GateHouse News Service National Budget
For 12/22/09 editions

Here are the top national stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/. 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, jhodges@gatehousemedia.com

Michael Toeset, (630) 348-3356, (630) 835-8870, mtoeset@gatehousemedia.com

Notes:

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.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x967381431/Tax-page-four-part-series

READ MORE: Learn more about the tax series on ghnewsroom.com.
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/four-part-tax-series-all-set-january-news-service

YEAR IN REVIEW PAGE ELEMENTS: Find a logo and page banner that you can use for your Year in Review stories and pages.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/images/x1508037125/Year-in-Review-Page-Elements

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 national@gatehousemedia.com.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/homepage/x1903560869/Best-of-2009-content

'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 national@gatehousemedia.com.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/special_reports/x1945265215/Tis-the-season-GateHouse-holiday-content

HOLIDAY PAGES, TABS. Find out what the news service is offering for the holidays this year.
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/holiday-pages-tabs-adorn-gatehouse-news-service

Niche 2010 schedule: Check out the Niche products planned for next year.
http://www.ghnewsroom.com/article/gatehouse-2010-niche-schedule

THIS WEEK WITH N&I: Weekly poll ideas coming soon to ghnewsroom.com
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/week-ni-weekly-poll-ideas-coming-soon-ghnewsroomcom

UPDATED: GateHouse Media's Countdown to 2010: 12 Days of Successes | February.
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/gatehouse-medias-countdown-2010-12-days-successes-january

Lifestyles

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.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/morning_minutes

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Weekly food rail, leads with a simple recipe for french toast, and includes tips for making great meatloaf, Wise to the Word on Christmas melon, and more!
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/food/x967380474/Food-for-Thought-An-easy-spin-on-french-toast

FOOD PAGE: Minty masterpiece.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/food/x1508040781/Weekly-Food-page-Minty-masterpiece

HOME HELP: Weekly home rail, leads with breaking out of your color comfort zone, and includes items on “warmer wood,” a home-selling tip, maximizing your closet space and more. (NOTE: This moved early for the holidays.)
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/home_and_garden/x967380501/Home-Help-Break-out-of-your-color-comfort-zone

SHOESTRING LIVING: Appetize your wallet.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1145295429/Shoestring-Living-Appetize-Your-Wallet

LOST IN SUBURBIA: My holiday newsletter 2009 - Happy almost New Year to everyone! We hope you have had as great a year as we have! By Tracy Beckerman.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x664188837/Lost-in-Suburbia-My-holiday-newsletter-2009

Entertainment

SUDOKU: Puzzles for December (526-553) are available for download. Previous puzzles are linked to in this file, or visit our Puzzles category.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x1076978543/Sudoku-puzzles-526-553-December-puzzles

SUDOKU JANUARY: Puzzles for January (554-581) are available for download. Previous puzzles are linked to in this file, or visit our Puzzles category.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/puzzles/x1792921242/Sudoku-puzzles-554-581-January-puzzles

IN & OUT: What’s hot and what’s not as 2010 kicks off.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/entertainment/x141511543/In-and-Out-What-s-hot-and-what-s-not-as-2010-kicks-off

PETER CHIANCA: 5 albums you should have bought in 2009.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/entertainment/x1689175907/Peter-Chianca-Five-albums-you-should-have-bought-in-2009

BRIEN MURPHY: What's your favorite song about Jesus' birth? Some of our most enduring Christmas songs have us jingling all the way while chestnuts roast on an open fire and reindeer paws click, click, click up on the housetop. Christians, of course, observe more than a visit from Santa Claus later this week — they celebrate the birth of the man they believe is their spiritual savior. With that in mind, what are the most popular songs about Jesus’ birth?
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x664187286/Brien-Murphy-Whats-your-favorite-song-about-Jesus-birth

FAHRENHEIT 451: Graphic novel version of 'Fahrenheit 451' has the right spark - We’re basically living in Ray Bradbury’s imagined world now. Even those particularly familiar with this author are acting out all the permutations of his visions. By Margaret Smith.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/entertainment/arts/x1107766467/Graphic-novel-version-of-Fahrenheit-451-has-the-right-spark

Opinions

GRANLUND CARTOON: Christmas Day in the forest -- Cartoon for Dec. 25.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x967381408/Granlund-cartoon-Christmas-Day-in-the-forest

GRANLUND CARTOON: Christmas before and after.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x1107767027/Granlund-cartoon-Christmas-before-and-after

O’MAHONEY CARTOON: On Christmas giving.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x664189012/OMahoney-cartoon-On-Christmas-giving
- For THURSDAY release

O’MAHONEY CARTOON:
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x1689177383/OMahoney-cartoon-On-gift-returns
- For MONDAY release

KENT BUSH: Santa accused of being a poor role model - Kids don’t dream of growing up to become Santa. But that doesn’t keep cheeky doctors from making healthy living recommendations – including taking a little jelly out of that bowl in his belly.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x664188996/Kent-Bush-Santa-accused-of-being-a-poor-role-model

PETER CHIANCA: 2009 — the year that wasn’t – The best fake news of the year.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/columnists/x1107766888/Peter-Chianca-2009-the-year-that-wasn-t
- Note: This serves as Pete’s weekly column and/or year-end content.

