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April 21, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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April 21, 2004
 

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE a c lnt Wednesday, April 21, 2004 Consumer alert: Be on guard against phony solicitations for Government Grant Assistance lgE FIX Ti4[ PROBLEM By the Office of MN Attorney General Mike Hatch Minnesota residents are now being targeted by a telemarketing program offering to assist them in obtaining large amounts of govern- ment money. This potential scam is initiated by a telemarketer, who claims that the consumer is eligible for up to $8,000 in grant money from the U. S. Government if he/she is a citizen of the U.S. The telemarketer then offers to assist the consumer in obtaining the money in exchange for allowing his/her company to withdraw $239 from the consumer's bank account. Some Minnesotans have also received direct mail solicitations offering to assist them in obtaining government grants in exchange for payment. Consumers who send money to these programs only received informational booklets, containing minimal assistance, if they receive anything at all. This is contrary to the promise that the consumer will get actual money, rather than a listing of grants. Although there are a variety of sources within the government and private sector that offer grants to eligible applicants, individuals do not need to enlist the services of a separate company to learn about such funding sources. The applica- tion procedures for a wide variety of public and private grants can be obtained free of charge as public information. In addition, con- sumers should never give their bank account information to unknown telemarketers. Government Grants Program Since many of its departments offer grants, the U.S. Federal Government has created the Grants.gov program as a resource for parties seeking information about grants. Grants.gov is man- aged by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and may be contacted as follows: Grants.gov Program Management Office, 200 Indepehden66 'Avenue SW, HHH Building, Room 739F, Washington; D.C. 20201, 1-800- 518-GRANTS, www.grants.gov. Consumers may also contact the U.S. General Services Administration's Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at: www.cfda.gov. Telemarketing Fraud Attorney General Mike Hatch takes this opportunity to warn con- sumers to be on guard against tele- marketing fraud in all its forms. The FTC estimates that consumers in the United States lose over $40 billion per year to telemarketing fraud. Fraudulent operators may impersonate a company with which you have a business relationship, such as a bank or utility company, or may solicit you to send payment, or disclose his/her financial infor- mation, in connection with prod- ucts or services that do not exist or do not meet the claims of the tele- marketer. Protect Your Financial Accounts Consumers should never give out their banking information to unknown parties over the phone or otherwise. Once a party has obtained a credit card number, check routing information, a Social Security number, or a bank account number, it may be able to make repeated withdrawals from the account without the con- sumer's knowledge. Don't let this happen! Protect your private infor- mation. In the event that an unwanted party obtains your infor- mation, contact the police and your mancial institution immediately. For further information on responding to telemarketing fraud or other consumer issues, contact the MN Attorney General's Office as follows: Office of MN Attorney General Mike Hatch, 445 MN Street, 1400 NCL Tower, St. Paul, MN 55101, (651) 296-3353 or 1- 800657,3787, www.ag.state.mn.us ,: z LETTER TO THE EDITOR The Gift of Moments Every now and then, the good Lord grants me what I call "The Gift of Moments." Today I saw something very beautiful, very moving and some- what disconcerting at first, but beautiful. This morning in church, I was honored to be present when our pastor, while giving his sermon, had a physical episode which left him helpless and unable to contin- ue. His body and mind may have faltered, but his spirit did not! While my heart and prayers went out to and for him, I realized I was witnessing something great. Here was this frail, ailing man, determined to carry out God's will for him; to carry the gospel to us. Here was love in its purest form! Pastor you did not fail! Thank you, God, for that moment. Alex B. Valdez Westbrook, MN AI Bart... " 00Stories from the Batt Cave" You May Be From Hartland if: The home folks are handsome and happy in Hartland. You may be from Hartland (or anoth- er small town)if: When a horn honks at you, it is because the driver is wavm.g at you, not because someone is activating a car alarm system. You have never said, Fll take Shakespeare for one thousand, Alex. Your city has a fraction in its zip code. You find long underwear sexy. You have never said, Duct tape won't f'Lx that. You have ever been unable to find your car because of the deep snow. You pronounce the words stream and brook,as crick. When the sun goes down, you gr_ab a coat. You consider the car heater one of the worlds greatest inven- tions. There are houses in Los Angeles bigger than your entire town. You change from your winter snowmobile suit to your_spring snowmobile suit every