OXON HILL, MD.

Spelling champ crowned

Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside, N.Y., won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday by correctly spelling “knaidel,” a small mass of leavened dough. Arvind will take home $30,000 in cash and prizes along with a huge, cup-shaped trophy. He finished third in 2011 and 2012, eliminated both times on German-derived words. This year, he got two German words in the finals and nailed them both, including the winning word. The eleven finalists advanced from a field of 281 contenders.

CHICAGO

Bomb plotter sentenced

A judge raised the specter of the Boston Marathon on Thursday as he sentenced a young Lebanese immigrant to 23 years in prison for placing a backpack he believed contained a powerful bomb along a bustling city street near the Chicago Cubs’ baseball stadium. Everyone at Sami Samir Hassoun’s sentencing in a crowded courtroom in Chicago could not help but think of the bombs that went off a month ago concealed in backpacks on the East Coast, killing three people and wounding hundreds more, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman said. “Let’s give the elephant in the room a name: It’s called the Boston Marathon,” he said. “What would have happened had [Hassoun’s] bomb been real would have made Boston look like a minor incident.” Minutes before the sentence was announced, Hassoun, 25, a one-time Chicago baker and candy-store worker, apologized for what he’d done in a five-minute statement.

PHOENIX

Bid to recall sheriff fizzles

A campaign to force a recall election against the polarizing sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix failed Thursday after recall organizers said they couldn’t collect enough voter signatures to bring the lawman to the ballot again. Organizers of the recall effort against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio needed more than 335,000 valid voter signatures by 5 p.m. Thursday to force a recall election. Recall organizers did not reveal the number of signatures gathered; five weeks ago, they claimed to have gathered 200,000. “This effort failed because the good people of Maricopa County, whom I’m honored to serve, rejected the wrong-headed idea of overturning an election,” Arpaio said in a news release.

Compiled from wire reports.