HOUSTON HOTEL DISPLAYS HALF-TON CHOCOLATE SANTA: HOUSTON (AP) - Santa Claus has come to town in Houston and he's sweeter than your average holiday fellow.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is - and isn't - sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - North Texas prosecutors are trying a second time to imprison a teen who was sentenced last week to 10 years' probation for drunkenly driving his truck into four pedestrians, killing them all.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Year-end legislation to ease Congress' chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement benefits.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's the ultimate fantasy: Walk into a store, plunk down a dollar, and with nothing but luck - really extraordinary luck - you win a giant lottery. Suddenly, you're rich as a sultan with enough money to buy an NBA team or your own island.
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Florida Wal-Mart employee faces charges after officials say he shot a co-worker's car window because she won an employee-of-the-month award.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida school board has decided to end a decades-long controversy and rename a high school now named for a Confederate general and honorary Ku Klux Klan leader that some historical records say ordered the execution of hundreds of black Union soldiers.
MAN TICKETED FOR TRYING TO TRADE GATOR FOR BEER: MIAMI (AP) - Florida wildlife officials say a man tried to trade a live alligator for beer at a Miami convenience store.
NEW YORK (AP) - Gallant guide dog Orlando was just doing his duty.
RENO (AP) - Family members rescued after spending about 48 hours in the frigid wilderness of northern Nevada last week spoke out publicly for the first time Monday, saying they don't think they would've lasted two more days out in the cold.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The hot molten rock beneath Yellowstone National Park is 2 ½ times larger than previously estimated, meaning the park's supervolcano has the potential to erupt with a force about 2,000 times the size of Mount St. Helens, according to a new study.
Congress targets fed workers' pensions
DALLAS (AP) - Good friends like Willie Nelson and Merle haggard got more credit for their contrary ways and trend-setting ideas, but it was Ray Price who set the precedent for change in country music more than a decade earlier.
CARMEL (AP) - Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, who found stardom playing naive wives in Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion" and "Rebecca" and also was featured in films by Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang and Nicholas Ray, died Sunday. She was 96.
NEW YORK (AP) - Mayor Bill de Blasio, his administration threatened to be overwhelmed by a rift with rank-and-file New York Police Department officers, on Monday condemned the thousands of cops who turned their backs to him during a pair of funerals for slain police officers.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A school bus failed to yield to railroad crossing and stop signs and collided with an empty freight train Monday in North Dakota, killing the bus driver and a 17-year-old student and injuring 12 other people, the Highway Patrol said.
DENVER (AP) - Colorado is taking a novel approach to marijuana education - not telling people to avoid the drug, just to use it safely.
BOSTON (AP) - Some of the prospective jurors who could decide Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's fate got their first look Monday at the young man accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, and they seemed transfixed by the sight of the shaggy-haired 21-year-old.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An Albuquerque police officer shot during a traffic stop of a suspected drunken driver is a 31-year veteran who came out of retirement to work in the department's DWI unit.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House on Monday waded into a controversy over revelations that the House's No. 3 Republican spoke to a white supremacist group 12 years ago, saying who the GOP has in leadership "says a lot about who they are."
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut brewery apologized to Indians offended that the company is using Mohandas Gandhi's name and likeness on one of its beers.
BANK ROBBER USED CHRISTMAS CARD TO DEMAND CASH: DENVILLE, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a man accused of robbing a New Jersey bank last month made his demand for money in a Christmas card he passed to the teller.