Birthdays for Monday, Aug. 3

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to a pair of superlative visual journalists…


Angela Braggs is a content workflow and product analyst for Gannett corporate, based in Des Moines, Iowa. A 1994 graduate of Arizona State University, Angela spent five years as a copy editor for the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz. She moved to the Des Moines Register as a copy editor and designer in 1999, moving up to technology editor in 2006. She moved into her current role in 2011.


Joe Greco is design director of the GateHouse Center for News & Design in Austin, Texas. Joe spent nearly six years as a designer for the Times of Northwest Indiana in Munster and then more than four years as a designer and copy editor for the Detroit News. He became creative director of the Sun-Times Media Group’s Gary, Ind., Post-Tribune in 2000 and moved to GateHouse Media in 2007 as corporate design director, based in Downer’s Grove, Ill. He moved to Austin in 2014. Find the Center for News & Design web site here, the center’s visuals blog here and Joe’s Twitter feed here.

Joe and Angela share a birthday with actors Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez (better known as Martin Sheen), Corey Burton, Jay Waverly North and Nicole Evangeline Lilly; musicians Anthony Dominick Benedetto (better known as Tony Bennett), James Alan Hetfield (of Metallica) and James George “Jimmy” Nicol; director John David Landis; chemist Koichi Tanaka; industrialist Elisha Graves Otis; Tennessee schoolteacher John Thomas Scopes; politician John Cornelius Stennis; sports greats Troy Edward Glaus and Mark Andrew Reynolds (both baseball), Ryan Steven Lochte (swimming), Marcel Elphège Dionne (hockey), Marvin Daniel Levy (football coach) and Lance Dwight Alworth and Thomas Edward Patrick “Tom” Brady Jr. (football); multimedia mogul Martha Helen Kosthyra (better known as Martha Stewart), TV host Michael Terence “Terry” Wogan and war correspondent Ernest Taylor “Ernie” Pyle.

In addition, today is Assistance Dog Day, Friendship Day, Watermelon Day and National Psychic Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you two! Have a wonderful birthday today!

Birthdays for Sunday, Aug. 2

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six talented visual journalists…


Mary Cornatzer is Sunday editor for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. A 1981 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Mary has worked a number of positions at the N&O including reporter, columnist and features editor, state government and business editor. Find her Twitter feed here.


Andrés Recio Gómez is a designer for E-commerce Networks of Madrid. A 1995 graduate of the college in Navalcarnero, Andrés has worked with Madrid’s el Mundo and el Economista, Import Cable News, the international art agency Grafia, technical firms Albalia Technology and T. Sanz and with the public relations arm of the Spanish navy. Find his portfolio here.


George Hanns is a web content editor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. A 1999 graduate of the University of Florida, George spent nearly two years as an agate clerk and copy editor for the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun. He spent 14 years as presentation editor for sports at the Daytona Beach News-Journal. He moved to Embry-Riddle in 2013.


Dathan Kazsuk is design editor for the Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, N.C. A 1993 graduate of Merced College in California, Dathan designs and shoots photos for the weekly publication. Find his Twitter feed here. Dathan turns 42 today.


Jerry Tachiona works for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. He’s a graduate of Hillside Teachers College.


Sharon Apple is a special education teacher — temporarily in semi-”retirement” — currently living with her parents in Lilburn, Ga.

She also happens to be my wife.

When we sold dumped our house in Virginia Beach in 2013, Sharon moved our daughter, Elizabeth, to California to live with me. Sharon moved to Lilburn — in the northeastern suburbs of Atlanta — to help care for her parents for a while. The plan was for her to join us one day.

The plan, however, evolved. If that’s the word for it.


I became unnerved at the financial situation of my newspaper in California, so I leaped last Thanksgiving to a small paper in Texas. Which, in turn, I found to not be a good fit for me. So we moved again, last month, to Houston.

In the meantime, Sharon’s not going anywhere anytime soon. She’s gone back to teaching — although just part-time. I believe she starts back this week, in fact.

