May 30th, 2012
02:33 AM ET

Girl, 6, is youngest competitor in National Spelling Bee history

When Lori Anne Madison, 6, takes the stage Wednesday, she will be stepping into history as the youngest person to compete in the National Spelling Bee.

The second-grader joins 277 other contestants, marking a milestone as the youngest competitor in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, according to the event's record books dating to 1993.

Since 1993, there have been four spellers who were 8 years old, said Mike Hickerson, the bee's communications manager.

Lori Anne beat out 21 kids in the regional bee in Prince William County in Virginia, earning a spot in the national bee.

She won by spelling the word "vaquero," the Spanish translation of "cowboy" often used in parts of the South.

While she loves spelling, Lori Anne has other interests as well.

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Filed under: Spelling bee • U.S.
January 25th, 2012
07:17 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Oops! School signs spelled wrong

Students who struggle with their spelling lessons may have trouble finding positive reinforcement from some school signs we found spelled incorrectly. Check out these signs that spell trouble:

"SHCOOL X-NG" sign lacking "street smarts" – Since July of last year students at Marta Valle High School on New York City's Lower East Side have had to view a painted street sign outside of their school that was spelled wrong.

"People older than us always tell us to make sure we spell stuff right and this sign is wrong right in front of us," said Tanaysha Ebron, a senior at the school.

The sign, spelled "SHCOOL X-NG" on Stanton Street was corrected Tuesday.


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Filed under: Education • Florida • Gotta Watch • Indiana • New York • Spelling bee • U.S.
Eighth-grader wins spelling bee with 'cymotrichous'
June 3rd, 2011
12:18 AM ET

Eighth-grader wins spelling bee with 'cymotrichous'

Pennsylvania teen Sukanya Roy was tantalizingly close to the Scripps National Spelling Bee's final rounds in previous years. Now, she's taken the prize.

Sukanya, 14, won the annual spell-off Thursday night with the word cymotrichous, which means having wavy hair, topping 274 other contestants over two days and 20 rounds.

After nailing the last word, the eighth-grader covered her smile with a shaky hand, and moments later lifted a trophy that was handed to her at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

"It's just amazing. It's hard to find the words" to describe the feeling, Sukanya (pictured) told ESPN's Rob Stone after she won.

She had a lot less trouble spelling the words she needed to win.

Among the 13 words she spelled correctly in Thursday night’s finals were psephomancy (divination by pebbles), pyopoiesis (the formation of pus), and völkerwanderung (the migration of nations).


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Filed under: Spelling bee
On the Radar: Hurricane season; spelling bee; tornado vigil
Hurricane warning flags blow in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, as Hurricane Earl approached last year.
June 1st, 2011
06:28 AM ET

On the Radar: Hurricane season; spelling bee; tornado vigil

Three things you need to know today.

Hurricane season: The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season begins Wednesday with forecasters expecting an above-average year for named storms in the Atlantic basin, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.

During the season, which ends November 30, NOAA is predicting there will be 12 to 18 named storms. Storms are named when they reach tropical-storm status with winds of 39 mph or higher.

Of those storms, forecasters are predicting six to 10 will reach hurricane status, with winds of 74 mph or higher.

Three to six of the hurricane could become major hurricanes, with winds in excess of 110 mph.

"The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season's tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines. However, we can't count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook," NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco said last month.

Arlene will be the name of the season's first storm to reach sustained winds of 39 mph, followed by Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily and Franklin. See the full list here.


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Filed under: Alabama • Hurricanes • Spelling bee • Tornadoes • Tropical weather • Weather