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PNS Daily Newscast - October 21, 2020 

A new report sizes up swing states like Michigan; voters with disabilities face new obstacles in Election 2020.

2020Talks - October 21, 2020 

Democrats weigh boycotting the committee vote on Trump's Supreme Court nominee; and concerns over mail slowdowns in 10 battleground states.

New National Spelling Bee Star Crowned

June 16, 2008

New York, NY - America has a new spelling bee star, and he's making the rounds in New York this week. Meet Larry Grossman of Northwood, North Dakota. He's been crowned the winner in AARP The Magazine's National Spelling Bee, which drew contestants age 50-plus from across the country over the weekend. He won by correctly spelling "debouch."


"Correct. And we have our winner. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you with the best speller in the country."

This year's oral spelling round got up to more than 250 words before the field was narrowed to just a few. Michael Petrina, Jr. of Arlington, Virginia, took second place after getting stumped on a medical term.

"Umbones...may I phone a friend?"

AARP The Magazine editor Steve Slon says the competition is about more than keeping minds sharp, it's a showcase of a lifetime of learning.

"This is not just seniors trying to master a few words to keep from forgetting things. This is the opposite, if anything - showing off the power of the older brain, the wiser brain."

Some competitors said they spent the past year studying the dictionary. Others said they relied on their natural spelling abilities. The competition started 13 years ago and is held every year in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Deborah Smith/Steve Powers, Public News Service - NY