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.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas cab driver Gerardo Gamboa thought someone left a bag of chocolates in the back seat of his vehicle, but the stash turned out to be $300,000 in cold hard cash.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mailing a letter is about to get a little more expensive.
NEW YORK (AP) - Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority said Friday that they canceled a joint agreement seeking companies to build high-speed trains for them, a proposal billed as a way to save money and lure advanced train manufacturing to the United States.
SEATTLE (AP) - Crews searched Mount Rainier National Park on Friday for a prominent hiker and outdoors writer who was reported missing late Wednesday while she researched a story.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple is likely to launch a computerized wristwatch this fall that includes more than 10 sensors to take health measurements and other data, according to a published report.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed California's $108 billion budget for the coming fiscal year that pays down debt, builds a rainy day fund and provides additional money for schools and health care.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - A citizens' commission on Friday cited California's improving economy as it approved 2 percent cost-of-living salary increases for lawmakers and statewide officials, including the governor and attorney general.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - With the first day of summer Saturday and the Fourth of July coming up, Southern California officials are warning residents to prepare for what's expected to be one of the most dangerous fire seasons the state has seen in years.
BERKELEY (AP) - The San Francisco Bay Area city of Berkeley is moving forward with plans to put climate-change warning labels on gas pumps in what could be the first such requirement of its kind in the nation.
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. stock market is back to setting records.
NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks is raising prices on some of its drinks by 5 cents to 20 cents starting next week, and customers can also soon expect to pay $1 more for the packaged coffee it sells in supermarkets.
SAN MATEO (AP) - A San Francisco congresswoman unveiled legislation Friday that would regulate electronic cigarettes in the same way as typical tobacco products, accusing the e-cigarette industry of targeting children and teenagers with its marketing.