Sharon attended Winthrop College in Rock Hill, S.C., where she met me in the fall of 1982. She graduated in 1985 — a year behind me — and has followed me during all my career moves through Georgia and South Carolina, Raleigh, Chicago, Des Moines and to Virginia Beach, where we lived from 2003 until my move to California.

Here’s an interesting thing about Sharon: She’s actually world-famous. “Sharon Apple,” you see, is the name of a character in an old Japanese “manga” cartoon called Macross Plus.


Sharon Apple is an evil computer-generated holographic pop star who, in the year 2039, tries to take over the world via her music.

In addition, Sharon is an animal lover. Over the years, we’ve had guinea pigs, turtles, dogs, cats and lizards. Several of her menagerie have passed away, unfortunately. All we have left right now are two cats living with us here in Houston…


…from left to right: Pickles and Bones — and, in Georgia, Sharon’s rabbit, Sage


…and her bearded dragon, Larry.


Larry is a female. Don’t ask.

Larry has no toes. Just four stubs. Don’t ask.

Sharon used to be a year-and-a-half younger than me, but I think she passed me a while back. I’m not quite sure how old she is now, but I’m pretty sure she’s still in double digits.

As if all this wasn’t enough: Tomorrow — Monday — is our 30th anniversary.

Andrés, Dathan, Jerry, Mary, George and Sharon share a birthday with actorsSamuel Henry J. Worthington, Mary-Louise Parker, Peter Seamus Lorcan O’Toole, John Carroll O’Connor, Myrna Adele Williams (better known as Myrna Loy), Joanna Virginia Cassidy, George Edward Maxwell Wright, Edward Walter Furlong, Patrick Alan Cates (better known as Butch Patrick), Hallie Kate Eisenberg and Victoria Jackson; musicians Neill Kirby McMillan Jr. (better known as Mojo Nixon) and Andrew Gold; sports greats Billy Cannon (football), Aaron Krickstein (tennis), Skylar Kierra Diggins (basketball) and Linda Sue Fratianne (figure skating); artist John French Sloan; Judge Lance Allan Ito; novelist James Arthur Baldwin; directors Kevin Patrick Smith and Wesley Earl “Wes” Craven and the Atlantic Monthly’s James Fallows.

In addition, today is National Kids’ Day, National Doll Day, Sisters’ Day, Friendship Day and Take a Penny/Leave a Penny Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, y’all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Saturday, Aug. 1

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six outstanding visual journalists…


Michael Barrett is a writer for the Gaston Gazettte of Gastonia, N.C. A 1997 graduate of East Carolina University, Michael spent a year at the Rocky Mount Telegram before moving to Gastonia in 2006. He’s been at the Gazette ever since.


Mark Edelen is an online director, producer, editor and designer based in Norfolk, Va. A product of Western Kentucky University, Mark spent four years as a reporter, copy editor and designer for the Messenger-Inquirer of Owensboro, Ky., before moving to the Virginian-Pilot in 1990. He edited copy and designed pages before becoming the Pilot’s only web producer in 1995. He was promoted to senior producer in 1999 and then to director of online production in 2008. Mark left the Pilot last winter. Find his Twitter feed here. Mark turns 51 today.


Stacy Innerst is an illustrator for children’s books and other editorial clients, based in Pittsburgh, Pa. A 1980 graduate of the University of New Mexico, Stacy spent a year-and-a-half as an artist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and then nearly 12 years as an editorial illustrator for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He left the Post-Gazette in 2011. He’s been freelancing for 20 years and began teaching at Pittsburgh’s La Roche College last fall.  Find Stacy’s illustration portfolio here and his personal web site here.


Brian Moore departed the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif., last summer after 21 years there. A graduate of Cal State-Fullerton, Brian started out at the Register in 1993 as an editorial assistant, moved into a design and proofreading spot and then ended up as a graphic artist. He took a buyout last June. Brian turns 42 today.


Jorge Dionisio Muñoz is a freelance designer and illustrator in Maplewood, N.J. Jorge has worked as a graphic artist and editor for the Times-Delta of Visalia, Calif., the Los Angeles Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., and the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif. He has also taught computer and web classes and served as marketing coordinator for the city of Tulare, Calif., chamber of commerce. Jorge turns 54 today.


