January 21 2010

Obituaries — January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Stapleton  Mr. Dennis Stapleton, aged 59 (1950-2010), was taken too soon from us as he fought a long and hard battle with cancer. He went to be with his Lord and family on January 13, 2010. Dennis was preceded in death by his mother, Patricia (Scrivener) Stapleton, and his father, Roscoe Stapleton. He is survived by his loving wife, Diana (Prindle) Stapleton; his daughters, Erika (Stapleton) Mallory and Nicholas Mallory, Nicole Stapleton, and Heather (Brandt) Sherman and Andrew Sherman; grandchildren, Paxton Mallory, Linnay Mallory, Austin Brandt, Dylan Sherman and Brandon Sherman. Dennis owned and operated several businesses over the years, including currently The Crazy Horse Saloon, Stapleton Foods, Bugsy’s Restaurant, and the Frontier Inn. His favorite pastime was making people laugh! He had a new joke everyday for people, and nobody could stump him. Customers would start a joke, and he would finish with the punch line. Dennis truly was a loving husband, father and friend to us all. He will be greatly missed along with all of his jokes! The Stapleton family would like to thank everyone for all of their thoughts, prayers and prayer circles throughout the years. A special thanks to all of the doctors and nurses who have cared for Dennis and guided his family as they learned to accept that he would soon be at peace and finally home with his Lord. The service for Dennis was held on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home. Interment was in Fairplains Cemetery in Grand Rapids. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher — January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Payback Wall Street screwed up and we had (have?) a recession. Now it looks like things in the financial industry are getting better. The President wants the banks—that we the people bailed out of trouble—to pay back the money. If taxpayers are the insurance company of last resort, it’s only right that the banks pay the premium on that insurance. We won’t soon forget those multi-million dollar bonuses paid out by the banks we kept out of bankruptcy. Seems like managers that lead their companies into near-bankruptcy should be fired, not rewarded. If those guys deserve a bonus because of all the profits they’ve made, where are the profits? Right here in town we have managers who made do during the business slowdown crunch with lots less income than the big banks. Give them a few $billion of business and I’ll bet they wouldn’t need to be bailed out. Darwin Awards! A Darwin Award is a tongue-in-cheek honor named after Charles Darwin, given to people who “do a service to humanity by removing themselves from the gene pool.” According to Wendy Northcutt, author of the Darwin Awards books, the awardees must accomplish that in a “sublimely idiotic fashion.” Northcutt’s Darwin Awards website tries to verify all stories it receives about the least evolved among us. But if they are fiction, I don’t mind. It’s the laugh that counts. For example: “When his 38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.” Here’s one I like, although it doesn’t involve total self-destruction: “The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting machine and submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company, expecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine. He also lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.” And here’s one that displays both idiocy and ingenuity. I don’t think it qualifies for a Darwin Award: “After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed […]

Rockford’s divers steal show at home

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford 186, Hudsonville 128 by DENISE WEBB There’s always one distinct event that remains in a spectator’s mind when leaving a captivating high school sporting meet. From Rockford’s January 14 swim/dive meet against Hudsonville, the event was undeniable—event five: diving. “The divers absolutely stole the show tonight,” said swim parent Sarah Ginebaugh, a former diver and diving coach. All five divers earned personal bests, and senior Tyler Johnson and juniors LJ McCauley and Kurt Plaggemars scored more than 200 points each—228.60, 211.90 and 206.90, respectively.   “Tyler continued to step up and dominate as the veteran on the team,” commented Ginebaugh. “LJ and Kurt also did some amazing dives with incredible height off the board.”   Ginebaugh also added, “Drew [Cornelius] was very solid tonight, and Noah [Markel] performed a very tough list of dives for his first year on the team. I’m sure Coach Marc VanDyken is incredibly proud of his team.” Rockford’s dive team did perform impressively. For example, Johnson received a 7.5 score from one judge on his front one-and-a-half dive and then scored a 6.0, 7.0, 7.0 on his inward one-and-a-half dive. After the meet, the ear-to-ear smiles of the dive team communicated more effectively than words how they felt about their performance. Besides the astounding diving portion of the evening, the meet also generated excitement in the swim lanes. Of the 12 events, Rockford captured a first-second-third finish in two of them—the 100-yard butterfly (sophomore Bryan Wasberg, junior Ben Fredrickson and sophomore Josh Travis, respectively) and the 100-yard backstroke (senior Alex Devries, Travis and sophomore Nick Willison). The Rams also placed first in seven other events, totaling nine firsts in all. Additionally, four events were swum in state-qualifying times, including the relay team of seniors Devries and Brian Ginebaugh and sophomores Eric Chisholm and Travis in the 200-yard medley relay (1:43.05). Devries swam 57.69 in the 100-yard backstroke. Ginebaugh improved his previous time by 1.17 seconds with a 1:02.39 in the 100-yard breaststroke. The relay team of senior Derik Bothma, Fredrickson, Chisholm and Wasberg swam a state-qualifying time in the 200-yard freestyle relay. “The meet went well this evening,” said sophomore Mac Finnie, who swam a varsity letter time and personal best in the 100-yard breaststroke. “It was a true […]

Birthdays — January 23–29, 2010

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

23rd Trish Cutler 24th Fran Bartlett, Lila Giddings, Mercedes Greenland, Vivian Hood 25th Marie Cain, Lisa Danielski, Tootie Hathaway, Emily Laage, Steve Lachniet, Bill Throckmorton, Wilma Throckmorton 26th Harriet Jewell 27th Thom Arends, Courtney Klinger, Mary Rose Mawby, Greg Main, Howard Shanken 28th Linda Berris, Tom Hone, Carly Olson, Jack Palazzolo, Bernice Terry

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon — January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 // 0 Comments

How to choose a tax preparer The big news last week was that the Internal Revenue Service was going to start regulating currently “unregulated” tax preparers. “Unregulated” tax preparers are defined as all tax preparers that are not enrolled agents (EAs), certified public accountants (CPAs), or attorneys. Those three classes of preparers are allowed to call themselves “practitioners,” as opposed to preparers. For that privilege, they have always been highly regulated and are held to a high standard of conduct. According to the IRS findings, there are currently 42,896 EAs, 646,520 CPAs, and 1,180,386 attorneys who actually prepare and sign tax returns. The IRS has a good handle on who these people are and the type of work they do. But according to the IRS, there are between 900,000 and 1,200,000 “unregulated” tax preparers preparing and signing tax returns. Conversely, they don’t really have a good picture of who these people are and if they are competent enough to actually be preparing tax returns. We are talking about some large numbers of tax returns here. About 61,800,000 tax returns were prepared by paid preparers last year. If the EAs, CPAs, and attorneys prepared half of those returns, that leaves 30,900,000 tax returns that the IRS has less control over. All of that will begin to change on January 1, 2011, when these new regulations take effect in earnest. With that 2011 date in mind, remember that the same old rules apply this year. Some preparers are regulated and some preparers are not regulated; 61,800,000 taxpayers are going to choose a tax preparer in the near future to prepare their return. What are the factors they should use to make that choice? My personal list goes like this: 1. Will the preparer sign the return? By law, anyone who is paid to prepare a return has to sign that return. If the preparer hedges on that point, there is something drastically wrong. As the saying goes, “Run, don’t walk; get away as fast as possible.” If the preparer won’t sign the return, that doesn’t absolve the taxpayers from what is on the return. 2. Is the preparer available year around? The tax business has grown into a year-round business, because our tax system is so complicated. […]

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