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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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
16 USF Sarasota-Manatee HospitaBull Evening
2 2nd annual Glow Run
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
PHOTO GALLERY: Arts at the Ranch Fine Art Festival
Main Street at Lakewood Ranch transformed into an art gallery March 15-16, as art enthusiasts came together at the 14th Art at the Ranch Fine Art Festival. Attendees met regional, national and international award-winning artists, and shopped for photographs, paintings, sculptures and other artwork over the weekend.
PHOTO GALLERY: Irish Celtic Festival
East County residents converged for a green, white and orange kind-of day March 15. The Lakewood Ranch Communities Activities Corp. (CAC) hosted its fourth Celtic Irish Festival, for individuals wanting to get in touch with their inner-Irish. Kilts and Irish dancers filled the grounds of the Central Park, as dogs in Irish-themed outfits and their owners, who sported matching attire in most cases, paraded around the venue. The day kicked off with a 5K run, followed by the Lucky Dog Parade and various other entertainment peppered throughout the day.
PHOTO GALLERY: B.D. Gullett Elementary Walk-a-thon
B.D. Gullett Elementary students ran for more than just spending an hour outside of the classroom March 14. The walkers, joggers and runners raised dollars for their school’s technology and other resource needs. Their two-weeks worth of efforts commenced with the schools Walk-a-thon. Incentives for the students to raise as much money as possible, included an Amazon Kindle Fire, bounce house parties for classes, and the grand prize — watching school faculty members ride around on scooters, with dyed hair.