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.
CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said Thursday he would love to see Mitt Romney run again for president and teased the GOP's former nominee at one point that the "third time's the charm."
BOSTON (AP) - A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded guilty Thursday to impeding the investigation by removing incriminating evidence from Tsarnaev's dorm room several days after the deadly attack.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson, where nightly scenes of unrest have erupted since a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old nearly two weeks ago.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A young woman charged with abducting a 5-year-old Philadelphia girl from school and raping her had frequently viewed Japanese anime depicting sexual torture, prosecutors disclosed Thursday.
DENVER (AP) - A Colorado convict sent back to prison after being mistakenly released 90 years early says it was cruel and unusual punishment to put him back behind bars after he reformed his life.
EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) - The ice bucket stops with Obama.
EX-JUDGE MUST SAY SHE'S SORRY, JUST NOT IN CUFFS: HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice convicted of corruption was spared on Thursday the further embarrassment of having to write her court-ordered apologies to every judge in the state on photos of herself in handcuffs.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - A white police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The Old Farmer's Almanac, the familiar, 223-year-old chronicler of climate, folksy advice and fun facts, is predicting a colder winter and warmer summer for much of the nation.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A man who lived nearly three decades in the woods now has a job and is adjusting to life back in society.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Federal officials say the discovery of nine immigrants who were locked inside the cargo area of a rental truck at a Border Patrol checkpoint in southern Arizona highlights the dangers of human smuggling.
HARVEY, Ill. (AP) - About two dozen heavily armed law enforcement officers stormed a home in Chicago's southern suburbs Wednesday to free four remaining hostages and capture two suspects, ending a 20-hour standoff that police say began as a robbery attempt.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A former school teacher charged with murder in the shooting of an unarmed trespasser told police he had considered guarding the often-burglarized duplex in the past but was concerned he might shoot a child, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - A prosecutor says he'll dismiss a firearms charge against a man who contends he was following the advice of Vice President Joe Biden when he fired a shotgun in the air to chase off intruders.
OAKLAND (AP) - Bud Selig will likely leave his tenure as baseball commissioner early next year with one unsettled situation that has him "frustrated."