Reed Reibstein is director of product design for Garcia Media in New York City. A 2011 graduate of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., Reed served as deputy managing editor of the Yale Daily News and spent three summers interning with Garcia Media. He formally joined Garcia Media in 2011 as an art director and project manager. Mario announced Reed’s promotion Friday. Find his Twitter feed here. Reed turns 27 today.

Reed, Brian, Stacy, Michael, Mark and Jorge share a birthday with actors Tempestt Bledsoe and Dominick “Dom” DeLuise; musicians Adam Fredrick Duritz (of Counting Crows), Jerome John “Jerry” Garcia (of the Grateful Dead), Artis Leon Ivey Jr. (better known as Coolio), Carlton Douglas Ridenhour (better known as Chuck D), Ashley Ward Parker and Robert Cray; directors Samuel Alexander “Sam” Mendes and David Benjamin Wain; Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad; fashion designer Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent; sports greats Jack Albert Kramer (tennis), Edgerrin Tyree James, Ray Nettles (both football), Madison Kyle Bumgarner (baseball) and Roy Allen Williams (basketball coach); explorer William Clark; lawyer-turned-poet Francis Scott Key; novelist Herman Melville and media reporter Howard Alan Kurtz.

In addition, today is Sandcastle Day, Girlfriends Day, National Minority Day, Mead Day, India Pale Ale Day, National Mustard Day, Sandcastle Day and Spider-Man Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a wonderful birthday!

Birthdays for Friday, July 31

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six wonderful visual journalists…


Jane Burns is a features reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, Wis. A 1983 graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Jane spent 17 years as a reporter for the Des Moines Register. She moved to a copy editing position at the Star Tribune of Minneapolis in 2000 and moved again in 2005 to the afternoon paper in Madison, the Capital Times. She served as a copy editor, assistant features editor. columnist and general assignment reporter before moving to the WSJ in 2009. Find her Twitter feed here.


Therese Lis Harpish is a photo technician and editorial designer for the Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh, Pa. Therese turns 35 today.


Lynn Hicks is opinion editor of the Des Moines Register in Iowa. A 1991 graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Lynn joined the Register as a copy editor, moved to a reporting position in 1997 and then was promoted to assistant metro editor in 2000. A year later, he became editor of the Journal of Stevens Point, Wis. He returned to Des Moines in 2004 as executive business editor and slid over to his current position in December. Find his Twitter feed here. Lynn turns 47 today.


Stefanie Murray is executive editor of the Nashville Tennessean. A 2002 graduate of Central Michigan University, Stefanie earned a master’s degree from Northwestern in 2004. She spent five-and-a-half years at the Ann Arbor News and as a business reporter, biz team leader, community news director and real-time engagement officer. She moved to the Detroit Free Press in 2011 as director of digital audience development and, a year later, was promoted to assistant managing editor for digital media. She moved to Nashville in early 2014. Find Stefanie’s column archive here and her Twitter feed here.


John V. Smith is sports design editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer. A 2000 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, John spent a year as a page designer for the Sun-Herald of Biloxi, Miss., before becoming a sports designer for the Asbury Park Press of Neptune, N.J. in 2001. In 2005, John became assistant editor for sports at Newsday on Long Island but returned to Asbury Park in 2007, also as assistant sports editor. He left the APP in December 2008 and spent a year as a designer for Time Out New York. He earned an MBA at Villanova University in 2012 and, shortly afterward, joined Kistler Smith, a marketing and design consultancy based in Philadelphia. He moved to the Inky in 2013. Find his Twitter feed here. John turns 38 today.


Anne Tallent is senior editor for features at the Baltimore Sun. A 1998 graduate of Oklahoma State University, Anne worked as a copy editor for the student paper there, the Daily Oklahoman. She spent a year-and-a-half as a copy editor for the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., before being named assistant features editor. She moved to the Sun in 2005 and worked as a copy editor, deputy arts editor and arts and entertainment editor before moving over to b, the Sun’s free youth-oriented daily tab in 2008. She moved back to the mainsheet in 2012 into her current position. Find her Twitter feed here.

