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


WAKE UP CALL!: Can wearing headphones be deadly?

GOOD IDEA: Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch uses submitted photos for annual calendar

INNER CIRCLE: Evaluations begin today for fourth quarter 2011

COMMUNITY BLOGS: Get your blogs up and running in 7 steps


MONTHLY ELECTION PAGE: Finding the facts in candidates' attack ads

SPRING BOOMERS: The benefits of yoga, get better sleep, safer spring cleaning


WEEKLY KIDZBUZZ PAGE: All about voting

FEBRUARY RADARFROG PAGE: Save on a Valentine's date

TAX PREP PAGES: Where to start on small-business taxes, deductions to take and common mistakes to avoid


SUPER BOWL QUARTER PAGE LAYOUT: 4 facts on the big game


FEBRUARY FAMILY: Pick the best dog for your family, motivate students to succeed, a Valentine's recipe

The Street

JIM CRAMER: The last shall be first … for now -- You know what's great about a worst-shall-be-first move like we're having now? Nobody cares about the near term. It doesn't matter. By Jim Cramer, The Street

JIM CRAMER II: No fun for fundamentalists -- The S&P has hit the levels that everyone can call breakout at the exact same time that I am struggling to find stocks to buy. By Jim Cramer, The Street

STUDY: The drunkest states in America -- How drunk are the people in your home state? By Seth Fiegerman, The Street

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FAMILY TIME: Germ hotspots to look out for during cough and cold season - Weekly family rail, tips on avoiding the flu and colds, a review of Tim Tebow’s book and more. By GHNS.
* Localization tip: Any of the first three items can be localized – ask a local family counselor to provide a tip of the week, ask movie-going parents to give reviews of movies or ask youngsters to send in book reviews.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Eat better, cheaper -- weekly Food for Thought with how to eat better for less, the importance of eating with family, new beer labels for Flying Dog and more. GHNS

YARDSMART: A short history of the blueberry -- New Jersey was devastated by 19th-century iron mining. The land was dredged and drained to create more ground for expanding an iron furnace. The result was an environmental catastrophe that left the swampy land nearly worthless and too poor to support crops. Maureen Gilmer/ Scripps Howard News Services

HOME STYLE: Make your bathroom an oasis -- After a long, hard day at work, there is no better therapy than stepping into a steaming-hot bath and letting the stress of life float away. Whether or not your bathroom is the place you go to relax and rejuvenate, make this all-important space lovely and inviting. Mary Carol Garrity/ Scripps Howard News Services

NEW SHOVELS: Snow Wolf puts a new spin on shoveling - When a white winter finally arrived, the wolf was at my door. The Snow Wolf, that is. Structured Solutions II, the manufacturer of this odd contraption combining a shovel and a large wheel, offered to let me try one in November. There wasn't much need for a snow shovel around here until later. By Kevin Kirkland, Scripps Howard.
* Ask readers if they’ve used any of the products mentioned and if they like them. And/or ask them to recommend home snow-removal devices.

BUTTONED UP: Learn to back away from digital devices - A few years ago, Disney Pixar released the movie "Up." It's a sweet little film about a rather crotchety old widower and a young scout who accidentally end up on an adventure together. Not long after they touch down in a far-off land they are greeted by a dog named Dug. He's a lovable golden retriever who bounds affectionately into their arms and then shocks them both when he speaks English via a special collar translator worn around his neck. The only trouble is, he often interrupts himself midsentence, shouts "squirrel," and points for a second or two. By Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore, Scripps Howard.

HOME FIX: Pop-up gutter drains - Q: I had a contractor install pop-up gutter drains. They were supposed to be dug 10 feet out. He only did this for one at the back of the house. The other three are only 4 to 5 feet out. I wasn't aware of this and wouldn't have realized this wasn't proper. I am now convinced that this is the reason that the gutters at the front overflow. Am I right? By Dwight Barnett, Scripps Howard.

TREASURES: How much is this Eastlake-style rocker worth? -- Q: We understand that this type of seating is called an "Eastlake nanny rocker." Why is it called this? What is its age and value? Thank you, B.S., Syracuse, N.Y. Scripps Howard News Service

GARDENER: The basic garden tools you need  -- They say any task is easier when you use the right tool. And that's certainly true for gardening. In no particular order, here's a basic tool set with what I consider gardening essentials. Joe Lamp’l/ Scripps Howard News Service

ROCK CARVER: Missouri man travels country, globe carving rocks -- Murphy prefers a Burlington chert, a type of flint rock. It can be found in many areas across the country. He said it’s the easiest material to use when it comes to crafting different arrowheads and other artistic pieces. Dominic Genetti/ Hannibal Courier-Post (Mo.)

More in food and family at


PETER CHIANCA: Kingsley Flood offers indie Americana -- The Massachusetts-based Kingsley Flood, founded by frontman Naseem Khuri, first made a splash in 2010 with its debut album “Dust Windows,” a rollicking, literate collection of Americana-style tracks that got the group more than its share of local notice. Wicked Local (Mass.)

More in music and movies at


GRANLUND CARTOON: MLK statue quote fix -- Dave Granlund on the misquote engraved in the newly dedicated MLK statue in Washington. GHNS

GRANLUND CARTOON: Cruise ship safety  -- Dave Granlund on the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground near Italy. GHNS

KENT BUSH: Jon Huntsman added fun, but no threat - Jon Huntsman is dropping out of the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. I can’t say that I blame him. By Kent Bush, Augusta, Kan.
* Poll idea: Ask readers who they think will win South Carolina, or who they think will drop out next.

AMY GEHRT: Marines must be held to the highest standard - An Internet video purporting to show four U.S. Marines urinating on dead bodies in Afghanistan is creating a stir. On the 39-second video, which was posted to YouTube last Wednesday, four men in Marine combat gear are seen standing over three corpses lying in the dirt, laughing as they appear to relieve themselves on the bodies. After finishing, one then says, “Have a good day, buddy.” By Amy Gehrt, Pekin, Ill.

More columns and cartoons at


NFL QUICK SHOTS: Aaron Rodgers looks like Tiger Woods - Aaron Rodgers is starting to look more and more like Tiger Woods; uncatchable when he has a lead, but toothless when he’s trying to come from behind. Rodgers is 3-13 in games decided by four points or fewer the last four years. Compare that to the league’s other most-celebrated passers: Peyton Manning is 16-5, Ben Roethlisberger 14-6, Drew Brees 11-7 and Tom Brady 7-5. By Matt Trowbridge, Rockford, Ill.

NFL/ RESTING: Paul Jannace: Rest periods hurting NFL’s top seeds -- There should be a new saying NFL head coaches need to start living by:?“Too much rest can lead to too much rest.” Paul Jannace/ Wellsville Daily Reporter (N.Y.)

DIAMOND DIRT: Lack of black players will open baseball HOF doors to others - Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Bernie Williams and Willie McGee aren’t in the Hall of Fame. But they will be. Barry Larkin will enter the hall in July, and after him the next black player to be honored will probably be Ken Griffey Jr. By Dominic Genetti, Hannibal, Mo.

More in NFL and outdoors at