National budget 4.4.12

Staff reports

GateHouse News Service National Budget


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

Michael Toeset, 630-835-8870,


HIGHWAY HIGHLIGHTS: GH Pennsylvania, New York trip all about sharing best practices

TITANIC PAGES: Does your newspaper have a front page from when the Titanic sank? Send it to us!

BEST OF THE DAY: Making the most of a single event



NASCAR PAGE: Can Greg Biffle keep up his early-season success?


KIDZBUZZ: April is National Poetry Month

GO GREEN: Renewable energy, a look at the EPA, 8 ways to recycle and more

SALUTE TO NURSES: Types of nursing, the needed education, non-hospital fields that need nurses

DISASTER PREP QUARTER PAGE: 5 ways to be ready for a tornado, flood, fire

SPRING HOME & GARDEN: How to start a vegetable garden, landscaping ideas, bath upgrade ideas


The Street

FACEBOOK: Facebook fires back at Yahoo! in patent fight -- The social networking giant files a counter-claim in the escalating patent dispute between the two firms. By James Rogers, The Street

More from The Street at


MARSHMALLOWS: How to make your own marshmallows  -- Homemade marshmallows “don’t taste like the bag they come in,” said Sever, who runs a dessert-catering business in San Francisco and blogs about sweets at Kathryn Rem/ The State Journal-Register (Ill.)

*Callout idea: Send us your recipes that call for marshmallows.

KELLEY BALDWIN: Object of my discontent -- It was like trying to go through life without the use of opposable thumbs. Now I know how my dog feels. “What the hell is wrong with this thing?!” I screamed in frustration as I stormed out of the bathroom, waving a roll of toilet paper wildly in the air. Maryville Daily Forum (Mo.)

TRADING POST: Breakfast casseroles handy on Easter weekend -- Searching for some quick breakfast recipes for Easter morning? Look to the trusty breakfast casserole, which can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning. Kathryn Rem/ The State Journal-Register (Ill.)

JUDI LEAMING: Bar and cookie bonanza season  -- Meanwhile, I’ll continue to bake brownies or bar cookies for the tennis team because I’d rather pour the batter into one pan and spread it out than have to plop out individual cookie dough onto cookie sheets. Dover Post (De.)

LINDA CASTOR: Drive for ‘perfection’ can be overwhelming -- Most girls are able to point out at least one flaw they dislike about themselves. And a growing number of boys are doing the same. We realize that pre-teens and teens are vulnerable to criticism, which can lead to the destruction of their self-esteem. The State Journal-Register (Ill.)

REV. CHRIS DEVOS: Struggling through a Lent without winter -- But this year, June has come looking for us in Lent. Who can think of repentance while trying on a new bathing suit? Could self-flagellation ever fly in flip-flops? Holland (Mich.) Sentinel

HOBBIES: Food crafting with homemade sweet pickles - Growing up, I enjoyed this sweet-pickle treat thanks to my grandmother. She made the most amazing pickles. Thankfully, I was able to have a cooking lesson from her, and now we make them for our home. By Cathie Filian, Scripps Howard.

RENOVATE OR REBUILD: Should you renovate or rebuild an old house? - Deciding to renovate an existing home or rebuild from scratch is not an easy or clear-cut choice in some cases. If you have a severely damaged or “handyman special” property, here are factors to consider. By Laura Foster-Bobroff, Networx.

METAL WITH WOOD: At Las Vegas furniture show, betting on 'metal with wood' trend - "Metal with wood is big right now," said Cameron Cook of Four Hands. The Texas-based company debuted its Irondale Collection during the winter furniture show in Las Vegas. Boasting an urban industrial vibe, the Nash dining table with heavy-duty, brushed-iron base and washed gray wood top was just one of several pieces that celebrated this longtime marriage of materials in a bold way. The Gresham black metal chest with a bleached pine top had a slightly more refined look. By Patricia Sheridan, Scripps Howard.

HOME STYLE: Want dreamier decor? Time for some pillow talk! - They may be featherweights, but as decorating tools, accent pillows pack a powerful punch. Time and again I've seen the right pillows take a nothing room and make it fresh and fabulous. By Mary Carol Garrity, Scripps Howard.

CANDICE TELLS ALL: Budget renovation delivers rich results - Mike and Mary-Anne recently upgraded to a larger home. They're excited to have more space for themselves and their two kids. Plus, they both come from extensive families and love to entertain big groups. By Candice Olson, Scripps Howard.

OLD CLOTHES: How to reuse your old clothes - Stop! Were you about to toss that T-shirt into the trash? And those shredded jeans? Step away from the garbage can! Stained work shirts and threadbare jammies and even worn out undies? Don’t you dare throw them away! By Sayward Rebhal, Networx.

LOST IN SUBURBIA:  The eyes have it - When it comes to cosmetics, I am pretty brand loyal. If I find something I like, I will usually stick with it until something drastic happens like they stop making it or they discover that it can turn your skin green or make you grow facial hair … neither of which is a particularly good look for me. Of course the worst thing is when a brand you love does the unthinkable: They change the formula. By Tracy Beckerman, GHNS.

More in home and family at


5 THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND: This week’s suggestions include celebrating Easter, participating in National Library Week, watching baseball and/or the Masters and more.

* Localization tips: Swap out any of these items for local happenings and list Easter activities.

PETER CHIANCA: What's with all the Bruce Springsteen bashing? - Even if Bruce Springsteen isn't your thing, I figure there’s no reason to, say, revile him with the intense, burning hatred of a thousand suns. Oh, there is? My mistake. By Peter Chianca, North Shore of Boston.

More in movies and music at


GRANLUND CARTOON: Easter Sunday empty tomb  -- Dave Granlund on Easter Sunday. GHNS

MICHELLE TEHEUX: American dream becomes American desperation - One of the recurring pieces of spam I tend to get in my in box is about this mythical beast called “early retirement.” And I’m puzzled, because don’t these people know that nobody is dreaming about early retirement anymore? Don’t they know that most people aren’t dreaming about any sort of retirement anymore? By Michelle Teheux, Pekin, Ill.

* Poll idea: Ask readers if they think retirement is feasible for most Americans.

More in columns and cartoons at


DAVE RAMSEY: Does two-hour commute make sense? - Weekly financial Q&A, with advice on working far from home and updating your will when irresponsible children are involved. By Dave Ramsey, GHNS.

BIZ BITS: Designing your home office for maximum comfort and productivity - Weekly business rail, with tips on your home office, BBB advice on hiring a home contractor and more.

* Localization tip: You could include a weekly tax tip from a local expert, have a business-related Q&A with a local expert or do a “business of the week” feature in which you highlight a local business.

More in tech and finance at


DIAMOND DIRT: Thoughts on the 2012 baseball season  It’s finally here - just one more day and it will be baseball season yet again. Can you feel the excitement? Are you ready for the new year? I know I am. Like every season, there will be a lot to look forward to in 2012. By Dominic Genetti, Hannibal, Mo.

DIAMOND DIRT: Welcome back, baseball - After months of waiting, our national pastime has returned. By Dominic Genetti, Hannibal, Mo.

More in NASCAR and baseball at