Stefanie, Anne, Therese, John, Lynn and Jane share a birthday with actors Wesley Trent Snipes, Dean George Tanaka (better known as Dean Cain), Michael Connell Biehn, Eric Lawrence Lively, Dennis Dirk Blocker, Benjamin Joseph Manaly “B.J.” Novak, Barry Wayne Van Dyke, France Nguyen Van Nga and Theodore Crawford “Ted” Cassidy; musicians William Thomas “Bill” Berry (of R.E.M.), James Steven Ignatius “Jim” Corr (of the Corrs), Robert Lawrence “Bob” Welch Jr., Roland Kent LaVoire (better known as Lobo) and Gary Harold Lee Levitch (better known as Gary Lewis); sports greats Evonne Fay Goolagong (tennis), DeMarcus Ware, Kevin Darwin Greene, Gustave Joseph “Gus” Frerotte (all three football), Randy Alan Flores (baseball), Henry Albert “Hank” Bauer (baseball manager), Mark Cuban (NBA team owner) and Curtis Edward “Curt” Gowdy (announcer); actor-turned politician Alan Autry; economist Milton Friedman; retailer Sebastian Sperling “S.S.” Kresge; novelist Joanne “J.K.” Rowling and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Irv Kupcinet.

In addition, today is World Ranger Day, National Talk Like an Elevator Day, System Administration Appreciation Day and Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday, y’all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Thursday, July 30

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three terrific folks…


Amy Kuenzie is a yoga teacher and an emergency protective custody coordinator for the Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Dept. A 1985 graduate of the University of South Carolina, Amy earned a master’s degree from Columbia College and spent years working as a parole examiner and victim’s advocate within the justice system. Her husband, Jack, is a reporter for Channel 10, WIS-TV in Columbia. Find her Twitter feed here.


Franz Tomasek is an official of the South African Revenue Service, involved with legislative policy and based in Pretoria. He’s also a longtime member of Science Fiction South Africa, the main squeeze of journalist Simone Puterman and a good friend and most gracious host, during my occasional visits to his country.


Vanessa Shortley is managing editor of the Daily Dispatch of Henderson, N.C. A 2007 graduate of East Carolina University, Vanessa spent time as a reporter for the Daily Southerner of Tarboro, N.C. and as a reporter and copy editor for the Free Press of Kinston, N.C. In 2008, she was named editor of the News of Orange County, a weekly in Hillsborough, N.C. She moved to Henderson in 2014. Find her Twitter feed here.

Vanessa, Franz and Amy share a birthday with actors Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger, Hilary Ann Swank, Lisa Valerie Kudrow, Laurence John Fishburne III, Juan Moreno y Herrera Jiménez (better known as Jean Reno), Jaime Elizabeth Pressly, Vivica Anjanetta Fox, Delta Ramona Leah Burke, Edward Byrne Breitenberger (better known as Edd “Kookie” Byrnes) and Riccardo DiGuglielmo (better known as Dick Wilson, who played “Mr. Whipple” in 1970s-era TV commercials for Charmin toilet paper); musicians Catherine “Kate” Bush, Bradley William “Brad” Hargreaves (of Third Eye Blind), Timothy Seth Avett (of the Avett Brothers), Paul Albert Anka, David Sanborn and George “Buddy” Guy; TV host Michael Thomas “Tom” Green; celebrity chef Alton Crawford Brown; directors Christopher Jonathan James Nolan and Peter Bogdanovich; sports greats Francis Morgan Ayodélé “Daley” Thompson (decathlete), Hope Amelia Solo (soccer), Justin Peter Rose (golf), Lawrence Neil Bonnett (auto racing), Christopher Paul “Chris” Mullin (basketball), Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel (baseball manager) and Allan Huber “Bud” Selig (baseball commissioner); law professor Anita Faye Hill; H&R Bloch co-founder Henry W. Bloch; novelist Emily Jane Brontë, historian and biographer Giorgio Vasari and industrialist Henry Ford.

In addition, today is Friendship Day, Father-in-Law Day, the International Day of Friendship, National Support of Public Education Day, Paperbook Book Day, Cheesecake Day and National Chili Dog Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you three! Have a wonderful birthday!