HOUSTON HOTEL DISPLAYS HALF-TON CHOCOLATE SANTA: HOUSTON (AP) - Santa Claus has come to town in Houston and he's sweeter than your average holiday fellow.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is - and isn't - sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - North Texas prosecutors are trying a second time to imprison a teen who was sentenced last week to 10 years' probation for drunkenly driving his truck into four pedestrians, killing them all.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Year-end legislation to ease Congress' chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement benefits.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's the ultimate fantasy: Walk into a store, plunk down a dollar, and with nothing but luck - really extraordinary luck - you win a giant lottery. Suddenly, you're rich as a sultan with enough money to buy an NBA team or your own island.
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Florida Wal-Mart employee faces charges after officials say he shot a co-worker's car window because she won an employee-of-the-month award.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida school board has decided to end a decades-long controversy and rename a high school now named for a Confederate general and honorary Ku Klux Klan leader that some historical records say ordered the execution of hundreds of black Union soldiers.
MAN TICKETED FOR TRYING TO TRADE GATOR FOR BEER: MIAMI (AP) - Florida wildlife officials say a man tried to trade a live alligator for beer at a Miami convenience store.
NEW YORK (AP) - Gallant guide dog Orlando was just doing his duty.
RENO (AP) - Family members rescued after spending about 48 hours in the frigid wilderness of northern Nevada last week spoke out publicly for the first time Monday, saying they don't think they would've lasted two more days out in the cold.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The hot molten rock beneath Yellowstone National Park is 2 ½ times larger than previously estimated, meaning the park's supervolcano has the potential to erupt with a force about 2,000 times the size of Mount St. Helens, according to a new study.
Congress targets fed workers' pensions
DALLAS (AP) - Good friends like Willie Nelson and Merle haggard got more credit for their contrary ways and trend-setting ideas, but it was Ray Price who set the precedent for change in country music more than a decade earlier.
CARMEL (AP) - Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, who found stardom playing naive wives in Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion" and "Rebecca" and also was featured in films by Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang and Nicholas Ray, died Sunday. She was 96.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal agency that had trouble launching a health insurance website last fall has a massive new project. Any glitches on this one could delay tax refunds for many Americans.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Broke and down on his luck, Billy Joe Hurley turned to the only way he knew how to make a living: poaching ginseng.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The accidental killing of a firing range instructor by a 9-year-old girl learning to shoot an Uzi unleashed a storm of criticism and anger, with much of it aimed at her parents.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma City police officer was charged Friday with 16 counts including first-degree rape and sexual battery after being accused of assaulting at least eight women while on patrol.
McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A Border Patrol agent pursuing a group of immigrants in a wooded area near the Texas-Mexico border on Friday fired several shots at an armed man who later identified himself as a militia member.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Linda Horton is picky about the ingredients in her prize-winning buttermilk pie. That's what led her to use a store-bought crust before dropping off her entry to be judged at the Kentucky State Fair.
NEW YORK (AP) - Joan Rivers remained in serious condition in a New York City hospital Friday, one day after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.
MIAMI (AP) - As they do whenever they visit Florida, Greg Groff and his young daughter stopped by the manatee pool at Miami Seaquarium, where the speed bump-shaped marine mammals placidly swim in circles.
NEW YORK (AP) - Is it time to cash out of stocks?
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency's staff has concluded that the government needs to tighten smog rules by somewhere between 7 and 20 percent.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Pikachu and Link will be among the first characters coming to "amiibo."
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A University of Iowa professor who donned a robot costume to heckle Bill Clinton and Michele Bachmann has now set his sights on one of his school's famous quirks: the visiting team's pink locker room at Kinnick Stadium.
LEBANON, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio school bus driver has resigned after being accused of making elementary-age students sit with the windows up in hot weather as a punishment.
DEERFIELD, Va. (AP) - The pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed this week in remote Virginia mountains was killed, military officials said Thursday, bringing to a sad end an exhaustive two-day search involving more than 100 local, state and federal officials as well as volunteers.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - An air ambulance carrying a cancer patient to Phoenix crashed shortly after taking off from a southern New Mexico airport, killing all four people aboard, authorities said Thursday.