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.
McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge in South Texas said in a recent order that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is assisting in criminal conspiracies to smuggle children into the country when it helps reunite them with parents who are known to be in the U.S. illegally.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight people he said were serving unduly harsh drug sentences in the most expansive use yet of his power to free inmates.
OKLA. MAN PROPOSES TO GIRLFRIEND DURING ARREST: ELK CITY, Okla. (AP) - Talk about a marriage proposal to remember.
SEATTLE (AP) - Figuring out how much marijuana people use has been one of the trickiest, and most important, questions facing the bureaucrats who are setting up Washington state's new legal pot system.
Wildlife advocate pleads guilty to poaching
RENO (AP) - A 39-year-old man who received asylum in the U.S. from India has been arrested in northern Nevada and accused of helping to plot terror strikes in the Punjab region of his home country on the border with Pakistan, federal officials said Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Stan Thomas tried to persuade a Northern California tech company to move here but it didn't want to.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A risque video shot in conservative Utah featuring bikini-clad women firing high-powered weapons and riding in tanks for a pinup calendar has raised the ire of a pair of law enforcement agencies who have found some of their officers were in the film.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a teenager in an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole.
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Institute of Arts is defending the six-figure salaries of its two top executives, saying Friday that it didn't anticipate a backlash when raises were granted a few years ago, before the city filed for bankruptcy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Saying more must be done to stop data breaches affecting consumers, President Barack Obama announced on Friday a government plan to tighten security for the debit cards that transmit federal benefits like Social Security to millions of Americans.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Secret Service is charged with watching the president's back, but who's watching his wallet?
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The home of an 8-year-old Arizona girl who was abducted and killed apparently was a nest of drug abuse and sales, police said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - FBI Director James Comey warned in stark terms Thursday against the push by technology companies to encrypt smartphone data and operating systems, arguing that murder cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free and justice could be thwarted by a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive.
HOUSTON (AP) - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz told congregants of his home church Thursday that the city of Houston abused power by subpoenaing sermons and other documents from pastors who publicly opposed a local ordinance banning discrimination against gay and transgender residents.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Warning that Americans are losing faith in their government's ability to stop Ebola, Republican lawmakers on Thursday pressed for a ban on travel to the U.S. from the West African outbreak zone. The White House said other measures are more effective.
DALLAS (AP) - The Ebola crisis in the U.S. took another alarming turn Wednesday with word that a second Dallas nurse caught the disease from a patient and flew across the Midwest aboard an airliner the day before she fell ill, even though government guidelines should have kept her off the plane.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A state lawmaker who got into a shootout with a 15-year-old boy who was trying to rob him near Pennsylvania's Capitol said Wednesday the experience proves the value of packing a gun.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (AP) - The wing of a firefighting aircraft might have hit a tree and broken off before the tanker crashed into a canyon wall in Yosemite National Park, killing the pilot, federal investigators said Wednesday.
ARTESIA, NM (AP) - One of three centers used for detaining Central American families who have entered the U.S. illegally this year has started releasing many more detainees than it deports, a New Mexico city official said.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - The nation's top disease-fighting agency acknowledged Tuesday that federal health experts failed to do all they should have done to prevent Ebola from spreading from a Liberian man who died last week in Texas to the nurse who treated him.