GateHouse News Service National Budget
Contacts: Lisa Glowinski, (217) 816-3343,
Michael Toeset, 630-835-8870,


WAKE UP CALL!: A pet for Christmas

BEST OF THE DAY: One-minute videos

COMING MONDAY: GHNewsroom Favorites looks at the best videos, photos and more from 2011


KIDZBUZZ PAGE: The history of the Christmas tree

PRINT ADS FOR JANUARY 2012 CALLOUTS: Promote the callouts that will be syndicated to your Local Loop sections Jan. 2

2012 JOBS OUTLOOK PAGES: Two broadsheet pages on industries that are hiring, changing workplaces



2011 YEAR IN REVIEW PAGE: The national, world events that shaped the year

The Street

FACEBOOK: Facebook Timeline: What you need to know -- Facebook rolls out a redesign of what others can see about you. So block out a couple of hours -- it's time to clean up your profile. By Seth Fiegerman, The Street

AIRLINES: What airlines see in 2012: profits -- Delta recently laid out its vision for a profitable 2012, and other airlines expect the same. Even AMR's bankrutpcy is seen as good. By Ted Reed, The Street

TECH: 3 signs for a 2012 tech boom -- Consolidation, Windows 8 and Ultrabook hint at a bit 2012 for the tech sector. By Chris Ciaccia, The Street

CONSUMER NEWS: Consumer prices flat in November -- Costs for housing, food, energy and other items barely budge in November. By Chao Deng, The Street

HOLIDAYS: More look to 'shop American' for Christmas -- Many consumers are making sure their Christmas list features 'Made in America' goods this year. By Joe Mont, The Street

SMALL BUSINESS: Bakers show how to rank high with military -- One family-owned business is trusted enough by the U.S. government to run bakeries on six U.S. military bases. By Laurie Kulikowski, The Street
*NOTE: Features an N.Y. business

BIG BUSINESS: For these businesses, profit isn't sole goal -- Philanthropy is at the core of the mission for some entrepreneurs, not just a seasonal add-on. By Elizabeth Blackwell, The Street

ECONOMY: 6 best cities for starting over in 2012 -- If you're looking for a fresh start, it turns out the Midwest (or Utah) is a good place to look. By Jerold Leslie, The Street

POLITICS: U.S. politicians stink worse than Zuccotti Park -- Star students? Worthy of flunking? Panels of economists, money managers and consumer advocates judge our most powerful players. By The Street staff

Find more news from The Street at


CHRISTMAS CONTENT: Pages, callouts, features and more

POINSETTIA GREENHOUSE: Tennessee greenhouse grows red sea of poinsettias -- Decking the halls is traditionally more than holly, mistletoe, greenery and bows; many homes also include the euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as the poinsettia. The Oak Ridger/ Beverly Majors
*Localization tip: Get poinsettia care tips from a local horticulture educator or professional.

DAN SEABORN: For those who don't like Christmas, try these tips -- Christmas is not considered by everyone as the most wonderful time of the year. In fact, a Consumer Report survey indicates that, sadly, many Americans don’t look forward to the holiday. Holland (Mich.) Sentinel

LOOKING UP: Next week will see the longest night of the year - December solstice occurs precisely at 12:30 a.m. EST on  Dec. 22. This is when the passage of our tilted Earth brings the sun’s noon-time height at its lowest point in the southern sky as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. At noon it shines directly overhead as seen from the Tropic of Capricorn, below the equator. The North Pole leans back the farthest in respect to the sun, giving us the shortest day of the year. By Peter Becker, GHNS.

SUZETTE MARTINEZ STANDRING: The poor are most precious - When I was 5 years old my mother took me to see a manager scene that included two live sheep. It rained that afternoon and the air inside the pen was thick with dank, musty odors. My mother pointed out in her thick Filipino accent, “Look, hija, the Nateebity. You see the baby Jesus ober there?” But I had eyes only for the lambs of God. They were magical. They were fat and fluffy. They were very stinky. By Suzette Martinez Standring, The Patriot Ledger.

SAELEN GHOSE: Holiday expectations for your family - Holidays are about family. They are about giving and receiving. They are about time spent with loved ones. But holidays are also accompanied with the expectation that everything will be perfect. The perfect gift. The perfect dinner. The perfect table settings. The perfect decorations. The perfect family. And especially, perfect children. By Saelen Ghose, MetroWest, Mass.

KITCHEN CALL: Vintage cookbooks make great gifts   -- You’re down to the wire. Virtually hours left. And you still have to buy for an avid cook or two. Head out to your nearest independent bookshop. Or, try out one of the many vintage — or heirloom, or used bookstores, whatever the owners call them. North Shore Sunday (Mass.)

HOLIDAY CALORIES: Delicious holiday beverages cost a lot in calories  -- This time of year, it’s easy to want to treat yourself to a festive holiday beverage. But heads up, those decadent hot and cold treats pack a lot more than good cheer. Many are chock full of calories, fat, sugar and carbs. We did some digging and found eight of the worst culprits. Jennifer Mastroianni/ Canton (Ohio) Repository
*Localization tip: Get advice from a nutritionist on how to make low-calorie alternatives at home or which items at the store are OK to eat/drink.

