It’s going to be another exciting lineup for the next MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY ST. LOUIS SPEAKERS SERIES. Slated to speak for the 2011-2012 season are historian JOSEPH ELLIS, education reformer MICHELLE RHEE, former CIA operative VALERIE PLAME WILSON and her husband, AMBASSADOR JOE WILSON, author/ activist MICHAEL POLLAN, Reading Lolita author AZAR NAFISI, former com mander of Joint Special Oper ations Com mand in Iraq/former top commander of American forces in Afghanistan GEN. STANLEY McCHRYSTAL and journalist TOM BRO KAW. For more information, visit

    We have some exciting news for fans of PRATZEL’S BAKERY: Those legendary bagels will soon be back! We’ve learned that documentary producer and self-professed foodie JON MILLS has purchased the Pratzel trademark, along with its beloved recipes and kitchen equipment, from owners RONNIE and ELAINE PRATZEL, whose family started the area’s only Jewish-owned kosher bakery in 1913. The Pratzels closed the bakery in late January. While no (re)opening date has been set, Mills says he plans to operate out of the company’s wholesale baking facility on Dielman Industrial Court in Olivette. We’re told Ronnie Pratzel will be involved as a consultant and salesperson, and many of the bakery’s former employees have plans to return.

    In commemoration of Autism Awareness Month, CWE retailers and restaurants are participating in the ‘Passport to the Central West End’ promotion, offering free appetizers, special invites and discounts from April 1 to 10. All proceeds from the sales of ‘passports’ benefit Children Education Alliance of Missouri, an organization dedicated to policy that encourages improved and expanded learning opportun ities for all children. Call 454-6544 or visit to learn more.

    Do your part to help in rebuilding efforts following the New Year’s Eve tornadoes that affected some 500 homes throughout the St. Louis region. Local business owners, relief agencies and volunteers are teaming up for Together We (re)Build, offering $10 wristbands that can be shown for discounts and other offers at participating businesses. Wristbands are available for purchase this weekend and next at area malls. For more information, visit

    We applaud Ladue eighth-grader BREON MURRY, who clinched the USATF Indoor Nationals title in the 55-meter hurdles earlier this month. Breon crossed the finish line with a personal best 8.32 seconds (and with U.S. Olympic champion DAVID OLIVER in atten dance)! Breon is now in training for the outdoor track season and will participate in the AAU and USATF Outdoor Nationals later this year. Breon, a Ladue Middle School student, trains under coaches NICK BUCKVAR and STEPHON GREENLEE.

    Congratulations to Ladue H.S. Dance Team for its first-place finish in last month’s State Championships. The team is coached by Ladue alums ALEXANDRA WHALEY and JULIE FIELDS.

    See a red carpet-worthy event in your future? Head on over to Neiman Marcus March 31 to meet and greet couture designer CARMEN MARC VALVO. He’ll be signing copies of his new book, Dressed to Perfection: The Art of Dressing for Your Red Carpet Moments. The event includes a behind-the-scenes look at the red carpet, as well as a preview of Valvo’s new gown collection. To RSVP, call


    Also on the shelves, the latest from Emmy Award-winning author ANENE TRESSLER: Dancing with Gravity. She’ll be in town April 7 to read from and sign copies at Left Bank Books downtown.

    Hats off to KAREN CUMMINGS, coordinator of art education at UMSL, who was recently named Higher Art Educator of the Year by the Missouri Art Education Association. In addition to teaching, Cummings oversees 22 interns in the field and advises graduate art teachers. She joined UMSL’s faculty in 2006.  LN