Tag: 110216

New Weather Alert Program Requires Users to Re-Subscribe

  On June 30, 2016 Iowa School Alerts changed. In order to continue receiving valuable alerts specific to Union Community School District closures (including early dismissals and/or late starts), you will need to re-subscribe. Keep in mind that although it is a different system, it is still called Iowa School Alerts. Simply visit the Iowa School Alerts website to subscribe. https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/IAEDU6536/subscriber/new.
You may choose email or text alerts from the drop-down menu; however, please note that in order to receive both, you must go in and subscribe separately for each preference.

Hawkins’ Happenings – November 2, 2016

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 By Jolene Kronschnabel, Library Director
Last call to order your fresh greenery for the holidays locally! The order deadline is November 3, with items available before Thanksgiving. Decorated wreaths, 25’ outdoor garland, and wreath door hangers can be purchased from Hawkins Memorial Library. Stop at the library, or order greenery online at https://www.theprogressreview.co/.
It will be a very pumpkiny morning for preschoolers who join us at 10:30 AM on November 3. Story Time children will read and dig into pumpkin activities.
There is plenty of coffee and conversation at Monday morning coffee time each week. Consider joining us at 8 AM.
Be Somebody is the movie on Tuesday, November 8, at 1:15 PM. Pop superstar Jordan Jaye just wants to live like a regular teenager. When he’s chased down by fans, he finds a hideout and a reluctant new friend. Rated PG, comedy/drama, plays 1 hr. 28 min.
Milk the cow and play farm games in the La Porte City FFA Historical & Ag Museum’s barnyard on Thursday, November 10, at 10:30 AM. Preschoolers will trek down the street and visit Teri Klockner and her barnyard puppets on the farm.
Hawkins’ Handcrafters meet on Thursday, November 10, from 1-3 PM. Haul your handwork and join other handy people at the library.
You can Color and Connect on Tuesday, November 15, from 6-8 PM. The library has a great variety of pictures, bookmarks, pencils and pens. We just need you!
Pay your fines by bringing non-perishable food and personal care items to the library in the month of November. Your fine total will be reduced by $3.00 for each item deposited during Food for Fines Month. Distribution of donated goods will be local through The Lord’s Food Pantry.
Miracle on the Hudson by The Survivors of Flight 1549, is the November 28, 1 PM book club discussion selection. This is the remarkable true story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s heroic crash landing in the Hudson River. Get a book and gab with the group.

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Staying Safe Online – November 2, 2016

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  You, or someone you know, could become the victim of a growing crime in America – financial abuse of older Americans. Seniors are increasingly becoming targets for financial abuse. As people over 50 years old control over
70 percent of the nation’s wealth, fraudsters are using new tactics to take advantage of retiring baby boomers and the growing number of older Americans. Senior financial abuse is estimated to have cost victims at least $2.9 billion last year alone.
What Is Elder Financial Abuse?
It’s a crime that deprives older adults of their resources and ultimately their independence. Anyone who sees signs of theft, fraud, misuse of a person’s assets or credit, or use of undue influence to gain control of an older person’s money or property should be on the alert. Those are signs of possible exploitation. Older Americans that may have disabilities or rely on others for help can be susceptible to scams and other fraud. Advances in technology can also make it difficult for seniors to know who to trust and what’s safe.
Despite these threats, taking simple steps to safeguard personal information and being aware of warning signs can protect aging men and women from financial abuse.
Tips for Seniors:
What should you do to protect yourself?
Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to someone at your financial institution, an attorney, or financial advisor about the best options for you.
Shred receipts, bank statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
Carefully choose a trustworthy person to act as your agent in all estate-planning matters.
Lock up your checkbook, account statements and other sensitive information when others will be in your home.
Order copies of your credit report once a year to ensure accuracy.
Never give personal information, including Social Security Number, account number or other financial information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and the other party is trusted.
Never pay a fee or taxes to collect sweepstakes or lottery “winnings.”
Never rush into a financial decision. Ask for details in writing and get a second opinion.
Consult with a financial advisor or attorney before signing any document you don’t understand.
Get to know your banker and build a relationship with the people who handle your finances. They can look out for any suspicious activity related to your account.
Check references and credentials before hiring
anyone. Don’t allow workers to have access to information about your finances.
Pay with checks and credit cards instead of cash to keep a paper trail.
Feel free to say “no.” After all, it’s your money. You have the right not to be threatened or intimidated. If you think someone close to you is
trying to take control of your finances, call your local Adult Protective Services or tell someone at
your bank.
Trust your instincts. Exploiters and abusers often are very skilled. They can be charming and
forceful in their effort to convince you to give up
control of your finances. Don’t be fooled-if something doesn’t feel right, it may not be right. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
What should you do if you are a victim of financial abuse?
Talk to a trusted family member who has your
best interests at heart, or to your clergy.
Talk to your attorney, doctor or an officer at your bank.
Contact Adult Protective Services in your state or your local police for help.
Tips for Family and Friends:
What are the warning signs of financial abuse?
The key to spotting financial abuse is a change in a person’s established financial patterns. Watch out for these “red flags”:
Unusual activity in an older person’s bank accounts, including large, frequent or unexplained withdrawals.
ATM withdrawals by an older person who has
never used a debit or ATM card.
Changing from a basic account to one that offers more complicated services the customer does not fully understand or need.
Withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers between accounts the customer cannot explain.
New “best friends” accompanying an older person to the bank.
Sudden non-sufficient fund activity or unpaid
bills.
Closing CDs or accounts without regard to penalties.
Uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money.
Suspicious signatures on checks, or outright forgery.
Confusion, fear or lack of awareness on the part of an older customer.
Refusal to make eye contact, shame or reluctance to talk about the problem.
Checks written as “loans” or “gifts.”
Bank statements that no longer go to the customer’s home.
New powers of attorney the older person does not understand.
A caretaker. relative or friend who suddenly begins conducting financial transactions on behalf of an older person without proper documentation.
Altered wills and trusts.
Loss of property.
What should you do if you suspect financial abuse?
Talk to elderly friends or loved ones if you see any of the signs mentioned here. Try to determine
what specifically is happening with their financial
situation. such as a new person “helping” them with money management, or a relative using cards or credit without their permission.
Report the elder financial abuse to their bank and enlist their banker’s help to stop it and prevent its recurrence.
Contact Adult Protective Services in your town or state for help.
Report all instances of elder financial abuse to your local police if fraud is involved. They should
investigate.
Remember: Never give your Social Security number, account numbers or other personal financial information over the phone unless you initiated the call.

