SACRAMENTO (AP) - The new year brought relief for Americans who previously had no health insurance or were stuck in poor plans, but it also led to confusion after the troubled rollout of the federal health care reforms sent a crush of late applications to overloaded government agencies.
ATLANTA (AP) - A sophisticated, real-world study confirms that dialing, texting or reaching for a cellphone while driving raises the risk of a crash or near-miss, especially for younger drivers. But the research also produced a surprise: Simply talking on the phone did not prove dangerous, as it has in other studies.
NEW YORK (AP) - James Avery, the bulky character actor who laid down the law at home and on the job as the Honorable Philip Banks in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," has died.
MIAMI (AP) - The so-called "young invincibles" are so important to the success of the Affordable Care Act that supporters and detractors are spending millions to reach them with racy ads, social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements. The president is even (gasp) asking their mothers to help convince them to sign up for insurance.
DENVER (AP) - Crowds were serenaded by live music as they waited for the nation's first legal recreational pot shops to open. They ate doughnuts and funnel cakes as a glass-blower made smoking pipes. Some tourists even rode around in a limo, eager to try weed but not so eager to be seen buying it.
PALO ALTO (AP) - Personal computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. has confirmed that it expects layoffs at the upper end of a range that it outlined earlier this year, with 5,000 more workers than originally planned expected to lose jobs by October 2014.
HOUSTON (AP) - Former first lady Barbara Bush remains hospitalized with a respiratory-related issue, but her condition hasn't changed, a spokesman for her husband's office said Wednesday.
• THIEF CARRIES 250-POUND SAFE OUT OF MASS. EATERY: WEYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts police are searching for a strong-armed thief who carried a 250-pound safe out of a restaurant.
DETROIT (AP) - A Michigan university has issued its annual list of annoying words, and those flexible enough to take selfies of themselves twerking should take note.
HONOLULU (AP) - The government's rehabilitated health insurance website has seen a December surge in customer sign-ups, pushing enrollment past the 1 million mark, the Obama administration says.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - The man who apparently mistook his stepdaughter for a burglar when he shot and killed her at their Colorado Springs home was identified Monday as a decorated Fort Carson soldier who served in Iraq.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Certain current or former heavy smokers should start getting yearly scans for lung cancer to cut their risk of death from the nation's top cancer killer, government advisers said Monday - even as they stressed that the tests aren't for everyone.
HONOLULU (AP) - A Hawaii woman whose last name is 36 characters long has finally gotten the whole thing to fit on her driver's license and state identification card.
BOSTON (AP) - The father of a Chechen man shot to death by authorities in Florida while being questioned in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation has written to President Barack Obama asking for help finding out what happened.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A global retirement crisis is bearing down on workers of all ages.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Thirty teens "overwhelmed" their minders at a juvenile detention center by simultaneously breaking out of four dormitories and then crawling under a weak spot in a chain-link fence. By Tuesday evening, seven were still on the run.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A groom became "handsy" with a pregnant waitress at his wedding reception and tried to pour alcohol down her throat, then resisted arrest after getting into a fight with her boyfriend, police said.
CINCINNATI (AP) - The parents of four black students who allege their children were expelled over rap music videos and targeted because of race sued a suburban school district in federal court on Tuesday, charging violations of constitutional rights including free speech.
CENTERPLATE: CEO RESIGNS OVER DOG'S MISTREATMENT: STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - Sports catering business Centerplate has announced the resignation of its chief executive after video from an elevator security camera posted online shows a man kicking a puppy and yanking its leash.
WALDO, Fla. (AP) - The north Florida town of Waldo has long had a reputation as a speed trap, and it's no wonder. A small segment of highway that runs through Waldo requires drivers to speed up and slow down six times: 65 mph becomes 55 mph; 55 becomes 45; then goes back to 55; then back down to 45; to 55 again and eventually, 35 mph.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man who authorities believe strangled dozens of women as he moved from place to place around the country was convicted Tuesday of three 1980s murders in Los Angeles.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California regulatory judges have recommended a $1.4 billion penalty against the state's largest utility for a 2010 gas pipeline explosion that engulfed a suburban San Francisco neighborhood in fire, killing eight people and prompting national alerts about aging pipelines.
FURNACE CREEK (AP) - For 10,000 years, a tiny iridescent blue fish has lived in the depths of a cavern in Nevada's desert. But a new study says climate change and warming waters - and its lack of mobility - are threatening its existence and decreasing its numbers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A surly electorate that holds Congress in even lower regard than unpopular President Barack Obama is willing to "keep the bums in," with at least 365 incumbents in the 435-member House and 18 of 28 senators on a glide path to another term when ballots are counted Nov. 4.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - President Barack Obama renewed his push for Congress to raise the minimum wage Monday in a buoyant accounting of the economy's "revving" performance, delivered on behalf of Democrats opening their fall campaigns for the midterm congressional elections.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - The Burning Man counterculture festival drew a peak crowd of nearly 66,000 celebrants as it neared an end Monday on the northern Nevada desert.
CHICAGO (AP) - Americans' eating habits have improved - except among the poor, evidence of a widening wealth gap when it comes to diet. Yet even among wealthier adults, food choices remain far from ideal, a 12-year study found.
CHICAGO (AP) - Could action-packed TV fare make you fat? That's the implication of a new study that found people snacked more watching fast-paced television than viewing a more leisurely paced talk show.
POLICE ZAP GIRL WITH TASER AT MONTEREY COUNTY FAIR: MONTEREY (AP) - Police say they used a Taser on a 14-year-old girl after she attacked an officer at the Monterey County Fair.
ATLANTA (AP) - The U.S. government is looking for trains to haul radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Too bad those trains have nowhere to go.