WordPress : Show latest post on static home page

Building a custom theme. The home page is static although, I need to show the latest post (actually, just the first 300 chars) on the home page.

Need to pull from a particular post category (news).

I assume that I must use wp_query() with some parameters - instead of the default loop. Or, do I use conditional tags with the default Loop in some way.


Fairly simple using the following code, adjust where needed:

    $args = array( 'numberposts' => 6, 'post_status'=>publish,'post_type'=>post,'orderby'=>post_date);
    $postslist = get_posts( $args );

    foreach ($postslist as $post) : setup_postdata($post); ?>
       <div class="recentPosts">
             <p><strong><?php the_date(); ?></strong></p>
           <p><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" title="<?php the_title(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></p> 
<?php endforeach; ?> 

Wouldn’t this be fairly easy to do using widgets and a sidebar?