have you joined us on Facebook yet? It’s not too late to ‘friend’ us and be part of our LN community online, where you can get the inside scoop on parties, charitable events, fashion, design, restaurants, movies, real estate and everything in-between. Plus, our Facebook friends win prizes! Our next prize up for grabs: $50 gift cards from Companion. Bavarian pretzel, anyone? LN