Reading html with special characters

I am working on some routines to parse data from html files. The script is virtually complete except for one detail. When I view the html in Safari, 2 characters in particular, show correctly, but when I read them into to a variable in applescript they do not appear properly. The 2 characters, in this case, are the copyright “®” symbol and the degree “°” symbol. I’ve tried various ideas:

set myVar to read theFile
set myVar to read theFile as text
set myVar to read theFile as unicode text

and a few others that resulted in errors.

The characters, in applescript, appear as follows:
® → ¬Ã†
° → ¬âˆž

If I have to, I’ll will look for these, but I’d really like to know how to read in the data correctly in the first place.

Brad Bumgarner, CTA

Model: G5 iMac
AppleScript: 1.9.3
Browser: Safari 312
Operating System: Mac OS X (10.3.9)