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PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH

Named president

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

Clifford E. Birkeland, bishop of the East Mill Creek 2nd Ward, Salt Lake East Millcreek Stake, was chosen president of the International Association of Plastics Distributors at its 35th Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla. The association is an international trade association comprised of companies engaged in the manufacture and distribution of engineering plastics materials. Bishop Birkeland is manager of Regional Supply, Inc.

Master recruiter

BECKLEY, W.V.

Sgt. Jimmy Mears was recently awarded the Master Recruiter of the Year award by the U.S. Air Force. The award, a gold recruiting badge, signifies that he is the top recruiter in his recruiting squadron that covers portions of a four-state area. He was also selected as the Top Enlisted Recruiter of the Year, Top Rookie Recruiter of the Year, Top D Flight Recruiter of the Year and inducted into the Cavalier Club. Mears is elders quorum president in the Beckley Ward, New River Virginia Stake.

Explorer president

MANTI, UTAH

Brett Braithwaite, a member of the Manti 3rd Ward, Manti Utah Stake, was recently elected national Explorer president of the Boy Scouts of America. Brett, 18, was selected from candidates in eight regions representing Explorers throughout the United States. The national Explorer president is recognized for exceptional dedication, outstanding leadership and service to Exploring. As president, he will be the youth voice for Explorers in the BSA's national committee. He is past president of the Utah National Parks Council Explorer Presidents Association.

Soccer stars

APPLE VALLEY, CALIF.

The children of Tracy and Benay James: Cameron, 7; Ashley, 8; Trevor, 9; Travis, 13; and Justin James, 15, were on teams that qualified for the Commissioner's Cup youth soccer playoffs in California. The youth, members of the Apple Valley 4th Ward, Victorville California Stake, play in the High Desert Youth Soccer League.

Attend convention

LEMON COVE, CALIF.

Three members of the Exeter Ward, Visalia California Stake, were among 14 students from their area to attend a computer convention in Reno, Nev., sponsored by the National Geographic Society Kids Network. Joey Hightower, Robert Christopherson and Tina Karp demonstrated various computer programs at the two-day convention. Joey demonstrated various aspects of America and its history; Tina focused on animals, reptiles, insects and plants in the rainforest; and Robert featured mammals. His program, for example, included a compact disc that holds 600 pages of text, 150 animal sounds and 55 videos of animals.

Win championship

BOISE, IDAHO

Two members of the Church were instrumental in Centennial High School winning its first conference soccer championship in the five-year history of the school. Richelle Seamons, Eagle 1st Ward, Meridian Idaho Stake, was co-captain of the girls varsity soccer team, which won the championship. As senior center halfback, she was selected to the all-conference team for the second straight year. She led her team last season to the conference championship and was selected "Player of the Year." Howard Hill, a high councilor in the Meridian 9th Ward, Meridian Idaho East Stake, coached the team. Hill played on BYU's first soccer team in 1955. Richelle also plays on her high school's girls varsity basketball team and was selected to play on the all-state basketball team.

Miss TEEN USA

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS

Tera Michele Allen, 18, was crowned the 1992 National Miss TEEN during the 13th Annual Miss TEEN pageant held recently in Kansas City, Mo. Tera represented Texas in the pageant. State queens from 50 states vied for the national title. All were between 15 and 18 years of age, maintain a B plus or better grade average in school, and have donated many hours of volunteer service to their communities. Tera is a member of the Colleyville Ward, Hurst Texas Stake.

Attends program

VAIL, COLO.

Ron Phillips, Vail town manager, was one of 75 government officials chosen from throughout the United States to attend Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government three-week senior executive program in state and local government. Phillips is president of the Vail Branch, Golden Colorado Stake. He was selected along with eight other Colorado government officials as a Gates Foundation Fellow, having 95 percent of his costs paid for by the foundation.

Director honored

INDEPENDENCE, MO.

Programs sponsored by the Independence City Health Department, under the direction of Dr. John Amadio, have received state and national recognition for excellence and innovation. Two recent awards for excellence in health promotion came from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Dr. Amadio, a member of the Independence 3rd Ward, Independence Missouri Stake, recently received the People's Choice Award presented annually to individuals for their contribution to the well-being of the community.

Receives award

JACKSON, ALA.

Jenifer Simmons, 12, became a silver award winner in the Great Paper Works Contest, a national art and essay contest conducted as the final event in a yearlong celebration of the 300th anniversary of papermaking in the United States. Jenifer was one of only 200 silver prize winners chosen from among some 14,000 entries. The contest was sponsored by Project Learning Tree, an environmental education program, and Vision 300, a consortium of paper industry members. She is a member of the Grove Hill Branch, Mobile Alabama Stake.

Top calf-roper

BURLEY, IDAHO

Joe Sagers, second counselor in the Burley Idaho West Stake, won the Intermountain Professional Rodeo Association calf-roping championship as the top money winning calf-roper for 1991. He was honored recently at an awards banquet and awarded a trophy saddle. He competed through high school in the National High School Rodeo finals and then in the National College Rodeo finals while at Ricks College on a rodeo scholarship.

Places second

BROOKINGS, ORE.

Ben Clifford, a priest in the Brookings Ward, Coos Bay Oregon Stake, won second place in the National Rifle Association wildlife art contest, featured in the association's Insights magazine. His acrylic painting, "Elk," depicts a bull elk standing in a snow-covered forest. It was Ben's first attempt at wildlife painting.

Young woman of year

RIGBY, IDAHO

Erika Byram, 18, has been named Idaho Young Woman of the Year. She was a multiple award winner in both the local and state level programs and will go on to national competition in June. Erika is a student body officer and cheer captain at Rigby High School. She is a member of the Rigby 7th Ward, Rigby Idaho Stake.

Contest winners

FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS

Four members of the Fredericksburg Branch, San Antonio Texas Stake, recently participated in a regional dance competition where they took first place. Diana Hernandez is the dance team's instructor, and Beehives Jenni Cary and Spring Hernandez along with Valiant A Autumn Hernandez danced on the team. Sister Hernandez's students were first in the beginners' jazz division. The girls, ages 9 to 13, competed in the 12-15-year-old category.