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PAPER TRAILS: Little Rock runner hurt, turns to bicycles; Disney Channel star's Arkansas connections

by Linda Haymes | September 11, 2016 at 2:57 a.m.

RACING TO A NEW WIN: Little Rock runner Leah Thorvilson, who repeatedly won the Little Rock Marathon and even made it into the Olympic trials in London four years ago before she had to retire from running following several surgeries on her knee, has taken up biking. She's already one of the top 10 semifinalists for a training berth with a women's pro racing team, the 2016 Zwift Academy. And she hasn't completely given up running. She tells Paper Trails she can resume running this November. She just doesn't know if she'll ever be able to do so on a competitive level again.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO: Speaking of the Olympics, four years ago Lyon College graduate Megan Rossee was a 25-year-old Los Angeles waitress pursuing modeling and dating swimmer Michael Phelps when he was racking up gold medals at the 2012 summer competitions. The two split after less than a year.

Phelps' return to this summer's Olympics, where he scored more gold and was cheered on by fiancee 2010 Miss California Nicole Johnson, with whom he shares a 3-month old son, Boomer, brought Rossee to mind.

Alas, there's not much in the way of news regarding Rossee; perhaps she's still pursuing that modeling career.

THE WRITE STUFF: The latest edition of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books, The Power of Gratitude: 101 Stories about How Being Thankful Can Change Your Life includes an essay by Hot Springs resident Ronda Nobles Nunez. The former preschool administrator writes of her gratitude for her husband and young sons in her entry, "Dinner with the Kids" in a collection titled "Simple Pleasures" in the book's seventh chapter.

ARKIE ROOTS: Disney Channel star Zendaya, who was recently cast as Michelle in the forthcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming set for release next summer, may have grown up in California and still resides there, but the 20-year-old actress/singer/dancer/model's family tree includes some Natural State branches. Her dad Kazembe Ajamu (born Samuel David Coleman) says his parents came from Arkansas and his mom was 14 when they married and that his grandparents were sharecroppers. He earlier told this to Zendaya in a public service announcement with her for promoting genealogical research for Immigrant Heritage Month.

GEORGE SLEPT HERE: The childhood home of a former Blytheville resident, actor George Hamilton, is among those in a recent listing by's "Which Celeb's Childhood Homes Get Marked Up the Most?" The 76-year-old whose leading roles include Dracula and Zorro, and currently appears in KFC commercials as "Extra Crispy Colonel" Sanders was born in Memphis but spent his childhood in the circa 1903 four-bedroom home.

The home -- originally listed in 2012 for $227,500 -- has been on and off the market for about four years, its price dropping each time. It was most recently listed at $180,000.

Contact Linda S. Haymes at (501) 399-3636 or

Metro on 09/11/2016

Print Headline: LR runner hurt, turns to bicycles


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