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.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - First, Iowa. Then, South Carolina. Now, New Hampshire.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Warm weather continues to play havoc for organizers of the world's most famous sled dog race.
• POLICE: BUS AIDE STOLE LUNCH MONEY, FOOD FROM PRESCHOOLERS: MILVILLE, N.J. (AP) - A school bus aide has been charged with stealing lunch money and bagged lunches from preschoolers in New Jersey.
NEW YORK (AP) - Nickelodeon is creating brand-new content and resurrecting old shows for a mobile subscription service aimed at preschoolers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a state regulatory board made up mostly of dentists violated federal law against unfair competition when it tried to prevent lower-cost competitors in other fields from offering teeth-whitening services.
NEW YORK (AP) - The owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores became the latest retailer to boost pay for its U.S. workers, putting pressure on other chains to do the same.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Police knew a 19-year-old suspect in a shooting that killed a neighborhood mother of four smoked marijuana before he surrendered during a standoff last week, and investigators questioned him while he was high, a defense lawyer said Tuesday.
MIAMI (AP) - George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in a 2012 confrontation with the teenager, will not face federal charges, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
SEATTLE (AP) - For the first time, a study shows that a drug used to treat HIV infection also can help prevent it when taken before and after risky sex by gay men.
STEPHENVILLE, Texas (AP) - A former Marine was convicted Tuesday in the deaths of the "American Sniper" author and another man at a shooting range two years ago, as jurors rejected defense arguments that he was insane and suffered from psychosis.
LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri sixth-grader with Asperger's syndrome has suffered complications from a severe beating he took in the lunchroom from another student, his parents say.
CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to capture a majority of the vote in Tuesday's municipal election, an embarrassment for the former White House chief of staff because it forces him into a runoff this spring against Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Smoking, growing and possessing marijuana becomes legal in America's wildest state Tuesday, thanks to a voter initiative aimed at clearing away 40 years of conflicting laws and court rulings.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A man who was released on bond in a burglary case used snacks to lure a 6-year-old girl into his motel room in the southwest Missouri tourist town of Branson and strangled her, court records say.
ATLANTA (AP) - For years, parents of babies who seem likely to develop a peanut allergy have gone to extremes to keep them away from peanut-based foods. Now a major study suggests that is exactly the wrong thing to do.