Columns

Wed
29
Jul

Downsizing to a small backyard

Marge and and Steve Sagstetter transformed their yard to be lower maintenance, while blending in with wetlands behind their Oakdale home. (submitted photo)
Marge and and Steve Sagstetter transformed their yard to be lower maintenance, while blending in with wetlands behind their Oakdale home. (submitted photo)

Angie Hong
Washington Conservation District

When Marge Sagstetter and her husband Steve decided to move to Oakdale after 25 years in Lake Elmo, they took more than just their interior furnishings with them. Marge, a Master Gardener, had spent years lovingly cultivating and tending to gardens at her old home and, though she looked forward to a lower maintenance yard in Oakdale, she just had to bring a few flowers and ornamental grasses along with them when they moved.

Wed
29
Jul

National Night Out: More than meets the eye

State Sen. Chuck Wiger
District 43

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” -- Mother Teresa


Wed
29
Jul

Crowdfunding: the potential and the pitfalls

Better Business Bureau
Minnesota-North Dakota

Crowdfunding, the process of financing a creative project or supporting individuals in need through online donations, is rapidly growing in popularity.These crowdfunding websites, such as GoFundMe, Indiegogo, Kickstarter and RocketHub, give people the opportunity to contribute to projects and campaigns they support or believe in. While the above-named crowdfunding websites are established entities, not all campaigns on their sites may be trustworthy.

Thu
23
Jul

80 years of Social Security

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.

Wed
22
Jul

Discovery in civil cases

From the Bench

Greg Galler
District Court Judge

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.

Wed
22
Jul

Heavy rains wreak havoc on local streams and stormwater systems

Angie Hong
Washington Conservation District

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.

Tue
21
Jul

Finding ways to cut your phone budget

Money Management
MNCPA

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.

Sun
19
Jul

Atkins: Dayton for President?

State Rep. Joe Atkins
District 52B

I thought the title of this update might get you to read it. I also provide updates on the state budget, a mysterious dirt pile, $3 million in unclaimed funds, and gun-shaped cell phone cases.

 

Sun
19
Jul

Reminiscing about high school 65 years later

Bob Knoch
Bob Knoch

When one is 83 years old, high school reunions tend to involve more reminiscing than partying. That was the case over a recent weekend when the South St.

Sat
18
Jul

Being financially prepared for college

Money Management
MNCPA

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.

 

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