Noon Nuggets: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013
WEATHER: It's 52 degrees with scattered clouds in Winchester at noon. The high will reach to 54 this afternoon. Skies will become more cloudy into the evening and temperatures will fall into the mid-30s. Most cloudy and breezy with a slight chance of rain on Thursday and a high of 46.
STOCKS: U.S. stocks are rising in midday trading because of strong earnings from discount retailers and more evidence that housing is recovering.
Dollar Tree earnings rose 22 percent as shoppers spent more. The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January to the highest level in almost three years.
At midday Wednesday the Dow Jones industrial average rose 97 points to 13,997. The Dow jumped 116 points Tuesday after strong U.S. home sales and earnings from Home Depot.
The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 13 points at 1,509. The Nasdaq rose 31 points to 3,161.
PICTURE OF THE DAY
A Southwest Airlines jet is silhouetted against the rising full moon as it takes of from Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
HEADLINES: Obama, top lawmakers to meet Friday on budget cuts
Cops: Grandma shot self, young grandsons in car
Rosa Parks statue set to be unveiled at Capitol
Senators clash over need to ban assault weapons
Hagel takes helm at Pentagon after bitter fight
Ohio court spars with lawyers in school Bible case
Anti-gun Democrat shoo-in to replace Jackson Jr.
Voting rights law gets Supreme Court challenge
Judge watches videotape of ex-BP CEO's testimony
Ohio town remembers 3 killed by teen 1 year ago
IN THURSDAY'S STAR: The 50th anniversary of Patsy Cline's death is March 5 and a number of events are planned to mark that date. See what they are.
The owners of the 340 QuickMart in Berryville will be sentenced in the contraband cigarette trafficking ring.
LOCAL MEETINGS OF NOTE TODAY: Frederick County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors/Finance Committee budget work session, 6 p.m. County Administration Building, 107 N. Kent. St.
Followed by Board of Supervisors AGENDA | PACKET
TODAY IN THE STAR: Stephens City police are investigating circumstances that led to a 19-month-old baby testing positive for morphine, marijuana and heroin. STORY
Rep. Frank Wolf says the chances of a deal to avert the $85 billion of cuts in 2013 don't look good. STORY
ODD STORY OF THE DAY: Whistle . . . While You Walk
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A man charged with disorderly conduct for his loud whistling in downtown Portland has reached a deal with the city — he can whistle, but he can't linger in one spot.
Robert Smith, of Westbrook, has been cited by police twice in the past year after businesses complained. He pleaded guilty last summer and reached a deal with the city in which he can keep whistling as long as he's moving.
Smith maintains that his whistling — audible a block away — is protected free speech and usually brings smiles.
But downtown businesses have complained about the 32-year-old Smith's never-ending noise-making.
Smith said he works a construction job during the summer, but when he's not working he usually takes a bus into Portland and walks downtown streets from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., wearing a baseball cap, wrap-around sunglasses and a backpack while listening to classic rock and oldies through his headphones.
As he walks the streets, some people laugh and smile. But others scowl or roll their eyes in disgust, making rude comments after passing by.
GAS PRICE TREND
This chart shows how average gas prices in Virginia have risen nearly