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.
ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - A Mississippi man who was once declared dead, only to resurface as a suspect in a kidnapping and killing, was sentenced to death Friday after a jury earlier convicted him of murder.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A man who has bumps resembling horns implanted in his forehead was found guilty of murder and other charges Friday for his role in the kidnapping and slaying of three Massachusetts men in 2011.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina inmate with mental illness who died of thirst was held in solitary confinement for 35 days and cited twice for flooding his cell, according to prison records.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina state trooper's dashboard video shows an unarmed driver being shot just seconds after he was stopped for a seatbelt offense - and the trooper, who was fired last week, has now been charged with assault.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Eric Holder, America's first black attorney general and an unflinching champion of civil rights in enforcing the nation's laws, announced his resignation Thursday after leading the Justice Department since the first days of President Barack Obama's term. He is the fourth-longest-serving attorney general in U.S. history.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A powerful earthquake shook a large swath of Alaska on Thursday morning, knocking things off shelves and causing people to take cover but bringing no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.
BEIRUT (AP) - When the United States opened its aerial campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria this week, its first salvo also hit an al-Qaida cell it says was planning terror attacks - a move that has injected more chaos into the conflict and could help President Bashar Assad.
POLICE: BURGLAR KILLS ACCOMPLICE OVER STOLEN ITEMS: WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a burglar fatally shot his accomplice after the two men argued about how to split up the stolen goods.
CARPINTERIA (AP) - A California woman is recovering from scratches, a bite and a broken rib after being attacked by a black bear that chased her dogs through an avocado grove.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI director on Thursday criticized the decision by Apple and Google to encrypt smartphones data so it can be inaccessible to law enforcement, even with a court order.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple's response to a high-profile gaffe involving its iPhone software may be more important than the glitch itself.
SOIUTH JORDAN, Utah (AP) - Parents and students at a Utah high school say they're angry at the way school administrators enforced a dress code at a homecoming dance.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The author of Washington's recreational marijuana law has suggested that Spokane test its sewage for traces of the cannabis chemical THC, to get a more accurate picture of pot use by residents.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Confronted by the growing threat of Middle East militants, President Barack Obama implored world leaders at the United Nations Wednesday to rally behind his expanding military campaign to stamp out the violent Islamic State group and its "network of death."
NEW YORK (AP) - Vietnam said Wednesday it wants to be able to buy weapons from the United States and that regional powerhouse China should not be alarmed.