Biden’s prism of loss: A public man, shaped by private grief
WASHINGTON (AP) — On the night before Joe Biden's world collapsed, he sat in a picture-perfect scene with his wife by the fireside in their Delaware living room.
Man dies after stroke while taking down Christmas lights
APEX, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a North Carolina man died after a stroke while taking down Christmas lights caused him to fall down stairs and land on his cat, fatally breaking the animal's...
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two Minneapolis police officers have been fired over a racist Christmas display.
The department says Mark Bohnsack's last day was last Thursday while Brandy Steberg's was...
LONDON (AP) — On a sunny summer day in the United Kingdom, cast and crew can be found inside a studio — sprinkled with snow. It's the seasonal disorder of television shows and films.
WACO, Texas (AP) — A Texas volunteer with a Christmas program benefiting children of incarcerated parents has been charged with stealing donations and returning them for store credit or gift...
DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Behind the door of Meeting Room One at the Hyatt Place in Dublin, Santa shouts out commands to his class like a drill sergeant.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Officials in Virginia's Hanover County want a local man to take down part of an unconventional Christmas display that is still in his yard and features toilets and a...
HEBRON, Conn. (AP) — Police in Connecticut have finally caught up to a man they say broke into a home before Christmas and stole presents that had been collected for a needy family.
BILLERICA, Mass. (AP) — Five thousand miles. That is the number of miles Josephine "Jo" Leary put on her car delivering and organizing meals for residents in Billerica.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Just as summer is finally coming into view in Nebraska, an Omaha museum is kicking off its search for the perfect Christmas tree.
NORTH POLE, Alaska (AP) — Travelers have visited the Alaska city of North Pole to show their Christmas spirit at the Santa Claus House and some used the visit to renew their wedding vows, a report...
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A jury was unable to reach a verdict in the trial of a Delaware man who admitted he broke a thumb off a $4.5 million statue at a Philadelphia museum.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A historic Georgia restaurant has reopened months after a fire caused extensive damage.
Savannah's Olde Pink House reopened its first-floor dining rooms, bar and tavern...
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Almost 8,000 repurposed Christmas trees will be used to help restore an eroding wildlife refuge.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's annual "Christmas Tree Drop" into...
Sex offender arrested after attending holiday party as elf
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas man registered as a sex offender has been arrested after going to an elementary school and dressing up as an elf for a Christmas party last year.
New Mexico to provide US Capitol its next Christmas tree
TAOS, N.M. (AP) — This year's U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will be coming from northern New Mexico.
U.S. Forest Service officials announced Tuesday that a tree will be cut from the Carson...
Fire destroys century-old building at The Rocks Estate
BETHLEHEM, N.H. (AP) — Authorities say a fire has destroyed a century-old building on an historic northern New Hampshire estate known for its conservation practices and pick-your-own Christmas tree farm.
Firefighters say the fire at The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem broke out at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. The cause is undetermined.
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NBA players, coaches appreciate chance to play on MLK Day
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant cherishes the opportunity to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by playing basketball on the holiday that celebrates the civil rights leader.
South Dakota woman donates organs after car accident
YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — Early on Dec. 24, Rhonda and Brad Bender of Yankton got a knock on the door and news of a terrible accident involving their daughter, Brooklyn Bender. This was not the Christmas they wanted. But in the end, with their help, their daughter may have given the greatest Christmas gift of all — the gift of life.
Brooklyn Bender's fight for life began early on Christmas Eve.
Millennial Money: Use post-holiday sales to treat yourself
Much like Santa, you spent this holiday season delivering gifts to your family members and friends.
But now that the flurry of tinsel and wrapping paper has settled, it's time to be your own Santa. Don't worry, no dropping through a chimney required. Just the gift-giving — and, OK, maybe the cookies, too.
In and Out: Trump selective about travel during shutdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vacation jaunts and hobnobbing with global elites at a Swiss ski resort are out for President Donald Trump. Visits with troops and farmers are OK.
Like some of his recent predecessors, Trump is carefully picking and choosing where he'll travel during the partial government shutdown.