JEFF VRABEL: TGI2010 – 2009 was awful - With 2009 drawing to a close, it is time once again to pause, reflect and attempt the impossible talk of divining a single thought that will smartly encompass the various events, quotes and ideas from the previous 12 months. And with that in mind, I'd like to share the customary suggestion I offer every year at this time: Well, thank God that's over.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x1689177818/Jeff-Vrabel-TGI2010-2009-was-just-plain-awful
- Note: This is Vrabel’s column for Dec. 28. It’s moving early because of the holidays and so papers can use it as part of year-end packages.

WENDY MURPHY: ABC apology in Woods story was pathetic - What Rachel Uchitel (of Tiger Wood fame) did isn't funny, but what her lawyer did - by demanding an apology - is hysterical. Here’s hoping ABC at least got her to promise them the first television interview with Uchitel in exchange for its pathetically groveling mea culpa.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x1136809136/Wendy-Murphy-ABC-apology-in-Woods-story-was-pathetic

MARC MUNROE DION: Christmas carols for our age - It’s Christmas and, as the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time to drink beer.” As you can see, I gotta problem with Christmas music. So here are my rewritten Christmas carols.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/holidays_seasonal/x664188854/Marc-Munroe-Dion-Christmas-carols-for-our-age

PHIL LUCIANO: Wishing for some street justice from Santa - You think of Santa Claus as a jolly, oversized elf who wraps the world in generosity and kindness. But I wish ol' St. Nick had a darker side - or maybe a vigilante twin brother - to tap into those magical powers. Like a fat, bearded Batman, he could track down yuletide jerks and mete out street justice.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1107766395/Phil-Luciano-Wishing-for-some-street-justice-from-Santa

JERRY MOORE: Let’s demilitarize the war on Christmas - Some people are calling for a boycott of companies whose employees wish them “happy holidays” rather than “merry Christmas.” They see this as an escalation of the annual war on Christmas, and they’re gearing up for a holy battle.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1689177410/Jerry-Moore-Let-s-demilitarize-the-war-on-Christmas

ED WELLS: Tiger should watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ - A Christmas message to Tiger Woods: Merry Christmas, Tiger. You’ve had one tough year — no wins at major tournaments and now this scandal that has humiliated you and your family. Some may gloat and enjoy your downfall, but I hope you get up, get your mind right, and do right by your family even if it means a split-up.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x664189033/Ed-Wells-Tiger-should-watch-It-s-a-Wonderful-Life

EDITORIAL: Slight progress in Copenhagen - The results out of Copenhagen don't come close to what is required, what was hoped for, or even what some of those closest to the process thought was possible just a few months ago. The comfort the final agreement brings is small, but real: Things could have ended much worse. By MetroWest Daily News.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/editorials/x1055574526/Editorial-Slight-progress-in-Copenhagen

News

NUKE REVIEW: Court rejects states’ request for nuclear review - A federal appeals court has refused a request by Massachusetts and two other states to force the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to declare spent fuel pools at nuclear power plants a serious environmental threat. By The Ledger.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/east/massachusetts/x1136809295/Court-rejects-states-request-for-nuclear-review

Business / Ag

DAVE RAMSEY: How do I make a lowball offer? - Weekly financial Q&A, with items on how to make a lowball offer and creating a no-gossip work culture.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x664188776/Dave-Ramsey-How-do-I-make-a-lowball-offer

PAUL EISENSTEIN: Will new small cars like Fiesta and Mazda2 find a market?
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1535679765/Paul-A-Eisenstein-Will-New-Small-Cars-Like-Fiesta-and-Mazda2-Find-a-Market

SHOESTRING LIVING: Appetize your wallet.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1145295429/Shoestring-Living-Appetize-Your-Wallet

BIZ BITS: Weekly business rail, with small-business owner tips, BBB watch about online auctions and more.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1479445900/Biz-Bits-Small-business-owners-see-silver-lining-in-the-recession

CHECKOUT LANE: Unlimited borders on framing options - With thousands of frame samples and mat options to choose from, custom framing may seem overwhelming, but framers say the results are priceless. By Sara Castellanos.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x967383352/Checkout-Lane-Unlimited-borders-on-framing-options
- Localize it: Talk to local framers and add their quotes, info.

FINE PRINT: Stay safe and save money with holiday lighting - Today's holiday lights aren't the same energy-sucking bulbs that our parents used when we were kids. Miniature holiday lights have largely replaced the big bulbs as a popular way to illuminate holiday decorations. By The Patriot Ledger.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x967383358/Fine-Print-Stay-safe-and-save-money-with-holiday-lighting

MAKING CENTS: Many need long-term care insurance - Long-term care insurance is one of the most widely misunderstood financial products in America. In my experience, only a small percentage of the population that should own long-term care insurance does own it. Long-term care insurance is for illnesses or disabilities that last longer than three to six months. By John P. Napolitano.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1535679646/Making-Cents-Many-need-long-term-care-insurance

LAST-MINUTE RUSH: Retailers thrilled with last-minute rush - ROCKFORD – Retailers are feeling the rush of last-minute shoppers streaming through their doors, which is helping boost their confidence and their bottom lines after a dismal holiday season one year ago. Holiday shopping procrastination is nothing new, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted by BIGresearch. The average person had completed 46.7 percent of their holiday shopping by the second week of December, which is actually the lowest percentage since 2004. By Melissa Westphal of the Rockford Register Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1689177603/Retailers-thrilled-with-last-minute-rush
TO LOCALIZE: Check with local retailers to see if they’ve had a rush of last-minute shoppers.

Sports

NASCAR PAGE: The weekly page will return just before the season starts next year.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/homepage/x1792908441/NASCAR-page-Take-it-from-the-top