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.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sixteen people, most from the New York City area and with ties to Nigeria, face charges in a wire fraud and identity theft ring that prosecutors said caused the Internal Revenue Service to pay more them than $10 million in fraudulent tax refunds.
DENVER (AP) - Selfies were a likely factor in a small plane crash near Denver last year that killed the pilot and his only passenger, according to a new National Transportation Safety Board report.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Billings lawmaker wants to keep drones from interfering in Montana's hunting and fishing sports.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - An Ohio man who sold fake urine and other products meant to help people pass workplace drug tests has pleaded guilty before a federal judge in Pennsylvania.
CHICAGO (AP) - Many packaged meals and snacks for toddlers contain worrisome amounts of salt and sugar, potentially creating an early taste for foods that may contribute to obesity and other health risks, according to a new government study.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A 3-year-old boy found a handgun in his mother's purse and fired just one shot that wounded both his parents at an Albuquerque motel on Saturday, police said.
AN ANTONIO (AP) - Thousands of immigrants seeking legalization through the U.S. court system have had their hearings canceled and are being told by the government that it may be 2019 or later before their futures are resolved.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A downtown Los Angeles mosque that forbids men from attending may be the first of its kind in the United States.
PHOENIX (AP) - The sideshow is over, which means Marshawn Lynch can go back to not talking and this realization can become obvious again: The Seattle Seahawks are still the best defensive team in football.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A record 41.1 million visitors descended on Las Vegas last year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal health regulators have approved an attention deficit disorder drug for a new use: A first-of-its kind treatment for binge-eating disorder.
LUDLOW, Vt. (AP) - Seventy-five years ago, the government cut 65-year-old Ida May Fuller a check. It was numbered 00-000-001 - the first Social Security payout.
PHOENIX (AP) - Go ahead, pile on the Patriots.
SEATTLE (AP) - Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, one of four surviving Doolittle Raiders who attacked Japan during a daring 1942 mission credited with lifting American morale during World War II, has died. He was 94.
SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole has reassigned an officer involved in the arrest last summer of a 69-year-old man who refused to drop a golf club he was carrying on a city sidewalk.