Christmas tree insect stowaways find kind-hearted hostess
SPRINGFIELD, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia woman was surprised to find out one ornament on her live Christmas tree decided to deck the halls by unleashing dozens of tiny insects.
WJLA-TV reports more than 100 praying mantises popped out of a brown egg-case under the branches of Molly Kreuze's tree. She says the insects were crawling on her walls and ceilings.
Mother found dead after missing Christmas gift opening
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The mother of slain pregnant woman whose body was found on Christmas Day says she began to worry as her grandchildren opened gifts because she couldn't reach their mother in Kansas.
Prosecutors alleged this week that 31-year-old Jenna Schafer was fatally shot as part of a contract killing. Two suspects have been arrested .
Putin fires howitzer on Russian Orthodox Christmas
Putin gets to fire cannon at Russian Christmas
MOSCOW (AP) — For Christmas, Vladimir Putin got to do something that many children dream of: fire a really big gun.
Under the Russian Orthodox liturgical calendar, Christmas is observed on Jan. 7. During a visit to his hometown of St. Petersburg on Monday, the Russian president visited the Petropavlovsky Fortress on the banks of the Neva River and pulled the lever on the howitzer that fires a daily noontime salute.
Kentucky officials collecting Christmas trees for fish
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources officials are taking donated natural Christmas trees through Jan. 15 to use as fish habitat in lakes.
The agency said in a news release there are 39 drop-off locations in 34 counties. Visit https://fw.ky.gov and search for "Christmas" to find the nearest drop-off.
The department said trees must be free of decorations, including lights, ornaments, tinsel and garland.
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West Virginia officials take Christmas trees for fish cover
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia officials are planning to use donated Christmas trees to provide woody cover for fish.
Division of Natural Resources workers have been collecting trees to place in Beech Fork and East Lynn lakes.
Mexicans hand gifts from cars on Three Kings Day
MEXICO CITY (AP) — More than a dozen women and children in dingy clothes encircled a white sedan in front of Mexico's most-important monument, walking away with plastic trucks and dolls individually wrapped in clear plastic bags. After the sedan ran out of presents, a silver SUV pulled up to unload jump ropes and plastic balls.
Hungry goats eat, recycle old Christmas trees
EVESHAM, N.J. (AP) — In the weeks after Christmas, Tami Fulcher Millaway makes a lot of meal runs for her kids.
It all sounds pretty routine — until Millaway describes the part where she throws the food over the fence so her kids can gnaw at it for hours.
Millaway, who owns BnT Farm with her husband Bill, has 12 goats on her Marlton property — five of them babies — and offers to collect her neighbors' discarded Christmas trees so she can feed them to her animals.
Palestinians protest patriarch ahead of Orthodox Christmas
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Dozens of Palestinians are protesting the arrival of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of the Holy Land at an Orthodox Christmas celebration in Bethlehem.
The protesters shouted "traitor" at Patriarch Theophilos III as he made his way under heavy guard Sunday toward the Church of the Nativity, revered by Christians as the traditional site of Jesus's birthplace. Palestinians have been demanding his resignation for allegedly selling church land to Israelis.
Mardi Gras season kicks off with king cake, revelry
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — As the rest of America winds down from the parties, overeating and merriment of Christmas and New Year's, New Orleans keeps the party going. Mardi Gras season officially kicks off Sunday. Jan. 6 is often referred to as Epiphany, Twelfth Night or Three Kings' Day and commemorates the day the Bible says the three wise men reached the baby Jesus. For weeks, the city is taken over by elaborate parades and people stuffing their faces with sugary king cake. The party culminates on Fat Tuesday, which this year falls on March 5.
Officials say ember from fireplace started Tennessee blaze
COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An ember from an operating fireplace ignited a Christmas tree and started a house fire that killed three teenagers and an adult in a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee.
The Collierville Fire Marshal's Office said wrapped Christmas presents and living room furniture added more fuel to the fire that engulfed a two-story home on Dec. 23.
AP Top Stories January 4 P
Zoo elephants eat Berlin’s leftover Christmas trees
BERLIN (AP) — Berlin's unwanted Christmas trees have ended their days as a festive snack for zoo elephants and stocking fillers for some of their fellow residents.
