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

NOTE: GHNS will move a carousel item around 5 p.m. Central Wednesday with news on the "American Idol" finale. We will update with the winner announcement around 10 p.m. Central Wednesday.


STORY IDEA: Prepare for severe weather

BEST OF THE DAY: An easy enterprise idea you can steal

DESIGN HOUSE UPDATE: Training with 2 weeks to go



*NOTE: This will be June's syndicated Local Loop callout

NASCAR PAGE: Regan Smith is Mr. Nice Guy

JUNE RADARFROG PAGE: Budget-friendly tech for Dad

KIDZBUZZ: Make a kite

MONTHLY ELECTION PAGE: Who will Romney choose as running mate?


JUNE FAMILY: How to make a campfire, summer pet safety tips, all about farmers markets and CSAs



The Street

SPORTS: 10 greatest ballparks for foodies

TECH: Surviving Dell in an Apple world

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LOST IN SUBURBIA: Talk softly and carry a big flash drive - Talking machines made me nervous. Maybe it had something to do with the rogue GPS system with a speech impediment we’d had. It tried to direct me to turn off a cliff so it could drive off with my husband. Or maybe it was the talking microwave we got that had bigger aspirations than reheating leftovers. That one tried to talk the other appliances into a machine mutiny to take over the kitchen. No wonder I donated both the GPS and the microwave to the town dump. By Tracy Beckerman, GHNS.

CREDIT: Buying home items on credit - As a home owner, you may be looking at upgrading for better energy efficiency, improving the look of your home, or simply having more fun stuff. While it is still a good philosophy to only purchase items you actually have the cash for today, credit and budgeting payments over a period of time is always an attractive option if your credit rating is good. If your credit rating is poor, you will often pay enormous interest rates. It’s hardly ever worth it to pay two to three times what the item is valued. By Cris Carl, Networx.

HOMEFIX: Getting a hump out of a wall - Q: As a hobby I build furniture and do repair work around the house, but sometimes the projects don't work out. We decided to add a chair rail to highlight our family room's plain walls. Seems simple enough, but I ran into a hump on the longest wall between the house and the garage. The furnace and water heater are in the garage on the other side of this hump, so I need to try to fix it from the family room. How can I repair this without removing the drywall or studs? By Dwight Barnett, Scripps Howard.

INTERIORS: Removing wallpaper - Spring seems to make us yearn for home improvements. One of those improvements might be changing the wallpaper, and that is great -- except taking the old paper off can be difficult. Let's take a look at what can be done. By Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, Scripps Howard.

PLUMBER: Music flows out of these bathtubs - Q: I was recently at a home show and saw a bathtub that seemed like it was actually playing music from the tub itself. The place was crowded and I had to leave. Can you give me information about these new-wave bathtubs? How do they work, and where is the music actually coming from? -- Bill, Illinois. By Ed del Grande, Scripps Howard News Service.

HOME STYLE: Get ready for summer -- After a busy spring, I can't wait for the long, languid days of June and July, for lazy Sunday afternoons spent reading a good book on my screened porch, for Saturday evenings out on the patio, enjoying a great meal with dear friends. Mary Carol Garrity/ Scripps Howard News Service

TREASURES: Woodcut prints by Hans Otto Orlowski not highly valued -- I am interested in selling these six prints, which were gifts from a friend. They were signed by Hans Otto Orlowski in pencil in the lower corner and measure approximately 14 by 10 inches each. What are they worth? Helaine Fendelman and Joe Rosson/ Scripps Howard News Service

BEER NUT: Pucker up for a Curious Traveler - The new House of Shandy Brewing Company has released its first beer, Curious Traveler, a shandy that uses a wheat ale as a malt and real lemons and limes in the flavors. By Norman Miller, MetroWest, Mass.

GRILLING: Where there's smoke, there's flavor -- You don’t need a water or offset smoker to add hickory, apple or mesquite flavor to meats and vegetables. A charcoal or gas grill will do the job just fine. “With gas grills, it helps to have a smoker box,” said Purviance, a Culinary Institute of America graduate. Kathryn Rem/ The State Journal-Register (Ill.)

HEATHER HARRIS: Ability to shake it off is admirable  -- I’m all for being in the moment and getting fired up and using that energy to propel yourself to do better in the game. Sports are all about adrenaline and sometimes that can turn into aggression. I get that, and there will be moments when things are said in the heat of the moment that shouldn’t.
Wicked Local Norton (Mass.)

THE REV. ED SCHNEIDER: ‘Paradise Lost’ still a challenge -- That one act of power, although impressive, was foundationally destructive to the process of “coming to Christ.” No longer would individuals be prompted to answer the “call of God” because the decision was already made for them. The Oak Ridger (Tenn.)

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5 THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND: Some suggestions as to how to spend your Memorial Day weekend.
* Localization tip: This column is best completely localized, as there likely are many happenings around town, so please insert your own information when possible.

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JERRY MOORE: Annual poppy campaign helps veterans, families -- While we're all familiar with the silk poppies distributed around Memorial Day, many people don't the history of this tradition. Money raised through the annual Poppy Days program benefits local veterans and their families. Suburban Life Publications (Ill.)

MICHELLE TEHEUX: Etiquette changes in the digital age - Recently I had the (apparently) bad manners to talk about the most recent episode of “Sherlock” I had seen on PBS. Someone on Facebook was upset that I and a few others had discussed TV shows that had already aired but that she had not seen. By Michelle Teheux, Pekin, Ill.

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DAVE RAMSEY: Move in with mom? - Weekly financial Q&A, with advice on living arrangements to save money, and how to use a large gift. By Dave Ramsey, GHNS.

BIZ BITS: Tips to help seniors avoid identity thieves - Weekly business rail, with a BBB warning about Memorial Day scams, tips to help seniors avoid identity theft and more.
* Localization tip: You could include a weekly tax tip from a local expert, have a business-related Q&A with a local expert or do a “business owner of the week” feature in which you highlight a local business.

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