HOUSTON (AP) - He usually has black hair and a black beard, sometimes just a mustache. Like Santa, he wears a hat - though often it's a sombrero. He dons a serape or a poncho and, in one case, a red and black zoot suit. And he makes his grand entrance on lowriders or Harleys or led by a pack of burros instead of eight reindeer.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - A federal judge said he doesn't think the University of Notre Dame will succeed in its challenge to a federal health care law requirement that it provide students and employee health plans that cover birth control.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Towering grain silos overlook the main highway in Salt Lake City at the Mormon church's Welfare Square. At grocery stores, there's a whole section with large plastic tubs with labels that read, "Deluxe survivor 700." Radio ads hawk long-term supplies of food with 25-year shelf lives.
CHICAGO (AP) - As a key enrollment deadline hits Monday, many people without health insurance have been sizing up policies on the new government health care marketplace and making what seems like a logical choice: They're picking the cheapest one.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The threat of another commute-crippling transportation strike in the San Francisco Bay area receded on Saturday when officials for the region's transit rail system and negotiators for its two largest labor unions said they had resolved the latest sticking point in their months-long negotiations and reached a new contract.
HOUSTON (AP) - It's become a place where you can eat, drink and be merry - but also give to charity.
WEST MONROE, La. (AP) - "Faith. Family. Ducks." It's the unofficial motto for the family featured in the TV reality show Duck Dynasty and that homespun philosophy permeates nearly everything in this small north Louisiana town.
AUBURN, Maine (AP) - For 3 ½ years, a black stone urn of C.J. Twomey's ashes has sat on a shelf in his parents' Maine home, not far from the door he walked out of one beautiful April day shortly before shooting himself.
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (AP) - A Lake Tahoe couple filed a police report saying they received numerous death threats and harassing messages after reporting problems with a black bear that was captured and euthanized by Nevada wildlife officials.
NEW YORK (AP) - A man and his 3-year-old son plummeted to their deaths from a Manhattan apartment building, police said Sunday as they investigated what led to the tragedy.
CHICAGO (AP) - The detached dad, turning up his nose at diapering and too busy to bathe, dress and play with his kids, is mostly a myth, a big government survey suggests. Most American fathers say they are heavily involved in hands-on parenting, the researchers found.
SEATTLE (AP) - Students at a Seattle-area Catholic school are gaining national attention for their protest over the forced departure of a gay vice principal.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sixty-three years after Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph E. Gantt went missing in action during the Korean War, his remains were returned to his 94-year-old widow in a solemn ceremony at Los Angeles International Airport before dawn Friday.
TRINIDAD, Colo. (AP) - Police in southern Colorado say they thwarted a school shooting plot by two teenagers, one of whom idolized mass shooters, just a week after a student opened fire in the halls of a suburban Denver high school.
NEW YORK (AP) - Years after being exiled to New York City's sidewalks by a ban on smoking in indoor public places, some smokers relished electronic cigarettes as a way to come in from the cold.
DALLAS (AP) - Growth in online shopping is boosting profit at FedEx, and the company plans to hire more than 50,000 extra workers to handle what is shaping up as another record year for holiday-season package deliveries.
NEW YORK (AP) - Pizza Hut is testing out a lighter pizza in two U.S. markets as it seeks to freshen up its menu and regain its footing against competitors.
ATLANTA (AP) - Walgreen provided enough flu shots last season to protect a population roughly twice the size of Los Angeles.
DANVILLE, Va. (AP) - Starting next month, America's remaining tobacco growers will be totally exposed to the laws of supply and demand.
CLEVELAND (AP) - An Ohio school bus driver is being hailed as a hero after tossing a child out of the way of a rolling bus Tuesday morning before the vehicle rolled over the driver herself and she was killed.
CHICAGO (AP) - The number of American men and women with big-bellied, apple-shaped figures - the most dangerous kind of obesity - has climbed at a startling rate over the past decade, according to a government study.
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state man fed up with barking fatally shot his neighbors' dog in front of them. But the corgi apparently wasn't the one barking, authorities said.
DENVER (AP) - The parents of a woman killed in the Colorado theater shootings filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing four online retailers of improperly selling ammunition, tear gas, a high-capacity magazine and body armor used in the attack.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal appeals court has tossed the conviction of a Utah man who was found guilty of threatening to kill a professor by sending an email containing a violent anti-immigrant poem.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Two Vietnam War soldiers - one still living, one killed in action - received the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony on Monday, nearly 50 years after they threw themselves into harm's way to protect their brothers in combat. President Barack Obama praised the soldiers as patriots whose sacrifices had never been fully realized by a nation divided over the legacy of the Vietnam War.
NEW YORK (AP) - For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, according to data released Monday, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that were emulated nationally.
CORRALES, N.M. (AP) - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday she's not backing down on her agency's efforts to implement a new rule that would assert regulatory authority over many of the nation's streams and wetlands despite criticisms that it amounts to a federal water grab.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA's effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit.
PHOENIX (AP) - The family of an Arizona shooting-range instructor who was accidentally shot and killed by a 9-year-old girl with an Uzi say they're praying for her.
DENVER (AP) - Four students were burned and one suffered serious injuries Monday after a fire erupted in a Denver high school chemistry laboratory while the teacher was conducting a demonstration with methanol, officials said.