The Brattleboro Reformer has many colleagues around the country producing news for our "sister" papers. The Daily DFM is a "top picks" of today's national news. Consider it a collection of "things you should know, today."

1. From guns to pot, how your life will change on Jan. 1

2. Happy New Year: Here's how to lower your debt in 2014

By Vince Horiuchi/The Salt Lake Tribune

At the start of every year, we make resolutions to shed off pounds and shed off temptations. What we need to think about is how to shed off personal debt.

Consumers in the U.S. are $11.3 trillion dollars in debt, $856 billion of it from credit cards and another trillion from student loans, according to figures from the Federal Reserve. The average American household has more than $15,000 in credit card debt.

So it's clear that Americans need to hunker down and get serious about their finances. With a time for new beginnings and making resolutions, consider these tips and financial resolutions from Zions Bank Retail Strategies Manager Cristie Richards and financial website,

Organize your finances

Know what bills you're paying. Know the interest rates and how much you're accumulating in interest. Have a filing system and create a budget.

"One of the things we hear from individuals is they get themselves into an unhealthy financial mess, and they claim they didn't realize they were going down that road until it was too late," Richards said.

All banks have online banking tools, including calculators, sample budgets and more to help consumers understand where their money is going each month.

Automatic transfer ยป Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a new savings account to build up savings. If you don't see the money, you're less likely to spend it.

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3. 5 must-see firework shows to start the New Year with a bang

By RelaxNews/Kelly Metz

Dubai hopes to set a fireworks record with its New Year's show.

Dubai hopes to set a fireworks record with its New Year's show. RelaxNews

New Year's tradition sees incredible fireworks displays taking place all around the world. And the transition from 2013 to 2014 will be no exception. Here's our selection of five fireworks shows that promise to be spectacular, original must-sees.


After a blockbuster year for the city, which recently won hosting duties for the 2020 Universal Exposition, the emirate wants to end 2013 on a high note. The organizers of the city's fireworks show on December 31-January 1 hope to make it the biggest fireworks display in the world and receive recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records. Famous sites like the Palm Jumeirah, The World's manmade islands and the Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach hotels will be lit up. Over 200 pyrotechnicians will oversee 450,000 fireworks set off.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong plans to go all out with its fireworks show this year. The traditional display on Victoria Harbour will light up the city's sky, choreographed across six musical themes. The first fireworks will be launched at midnight in Tsim Sha Tsui, in Kowloon, then the show crosses the harbor for its finale above the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, in the Wan Chai district.


The Catalan city will put on a truly unique spectacle to mark the arrival of 2014. Put together by the Fura dels Baus company, the show will mix fireworks, water choreography and music by the famous Magic Fountain of Montjuic. At the core of the show will be El Ser del Milenio, an iron giant measuring 15 meters tall, who symbolizes the spirit of Barcelona.


This year's European capital of culture, the southern French city will close 2013 with the final chapter of a light and sound spectacle created by Groupe F that has been performed throughout the year. A mix of fireworks, light and water choreography, music and storytelling, the spectacle has been seen in various towns in the region and will come to a dramatic conclusion at the Old Port of Marseille, starting at 7 PM.

New York

A million people are awaited at Times Square to celebrate the arrival of the new year. The climax of the USA's must-see event is the famous "Ball Drop" which counts down to midnight as the crowd's excitement builds. To best see the fireworks, a good spot is the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn or a location in Manhattan.

4. This fix could save your child's life, but it's not being widely used

5. Another storm heads to northern New England

By Associated Press / Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine -- A week after an ice storm left parts of northern New England in the dark, a fast moving storm is expected to drop heavy, wet snow in parts of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire that could cause more power outages.

Utility companies in Maine and Vermont were bracing for more outages, with forecasters predicting a band of heavy, wet snow that could dump 10 or more inches in the Lewiston and Augusta region.

Bangor Hydro Electric spokeswoman Susan Faloon said crews had gotten the number of outages down to under 2,000 by Sunday afternoon, but noted that many of those remaining outages affect customers who have been without power for nearly a week.

"On any other day that number might not seem quite so worrisome, but people are cold, tired and frustrated. And now we have this storm looming over us."

Faloon said some of those customers won't have power restored until Wednesday. Most are in Hancock County, which she described as "a huge mess."

Central Maine Power reported that nearly 1,000 customers remained without power at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Vermont Electric Cooperative saw outages climb by about 300 Sunday due to ice on trees and lines, according to its website. By 3 p.m.

Sunday the number of customers without power stood at about 1,600.

Green Mountain Power spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure said snowfall on trees still caked with ice could prompt a new round of outages in the northwest region of the state. She said people in southeastern Vermont who did not lose power after last week's storm could be affected as well.

Schnure said Green Mountain Power had restored power to all customers by Christmas Eve, but is now experiencing a new round of outages, with just over 100 customers without power Sunday.

Tom Hawley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Gray, Maine, said the New Hampshire seacoast will see mostly rain, with interior Rockingham County expected to get 2-4 inches.

"The lion's share of the snow will fall in a narrow band from Bangor down through Waterville, Augusta, Lewiston, Gray, and down into Conway and North Conway, Laconia and down into Merrimack County," Hawley said.

Hawley said Concord, N.H. and southern Vermont could 4 -6 inches.

"It's going to be a heavy, sticky, wet snow," Hawley said. "It could create some more power outages."