PRETZELED: A Presbyterian Church (USA) court ruled unanimously that Pittsburgh pastor Janet Edwards did not violate Scripture or church law by officiating at a lesbian couple's wedding in 2005. The Pittsburgh presbytery commission concluded that the ceremony Edwards presided over "was not, and could not have been, a marriage ceremony" because neither Pennsylvania nor the PCUSA recognize gay marriage.
CROSSED OVER: Two former President Bush supporters have announced they plan to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Houston mega-church pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, who introduced Bush as the nominee at the 2000 Republican National Convention and presided over Jenna Bush's wedding, actively began campaigning for Obama earlier this year. Then on Oct. 19, former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Obama, citing the need for a "transformational figure." Christopher Buckley, son of National Review founder William F. Buckley, resigned from the conservative magazine after endorsing Obama.
CLOISTERED: The last time Cecelia Gaudette, 106, voted for a president, it was 1952 and she backed Republican Dwight Eisenhower. This year, Gaudette, an American nun who has lived at a convent in Rome for 50 years, told the BBC she cast her absentee ballot for Barack Obama because "he seems to be a good man with a good private life."
EXPOSED: U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Fla., who in 2006 replaced disgraced Republican Rep. Mark Foley, was caught himself after admitting Oct. 17 he had at least two affairs-one while he campaigned to restore family values in Washington. Mahoney, 52, confirmed that he paid one of his mistresses and her attorneys $121,000 to keep quiet, but he insists he used personal funds and did not break the law. His wife Terry filed for divorce Oct. 20.
WALKED: Retired schoolteacher David Barlow shed his 30-pound backpack Oct. 12 after completing a 42-day, 479-mile hike aimed at raising awareness for Operation Christmas Child, an outreach of Samaritan's Purse that annually distributes gift-filled shoeboxes to children around the world. Barlow, 56, told WORLD that as he walked the Blue Ridge Parkway, he talked to hundreds of people about how easy and important it is to participate in the ministry, which holds its collection drive Nov. 17-24: "The children of the world are our future."
CROWNED: The senior class at Aledo High School in Texas chose 18-year-old Kristin Pass, a senior with Down syndrome, to be homecoming queen. Pass' coronation at the Oct. 10 football game evoked a standing ovation and left much of the crowd searching for tissues.