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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
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November 22, 2011     The Ortonville Independent
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November 22, 2011
 

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UNITED APPEAL DRIVE please drop off your donations to Ethel S0000/enson, c/o Minnwest Bank, Ortonville. SANTA GUYS AND GALS will be greeting shoppers in Ortonville and Big Stone City, SD this holiday season as. part of The Ortonville Independent's annual Christmas promotion. The Guys and Gals will be stro.ing me streets, offering assistance and candy and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. Shown above, left to right are Joseph Scnolberg, Julia Cunha and Joe Larson. In back are Erin Meyer, Annie Haukos, Brooke Hanson, Louise Verhille and Courtney Meyer. i Money Management 10 simple ways to cut your home heating bill The leaves are falling and so is the temperature. Ready to break out your flannel pajamas? While bundling up is a great idea when the temperatures dip, you can take some steps to winterize your roost that will not only keep you warm, but also save you some money on your heatingbill. With energy cos climbihg and budgets getting tighter, it makes sense to take advantage of savings opportunities, according to the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA). The good news is you don't have to spend thousands in home improvements. A few simple steps can help you save. Top 10 tips 1. Close your curtains. Get the curtains open and let the sun shine in, taking advantage of the natural warmth. When the afternoon light starts to fade, close the curtains to trap the heat. 2. Replace weather stripping. Take a look at your exterior doors. If you see any daylight between the doorframe and the door, that's the perfect escape route for your heat and your money. Install new weather stripping to close that gap. Consider installing a storm door as well. Creating a layer of air between the inside and the outside will help keep drafts at bay. 3. Install a programmable thermostat. According to the EPA, the average American family spends more than $2,200 a year on home energy bills, with about 50 percent of that for heating and cooling. Consider setting your thermostat at about 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. If you're chilly, grab a sweater. Research shows that for each additional degree you lower the temperature (in the 60- to 70-degree Fahrenheit range), you continue to save cash -- up to 5 percent on your heating bill. You can program the thermostat to adjust the temperature while you're away or while you sleep. 4. Heat only the rooms you use. Don't pay to heat rooms you don't use. Close off spare bedrooms, the attic, the basement, etc. If you're heading out of town for awhile, lower the heat and your hot water heater. Don't go so, low that you risk frozen pipes, but'do consider dialing it biGk for savitlgs,,when you're not fng't6 be home. 5. Maintain your furnace. It's easy to forget about that hulk of metal in the basement, but making sure your furnace is running in tip-top shape could save you money in the long run. Have a licensed service company check your furnace each year. Don't forget to replace the filter. Many experts recommend changing your filter every six months at the same time you change the batteries in your smoke detectors. 6. Close the fireplace damper. This step may make it tough for Santa on Christmas Eve, but you'd be amazed at how much heat can escape up your chimney. Close the damper and stop the drafts. Putting a glass front on your fireplace will also help. 7. Adjust your hot water heater. Most hot water heaters are sent from the manufacturer preprogrammed to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. A setting at 120 degrees Fahrenheit is likely adequate. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lowering your water temperature 10 degrees will lower your energy costs by 3 to 5 percent. 8. Buy a blanket for your hot water heater. It may sound like you're babying your hot water heater, but that's a good thing. Even when you're not showering or doing dishes, your hot water heater is drawing energy. A special insulated blanket, which you can pick up for about $20, can help reduce the amount of energy your hot water heater uses. 9. Use ceiling fans correctly. JlttEllt l OIll IlllrlIER We want hunting photos for the newspaper Either drop off a picture of your bird or deer at the Independent office or call us at 839-6163 and we'll come take a picture or email full size, direct from camera to: mail@ortonvilleindependent.com Most ceiling fans have two settings--summer and winter. When the weather cools, flip the toggle switch on the fan so that the blades rotate clockwise, moving warm air downward. 10. Rearrange the furniture. Moving furniture away from cold exterior walls and making sure it's not on top of cold air intakeor heating vents will help keep air circulating and make your space feel warmer. Energy improvements can mean tax savings If you'd like to make more significant changes to your home in sear;h of energy improvements and savings, there's good news. Tax credits may be available depending on the type of improvements you make. Make sure you take advantage of these opportunities to reduce your tax liability at the same time you're improving your energy savings. A CPA can help For more advice on tax savings opportunities or for help with other financial concerns, contact your local CPA. 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 alad boards; and mentoring and encouraging the CPAs and business leaders of tomorrow. Founded in 1904, MNCPA's 9,500 members work in public accounting, business and industry, government and education. To locate a CPA, visit www.mncpa.org/referral. Sign up now for local EMT course Ortonville Ambulance Service would like to hold an EMT-Basic Initial Course at the Ortonville Ambulance garage beginning Jan. 18, 2012 through May 5, 2012. The course is approx. 120 hours. Classes would meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Ortonville Ambulance garage. There will also be two Saturday sessions at the Morris site which would run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Dates to be deter- mined later). The cost will be between $1,200 to $1,400 depending on the number of students. Financing options are avail- able. Please contact Christi at the ambu- lance service for more information or to sign up for the class. Deadline to register is Dec. 22, 2011. You can reach her at (320)839-3978 or (320)815-8064. (ADVx5) SERVING AS AMBASSADORS for Ortonville and Big Stone City, SD are The Ortonville Independent Santa Gals and Guys. They will be strolling the streets and greeting Christmas shoppers this holiday sea- son. Shown above, left to right are, in front, Kayla Sherod, (:larissa Blake and Paige Fredrichsen. In back are Jennifer Weber, Niki Ess[ngton, Katie Boyle, Kayla Hormann and Makiah Gores. 20% OFF SELECT Furniture, Dining Sets & Mattress Sets 200/0 OFF Simmons Beauty Rest & Majestic SLEEP SETS Large Selection of Classic Flame Fireplace TV Consoles Wall and Corner Units Available/ 200/0 OFF 18 Months Oq/o Interest with approved credit* (See store for details!) Top loading Amana Washer Reg. $449.00 SIILE $379 0 223 E. 4th Ave. Milbank, SD 605-432-6491.1-800-435-2612 Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011 INDEPENDENT Page 9b