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August 2, 2011     The Ortonville Independent
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August 2, 2011
 

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Wecome Marryn and Ashton. . . COUSINS BORN A DAY APART - Rebekah and Joshua Haag of Sebeka announce the birth of their daughter Marryn Elizabeth Haag, at left and Ashley and Archie Weatherspoon of St. Paul announce the birth of their son, Ashton Christian Weatherspoon. Ashton was born June 20, 2011, weighing eight pounds, five ounces and was 21 inches long. Marryn was born June 21, weighing seven pounds, 15 ounces and was 19 inches long. Grandparents of Marryn and Ashton are Brent and Brenda Zahrbock, and great grandparents are Wally and Alice Sayles and Vivian and Howard Janssen. Marryn's other grandparents are Mona and Jim Haag of Eden Valley. Other grandparents of Ashton are Elroy and Cynthia Kath of St. Paul Park and great grandparents are Ken and Regina Pugh of Oakdale. u.s. oepa'e o Trampmao PILLOW CLEANING CARLSON'S FLUFF & PUFF PILLOW CLEANING SERVICE Thursday, Aug. 4 2-6 pm - Clinton Memorial Building-Clinton Choice of New Ticking On the Spot Cleaning Returned Same Day Sponsored by Clinton Women's Civic Club Money Management Your mutual fund: Understanding the expenses U.S. investors have close to $12 trillion socked away in mutual funds, according to the Investment Company Institute. About 44 percent of U.S. households---or roughly 90 million investors---have a mutual fund investment. Despite a surge of withdrawals during the height of past market uncertainties, mutual funds clearly still remain a popular investment option for many people. If you are selecting a fund, it's important to understand the costs of investing, which may not always be immediately apparent. The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) provides these tips for making sense of the price of your mutual fund investments. Understanding mutual funds Mutual funds are essentially a pooled investment made up of the contributions of many individual investors. You buy shares in a fund and receive a return (or experience losses) based on how well the overall investment pool does in the market. The types of investment include stocks, bonds, money market, commodities or various hybrids. Funds may have a range of different purposes, including growth or income, and different levels of risk. Considering loads vs. no loads In some cases, it may be necessary to pay a commission--or a load--to buy or sell mutual fund shares. No- load funds, on the other hand, do not charge a commission. However, these funds may charge other fees or their expenses may be higher than those of a load fund with similar objectives. That's why it's always important to get the big picture when picking any investment and avoid making a decision based on any one factor. What's the expense ratio? This is an important consideration in evaluating a fund. In simple terms, the expense ratio is the cost of running the fund divided by the amount of assets in the fund. Expenses can include the fund manager's fee and other overhead and administrative costs, such as taxes and legal and other fees. Not surprisingly, you are most likely going to want to look for a small ratio. That's because the expenses are deducted from the total assets before "they are invested. The smaller the asset amount, the lower the return the fund will get on that amount. That seemingly small loss can add up significantly over time. An average expense ratio for a mutual fund might be around 1.5 percent. For an index fund, which invests in a portfolio that mirrors a specific stock index, such as the S&P 500, the expense ratio may be significantly less--in some cases as low as about .20 percent. Check out available resources To get a better sense of the costs of certain funds, you can turn to a fund analyzer on the site of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which analyzes over 18,000 funds, including the related fees and how they will affect your investment. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission site also provides information on how to calculate and consider mutual fund fees and expenses. Find out about mutual funds Want to learn more about the ins and outs of mutual fund investment? The CPA profession's 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy (www.360financialliteracy.org) site offers a wealth of articles and questions and answers on the subject. The site also provides useful information about a wide range of other financial issues. Turn to your local CPA Making any investment involves complicated decisions. If you have concerns about your opti.ons, remember that your local CPA can help. Turn to him or her for information and insights on all your financial