National budget 12.8.09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

GateHouse News Service National Budget

For 12/8/09 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,


BEST OF 2009: The news service is looking for end-of-year content that works on a national scale. For example, Best Movies of 2009 or Top 10 Songs of 2009. If your paper is planning lists, columns or the like, please let us know by e-mailing We'll compile all year-end content in a links package and will post a budget when we know what items are expected.

'TIS THE SEASON: GateHouse holiday content -- Christmas and holiday content from GateHouse News Service. If your paper has something that would work on a national scale, please Zope it to us or e-mail it to

HOLIDAY PAGES, TABS. Find out what the news service is offering for the holidays this year.

THIS WEEK WITH NEWS & INTERACTIVE: Check out this video to see what’s coming.

PROMOTE YOUR SITE: Use these new ads to promote your Web site.

Niche 2010 schedule: Check out the Niche products planned for next year.


MORNING MINUTES: Includes Word of the Day, Web Site of the Day, Number to Know, This Day in History, Today’s Featured Birthday and Daily Quote.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Weekly food rail, leads with the perfect chili, and includes an easy recipe for a pumpkin peanut butter dip, a mini-food quiz on almonds, an item on seasonally spiced beer and more.

FOOD PAGE: Flavor of the season.

HOLIDAY SAFETY: Protect your home, wallet. Nice alternative story format with lots of tips! DAILY ARDMOREITE, Okla.

TREE TIME: Christmas is fast approaching, do you have a tree? -- We sometimes get so caught up in the joy of the holidays that we forget the simpler things in life. Things that as a kid bring back fond memories that warm a person’s heart. Things that, as a kid, bring back fond memories to warm a person’s heart. With Christmas fast approaching, you might want to think about taking the family out and bringing home a live tree. By Leigh Kreimeier of the Stuttgart Daily Leader.

PARTY TALK: How to talk your way to popularity at any party -- By avoiding conversational landmines and learning how to make small talk effectively, you can be the hit of any social gathering. By Kathryn Rem, SPRINGFIELD

BEAD IT: An ancient art form finds modern devotees -- Stone-age homo sapiens wore them as protection. Romans traded them across their empire. Zulus used them to distinguish social class. Considered so valuable by Native Americans they sold the island of Manhattan for a few of them. What are they? Beads.

To localize: Are there beading classes available in your community? Put together a list with days, times, locations and contact information.

GARY BROWN: Eat mincemeat pie for a good 2010.

TERRY MAROTTA: Holiday don’t-buys.


SUDOKU: Puzzles for December (526-553) are available for download. Previous puzzles are linked to in this file, or visit our Puzzles category.

SUDOKU JANUARY: Puzzles for January (554-581) are available for download. Previous puzzles are linked to in this file, or visit our Puzzles category.

BRIEN MURPHY: Blunderful life: Bert the cop is not Bedford Falls' finest - Meet the most inept police officer in Hollywood history. You can see Hollywood’s worst cop this holiday season whenever "It's a Wonderful LIfe" airs. Don’t get me wrong. I love the movie about selfless George Bailey and how life in Bedford Falls would be much worse if he had never been born. But Bert (Ward Bond) is a terrible police officer.

ALBUM REVIEW: ‘Graffiti,” by Chris Brown – Skipping the temptation to make a tasteless joke about the title of the opener on his new album ( “I Can Transform Ya"), it's fair to say that Chris Brown has an uphill climb to win back his fan base.

ALBUM REVIEW: ‘Til the Casket Drops,’ by the Clipse

CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST: For Christmas music, swing them jingle bells - If you’re tired of what passes for holiday favorites, try one man’s Christmas iPod shuffle. By Lane Lambert.

- With photo

- Also listed in the Music category


GRANLUND CARTOON: On the EPA and greenhouse gases.

GRANLUND CARTOON: On space tourists.

KENT BUSH: Fight for freedom costs dearly. There are many ways to figure the cost of war, be it billions of dollars or the number of casualties. But beyond dollars and deaths, families pay another cost of war.


DIVINE SIGN: Calf with cross on head a symbol of hope for farmer. NORWICH, Conn.

Business / Ag

PAUL EISENSTEIN: Weekly auto column (runs on auto page): Toyota snubbed in new study.

BIZ BITS: Weekly business rail, with tips on tech shopping, a warning from the BBB about online shopping and more.

MAKING CENTS: Inexpensive ways to say thank you - Now that lavish holiday gatherings, bonuses and other costly expressions of gratitude for employees are unaffordable for many small firms, employers should consider other ways to express their thanks.

- With column mug

CHECKOUT LANE: Picking out the perfect Christmas tree - Lydia Mathias, owner of Bog Hollow Farm in Kingston, Mass., says buyers should consider how the tree will look in their house. “When you’re looking at the tree in your house, it seems like it’s grown because your perspective is different in the house, so you really have to think about that before you go to the field.” By Sara Castellanos.

- With photos

- Localize it: Talk to tree farm owners in your area and add/sub out their quotes, offerings.

FINE PRINT: AAA membership pays for itself in travel discounts - Membership in AAA is perhaps best known for providing quick access to towing services. But I've been able to take advantage of my membership several times this year, even though (knock on wood) my 1997 Civic hasn't broken down anywhere in the past 12 months. By Jon Chesto.

HOLIDAY SPENDING: Advice on holiday spending, and how to manage it so you don’t overspend. CANTON, Ohio. Includes tips and photo. TO LOCALIZE: Check with local credit counselors for comments to add, and use a photo of someone shopping locally.

FARM EMPLOYMENT: Weather affects more than harvest; fewer workers hired. STUTTGART, Ark.

HOLIDAY PARTIES: Companies trim holiday parties again amid economic downturn - A nationwide survey by consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas charted deep cuts in holiday parties this year. Only 62 percent of companies will hold a party this year, down from 77 percent in 2008 and from 90 percent in 2007. By Steve Adams.

- With photos

- Localize it: Talk to companies in your area and get information, quotes.


NASCAR PAGE: 2010 preview page. NOTE: This is our last page of the 2009 season. The weekly page will return just before the season starts next year.