Miss New York, of Brooklyn, crowned Miss America

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LAS VEGAS -- A 23-year-old contestant from Brooklyn has won the title of Miss America.

Mallory Hagan won the Las Vegas beauty pageant last night after tap dancing to James Brown's "Get Up Off of That Thing" and answering a question about whether armed guards belong in grade schools by saying we should not fight violence with violence.

Hagan defeated Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers, who took second, and Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, who was third.

Hagan wins a $50,000 college scholarship and gets the crown for one year. Her platform was stopping child sexual abuse. She is expected to spend her title reign on a nationwide speaking tour and raising money for the Children's Miracle Network, the organization's official charity.

Hagan defeated several competitors who grabbed headlines.

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Miss District of Columbia planned to undergo a preventive double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer, which killed her mother and grandmother.

Miss Montana was the pageant's first autistic contestant. Miss Iowa has Tourette's syndrome.

And Miss Maine lost more than 50 pounds before winning her state crown. -- AP

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