HOUSTON (AP) - He usually has black hair and a black beard, sometimes just a mustache. Like Santa, he wears a hat - though often it's a sombrero. He dons a serape or a poncho and, in one case, a red and black zoot suit. And he makes his grand entrance on lowriders or Harleys or led by a pack of burros instead of eight reindeer.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - A federal judge said he doesn't think the University of Notre Dame will succeed in its challenge to a federal health care law requirement that it provide students and employee health plans that cover birth control.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Towering grain silos overlook the main highway in Salt Lake City at the Mormon church's Welfare Square. At grocery stores, there's a whole section with large plastic tubs with labels that read, "Deluxe survivor 700." Radio ads hawk long-term supplies of food with 25-year shelf lives.
CHICAGO (AP) - As a key enrollment deadline hits Monday, many people without health insurance have been sizing up policies on the new government health care marketplace and making what seems like a logical choice: They're picking the cheapest one.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The threat of another commute-crippling transportation strike in the San Francisco Bay area receded on Saturday when officials for the region's transit rail system and negotiators for its two largest labor unions said they had resolved the latest sticking point in their months-long negotiations and reached a new contract.
HOUSTON (AP) - It's become a place where you can eat, drink and be merry - but also give to charity.
WEST MONROE, La. (AP) - "Faith. Family. Ducks." It's the unofficial motto for the family featured in the TV reality show Duck Dynasty and that homespun philosophy permeates nearly everything in this small north Louisiana town.
AUBURN, Maine (AP) - For 3 ½ years, a black stone urn of C.J. Twomey's ashes has sat on a shelf in his parents' Maine home, not far from the door he walked out of one beautiful April day shortly before shooting himself.
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (AP) - A Lake Tahoe couple filed a police report saying they received numerous death threats and harassing messages after reporting problems with a black bear that was captured and euthanized by Nevada wildlife officials.
NEW YORK (AP) - A man and his 3-year-old son plummeted to their deaths from a Manhattan apartment building, police said Sunday as they investigated what led to the tragedy.
CHICAGO (AP) - The detached dad, turning up his nose at diapering and too busy to bathe, dress and play with his kids, is mostly a myth, a big government survey suggests. Most American fathers say they are heavily involved in hands-on parenting, the researchers found.
SEATTLE (AP) - Students at a Seattle-area Catholic school are gaining national attention for their protest over the forced departure of a gay vice principal.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sixty-three years after Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph E. Gantt went missing in action during the Korean War, his remains were returned to his 94-year-old widow in a solemn ceremony at Los Angeles International Airport before dawn Friday.
TRINIDAD, Colo. (AP) - Police in southern Colorado say they thwarted a school shooting plot by two teenagers, one of whom idolized mass shooters, just a week after a student opened fire in the halls of a suburban Denver high school.
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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House on Monday waded into a controversy over revelations that the House's No. 3 Republican spoke to a white supremacist group 12 years ago, saying who the GOP has in leadership "says a lot about who they are."
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut brewery apologized to Indians offended that the company is using Mohandas Gandhi's name and likeness on one of its beers.
BANK ROBBER USED CHRISTMAS CARD TO DEMAND CASH: DENVILLE, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a man accused of robbing a New Jersey bank last month made his demand for money in a Christmas card he passed to the teller.
CHALLIS, Idaho (AP) - A 4.9 magnitude earthquake in a remote Idaho county triggered rock slides that blocked some road lanes Saturday but did not cause any major damage or injuries.
CHICAGO (AP) - The Midwest and eastern parts of the U.S. on Sunday braced for Arctic temperatures that were expected to arrive during the next few days.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - While the gadgets of the future are only just arriving in Las Vegas for the annual International CES show, officials at the city's main airport are updating a decades-old terminal to cater to legions of tech-savvy travelers.
NEW YORK (AP) - Thousands of police turned their backs Sunday as Mayor Bill de Blasio eulogized an officer shot dead with his partner, repeating a stinging display of scorn for the mayor despite entreaties to put anger aside.
ANCHORAGE, Alasla (AP) - A photo of Sarah Palin's young son standing on a dog to reach the kitchen sink is drawing sharp reaction.
NEW YORK (AP) - Donna Douglas, who played the buxom tomboy Elly May Clampett on the hit 1960s sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies," has died.
BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) - When Jim Foster opened his piano store 30 years ago, he had 10 competitors selling just pianos.
PHOENIX (AP) - Phoenix police say two officers' decision to pay for a troubled man's restaurant tab led to his being arrested in his roommate's stabbing death.
HONOLULU (AP) - Opening a new front in its cyber spat with North Korea, the United States slapped new sanctions Friday on government officials and the North's defense industry in its first public act of retribution for a cyberattack against Sony. Despite lingering doubts by the cyber community, the U.S. insisted that North Korea was to blame.
CHICAGO (AP) - Randy Gross hopes a new law allowing children into Illinois' medical marijuana program will reunite his family, nearly a year after his wife moved to Colorado so their son could receive a controversial treatment to ease his epileptic seizures.
LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) - As people across the United States struggle to stick to their New Year's Resolutions, an 11-year-old Montana boy is offering lessons in self-discipline and delayed gratification after winning a $500 prize from his parents for skipping sugary drinks for a year.
EDDYVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A 7-year-old girl survived a plane crash that killed four people Friday night, and the disoriented little girl walked away from the wreckage and reported the crash to a local resident, authorities said.