November 17 2011

Migrant Council awarded grant

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Sparta Area Migrant Resource Council (Sparta MRC) is one of nine Migrant Resource Councils in the state of Michigan that are overseen by the Department of Human Services. The Council is a collaboration of public and private agencies, growers and concerned citizens, working together to serve the needs of migrant farmworkers in the greater Sparta area. The Council identifies unmet needs in the migrant community, develops appropriate programs to meet those needs, coordinates the delivery of existing support services, serves as a forum to exchange information among agencies, and educates the community about the needs of the migrant population. The Sparta MRC supports migrant farmworkers and the greater Sparta community through annual events such as food distributions, cross-cultural activities at Sparta Town and Country Days, the Camp Clean Up event, a distribution of winter clothing and household items, and the annual Farmworker Appreciation Day where a “Head-to-Toe” event is held that enables migrant children to receive haircuts and shoes before they go back to school. The Sparta Community Foundation awarded the Sparta MRC $2,550 for the 2012 season. This will allow the MRC to hold various food distributions for the migrant and seasonal farmworkers that come to the area throughout the harvest season. All Sparta MRC meetings are open to the public. For more information or donations, contact any of the officers. The Sparta MRC meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 425 S. State St. in Sparta.

Red Cross asks public to Give thanks with the perfect gift—gift of life

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

The American Red Cross is asking all eligible donors to honor our country’s heroes by becoming an everyday hero themselves. By donating blood this holiday season, people can give a special thanks that lasts a lifetime. “As you reflect on what you are grateful for this holiday season, set aside time to come donate blood,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Your donation can give someone another moment, another day, another holiday to spend with love ones and friends. And that’s something to feel thankful for.” The Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to hospitals across the state of Michigan and needs approximately 700 people to donate blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source. But while the need for blood is constant, the supply of blood sometimes isn’t. Blood donations can dip around the holidays, making it important for donors to make and keep appointments to ensure a strong and stable blood supply for sick and injured people. “If you want to express your gratitude this holiday season and do something meaningful for others, donate blood,” said Jaksa, “Someone in your community may need blood this holiday season and will be thankful for the gift of life you gave.” Everyone who comes out to donate in November has a chance to win a $250 Meijer gift card. Everyone who attempts to donate November 21-27 has a chance to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards. In addition, everyone who comes out to donate in December could win a $250 Meijer gift card, a $500 Best Buy gift card and a chance to win one of 15 invitations to Sundance Chevrolet for a chance to win a 2012 Chevy Cruze. To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood or platelets, people can visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

The people speak The Constitution states that it’s designed to “…promote the general Welfare…” Various elections around the country last week promoted something, and maybe the results were generally good for us. Down in Kalamazoo, voters decided they weren’t going to jail people who had small quantities of marijuana. Could be that Kalamazoo has too many marijuana perps, I mean casual users, for the police to bother with. In Ohio the people spoke and the unions aren’t busted. Let’s be glad about that, since collective bargaining played a major role in creating our American middle class (which seems endangered at the moment, but that’s for another column). Some surprising compromises popped up between social conservatives and social liberals. Mississippi voters decided that just-fertilized human eggs weren’t full-fledged people after all. (Seems obvious to me, but that’s Mississippi for you.) If the proposal had passed, would forgetting to take your prenatal vitamin get you charged with child neglect? Would running or swimming while pregnant be considered child endangerment? Can’t you just imagine lines of newly pregnant Mississippians applying for fetal Social Security? Speaking of the South… Redneck Computer Lingo: • “Hard drive”—Trying to climb a steep, muddy hill with three flat tires while pulling a trailer load of barnyard fertilizer. • “Reboot”—What you do when the first pair gets covered with the barnyard fertilizer. • “Keyboard”—Place to hang your truck keys. • “Window”—Place in the truck to hang your guns. • “Modem”—How you got rid of your dandelions. • “Mouse”—Fuzzy, soft thing you stuff into your beer bottle so you can get a free case. Household hint department 1. Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop. 2. Avoid arguments with the ladies about putting down the toilet seat: use the sink. 3. A mousetrap placed on top of your alarm clock will keep you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button. 4. You need only two tools in life: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape. Truth or Consequences Laurel and Hardy were repairing their roof. (For you younger folks, Laurel and Hardy made […]

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Follow-up on EITC, Form 8867 Here is a follow-up on last week’s article concerning the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Form 8867, Paid Preparers Earned Income Due Diligence Checklist. The object of the form is to require tax preparers to go over all of the rules concerning the EITC with their clients (i.e. perform good due diligence). This is an attempt to cut down on the number of mistakes and outright fraud that occurs in the EITC program. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has found that there are a significant number of mistakes being made by paid tax preparers and by all indications there is a significant amount of fraud accompanying those errors. I noted that the IRS requires that Form 8867 be signed by both the preparer and the taxpayers. In addition, the form will have to be submitted with the return as part of the return package. Previously, preparers were required to keep the form in their file. Now, it has to go in with the return and a copy still has to remain in the file. The penalty for noncompliance was increased. The penalty for not sending the form in, for not having a copy in the file, or simply for not performing good due diligence has been increased from $100 per incident up to $500 per incident. The IRS will be authorized to penalize: 1. the return preparer; 2. the firm that employs the return preparer, or 3. a non-signing preparer who is supervised by a return preparer. The IRS reserves the right to penalize any or all three of the parties involved. They are serious about penalizing those who do not comply with the due diligence rules when preparing EITC returns. All of us want to see taxpayers who legitimately qualify for the EITC receive the right amount of credit. However, none of us want to see taxpayers who do not qualify still receive the credit because a preparer doesn’t know the rules or intentionally bends the rules. Another area where there seems to be a large amount of fraud is in the area of Michigan unemployment. Some of it comes from people drawing unemployment benefits when they aren’t entitled to the benefits and some of it comes […]


November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

November 19–25 19 Aaron Gulliver, Teresa L. Poddig, Myka Spoelma, Michael Thome 20 Emily Halliday, Andy Thompson 21 Michael Bartish, Paul Kazmierski, Jil Magnan 22 John Michael Mawby, Danielle Secord 23 Mary Blakeslee, Graham Laible, Shirley Norman, Jim Reeds, Carl David Wier 24 Tom Alkema, Eliza DeVogel, Bev Reeds, Jan Woods 25 Sue Arends, Donna Spencer, Janet Welcer

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