BURKESVILLE, Ky. (AP) - In southern Kentucky, where children get their first guns even before they start first grade, Stephanie Sparks paid little attention as her 5-year-old son, Kristian, played with the rifle he was given last year. Then, as she stepped onto the front porch while cleaning the kitchen, "she heard the gun go off," a coroner said.
BANNING (AP) - A Southern California wildfire fueled by strong winds was raging through 2 1/2 square miles of Riverside County on Wednesday as wind-fanned fires scorched parts of wine country north of San Francisco.
LITITZ, Pa. (AP) - A central Pennsylvania woman who mysteriously disappeared after dropping off her children for school 11 years ago has surfaced in Florida, telling police she traveled there on a whim with homeless hitchhikers, slept under bridges and survived by scavenging food and panhandling, authorities said Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - J.C. Penney is sorry and it wants your business back.
LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) - One family wept loudly and another family cheered Wednesday as a man was executed for killing a 6-month-old as he raped her.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration on Wednesday appealed a federal judge's order to lift all age limits on who can buy morning-after birth control pills without a prescription.
NEW YORK (AP) - Parents are reporting more skin and food allergies in their children, a big government survey found.
BOSTON (AP) - Three college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested and accused Wednesday of trying to protect him by going into his dorm room and getting rid of a backpack filled with hollowed-out fireworks three days after the deadly attack.
FROSTY START FOR UPSTATE NY ICE CREAM TRUCK SEASON: GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - The chilly relationship between rival upstate New York ice cream truck operators got out of hand this season, with Sno Cone Joe trying to chase Mr. Ding-A-Ling out of the market, authorities said Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - Television's champion for nearly a decade, Fox's "American Idol," now isn't even the most popular competition show on the air.
Kansas school apologies to Airman in prom dispute
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government is moving the morning-after pill over the counter but only those 15 and older can buy it - an attempt to find middle ground just days before a court-imposed deadline to lift all age restrictions on the emergency contraceptive.
NEW YORK (AP) - After nearly a decade away, former California first lady Maria Shriver is returning to NBC News for a job where she will concentrate on the roles of women in American life.
CLACKAMAS, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon cleaning worker was killed when he fell into a running blender at a meat-processing plant, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A referee for a recreational soccer league was in critical condition in a Salt Lake City hospital after being punched in the face by a teenage player who didn't like a call the man made in a weekend game.
NEW YORK (AP) - City dwellers facing one of the most brutal winters on record have been dealing with something far more dangerous than snow falling from the sky: ice tumbling from skyscrapers.
uGAP RAISING MINIMUM WAGE FOR ITS US EMPLOYEES: SAN FRANCSICO (AP) - Clothing chain Gap says it will raise the minimum hourly wage for its U.S. employees to $10 in 2015.
CANBY, Ore. (AP) - His grandfather sits on California's death row, and his father avoided a death sentence by pleading guilty to killing two Oregon girls.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Homeland Security Department abruptly reversed course Wednesday and dropped plans to ask a private company to give the government access to a nationwide database of license plate tracking information.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that it would be a good start for the federal health care law if 5 million to 6 million people sign up by the end of March, an acknowledgement that enrollments might fall significantly short of the Obama administration's unofficial goal of 7 million.
DENVER (AP) - Colorado's legal marijuana market is far exceeding tax expectations, according to a budget proposal released Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper that gives the first official estimate of how much the state expects to make from pot taxes.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A middle-school football coach was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of a 10-year-old girl who was snatched off a street just blocks from her southwest Missouri home as several residents watched in horror.
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - In what may be the first college donation of the new electronic currency, a Bitcoin entrepreneur has donated $10,000 worth of the digital money to a Washington state liberal arts college.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia pizza restaurant has been shut down after a district manager was caught on surveillance video urinating into a sink.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Facebook is buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, by far the company's largest acquisition and bigger than any that Google, Microsoft or Apple have ever done.
NEW YORK (AP) - Visa and MasterCard are introducing Internet-based technologies to make it easier for shoppers to buy things at retail stores without pulling out a credit card.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. said Wednesday that it plans to expand its MarkTen electronic cigarette brand nationally in the second quarter.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Should shoppers turn off their smartphones when they hit the mall? Or does having them on lead to better sales or shorter lines at the cash register?
BERLIN (AP) - Germans, once a nation of ardent automobile enthusiasts, are not buying cars as much as they used to. Instead, they're sharing them.
PALO ALTO (AP) - Tesla Motors Inc. shares soared in extended trading after the electric car maker delivered a strong fourth-quarter performance and said that it expects sales of its vehicles to increase sharply this year.