The Herald Bulletin

March 9, 2014

Scott Underwood: Spelling bee takes THB team effort


The Herald Bulletin

---- — Regardless of whether you attended The Herald Bulletin's regional spelling bee Wednesday evening in the Anderson City Building auditorium, I hope you enjoyed our coverage of it.

It takes a team to put on a bee, and we've gotten some experience at it over the years.

Our director of distribution, Amy Winter, has been the bee coordinator the past several years. Amy is a great organizer, a no-nonsense type who knows how to get things done. She's the point of contact for the school champions (18 this year) who advance to our bee.

Barbie Jones, who plays a key role in The Herald Bulletin's marketing efforts, assisted Amy in publicizing the bee and keeping it running smoothly.

Herald Bulletin Publisher Henry Bird was the emcee Wednesday night. Henry, always a thoughtful host, has a way of making the spellers feel comfortable and engaging the audience.

Herald Bulletin Associate Editor Scott Miley and Kelly Hawes, who manages the newspaper design center in our newsroom, were the judges.

I had the honor of serving as pronouncer. I enjoy the role, though I can't help but feel a bit of responsibility for it whenever one of the participants misspells.

Our coverage team for the bee included reporter Zach Osowski; Photo Editor John Cleary; Content Editor Heather Bremer, who tweeted from the bee as it progressed, and Digital Editor Andy Knight, who shot and produced video.

Of course, the star of the show was Highland Middle School sixth-grader Tristan Hankins, who won the bee by correctly spelling "malformed" in the championship round.

As our spelling bee champion, Tristan will be taking his first trip (courtesy The Herald Bulletin) to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, beginning May 25.

Here's wishing Tristan the best of luck in D.C.!

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I'd like to extend a personal apology to all the fans of our Comics & Puzzles page. The page was inadvertently left out of Wednesday's newspaper because of an error at our printing facility.

We printed the Wednesday Comics & Puzzles page (as well as the Thursday page) in our Thursday edition. But I realize that the one-day absence of the page disrupted the daily routine for many of our readers, who look forward to getting a chuckle from our comic strips and panels.

And, of course, we have many enthusiasts for the Celebrity Cipher, Cryptoquote and Jumble that appear on the daily Comics & Puzzles page.

We received dozens of queries Wednesday about the absence of the page. These readers were, understandably, concerned. While a few were irate, the majority were pleasant.

In past cases where we've erred or individual readers are otherwise disappointed with our product, I've found them generally to be reasonable, pleasant and understanding.

Thank you for being such great customers!

Editor Scott Underwood's column appears Mondays. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @THBeditor. Contact him at scott.underwood@heraldbulletin.com or 640-4845.