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.
All southbound lanes of Interstate 5 will be closed from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Sunday night and continuing through Oct. 25, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.
A Mexican fishing boat caught fire and burned 30 miles south of San Diego, and while 15 people were rescued by a U.S.- flagged vessel, three people remained missing Sunday.
A blessing. That is exactly what Kelly Muno is calling what happened to her son, a former San Diego State University baseball star, on Friday afternoon.
San Diego State has suspended one of its fraternities, the university announced in a statement late Friday.
Gun owners had the chance to trade in unwanted firearms for gift cards or skateboards on Saturday, no questions asked, at a gun "buy back" event in southeastern San Diego.
Warm and dry conditions are expected to last through Saturday. Gusty northeast winds in the mountains and valleys are expected to increase the risk of fire danger in the region.
The University of Southern California will pay $215 million in an "agreement in principle" to patients treated by Dr. George Tyndall, a campus gynecologist who has been accused of sexual assault by hundreds of women.
A San Diego Harbor Police vehicle was involved in a crash with a bicyclist early today, officers said.