In anticipation of this year’s Regional Spelling Bee, 20 eager students from King Elementary sat on the stage in their school’s cafeteria awaiting to hear the word that could send them back to their seats or to the Jimmie Cannon Theater for the Performing Arts in March.

For local sixth-grader Ali Hussain, the word that cemented his first-place finish and ticket to compete in the regional bee was “mussed,” which came after nine rounds on Friday morning.

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