MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Montia Parker seemed loaded with promise as she was finishing high school this spring: an honor roll student already accumulating college credit, a frequent volunteer and cheerleading captain at her suburban Minneapolis school.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Obama administration's willingness to reopen national parks shuttered by the government shutdown came with a big caveat: States must foot the bill with money they likely won't see again.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - After more than a week in action, is a key feature of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul a success or a bust? Judging by the dearth of data, it's virtually impossible to say.
COLVILLE, Wash. (AP) - An 11-year-old boy was convicted Friday of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in a fifth-grade plot that targeted a female classmate.
ZOOKEEPER IN SOUTHWEST MISSOURI KILLED BY ELEPHANT: SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A longtime zookeeper in southwest Missouri was killed Friday morning when he was crushed by an elephant, a spokeswoman for the city of Springfield said.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro's death by hanging in his prison cell may not have been suicide after all but an ill-fated attempt to choke himself for a sexual thrill, authorities said in a report issued Thursday.
FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) - A man who disappeared decades ago is finding out there's no easy way to come back from the dead.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - The parents of a Georgia teenager whose body was found inside a rolled-up wrestling mat at school said Thursday that they have a new reason to suspect signs of foul play were covered by investigators - their son was buried without his internal organs.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government shutdown continues with some glimmer of hope for those who would like to visit the nation's national parks: The Obama administration said it would consider offers from the states to use their own money to pay for park operations.
ATLANTA (AP) - A south Georgia elementary school teacher accused of engaging in sex acts with a teen while knowing he was HIV-positive has been indicted by a grand jury.
WOMAN TOO DRUNK TO GET OUT OF CAR CALLS 911: BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A woman is charged with felony drunken driving after police in Billings, Mont., say she called 911 and said she was too drunk to get out of her vehicle.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - NASA's Jupiter-bound spacecraft hit a snag Wednesday soon after it used Earth as a gravity slingshot to hurtle toward the outer solar system, but mission managers said it's on course to arrive at the giant planet in 2016.
TIOGA, ND (AP) A school superintendent in North Dakota who resigned after being caught carrying a handgun to school said Wednesday that he worried about the safety of himself and others at the school because of a confrontation with a student.
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republican leaders are considering a short-term increase in the U.S. debt limit as a possible way to break the gridlock that threatens the nation with an unprecedented default in as little as a week, officials said Wednesday night.
WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - A retired police officer armed with an assault weapon and a handgun fired up to two dozen shots at a U.S. courthouse in West Virginia on Wednesday before police returned fire and killed him, authorities said.
PHOENIX (AP) - The accidental shooting death of a firing-range instructor by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi has set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns, with many people wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun.
HOUSTON (AP) - The iconic but shuttered Houston Astrodome could come back to life as an indoor park that county officials say would be the world's largest, according to the newest proposal for reusing the stadium and saving it from demolition.
CHICAGO (AP) - "Do-it-yourself" blood pressure measurements and medicine changes work better than usual doctor-office care in some patients, a study of older adults in England found.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards has a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A newlywed couple charged in the stabbing death of a stranger they lured through a Craigslist ad offering companionship pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday and face mandatory sentences of life without parole.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The secretary of defense has recommended a posthumous Medal of Honor for a black World War I soldier from upstate New York who saved a comrade while fighting off a German attack in France, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday.
DOLAN SPRINGS, Ariz. (AP) - A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - A rare, nearly flawless copy of Superman's comic-book debut has sold for a super-powered price: $3.2 million.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A man suspected of walking out of a Juneau, Alaska, jewelry store with a gold nugget worth nearly $5,000 developed a conscience and paid for it - after his image was distributed by police through a "crime stoppers" program.
SELMA, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama couple who wanted a baby repeatedly sexually assaulted an underage girl in hopes she'd get pregnant and give them the infant, authorities said Monday.
NEW YORK (AP) - A Russian tourist climbed to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge to take pictures for fun in the landmark's second security breach in a month, authorities said Monday.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A judge in Wyoming sentenced a 75-year-old Missouri woman to life in prison on Monday for killing her husband with a rifle in the mid-1970s and throwing his body down the shaft of an abandoned gold mine, where it remained for nearly 40 years.
BEND, Ore. (AP) - It cost a Bend teenager about $800 in revenue from chores, yard work and birthday gifts to buy a miniature aircraft and a camera he sent aloft to capture video of a forest fire this summer that was threatening the western edge of the city.
MAINE LOBSTERMAN CATCHES RARE BLUE LOBSTER: SCARBOROUGH, Maine (AP) - A Maine lobsterman says he and his 14-year-old daughter caught a one-in-two-million crustacean: a blue lobster.
ATLANTA (AP) - The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit. The American Cancer Society has no formal policy but quietly took a similar stance in May.