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Westbrook, Minnesota
July 21, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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July 21, 2004

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TRIBUNE Education Wednesday, July 21, 2004 Page 5 Charger Notes.... frc)m WWG Schools! a great summer thus far! We have had the abun- rains and now the heat. I hope that all of you have enjoying your summer with family and friends. We about 1/2 way there and it won't be long until the fall get underway The Woelbers also known as Clampetts, nomads, are moving to the Wipperman acreage south of one mile. We are very lucky to have had the opportuni- uire some great friends and neighbors up north and try it down south. Watch out north of Dovray, you be next! I've said it once, I'll say it again that I am proud to be a part of these four communities, I had to miss the Dovray celebration but heard but praises for how big the crowds were and how it went over. Working out at the concession stand at  pageant this past weekend I again marveled at the many that come forward for the camaraderie and for of our many tourists. There is quite a corn- bond of WWG people going the extra mile for their I see that the Westbrook city park will soon best city park of any small town in the state! It to see how we are investing in our kids and their in our communities. I will always have great mem- Revere and how often I made use of the business- |When they were open. Let's hope that with a couple new projects the folks in Revere can rebound and keep the going. i am hoping that we can h01d to a budget ,the black this year. We might be only one of 25 schools in the state that can say that. It will get harder in the few years but we know that up front and will plan The district has pumped a lot of money into buildings the past three years and will again this year to for the long haul. Our enrollments wilt be stable the two years and then will take some hits with three big graduating. WE HAVE AN EXCESS OPERATING EXPIRING AFTER THIS YEAR. WE NEED TO IT IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION. With your the board will decide to renew at the present rate $340 per pupil or to bump it to $500 per pupil to take of the state's maximum matching funds. In a nut- for every dollar we raise locally up to $500 per pupil, state will give us 80% of that amount in aid. That per- .does vary depending on our number of kids and the This percentage that the state gives could go to or to 70%. Once you go over the $500 per pupil the only gives 36% of the amount. If locally we levied per year the state would give us 80% of that in aid. The-other 20% would be local money from homes in the district and not farmland. We will have meetings to answer any questions before the elec- September 20, 2004 at 6:00 p.m. in Westbrook and 18, 2004 at 6:00 p.m. in Walnut Grove. My goal is 90+ percentage pass-on the vote. hope that all of you have a great rest of summer and I g you at school events and around the We have a wonderful district and my family I are proud to be a part of it! tips for college freshman Anderson-Podsch Ext. Educator larents everywhere are - their sons and get ready for their year of college. always a lot of on roommates, ori- schedules, dorm furnishing needs, food etc. Is anyone talking a credit card? col - freshman--are a pri- marketing target for card companies. most college fresh- spend a lot of money but don't have enough many parents and credit card companies decided that a credit is a must for every col- freshman! linancial professionals researchers who are with the credit kids will that a credit card is a for a college freshman know how to use it in responsible way. They parents to have a credit with their college fresh- before they go off to and start using the Here's a list of credit or talking points for all to use in a discus- about credit with their freshman. credit arrangement of kind (including a credit /s a /oan. Too often think credit is an alternative. A credit is a loan or a new debt. not income. It needs to repaid. Anyone who credit card (in their or co-signed with else) needs to the implications annual fees, annual per- centage rate, grace period as well as transaction fees and other charges that may apply depending on the situ- ation. A credit card bill should always be paid by the due date. Paying all bills on time is the best way to maintain a positive credit score. Paying on time also eliminates cost- ly late fees which can get very high on a credit card. /f possible, pay the credit card bill in full. Paying the bal- ance also eliminates finance charges. If the bill can't be paid in full try to always pay more than the minimum. Making only the minimum payment on a credit card bill prevents making any progress on the balance and increases the balance with finance charges. Help your child get in the habit of saving receipts. This is basic principle of money management record keeping and will be an important "habit" for a lifetime. A receipt may also be a "life- saver" in the event of a prob- lem with a purchase. Tell your child to Never lend their credit card to any- one! Anyone who lends a credit card is setting them- selves up for possible fraud. Each year, help your child review their credit report. Make sure that it accurately reflects their financial situa- tion, and does not include any fraudulent activity. Last but not least, if your child becomes overwhelmed by credit card debt, seek help immediately. Facing a finan- cial problem is the first step in solving a financial prob- lem. Hopefully a parent/child discussion on credit will prevent these problems. Girl Scouts Sponsor Swim Team The Girl Scouts Peacepipe Council sponsor Girl's Swim Team in 29 com- munities in southwest Minnesota including Westbrook. Girl's Swim Team is open to all girls, not just Girl Scouts, who have completed 1st through 12th grade. This sport was not available in most communi- ties, so Girls Scouts helped fill the void by offering Girl's Swim Team. This summer, Meghann Warner and Alison Morley were hired as coach- es and worked with a team of approximately 13 girls, holding their practices and some of their meets at the local pool. The purpose of Girl's Swim Team is to encourage girls to develop their swim- ming skills to reach their personal best. The focus is on self-improvement, not the competition and winning. The message to girls is that each member of the team is important and has an active role. No girl ever sits on the sidelines while the best ath- letes compete, Each girl receives a placement or par- ticipation ribbon at the con- clusion of each weekly meet. Girl's Swim Team is made for a structured and positive way to spend their summer. Girl's Swim Team hap- pens only because the com- munity works together to make this