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

GateHouse News Service National Budget for 11/30/09

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

Contacts:
- Michael Toeset, (630) 348-3356, (630) 835-8870, mtoeset@gatehousemedia.com
- Katie Bartholomew Anderson, (630) 956-2598, kbartholomew@gatehousemedia.com
- Jean Hodges is off this week


Notes:

Weekend front page gallery for November 26-29: http://ghnewsroom.com/article/weekend-front-page-gallery-november-26-29-2009

Quark tip: How to use the find/change function: http://ghnewsroom.com/article/quark-tip-how-use-findchange-function

Quark tip: Presenting multiple mugs in one package: http://ghnewsroom.com/article/quark-tip-presenting-multiple-mugs-one-package

HOLIDAY TV PAGE: We’ve put together a page showcasing some popular TV shows and movies airing in December, as well as when they’ll be on this season.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/homepage/x2072218104/Holiday-TV-page-Tune-in-to-December-holiday-specials

'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


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

HEALTH WATCH: Active life begins with healthy joints -- Weekly health rail, with items on joint health, preventing and treating dry skin, helping kids when they have a bloody nose, and more.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/health/x2072223927/Health-Watch-Active-life-begins-with-healthy-joints

HEALTH PAGE: Prepare for a cold workout
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/health/x441554562/Weekly-Health-page-Prepare-for-a-cold-workout

SAFE TOYS: New laws ensure safer toys this holiday season -- Toys should be safer this holiday season than in years past thanks to legislation passed last year. The Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 set stricter standards for lead and certain pthalates, toxic chemicals found in many children’s products, especially those made of PVC. But that doesn’t mean every toy is safe. By Amy Neff Roth of the Observer-Dispatch.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1945272489/New-laws-ensure-safer-toys-this-holiday-season

AT-HOME HELP: Home nurses play indispensable role in long-term care – Janice Bragg didn’t like the way her husband was being cared for in a nursing home. She said she figured she could do better, and with the help of two nurses from Western Illinois Home Health Care she feels she has. But she couldn’t do it without them. By Kellie Bramlet of the Galesburg Register-Mail.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/health/x1945272701/Home-nurses-play-indispensable-role-in-long-term-care

WEIGHT LOSS: Maintaining weight loss a difficult battle – Losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge many people face. Veteran central Illinois broadcaster Bob Murray and Springfield, Ill., physician David Steward epitomize this problem in their battles to maintain weight. By Dean Olsen of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/health/x215413441/Maintaining-weight-loss-a-difficult-battle

WAYNE L. WESTCOTT: Get fit with a medicine ball -- As we age, we lose both muscle strength and muscle power, and we lose the latter at a faster rate than the former. Medicine balls have a unique advantage in helping to maintain muscle power.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/health/x1682942178/Wayne-L-Westcott-Get-fit-with-a-medicine-ball

FRESH TREE TRADITION: Families chop down trees for tradition -- In pickup trucks, SUVs, big cars and tiny cars, families cruise around the 35 acres of Brenner Tree Farm in Pike Township, Ohio. They look for something they’ll never find — the perfect Christmas tree. This one is too short. That one is too tall. The needles are too long. The needles aren’t long enough. By Tim Botos of The Repository.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/family/x1792917141/O-Christmas-Tree-Families-chop-down-trees-for-tradition
- To localize: Add information about tree farms in your area. Speak to some local tree farmers and the people cutting down their own tree.

HOLIDAY GREENS: Nothing beats fresh greens for decking your house, inside and out – When it's time to deck the halls, do you dig out the plastic or seek out fresh pine? It's that perennial question: Fake or fresh? Surprisingly, the best answer might be both. By Jennifer Davis of the Peoria Journal Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1682944244/Nothing-beats-fresh-greens-for-decking-your-house-inside-and-out

PSALM PILOT: Digital applications growing for people of faith -- From daily devotionals on your phone to e-books and blogs, people interested in religion can get their information on the go. By Ann Pierceall of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x2072225719/Psalm-pilot-Digital-applications-growing-for-people-of-faith

SHOESTRING LIVING: Save money with homemade gifts - I’m throwing a few homemade gifts into the mix this year, which first involves getting over the shudder that engulfs my spine every time I say it. Homemade is not the problem; I love to cook and create. At first impression, the holiday snob in me just doesn’t like it, but shiny gift cards for teachers and expensive sweaters for moms just aren’t in the budget. By Molly Logan Anderson.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x441560584/Shoestring-Living-Save-money-with-homemade-gifts

