HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) - A pre-dawn twister flattened entire blocks of homes in a small Illinois town Wednesday as violent storms ravaged the Midwest and South, killing at least 12 people in three states.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A judge on Wednesday blocked a federal requirement that would have begun forcing U.S. tobacco companies to put large graphic images on their cigarette packages later this year to show the dangers of smoking and encouraging smokers to quit lighting up.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Davy Jones, the diminutive heartthrob who rocketed to the top of the 1960s music charts by beckoning millions of adoring fans with the catchy refrains of The Monkees, died Wednesday. He was 66.
POLL: 6 IN 10 CALIF. VOTERS BACKS GAY MARRIAGE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A new poll finds that six out of every 10 voters in California now support allowing same-sex couples to get married, a significant increase since the state voted to ban same-sex marriage a little more than two years ago.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Lake Tahoe's famed clarity improved more than 4 feet last year from 2010, when the average annual clarity level was the second-worst on record, scientists reported Wednesday.
PHOENIX (AP) - A federal judge blocked police in Arizona from enforcing a section of the state's 2010 immigration enforcement law that prohibited people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day labor services on streets.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mitt Romney scored a hard-won, home state triumph in Michigan and powered to victory in Arizona Tuesday night, gaining a two-state primary sweep over Rick Santorum and precious momentum in the most turbulent Republican presidential race in a generation.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - They still fight like cats and dogs in divorce court. But more and more they are fighting about cats and dogs.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Partial remains of several 9/11 victims were incinerated by a military contractor and sent to a landfill, a government report said Tuesday in the latest of a series of revelations about the Pentagon's main mortuary for the war dead.
• WYOMING LAWMAKERS SHOOT DOWN "DOOMSDAY" BILL: CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming lawmakers have shot down the so-called doomsday bill, a proposal that would have resulted in a plan of action in case the federal government collapses.
MORE AMERICANS SEEKING DENTAL TREATMENT AT THE ER: CHICAGO (AP) - More Americans are turning to the emergency room for routine dental problems - a choice that often costs 10 times more than preventive care and offers far fewer treatment options than a dentist's office, according to an analysis of government data and dental research.
CHARDON, Ohio (AP) - A teenager opened fire in the cafeteria at a suburban Cleveland high school Monday, killing one student and wounding four others before he was chased from the building by a teacher and captured a short distance away, authorities said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Israeli officials say they won't warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill.
ATLANTA (AP) - For the first time, scientists have found evidence of flu in bats, reporting a never-before-seen virus whose risk to humans is unclear.
NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (AP) - A key prosecution witness in the trial of a former university student accused of watching his roommate's intimate encounter via webcam testified Monday that she agreed to keep it a secret because it was so shocking to see the images - but that it wasn't under wraps for long.
HOUSTON (AP) - A Texas appeals court on Thursday overturned a judge's ruling that had voided the marriage of a transgender widow whose firefighter husband died battling a blaze.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Yet another storm paralyzed the Northeast with heavy snow and sleet Thursday, giving the winter-weary that oh-no-not-again feeling, while hundreds of thousands across the ice-encrusted South waited in the cold for the electricity to come back on.
CHICAGO (AP) - The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago said Thursday that it's appealing a sentence that included no prison time for the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies for hiding at least $25 million from U.S. tax authorities in Swiss bank accounts.
WASHINGTON (AP) - For those who shivered through January, this may be hard to believe: Nationwide, the average temperature for the month was about normal because a warm West offset a cool East.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ralph Waite, who played the kind patriarch of a tight-knit rural Southern family on the TV series "The Waltons," has died, his manager said Thursday. He was 85.
CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) - House Democrats said Thursday they will try to highlight GOP resistance to a higher minimum wage with a tactical maneuver meant to bring new attention to an issue they consider a political winner.
TAYLOR, Mich. (AP) - A friend, bouncer, father and four-time husband was remembered Thursday in the suburban Detroit watering hole he considered his second home - and the place he had requested for his funeral.
ATLANTA (AP) - Drivers got caught in monumental traffic jams and abandoned their cars Wednesday in North Carolina in a replay of what happened in Atlanta just two weeks ago, as another wintry storm across the South iced highways and knocked out electricity to more than a half-million homes and businesses.
uHUSBAND CITED FOR BASE JUMPING AFTER WIFE'S DEATH: ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah (AP) - Officials are citing the husband of a Utah woman who died when her parachute failed to open at a peak overlooking Zion National Park.
DALLAS (AP) - The Boy Scouts of America said Wednesday that it lost 6 percent of its membership after an often-bruising year in which it announced it would accept openly gay boys for the first time, over the objections of some participants who eventually left the organization.
NEW YORK (AP) - After 50 years of debate over her unattainably perfect figure, Barbie now is unapologetic about her tiny waist and endless legs.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The Navajo Nation president has vetoed a proposal to impose an additional tax on chips, cookies and sweetened beverages on the country's largest reservation, but the legislation could be resurrected later.
CINCINNATI (AP) - A girl beaten and tied to her bed, sometimes for weeks at a time, won freedom for herself and her siblings by emailing a teacher at her online school to plead for help, officials said Wednesday.
HONOLULU (AP) - Its frisky four strings are the sound of Elvis's "Blue Hawaii," of Tiny Tim tiptoeing through the tulips and lately, beyond all reason, of a popular "Bohemian Rhapsody" cover.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - It was a sight to make a classic car lover weep: A gaping sinkhole opened beneath the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky and swallowed eight prized cars like they were toys, piling them in a heap amid loose dirt and concrete fragments.