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.
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.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The video from the camera attached to the officer's stun gun shows how David Kassick died, authorities say: two bullets, four seconds apart, fired into his back as he lay face down.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Every day when Dr. Rosslyn Biggs goes to work as a federal government veterinarian she is reminded of her mother, one of 168 people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing and honored Sunday on the 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil until Sept. 11, 2001.
WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (AP) - The last man to shoot an American president now spends most of the year in a house overlooking the 13th hole of a golf course in a gated community.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The first woman to serve as both governor and U.S. senator is backing a campaign to put a female face on the $20 bill.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A family was awarded the rights to 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more on Friday after a U.S. appeals court overturned a jury verdict.
Q: I am about to turn 62. I am trying to decide if I want to retire and take my Social Security now; or wait until age 66 to get higher benefits. I know everyone has to make a similar decision. But I have a bit of a twist. I have a 14-year-old daughter, and I know she is due benefits on my account until she is 18. I am wondering: Can I file for her Social Security now and defer my own until age 66? Or can I "file and suspend" my benefits so that she can get hers?
CUPERTINO (AP) - If you're planning on buying the new Apple Watch, don't expect to walk into a store and leave with one next week.
KANSAS CITY (AP) - A new customer strategy for Sprint: Phone setup in your house.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google is about to change the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones in a shift that's expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information.
NEW YORK (AP) - Under pressure from an expanding number of cheaper online video services, the long-dominant bundle of channels offered by pay-TV companies is becoming a bit more flexible.
NEW YORK (AP) - Things are finally looking up for Barbie.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Damani Terry just wanted to join a group of girls dancing in a park across the street. The 2-year-old stepped into the road - right into the path of an oncoming van.
NEW YORK (AP) - An office manager was arraigned Thursday on charges she posed as a dentist when the real dentist was away and seriously injured patients after pulling their teeth, performing root canals on them and injecting their mouths, prosecutors said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Securities and Exchange Commission recently questioned Los Angeles Unified School District officials as part of informal inquiry into whether they properly used bond funds for a beleaguered $1.3 billion project to provide an iPad for every student.
LULING, La. (AP) - In what authorities call an apparent ambush by an angry motorist, a south Louisiana sheriff's deputy was shot three times Thursday, sustaining injuries to his eye and chest in a gunfight that broke out at a school traffic zone.