Melanie Hanlon crowned Dairy Princess: Last weekend, at the 60th annual Dairy Princess Ball and Contest, 17-year-old Petaluma High senior Melanie Hanlon was selected as 2017’s new Dairy Princess. The Ball took place at the Petaluma Veteran’s Hall on Saturday, April 8, and once again was sponsored by the North Bay Dairy Women and the California Milk Advisory Board. As Dairy Princess, Hanlon will serve as spokesperson for the local dairy industry, and will represent farmers and dairy producers in Sonoma, Lake, Marin, Napa, Solano, and Mendocino Counties. Helping Hanlon as alternates this year will be Elizabeth Pacheco, also a senior at Petaluma High School, and Kendal Middlebrook of Analy High School. Together, the team will attend fairs, schools and other community events, including the upcoming Butter and Egg Days celebration.

Hanlon, the daughter of Tim and Perri Hanlon, plans to attend Oregon State University in the fall, majoring in food science and technology, with a focus on food chemistry, product development, and fermentation.

Also competing this year were Courtney King of Petaluma High School and Maria Bartlett of Analy High. At the event, Bartlett was awarded the Isolena Maestretti Miss Vitality award, which is voted on by the contestants. In celebration of the Dairy Princess event’s 60th anniversary, 25 past princesses were recognized on stage.

Silver cats and tiny dogs: A new partnership between the Petaluma Animal Services Foundation and PEP Housing will make suitable cats and dogs available for adoption, at no charge, to senior residents of PEP facilities. The animals will all be at least 6 years old, making some of them senior citizens, in dog years anyway. PASF will stock a special “pet food pantry” for PEP, and is offering the adopters free vaccines (that’s for the pets, not the seniors) and free behavior support. The new program will make animal adoption possible for seniors worried about the costs of bringing home a pet. Presentations about the program take place today at 11 a.m. at 855 Wood Sorrell Drive and 2 p.m. at 575 Vallejo Drive, and Friday at 11 a.m. at 400 Casa Grande Drive.