The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

March 17, 2013

Area students spell well in Bee

Greenbrier fifth grader takes third

CHARLESTON — A fifth-grader from Greenbrier County earned her stripes and placed third in the Gazette-Mail Regional Spelling Bee Saturday at Capital High School in Charleston.

Su Su Wai, from Rainelle Elementary, just barely edged out Raleigh County’s seventh-grader Abby Stimson for the third position and a $75 cash prize.

Wai, who added a “d” to “delineate,” and Stimson, who misspelled “solicitous,” both left the competition in round 11 and later went head-to-head for third place.

During their sudden death round, Stimson correctly spelled “bronchitis” but left one “t” out of “acquittal.” Wai, who had already confidently rattled off “chauvinism” and “anomaly,” beat out the Raleigh County student from Victory Baptist Academy with “tangential” and “inauguration.”

Wai said she felt nervous during the bee but not from stage fright.

The hardest part of the bee was having such strong competitors, she added.

She said she feels good about her ranking and plans to continue to compete in the years to come, although her mother said she would need to devote more time to studying in the coming years.

As a fifth-grader, she potentially has three more years to try her hand at winning.

Wai is familiar in Greenbrier County competitions, participating in Math Field Day, the Geography Bee, and Battle of the Books.

Both Stimson and Wai were runners-up in their county bees.

Nikki Zinzuwadia, winner of the Raleigh County bee, hung in until round 6, spelling “contiguous” and “mayonnaise” correctly before leaving the stage.

Taking first and second place during round 15 in the bee were Lauren Coccari, from Kanawha County, and Teresa Riffle, from Jackson County, respectively.

Coccari took home a $2,500 Smart 529 College Savings Bond and Riffle took home $150 in cash.

Coccari will head to Washington, D.C., May 26-June 1 to represent West Virginia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Southern West Virginia made a strong showing Saturday with six of the top 10 and three of the top five hailing from the lower part of the state.

— E-mail:


Spelling Bee, top 10

1st Place — Lauren Coccari, Kanawha County

2nd Place — Teresa Riffle, Jackson County

3rd Place — Su Su Wai, Greenbrier County

4th Place — Abby Stimson, Raleigh County

5th Place — Michael Fox, Fayette County

6th Place — Kathryn Wantlin, Kanawha County

7th Place — Alex Lowe, Jackson County

8th Place — Breanna D. Mills, Wyoming County

9th Place — Amiri Bartley, Logan County

10th Place —Caroline Smith, Nicholas County

Text Only
Latest News
  • rock VIdeo: Experts dislodge precariously perched remnant of a rockslide

    A highly-trained crew in climbing gear hoisted chainsaws and other specialized equipment high above the road in Hinton Tuesday morning to remove a boulder that hung precariously above a busy intersection.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Preliminary hearing set for Bluefield ‘warlock’

    A Bluefield man who police say used a promise of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him remains incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver on multiple sexual assault and sexual abuse charges.

    April 23, 2014

  • New River Gorge fire still burning

    Firefighters are still trying to control the fire at Fern Creek along the Endless Wall area of the New River Gorge, according to a press release from the National Park Service on Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • fff Experts help growing entrepreneurs

    John Yates wants to grow potatoes to supply Monroe County schools.
    He’s got a business plan, he can get the equipment and 3 tons of seed potatoes. The land for lease in Sweet Springs is farther from his Ballard home than he’d like, but with a little help, the active duty Army staff sergeant and his sister Rebecca are ready to begin.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rahall calls meeting on W.Va.’s drug problem

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall says he has arranged a roundtable discussion with federal and West Virginia officials on the state’s prescription drug abuse and trafficking problems.

    April 23, 2014

  • Arch Coal reports wider 1Q loss

    Arch Coal Inc. said Tuesday that its first-quarter loss widened as weaker prices and demand cut into its margins, prompting the mine operator to shave its outlook for shipments of coal used in making steel.

    April 22, 2014

  • Former Concord University police officer sentenced on sex charge involving juvenile

    A former Concord University police officer was sentenced Tuesday to a term of 10 to 20 years in prison on a single count of sexual abuse by a parent or custodian.

    April 22, 2014

  • Bly6bH3CYAA6Xdl.jpg-large.jpeg UPDATE: Ill. crew helps fight New River Gorge fire

    An Illinois-based firefighting crew has joined the effort to contain a wildfire in the New River Gorge National River.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thunderstorms, showers heading our way

    Today’s forecast lurches us a little further toward real spring weather, with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible after 2 p.m.

    April 22, 2014

  • State spring gobbler season to open next week

    The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says spring gobbler season will open Monday and run through May 24.

    April 22, 2014