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In focus on our nationwide rundown; a new national monument in New England and we’ll let you know why you can get in free to your local National Park this weekend; plus Virginia voters favor a state fund to bring grocers to underserved neighborhoods; and Michigan reaching out to veterans who are missing out on benefits.

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Parenting Group: Garth Brooks Setting Right Example for Fathers

October 19. 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Almost ten years ago, in 2000, country singer Garth Brooks was at the top of his career, bringing in millions of dollars a year, when he suddenly retired from performing and recording to spend time with his daughters. Now, he says, he's coming out of retirement and returning to the music business.

Barbara Nicholson, a co-founder of the group Attachment Parenting International, says it's rare for a high- profile individual to walk away from celebrity and money for the sake of his kids.

"For him to make that kind of sacrifice, move away from the entertainment industry of Nashville and go back to Oklahoma to be near his children, is a very profound statement."

She says that, to be sure, for everyday dads it's not financially feasible to give their jobs to be with their children.

"Even a few hours in the evening sometimes is all a father can do, but if he can, he should be very present for his children, you know, just reading a story, telling them a bedtime story."

Nicholson says research shows that a lack of a father in the home correlates with crime, educational and emotional problems, teenage pregnancy and drug and alcohol abuse. She says a father's influence is critical from infancy to the teenage years and beyond.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - TN