EASY RECIPE: Candied Cranberries -- Candied cranberries can be expensive, if you can find them. Or you can make your own for about 50 cents. It’s good to have some around for the holidays as they offer festive and tasty fillings for cookies, Yule-log cakes and other baked items. Jim Hillibish/ Canton (Ohio) Repository

More in home and family at


SUDOKU JANUARY: Sudoku puzzles 1282-1316 (January puzzles) are available for download. Previous puzzles are linked to in this file.

SHERLOCK REVIEW: Movie review: 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' - In reprising their roles, Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as his stalwart sidekick Dr. Watson travel across Europe in a shadowy cat-and-mouse game to stop criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, played by a deliciously twisted Jared Harris (“Mad Men”), from achieving world domination. By Dana Barbuto, The Patriot Ledger.
* Facebook idea: Ask fans if they plan to see the movie, and if they have seen it to review it.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: Movie review: 'Mission: Impossible' impossible to resist - I was riveted right from the start, when Tom Cruise's cohorts helped him bust out of a Moscow prison in a thrilling and imaginative set piece set to Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head.” By Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger.
* Facebook idea: Ask fans if they plan to see the movie, and if they have seen it to review it.

CHIPMUNKS REVIEW: Movie review: 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' will charm the 6-and-younger set - Unfortunately for parents, this is one of those movies we have to slog through and fake laugh for the sake of our children. It’s not torturous, thanks to the svelte 85-minute running time. By Dana Barbuto, The Patriot Ledger.
* Facebook idea: Ask fans if they plan to see the movie, and if they have seen it to review it.

YOUNG ADULT REVIEW: Movie review: In 'Young Adult,' Charlize Theron gives career-best performance - I often found myself rooting for the conniving divorcee Mavis Gary and her misguided attempts to recapture her youth by returning to her tiny Minnesota hometown to win back her high school sweetheart. Oh, did I mention that said beau is married and a brand new papa? No matter to Mavis. When she wants something, without fail, she gets it. By Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger.
* Facebook idea: Ask fans if they plan to see the movie, and if they have seen it to review it.

MOVIE MAN: Spend time in Paris with double feature - Woody Allen continues his trip around the world with “Midnight in Paris,” the movie that — amazingly — turned out to be his biggest moneymaker ever. It’s a fun trifle, with some amusing performances and a warm recreation of the 1920s, but one of Woody’s best? Hardly. By Will Pfeifer, Rockford, Ill.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: The Readers' Writers: Award-winning author Jamie Freveletti - To borrow from Jamie Freveletti's website: She "is a trial attorney, martial artist, and runner. She has crewed for an elite ultra-marathon runner at 50 mile, 100 mile, and twenty-four hour races across the country, and holds a black belt in aikido, a Japanese martial art." Let's add she's also very devoted to her family. However, Jamie has since placed her attorney status on "inactive" to pursue writing full time. By DA Kentner, Freeport, Ill.

READERS GUIDE: Travel back in time with Stephen King’s latest novel, '11/22/63' - We have all wondered how the world would be if we could go back in time and change certain events. Jake Epping, Stephen King's latest hero, gets that chance in "11/22/63." His friend Al Templeton reveals there is a time-travel portal in the backroom of his diner and he has been traveling between current day and 1958 in the hopes that he can prevent the assassination of John Kennedy. But now Al is dying of lung cancer, and he asks Jake to finish his mission to stop Lee Harvey Oswald. By Susie Stooksbury, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
* Facebook idea: Ask readers to give their opinion on any of these books that they’ve read.

More in music and movies at


BEST CARTOONS OF 2011: Follow the link to download the best editorial cartoons of the year, as selected by GateHouse News Service staff.

BRITT CARTOON: The Iraq war is over. By Chris Britt, Springfield, Ill.

BRITT CARTOON: Feds' cellphone proposal not well-received. By Chris Britt, Springfield, Ill.

GRANLUND CARTOON: Joy at Christmas -- Dave Granlund on Christmas. GHNS

PHILIP MADDOCKS: CEO who can’t recall whereabouts of billions in customer money is now GOP frontrunner - A week after he told a House committee he had no knowledge of how or if the brokerage firm he ran until last month had lost more than a billion dollars in customer money, Jon S. Corzine, the disgraced former CEO of MF Global, suddenly found himself the frontrunner in the Republican presidential race. By Philip Maddocks, MetroWest, Mass.

BENJAMIN WACHS: Our beacon shines, but not at home - Most Americans are increasingly declining any affiliation that would call on them to sacrifice of their time, let alone money or attention. Instead, we prefer to show our support through social media, which requires only that we push a button. By Benjamin Wachs, Messenger Post, N.Y.

JARED OLAR: Bernie Sanders has a SAD overreaction -- Hey, I understand. You folks on the left of the political spectrum think the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling is absolutely appalling. You want that ruling reversed, real, real bad. Pekin Daily Times (Ill.)

More columns and cartoons at


ERIC P. BLOOM: Making decisions using other people’s expertise - As an individual contributor, you make decisions based on your ability and expertise. For example, say you are an accountant; you have the expertise to properly post an accounting transaction. Alternatively, if you are a techie, you know how to perform a specific technical task. Let’s say that as a manager, overseeing accountants, techies, and people from other professions, you can’t possibly know everything they collectively know. It is impossible. By Eric P. Bloom, GHNS.

More in tech and finance at