NEW YORK (AP) - Years after being exiled to New York City's sidewalks by a ban on smoking in indoor public places, some smokers relished electronic cigarettes as a way to come in from the cold.
BRUSHY PRAIRIE, Ind. (AP) - A northeastern Indiana soldier surprised his mother Friday with an early return home, masquerading as Santa Claus while she sat on his lap at a school staff Christmas breakfast while she gave a wish list of gifts.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal judge struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that marks a drastic shift toward gay marriage in a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Authorities on Friday were trying to determine whether a Northern California man's anger over complications he suffered from a 2010 surgery prompted him to go on a shooting rampage at a Nevada urologist's office, killing one doctor and critically wounding another before committing suicide.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - SeaWorld on Friday posted ads in a handful of newspapers around the nation in response to a critical documentary that inspired eight musical acts to cancel performances at the company's Orlando marine park.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A new historical narrative posted by the Mormon church on its website officially acknowledges that some plural marriages were performed following an 1890 ban and that polygamy was widely practiced in the late 19th century.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Usher says though Justin Bieber had a wild year, people shouldn't count the pop singer out just yet.
TRYING TO SPREAD CHEER, SANTA IN NH SCARES INSTEAD: HOLLIS, N.H. (AP) - Police in southern New Hampshire say a man dressed as Santa Claus was only trying to spread some cheer but ended up panicking officials when he knocked on school windows and entered the building.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Thursday that will make it harder to force public schools to drop tribal nicknames, pushing aside opponents' charges that the measure is racist.
NEW YORK (AP) - Can an experimental drug developed to treat epilepsy block the AIDS virus? A preliminary lab study suggests it's possible, and researchers are eager to try it in people.
MIAMI (AP) - A month after pleading guilty to cocaine-possession charges, Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida refused to resign Thursday, saying he wants to "rebuild the trust" of voters.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a sharp and unexpected shift, the national debate over U.S. government surveillance seems to be turning in favor of reining in the National Security Agency's expansive spying powers at home and abroad.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City lawmakers paved the way Thursday for an eventual ban on plastic foam containers, added electronic cigarettes to the city's already stringent smoking bans and approved the creation of a website that will help the public track federal dollars budgeted for Superstorm Sandy-related damages.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suspect in a deadly hospital shooting in Reno left a suicide note at his home and claimed he had botched surgery three years ago before killing a doctor and himself this week, police said Thursday.
CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio judge rebuffed an argument Thursday that traffic cameras make law enforcement more efficient, stating sharply that violating motorists' rights isn't the American way.
SAN BERNARDINO (AP) - For nearly two months, Southern California sheriff's deputies and a legion of volunteers scoured the vast, rough terrain peppered with abandoned mine pits and deep bodies of water where the 19-year-old pregnant wife of a U.S. Marine disappeared.
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) - Navy divers from the U.S. and Indonesia confirmed that a sunken vessel in the Java Sea is the World War II wreck of the USS Houston, a cruiser sunk by the Japanese that serves as the final resting place for about 700 sailors and Marines, officials announced Monday.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A former Marine who wasn't allowed into an amusement park because he was wearing a shirt with a red, white and blue rifle pictured on it has been given an apology.
WASHINGTON (AP) - After a decade of sending military equipment to civilian police departments across the country, federal officials are reconsidering the idea in light of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on a black Missouri teenager whose fatal shooting by a white police officer has spurred a week of rancorous and sometimes-violent protests in suburban St. Louis.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The federal government is taking the unusual step of beginning to sterilize an endangered species it is trying to save.
CANTON, N.Y. (AP) - More charges are expected soon against a northern New York couple accused of kidnapping two young Amish sisters and sexually abusing them, a prosecutor said Sunday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ending insurance discrimination against the sick was a central goal of the nation's health care overhaul, but leading patient groups say that promise is being undermined by new barriers from insurers.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Police on Friday identified the officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager and released documents alleging the young man had been suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store in a "strong-arm" robbery shortly before he was killed.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A northern New Mexico sheriff was arrested Friday on charges he cornered a driver at a dead end, threatened him with a silver revolver as the driver begged not to be shot and had him falsely charged with assault.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for allegedly abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption - making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state's first indicted governor in nearly a century.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An industrial cleaning solution that ended up in tea that a woman drank at a Utah restaurant was unintentionally mixed into a bag of sugar a month earlier, authorities said Friday.
MIAMI (AP) - One early morning this April, Dairon Morera climbed onto a raft of aluminum tanks with 22 other people, revved up a Volvo car motor and pushed off the Cuban shore, joining a never-ending stream of islanders desperate to reach the United States.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Drones flying over wildfires could lead to firefighter injuries and force retardant bombers to be called off, wildfire managers say.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A northern New York couple was arrested Friday in the kidnapping of two Amish sisters from their family's roadside farm stand.