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.


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GateHouse News Service National Budget
For 3/29/10 editions
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- Michael Toeset, 630-348-3356 (office), 630-835-8870 (mobile),


WAKE-UP CALL: Thursday is deadline for census forms.

IDEA: Health care reform – A local angle on violence and death threats.

READER CALLOUT: Seek readers' photos, stories about Earth Day.

EASTER 2010 CONTENT: Easter is April 4. Check out our collection of pages, cartoons and more. If you have content that will work on a national level, submit it through Zope or e-mail


READER CALLOUT: Share your prom photos:

AUTO PAGE: Porsche unveils hybrids:

HEALTH PAGE: Feeding picky kids:

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.

HEALTH WATCH: Avoid spring allergy mistakes -- Weekly health rail, with items on allergy prevention and treatment, surprising research on binge drinking, tips for treating a black eye, and more.

KITCHEN CALL: Kosher dishes for Passover -- The centerpiece of the traditional Passover meal is the brisket, a cut of beef long-cooked for tenderness and full-flavor. After checking out recipes from cooks around the country, I found that in many cases, a bit of sweetening is added to the cooking medium. By Linda Bassett.

DUMP YOUR DOC: Talk things out with your doctor before saying, 'You're fired' - Does your doctor seem rushed? Indifferent? Humorless? Agitated? What should you do if you’re dissatisfied, aside from dumping the doc? By the State Journal-Register.

Lifestyles columnists

ASK DOG LADY: Are pest-control products safe? -- Dog Lady offers advice on tick, flea and mosquito control, and making sure pets get enough water.

ALICIA GOSSMAN-STEEVES: Getting back up after a fall -- Proverbs 24:16 says, “for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again ...” According to the Puritan minister Matthew Henry, this means that a “sincere soul falls as a traveler may do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up and goes on his way with more care and speed ...”

GREENSPACE: As snow melts, mold surfaces -- Heavy snow plus slow melting contribute to lawn mold. The mold is a fungal disease that appears as the snow disappears. It looks like matted, dead turf. Mold forms a grayish-brown patch. This gray-snow mold affects only the grass blades. Its stronger cousin, the less-common pink mold, infects the crown of the grass, causing severe injury and possibly killing it.

LORETTA LAROCHE: A product for your every ‘problem’ -- I am always amused at how products that are commonplace have been expanded to include every possible situation. Women, of course, have the most selection, since advertising executives have discovered that we spend more time trying to find just the right product.
ASK THE VET: Take care of your pets for less - Our clients regularly look for advice on reducing the cost of pet care. There are many things to consider, and here’s what I tell them. By Dr. Ray Cahill.

SHAYNE LOOPER: The little word that America has forgotten - As I followed the debate over health care, I couldn’t help but think there was one word missing, one word that America seems to have forgotten how to say: “No.” Of course many people, and almost half the House of Representatives, said “No” to the health care bill, but I'm thinking of something else. I'm thinking that we as a nation are forgetting how to say “No” to ourselves.

POP CULTURE: Current events that won’t go out of style - This week, I refuse to write anything that strives for immediacy. Here are 10 things I’ve seen, heard, read, discussed or pondered in recent weeks. By Dennis Volkert.


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

LINCOLN VAMPIRE: Author Seth Grahame-Smith talks about 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' - Seth Grahame-Smith is author of the best-seller “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” I recently talked with Grahame-Smith about his newest book, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” which is out now. By Hilary Matheson.

MILITARY DOGS: Author chronicles lives of military dogs -- In his new book, self-taught historian Michael Lemish chronicles the loyalty and courage of the "unsung heroes" of the Vietnam War who got no parades when they came home. In his just-published "Forever Forward," the author recounts the service of Lobo, Toby, Nemo, Hans and many of the 4,000 dogs used by American and Allied forces in Vietnam. By Chris Bergeron of The MetroWest Daily News.


BRITT CARTOON: Blame the Republicans?

GRANLUND CARTOON: Corruption in Afghanistan

CONROY CARTOON: Looking at the big picture

JEFF VRABEL: Palin becomes the thing she loathes - a celebrity - Plenty of far more important political commentators than I have taken Sarah Palin, who served as governor of Alaska for nearly her whole term, to task for launching a new reality TV show after dedicating a considerable part of her lively and apparently ceaseless candidacy denouncing Hollywood. But here goes!

EDITORIAL: Following polls isn't leadership -- In the closing days of the great health care debate, Republicans settled on an argument not based on principles, but on polls: The American people don't want this bill, they said, every poll agrees. The argument was flawed on several levels. From The MetroWest Daily News.

RICK HOLMES: Shrinking the income gap -- It's hard to deny that the gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else is widening, and that inequality is greater here than in most other developed countries. It's also no coincidence that the gap started widening in 1980, the year Ronald Reagan was elected. When Barack Obama signed health care reform into law this week, he broke that 30-year trend.

BENJAMIN WACHS: Misplaced anger, misplaced issues - Recently, Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman proposed a bill that would allow the president to suspend the civil rights of any American he deems to potentially be a terrorist — no right to face your accuser, no right to hear the evidence assembled against you, no right to remain silent, no right to a fair and speedy trial. This is a grave, and real, threat to our system of government and inalienable rights. It deserves to be protested. But it won’t be, because right now the most potent force of political protest in American politics — the Tea Party movement — is busy protesting health care.

KEVIN FRISCH: ‘Yes we can’ vs. 'Republican’ts' - Here’s the thing about obstructionism: It has to be applied to something coming at you. Once something has passed you by, you can no longer obstruct it.


THE WEEK IN WEIRD: Convenience store clerk has to tackle a messy job, teen party causes major damage and more.

Business / Ag

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.

PAUL A. EISENSTEIN: Volkswagen rolling out first hybrid -- It has been a decade since the first hybrid-electric vehicles rolled into showrooms. One of the more intriguing additions is the first gas-electric model in the Volkswagen lineup, the 2011 VW Touareg Hybrid. It will reach U.S. showrooms this autumn, the same time as the gas and diesel versions of the big SUV, which undergoes its first complete remake since its 2002 debut.

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.
MASS. MARKET: Exporting the success of Duxbury’s shellfish farms -- As a scientist, Hauke Kite-Powell sees the ocean as a relentless and rewarding research subject. For oyster farmer Skip Bennett, it’s a reliable source of food and financial stability. Their perspectives complement each other in an unusual project that they are spearheading off the east coast of Africa. By Jon Chesto of The Patriot Ledger.
FINE PRINT: Ways to bail out a waterlogged business -- The most important thing after a flood is to document a business' losses. The better you keep track, the easier it will be to deal with an insurance company, landlord or government agency that could help with the damages. Take photographs, make lists and log all receipts. By Jon Chesto of The Patriot Ledger.

NASCAR postpones race to Monday: NASCAR postponed its race at Martinsville Speedway to Monday afternoon because of rain.
-- Look for the weekly NASCAR page Tuesday from the news service.