Here are the top national stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at Please submit stories below no later than 6 p.m. local time, unless you have breaking news that is changing significantly.

GateHouse News Service National Budget
For 3/31/10 editions
Contacts: Lisa Glowinski, (217) 816-3343,
- Michael Toeset, 630-348-3356 (office), 630-835-8870 (mobile),


NEW SITE LAUNCHES: The news service received a makeover his week. To learn more about the changes, follow this link:

SITE UPDATE: Where is RadarFrog, and how do I download hi-res photos? Find out at

WAKE-UP CALL: Is removing a dog’s barker right?

EASTER IDEAS: Pastors, bunnies and chocolate – hop on these Easter story ideas.


MOTHERS DAY PAGE: Learn what flowers can express your feelings for Mom:

READER CALLOUT: Share your prom photos:

STRETCHED PRODUCTS NOW RADARFROG: April's Stretched editions are out, now branded as RadarFrog:
Info sheet on the change:
Half-page on saving water:
Coupon book with stories on a budget road trip, meat-counter savings and getting the most out of garden tools:

MEMORIAL DAY PAGE: Learn about the nation's war memorials.

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: Weekly home and garden rail, with items on choosing a showerhead, how to make a small kitchen feel bigger, a tip for home-sellers and more.

CHERYL MILLER: You better watch out, here comes Peter Cottontail - Put on your glasses and read the ingredient labels on those chocolate rabbits, jellybeans and marshmallow chicks.

LOST IN SUBURBIA: I have a good dog. He is a very good dog. He never does anything he is not supposed to, like jump on the furniture or get in the garbage or snack off the kitchen counter. If you believe that, I have a bridge I can sell you.

FRANK MULLIGAN: Biting honesty or tall tail, er, tale? - It’s widely held that the sense of smell can conjure strong memories, but who knew cute pet pictures could have the same effect? Two weeks after the submitted picture of a white pet rat brought back my brief career as a lab assistant struggling with unhappy albino lab rats, the picture of the winner of our paper's cute-pet contest – a handsome former racing greyhound named Remi – brought back an even deeper memory.


SUDOKU FOR APRIL: Sudoku puzzles (645-672) for April are available. Follow the link below or visit our Puzzles category.

5 THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND: This week’s suggestions: Check out “Clash of the Titans” or the latest Tyler Perry movie; celebrate International Children's Book Day, “observe” Global Astronomy Month, celebrate Easter and get ready for the return of baseball.

BOOK NOTES: Biography, meditation book share spiritual growth from chanting - Krishna Das, known for his resonant chanting and the rousing call and response sessions he leads around the world, has written a memoir that explains a lot. Also, Tana Pesso’s new book gives us 40 meditations she devised on compassion. By Rae Francoeur.

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Last Song’ sings a familiar tune - Miley Cyrus, trying so hard, but fighting against vapid material and pedestrian direction, plays Ronnie Miller, a girl so unhappy with everything and everyone since her parents divorced that she’s given up playing piano and has, like in that old Taj Mahal blues song, put her face in a  permanent frown. By Ed Symkus.


GRANLUND CARTOON: GOP family values and bondage clubs.

EDITORIAL: A message to Karzai - President Obama's weekend trip to Afghanistan was overdue. He has made prosecution of the war there a centerpiece of his foreign policy, but he hadn't actually been there since the summer before the 2008 election. His show of support for the troops he has ordered to the front is both appropriate and appreciated. By MetroWest.

MICHELLE TEHEUX: I'm going to have to ask you to calm down - Whenever I really get on a roll, my teenager can usually turn my rant into laughter by saying, in his best cop-like tones, “Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to calm down.” For all you folks who can’t stop panicking at the health care bill, I have this to say: “Folks, I’m going to have to ask you to calm down.”

KENT BUSH: The truth lies somewhere in the middle - Bipartisanship is dead. The national health care vote may have been the final nail in the coffin. Both parties are preparing to attend the funeral this fall as no-holds-barred campaigns further segregate the partisans and leave Independents feeling less and less in tune with either party.

Business / Ag

DAVE RAMSEY: Weekly financial Q&A, with advice on what to do with an inheritance and how to deal with creditors.

AUTO BITS: Get online to find great travel deals - Weekly auto rail, with a tip on finding travel deals, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.

SHOESTRING LIVING: Frugal fixes speed home sales - Last month, a friend sold her house in 10 days. I remember a time when stories like this were so common that selling a home seemed like child’s play. I’m not sure if my friend’s story is a sign that our sleepy housing market is starting to stir, but it does cause me to think about how folks might be better positioned for home sale success these days. By Molly Logan Anderson.

CHECKOUT LANE: A sump pump will keep your basement dry -- When massive amounts of rain flood your basement, it might seem impossible to ever dry out. However, there is a way to keep your home from getting water damage: Sump pumps are small pumps designed for use in basements to clear out water that could potentially damage your home. By Lana Lagomarsini of The Patriot Ledger.
MAKING CENTS: A flight plan for your finances -- Sometimes I wonder if the expectations of a financial plan are unrealistic. Investors should not feel that a financial plan or hiring a financial planner is going to be the silver bullet that fixes all things. By John P. Napolitano.


PAUL JANNACE: No redemption in sight for Dwight Gooden - There’s a fine line between a tragic story and a sad one. Dwight Gooden’s is very, very sad. A tragic story should have room for sympathy. With Gooden, the fear is he hasn’t even hit rock bottom yet and is losing any chance at sympathy and redemption.

NASCAR PAGE: Which drivers might be better than they’ve looked so far and which might be driving over their heads?