Monthly Archives: January 2014

Chamber Networking Event

IMG_9185Our first event is at MK Photography. Meet fellow Chamber Members. Event from 8am-1pm (Executive photo opportunity during the event) with networking from 8:00am-10am. Refreshments will be served. Your continued support is vital to the success of this organization.

When
Thursday
January 30, 2014
From 8am to 1pm
Where
MK Photography
Michael Kallies – Photographer
164 N. Main Street
Oconto Falls, WI 54154
Phone (920) 846-8409

While you are there you can have the option of having an executive portrait done at a 25% discount of only $37.50. You can choose your favorite image and receive a CD with your retouched image. 94 files, 1 high res color, 1 low res color, 1 high res b/w and 1 low res b/w). Rights to image are yours to use in any way.

Free Dental Care for children age 3-17 that are from low income families in Oconto County.

8897034_sDr. Debra Munes and Team

Free Dental Care for children age 3-17 that are from low income families in Oconto County.

One Day Only Monday, February 10, 2014

-In recognition of national children’s dental health month
-Parent or legal guardian MUST be present with child day of appointment
-Must be Oconto County resident
-For low income families

-Pre-registration deadline February 5, 2014

-Please call or stop in January 7, 2014 thru February 5, 2014 Tuesday thru Thursday between 8-12 and 1-4 to receive qualification requirements and to set up appointment.
-Appointment will be made once paperwork is complete.

DNR Report

Brief reprieve from frigid temperatures brought people out in droves last weekend to enjoy winter recreation

A brief reprieve last weekend from this winter’s frigid temperatures brought people out in droves to enjoy winter recreation in Wisconsin, but that ended abruptly again this week with temperatures diving back down into the sub-zero range at night and only a bit above zero during the day. The cold temperatures are forecast to moderate a little again later this week and weekend, before dropping again next week, possible to the coldest temperatures of the season so far.

Snowmobile trails are open and in good to excellent condition across about the northern two-thirds of the state according to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR). Trails are open in a few southern counties, but with a marginal base of just 2 to 3 inches, which is not sufficient for grooming. Northern trails received heavy use last weekend, but thanks to additional snowfalls in the last week, they are being groomed and are in some of the best conditions of the year.

Cross-country ski trails across the north are also in good to excellent condition, and many are being regularly groomed. Trails are also open in many southern locations. Trails groomed for skate skiing are generally hard and firm thanks to the cold temperatures and in better condition than some of the classic trails which are getting somewhat shallow in areas and worn from use.

The nearly full moon and clear skies last week had great horned owls hooting it up. They are very close to mating and egg laying and males are patrolling their territories keeping other male owls out and letting the females know they are alive and well. Wild canines, such as fox, coyotes, and wolves are pairing off in preparation for the breeding season. They are moving noticeably more and marking and yipping in the early evening. Mating begins in earnest in February, and January is all about setting up territories.

Winter songbirds such as juncos and chickadees are frequenting feeders, and courtship and mating activity for mallards and other ducks is ongoing in open water areas where ducks are found, primarily the Lake Michigan shoreline and open streams below dams.

New View Industries presents “Grease.”

GreaseNew View Industries presents “Grease.”

Thursday, February 27 at 1:00 pm

Oconto Falls High School Performing Arts Center

Bad weather date: March 6, 1 pm

 

Raffles Supporting New View Industries

50¢ per ticket or 3 for $1.00

See how New View not only works on developing vocational skills, but finds innovative ways for clients to build self-confidence as well as independence.

Refreshments provided by Oconto County Economic Development Corporation

The play is free and everyone is invited!  Help us spread the word!

Call New View at 920-855-2128 for more information.

Tax Tip #2 Filing Status

Life Changes Change Tax Filing Status: Know Yours to Prevent Overpaying

One of the most common mistakes taxpayers make is selecting the wrong filing status. A short lesson on filing statuses could help ensure you pay only what you owe in taxes and get back the tax refund you’re due.

If it has been a while since you filled out a tax form using a pen, you might have forgotten about the tax rate schedule. This schedule outlines how taxes are applied based on filing status. The points at which you move from one tax bracket to the next one vary based on your filing status. If you select the wrong filing status, you very likely will not be taxed accurately because the moves to higher tax brackets are prompted by different amounts for each filing status. Also, because the amount of the standard deduction is different for each filing status, selecting the wrong one could result in paying taxes on more income than you’re required.

So, selecting the correct status is very, very important. To help you determine which is right for you, following are the IRS filing statuses with some information about each one.

Single

Those who are not married may file as single. Your marital status on Dec. 31 of the year for which you are filing your tax return determines your filing status.

This means taxpayers who are not divorced on Dec. 31 must continue to use one of the filing statuses for married couples, which are generally married filing jointly and married filing separately. In some cases, married and single individuals may be able to file as head of household.

