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June 3--  A rising eighth-grader at Robert Toombs Christian Academy in Lyons is one of 562 students from around the country who made it to the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee last week in Maryland.

colemastermansmithCole Masterman-Smith was a guest on Monday's Southeast Georgia Today morning show with Chester Proctor (left) and Jeff Raiford and explained the process , "They gave you sample tests of the Round One to practice on so you get the hang of it.  Of course, the words on the sample test were not on the actual test.  For Round Two, they gave you a study list and for Round Two the word you got that round was going to be on that list, no matter what."

"For Round Three and the finals, it was any word from the dictionary.  The way you study for that is you learn root words, prefixes and suffixes, anything like from Latin or Greek.  It mostly comes from that so you learn what they mean and definitions and you can ask if this root is in the word and if it means this," he said.

Even though Cole didn't make it to the final 50 spellers and the televised round this year, he's planning to try again next year, "I'm looking forward to trying again and I will definitely try harder this time and study more and know what to study.  This was just a great experience for me to learn how it works and I just want to try and get to the finals."

The Southeast Georgia Today Morning show is heard weekdays from 7:45 till 9 a.m. on NewsTalk WVOP, AM 970 and FM 105.3 FM and online at

Coming up Tuesday, the program explores the effects of marijuana.

Until babies started to be born without limbs, thalidomide was considered safe enough to be prescribed for morning sickness. Now, many dispensaries for medical marijuana are recommending cannabis for this purpose.

 After all, advocates for legalization have long claimed that “weed” is safer than tobacco or alcohol. The prospect of rich tax revenues—$1.3 billion in New York—is fueling the nationwide push to legalize recreational use.

 Join Chester Proctor and Jeff Raiford as they sit down with medical expert Jane Orient and discuss the adverse affects of marijuana at 8:05am, Tuesday, June 4th on WVOP 970 AM and 105.3FM