Rex Jensen may be called “Mr. East County,” and Don O’Leary may be known as East County’s titular mayor, but if there is anyone to rival them in their knowledge of and roots in East County, it would be East County Observer Managing Editor Michael “Mike” Eng.
Eng has covered every aspect of the East County for 12 years — first as a reporter in 2000, then as managing editor ever since 2003.
Earlier this year, Eng took on the additional role of managing editor/features for the Sarasota Observer and the Pelican Press. And now, Eng will take on establishing and building the Plant City Observer, a new weekly Observer newspaper scheduled for publication July 4.
Eng will be managing editor of this startup. His wife, Jessica Eng, assistant managing editor of the East County Observer, will continue to design the East County Observer and will design the Plant City Observer. The Engs and their two children, Lyric, 4, and Aria, 2, will move in June to Plant City.
Longtime News Editor Pam Eubanks will succeed Eng as managing editor of the East County Observer. Eubanks joined the newspaper in June 2005 as a staff writer and was promoted to news editor in 2007.
“We are saddened and thrilled at the same time,” said Matt Walsh, editor and CEO of The Observer Group. “Mike is an institution in East County and a walking East County encyclopedia. We hate to see him leave there. At the same time, he knows so well how we operate that he is the perfect person to help us launch the Plant City Observer and create another successful community newspaper.”
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12 LWRBA March Membership Luncheon
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
12 March Membership Luncheon
15 Irish Celtic 5K, Lakewood Ranch
8:00 am - 10:00 am
15 Palma Sola Botanical Park plants, antiques and crafts sale
8:00 am - 3:00 pm
22 5th Annual Ponies for Pups
22 Lakewood Ranch Community Fund 'Havana Nights' Gala
23 The Bridal EXPO
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
26 LWRBA March Executive Briefing
7:30 am - 9:00 am
PHOTO GALLERY: Polo Under the Palms
With sunglasses and drinks in hand, attendees of the fourth Polo Under the Palms event March 8 at the Sarasota Polo Club grounds, enjoyed the sunshine and a polo match. Proceeds from food and drink sales benefited research, education and patient care programs at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Center for Building Hope.
PHOTO GALLERY: Just Play Sports Fest
Attendees of the Just Play Sports Fest March 8, munched on snow cones, enjoyed a backyard tailgate party with live music from Gamble Creek, and spent the afternoon at Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch playing cornhole, and other games. The day began with a 5K run in the morning, and continued with a lacrosse tournament, which lasted throughout the day, in addition to the outdoor festival. Event coordinator Todd Herrick planned to charge event participates $10 for adults and $5 for children, but decided to waive the fees and promote the sale of raffle tickets for prizes. Proceeds from the sports-centered event benefited The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
PHOTO GALLERY: International Women's Day
Ladies in Sarasota and Manatee counties celebrated International Women's Day March 8, during a special luncheon at the Polo Grill and Bar in Lakewood Ranch.