questions. The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) serves the public interest by advancing the highest standards of ethics and practice within the CPA profession MNCPA delivers on that promise by offering extensive continuing professional education and resources; advocating for members and the public with regulatory agencies and boards; and mentoring and encouraging the CPAs and business leaders of tomorrow. Founded in 1904 MNCPA's 9,400 members work in public accounting, business and industry, government and education. To locate a CPA, visit www.mncpa.org/referral. I INDEPENDENT WANT ADS BRING QUICK RESIJLTS! I veteran Service News By Dan Meyer Big Stone Co. Veteran Service Officer The Big Stone County Veterans Service Office hours are from 7:30am -4 pro, Monday through Friday. My office phone number is (320) 839-6398. VA Launches Childcare Pilot. The childcare pilot centers are part of Veterans Affairs continuing effort to improve access to health care for eligible veterans. Congress established this childcare initiative as part of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 which was signed by the President in May 2010. The three sites and childcare details include: Northport, NY: a 30 child capacity, from 7:30 am to 4 pm, for ages 6 weeks to 12 years; - Tacoma, WA: a varying capacity, from 7 am to 6 pm, for ages six weeks to 10 years; - Buffalo, NY: a six to 10 child capacity, from 6 am to 6 pm, for ages six weeks to 12 years. All the pilot childcare centers will be operated onsite by licensed childcare providers. Drop-in services are offered free of charge to veterans who are eligible for VA care and visiting a facility for an appointment. Here is some brief information that will be covered in-depth in next week's article. What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? It's a reaction to a traumatic event. PTSD symptoms usually start within three months of the event, but can start years later. Military life involves stress at time. Understanding PTSD and other stress reactions can help you take early action for yourself, a fellow service member, or a veteran, if needed. Problems and issues that can occur with PTSD include, nightmares or reliving the event, avoiding reminders of the event, feeling "on guard" all the time, feeling unable to function, physical problems, guilt (about surviving, for example), depression and suicide. NOt everyone develops PTSD after a traumatic event, but service members and veterans need to know the signs and know that help is available. Until next week, take care and "Fair Winds & Following Seas!" Ask a Trooper By Sgt. Kathy Pederson of the Minnesota State Patrol Dear Trooper Kathy: I got stopped the other day and the Trooper told me it was illegal to put red tape over my back taillight. I had another officer tell me it was okay as long as I covered up the broken light with RED tape. Who is right? Trooper Kathy Says: I hate to contradict other law enforcement so I remind the reade,rs that we are only seeing one side of the story. The officer may have said "temporarily" or something else. Whenever we hear one person's side, ALWAYS remember, we are only hearing the ONE side and it is THEIR perspective. Here is my answer. You are wrong on BOTH counts. I have two laws that apply here. 1. Whenever you have a broken taillight, there is a white light displayed to the rear. That is illegal under: 169.55 LIGHTS ON ALL VEHICLES. Sub. 1. It shall be unlawful except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, to project a white light to the rear of any such vehicle while traveling on any street or highway, unless such vehicle is moving in reverse. 2. The second problem was covering up the taillight with ANY thing. It is illegal to do this under: 169.64 PROHIBITED LIGHTS Subd. 10. Cover for lamp or reflector. It is prohibited for any person to: (1) equip a motor vehicle with any equipment or material that covers a headlamp, tail lamp, or reflector; or (2) operate a motor vehicle fitted with or otherwise having equipment or material that covers a headlamp, tail lamp. or reflector. I have also noticed a few vehicles lately, buying the after-market taillight covers. The people then "replace" their existing taillight assemblage with these new and fancy lights. These assemblages are illegal. Some of them have blue or black reflectorization imbedded into the taillight fixture. They also don't have the reflectivity that the regular taillights have. They may "look cool", but they are illegal. If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traffic laws, please email Trooper Kathy at kathy.pederson @ state.mn.us. Sgt. Pederson will not offer advice on specific situations or real events, which involve law enforcement. Big Stone County 4-H Youth travel to Washington, D.C. Five Big Stone County 4-H youth were selected to b a part of the