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A.M. Sacramento: Here’s what you need to know for Thursday

Snehaa Ganesh Kumar, a student at Folsom Middle School, reacts after she correctly spelled the winning word “opificer“ to win the 32nd Annual California Central Valley Spelling Bee at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center on Wednesday, in Sacramento. Kumar will represent California's Central Valley in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, May 24-29 in Washington, D.C.
Snehaa Ganesh Kumar, a student at Folsom Middle School, reacts after she correctly spelled the winning word “opificer“ to win the 32nd Annual California Central Valley Spelling Bee at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center on Wednesday, in Sacramento. Kumar will represent California's Central Valley in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, May 24-29 in Washington, D.C. rpench@sacbee.com

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know today:

Blacktop basketball weather: The days are getting longer, providing more sunshine for exercise after work. The sun sets at 6:03 p.m. today so scurry down to the schoolyard and shoot some hoop -- or walk the pooch around the block. The weather is expected to be pleasant with a high of 70 degrees predicted for Sacramento.

Sculpture debated: If the Sacramento Kings were looking to elicit strong opinions with the selection of an $8 million sculpture for their new downtown arena, they’ve succeeded. Social media, Kings fans and the local art world have buzzed with emotions ranging from disgust to joy in the days since the Kings, the city of Sacramento and local art officials announced they had picked a sculpture by world-renowned New York artist Jeff Koons as the centerpiece for the arena’s public plaza.

▪ Art review: Sacramento, look closer at Jeff Koons’ work

▪ Bee poll: Do you like the sculpture planned for the arena? What's Sac’s best public art?

Purple column rises: As a 40-foot purple column was bolted into place, the Downtown Plaza arena project went “vertical” for the first time.

Not guilty plea: Samantha Lee Green, 23, the mother of a newborn boy found dead last week in a remote Yolo County slough pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony charges of involuntary manslaughter and abusing or endangering the health of a child.

More mutilations: Another bag of decapitated chickens was found Wednesday morning in midtown Sacramento, one block from a similar discovery Tuesday night. Animal control officials say the discovery is at least the ninth involving mutilated livestock in recent months.

Top speller: Snehaa Ganesh Kumar of Folsom finally won the California Central Valley Spelling Bee, four years after her first try.

Spurs spank Kings: Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points, leading the host San Antonio Spurs to a 112-85 rout of the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

Local sports today: Men’s college basketball – Cal at Arizona, 6 p.m. (ESPN, KAHI 950)

Sacramento State at Southern Utah, 6:05 p.m. (KTKZ 1380)

UC Riverside at UC Davis, 7 p.m. (KSAC-FM 105.5)

Stanford at Arizona State, 8 p.m. (FS1)

Women’s college basketball – UC Davis at UC Riverside, 7 p.m. (KDVS-FM 90.3)

Spring training baseball – Chicago Cubs (split squad) at San Francisco Giants, 12:05 p.m.

Oakland A’s at Chicago Cubs (split squad), 12:05 p.m.

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