PENNSYLVANIA: Nuke steam turns into snow
Snow came from an unusual source in Shippingport as Arctic air gripped many parts of the United States. Steam from the cooling stacks of a nuclear power plant in the community, 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh near the Ohio border, turned into enough snow that some residents had to get their shovels out. Snow fell for about six hours, said Fred McMullen, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Ground-level cold air met the stacks' warm moist air, forming a cloud that produced snowflakes, he said. "Don't eat glowing snow!" Philadelphia Daily News reporter David Murphy jokingly tweeted. Accuweather.com noted that the Shippingport snow was neither fluorescent nor radioactive.
RHODE ISLAND: House backs gay marriage
The state House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation Thursday to allow gays and lesbians to marry in the only New England state where they can't. The House voted 51-19 after an often emotional debate that touched on civil rights, religion and the nature of marriage. Both supporters and opponents of gay marriage say it is difficult to predict the bill's fate in the Senate. Nine states and the District of Columbia now allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Sale of McGovern memorabilia
George McGovern once gave his daughter a bookend made of soapstone in the shape of a bear, a symbol of the "Terr the bear" nickname the former South Dakota senator often called Teresa, who froze to death 18 years ago in a snow bank near a bar where she'd been drinking. The figure is one of many deeply personal items going up for sale starting Saturday at McGovern's Sioux Falls home. The three-time presidential candidate, one of the nation's most-outspoken voices for liberalism and against the Vietnam War, died in October at age 90. Daughter Ann McGovern said the family decided to hold an estate sale over an auction because of the sentimental value of many of the items.