May. If you celebrate the 4th of July on the 3rd of July so you can attend a second celebration in a neighboring town. You have never knowingly put a sweater on a poo.dle. It is a toss-up whether you possess more rolls of duct tape or more cans of WD-40. You consider bowling exercise. You have lawn ornaments just because they help you to telI when it is time to mow your lawn. You think warm winters are for sissies. You can name at least one other accordion player besides Mgon Floren. u had a rough childhood because theplayground slide was made ofwooa. You walk like a penguin for about 5 months of each year. You have ever refused to buy something because it was too spendy. It is sometimes warmer in your freezer than it is outside. You t.hought Grumpy Old Men was a documentary. You have ever argued whether lime Jell-O with shredded car- rots in it and mayonnaise on top of it is a salad or a dessert. You have ever dragged Main with a real drag. You have ever ariven a grain truck to school. You married someone from New Richland. You have scheduled parties around the schedule of the local policeman. You have ever written a check for less than a dollar. You have ever cleaned the inside of your car with a leaf blower. Your family coat of arms ties in the back. Calls to the local fire depart- nent consist of, Could you stop ythe house that is on fire v 9 when you ha e the time. Some years have four winters. You move to town and in 20 minutes you are no longer a stranger, but you are still a new- comer after 20 years. Clothing apd music are hand- ed down to the next generation. You have ever visited the tomb of the Unknown Dairy Farmer. You have done everything there is to do in town and you are only 19 years old. You have ever had to stop mowing your lawn because the kids have built a snowman in your path. Fast food comes from a mmrowave oven. The preacher doesn't need to use names in his sermons. Everyone knows who he is talk- ing about. You have to go out of to change a $20 i5i11. Ever3 but the closed t You have ever for driving a pickup duou"" have ever eaten a ner while watching a show. Your first car was older you were. You have a bumper /our pickup that I'm lrom Hartland. Spring always time for winter. You know someone football as his reli i There is no sign. ] name of the city because' ofie who lives there the name of it is. You refer to the ownerS house built after 1980 as rich _ people. The new guy has rived for TY ears- mayor lives in a iou city" try to cut l heating bills by turning the furnace in the You know that is just the north wind home. The city motto is Hey! over here! You think the sunsetS beautiful because there an mountains in the The city aquarium is with live minnows. The closest thing to a is a first aid kit. The local telephone yellow page. The ;illage idiot writing newspaper A1 B att 2004 71622 325 St. Hartland, MN 56042 SnoEowl@aol.com NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS Dear subscriber; please check the due date on your address label of your paper. In order to avoid a lapse in your subscription, please remit your renewal two weeks prior to the expiration date. SPEAK UP We welcome your participation, whether in letters or commentary. If possible, please make your submission by e-mail to sentrib@rrcnet.org. Conventional mail address is Sentinel Tribune, P.O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183. Our Fax number is 507- 274-6137. We require submis- sions be exclusive to us in our market area. All must include writ- ers name, address, and day time telephone number. Letters should be brief, up to 250 words, othe( submissions should be no longer than 500 words. Odginal items can not be returned unless the writer would pick them up at the office or send self addressed stamped envelope. No items will be kept longer than 30 days. LIII ..... ii .L IL - I ......... I 0000altinJJ..T00zl0000 Thomas Merchant Roxy Soil Wayne Rue Junette Merchant Nancy Goring Joan Spielman (ISSN 875O-3906) Managing Editor Ad Layout & Office Manager Advertising Sales Westbrook Office & Production Production Production Carolyn Van Loh assignment reporter Teri Herder Walnut Grove news correspondent Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, Lyon, Murray and Nobles $25.00 Per Year - $17.00 6 Months (includes c.oot.o lr I ,/ % I i i i m l i i ii =, Ii Peach). Elsewhere in Minnesota $29.00 per year. Out of the State $34.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while .they are gone, or pay $(5,00 extra to have it mailed out Of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mllll- ing single copies is almost $1.50. Any request for a back copy must include $2.00. Newstand price is 75 cents per copy. Copyright 2003 Sentinel Tribune a Lyon Sioux Press Newspaper Mail Change of Address Notice to: P. O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183 CALL WESTBROOK OFRCE 507-274-6136 FAX 507-274-6137 TOLL-FREE 1-800-410-1859 E-mail sentrib@rrcnet.org OR DROP NEWS ITEMS AT THE _.l OLESON'S MERCANTILE WALNUT GROVS Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.nt, Saturdly 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. DEADLINES Local news NoOn School news 2:00 p.m. Articles and other news 12:00 p.m. All Peach Ads 9"00 a.m. Sentinel Ads, & Classified Ads 4:00 p J" WESTBROOK SENTINEL TRIBUNE OFFICE Monday, Tuesday 8:00 e.m.' Wednesday 8:00 a.m." Thursday, Friday 8:00 a.m.