National budget 12.30.09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

GateHouse News Service National Budget

For 12/30/09 editions

Happy holidays from GateHouse News Service. Our office will be closed on Jan. 1, but if you need anything, please contact Jean Hodges at I’ll be monitoring e-mail.

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,


POLL QUESTION IDEA: Check out this week’s poll question idea for your Web site on which top stories of 2009 affected you most? Give your readers a chance to weigh in.

READER CALLOUT: Ask readers to send in photos of New Year’s fun.

Use Google Analytics to show most viewed online stories of the year

GateHouse Media’s countdown to 2010.

TAX PAGE FOUR-PART SERIES: This four-part series looks at new laws, how to avoid mistakes that might lead to an audit, what to do with your refund and setting yourself up for a relatively painless tax return next time around.

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

Check out our Best of 2009 links package here:

For New Year’s content, check out this package:

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.

HOME HELP: 6 ways to update your kitchen -- Home and garden rail for Dec. 30. Includes items on kitchen projects, wallpaper styles, cleaning tips and more.

HOME PAGE: Warm up with color.

FAMILY TIME: Weekly family rail, with a tip on your household budget, a review of “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and more.

- File is moving early because of the holiday.

RELIGION NEWS: Patients more likely than doctors to discuss prayer -- Religion rail for Dec. 31, with research on physicians and prayer, Bible-based video games, a book for men, and more.

- File is moving early because of the holiday.

AGING FAMILIES: For some families, holiday gatherings include discussion about nursing homes -- Families gather for the holidays and sometimes find they see an elderly parent or grandparent in a new light. Time changes things and Mom or Dad may look more frail. Is there a nursing home in their future? How do you select one? By Sue Scheible.

- with photo gallery, audio

LUCKY FIND: Worker finds cousin's wedding negatives in building debris -- Alvin Davis was not in attendance at his cousin’s wedding in 1967. Davis, however, recently provided his cousin Jessie¹s widow, Judy Smith, with a belated yet still very appreciated gift from that special day ‹ photo negatives of the wedding party he discovered in the downtown Hannibal, Mo.,

building he is tearing down.

SHOESTRING LIVING: Here’s to a frugal fresh start in 2010. MOLLY LOGAN ANDERSON

DAVID ROBSON: 2009 in the garden

Things sure were soggy for gardeners this past year. But there's always 2010.

THE BEER NUT: My 10 favorite breweries of 2009 -- Not only was 2009 a great year for craft beers, it was a phenomenal year for craft brewers. So many brewers released not just one new beer, but several truly world class beers. By Norman Miller.

- with photo, column mug

COLLEGE MATTERS: Seniors anxiously await their letters -- Over the next few weeks, seniors will be anxiously attending their mailboxes, eagerly awaiting the delivery of the proverbial "thick envelope" as colleges begin sending out their first round of admissions decisions. By Allison Matlack.

NECOLE SIMS: Why not resolve to learn from your mistakes of 2009? – Are resolutions needed? Why lie to yourself and anyone else to whom you are crazy enough to tell your resolutions? What if anyone who reads this column joins my new resolution movement: Forgetaboutthem. Instead of making resolutions, why don’t we all work on smaller projects, such as world peace or our carbon footprints.

DIANA BOGGIA: Which family strategies from 2009 have you tried? – Raising self-confident, thoughtful children can be a challenge, but, as proven by those who have tried them, there are strategies to help each child learn and grow when we parent with love.

JIM FALL: Proof that the truth is strange -- Just when I thought it was a reasonable bet that I was in possession of most of the comprehensive collections of superficial and/or weird pieces of information, I realize I’m not.

KENNETH KNEPPER: New Year's resolutions gone awry -- As part of my resolutions for the New Year and in addition to those items that have remained a part of the list since my adulthood ‹ weight loss, getting in shape, winning the lottery, starring in a movie, etc. ‹ I tried thinking of some rewards I might ask for from my employer.


5 THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND: This week, party it up on New Year’s Eve and then relax on the long weekend by watching parades, football games and more.

- Localize it: List hot spots in town to celebrate New Year’s Eve, list any New Year’s Day activities in town, list any observatories or other astronomy places, list health clubs, etc.

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.

RICK HOLMES: The best books read in 2009 -- A confession: The small table by my bedside holds a stack of reading material that grows and grows. It's got newspaper articles I'm sure I'll get to, magazines abandoned halfway through, a book I was fired up about when summer vacation ended, 100 pages from the end, that I haven't returned to since and a couple of books recommended by friends.

