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.
CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink on Tuesday in a Tampa-area House district where President Barack Obama's health care overhaul got its first test ahead of November's midterm elections and both sides spent millions auditioning national strategies.
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) - As the campaign increased for tension-filled Crimea to split off from Ukraine in a weekend referendum and join Russia, the region's parliament said Tuesday that if voters approve the move it would first declare itself an independent state, a maneuver that could de-escalate the standoff between Moscow and the West.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - For much of the past three decades, pit bulls have been widely regarded as America's most dangerous dog - the favorite breed of thugs, drug dealers and dog-fighting rings, with a fearsome reputation for unprovoked, sometimes deadly attacks.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota high school wrestler won over the crowd with a hug that came away from the mat - and after a loss.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Bitcoin, 3-D printed candy and George Takei, the Star Trek-actor-turned-Facebook-phenomenon, are among the attractions this week at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, where the geek set is slowly filing out to make room for hordes of musicians descending on the city.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Would Parmesan by any other name be as tasty atop your pasta? A ripening trade battle might put that to the test.
NEW YORK (AP) - Looks like the best suitor won.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Labor Department on Tuesday proposed a new rule that would make it easier for those with 401(k) retirement plans and their employers to locate just what fees and expenses are attached.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - With more trains and buses to take, and the appeal of using travel time for pursuits other than dodging traffic, Americans are taking greater advantage of a renaissance in public transit, according to a new report.
WYLIE, Texas (AP) - Two 16-year-olds are accused of targeting and killing a classmate in what may have been a dispute over a girl, after police in Texas say they were caught trying to dump the other boy's body.
DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - An elderly woman who suffers from Alzheimer's disease lived with her husband's body for a month after he died not realizing what happened, authorities said Monday.
• VICIOUS PET CAT TRAPS OREGON COUPLE, WHO CALL 911: PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Portland police had to be called in to subdue a 22-pound house cat that trapped its owners inside their bedroom after attacking their baby.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Speaking over Skype from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said his living situation is a bit like prison - with a more lenient visitor policy.
ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) - Sheila MacRae starred on the Broadway stage and in films, yet it was her small-screen role as the tolerant and brassy wife of a Brooklyn bus driver for which she is most remembered.
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - An early St. Patrick's Day celebration around the University of Massachusetts' flagship campus known as "Blarney Blowout" spun out of control Saturday as police officers in riot gear arrested more than 70 people while dispersing massive crowds, including unruly students throwing beer cans and bottles.