Noon Nuggets: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013

Posted: February 28, 2013

With Wire Reports

Your midday look at what's going on in Winchester and around the world on the final day of February.

WINCHESTER WEATHER: It's 41 degrees and overcast in Winchester at noon. Mostly cloudy and breezy with a slight chance of rain showers this afternoon. High of 46. Mostly cloudy tonight with a low of 32 and windchills near 25.

A slight chance of precipitation on Friday with highs near 45. Wind gusts to 30 mph. Partly to mostly cloudy over the weekend with a high each day of 41.

The Pope's Final Blessings

In this image taken from video as Pope Benedict XVI deliveres his final greetings to the assembly of cardinals at the Vatican this morning, before he retires in just a few hours. Benedict urged the cardinals to work in unity and promised his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor in his final words to his cardinals Thursday in a poignant and powerful farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Vatican TV)

The Final Tweet from the first Pope to have a Twitter account: "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives."


MIDDAY STOCKS: A rally is losing steam on Wall Street as indexes inch higher following two days of triple-digit gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 16 points at 14,091 at midday. It's just 73 points below the record high it reached in October 2007. The Dow had jumped 291 points over the past two days on new signs of strength in the housing market and a jump in consumer confidence.

The Standard & Poor's 500 was up two at 1,518. The Nasdaq composite edged up seven to 3,169.

HEADLINES:  Manning offers pleas to judge in WikiLeaks case
An Army private charged in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history offered guilty pleas Thursday to 10 of 22 charges against him and a military judge said she would allow the soldier to read a statement explaining his actions.

Pfc. Bradley Manning would plead guilty to sending hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, in violation of military regulations but not in violation of federal espionage laws.

The judge, Col. Denise Lind, must decide whether to accept the guilty pleas, which could carry a sentence of 20 years in prison. Prosecutors could still pursue a court-martial on the remaining charges, including aiding the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.

ALSO: Senate Democrats, GOP to stage votes on rival cuts

Dad: Suspect's anger, sex obsessions led to fall

Congress set to OK bill renewing anti-violence law

Obama nears deadline on gay marriage decision

Arkansas Senate overrides veto of abortion bill

SpaceX on verge of 3rd supply run to space station

Video: Maine Zumba teacher got cash for sex

It's reality vs. fantasy at NY cannibalism trial

Colorado task force ponders how to tax legal pot

IN TODAY'S STAR: A year after the death of one of their own -- Ira Lindberg Harris -- Shenandoah University students continue to celebrate his love for life. STORY

The 50th anniversary of music legend Patsy Cline's death in next week and a number of remembrances are planned for her hometown. STORY

The Cal Ripken World Series was a hit when it came to Winchester in summer 2011. Now, the city may be back up to bat with the same tournament in 2014. STORY

Winchester now has two maternal-fetal medicine doctors. For years, Cathleen McCoy was the only physician who had the specific training required to diagnose complications with high-risk pregnancies and intervene of necessary. With the help of Valley Health, she's set up her own practice and reqcruited another doctor.


The United Way of the Shenandoah Valley will name its Volunteer of the Year at the 67th annual dinner meeting tonight.

At 6'8" and 225 pounds, Cameron Jackson is a big reason why the Handley boys basketball team is back in the state tournament.

A preview of the Clarke County vs. Lancaster girls basketball Group A, Division 2 state quarterfinal game on Friday in Norfolk. 

A Tumbleweed Connection


MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — A brutal storm system that brought 19 inches of snow to some areas of West Texas has delivered something entirely different to one homeowner.

Winds in excess of 60 mph that accompanied Monday's blizzard pushed hundreds of tumbleweeds against a Midland home.

One side of Josh Pitman's home is obscured by tumbleweeds stacked one atop the other, blocking some doorways.

Pitman says he recently tore down a fence that would have protected his home from the rambling weeds.

He says it's the "most ridiculous thing" he's ever seen and expects to spend the rest of the week clearing away the tumbleweeds.