BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Residents in the southwest Illinois city of Belleville celebrated its 200th birthday with a 200-foot bratwurst, complete with a 200-foot bun.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ready to ring in the new year, Americans look ahead with optimism, according to a new AP-Times Square New Year's Eve poll. Their ratings of the year gone by? Less than glowing.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Towering grain silos overlook the main highway in Salt Lake City at the Mormon church's Welfare Square. At grocery stores, there's a whole section with large plastic tubs with labels that read, "Deluxe survivor 700." Radio ads hawk long-term supplies of food with 25-year shelf lives.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - When the A&E network suspended "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson for disparaging gay people, it may have followed a time-honored TV tradition of quickly silencing a star who, for better or worse, speaks his mind. But in doing so it also ruffled the feathers of possibly millions of fans of its most popular show.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico's top prosecutor filed a lawsuit Thursday in state district court in an attempt to block a planned horse slaughter plant from opening in less than two weeks.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A man lured two brothers, ages 5 and 8, from their yard in south Mississippi and took them to his camper trailer, where he sexually abused them and slashed the older boy's throat, authorities said Thursday.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Wednesday scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown and near-perpetual gridlock.
ATLANTA (AP) - Two winning tickets were sold in the $636 million Mega Millions drawing: one at a tiny newsstand in Atlanta, and the other more than 2,000 miles away in California.
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Police say a woman applying for a job at a Delaware restaurant stole money from a tip jar.
NEW YORK (AP) - Gallant guide dog Orlando was just doing his duty.
CHICAGO (AP) - The phones are jingling off the hook at Dial-a-Carol, a student-run project on the University of Illinois' Champaign campus. It's a hotline of sorts for people who prefer hearing holiday music sung by a choir of amateurs who've been up all night studying.
MIAMI (AP) - Florida wildlife officials say a man tried to trade a live alligator for beer at a Miami convenience store.
NEW YORK (AP) - Nirvana, Kiss and Peter Gabriel will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.
SLEIGH BELLS: The U.S. and Canadian military will entertain millions of kids again this Christmas Eve with second-by-second updates on Santa's global whereabouts. But there's something new this year: public criticism.
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.