National budget 12.17.09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

GateHouse News Service National Budget

For 12/17/09 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,


Promo for new Web site template available, is editable

YEAR IN REVIEW PAGE ELEMENTS: Find a logo and page banner that you can use for your Year in Review stories and pages.

BEST OF 2009: Click the link below to go to a budget of year-end items the news service is expecting over the next couple of weeks. Available now is a Niche year-end page, and links will be added as we receive your copy. If your newspaper is planning something that works on a national scale – e.g. Best Movies of 2009 or Top 10 Songs of 2009 – please let us know by e-mailing

'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.

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

Year-end content on the news service.

Front page gallery for December 17, 2009


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.

RELIGION NEWS: Weekly religion rail, with items on a public service for Oral Roberts, a “dark-skinned” nativity angering an Italian political party, religiously mixed marriages in the United States and more.

DEIRDRE REILLY: Christmas is under attack - Christmas in 2009 is under attack, and Christians are feeling the heat. Many towns across the country are considering removing their crèches or have already removed them, and employees are fined if they express their faith at work by saying “Merry Christmas.”

REV. TESS BAUMBERGER: Cherish your doubts - One of the Spiritual Acts is “counseling the doubtful.” In most religions, “doubt” means questioning, or even denying, the existence or nature of a supreme being. It can also mean doubting there is some sort of divine plan.

- With column mug

TEXTUAL INFIDELITY: Tiger Woods scandal sends a message to wives, girlfriends -- All the latest techno-gadgets we now depend on – voicemail, e-mail, texts – have created new ways of keeping in close contact, and in some cases new ways of searching for evidence of a person’s indiscretions. By Dina Gerdeman.

- with Tiger Woods file photos

FAMILY TIME: Weekly family rail, with a review of “The Princess and the Frog,” simple steps to reduce pet dander and dust mite allergens in the home and classroom, and more

OUTDOOR FUN: Look outside for natural stress relief -- National Wildlife Federation offers fun outdoor tips to relax over the holidays.

SHOESTRING LIVING: Eco-friendly is frugal-friendly - I’m sure, like most folks, you’re struggling to do right by everyone and everything all the time. Like deciding which organic foods are worth the extra money, figuring out how to fit volunteering or exercise into your schedule, or finding ways that you can green up your home and therefore, our world. By Molly Logan Anderson.

CHEF FEHMI KHALIFA: Brining key to succulent lamb -- Lamb is generally stereotyped as strong or gamy. It is perhaps the lack of knowledge that makes this worldly popular meat not so popular here in America. So let’s explore this culinary mystery and elevate it to more sophisticated gourmand grounds.

- with photos

BEER NUT: European masters of winter beers - On the surface, it may not look like there's much diversity in the world of Belgian winter ales. But all you have to do is taste a variety of these world-class brews and you'll see why Belgian brewers are still the masters of winter beers in Europe. By Norman Miller.

- With beer photo, column mug

GREENSPACE: Christmas cactus thrives in light, fluffy soil and cool, damp air -- Christmas cactus are not found in the desert. They are jungle tropicals from Central America. This means that unlike their desert kin, this plant needs moisture.

KELLY EPPERSON: Dash and drive and bake and wrap and cook and ... Making a list and checking it twice? You and me both. I rely on my lists and this time of year, it gets a little listy. When I dash off without the errand list or the “Who Needs What” list, I end up with a lot of extra loot.

DAVID ROBSON: The origins of the Yule log -- The holidays have so many traditions, from the poinsettia that just happens to turn red in the wilds of Mexico at this time of the year to the Christmas cactus that does the same. We have Christmas trees that go back to Martin Luther and Germany, though some argue they go back farther than that. One of those farther-back

traditions is the Yule log.

CARMEN BUSS: Christmas traditions -- from cookies to reindeer poop -- It's tradition that I make a half-dozen batches of Chex Mix during the holidays and that one bag of chocolate stars gets eaten before I get a chance to bake the cookies.

KELLEY BALDWIN: New book not a sufficient surprise for 4-year-old – He wants to learn to read. He wants to learn to tie his shoes. So when I stumbled across a book that showed how to tie your shoes, I figured A + B = C. Voila! Let the magic begin. I. Am. A. Genius. But apparently I’m no Albert Einstein. There was something a bit faulty with my math. I failed to take into account a preschooler’s concept of what constitutes a “surprise.”


5 THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND: This week’s suggestions: “Avatar” is here! And don’t miss the 20th anniversary of “The Simpsons” and some big sports match-ups, make sure you’re prepared for Christmas and celebrate the longest night of the year.

- Localize it: List theater and pub info and Christmas-related happenings, and include some local ideas in the winter item.

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.

SNEAK PREVIEW: 'Avatar' and other new movies -- James Cameron's sci-fi extravaganza "Avatar" has arrived. By Al Alexander.

