BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A federal judge Friday allowed a wolf- and coyote-shooting derby to proceed on public land in Idaho this weekend, ruling its organizers aren't required to get a special permit from the U.S. Forest Service.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A tall man and a slender woman wiggled into their white hazardous materials suits, putting on protective masks and gloves before venturing into the dark, two-story home where police say a methamphetamine lab recently exploded.
NEW YORK (AP) - The heated debate over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records fell squarely into the courts Friday, when a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the legality of the program and cited its need in the fight against terrorism just days after another federal judge concluded it was likely not constitutional.
NO BEER LED TO CERAMIC SQUIRREL STABBING: NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel.
NEW YORK (AP) - Electricians working atop a New York City skyscraper on Friday installed the last of the 2,688 crystal triangles that give the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball its shimmer, including a panel dreamt up by a 12-year-old former cancer patient.
DENVER (AP) - The first batch of Denver businesses approved to sell recreational marijuana got their licenses Friday, the owners mugging for pictures and saying they never thought they'd see the day when they'd get a permit to sell pot.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Call it throwing the book at the bookworms.
SC GOV. HALEY GETS A BERETTA PISTOL FOR CHRISTMAS: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Santa was apparently right on target for Christmas for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
CHICAGO (AP) - Early blasts of snow, ice and below-zero temperatures haven't stopped a surprising number of Chicago cyclists from spinning through the slush this winter, thanks in part to a city so serious about accommodating them that it deploys mini-snow plows to clear bike lanes.
HOUSTON (AP) - A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.
PHOENIX (AP) - Two men were arrested Christmas Day on opposite sides of the country after they breached perimeters at major airports, raising questions about security measures and whether more needs to be done to protect the nation's transit hubs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Pastor Mike Butzberger insists he only had holiday spirit in mind when his Florida church's marquee read: "Christmas - Easier to spell than Hanukkah."
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light.
LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) - Utility crews from Maine to Michigan and into Canada worked Wednesday to restore power to more than half a million homes left in the dark by last weekend's ice storm, and people slowly trickled out of shelters to spend Christmas Day at their finally warm homes.
WEST READING, Pa. (AP) - A terminally ill girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers outside her home over the weekend died early on Christmas morning, her family said.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Gov. Sean Parnell on Friday announced a new way forward on a long-hoped-for natural gas pipeline that includes scrapping the terms of a 2007 law he says no longer works well for the situation.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Officials squabbled over media leaks and worried about bad publicity in the days after lane closings near the George Washington Bridge caused huge traffic jams that now appear to have been politically orchestrated by a member of Gov. Chris Christie's administration and key allies, documents released Friday show.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - With time running out, the condemned killer of a pregnant woman has launched two federal appeals, arguing both that his original attorneys never got the chance to lay out the extent of his chaotic and abusive childhood, and that if executed, he would experience "agony and terror" from the state's untried execution process.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Record-keeping snags could complicate the start of insurance coverage this month as people begin using policies they purchased under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
WASHINGTON (AP) - We've become weather wimps.
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.
Trapped trucker survives hours in subzero temps
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.
PROVO, Utah (AP) - A 58-year-old Utah woman is set to give birth in a few weeks - to her first grandchild.
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.