A Public Service Announcement Courtesy of Cedar Valley Bank & Trust

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Sunday Breakfast at St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church parishioners invite community members to join them for Sunday Breakfast on November 6 in the church’s hall (1435 E. Eagle Road, Eagle Center).
Sausage, scrambled eggs, hash browns, sweet rolls, juice, milk and coffe will be served from 8:30-11 AM. Cost of the meal is $6 for adults, $4 for ages 6-12 and $1 for children 5 and under. Celebrate fall, catch up with friends and neighbors and enjoy a wonderful breakfast! (Don’t forget to set your clocks back the night before.)

Practical Money Matters – November 2, 2016

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 By Nathaniel Sillin

Make a Difference: Become a Financial Educator
Teaching personal finance topics can be immensely rewarding because the lessons are often immediately applicable to many students’ lives. Whether you’re comparing financial products, creating a budget or evaluating the cost of a loan, financial literacy provides the foundation to make a well-informed decision. Even so, many people get little to no financial education.
According to a study from the Council for Economic Education, 45 states include personal finance in their K-12 standards, but only 17 states require high school students to take a personal finance class before graduating.
If you have a passion for financial literacy, consider passing on your knowledge and helping your community change for the better. Whether you’re volunteering at a grade school or teaching a course at a local community center, teaching money management skills can help improve others’ future financial prospects and encourages community connection and growth.
Decide what to teach and take advantage of free resources. There are a wide range of lessons that students of different ages and backgrounds will need, from informative presentations for older adults who are targets of scammers to lessons for high school students who need to learn how to handle finances in college.
Prepare for your outreach by identifying the financial topics you want to teach. You can draw from your own strengths and experiences, which can be an effective way to help students relate to the lessons.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has comprehensive free curricula for adults and young people in grades K–12, as well as a curriculum tailored to the needs of older people. Visa’s Practical Money Skills also offers curricula, lesson plans and educational games for students from Pre-K to college, including those with special needs. A simple Internet search can also turn up results for any financial lesson imaginable.
Focus on practical and interactive lessons. Incorporating interactive elements into the mix can supplement financial literacy curriculum and help lessons come alive.
You want to give your lessons context and teach students how to apply what they learn to real life situations. For example, explaining the importance of investing for the future and the benefits of compound interest is a great start, but you could continue your lesson by running a stock market simulation that lets students practice investing with play money.
Games and apps can also make lessons memorable and engaging. Younger children might benefit from physical activities like dividing allowance into saving, spending and charity jars. Or, they can play fun online games that teach basic lessons like recognizing and counting the value of coins.
Explore volunteer opportunities. If you’re unsure of how to get started, consider looking for a volunteer opportunity with an established nonprofit. Volunteering allows you to meet new people, give back to your community, make new connections and share knowledge that can have a lasting impact. Some organizations will train you and ask that you teach their own personal finance curricula.
The Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) has a comprehensive guide to learning and teaching personal finance, as well as several helpful resources. Look for volunteering positions in your area with the CNCS government search engine (Serve.gov), which allows you to filter volunteering opportunities by keywords and location.
Bottom line: Whether you’re training as a professional teacher or working as a volunteer, teaching financial literacy is an admirable way to provide essential knowledge to members of your community. Using quality resources and tools and bringing your own experience can help elevate students’ personal finance skills and make a positive impact in your community.

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