Miss Kentucky, Tara Conner, Is New Miss USA

Associated Press
Saturday, April 22, 2006

BALTIMORE, April 21 -- Miss Kentucky was named Miss USA at the 55th annual pageant Friday night.

Tara Elizabeth Conner, 20, of Russell Springs was crowned by Miss USA 2005, Chelsea Cooley of North Carolina.

"I am an easygoing, down-to-earth girl," Conner said. "Throughout my life, hardships and different experiences have made me a very humbled, yet strong individual. It is because of these life lessons that I have become the person I am today."

The new titleholder will compete July 23 in the Miss Universe competition in Los Angeles.

Miss California, Tamiko Nash, 26, of Los Angeles was first runner-up. Miss Georgia, Lisa Wilson, 26, of Rome was second runner-up; Miss Ohio, Stacy Offenberger, 26, of Marietta was third runner-up. Miss Florida, Cristin Duren, 24, of Panama City Beach was fourth runner-up.

The 51 contestants were trimmed to 15, then 10 semifinalists, including Miss D.C., Candace Allen, and finally to five finalists for Friday's competition, during which they answered questions from the judges.

The pageant is co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC, which aired the competition.

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