Banking on Shawn Banks

The 19-year-old West Side entertainer has learned from his time in jail and wants to make a living as a rapper, stand-up comic and event host. Supporters say he brings a message of hope wherever he performs.

Deadline to sign up for Austin spelling bee approaching

Sherron Parker, a fifth-grader at May Community Academy, 512 S. Lavergne Ave., was once just a normal kid attending school in her Austin neighborhood and hanging out with her friends. But since winning first place in her age group in a community-wide spelling bee last year, Sherron, 10, is now like a rock star. “Everybody is nicer to me at school,” said Sherron, who won a computer and trophy for correctly spelling the word “cookie.” “When I won I was like, ‘I feel great,’ loud and enthusiastically. I was really happy.”

The buzz is spreading through Austin once again that the 2nd annual Spelling Bee is coming up on April 8, 9 and 10, at the Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St. Registration packets have gone out to 23 neighborhood schools.