PETER COSTA: To sleep, perchance to dream at the hospital - This week I am going into the hospital for two invasive tests. Think Vikings invading England or the U.S. invading Normandy on D-Day. I just know, that even with an IV in my wrist dripping coma-inducing drugs, I will somehow, once again, writhe like a crocodile at just the wrong time.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/columnists/x441560647/Peter-Costa-To-sleep-perchance-to-dream-at-the-hospital

DAVE BAKKE: Mr. T’s role in wedding no cause for pity – Annah Steckel and Paul Sansone wanted a family friend who happens to be an ordained minister to co-officiate their wedding at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Ill. The Rev. Mark Merrill, associate pastor at the church, was happy to agree. It’s just that the name of the family friend didn’t register the first time Mark heard it. “As I wrote down who they wanted,” Mark says, “they said ‘Mr. T’ and I wrote it down. But it didn’t even register.”
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1682944241/Dave-Bakke-Mr-Ts-role-in-wedding-no-cause-for-pity

SHAYNE LOOPER: To coexist is just not enough -- We were in an Ivy League town recently, and I noticed a number of cars sporting a bumper sticker that read COEXIST. The letters were constructed from various symbols, some of which were religious in nature.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/columnists/x1682943883/Shayne-Looper-To-coexist-is-just-not-enough


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

IN THE GARDEN: Book captures a love affair with gardening -- Artist Kim Smith has written and illustrated a new book, “Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities.” This book is a joy to read for anyone looking for inspiration for a garden, small or large. By Thomas Mickey of The Patriot Ledger.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/entertainment/x1792917099/In-the-Garden-Book-captures-a-love-affair-with-gardening


Opinions

GRANLUND CARTOONS:
- President Obama's Afghanistan speech: http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x215412927/Granlund-cartoon-Obamas-Afghanistan-speech
- Dubai’s debt problem: http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x441561335/Granlund-cartoon-Dubais-debt-problem
- On Tiger Woods’ driving skills: http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x441559368/Granlund-cartoon-On-Tiger-Woods-driving

LICCAR CARTOON: On Tiger Woods' troubles with his wife
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x1682943831/Liccar-cartoon-On-Tiger-Woods-troubles

CONROY CARTOON: Fading American dreams
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x2072226036/Conroy-cartoon-Fading-American-dreams

LORETTA LAROCHE: Where did all the civility go? -- TV talk shows have become more like screaming matches. What happened to the art of the interview?
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/columnists/x2072225611/Loretta-LaRoche-Where-did-all-the-civility-go

JEFF VRABEL: A Jedi Thanksgiving and the Internet -- A short parable for this holiday season, starring .htaccess files, five lightsabers, inessential ambition and egregious, carrying-a-walrus-with-two-hands-over-your-head stupidity.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x215412746/Jeff-Vrabel-A-Jedi-Thanksgiving-and-the-Internet

PETER GOLDEN: North of Pakistan, East of Iran - Roughly the size of Texas and with a population of about 13 million, Afghanistan has rightly been called "the graveyard of empires" for the simple reason that no Western power has ever "won" there. This is worth noting in light of the current debate as to proper U.S. policy in the region.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/east/massachusetts/x1792917313/Peter-Golden-North-of-Pakistan-East-of-Iran

MARC MUNROE DION: Everyone loves the leftovers - Thoughts on Christmas shopping, Tiger Woods, politicians and more.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/east/massachusetts/x1945272429/Marc-Munroe-Dion-Everyone-loves-the-leftovers

GARY BROWN: As 2012 approaches ... what were the Mayans thinking? -- The doomsday scenario put forth in “2012” is supposed to be based on the apparent end of the ancient Mayan calendar in that year. The end of the world, apparently, is not only a rather disturbing event, it’s entertaining as well.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x2072226088/Gary-Brown-As-2012-approaches-what-were-the-Mayans-thinking

KEVIN FRISCH: My days in the Mets’ dugout -- There was a time not long ago when baseball fans could rub elbows with professional ballplayers.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x1682942110/Kevin-Frisch-My-days-in-the-Mets-dugout

