TRYING TO SPREAD CHEER, SANTA IN NH SCARES INSTEAD: HOLLIS, N.H. (AP) - Police in southern New Hampshire say a man dressed as Santa Claus was only trying to spread some cheer but ended up panicking officials when he knocked on school windows and entered the building.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Thursday that will make it harder to force public schools to drop tribal nicknames, pushing aside opponents' charges that the measure is racist.
NEW YORK (AP) - Can an experimental drug developed to treat epilepsy block the AIDS virus? A preliminary lab study suggests it's possible, and researchers are eager to try it in people.
MIAMI (AP) - A month after pleading guilty to cocaine-possession charges, Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida refused to resign Thursday, saying he wants to "rebuild the trust" of voters.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a sharp and unexpected shift, the national debate over U.S. government surveillance seems to be turning in favor of reining in the National Security Agency's expansive spying powers at home and abroad.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City lawmakers paved the way Thursday for an eventual ban on plastic foam containers, added electronic cigarettes to the city's already stringent smoking bans and approved the creation of a website that will help the public track federal dollars budgeted for Superstorm Sandy-related damages.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A suspect in a deadly hospital shooting in Reno left a suicide note at his home and claimed he had botched surgery three years ago before killing a doctor and himself this week, police said Thursday.
CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio judge rebuffed an argument Thursday that traffic cameras make law enforcement more efficient, stating sharply that violating motorists' rights isn't the American way.
McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge in South Texas said in a recent order that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is assisting in criminal conspiracies to smuggle children into the country when it helps reunite them with parents who are known to be in the U.S. illegally.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of eight people he said were serving unduly harsh drug sentences in the most expansive use yet of his power to free inmates.
OKLA. MAN PROPOSES TO GIRLFRIEND DURING ARREST: ELK CITY, Okla. (AP) - Talk about a marriage proposal to remember.
SEATTLE (AP) - Figuring out how much marijuana people use has been one of the trickiest, and most important, questions facing the bureaucrats who are setting up Washington state's new legal pot system.
Wildlife advocate pleads guilty to poaching
RENO (AP) - A 39-year-old man who received asylum in the U.S. from India has been arrested in northern Nevada and accused of helping to plot terror strikes in the Punjab region of his home country on the border with Pakistan, federal officials said Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP) - For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.
NEW YORK (AP() - Malcolm X and rap music have always fit together like a needle in the groove, connected by struggle, strength and defiance. But three recent episodes involving the use or misuse of Malcolm and other black icons have raised the question: Has rap lost touch with black history?
PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) - The phones were ringing off the hook at Gordy's Pizza & Pasta in Port Angeles last Wednesday, but the callers weren't looking for the eatery's signature fettucine.
CHICAGO (AP) - Comedian Jimmy Fallon took a quick but icy dip in Lake Michigan - dressed in a full suit and tie - eyes bulging as he darted out of the slushy water and headed straight for a pile of dry towels.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - In Maryland each year, thousands of defendants appear before court commissioners - not judges - who set their bail without an attorney present.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Floridian with an IQ as high as 75 may be diagnosed as mentally disabled and be eligible for help getting a job. But on death row, the state says having an IQ higher than 70 categorically means an inmate is not mentally disabled and may be executed.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut and New York have found a way around federal budget cuts that played a central role in the massive farm bill passed this month: bump up home heating assistance a few million bucks in return for preserving more than a half-billion dollars in food stamp benefits.
WILLOW, Alaska (AP) - A New Zealander was the first musher en route to the town of Nome when the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began Sunday.
HINGHAM, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts man busted for speeding had a pretty good excuse when he was pulled over: He had just won a big lottery prize and was on his way to collect his cash.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A bill to allow students, staff and visitors to carry guns on Idaho's college campuses passed out of a legislative committee Friday afternoon, despite objections from students, multiple police chiefs and leaders of all eight of the state's public colleges.
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - An avalanche roared into a residential neighborhood in the western Montana city of Missoula on Friday, destroying a house and leaving an elderly woman missing, but rescuers found an elderly man and an 8-year-old boy alive, police said.
NEW YORK (AP) - Philip Seymour Hoffman died from taking a combination of heroin, cocaine and other drugs, the New York City medical examiner ruled Friday, a toxic mix that addiction specialists say is not uncommon in the tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the U.S. each year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's regional airlines are having trouble hiring enough pilots, the government says, suggesting one reason may be that they simply don't pay enough.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In elections that begin next week, voters in 10 states will be required to present photo identification before casting ballots - the first major test of voter ID laws after years of legal challenges arguing that the measures are designed to suppress voting.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - Kerry Kennedy was swiftly acquitted Friday of drugged driving in a case that her lawyers said would never have been brought if she were simply "Mary Housewife" rather than a member of one of America's most glamorous political families.
Q: We are going to hire a nanny to help care for our two small children. We have heard different opinions about whether we will have to deduct Social Security taxes from the wages we will be paying this person. Can you please clarify this?