Your Social Security Rhonda Whitenack and Jim Czechowicz
Social Security has provided critical financial help to people of all ages for the last 80 years, and despite our age, we're far from retiring! As the Social Security program celebrates its historic birthday this August, we're reflecting on our diverse history, our current strengths, and ways we can continue to improve our services to you.
Have you ever heard about something called “Discovery” in relation to civil lawsuits? Discovery is the process by which each side can discover the basis of the other party’s claims and allows each side to see almost all of the evidence that the other side will use in the case.
Discovery became possible in the United States following the Federal courts adoption of discovery rules in 1938. After that, every state has adopted similar rules. Earlier, when someone started a lawsuit the defending party would not know exactly what the evidence was until the trial started.
In the wake of heavy rains on July 5 and 6, local communities are inventorying the damage to streams, stormwater systems, and construction sites caused by 4-7 inches of rain falling in less than 24 hours. Some weather stations in southeastern Washington County reported 6 inches of rain on July 6, while Lake Elmo, Stillwater and Woodbury reported 4-5 inches each. In River Falls, WI, a kayaker attempting to paddle in the swollen Lower Kinnickinnic River spent an hour perched on a tree branch in the center of the stream before she was eventually rescued by a sheriff’s deputy and a River Falls firefighter in an airboat Monday evening. The river was roaring at least twice as wide and three feet higher than average that day, and witnesses say the woman fell out within minutes of launching on the river. Smaller streams in Washington County experienced similar flash-flooding as well.
When looking for ways to save, consider rethinking your phone bills. The Minnesota Society of CPAs offers this advice on how to become a savvy consumer when it comes to budgeting your phone service.
There are two considerations to explore that could add up to significant annual savings —reevaluating your landline phone bill and taking a closer look at your cell phone bill and the options and rebates your carrier offers.
Many parents consider sending a child to college an important financial objective. The College Board reports for a public in-state four-year college, the average tuition for 2014-15 was $9,139. If room and board was included, the average annual education cost was $18,942.
For the 10-year period from 2005 to 2015, the College Board also reports public four-year colleges in the U.S. have increased tuition on an annual basis an average of 3.5 percent. Though higher than the average rate of inflation for the same time period, this is less than the average annual increase in tuition for the 20-year period prior to 2005, which were at average rates greater than 4 percent per year.
Jerry Hughes during his tenure as state senator. (file photo)
State Sen. Chuck Wiger District 43
In the words of Jerome M. ‘Jerry’ Hughes’ children, "Dad taught us how to live and how to die, with great character, graciousness and dignity. He was a class act. We are blessed to have had him for our father." I want to echo Hughes’ six children, Jerry was a personal mentor of mine and had a profoundly positive effect on my life and career.
What drives people to research their family histories?
Is it a longing to know who we are and where we fit in the continuum of time?
Or is it a desire to gain some understanding of our ancestors' lives -- their joys, hardships, successes and failures? To find out where they lived and how they made a living.
Maybe it's a curiosity about what our forebears looked like. Do we share the same facial features or hair color or body shape?
And for me, at least, why did they leave Europe and homestead on the vast, unbroken prairies of Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa? What prompted them to make such astonishing leaps of faith?
An article on community solar gardens appeared recently in the environmental section of the summer Oakdale Update. This caught my eye as I have long thought that solar energy is a great clean energy alternative to coal-produced electricity. Unfortunately, installing panels in my home seemed prohibitive because of the cost and the many factors that had to be considered. A community solar garden, on the other hand, allows residents to use solar panels from a community site without the cost and installation factors associated with home-installed panels.