Married filing jointly

Generally, married taxpayers file a joint return because of the added tax benefits, including eligibility for certain credits. Also, if your spouse died in the tax year for which you are filing, you can likely file as married filing jointly.

Married filing separately

Filing separately can sometimes lower a tax bill. For example, if one of the spouses has low income and high medical bills, it could work in their favor to file separately to claim these expenses as itemized deductions. This is because their spouse’s income could make it difficult to reach the threshold for claiming medical expenses. Starting in 2013, for taxpayers under 65 to claim medical expenses, they must exceed 10 percent of their adjusted gross income, an increase from the previous 7.5-percent threshold.

Head of household with a qualifying person

Married and single taxpayers can sometimes qualify to file as head of household when these conditions are met:

  • You are either single or considered unmarried for tax purposes
    • Married taxpayers are considered single for tax purposes if they have not lived in the same home as their spouse for at least the last six months of the year
    • Paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home
    • Had a qualifying dependent living in your home more than half of the year
      • If the qualifying dependent is your parent, the requirement to have lived with you is waived – which could really help out those in the sandwich generation.

Divorced taxpayers who do not qualify to use the head of household status will file as single.

Qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child

For up to two years after a spouse’s death, the widow(er) may continue to use the married filing jointly tax rate by filing as a qualified widow(er) with a dependent child, as long as the taxpayer hasn’t remarried.

‘It’s complicated’

No, “it’s complicated” isn’t a filing status, but certain big life changes can make it difficult to determine your correct filing status. In fact, some people find themselves eligible for more than one status. A common example is when taxpayers with children are in the process of getting a divorce or have separated.

Depending on the specifics of their situation, parents who are divorcing or separated may be eligible to file under three filing statuses: married filing jointly, married filing separately or head of household with qualifying person. Another time this would generally apply would be when single taxpayers with a child, or other qualifying relative, may be able to file as either single or head of household.

Guessing what your filing status is or assuming it is the same as last year could cost you now or catch up to you and cost you later, especially if your marital status has changed. If you have questions about your filing status, or any other tax issue, contact a tax professional.

Courtesy of
H&R Block, Oconto
1122B Main St
920-835-5522

NWTC J-session

NWTC JNWTC recently held its first ever J-session to help students and professionals to achieve their goals at NWTC faster!

Over 200 credit courses were offered to assist students in graduating sooner.

What is J-session?
The January or “J” session is part of NWTC’s spring term. The session ran from January 6 to 24, 2014 (ending right before the start of the spring semester which began January 27).

J session is open to:

* Current NWTC students

* Students from other colleges and universities

* Professionals

* Lifelong learners

* English language learners

Students may want to take a J-session class to:

* Speed up degree progress

* Lighten academic load for the spring semester

* Catch up on credits

* Complete a general studies requirement like Economics or Basic Anatomy

* Add to their repertoire of knowledge

* Improve job skill sets.

A variety of options are offered during J-session including:
Business and information technology, health, general studies, public safety, early childhood education, trades and engineering technology, and more.
Classes are held at all NWTC campuses and regional learning centers in Green Bay, Marinette, Sturgeon Bay, Crivitz, Luxemburg, Niagara, Oconto Falls, and Shawano.

Check out the NWTC.edu soon if you are interested in this great opportunity!!!

DNR Report January 16

FreeFishWeekendWinterMomSonComplete DNR Outdoor Report (Reports from conservation wardens, wildlife and fisheries staff and property managers from around the state)

Recent snowfalls improve conditions for winter recreation; ice good for second annual free winter fishing weekend

The entire state has received some new snow in the last week and more was falling Thursday. Snowmobile trails were open and in good to very good condition across about the northern two-thirds of the state, but were still closed in many southern counties according to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR). Cross-country ski trails were open and in good to excellent condition across the north and in fair to good condition in many places in the south.

The recent snowfall was heaviest in a band through central Wisconsin, giving the area from Eau Claire to Door County some of the best winter conditions of the season so far. State parks in Door County were reporting 9 to 18 inches of snow on the ground and all ski trails groomed and tracked. Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area in Dunn County and the Red Cedar State Trail were also groomed and tracked and in very good condition. Ski trails in the northern and Pike Lake units of the Kettle Moraine State Forest were in good condition while the southern and Lapham Peak units were fair.

Milder temperatures in the last week made it much more pleasant for ice anglers, but fishing action seemed to enter the mid-winter winter doldrums in the Northwoods with action slowing for most species. Ice depths have been holding in the 14 to 16 inch range on northern lakes, and some lakes now have an inch or two of slush under the deep snow.

Panfish action remained fair to good on southern Wisconsin lakes and on lower Wisconsin River sloughs. The below zero temperatures of a week ago froze over the main channel of the Mississippi River near lock and dam 11 ice and allowed ice anglers to access the main channel to fish sauger, with reports of limit catches of sauger 14-17 inches in length.

