Tag: 031616

State Treasurer: Use Four Leaf Clover Approach for College Planning

By Michael Fitzgerald, State Treasurer
This St. Patrick’s Day, don’t leave your college savings to luck – but do look to your four-leaf clover as a way to reevaluate your college planning strategy. Many people plan to rely on scholarships, grants and student loans to pay for higher education, without considering the importance of a 529 college savings vehicle like College Savings Iowa. By adding that fourth option, college savings, your three-leaf clover approach to college affordability turns into a four-leaf clover. Better yet, it builds on more than just luck.
All parents hope their children will receive a combination of scholarships or grants. While these are great to aim for, they should not be considered a sole funding source. For example, there are only about 138,000 Division I and Division II athletic scholarships, according to the U.S. News and World Report. Realistically, a student may receive a few scholarships and/or grants, but very few of these will cover the entire cost of a four-year bachelor’s degree.
The third leaf on the clover, student loans, comes with an added cost – loan repayment. Federal student loan rates vary from 4% to near 7%, while private lenders often offer higher rates, with an industry average of 9%-12%. Financial aid in the form of loans does help in the immediate, but it ultimately makes higher education even more expensive than the current price. These loans often keep former students from buying a car, home or even having children because their debt takes decades to pay off.
The importance of saving for college becomes even more apparent as students look beyond a two- or four-year degree. I recently attended an event and spoke with a young man who was completing his final year of pharmacy school. He was preparing to graduate with over $180,000 in debt – for pharmacy school alone. This was echoed by a law school graduate who said loans for his Juris Doctorate were upwards of $200,000. This reminded me how imperative it is to save as much as you can while a child is young. Continued education is much more affordable knowing that fewer loans were taken out for those initial degrees.
Parents and students shouldn’t let these numbers alarm them. The best part of saving for college with College Savings Iowa is that anyone can open an account – for a child, friend, spouse or even themselves. While mom and dad may have devoted their College Savings Iowa accounts to their daughter’s bachelor’s degree, she can choose to open her own account for graduate school and beyond once she turns 18. By saving regularly and making smart investment choices, the student can help finance the next step of her education.
The four-leaf clover approach to college affordability reminds us that saving even a little today will have a big impact on tomorrow. By combining College Savings Iowa with scholarships, grants and student loans, higher education is that much more realistic.
To learn more about College Savings Iowa, visit CollegeSavingsIowa.com or call 888-672-9116. For more information about future giveaways and events, find College Savings Iowa on Facebook and Twitter (@Iowa529Plan).
Don’t leave your college planning to luck, but do take advantage of that four-leaf clover; with it, college (and beyond) has never been more accessible!

Easter Cantata: A Journey to Hope

A Journey to Hope, a Cantata inspired by spirituals through Joseph M. Martin’s telling of the ministry, passion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ will be presented by the combined choirs of Dysart Methodist Church and St. Paul United Methodist Church, La Porte City, featuring narrations and solos.
Performances will take place Sunday, March 20th at 7 PM at Dysart United Methodist Church, 602 Tilford Street in Dysart and Sunday, April 3rd at 10 AM at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1st & Sycamore Street, La Porte City.
An offering will be collected with open Communion served at each service and fellowship shared following each performance.

On the Horizon: Weather Spotter Training

The Black Hawk County Emergency Management Agency in conjunction with Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa and in cooperation with the National Weather Service will offer severe weather spotter training on Monday, March 21, 2016 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Hawkeye Community College, Tama Hall, Auditorium. Doors open at 6:00pm.
The training is open to the public and all agencies that respond to emergencies. Participants will be instructed on how and what to report along with personal safety.
Additional information is available on the National Weather Web Site at http://www.weather.gov/dmx/stormspotting
The training is free and no pre-registration is required.
For more information contact the Black Hawk County Emergency Management Agency at 319-291-4373.

