US News: Winter Still Has a Grip on US; Female Pair - Serial Killers?; Union Loses VW Vote in Tenn;

By: ap
By: ap
Another round of heavy snow for New England...  Pa. woman admits Craigslist killing in interview - claims to have killed dozens of men... Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga vote against unionizing... Obama signs debt ceiling measure into law... Body found in airplane wheel well at Va.

Snow may provide a picturesque winter wonderland, but when freezing rain sends pine tree limbs and complete trees cascading into power lines, the results can be life threatening from down power lines and power outages. (photo courtesy of WRDW-TV, Augusta, Ga)

WINTER WEATHER
BOSTON (AP) -- The governor of Massachusetts is urging drivers to stay off of the roads for 12 hours as another snowstorm pounds New England.
Gov. Deval Patrick says, "It won't be possible to keep up with the clearing of the roads."
Forecasters are calling for 10 to 14 inches of snow in the eastern part of Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island.
At its peak, they predict the storm will dump snow at the rate of 3 inches per hour.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh says the city will deploy more than 600 snow plows, trucks and other equipment by this evening to deal with the city's latest snowstorm.
Connecticut could see 8 to 10 inches along its Rhode Island border.
In Maine, forecasts call for 12 to 18 inches of snow beginning tonight. Southeastern New Hampshire could get 6 to 10 inches.
The weekend snowstorm comes on the heels of another storm that brought snow and ice to the East Coast, caused at least 25 deaths and left hundreds of thousands without power. Parts of New York and Vermont ended up with more than 2 feet of snow.

NEWLYWEDS-CRAIGSLIST KILLING
SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania woman charged with her newlywed husband in the murder of a man they met through Craigslist has admitted in a jailhouse interview to the slaying and says she has killed more than 20 others.
The Daily Item in Sunbury, Pa., reported that police are investigating 19-year-old Miranda Barbour's claims of killing at least 22 others from Alaska to North Carolina that she said was part of her involvement in a satanic cult.
Sunbury police Chief Steve Mazzeo tells the newspaper that investigators have been in contact with the FBI and law enforcement in several other states. Lawyers for the couple didn't immediately return messages.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Barbour and 22-year-old Elytte Barbour in the death of Troy LaFerrara in November.

VOLKSWAGEN-UNION
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- The failure of the United Auto Workers to unionize employees at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee underscores a cultural disconnect between a labor-friendly German company and anti-union sentiment in the South.
The multiyear effort to organize Volkswagen's only U.S. plant was defeated on a 712-626 vote Friday night amid heavy campaigning on both sides.
Mike Jarvis, who was among the group of workers in the plant that organized to fight the UAW, said his colleagues were unwilling to risk hurting the plant, which he called "the greatest thing that's ever happened to us."
Southern Republicans expressed great relief that the UAW didn't manage to gain its first win in a foreign automaker in the South. They worried that a UAW victory could have scared away future manufacturing jobs.

OBAMA-BILL SIGNING
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) -- President Barack Obama has signed separate measures lifting the federal debt limit and restoring full cost of living benefits for military retirees.
Obama signed the bills into law Saturday during a weekend golf vacation in Southern California.
The debt limit measure frees the government to borrow the money it needs to pay bills, such as Social Security benefits.
Failure to pass it most likely would have sent the stock market into a dive.
Separate legislation passed in December would have held annual cost of living increases for certain veterans to 1 percentage point below the rate of inflation. The measure was an attempt to hold the line on the soaring costs of government benefit programs. Veterans groups and some lawmakers said cutting the benefits was a mistake.

AIRPLANE WHEEL WELL-BODY
CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) -- Airport officials say the body of a man has been found in the wheel well of a South African Airways plane parked at Washington Dulles International Airport.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says the body was found around 1:30 p.m. Saturday by ground crew members assigned to the aircraft. The Airbus A340 was sitting in a remote parking area at the time.
Airport officials say the circumstances of the man's death are under investigation. The body will be turned over to the Fairfax County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.
Officials say operations at the airport were unaffected by the discovery.

MILITARY ETHICS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army's top officer says the service branch may have "lost focus" on the character issue in recent years, amid repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The comments from Gen. Ray Odierno follow similar concerns expressed by Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
An examination of personnel data finds that the number of U.S. soldiers who've been forced out of the Army in the past several years because of crimes or misconduct has soared. And the number of officers who left the Army because of misconduct has more than tripled in the past three years.
The numbers underscore the strains that have been faced by soldiers and their leaders amid long and repeated deployments to the front lines. They also reflect the Army's rapid growth in the middle part of the decade, and the decisions to relax standards in order to bring in and retain tens of thousands of soldiers for the fights in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over the past year, a series of high-profile scandals -- from sexual assault and damaging leadership to mistreatment of the enemy and unauthorized spending -- has plagued the military. The scandals led to ethics reviews and new personnel policies.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California's historic drought is putting increasing pressure on Gov. Jerry Brown to tackle longstanding problems in the state's water storage and delivery systems.
For the Democratic governor, the drought brings both opportunity and risk as he faces re-election this year.
Brown is pitching a contentious $25 billion proposal to drill two 35-mile-long, freeway-size water tunnels beneath the Northern California delta.
He also faces mounting pressure from the state Legislature on an $11 billion water bond that lawmakers want to scale back in hopes of winning favor with voters in November.
Few things are more politically divisive in California than water, but those affected by the drought are hoping the crisis provides much-needed urgency to yield a rare political compromise.
Brown says if anybody can get it done, he can.

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) -- California agriculture officials are reporting good news for wine lovers and vineyard operators alike: a record harvest of wine grapes.
The Modesto Bee reports that growers in the nation's premier wine region brought in a bumper crop last year, thanks to expanded acreage and overall favorable weather.
Wine grapes are one of California's top commodities, a crop worth $3.16 billion last year, according to the California Association of Winegrape Growers.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture's preliminary figures show that the crop of red and white varieties combined weighed in at 4.23 million tons, up 5 percent from 4.02 million tons in 2012.
Wine brokers say those two large harvests will mean wine aficionados should find plenty of bargain bottles on grocery store shelves.

MIAMI (AP) -- Advocacy groups are planning a major push to educate uninsured young adults about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.
Dozens of organizations in Florida and around the country were participating in National Youth Enrollment Day on Saturday. Events were held in Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville to target so-called "young invincibles." U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was scheduled to speak at an enrollment event in North Miami.
Insurers are counting on "young invincibles" to offset the costs of covering older, sicker enrollees. The Obama administration has been courting young adults through social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements.
According to Census data in 2012, 18 million 19-to-34-year-olds lacked insurance -- or 27 percent of all people in that age group.
Enrollment ends March 31.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A survey of academics has found that Eleanor Roosevelt was the nation's best first lady. Michelle Obama ranks fifth.
The findings from the Siena College/C-SPAN poll were released Saturday.
Hillary Clinton dropped from fourth to sixth since the last survey in 2008.
Abigail Adams kept her second place standing, and Jacqueline Kennedy retained third place. Dolly Madison was fourth.
Clinton is seen as the former first lady with the most presidential potential.
The poll is based on interviews with 242 historians, political scientists and other scholars questioned from Oct. 10 to Nov. 25 by mail and online.
The Siena College survey has been conducted five times since 1982. Roosevelt has come out on top each time.


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