SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A lottery system for hikers makes it difficult for many to win a permit to visit a rock formation called The Wave - and that may have colored the judgment of a couple who set out in brutal heat and were found dead along the trail.
ATLANTA (AP) - Authorities on Friday arrested a New York man charged with trying to extort money from embattled celebrity cook Paula Deen in exchange for not going to the news media with "true and damning statements" he said she made.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Statue of Liberty reopened on the Fourth of July, eight months after Superstorm Sandy shuttered the national symbol of freedom, as Americans around the country celebrated with fireworks and parades and President Obama urged citizens to live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence.
KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) - More than 1,100 National Guard soldiers and airmen in Hawaii - and thousands in other states - will be living with 20 percent less pay over the next three months as the Defense Department carries out automatic federal budget cuts.
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) - An 8-year-old boy riding in a Fourth of July parade in central Oklahoma died Thursday after his father accidentally ran him over, authorities said.
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - Prosecutors are winding down their case in George Zimmerman's murder trial after presenting forensics evidence and testimony aimed at refuting Zimmerman's claim he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Midwestern city best known for its basketball and auto racing is gearing up for a proper game of cricket - the ball-and-bat sport most Americans know only from British films or by surfing through international sports channels.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Paula Deen announced Thursday that she has cut business ties with the agent who helped make her a Food Network star and launch a media and merchandising empire that has largely crumbled in the wake of her admission that she used racial slurs in the past.
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Battle of Gettysburg is underway for the second time in a week and tourists are converging in droves even if the outcome of the Civil War's pivotal encounter has been known for 150 years.
MEXICO CITY (AP) - At least six U.S. airlines canceled 47 flights into and out of the Mexico City and Toluca airports Thursday after the Popocatepetl volcano spewed ash, steam and glowing rocks, airport officials said.
SEATTLE (AP) - Police in Seattle are investigating a Nevada man arrested near the University of Washington in a stolen pickup truck filled with weapons, body armor and suspected explosive devices.
• 2 DROWN IN MERCED-AREA LAKE: MERCED (AP) - Two men have drowned at Lake Yosemite outside of Merced after they jumped from a bridge.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nothing's ever easy with President Barack Obama's health care law.
NEW YORK (AP) - San Jose's Joey Chestnut downed 69 franks and devoured his own record in the men's Fourth of July hot dog eating contest while Sonya Thomas defended her title in the women's competition.
DECLO, Idaho (AP) - A southern Idaho teacher who allowed her fourth-grade students to use markers to draw on the faces of six classmates who failed to meet their reading goals will return to the Declo school for the 2013-14 school year.
SEATTLE (AP) - Moving forward on a lawsuit demanding legal representation for immigrant minors facing deportation could create a "magnet" effect at the border, attorneys for the federal government said.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The head of a food services company said officials at Alabama State University threatened to cancel the company's contract after it wouldn't commit to providing thousands of dollars in free catering for the new president's inaugural.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Police in Phoenix rescued a 13-year-old Honduran boy last week who was held captive by suspected smugglers after he crossed into Arizona illegally as an unaccompanied minor.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department plans to open a wide-ranging investigation into the practices of the Ferguson Police Department following the shooting last month of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday night.
NEW YORK (AP) - An unlicensed driver accused of killing a 4-year-old while fleeing police last year has again been charged with a crime behind the wheel - this time injuring a police officer while bolting from a weekend traffic stop, authorities said.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A demonstration about the science of tornadoes went awry Wednesday at a Reno museum, leading to a chemical explosion that injured 13 people, most of them children, authorities said.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to buy up to $13 million in canned pink salmon to ease a glut that has weighed down prices for Alaska fishermen.
LAWSUIT SETTLED IN BOY'S DEATH AT ALABAMA AIRPORT: BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A settlement over the death of a boy who was hit by a falling flight information sign inside Birmingham's airport was approved Wednesday, and the family said they had forgiven the contractors involved.
ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The lawyer for a Mississippi man who was declared dead two decades ago, only to resurface as a murder suspect, does not deny that her client killed his girlfriend and her daughter, but she said Wednesday that he's being tried in the wrong court.
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A graphic designer on a biking trip from Maryland to Miami was stabbed to death by a homeless man outside a Florida McDonald's while he spoke on the phone with his girlfriend, authorities said.
STARBUCKS SORRY FOR NOT SERVING WOMAN WITH DOG: ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Starbucks has apologized to a 24-year-old woman who said she wasn't allowed in a Rochester-area store because she had a service dog.
PHOENIX (AP) - An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi said Tuesday the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
CHICAGO (AP) - Removing both breasts to treat cancer affecting only one side doesn't boost survival chances for most women, compared with surgery that removes just the tumor, a large study suggests. The results raise concerns about riskier, potentially unnecessary operations that increasing numbers of women are choosing.
PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) - A Princeton University employee and marijuana legalization activist who said he was told to choose between his job and using medical marijuana is on paid leave as the university works to figure out accommodations for his disability.
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.