SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A seventh-grader from San Diego's Francis Parker School will be the lone Californian in Thursday's semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Md.
Snigdha Nandipati became one of the 41 semifinalists from the original field of 275 because of the combination of her score on a 25-word written test taken Tuesday and correctly spelling "avifauna" - meaning birds from a specified region - and "masala" - a blend of Indian spices and herbs - during Wednesday's second and third rounds.
During the semifinal and championship rounds, a contestant is generally eliminated when he or she misspells a word.
The winner of the bee will receive $30,000 from Scripps, which owns television stations and newspapers, a $5,000 scholarship from the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond from the dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster, and reference works from Encyclopaedia Britannica valued at $2,600 and a lifetime membership to Britannica Online Premium and a Nook eReader and online course from K12 Inc.
ESPN will televise the semifinal rounds beginning at 7 a.m. and the championship rounds at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
The broadband network ESPN3.com will carry a second "play along" version, featuring the option to view the coverage without graphics, so viewers can test their knowledge against the champion spellers.
The bee is limited to students in eighth grade or below, with this year's original field of contestants ranging in age from 8 to 15 and from third through eighth grades.
Southern California has produced only one champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which began in 1925 - Anurag Kashyap of Poway, the 2005 winner.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday awarded $326,776 in grants to groups that will manage and monitor waste, including sewage spills, along the U.S.-Mexico border.
An 11-year-old girl broke free from a would-be kidnapper Tuesday in Jamul, suffering a minor injury to an arm.
Flames engulfed parts of a two-story home early Wednesday morning in San Diego's Pacific Highlands Ranch neighborhood, prompting evacuations from nearby homes as firefighters battled the blaze, authorities said.
People from both sides of the gun debate spoke out Tuesday afternoon in front of the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board of Directors.
The green light was given Tuesday to a South Bay redevelopment project that has been in the works for years.
A caravan of around 400 men, women and children arrived at a shelter in Tijuana on Tuesday as part of an annual caravan of migrants from Central America.
An Escondido man who killed a friend after challenging the victim to a fight, then posted sounds of the victim crying during the attack on a social media site, was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder.
In an effort to crackdown on bike thefts throughout the city, San Diego police are expanding their Bait Bike Program.