National budget 6.21.10

Staff reports

GateHouse News Service National Budget

For 6/21/10 editions

Contacts: Lisa Glowinski, (217) 816-3343,

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


WAKE UP CALL!: More states seeing red light cameras

FATHER'S DAY: A successful holiday callout

-- What did your paper do for Father's Day? Send submissions to by 5 p.m. CDT today, and you may be on tomorrow's GHNewsroom post.


HOW TO MAGAZINE: Annual tab has tips on fitness, recycling, finding a job and more

FOURTH OF JULY PAGE: Safety tips for grilling, boating and handling fireworks

READER CALLOUT: Ask readers for their photos of Fourth of July fun

READER CALLOUT: Have readers send in kids' Little League photos


THE BABE'S PIANO: New clues restart man's search for Babe Ruth's piano -- For almost a decade, Kevin Kennedy has searched for proof that Babe Ruth's upright piano sank to the bottom a Massachusetts pond. Although he's always come up empty, new information from two brothers who remember an ancient piano crumbling on the shoreline four decades ago has given Kennedy hope his search might have hit the right note. By Kathy Uek of The MetroWest Daily News.


HEALTH WATCH: How seniors can avoid medication mistakes -- Weekly health rail, with items on how seniors can ensure safe medication use, tips for protecting your eyes during sports, why smoking bans in public places are good for kids, and more.

SUMMER HEAT: Avoid heat exhaustion, heat stroke this summer -- Too much of a good thing is usually detrimental. Soaking up too much sun can be life-threatening if you don't know how to prevent and treat heat-related conditions. Find out how you can stay cool as the temperatures rise. By Sara Browning of the State Journal-Register.

SPINE SURGERY: ‘Fairly new’ spinal procedure gaining fans -- Over the course of 18 years, Carol Thompson’s back pain had become so intense and unrelenting that her doctor thought it was at least partly psychosomatic. By Mike DeDoncker of the Rockford Register Star.

JULIE FAY: Daddy an essential part of our family machine -- "Mom, when is Dad going to be home?” Brian asked. “After bedtime,” I replied. “Awww, man,” he said, disappointed. Earl’s work requires him to be out in the evenings sometimes, and, while the kids and I have adapted and generally manage all right, it’s just not the same as when Daddy is home.

KEVIN FRISCH: It's the same old state song -- The Volunteer State (that’s Tennessee’s nickname; it’s also known as the “Big Bend State,” the “Hogs and Hominy” state and the “Scarfs up All the State Songs” state) is far from alone in having unusual official songs. One can only wonder at the maudlin sentimentality suggested by titles like “Home Means Nevada,” “Hail, South Dakota” or “Utah, We Love Thee.”

JEFF VRABEL: Tony Hayward plays while BP destroys the Gulf - BP CEO Tony Hayward didn't want to be a total jerk, so he went to A YACHT RACE, because it was the wanker-est thing he could think of that didn't involve tucking his polo into his khaki shorts, which I cannot imagine also didn't happen.


SUDOKU: Sudoku puzzles for July (puzzles 736-xxx) are available for download. Previous puzzles are linked to in this file.

POP CULTURE: Taking a big bite out of pop culture history - We take “Jaws” for granted. The impact it has had on pop culture cannot be overstated. To overstate that fact would be an understatement. By Dennis Volkert.

REAL-LIFE THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE: Grandfather brings Thomas the Tank Engine to life for his grandson - Three-year-old Brock Mueller of Deerfield, Mich., shares a common interest with many children his age: Thomas the Tank Engine. He watches DVDs of the show and plays with the plethora of Thomas toys he owns. Unlike many other kids, however, Brock has a life-size Thomas right in his backyard. By David Frownfelder.


BRITT CARTOON: A very important World Cup gooooooallllll! On vuvuzelas at the World Cup.

EDITORIAL: BP escrow fund is rare oil spill good news - If anyone has been standing around over the past two months waiting for a bit of good news to come out of the BP Gulf oil spill, they may have received it Thursday when the White House announced that BP will establish a $20 million escrow fund to pay for claims and cleanup costs. By The Weekly Citizen of Gonzales, La.

EDITORIAL: Leave drinks out of plans for graduation -- Despite all the education, warnings and laws prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age, some young people will have a generous supply of beer and booze at their disposal to “celebrate” because there are, unfortunately, irresponsible adults out there who will happily provide it. From the Observer-Dispatch.

RICK HOLMES: When in doubt, blame the government - Here we go again. Another big corporation – BP – has inflicted incalculable damage on the economy, on thousands of families and on the environment. And whose fault is it? The government's.

CHARITA GOSHAY: Immigrants get our greatness ... do we? -- I often wonder if we do really understand how incredibly fortunate we are to be living under a system that’s as close to perfection as any human has ever devised.

LORETTA LAROCHE: Combat obesity the old-fashioned way -- We seem to like big in this country, and fast, and we want to expedite and multitask, so we can get as much done as possible in one day. If we can sit and do all our stuff, we’re even happier. I think eventually we will simply not have to move at all.

LLOYD GARVER: Primary mystery in South Carolina - Since I come from Chicago, people often tease me about the politics of my home city and state. South Carolina is starting to take the heat off my homeland when it comes to scandals.

Business / auto

AUTO BITS: The best muscle cars of summer - Weekly auto rail, with a look at summer muscle cars, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.

SHOESTRING LIVING: Staying financially fit - While doing my workout this morning, I realized that maintaining our financial goals is really no different than maintaining our physical ones. It takes work each and every day to stay on course, always keeping the end goals in mind. By Molly Logan Anderson.

PAUL A. EISENSTEIN: Big Three make strong showing in quality ratings -- Long the laggards, Detroit’s Big Three automakers surged in the latest annual study of off-the-line quality from J.D. Power and Associates. Ford Motor Co. surged to fifth among all manufacturers, a first for a Detroit maker. It was the highest-ranked of all mainstream brands.

CHECKOUT LANE: 3-D TVs are coming -- Three-dimensional movie experiences are becoming a popular form of entertainment. Now, families can enjoy those experiences without leaving the house, thanks to 3-D TV sets. By Lana Lagomarsini of The Patriot Ledger.

ON COMPUTERS: Controlling computer heat is crucial -- From Day 1, the big challenge of designing computers has centered on heat, the great killer of electronics. You’ve got to pump heat out of the system box, pronto. By Jim Hillibish of The Repository.


CHRIS GILL: NASCAR needs to diversify its schedule -- The Sprint Cup schedule has what I deem 19 uninteresting events – those 1.5- to 2.5-mile ovals, many of which appear twice. So the best way to diversify is to schedule more road races.

WEEKLY NASCAR PAGE: Predictions as we near end of Sprint Cup