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Tropical Storm Elsa soaks NYC as it races up East Coast

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Fast-moving Tropical Storm Elsa hit the New York City region with heavy rain and high winds, toppling trees and hindering some commuter rail service as it churned its way toward New England. There were some snags on the commuter rail lines Friday, with slight delays north of the city and service suspended on the Long Island Rail Road’s Oyster Bay Branch because of fallen trees. The storm struck a city already reeling from a deluge Thursday that flooded roads and at least one subway station. The strongest winds were expected to stay off the coast of New England. But the storm was expected to bring heavy rain.

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African American spelling bee champ makes history with flair

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. […]

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