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.
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.
CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. (AP) - After months of railing against President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Republicans scored a key victory in a hard-fought congressional race that had been closely watched as a bellwether of midterm elections in November.
NEW YORK (AP) - A gas leak triggered an earthshaking explosion that flattened two apartment buildings on Wednesday, killing at least three people, injuring more than 60 and leaving nine missing. A tenant said residents had complained repeatedly in recent weeks about "unbearable" gas smells.
YORK, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina deputy who shot a 70-year-old man during a traffic stop after mistaking his cane for a shotgun during an after-dark traffic stop broke down in tears as other officers arrived, according to dashcam video released Wednesday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Fire investigators on Wednesday were looking into whether welding work was to blame for a massive blaze that barreled through an apartment building construction site, threatening nearby structures and prompting evacuations as firefighters worked to prevent its spread through a San Francisco neighborhood.
NEW YORK (AP) - "Jeopardy!" champ Arthur Chu, who won big money while taking heat for his renegade style, has been defeated.
MECHANICSVILLE, Md (AP) - Two teenage girls in southern Maryland bullied an apparently autistic 16-year-old boy into performing sexual acts and crashing through pond ice in episodes they captured on cellphone video, authorities said Wednesday.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The men accused of severely beating a man and repeatedly sexually assaulting his pregnant wife may have meant to target a different home for a robbery, authorities in Wisconsin said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Bypassing Congress, President Barack Obama intends to order changes in overtime rules so employers would be required to pay millions more workers for the extra time they put in on the job.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google is betting that good things will happen to Credit Karma, an online service that provides consumers with free copies of the credit scores that define their financial reputations.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The United States Mint in San Francisco will soon produce an unusual coin in honor of the nation's favorite pastime.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In an extraordinary public accusation, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee declared on Tuesday that the CIA interfered with and then tried to intimidate a congressional investigation into the agency's possible use of torture in terror probes during the Bush administration.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man who was hurt in a Los Angeles accident he blamed on a texting driver is asking a California appeals court for permission to seek punitive damages, his lawyers said Tuesday.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon owners of a 22-pound housecat that trapped them in their bedroom after attacking their baby say they're not giving up on their pet and are getting it medical attention and therapy.
POINT ARENA (AP) - President Barack Obama is fulfilling a State of the Union pledge to preserve more federal lands by adding more California coastline to a national monument.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A trial has started in federal court on whether a New Mexico city can have a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments on the lawn in front of Bloomfield City Hall.