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African American spelling bee champ makes history with flair

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The nation’s first African American winner has breezed to victory at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Fourteen-year-old Zaila Avant-garde of Harvey, Louisiana, didn’t show much stress on stage and only struggled with one word in Thursday’s finals. She is only the second Black champion in the bee’s 96-year history after Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica in 1998. Zaila described spelling as a side hobby, though she routinely practiced seven hours daily. A basketball prodigy, she hopes to play in the WNBA and holds three Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously. Zaila leaped with excitement after spelling the winning word, “Murraya,” a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees.

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Tropical storm pounds East Coast after killing 1 in Florida

Tropical Storm Elsa is carving a destructive and soaking path up the East Coast after killing at least one person in Florida and spinning up a tornado at a Georgia Navy base that flipped recreational vehicles upside-down and blew one of them into a lake. One person was killed in Jacksonville, Florida, when a tree fell onto a car. And a spokesperson for Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia […]

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