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When The Holiday Season Is Transformed By Loss

Alcestis 'Cooky' Oberg lost her father-in-law unexpectedly on Christmas Day in 1982. For the first few years, it meant that Christmas was a somber time. Oberg, a contributor to USA Today, talks about how the mood of the holidays evolved for her family over time.

Measuring The Impact Of Your Charitable Donations

As the year comes to a close, many people turn attention to giving back through charitable donations. With the economic recovery, many are seeking out more information to be sure that the donations go to the intended cause.

N.Y. Website Posts Map Of People With Gun Permits, Draws Criticism

The suburban Journal News took publicly available information to produce an interactive database. Critics say the newspaper has treated gun owners as if they are sex offenders.

Baltimore Singer's Big Voice Touches Siberia

Blues, gospel and jazz singer Lea Gilmore describes herself as "just a little black girl from Baltimore." But she has a big voice that has touched audiences across the world. She speaks with guest host Celeste Headlee about her life, her music and being the only black person in Siberia.

Gunman Who Killed Two Firefighters Left Chilling Note

"I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best: killing people," William Spenger wrote, according to police. He set a fire at his Webster, N.Y., home, then shot at the first responders. Authorities think Spengler also killed his sister.

A Lull Until New Year's? Not So These Days

The week between Christmas and New Year's used to be a sleepy spot on the American calendar. Nowadays, it's crammed with people rushing around reminiscing with friends and families, returning presents and raking in gift-card booty. Others, even perhaps members of Congress, go straight back to work in this fiscal cliffhanger of a year.

113th U.S. Congress To Be Sworn In Next Week

The new Congress will have big problems to tackle and little love from the people who elected them. To find out what can be done to get things working again on Capitol Hill, David Greene catches up with Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley.

Zappos Logs Record Service Call

The call to the online shoe retailer lasted more than 10 hours. For one thing, the customer on the line wanted to know how the Zappos employee likes living in Las Vegas. The conversation even ended with a sale of Uggs boots.