MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Hunkering down at home rather than going to work, canceling thousands of flights and repairing burst pipes from the Midwest to the Southeast has its price. By one estimate, about $5 billion.
TEXAS FIREFIGHTER USES BEER TO PUT OUT TIRE BLAZE: HOUSTON (AP) - An off-duty Houston firefighter made the best of his resources when trying to put out a truck tire fire: He used beer the rig was hauling.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration on Wednesday pressed the nation's schools to abandon what it described as overly zealous discipline policies that send students to court instead of the principal's office. Even before the announcement, school districts around the country have been taking action to adjust the policies that disproportionately affect minority students.
MOM WHO LOST 'STAND YOUR GROUND' CASE IN TROUBLE: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Jacksonville woman who spent 21 months in jail after unsuccessfully invoking Florida's "stand your ground" self-defense law as a defense for firing a gun at her husband is facing parole violation charges.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A political dirty-tricks investigation of Gov. Chris Christie's inner circle broke wide open Wednesday with the release of emails and text messages that suggest one of his top aides engineered traffic jams in a New Jersey town last September to punish its mayor.
McLOUD, Okla. (AP) - A 33-year-old man in Oklahoma allegedly killed his stepfather after a fight over the holidays by yanking underwear up the stepfather's back and over his head so that the waistband was around his neck, authorities said.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky lawmaker said Wednesday that she accidentally fired a gun in her Capitol Annex office on the first day of the legislative session this week, prompting a police investigation. No one was hurt.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Gabrielle Giffords marked the three-year anniversary of an attack that left her severely wounded and forced her to resign from Congress by skydiving Wednesday in a feat that highlights her ongoing recovery after having to learn how to walk and talk again.
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Two Internet sites that make money by posting millions of mug shots of people who've been arrested have agreed to stop charging them to take down their photos as part of a settlement in a federal lawsuit.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon waitress lifted a credit card receipt from a bill and found an envelope with a question mark. She peeked inside, quietly walked to her manager and asked him to call police.
FOREST SERVICE SEEKS $6.3M FROM MAN FOR WILDFIRE: CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service wants to collect $6.3 million from a 77-year-old man the agency blames for causing a 2012 forest fire that threatened to burn into the town of Jackson.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google is releasing its cheapest Chromebook laptops yet, two versions priced at $149 aimed at undercutting Microsoft's Windows franchise and gaining ground in even more classrooms.
NEW YORK (AP) - IBM is investing $3 billion to build an "Internet of Things" division aimed at harnessing the massive trove of data collected by smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances and using it to help companies better manage their businesses.