GateHouse News Service National Budget
Contacts: Lisa Glowinski, (217) 816-3343,
Michael Toeset, 630-835-8870,


WAKE UP CALL!: Food pantries help college students make ends meet
*NOTE: Wake Up Call will now be called Story idea

STORY IDEAS: 4 for Girl Scouts' 100th anniversary

BEST OF THE DAY: Boonville drives Facebook fans with welcome page


NASCAR PAGE: Will be posted Tuesday; the Daytona 500 has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. EST today

KIDZBUZZ PAGE: Dr. Seuss and "The Lorax"



REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK: The new face of renters, tips for first-time home buyers, 2012 market outlook

MARCH FAMILY: Tips on boosting your kids' creativity, walking as a family for health, and a St. Patrick's Day recipe

ST. PATRICK'S DAY QUARTER PAGE: Seasonal savings layout with business-card ad spots

TAX PREP PAGES: 9 common tax mistakes; deductions to take advantage of

The Street

MARKET PREVIEW: Beware the low-volume rally -- As great as 2012 has been for stocks, there are still some negatives to ponder. By Michael Baron, The Street

More content from The Street at


HOME HELP: Fresh decor -- weekly Home Help with items on freshening up your house for spring, a new app to reduce junk mail, a home-selling tip and more. GHNS

FINANCIAL BOOKS FOR KIDS: Author's books teach children financial basics - Robin Yang, certified financial accountant and investment analyst, has written a series of adventure books to teach children the basics of finance. By Saimi Bergmann, Canton, Ohio.

YO-YO DIETING: Yo-yo dieting among teens has negative long-term effects - Body mass index, or BMI, is the number many teens should be paying attention to. But they are often obsessed with their own weight rather than whether they are healthy. Here's what parents should know. By Julie Kaiser, Springfield, Ill.

LESSONS FROM CANCER: Feeling good, even with cancer- I write in the morning about whatever is going on in my head, and if I need help making sense of it all, I ask for divine guidance. This morning though, the guidance just took over and told me what I needed to know, so this piece is courtesy of divine spirit. (I write in a stream of consciousness. I write the words one at a time as they come into my head, and I’ve come to believe that they come from a higher source because the guidance is much wiser than anything I’ve ever thought on my own.) By Joyce Rothman, GHNS.

JEFF VRABEL: I blame Brayden - Many years ago, I had a son. Well, OK, I still have a son, but "I still have a son" is a crazy-boring lead, and "MANY YEARS AGO," which I imagine to have been spoken aloud by a drunken Sean Connery, makes this column seem more akin to an epic clash of sky gods and dragon lancers instead of what it is, which is a belated attempt to pin months of my son's misbehavior on a 6-year-old named Brayden. By Jeff Vrabel, GHNS.

SHOESTRING LIVING: Freshen up your home for less - Along the lines of renewal, spring leaves me longing for a revived look indoors, too. Freshening up the interior of your home doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here are some tips for getting a whole new look this spring. By Molly Logan Anderson, GHNS.
* Localization: Ask readers to share any tips like this that they have.

GARY BROWN: All Brads ski for free on Brad Day -- “Shanty Creek Resorts is pleased to announce that Wednesday, Feb. 29, has been designated Brad Day at Schuss Mountain,” began the email I got last week. “The story behind this day is a long one, and one that shall remain cloaked in some mystery,” the email went on. Canton (Ohio) Repository

LORETTA LAROCHE: Treat your brain to mini-vacations -- Your only defense is to learn to create good mental habits that allow your brain to have mini-vacations from the cacophony of daily life. Lily Tomlin said it best: “The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” The Patriot ledger (Mass.)

JULIE FAY: Not everyone is on board with Ozzy’s ‘Crazy Train’ -- I added some songs every child should know –– tracks by Boston and REO Speedwagon –– and was almost finished when a request came in from the second-grader. “Can you put on ‘Crazy Train?’” he asked. As I wasn’t familiar with that particular song, this required a second opinion. The Patriot ledger (Mass.)

THOMAS MICKEY: Three shrubs that won't fail you -- Here are three shrubs, each a different size, that won’t fail you in your garden. I grow each of them. After several years of cultivating them in my garden, I can tell you they work. The Patriot ledger (Mass.)

More in home and family at


OSCARS: 84th Academy Award winners.

More in music and movies at


RICK HOLMES: Marriage on the rocks - In their zeal to defend marriage from the gays, conservatives have perpetuated a myth: that the institution of marriage is fixed and never-changing. In truth, marriage has changed much through the centuries, and it is changing again. By Rick Holmes, MetroWest, Mass.

BILL MOYERS AND MICHAEL WINSHIP: Money throws democracy overboard - These gargantuan super PAC contributions are not an end in themselves. They are the means to gain control of government — and the nation state — for a reason. By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Messenger Post, N.Y.

CHARITA GOSHAY: Religious squabbles in politics nothing new -- But wranglings over religion and presidential politics is hardly new, says Jay Case, an associate professor of history at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. “We can go back to the one of the earliest presidential elections, when Thomas Jefferson ran against the incumbent, John Adams, in 1800,” he said. Canton (Ohio) Repository

More in columns and cartoons at

Business / auto

AUTO BITS: Choosing the right oil filter for your vehicle - Weekly auto rail, with oil filter tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more. By GHNS.
* Localization tip: You can do a Q&A with a local mechanic, or have a mechanic (or mechanics) provide you with a tip of the week.

SILVIO CALABI: The Countryman ALL4: the maxi-Mini - Minis are the Jack Russell terriers of the auto world: small on the outside, big on the inside; cuddly and cute one minute, hair-on-fire intense the next; and always awesomely competent. I never met a Jack Russell I didn’t like, nor a Mini. But at first the ALL4 made me think that what makes the mini-Mini so endearing was working against this larger model. But then the all-wheel drive and the clever cornering brake control kicked in. By Silvio Calabi, GHNS.

GREG ZYLA: Chevy Camaro big block memories - I owned a 68 Camaro RS (SS). It had been specifically ordered as a "stop light special" because back then it was a big deal to have the "fastest car at the stop light." Originally, my car was a 396 big block with 375 horsepower with a rock crusher 4-speed and 4.88 gears. It also came from the factory with one extra leaf spring on the right side (passenger). By Greg Zyla, GHNS.

More in tech and finance at


ALIX KUNKLE: Just because Ryan Braun successfully appealed doesn't mean he's clean - A few months ago, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun called his shot — of sorts — by saying that his 50-game suspension for failing a drug test would be overturned. By Alix Kunkle, Leesville, La.
* Poll idea: Ask if readers think Braun’s suspension should have been overturned.