Archive of ‘relationships’ category

Remembering my dear friend and fellow reporter, Shani McManus


It was an ordinary deadline day for me on March 8, until I received an email from my editor Pam that our beloved Shani McManus had lost her battle with lung cancer and died. Shani was a veteran reporter with a career spanning more than three decades in journalism. She began her career in 1969 writing for the East Side News in New York, but she was fondly known around South Florida as a top reporter for The Jewish Journal.

Shani interviewed Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John McCain in 2008. I remember seeing her photo with Biden after her interview and I could not wait to get her firsthand account of what it was like meeting him. “I ripped into him just like anybody else,” Shani laughed, with her signature, hearty Shani-cackle. “These guys are running for the top spots in America. I have to ask them the tough questions.”

Whether Shani was sitting down for a one-on-one interview with Biden, paying tribute to Leonard Nimoy or bringing awareness to important issues such as breast cancer and anti-semitism, Shani was always honest, informative and real. There was a lovable and at times, even enviable, authenticity to her. I have fond memories of Shani bopping around our now defunct Green Road newsroom in her blue Jewish Journal baseball cap. She would stand on the staircase outside the back of the office puffing cigarettes during our lunch break and spewing wisdom. I miss our talks about relationships, kids, politics and our careers. When I had my son, she told me how lucky I was to have him and how much she loved her own son. She was passionate about journalism and told stories in a way only she could tell them.

We had a terrible health scare not so long ago where Shani suffered a collapsed lung. We thought we had lost her then but she bounced back and continued working, despite the pleas of many urging her to slow down. That was just it. An effervescent spirit like Shani’s cannot be thwarted or extinguished. Shani did things Shani’s way. She lived life on her own terms. I will miss her beautiful smile, her contagious laugh and her no-nonsense personality. Fly free now, my feisty friend.  A light will forever be dimmed in our newsroom since your passing, but I know you are now the brightest star shining over us from heaven.

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Dear 2016…please be awesome.


Dear 2016,

Please be a year of hope, good health, success and dreams coming to fruition. Looking back on this year, I have to say, 2015 was one of the best and worst years of my life. More than 100 people lost their lives to terrorism in Paris. My beloved cousin Angelo Ruisi went to join his wife Nina in heaven, my paternal grandmother died, major layoffs occurred at my job and throughout the publishing industry, and there were personal troubles in the lives of so many people I love. More than 795 million people in the world continue to go hungry each day. Many terrible things happened this year that were beyond my control. But that’s just it—none of us are in control. It’s truly all up to God and what He has in store for us.

Each year, people are born; people die. New love is found; old love is lost. There is laughter, tears, hearteache and hope. In between all this, is simply life. I pray 2016 brings you more laughter and less tears. I pray this is the year you judge less and listen more. I pray it’s the year you realize what you already have is more than enough. And I pray this is the year, you step out of your comfort zone and realize your true worth. Instead of New Year’s resolutions, let’s make New Year’s revolutions. May you have adventures, may you learn and grow from the mistakes of last year and may this very moment be the greatest one yet. In fact, I hope today is the best day ever. I do believe there’s a revolution waiting to happen in all of us. May the possibility of peace on earth continue to fill our hearts and minds.

Thank you for reading my blog and Happy almost New Year!


Joanie Cox-Henry


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Can you really find love in your own private Idaho? New survey reveals 2014’s best and worst cities for singles

Sshutterstock_86571826I’ve long been fascinated with love, finding love and sharing suggestions with friends on how they can go from not ready to knot ready if they so desire. I recently penned Pray It Forward: The Christian Girl’s Guide to Dating in the Modern World. I struggled for several years on South Florida’s dating scene before meeting my husband and wondered if maybe my location had something to do with it. I even considered trying to find love in Alaska at one point after I heard there are 107 men in Alaska for every 100 women. However, this Florida girl was not willing to trade the sunshine and flip-flops for parkas and snow boots.

But my personal theories on relationship and real estate weren’t so off base. According to a new survey by personal finance social network  WalletHub, where you live could be the reason you’re still single. WalletHub ranked the 150 most populated U.S. cities across 25 key metrics based on criteria such as the percentage of singles, the number of nightlife opportunities per capita and mobile dating opportunities. Here’s what the study found:


Best Cities for Singles Worst Cities for Singles
1 Boise, ID 141 Mobile, AL
2 Madison, WI 142 Glendale, CA
3 Denver, CO 143 Philadelphia, PA
4 Austin, TX 144 New York, NY
5 Lincoln, NE 145 Jersey City, NJ
6 Omaha, NE 146 Peoria, AZ
7 Salt Lake City, UT 147 Brownsville, TX
8 Reno, NV 148 North Las Vegas, NV
9 Minneapolis, MN 149 Hialeah, FL
10 Raleigh, NC 150 Yonkers, NY


For the full study, visit feather