SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A lottery system for hikers makes it difficult for many to win a permit to visit a rock formation called The Wave - and that may have colored the judgment of a couple who set out in brutal heat and were found dead along the trail.
ATLANTA (AP) - Authorities on Friday arrested a New York man charged with trying to extort money from embattled celebrity cook Paula Deen in exchange for not going to the news media with "true and damning statements" he said she made.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Statue of Liberty reopened on the Fourth of July, eight months after Superstorm Sandy shuttered the national symbol of freedom, as Americans around the country celebrated with fireworks and parades and President Obama urged citizens to live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence.
KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) - More than 1,100 National Guard soldiers and airmen in Hawaii - and thousands in other states - will be living with 20 percent less pay over the next three months as the Defense Department carries out automatic federal budget cuts.
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) - An 8-year-old boy riding in a Fourth of July parade in central Oklahoma died Thursday after his father accidentally ran him over, authorities said.
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - Prosecutors are winding down their case in George Zimmerman's murder trial after presenting forensics evidence and testimony aimed at refuting Zimmerman's claim he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Midwestern city best known for its basketball and auto racing is gearing up for a proper game of cricket - the ball-and-bat sport most Americans know only from British films or by surfing through international sports channels.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Paula Deen announced Thursday that she has cut business ties with the agent who helped make her a Food Network star and launch a media and merchandising empire that has largely crumbled in the wake of her admission that she used racial slurs in the past.
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Battle of Gettysburg is underway for the second time in a week and tourists are converging in droves even if the outcome of the Civil War's pivotal encounter has been known for 150 years.
MEXICO CITY (AP) - At least six U.S. airlines canceled 47 flights into and out of the Mexico City and Toluca airports Thursday after the Popocatepetl volcano spewed ash, steam and glowing rocks, airport officials said.
SEATTLE (AP) - Police in Seattle are investigating a Nevada man arrested near the University of Washington in a stolen pickup truck filled with weapons, body armor and suspected explosive devices.
• 2 DROWN IN MERCED-AREA LAKE: MERCED (AP) - Two men have drowned at Lake Yosemite outside of Merced after they jumped from a bridge.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nothing's ever easy with President Barack Obama's health care law.
NEW YORK (AP) - San Jose's Joey Chestnut downed 69 franks and devoured his own record in the men's Fourth of July hot dog eating contest while Sonya Thomas defended her title in the women's competition.
DECLO, Idaho (AP) - A southern Idaho teacher who allowed her fourth-grade students to use markers to draw on the faces of six classmates who failed to meet their reading goals will return to the Declo school for the 2013-14 school year.
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.
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.