- with photo

FLICKS: Cameron takes pricey, self-indulgent risk with ‘Avatar’ - "Avatar” is coming this week. Maybe ... maybe “Avatar” will usher in a new generation of film making. Maybe ... James Cameron will establish himself as a visionary. A genius. A legend. Or maybe Cameron made a bank-busting, self-indulgent hyper-pretentious cartoon about overgrown Smurfs fighting an army of evil, wasteful, selfish, destructive and — GASP! — corporate Gargamels. By John Meo.

- with column mug

FARR SIDE: Boyle proves herself with CD standings - Susan Boyle's life must feel like a dream, considering in January of this year her life changed in ways very few ever experience. The 48-year-old woman stepped before Simon Cowell to audition for “Britain’s Got Talent.” Despite her sluggish and somewhat awkward disposition, she opened her mouth which, in turn, opened so many doors. By David T. Farr.


GRANLUND CARTOON: Iran’s recipe for the Mideast

GRANLUND CARTOON: Obama vs. the economic crisis

O’MAHONEY CARTOON: Christmas in the computer age

LLOYD GARVER: Wisconsin has a bug - We all know that states have "official" animals, birds and flowers. Until I did a little research, I didn't know that there were also state insects, amphibians and reptiles. For example, the state insect of New York is the ladybug, Missouri's reptile is the three-toed box turtle and the official amphibian of Washington is the Pacific chorus frog. However, recently Wisconsin has taken this naming of living things a step further. America's Dairyland, whose state dance is the polka, has been in the news lately because there is a bill before the state legislature to name a state germ.

- With column mug

LORI KILCHERMANN: Give the gift of a favorite memory - Ghosts of Christmas past haunt me at night as I drive past extravagantly decorated homes and colorful, inviting store windows brimming with holiday fare. As I replay Christmas from childhood and adulthood, it’s amazing to me that I have never given much thought to gifts I have received. Instead, the people I’ve shared the holidays with crowd my thoughts. I dwell on the last time I held my grandmother’s hand as my grandfather said grace at the head of the Christmas dinner table. It was our last Christmas to share with them together. He died the following year, she the next.

PHIL LUCIANO: Christmas wish list endorsed by FEMA - Move over, Santa Claus: The federal government says it can do better. I realize Big Government can self-justify intruding into just about anywhere. But even the North Pole?


JESUS DRAWING FOLO: Meeting about Jesus drawing doesn’t happen in Taunton -- A meeting between Taunton School Superintendent Julie Hackett and the family of a boy who drew a picture of Jesus that has caused a national uproar did not materialize Wednesday. “They did not show, they gave no indication that they were canceling the meeting, and we have not yet rescheduled,” said Hackett. By Tim Faulkner.

- with photos

Business / Ag

DAVE RAMSEY: Weekly financial Q&A, with items on business partnerships and Christmas giving.

SHOESTRING LIVING: Eco-friendly is frugal-friendly - I’m sure, like most folks, you’re struggling to do right by everyone and everything all the time. Like deciding which organic foods are worth the extra money, figuring out how to fit volunteering or exercise into your schedule, or finding ways that you can green up your home and therefore, our world. By Molly Logan Anderson.

BIZ BITS: Weekly business rail, with small-business owner tips, BBB watch about online auctions and more.

CHECKOUT LANE: How to choose a quality snowboard - If you’ve vowed to pick up snowboarding this winter, retailers say you should make quality a priority when purchasing a snowboard. Consumers should first consider what the board is made of, said John Byrne, owner of Buckles & Boards Ski & Surf in Marshfield, Mass. By Sara Castellanos.

- With photos

- Localize it: Talk to shop owners in your area to get quotes, info.

FINE PRINT: You can stay warm and keep your utility bills in check - The recent bone-chilling cold left no doubt that winter is on its way. That means we'll all be cranking up our thermostats this month to adjust to the change in the seasons. By The Patriot Ledger.

MAKING CENTS: Teach your children well about money - In the past several years, much effort has been introduced in the area of financial literacy. From the financial planning association to the American Association of CPAs and Junior Achievement, there are many programs designed to raise the bar on everyone's base knowledge of personal financial matters. Having been an educator, radio and TV commentator and your weekly host right here, I have concluded that a greater effort is especially essential for our children. By John P. Napolitano.

- With column mug

DONNA WHITEHEAD: Working on Christmas - Have you ever worked on Christmas Day? So many of us have the day free to spend with family and friends, enjoying good food and seeing what Santa brought, we often forget those on the job Christmas Day.


NASCAR PAGE: The weekly page will return just before the season starts next year.

FANTASY FOOTBALL: A look back at a crazy week - Well, that was a circus, wasn’t it? Week 14 was about as unpredictable as any week of football I’ve seen this season. By Joey Baskerville.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATION: The five best bowl games - Weekly column from Eric Avidon leads with item on the best bowl games, and they aren't what you might think.