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.
NEW YORK (AP) - One retired police officer who told the government he was too psychologically damaged to work ran a martial arts studio, prosecutors said. Another claimed his depression was so crippling it kept him house-bound, but he was photographed aboard a watercraft, they said. A third man who said he was incapable of social interactions manned a cannoli stand at a street festival.
CHICAGO (AP) - Anti-smoking measures have saved roughly 8 million U.S. lives since a landmark 1964 report linking smoking and disease, a study estimates, yet the nation's top disease detective says dozens of other countries do a better job on several efforts to cut tobacco use.
CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge has potentially opened a new market to gun dealers after ruling as unconstitutional Chicago ordinances that aim to reduce gun violence by banning their sale within the city's limits.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Election-year legislation to revive expired federal jobless benefits unexpectedly cleared an early hurdle on Tuesday, offering a hint of bipartisan compromise in Congress and a glimmer of hope to the long-term jobless and their families.
SEATTLE (AP) - Washington state could be facing a curious economics problem: too many pot growers.
CHICAGO (AP) - Young teens aren't exactly embracing the government's Let's Move mantra, the latest fitness data suggest.
ATLANTA (AP) - Fountains froze over, a 200-foot Ferris wheel in Atlanta shut down, and Southerners had to dig out winter coats, hats and gloves they almost never have to use.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate confirmed Janet Yellen on Monday as the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, elevating an advocate of fighting unemployment and a backer of the central bank's efforts to spur the economy with low interest rates and massive bond purchases.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah became the only state to allow firing squads for executions when Gov. Gary Herbert signed a law Monday approving the method for use when no lethal injection drugs are available, even though he has called it "a little bit gruesome."
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas farmers are paying for genetic research to figure out exactly why some people struggle to digest wheat.
HOUSTON (AP) - A proposal to turn the iconic but shuttered Houston Astrodome into a massive indoor park and build a tree-lined green space around the structure could cost nearly $243 million, according to a report released Monday by a nonprofit research group focused on land use.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A four-month police investigation into an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia that Rolling Stone magazine described in graphic detail produced no evidence of the attack and was stymied by the accuser's unwillingness to cooperate, authorities said Monday.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Calling the federal agency that makes recommendations on vaccines a "sock puppet" for that industry, Robert Kennedy Jr. spoke out Monday against making it harder for parents to exempt their children from vaccinations.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Workers were dismantling a scaffold at a high-rise construction project on Monday when a piece of it fell to the ground in downtown Raleigh, killing three men and sending another to a hospital.
NEWS FROM ACROSS THE NATION
WASHINGTON (AP) - Cash-strapped Americans anxious for tax refunds are increasingly turning to payment advances, prepaid cards or other costly services when getting tax preparation help, according to new federal data raising concerns among regulators about whether consumers are fully informed about the fees.
NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks baristas will no longer write "Race Together" on customers' cups starting Sunday, ending a visible component of the company's diversity and racial inequality campaign that had sparked widespread criticism in the week since it took effect.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - California Gov. Jerry Brown says U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz' views on climate change make the Texas Republican unfit to run for president and that he would entertain making another bid for the White House himself if he were younger.
COTTONWOOD, Ariz. (AP) - An overnight brawl in an Arizona Wal-Mart parking lot has left one person dead and two others wounded, including a police officer who was shot in the leg.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans want lower taxes and more government spending both at once, although their support for spending more tax dollars on health care has dropped dramatically. They're likelier than ever to not feel connected to any particular religion, but no less likely to believe in God. And for the first time, most want to legalize marijuana.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Potatoes that won't bruise and apples that won't brown are a step closer to grocery store aisles, but some food suppliers say they don't want any part of it and others are staying silent.
LINDEN, N.J. (AP) - A car carrying three off-duty New Jersey police officers from a visit to a strip club drove the wrong way down a New York City highway and crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer early Friday, killing an officer and a civilian and critically injuring two other policemen.
Q: I am 82 years old. My husband is 85. Based on a recent column you wrote about wives getting benefits from their husband's account, I think I am due more money from Social Security. How do I go about getting what is rightfully mine?