The once-a-year treats arrived Friday at the Tierpark, one of the German capital's two zoos.
The zoo takes only fresh, unsold trees from selected vendors. It doesn't accept trees from the public, which could contain chemicals or leftover decorations.
Police: More than 60 victims in changing-room camera case
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Police believe more than 60 women and girls were secretly recorded undressing in changing rooms at northern Virginia shopping malls in the weeks before Christmas.
Fairfax County Police arrested 39-year-old Mumtaz Rauf of Alexandria on Christmas Eve and charged him with unlawful filming of a minor after a girl noticed a small camera in a changing room at a Forever 21 store in Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax.
A lost ring and dumpster diving lead to ‘best present’
FORT MILL, S.C. (AP) — A Fort Mill woman said she got the best Christmas gift possible this month when strangers came together to help her find her heirloom wedding rings -- at the York County dump.
Michelle Kurtz was sure she wouldn't see the diamond rings again after she accidentally threw them away, wrapped in a paper towel. It was trash day, and the garbage truck had already come.
Stolen car found with Christmas gifts still inside
DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) — Police say they have recovered a family's stolen car with their Christmas gifts still inside in Massachusetts.
Lauren and William Ingram say they packed the car with their 4-year-old daughter's gifts Thursday when someone stole the vehicle as it was warming up in a driveway in Dedham.
The Ingrams say police called Saturday to report they found the car, and it appears the gifts are still inside.
AP Top Stories December 30 P
Wildlife agents: Old Christmas trees can be good for animals
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina wildlife officials are recommending people use their old, live Christmas trees to help animals.
The state Department of Natural Resources says old trees can be used for erosion control or as cover for small animals like quails and rabbits.
The agency also has a program that takes old trees and sinks them in lakes to become artificial reefs for fish.
Fayetteville community disputes district’s holiday policy
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Christmas trees and other holiday decorations are permitted in Fayetteville schools, as long as the displays have an educational purpose and support an environment "inclusive" of all students and employees, according to the superintendent.
Some, however, perceive the school district as having an outright ban on Christmas trees, a notion expressed by two community members who spoke at a recent school board meeting.
Officials: Oregon timber at risk from North Carolina insect
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A non-native insect that entered Oregon this fall on Christmas trees harvested in North Carolina has the potential to harm Oregon's timber economy, officials say.
The elongate hemlock scale is less than a quarter inch (2 millimeters) long and hides on the bottom of needles, where it feeds, Wyatt Williams of the Oregon Department of Forestry said.
States trying to stop invasive evergreen-eating bug’s spread
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota and Wisconsin agriculture officials are trying to block the spread of an invasive evergreen tree-eating insect after it was found in holiday decorations sold at retailers in both states.
Deployment to Afghanistan is a family affair
STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Fraternal twins Matthew and Ryan McBride were born just 45 seconds apart and have remained close ever since. As infants, they held hands through the slats of their neighboring cribs and appeared to understand each other's babble. Mathew pitched for the local baseball team. Ryan was his catcher. Ryan played center on their football team. Matthew was his quarterback.
Beach towns want Christmas trees to help with recovery
NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina beach town is looking for discarded Christmas trees to help it recover from Hurricane Florence.
New drone owners urged to learn the rules of the air
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Transportation wants people who found brand new drones under the tree on Christmas morning to know that their new toys come with state and federal regulations that have to be followed.
Weed that sprouted holiday cheer mysteriously uprooted
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A street corner weed that had been decked out with Christmas lights and brought out holiday goodwill in Ohio has apparently met an early demise.
WTVG-TV in Toledo reports that someone pulled out the "Christmas weed" early Friday morning and drove off with it in his trunk.
Clarification: Police Standoff-Cookies and Carols story
POTTSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — In some versions of a story Dec. 27, The Associated Press reported that a Pennsylvania police department relied on a song by Bing Crosby to end a Christmas standoff. The story should have specified that the song, "White Christmas," was made famous by Crosby but was written by Irving Berlin.