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

NOTE: We will publish a carousel item on the Virginia Tech shootings as details come in.


WAKE UP CALL!: Touchdown celebration costs championship

POLL IDEA: Should kids skip cereal?

CALLOUT IDEAS: Five for the holidays




KIDZBUZZ: All about Arctic animals



2011 YEAR IN REVIEW PAGE: The national, world events that shaped the year

The Street

TECH: Verizon, Coinstar teaming up on 'Netflix-killer': report -- According to TechCrunch, the telecom giant is hooking up with RedBox to take on Netflix. By Chris Ciaccia, The Street

RETAIL: 32 percent of us done with holiday buying already -- After a huge Black Friday, many Christmas shoppers have bought all the gifts they need. By Matt Brownell, The Street

INVESTING: 5 reasons to buy a franchise in 2012 -- Despite '12 economic fears, many companies are still setting their sights on growth. Why shouldn't you? By Laurie Kulikowski, The Street

APPLE: 3 Apple products that are business bargains -- Here's something I never thought I'd see: business tech bargains from Apple. By Jonathan Blum, The Street

STOCKS: 20 winning stocks set to post new highs in 2012 -- 'Buy high' is a conservative strategy if you've got the right group of companies. By Parris Kellermann, The Street

HOLIDAY: 5 Secret Santa horror stories -- We spoke to some Secret Santa survivors to find out the worst gifts they've gotten in an exchange. By Matt Brownell, The Street

Find more news from The Street at


RELIGION NEWS: Research before giving a Christmas donation -- weekly Religion News with how to check if your holiday contribution is going to a legit charity, "Love, God, And The Art Of French Cooking" by James F. Twyman and more. GHNS

KENT BUSH: Believing in Santa, magic and the Christmas spirit -- Blake is teetering on the fulcrum of awareness. There is a fine line between keeping Christmas magic alive and lying to your kids about an old fat man breaking into your house and leaving gifts. Augusta Gazette (Kan.)

DAN SEABORN: To resist temptation, return to sender  -- Removing yourself from temptation is the best defense. One misstep, like glimpsing a magazine page, quickly reviewing a website or watching a racy DVD, is all it would take to cause someone to fall down a pretty slippery slope. Holland (Mich.)

FITNESS: Tom Licciardello: 'That’s just crazy' a common response to marathons -- I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “That’s just crazy!” In 1976, I decided to run my first marathon. I wasn’t a runner, but I thought running the Boston Marathon would be a pretty cool goal. Wicked Local (Mass.)
*Poll idea: Have you participated in a marathon?

DIANA BOGGIA: Help your child grow to be nice - My daughter recently relayed a baby-sitting experience she had with a 7-year-old girl. My daughter baby-sits the girl, who I will call Mary, regularly, often relating stories that sound unbelievably funny, yet sad. One such story was when Mary morphed into a drama queen when she wasn’t able to wear her favorite outfit, because it wasn’t back from the cleaners. Mary was typically rude to my daughter, and often mean to her baby sister. I seriously wondered who her role models were, or what TV shows she was watching. By Diana Boggia, Canton, Ohio.

GARDENER: End-of-the-year care will help preserve tools - Good garden tools are like old friends -- they're not easy to find, and it takes some time and effort to get familiar and comfortable with them. But, ultimately, they're always there for us. Using that perfectly broken-in spade, weeder or trusty pair of pruners can make pleasant work of even the toughest gardening chores. By Joe Lamp’l, Scripps Howard.

HOMEFIX: Keep your furnace safe, efficient with these tips - The furnace that worked just fine last year might need some service now that it has been awakened from its long summer nap. Here are a few tips to help guide you in the safe operation of your furnace. By Dwight Barnett, Scripps Howard.

TABLET VS LAPTOP: Gary Darling: To buy a tablet or laptop? -- So you are still in the heat of the Christmas shopping season. You have been waiting for just the right moment to make an important computing decision: laptop or tablet. Maryville Daily Forum (Mo.)

More in home and family at


STAY TUNED: The personal is political on ‘All American Muslim’ - On series television, there are very few representations of Muslim characters that don't have sinister intentions or aren't caught up in terrorist plots. On shows including “24,” “NCIS” and “Sleeper Cell,” Muslim characters are more likely to commit an act of violence, while Islam is often depicted as a challenge to Western values and a threat to the West's economic and political interests. “All American Muslim,” a new reality show on TLC, offers its own challenge by trying to give television viewers a new perspective. By Melissa Crawley, GHNS.
* Poll idea: Ask readers if they’ll watch this show.

FARR SIDE: Kanye West, Adele are early Grammy frontrunners - The 2012 Grammy nominations are out, so let the fun begin. Kanye West leads the pack this year with seven nominations, including one for Song Of The Year for “All Of The Lights.” By David T. Farr, Sturgis, Mich.
* Facebook idea: Ask fans who they think should win Grammys.

NEW MOVIES: 'New Year's Eve,' 'Shame,' 'The Sitter' -- In 2010, director Garry Marshall massacred “Valentine’s Day.” This time he’s out to ruin everybody’s favorite party night with another star-studded cast participating in a series of disjointed vignettes involving impossibly good-looking lonely hearts. Al Alexander/ The Patriot Ledger (Mass.)

'NEW YEAR'S EVE': Garry Marshall stays in his comfort zone with 'New Year's Eve' -- Before writer-director-producer Garry Marshall, 76, clicked in Hollywood (his first hit was “Pretty Woman,” he had a smash with “Valentine’s Day” and he’s trying that film’s holiday ensemble formula again with “New Year’s Eve”) he was a sports journalist, jazz drummer and gag writer. Ed Symkus/ The Patriot Ledger (Mass.)

More in movies and music at


BRITT CARTOON: Santa Zagel delivers justice to Rod Blagojevich. By Chris Britt, Springfield, Ill.

BRITT CARTOON: Rod Blagojevich's new wagon. By Chris Britt, Springfield, Ill.

GRANLUND CARTOON: Searching for intelligent life -- Dave Granlund on searching for intelligent life in Congress.

More columns and cartoons at


BIZ BITS: How to create a winning resume and have your best interview - Weekly business rail, with job-hunting tips, BBB advice on sticking to a budget and more.
* Localization tip: You could include a weekly tax tip from a local expert, have a business-related Q&A with a local expert or do a “business of the week” feature in which you highlight a local business.

MAKING CENTS: Things you can do to ease your investment apprehension - Many well-read and experienced investors couldn't help but be somewhat uneasy last week as Europe teetered on the verge of collapse. The big fears were a huge collapse caused by factors out of everyone's control: Europe and the now-infamous super committee failure. Then, the next thing you know, U.S. stock markets rallied for three days of major gains. By John P. Napolitano, The Patriot Ledger.

More in tech and finance at


COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATION: Heisman winner a big question mark - It would have been so easy if Andrew Luck had just been a little bit better, but the Stanford quarterback who was the frontrunner from the very start of the season played his worst at his team’s biggest moment, and so came back to the pack. And it’s quite a pack. By Eric Avidon, MetroWest, Mass.

More in NFL and baseball at