View Point – Sunshine Week 2016

By Rox Laird, retired editorial writer for the Des Moines Register and a member of the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Government Relations Committee and the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.
Iowans will see a lot of discussion in the news media and among First Amendment advocates during the March 13-19 Sunshine Week about the vital importance of open government in a free and democratic society.
Sunshine Week is, in fact, an opportunity for everyone to be reminded about why open government is important to their own lives and to their communities.
Every Iowan has a right to read government documents, such as budgets, court records, proposed legislation and municipal ordinances. You have the right to attend meetings of government bodies, from the Iowa Legislature to your local school board, county board of supervisors and city council.
As we celebrate Sunshine Week this year, there is reason for optimism as well as pessimism that these rights are respected.
On the optimistic side, there is a remarkable display of disapproval for government dominated by “establishment insiders” unresponsive to American voters. That suggests public support for a government that is accessible to the people, a government that conducts public business in public and does not hide public information from the public.
That is a lesson elected officials and government bureaucrats should take from the 2016 election. Just ask Hillary Clinton, who has had to apologize repeatedly for setting up a private computer server to handle her official State Department email. Or, ask Donald Trump, who is under pressure to release his income-tax returns.
Yet, there is reason for pessimism. Look no further than the Iowa General Assembly, which is moving with a full head of steam toward closing public access to county gun permit records. While some gun owners may have privacy concerns, the public has a right and a need to know who county sheriffs are granting the privilege of carrying a weapon.
Also, Iowa law-enforcement groups urged the Legislature to shield vast quantities of body-camera videos showing police encounters with the public. Lawmakers wisely postponed action on the subject, awaiting recommendations from a study committee. Statewide standards must be set for how and when law-enforcement agencies film encounters with the public, but the people must be able to witness what happens in such encounters, and not just selective video clips that serve the interest of law enforcement..
It must be said that public officials in Iowa understand the need for open government. And most sincerely want to do the right thing. There are exceptions, however, when officials believe the narrow interest of their jobs outweighs the broader public interest in openness.
An example of public officials choosing confidentiality over transparency made the news recently at the University of Iowa, which refuses to release a survey conducted by a private consultant at public expense to gather public opinion about the state university.
Examples can be found in every county in Iowa, however.
When Iowans believe they are wrongly denied access to government documents and meetings, they have a place to turn for help: The Iowa Public Information Board created by the Iowa Legislature fields hundreds of complaints and questions every year. While the vast majority are resolved informally, the nine-member board has the authority to enforce Iowa’s open-meetings and open-records statutes. (For more information, go to ipib.iowa.gov.)
Another source of information about public access to government records and meetings is the Iowa Freedom of Information Council. The Iowa FOI Council is a coalition of journalists, librarians, lawyers, educators and other Iowans devoted to open government. (For more information, go to ifoic.org.)
The best advocates for opening the windows and doors of state and local government to the disinfecting power of sunshine are the people of Iowa. They are most effective when they show up at meetings of local school boards or city councils, when they demand access to public documents and when they demand that public officials do their work in the open.
That’s why Sunshine Week is all about them – the people of Iowa – and their right to know about their government.

Union High School Honor Roll – 2015-16 Second Trimester

9th Grade
Richard Arteaga, Carter Asmussen, Xavier Batchelder-Flores, Kaylie Bowers*, Allie Carty*, Megan Carty*, Kegan Clapp, Kody Crawford*, Devin Dugan*, Hannah Gates*, Joseph Gloede, Kyle Gross, Tori Hadachek*, Mackenna Hatch*, Chloe Heitmann*, Karson Hennings*, Alanna Hines, Mary Jenkins, Jayden Jolley, Hunter Klima, Jacob Lowe, Cylie McNeal, Emily Miehe, Gavin Miller, Bryce Parker, Veronica Redman, Benjamin Rempe, Kaleb Roach, Kayla Robb, Tyler Rottinghaus, Valerie Ryan, Olivia Sash*, Zeke Seuser*, Anna Smith*, Clayton Sparks*, Carter Spore*, Jenna Steinlage*, Hunter Stwalley, Josh Ternus, Holly Wandschneider, Nolan Wandschneider*, Aidan Wilson
10th Grade
Mikalya Allen, Alexandra Bonner, Carter Brehm, Hailee Brown*, Kyle Brustkern, Hunter Fleshner*, Jace Glenn*, Wesley Hanson*, Troy Hanus, Lauren Harrigan, Payton Hellman*, Adrian Hernandez, Daniel Johanningmeier*, Abigail Johnson, Madelyn Keegan, Haylee Keune, Autumn Kies, Meghan Klein*, Madeline LeRoy, Maxtin Lovell*, Kylie Miller, Morgan Niebergall, Jacob Opperman, Emma Peters*, Audrey Powers*, Regan Purdy, Cade Rahlf*, Emma Rottinghaus, Delaney Schares*, Emily Schmidt*, Sophie Selk*, Taylor Short*, Austin Timmer*, Maryam Umar, Savannah Walvatne, Isabelle Werner*, Emily Wilson
11th Grade
Andy Aryee*, Jackie Barz, Kaeli Block, Destiny Brockway, Taylor Brown*, Ashley Carey, Taryn Davis, Maggie Driscol*, Anna Garwood, Chloe Gross, Veronica Haas, Haley Harkness, Jacob Higgins, Bobbie Hilmer*, Kaitlin Holschlag*, Elizabeth Klein, Cael Lambe, Maci McLaughlin, Cole McNeal, Ryan Miller*, Jordyn Nagel, Justine Nagel, Jackson Ollendieck, Peyton Parker, Courtney Powell, Wes Powell, Payton Sash*, Connor Sherwin, Treyton Slater, Hallie Spore*, Clayton Thiele, Heather Vaughn, Zachary Winkelpleck, Madi Winter
12th Grade
Sean Blunt, Callie Brandanger, Bailey Bruce, Kaila Brustkern*, Ryan Connolly*, Laryn Ewoldt, Keiara Faiferlick, Alyssa Frost, Mitchell Hanson, Kaitlyn Helgeson, Jon Hellman*, Carter Hennessy, Jadin Hennings*, Kassie Hennings*, Callyndora Jurgemeyer, Charles Kronschnabel*, Sammi Krug, Trevor Krug*, Weston Krug*, Lauren Krupa, Allison McLaren*, Cole Moody*, Candace Morrison, Aubri Mossman*, Will Reiter, Natalie Sallee, Wyatt Samuelson*, Zane Seuser*, Matthew Vogeler, Anna Walker, Caleb Wandschneider*, Sevannah Weisenberger*, Morgan West*, Dana Wigg*, Elizabeth Wilson*, Mitchell Wilson*, Samantha Wordehoff
*A TEAM: Student has earned A’s in all academic courses

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