Updated 12:00 a.m., Sun December 21, 2014
PHOTO BY: Mark Buffalo

Benton coach Scott Neathery talks to his team during the Class 6A state championship game on Dec. 5 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. The coach’s Panthers had one of the best seasons in school history, marking a milestone moment for Neathery that came just eight years after he faced uncertainty following a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia.

Fighting Panther

Championship loss not toughest pill Benton coach has had to swallow

Bruce Guthrie

These days, a big smile adorns the face of Benton Panthers football coach Scott Neathery. In recent weeks, Neathery’s Panthers have completed one of the most successful seasons in the program’s history, winning 11 games. The only 2014 blemishes came at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock in a 14-14 tie to Bryant in the Salt Bowl that began the season, and a 51-10 loss to Pine Bluff in the state championship game on Dec. 6. Even though 2... READ MORE

THAT'S LIFE

    Some of co-workers’ Christmas memories

    We started talking in the office last week about our favorite Christmas memories, and it really took us back to a simpler time. OK, so the conversation really wasn’t that relaxed and nostalgic. I had to write a column, and I yelled, ‘OK, people — I’m on deadline — I need your Christmas memories right now!” But it did start a fun and lengthy conversation. The youngest woman remembered an experience from when she was only 2 or 3 years old... READ MORE

FRONT & CENTER

    Director of Malvern’s First Step center willing to ‘try something new’

    Aerah Hardin has mountain-biked the highest peaks and kayaked along the ocean coastline, but perhaps she might say her greatest accomplishment is working with children and adults who have special needs. For the past 12 years, Hardin, 35, has supervised programming for adults and children with developmental disabilities, teaching early-childhood special education and curriculum development. Since March, she has been director of operation... READ MORE

TRI-LAKES OUTDOORS

    Ducks, geese not only migratory fowl to offer wingshooting opportunities in The Natural State

    “Why is it you like hunting snipe?” a friend asked me one day after I had left our duck blind and put two of the longbills in my game bag. “You wear yourself out wading through mud and marsh grass, hoping to find some little brown birds barely the size of anorexic quail. Each one flushes underfoot and scares the wits out of you. You twist yourself into a knot trying to shoot them before they sputter away, and if you’re really lucky, you... READ MORE

FLAVOR

    This year, enjoy holiday chestnuts in a tasty soup

    If you grew up almost anywhere cold in North America or Europe, one of the most evocative sensations of the holiday season is the smoky-sweet smell of chestnuts, roasting irresistibly on charcoal-fueled street-corner stands. I’ll bet right now, at that very thought, you’re hearing in your head the famous lyrics of “The Christmas Song,” written and sung by the late Mel Torme, who dined often at my Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills. Both ... READ MORE

CALENDAR

    COMMUNITY EVENTS IN THE TRI-LAKES AREA

    Dec. 21 Christmas Classic HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE — The Christmas movie classic Polar Express will be shown at 2 p.m. in Woodlands Auditorium at the Ponce de Leon Center. Tickets are $2 per person and can be purchased online at hsvpoa.org/events-tickets. Sharon Turrentine Holiday Concert HOT SPRINGS — Garvan Woodland Gardens volunteer Sharon Turrentine will present a free public holiday concert at 3 p.m. in Anthony Chapel. For more informa... READ MORE