News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 13, 2009

EDITOR'S NOTE: Spelling Bee a great Tribune-Star tradition

By Max Jones

TERRE HAUTE — Of all the great community-based events this newspaper sponsors and helps sponsor throughout the year, the Tribune-Star Wabash Valley Spelling Bee is one of the most important. It’s extra special because it gives the best and brightest young students in our nine-county area the opportunity to compete for big prizes in a popular and widely recognized annual academic competition.

The Tribune-Star has taken the lead as sponsor of this event since the early 1980s, thanks to the vision and leadership for former Editor Richard J. Roth, who is now an associate dean and instructor in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

The local spelling bee is part of the national competition known as the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Winners at various local and regional competitions advance to the national bee in Washington, D.C., May 26-28.

The winner of the Tribune-Star Wabash Valley Spelling Bee will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the national event, in addition to other prizes.

The regional bee is scheduled for next Saturday (March 21) at 1 p.m. in Sarah Scott Middle School. Winners of bees in schools around the Wabash Valley will converge in Terre Haute for what promises to be another highly competitive event.

A lot of different Tribune-Star employees, through our Newspaper In Education program, have handled spelling bee matters through its 25-plus-year history with us. This year, Assistant Circulation Director David Zigler is the point person, with able assistance provided by Circulation Director Courtney Zellers, who led the effort numerous times in the past. It’s a big job putting on this event. Zigler and Zellers, with plenty of volunteer community help and invaluable contributions from the administration at Sarah Scott Middle School and the Vigo County School Corp., make things go smoothly each time out.

We appreciate all those who help us make this happen. The Tribune-Star is proud to be an integral part of the event.

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Crossroads Communications unveiled a new format for its flagship WBOW on Friday, and it was exciting to see the return to the famous radio call letters that have such deep tradition in Terre Haute media history.

Formerly B102.7, Crossroads management wisely decided to embrace its roots and relaunch itself as WBOW. In addition to making changes to its content format, which also sounds like an exciting development, the station invited the Tribune-Star to expand its partnership with the station by providing a sampling of its next-day Page 1 headlines. We are happy to do so. You can catch those headline promos each weekday afternoon during drive time on the new WBOW. We will be looking for other interesting ways to partner with the folks at Crossroads in the future.

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Readers of the Saturday Opinion page undoubtedly made note of the recent retirement of William Rusher, a longtime conservative syndicated columnist whose work appeared on this page. Rusher’s traditional, measured style of commentary was refreshing in this day and age of hostile, high-pitched screeching from many of today’s political columnists.

To replace Rusher, we will offer the work of conservative columnist Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner. York has strong credentials as a conservative commentator. His work has appeared in numerous publications through the years, and he previously worked as White House correspondent for National Review magazine.

York’s column is scheduled to begin appearing next Saturday.

Jones can be reached at (812) 231-4336, or by e-mail at