KENNETH KNEPPER: Toys get smaller, prices get bigger as kids grow up -- After numerous Christmases with children, I learned if my wife and I tried to fill each of their gift requests, we would have needed to purchase a larger house or, more accurately, been reduced to living in a series of tents in a pasture.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/family/x215413553/Kenneth-Knepper-Toys-get-smaller-prices-get-bigger-as-kids-grow-up


News

PARENTS IN JAIL 1: Parent in prison puts child in trouble -- Mary Smith’s 12-year-old son likes to skateboard and build model airplanes. He wants an MP3 player for Christmas. He fidgets when he’s nervous. And, like other children, he has to live with his parents’ decisions; even if those choices are wrong, or worse, if they are horrible and cause him pain. His father is in jail. By Deborah Straszheim of the Norwich Bulletin.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/family/x1792917245/Parent-in-prison-puts-child-in-trouble
- To localize: Does your state Department of Correction have estimates as to how many people in jail are parents? Supplement with numbers. Are there local programs to help children of prisoners? What organizations in your area work to help families with a parent in jail.

PARENTS IN JAIL 2: Children of prisoners often grow up to repeat parents’ mistakes -- Jason Kelly, 29, has been in Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Uncasville, Conn., for about a year on drugs, weapons and assault charges. He has four children — boys 11 and 8, girls 5 and 4 — with two women. By Deborah Straszheim of the Norwich Bulletin.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/family/x1945272462/Children-of-prisoners-often-grow-up-to-repeat-parents-mistakes

ADOPTION STORY: Adoption completes family touched by Down syndrome – Todd and Anne Hollis of Elmwood, Ill., first learned that their lives were immutably changed – for the better, they now agree – from the slip of a resident doctor’s tongue. The revelation that their daughter had Down syndrome set in motion events that ended with their adoption of a 3-year-old girl from Ukraine who also has Down syndrome. By Scott Hilyard of the Peoria Journal Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/family/x215413575/Adoption-completes-family-touched-by-Down-syndrome


Business / Ag

PAUL A. EISENSTEIN: Shortcomings abound with 2010 Acura ZDX -- The 2010 Acura ZDX is probably the weakest product to join the maker’s lineup since its early midsize Vigor. It’s difficult to understand what Acura was trying to achieve with the new ZDX, which comes across as the automotive equivalent of a platypus: part crossover/SUV, part truck, part sport coupe. In this case, it all adds up to less than the sum of its parts.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x215411218/Paul-A-Eisenstein-Shortcomings-abound-with-2010-Acura-ZDX

AUTO BITS: What to look for in your auto insurance policy -- Weekly auto rail, with insurance tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x2072223816/Auto-Bits-What-to-look-for-in-your-auto-insurance-policy

SHOESTRING LIVING: Save money with homemade gifts - I’m throwing a few homemade gifts into the mix this year, which first involves getting over the shudder that engulfs my spine every time I say it. Homemade is not the problem; I love to cook and create. At first impression, the holiday snob in me just doesn’t like it, but shiny gift cards for teachers and expensive sweaters for moms just aren’t in the budget. By Molly Logan Anderson.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x441560584/Shoestring-Living-Save-money-with-homemade-gifts

MAKING CENTS: A long life needs good financial plan - Health care costs often make longevity a two-edged sword. By John P. Napolitano of The Patriot Ledger.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x2072225779/Making-Cents-A-long-life-needs-good-financial-plan

CHECKOUT LANE: Don’t get burned when buying firewood - Maggie Oldfield, co-owner of Thayer Nursery in Milton, Mass., says any wood’s moisture level has to be below 25 percent for it to burn. “Less water in the wood means you have less smoke, so your fire burns more slowly and your wood is lasting longer.” By Sara Castellanos of The Patriot Ledger.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1792916841/Checkout-Lane-Don-t-get-burned-when-buying-firewood
- Localize it: Talk to firewood experts in your area and add quotes, info; add your state's info in BBB breakout.

LOAN BALANCES: Banks not making many business bets – A startling statistic was revealed this week when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. released its quarterly look at banking data — loan balances at the nation’s banks declined 2.8 percent from the end of the second quarter to the end of the third, the largest quarterly decline on record. And that means access to credit — or the lack thereof — remains a barrier to an economic rebound two years after the economy slipped into a recession and one year after the collapse of Wall Street. By Alex Gary of the Rockford Register Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1945272682/Banks-not-making-many-business-bets
- To localize: Check with local banks to see if their loan balances have decreased.


Sports

NASCAR PAGE: The weekly page will return just before the season starts next year.