- with column mug

MUSIC ROUNDUP: 10 rock albums from 2009 you might like -- Canton Repository writer Dan Kane offers a selection of his favorite albums from 2009.

MUSIC LIST: Top Southern rock/country albums of 2009 -- David Schiefelbein takes a look at the best Southern rock/country albums from 2009.


O'MAHONEY CARTOON: New airline security measures


GRANLUND CARTOON: Full body scans at airports

GRANLUND CARTOON: Still hung over from 2008

CONROY CARTOON: Looking ahead and looking behind

CHARITA GOSHAY: New year ... same ol' stuff -- In a shocking turn of events, Baby New Year has announced he will not appear at Times Square on Friday as scheduled. The infant slated to become 2010 cited stress and the seemingly endless crises that have buffeted the nation over the previous nine years.

DEIRDRE REILLY: Terrorist afforded all rights and privileges - The Nigerian would-be terrorist was charged by the Obama administration in a federal legal complaint – giving him all the benefits and protections of the U.S. legal system – instead of transferred into military custody where he would be an “unprivileged enemy belligerent” (Obama’s name for what we used to call “enemy combatants”). Whatever you want to call it, this terrorist is now afforded all the rights and protections that you, a tax-paying American citizen, would be granted.

AMANDA JACOBS: Done with a decade - So I guess this is my last column of the decade. Apparently 10 years went by when I wasn’t paying attention, and this Friday will mark the beginning of the 2010s.


NEW YEAR'S SAFETY: Getting drunk, sick can happen before you know it – Many people look forward to ringing in the New Year with a few rounds of beer, friends and lighthearted laughs. But some adults hit their alcohol limit long before the countdown, confetti and midnight cheers as good times only seem to get better with each beer, shot or glass of wine. By Sara Browning.

To localize: Add a paragraph about your state's DWI and DUI laws.

SCHOCK PART 2: Schock impressed by soldiers serving in Afghanistan - U.S. troops in Afghanistan appear bolstered by news that more troops and support, including equipment and funding, are on the way, said U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, who is on his way back from visiting the war-torn country. By Karen McDonald / Peoria.

DAX: Dax Locke dies after struggle that sparked global outreach - Dax Locke, the Washington 2-year-old whose struggle with leukemia sparked a worldwide outpouring of support for his family and donations to St. Jude, died early Wednesday. By Phil Luciano.

TOWNS ON THE WEB: How towns use social networking sites -- Facebook isn't just for teens investigating their latest love interest anymore. As social networking Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter gain popularity across generations, many branches of town government are catching on to the trend and using them as a way to communicate with residents. By Krista Perry.

- To localize: How is your town using social networking? Is there a Facebook page? Does someone "tweet?" What concerns are popping up with the use of the new technology? Check with your town communications department.

Business / Ag

DAVE RAMSEY: Weekly financial Q&A, with items on auto insurance and retirement investing.

SHOESTRING LIVING: Here’s to a frugal fresh start in 2010. MOLLY LOGAN ANDERSON

BIZ BITS: Weekly business rail, with tips for making your job search easier, BBB Watch on Peel Inc. and more.

- File is moving early because of the holiday.

CHECKOUT LANE: Finding an affordable bubbly beverage for New Year’s Eve -- Finding a good-quality bottle of champagne at a great price can be a sweet way to ring in the new year. First, consumers should know what “champagne” really means. By Sara Castellanos.

- with photos

MAKING CENTS: Take advantage of benefit plans before end-of-year deadline -- Most benefit plans have deadlines. In most cases, that deadline prevents you from acting or using that benefit beyond the stipulated date. By John P. Napolitano.

- with column mug

THE FINE PRINT: State officials say most scanners are accurate -- Still, inspectors are still finding some violations, so it can’t hurt to be on the safe side when shopping. Patriot Ledger staff reports.

ON COMPUTERS: Wolfram Alpha no cookie-cutter search site -- Into the crowded world of spectacular hype called search engines, enter, the puppy of math whiz Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica. I blew off a Saturday morning on it. OK, it was sleeting. But still, I found it compelling in philosophy and confounding in execution. By Jim Hillibish.


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

TJ MARTINEZ: Coach ends Colts' pursuit of perfection -- Don Shula, Mercury Morris and the rest of the '72 Dolphins can finally crack open that bottle of champagne they've had on ice since the beginning of the season. The final undefeated team finally fell on Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts lost to the New York Jets. Or gave the game away, depending on who you were rooting for.