Min- nesota 4-H delegation to attend the Cit- izenship Washington Focus from July 1-9. Justin Athey, Emily Burman, Chalmer Combellick, Shane Maas and Audrey Souza traveled by charter bus with 45 other Minnesota youth to be- come, "Better Citizens Today, Better Leaders Tomorrow." During their stay, the youth learned to: Strengthen communications, lead- ership and other citizenship skills on a national level. Understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to the development of better cit- izens and leaders. Exchange ideas, practiced respect and formed friendships with youth from diverse backgrounds. Experienced hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of our na- tions Capital City, Washington, D.C. Some of the places that the group took part in were the night view of Washington, D.C., Mount Vernon, Ar- lington National Cemetery, Capitol Hill, Twilight Tattoo, Washington Na- tional Cathedral, Smithsonian Zoo and the Holocaust Museum. They spent July 7 on Capitol Hill learning how to create and finalize bills in Congress. That evening they youth enjoyed attending Toby's Dinner The- ater Broadway Production of "Any- thing Goes." The highlight of the trip for the youth was being able to spend the Fourth of July on our Nation's capital lawn watching fireworks over the Po- tomac. Citizenship Washington Focus is a leadership program conducted by the National 4-H Council for high school youth. For seven weeks during the summer, delegations of 15-19 year olds from across the country attend the six- day program at the National 4-H Con- ference Center, just outside of Washington D.C. This program gives participants hands-on opportunities to learn and practice skills that will help them become better leaders and citi- zens. New School Year- New Phone! .................. : : ;;: 2: $49.992yrprice ......... ,$50 mail-in rebate debit il card with new 2 yr activation and data pak ........ req u i red (ID00RadioShack. DfS'rGN ,,  LL ]-Mo,n St., Orlonvllle, MN  320-839-3264 If LECTRONZCS Activation fee/line: $35. IMPO RTANT CONSUM fiR INFORMATION: Subject to Cust. Agmt, Calling Ran, rebate form & credit approval. Up to $175 early terminaU fee ($350 for advanced devices) & add'l charges apply to device capabilities. Offers & coverage, varying Dy svc, not available eveqvhere, see vzw.c0m. While supplies last. Restocking tee may apply.Limited time offer. 2011 Verizon Wireless. 2 2 :'L,L' .3 ,' t FIVE BIG STONE COUNTY 4-H YOUTH attended the Citizenship Washington Focus in Washington, D.C. July 1-9. Pictured above in front, from left to right, are Audrey Souza "and Emily Burman. Back row, left to right, are Shane Maas, Chalmer Combellick and Justin Athey. Citizenship Washington Focus is a leadership program conducted by the National 4-H Council for high school youth. Last call for producers to file AGI forms with IRS Lac qui Parle County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Don Tweet reminds produc- ers that they must submit an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) verification con- sent form (CCC-927 or CCC-928) to the IRS as soon as possible in order to maintain eligibility for 2009 and 2010 program benefits. The consent form authorizes IRS to verify for FSA whether a payment recipient's AGI meets the eligibility requirements for FSA programs. The form became a requirement for pay- ment eligibility beginning with the 2009 crop year, however many pro- gram participants have not yet submit- ted this form for 2009 and 2010 pro- gram benefits. "Producers who fail to file these forms before Sept. 2011 will receive a notice from the National Office stat- ing that the producer is ineligible for 2009 and/or 2010 payments," said Tweet. "The producer will be respon- sible for fully refunding all payments received under programs subject to AGI limitations," he said. IRS requires written consent from all individuals or legal entities before verification of the average AGI can be provided to USDA. Individuals must submit form CCC-927and legal enti- ties must submit form CCC-928. Without these forms on file, eligible producers will not receive USDA pro- gram payments. Tweet further clarifies that these consent forms are required for pay- ments received from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as well as those received through FSA.Completed forms must be returned to the IRS. For more information on AGI eligi- bility requirements or the AGI verifi- cation process, contact the Lac qui Parle County FSA office at 320-598- 3226. On a separate note: please feel free to attend one of the informational meetings held at the Lac qui Parle County FSA Office in Madison on Tuesday afternoons at 2 pm to learn more about the Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Process. Page 16 00INDEPENDENT Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011