Updated 12:00 a.m., Thu July 24, 2014
PHOTO BY: Rusty Hubbard

Michael Kidd, 14, is a ninth-grade chess player from Searcy who is representing Arkansas in the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions in Orlando, Fla. Michael’s favorite chess piece is the knight.

King of the board

Searcy teen competing in national chess tournament

Like a knight striding across a checkered background, one Searcy teen is aiming for his opponents’ kings this coming week. Michael Kidd will represent Arkansas in the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 champions in Orlando, Florida. He won the Arkansas Scholastic State Chess Tournament and will compete against other winners from all over the country. Kidd, who is 14 years old, has been playing chess for seven years. This will be his second... READ MORE


    Big mouth costs more than money

    My mouth has cost me a lot in the past 50 years. In my baby book, my mother wrote about my first trip to the dentist. In her neat, perfect handwriting, she put: “He couldn’t get her to stop talking!” I was 3, and so it began. At a church camp in fifth grade, I got a front tooth almost knocked out by a boy who dove off someone else’s shoulders. His head went right into my mouth. My parents came to get me and drove like crazy to get me to... READ MORE


    Searcy’s new assistant superintendent glad to be back home

    From warning parents about lions to becoming one himself, Randy Byrd said he is excited to start in his new role as the Searcy Public Schools’ assistant superintendent of special programs. Byrd, who began working for the school district on July 1, has worked in various education roles across the state since he started his career as a science teacher in the Hughes School District in 1989. One experience he said he was never trained for w... READ MORE


    Catfish, crawdads and bottomland rivers

    When I first saw “the crawfish run,” the sight astounded me. I’ve witnessed this incredible natural phenomenon several times in the intervening years, but memories of my first run will always be most vivid. It was June, and floodwaters were receding along Arkansas’ lower White River. When the river fell to the right level, my friend Jim Spencer phoned. “We need to go tomorrow,” he said, “or they’ll be gone. I’ll pick you up at 5 a.m.” W... READ MORE


    Perfect for a casual midsummer lunch

    Around about now — a good month into summer — many people feel like they’re running short of grilling inspiration. They’ve cooked and eaten their fill of burgers, sausages, steaks and chops, accompanied by all sorts of grilled vegetables. Of course, they’ve grilled some of their favorite seafood, too. And all of these are delicious. But I’ve seen home grillers hit the wall. “Wolfgang,” they’ll tell me, “grilling is really just a cooking... READ MORE


    This week's events in the Three Rivers edition

    July 13 Dessert Theater SEARCY — Center on the Square will present a Dessert Theater at 1 p.m. at 219 W. Arch St., featuring the second annual playwright contest winners: Money Isn’t Everything, by Linda Norris, and Dream Date, by Dan Borengasser. Tickets are $18. For more information, call (501) 368-0111 or visit www.centeronthesquare.org. July 13, 18 and 19 Nunsense the Mega-Musical BATESVILLE — The Batesville Community Theatre’s su... READ MORE