Features reporter for the Columbus Dispatch. Story-teller. Food-lover. Show-choir parent.

Kids, parents included in predicting winning books at ‘Caldecott Read-In’

dispatch.com — Like several other self-described "book nerds," Debbie Ballinger would love to be in Chicago on Feb. 2. On that day, the winners of the Newbery and Caldecott medals will be announced at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting. "I'd like to attend once before I retire," Ballinger said. "That's my dream."

Finding their inner canine a challenge for human actors

dispatch.com — Preparing for his role in the upcoming CATCO Is Kids production of Go, Dog. Go! has led to some interesting homework for Andrew Protopapas. "I don't own a dog, and I didn't grow up with one," said Protopapas, who portrays Red Dog in the play. Based on the 1961 book by P.D.

Ohio State football parents share season’s best moments

buckeyextra.dispatch.com — Any parent who has weathered the ups and downs of a child's sports season knows that winning magnifies the fun factor. ? Given Ohio State's resounding success in football this season, the parents of players on the 2014 Buckeyes team must be having the time of their lives.

Cowgirl’s biggest challenge lies outside spotlight of ring

dispatch.com — The toughest person in Value City Arena on Saturday might not be competing in the World's Toughest Rodeo. Rather than one of the cowboys who will endure a wildly bucking bronco or bull, the title of " toughest" might belong to a young blonde wearing a sparkly jumpsuit in patriotic colors.

First day of 2015 offers a lot to do outside your four walls

dispatch.com — Judging by how many activities are scheduled around the area, it's clear that on New Year's Day, not everyone sinks into a couch and watches football for 12 straight hours.

Guide to Life: Keeping your New Year's resolutions

dispatch.com — Ashleigh Conkey realizes now that she had been approaching New Year's resolutions all wrong. Overweight and unhappy, the Northwest Side resident for the past eight or nine years had set lofty resolutions such as: I'm going to go on a crash diet. I'm going to join a gym and go every day.

The Good Life: Hospice volunteer puts friendly face on ‘human side of medicine’

dispatch.com — At the sound of a knock on the door of Room 15, Judy Anderson glanced up to find Jeri Kozobarich approaching with a warm smile and a soothing voice.? "Hi, I'm Jeri, a volunteer here," said Kozobarich, sitting at the bedside and reaching out a hand.

Hospice volunteer puts friendly face on ‘human side of medicine’

dispatch.com — At the sound of the knock on her door in Room 15, Judy Anderson glanced up to see Jeri Kozobarich approaching with a warm smile and a soothing voice. "Hi, I'm Jeri, a volunteer here," said Kozobarich, sitting down bedside and grasping Anderson's hand. "How are you doing today?"

Return of holiday production takes poignant turn for cast

dispatch.com — Although she buried her granddaughter just days ago, Delores Booker said her faith has banished any thoughts of leaving the upcoming production of Black Nativity. "No, no, no, honey," Booker said after 14-year-old Destinee Booker was shot on Nov. 28 on the South Side.

Family: ‘Voice’ finalist Chris Jamison just warming up

dispatch.com — Michelle Jamison knows where her son will be for the next two weeks but has no idea after that. Chris Jamison, a student at Capital University in Bexley who took a break from school for the NBC singing contest The Voice, finished third on Tuesday during the seventh-season finale.
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Jan 20, 2015

@mbruning81 I was not aware of any media restrictions. I just wanted fans to know they were not banned from taking photos.

Jan 20, 2015

@mbruning81 Joking about the Dispatch here, obviously....just so followers know, there is no photo ban.

Jan 20, 2015

RT @joeblundo: Today's column: Problem-solving author solves the problem of three OSU quarterbacks. Start all three, he says. dispatch.com/blundo

Jan 17, 2015

RT @hollyzachariah: This is kind of exciting! Wounded warrior from Marysville will be guest of the First Lady at State of the Union. dispatch.com/content/storie…

Jan 17, 2015

RT @rollerCD: Be sure to check out Sunday Dispatch for not one but TWO special sections on Ohio State FB season/Oregon game.

Jan 16, 2015

(Take 2, link fixed)....Former #OSU receiver Stanley now a GOP city council candidate in Columbus: bit.ly/1ykEMAU

Jan 16, 2015

Former #OSU receiver Stanley now a GOP city council candidate in Columbus: bit.ly/1CmOu3l

Jan 14, 2015

My alma mater with an editorial (sort of) congratulating #OSU ("our younger siblings up Rt. 33") on its title: bit.ly/1CmOu3l

Jan 14, 2015

Hmmm..official #OSU football celebration is Jan. 24, right in middle of #NHL All-Star festivities in C-bus. Different audiences?

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