PNS Daily Newscast - June 14, 2019 

Hundreds of companies urge Trump to resolve tariff dispute with China. Also on our Friday rundown: California moves closer to universal health coverage. Plus, new Gulf restoration projects – a decade after the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Daily Newscasts

Wordsmiths Sharpen Study Skills for AARP Nat'l. Spelling Bee in WYO

May 24, 2010

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Some 50 wordsmiths are sharpening their study skills as they prepare for the AARP National Spelling Bee in Cheyenne next month, and some of them are sharing tips for those who want to compete. Most contestants say they spend time with their noses in the dictionary, and returning 2009 champ Michael Petrina Jr., from Arlington, Virginia, describes how he creates a study guide at the same time.

"I copied down all of the words that I thought I needed to know on index cards. I've been basically reviewing those index cards with some supplemental lists."

While some contestants spend all year studying, others rely on their lifetime of learning for the competition, and Petrina says there have been winners in the past who admit they don't do extra studying at all.

Scott Firebaugh of Knoxville, Tennessee, placed second last year. He's competed several times, and each year, he says, his study list grows longer.

"And this year, it's about 8200 words, a little more, on my list. My daughter went to national spelling bee twice, and she gives me the words orally, which helps, because sometimes when you hear it it's hard to know."

Kate Karp in Long Beach, California, has competed twice before, and has won a spelling bee for adults in Southern California.

"I look at foreign language names. I look at the new words on Merriam-Webster. And then, I print out a sheet every night and browbeat my friends into quizzing me."

Dr. Bill Long in Portland, Oregon, also scans the dictionary to create a study guide.

"I'm writing down words that are either really difficult words, or words that I think may cause a problem if you hear 'em cold."

Registration is open until the day of the event, to be held June 18-19, for spellers age 50 and over. So far, people from 21 states have signed up, including several Wyoming spellers. Spelling bee words come from the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition. More than $1000 worth of gifts and prizes will be awarded.

The spelling bee will be held at Little America Hotel and Resort in Cheyenne. Entry fee is $30 until June 11. Walk-in registration is $40. Register at

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY