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.
McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge in South Texas said in a recent order that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is assisting in criminal conspiracies to smuggle children into the country when it helps reunite them with parents who are known to be in the U.S. illegally.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Preston "Pret" Dahlgren has led what might seem like a picture-perfect Mormon life: He met his high school sweetheart in Sunday school as a teenager, completed his mission and married her. He is active in the church and the proud father of two young daughters.
WHITE SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) - A 15-year-old girl who fatally shot her 16-year-old brother suffered years of abuse, including being locked in a room for weeks at a time with only a blanket and a bucket to use the bathroom, according to police reports and interviews.
BANGOR, Maine (AP) - Three men purchased enough state-subsidized, energy-efficient light bulbs to fill a rented truck with the bright idea of selling them for a profit in Chicago, police said Wednesday.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A 17-year-old pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder in the beating death of 88-year-old Delbert Belton, a World War II veteran who survived the battle of Okinawa but was killed in a robbery outside a Washington state bar in 2013.
VICTORVILLE (AP) - Deputies have shot and wounded a gunman they say opened fire during a traffic stop in rural San Bernardino County.
FREDERICK, Maryland (AP) - Kirby Delauter might need to rethink his strategy for keeping his name out of print.
NEW YORK (AP) - Despite efforts by New York City officials to tout a dip in serious crime, another statistic is getting more attention - a steep decline in the number of arrests across all five boroughs in the two weeks since two police officers were shot dead in their patrol car.
NEW YORK (AP) - Two suspects in an armed holdup followed by a wild shootout that left a pair of plainclothes police officers wounded were arrested Tuesday after an intense manhunt.
WASHINGTON (AP) - On the new Congress' first day, the House unanimously approved Republican legislation Tuesday making it easier for smaller companies to avoid providing health care coverage to their workers by hiring veterans.
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A gunman opened fire at a veterans' medical clinic in West Texas on Tuesday, killing one other person, officials said. The gunman was also killed.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service has abruptly decided not to spend $10 million on a five-year nationwide public relations campaign to brand itself as a public agency that cares about people and nature.
• POLICE: MAN REPEATEDLY TRIES TO HARM HIMSELF DURING VISIT: EWING, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a New York City man was hospitalized after he shot himself in the face, knifed himself in the stomach and tried to slit his throat with a spatula while visiting his girlfriend in New Jersey.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - While consumer electronics companies are celebrating a coming bonanza of health trackers, connected cars and "smart" home appliances, the head of the Federal Trade Commission is pressing the tech industry to protect consumer privacy.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Rapper Dr. Dre and record producer Jimmy Iovine are being vilified as scam artists in a lawsuit that alleges the duo duped one of their former partners in Beat Electronics before selling the trendy headphone maker to Apple for $3 billion last year.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The future of driverless cars was the background for a Ford Motor Co. keynote address on Tuesday at International CES. The carmaker hopes to cure the world's transportation ills by delivering everything from a quicker trip down the Las Vegas Strip and helping drivers more easily finding a parking spot, to improving access to medical services in remote areas of West Africa.