The cold also allowed ice on southern Green Bay to firm up in most areas. Shanties have begun to dot the shores like small villages with 16-20 inches of ice being found in most places. Anglers have had more success with whitefish and some perch, and an occasional walleye being caught. Along southern Lake Michigan, anglers at McKinley Marina in Milwaukee reported ice depths up to 12 inches, with brown trout being taken through the ice. A few steelhead and brown trout have also reported in the Sheboygan, Port Washington and Racine harbors.

This coming weekend, Jan. 18-19, Wisconsin residents and visitors alike can fish anywhere in the state without a fishing license on during the state’s second annual winter Free Fishing Weekend. Free fishing clinics offered at several state parks and ice fishing equipment available for loan from many state parks and offices statewide make it even easier for people to try Wisconsin’s hard water fishing. For more information search the DNR website for “Free Fishing Weekend.”

Also this weekend the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center will be holding a candlelight ski and hike and the fresh snow was very timely for the annual family ski and snowshoe hike Peninsula State Park in Door County. For information about these and other events at parks, forest, trails and recreation areas search the DNR website for “get outdoors.”

Tax Tips #1

‘Tis the Season Important Tax Documents Arrive

The documents you need to file an accurate tax return depends on your personal finances and they may vary from year to year based on life changes, like going to college, getting married and having a baby. The envelopes of some of these documents will actually have “important tax document” printed on the front. Also, be on the lookout for emails from financial institutions, brokers and others notifying you that tax documents are available via their website.

The following is a partial list of tax-related documents to keep an eye out for in mailboxes – traditional and electronic – in the next couple months.

Employee wages

  • W-2

Self-employment information

  • Forms 1099-MISC
  • Schedules K-1

Retirement income

  • Pension/IRA/annuity income (1099-R)
  • Social security/RRB income (1099-SSA, RRB-1099)

Other income

  • Unemployment compensation (depending on state)
  • State tax refund (1099-G)
  • Gambling income (W-2G)
  • Health care reimbursements (1099-SA or 1099-LTC)

Savings and investments

  • Interest income, dividend income (1099-INT, 1099-OID, 1099-DIV)
  • Income from sales of stock, mutual funds or other property (1099-B, 1099-S)

Education

  • Tuition charged or billed and scholarships received (Form 1098-T)
  • Student loan interest statement (Form 1098-E)
  • Distributions from 529 plan or Coverdell Education Savings Account (Form 1099-Q)

Itemized deductions

  • Mortgage interest statements (Form 1098)
  • Receipts for state/local income tax paid (other than wage withholding)
  • Receipts for real estate tax paid
  • Receipts for personal property tax paid
  • Bank statements showing interest paid
  • Summaries of health care expenses

Need somewhere to store important tax-related documents? My H&R Block is a free, online “filing cabinet” that gives taxpayers a place to store their tax-related documents so they have easy access to them for tax prep, checkups and planning year-round. My H&R Block also makes it easy to view and print past returns, and check e-file status.

For more information about filing an accurate tax return, contact a local H&R Block tax professional.

Courtesy of:
H&R Block
1122 B Main St
920-835-5522

Indoor Recycling Event

18208484_sComputers • Electronics • Appliances

When: Saturday January 25th 2014
Where: Cellcom and Nsight Telservices,
2711 East Frontage Road, Abrams
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Cellcom & Nsight Telservices is holding an indoor recycling event.  Qualifying items can be dropped off at no cost.  The event will be held January 25th at their Abrams location.  This is an opportunity to dispose of  old computers, electronics and appliances.  If you are unable to make the Abrams event, they are also holding the recycling event at their Pulaski location on January 18th.  See the attached flyer for details and a list of items that will be accepted.  Please share this information with staff, friends and family.

Electronics we will recycle
CPUs • Printers • Speakers • Scanners • LCD Screens • Fax Machines • Vacuum Cleaners • Phones • Laptops • Record Players • Tape Players • CD Players • iPods • VCRs • DVD Players • Beta Tape Players • Electrical Saws • Drills • Calculators • UPS’s • Paper Shredders • Coffee • Machines • Heaters • Portable Game Systems • Most Household Electronics

Electronics with limitations
Please note that due to space limitations we will only accept 4 of the items listed below per household:

CRT Monitors • Televisions • Mini Fridges • Small AC Units • Stoves • Washers • Dryers • Dishwashers • Microwaves • Copy Machines
Large refrigerators will not be accepted

Quick Start Event

DSCN0772Quick Start Event 
NWTC-Oconto Falls
August 5
3-6 P.M.

Don’t miss this opportunity to apply, complete your admissions requirements, and/or register for classes. You can do it all at this one-stop event! 
For more information please call 920-848-6982

And it’s all FREE!!!!!