National budget 3.16.09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

GateHouse News Service National Budget

For 3/16/09 editions

Here are the top national stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at Please submit stories below no later than 6 pm local time, unless you have breaking news that is changing significantly.

Contacts: Jean Hodges, (630) 348-3350, (630) 956-8834,

Michael Toeset, (630) 348-3356, (630) 835-8870,


ST. PATRICK’S DAY PACKAGE: Check out the package of St. Pat’s Day links on the news service. We’ll continue to add content, so keep checking back for fresh links.

LOCALIZATION TIP: Food pantries serving new clients.

TWITTER AWAY: Twitter for your newsroom: FAQ, How-Tos, Resources.

ECONOMY GUIDE: Story ideas, resources for covering the recession

WRITING, EDITING TIPS: Phil Sweeney's Finer Points: Writing and editing tips I


MORNING MINUTES: Note: we’ve added a little “today in history.” And we’ll still offer Word of the Day, Web Site of the Day and Number to Know.

HEALTH WATCH: Nurses using color-coded uniforms - Weekly health rail, with items on color-coded scrubs, how to prevent bone loss, and tips for safe antibiotic use.

HEALTH PAGE: Getting in shape for golf.


GARY BROWN: Why water heater repair is today's hottest topic

PROM SHOPPING AND ECONOMY: Economy has prom shoppers looking to save before stepping out – Tiffany Williams had a conversation with her mom about staying on budget this prom season. Williams, a 17-year-old senior at Christian Life High School in Rockford, is trying to spend less than $200 on her dress and accessories. She spent a little more last year but knows that the economy is dictating how the family spends this year. In a sagging economy, families are sticking to their budgets this season and looking for deals on clothes and accessories. At the same time, business owners are counting on prom as a rite of passage families will still spend money on. ROCKFORD To localize: Check with local students and businesses to see if prom spending is down.


SUDOKU: March puzzles (253-280) are now posted. Sudoku links package can be found here:

"I LOVE YOU, MAN": Paul Rudd, Jason Segel the perfect pair in new "bromance." By Ed Symkus.

WILL PFEIFER: 'Last Action Hero' failed at a cool idea

‘WITCH MOUNTAIN’ REVIEW: redo more action than adventure

THE FARR SIDE: Clarkson bolts to the top with ‘My Life’


O’MAHONEY CARTOON: On Obama driving snakes from the U.S. economy.

BRITT: Toon on AIG bonuses. Will be posted this evening.

JEFF VRABEL: Filthy quilters cause outrage - I'll be perfectly honest. People have been bothering me to write about quilting forever, almost since I started this column in 1962.

CHARITA GOSHAY: Rush Limbaugh's power over Republicans

DAN HALL: President Obama is doling out billions of dollars to keep Detroit‚s automobile industry on life support. We‚re doling out more billions to help build the kind of passenger rail service that countries in Europe and Asia now take for granted. Wouldn‚t it make sense to combine those ideas?

MICHAEL WINSHIP: The Army is about to launch a five-year joint study of suicide with the National Institute of Mental Health.

CURT SMITH: The end of a special relationship‚ with England?

JEFF ADAIR: Message to Rihanna: Not even once - Everyone knows "love" makes people do strange things. What most people view as unacceptable behavior unfortunately doesn't register with a domestic violence victim. MetroWest

PETER COSTA: Shovel-ready projects of the homeowner: Dear Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner: Please find herein a list of shovel-ready projects associated with my home. All are crucial to the proper functioning of my household and to getting to my job and therefore have a critical impact on the U.S. economy. There is a domino effect on each of these items making these projects too entwined and too little to fail. CNC

DAN MAC ALPINE: Kiss me, I’m Scottish - Every St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish have their time in the sun. Being Scottish, I must admit to holiday envy. The Scots have no holiday. No luncheons. No parades to kick people out of. Other than that Mel Gibson movie a few years back, Henry Wallace and freedom and all that, we Scots got plenty of mutton. CNC

EDITORIAL: Government can create confidence with greater transparency - Sunshine Week, that annual event organized by journalists and media organizations to emphasize the value of open and responsive government, began Sunday. It's safe to say there's never been a better time to showcase those values. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.

EDITORIAL: Congress pulled a fast one on the people two decades ago when it decided to provide itself with annual raises via an option called „cost-of-living adjustments.‰ That guaranteed lawmakers a salary increase every year whether they deserved it or not.


DEBATING STEM CELL USE: A scientist at Springfield’s Southern Illinois University School of Medicine says President Barack Obama’s recent decision to lift the Bush administration’s restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research “opens the doors to tremendous progress.” But Gregory Brewer, an SIU medical microbiologist, said Obama’s decision will divert funding from “more fruitful” research involving adult stem cells and techniques to make certain cells behave like embryonic stem cells. SPRINGFIELD

GOATS COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE: Bio-engineered goats could save your life - After moseying into a stainless steel milking pen recently, an alabaster goat tagged K0301 munched from a bowl of grain as staff hooked up milking equipment for her next life-saving contribution to medicine. MetroWest, Morton, with video and photos

ECONOMY AND CASINOS: Despite drop in economy, casinos still viable - In a report released today, a casino expert said that despite a drop in spending at casinos in the past two years, casinos could generate up to a half-billion in taxes for the state. Enterprise, Elwell

TEACHING SPANISH TO FIREFIGHTERS: Students teach Spanish to firefighters, paramedics. To localize: How do your police, fire, paramedic and other emergency management agencies handle patients who speak languages other than English?

Business / Ag

INVESTING: With markets so low, where are we to invest?

IT’S TAX TIME: We’ve started a package of links to news service content about tax time that we’ll add to as more stories flow in. Check it out, and check back as the links grow.

MAKING CENTS: A look at the stimulus bill - The famous stimulus bill recently signed into law by President Barack Obama contains many tax breaks for individuals. As always, there are phase-outs for high-income taxpayers, but some of the breaks will even help high-income earners. I can't cover all of the provisions in this short space, but I'll cover a few of the bigger incentives. Ledger

CHECKOUT LANE: Tips for decorating, protecting your windows - As winter winds down and the sun grows stronger, you may need new window treatments to shade your home. In order to choose the right one, consider function first, then aesthetics. Ledger

NO-IDLE UNIT FOR TRUCKS: Bergstrom's no-idle unit catches on around U.S. - A patented Bergstrom Inc. product that saves diesel fuel is reaching trucks all over the country. Bergstrom has made 10,000 of its No-Idle Thermal Environment units, which keep parked truck cabs heated or cooled without idling engines — something Bergstrom officials say is unmatched by rival units. ROCKFORD


NASCAR PAGE: Will be posted today / preview of Bristol.

NCAA BRACKET PAGE: This is a half page, with the bracket on top, space for an ad beneath. The bracket itself was posted on the news service Sunday night.




WITH THE ILLINI: Illinois senior guard Chester Frazier just wants to be part of it. He’s not ready to give up on the idea of playing in the NCAA Tournament, even if it is a brief appearance in 2- or 3-minutes stints as a defender in the Illini’s tournament opener against Western Kentucky on Thursday. Lead to multi-sport notebook. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.

BACK IN THE DANCE: After reaching the Sweet 16 a year ago, Western Kentucky won the Sun Belt Conference regular-season title and conference tournament championship under first-year coach Ken McDonald. The Hilltoppers are regulars in the NCAA field. With WKU capsule. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.