happen for the girls. Each community that participates in Girl's Swim Team, provides an in-kind donation of free pool time usage.for swim practice and swim meets. Without this, Girl's Swim Team would not be possible. Other ways the community works together with the Girl Scouts Peacepipe Council are: Park & Recreation department - we hire local lifeguards to be coaches Volunteers are score keepers, recorders, timers, announcers, and take pic- tures Families and volun- teers help with transporta- tion to out of town meets Publicity and coverage from local newspapers on meet results Friends and family cheering girls on from the sidelines Community Education helps promote Girl's Swim Team The Girl Scouts Peacepipe Council Board of Directors feel that this is an important program and they budget project staffing time for Girl's Swim Team every year. Although there is a program fee charged for Girl's Swim Team, there are many costs not covered. For instance, supplies like swim caps, award ribbons, stop- watches, rope and lane markers, first aid kits, and transportation costs like bus rental and mileage to out of town swim meets. To keep the registration fee to a min- imum, local businesses, clubs and organizations are asked for their support. Thanks to area sponsors who help provide financial assistance, it ensures that financial need does not exclude any girl from partic- ipating who wants to be on Girl's Swim Team. For more information about Girl's Swim Team or helping to sponsor, contact the Girl Scouts Peacepipe Council at 1-800-332-4475 or e-mail 6th Annual Relay for Life in Cottonwood County Plan now to attend the 6th Annual Relay for Life of Cottonwood County. The event will be held Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31, at the Cottonwood County Fairgrounds in Windom. The evening will start at 5 p.m. on Friday with a pub- lic dinner provided by the Cottonwood County Beef Producers. The opening ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. with a survivor victory lap, caregiv- er support lap and team parade. The honorary chair- persons begin the luminaria lighting ceremony at dusk. We have 7 honorary chair- persons this year, 1 from each city in Cottonwood County. They are Glenda Renczykowski, Storden, Jane Schultz, Westbrook, Jainie Firstbrook, Jeffers, Jan Wassenaar, Delft, Cindy Litfin, Windom, Elsie Rahn, Mt. Lake, and Stan Jans, Bingham Lake. There will be entertain- ment, games and food all night long. The closing cele- bration is at 5:30 a.m. on July 31 followed by a team member breakfast provided by the Windom Lions Club at 6 a.m. If you would like to pur- chase a luminary in honor of or in memory of a loved one, please call 628-4673. Everyone is welcome to cele- brate! There is a team from the Westbrook area this year. Jeanne Berg is one of the co- chairs, call her at 274-5264. S-46,47 & s Ifeserve tickets 00owf 800-430-4126. II I Girls, come have fun and learn Basic Photography! Open to all area girls K-6th grade. Two sessions held Wed., Aug. 4 and Wed., Aug. 11 10:30 to 12:00 noon at the Walnut Grove City Park, west shelter. Cost is $9 per girl and includes a dislmsable cam- era, film processing, & matting for one picture. Come learn the basics of taking pictures, complete a photo scavenger hunt and prepare a photo for display. To register by the August 2 deadline, please call 1- 800-332-4475 or Brenda Skrove at 1-888-333-4107. This ia a Girl Scout Peacepipe Council sponsored event. Girls do NOT have to be a current Girl Scout to attend. I I II I Tax Basis Critical to Estate and Transfer Planning Gary A. Hachfeld Regional Ext. Educator Ag Business Management Some of the most costly mistakes in estate and farm transfer planning occur when income tax aspects are ignored. A good estate and transfer plan encompasses good legal, estate tax, and financial outcomes and accomplishes positive income tax results as well. One key issue here is tax or asset basis. Basis is your original cost value in an asset. When you sell an asset, you recover your cost in that asset You pay tax on the difference between the selling price and the income tax basis or original cost of the asset. Basis is determined dif- ferently depending on how you acquired the asset If you purchased the asset, your basis is the original purchase price or cost of the asset minus any deprecia- tion you have claimed against the asset. Assume you purchased a rental home for $50,000. You have depre- ciated it for 3 years for a total of $5,000. Your current basis is now $45,000. If you inherit an asset, your basis is the Fair Market Value (FMV) or the Special Use Valuation (SUV) assigned to the asset as it passed to you from the estate. Assume you inherit 80 acres of land from your mother, valued at $160,000. Your basis is the FMV at the time of her death or $160,000. If you are gifted an asset, your basis is the donor's basis. The basis has nothing to do with the FMV of the asset at the time it is gifted to you. Assume you are gifted stock currently worth $100,000 with a donor's basis of $25,000. Your basis is not the $100,000 but rather the donor's basis of $25,000. The basis of an asset can determine the most ben- eficial method to use in an estate and transfer plan. A good rule of thumb is to sell high basis assets and pass low basis assets through your will. With high basis assets, the FMV or SUV is very close to the basis value. If you sell those assets, you have automatically mini- mized your tax obligation. With low basis assets, you pass them through your will, the asset receives what is referred to as "Stepped Up" basis. The asset is automati- cally assigned the FMV upon the death of the decedent. This too has the effect of eliminating or greatly reduc- ing any tax obligation. Understanding basis is a very important tool in min- imizing one's tax obligation. For additional information on this and other estate and transfer issues there is avail- able a two set information sheet series entitled "Estate Planning Series" and "Farm Transfer Series". Simply go to HYPERLINK "http://www.cffm. u m n. ed u" Once there, scroll down the left hand side of the page and click on "Publications and Articles". On the next page scroll down to "Farm Management Topics" and locate the farm transfer and estate planning series. If you do not have Internet access, contact your local county Extension office and they can help you with your request. As always, if you have questions about the process, contact your attorney, accountant, insurance agent, and other professionals br help. Next Week's American Profile... The firs't line of defense In 1940 d' U,S, Forest -,(: latmched a program that mmt nreghterr into ST) Today, this elite fbrc of 400 air- bmae fu'efighters are ati'd in nine strategic kxati, ms .ross the Ancerie West ha/ktition... 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