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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The richest 10 percent of Americans were the only group whose median incomes rose in the past three years, the Federal Reserve said Thursday in a report on consumer finances.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - Your car soon will do more to help avoid a crash. As for one day leaving all the driving to the vehicle while you relax in back, don't get your hopes up.
SEATTLE (AP) - Moving forward on a lawsuit demanding legal representation for immigrant minors facing deportation could create a "magnet" effect at the border, attorneys for the federal government said.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The head of a food services company said officials at Alabama State University threatened to cancel the company's contract after it wouldn't commit to providing thousands of dollars in free catering for the new president's inaugural.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Police in Phoenix rescued a 13-year-old Honduran boy last week who was held captive by suspected smugglers after he crossed into Arizona illegally as an unaccompanied minor.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department plans to open a wide-ranging investigation into the practices of the Ferguson Police Department following the shooting last month of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday night.
NEW YORK (AP) - An unlicensed driver accused of killing a 4-year-old while fleeing police last year has again been charged with a crime behind the wheel - this time injuring a police officer while bolting from a weekend traffic stop, authorities said.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A demonstration about the science of tornadoes went awry Wednesday at a Reno museum, leading to a chemical explosion that injured 13 people, most of them children, authorities said.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to buy up to $13 million in canned pink salmon to ease a glut that has weighed down prices for Alaska fishermen.
LAWSUIT SETTLED IN BOY'S DEATH AT ALABAMA AIRPORT: BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A settlement over the death of a boy who was hit by a falling flight information sign inside Birmingham's airport was approved Wednesday, and the family said they had forgiven the contractors involved.
ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The lawyer for a Mississippi man who was declared dead two decades ago, only to resurface as a murder suspect, does not deny that her client killed his girlfriend and her daughter, but she said Wednesday that he's being tried in the wrong court.
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A graphic designer on a biking trip from Maryland to Miami was stabbed to death by a homeless man outside a Florida McDonald's while he spoke on the phone with his girlfriend, authorities said.
STARBUCKS SORRY FOR NOT SERVING WOMAN WITH DOG: ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Starbucks has apologized to a 24-year-old woman who said she wasn't allowed in a Rochester-area store because she had a service dog.
PHOENIX (AP) - An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi said Tuesday the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
CHICAGO (AP) - Removing both breasts to treat cancer affecting only one side doesn't boost survival chances for most women, compared with surgery that removes just the tumor, a large study suggests. The results raise concerns about riskier, potentially unnecessary operations that increasing numbers of women are choosing.