The Morrison County Record http://mcrecord.com Covering community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the Morrison County, Minnesota. Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:43:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Beritt Freudenrich http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/beritt-freudenrich/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/beritt-freudenrich/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 23:04:53 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573527 Beritt Freudenrich was born to Layne and Scott Freudenrich of Little Falls, March 9, 2015, at 8:12 a.m. at St. Gabriel’s Hospital. She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 20 inches long.
Grandparents are Renae Oothoudt, Cheri and Kenny Funk and Rick and Sharon Freudenrich. Great-grandparents are Herb Broschofsky and Florence Freudenrich.

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Lowering Your 2015 Taxes http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/lowering-your-2015-taxes/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/lowering-your-2015-taxes/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 21:30:23 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=b72e53d000822e1e92eb521e3b8643a0 With 2014 well over and the spring of 2015 looming, you may find yourself gathering all of last year’s tax information and getting ready to file your income taxes. Maybe you expect a refund or maybe you dread writing a check to Uncle Sam. If the latter, here are some tips to reduce your tax burden for 2015.

Contribute more to your 401(k). You make these contributions in your retirement plan before you pay tax on the money. This lowers the amount of your taxable income, potentially reducing the amount you may owe at tax time and increasing your retirement savings.

Contribute enough of a percentage of your pay to get your employer match. Many employers match around 5% of an employee’s pay.

Take advantage of a deductible individual retirement account contribution. If your employer doesn’t offer a plan, set up and automatically save post-tax dollars to an individual retirement account. Your contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible; withdrawals from a Roth IRA in your retirement will be tax-free.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, your total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs this year cannot be more than $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re 50 or older) or your taxable compensation for the year if your compensation was less than this dollar limit.

Generally, your deduction for the above IRAs may drop or completely disappear if you already have a workplace 401(k) available and your income exceeds certain limits.

Increase withholding. Changing the amount withheld from your paycheck can help you decrease, if not eliminate, what you owe at tax time. An IRS calculator helps you figure how much to withhold and how much of your paycheck to keep.

Events during the year may also change your marital status or the exemptions, adjustments, deductions or credits you expect to claim on your tax return. You may need to give your employer a new IRS Form W-4 to change your withholding status or number of allowances.

Make your home energy-efficient. Investing in lowering your home’s energy consumption may open up credits to in turn lower your overall tax bill.

Improvements qualifying for credits include devices to harness solar and wind energy, geothermal heat pumps and electricity-producing fuel cells. These credits often cover almost a third of the cost of installation. You can also credit up to $500 for more usual improvements such as insulation, exterior doors and windows and heating and cooling equipment.

To see if you qualify for these credits, click here.

Start or increase your charitable giving. Giving to help others not only feels good – the IRS also provides some tax breaks for charitable givers. From giving to your church to donating items to the local foundation, you can open your heart and lower your tax bill.

These breaks do come with conditions:

  • You can’t deduct contributions to specific individuals, political organizations and candidates, and you must give to a qualified organization. See IRS Publication 526, “Charitable Contributions,” for what constitutes such an organization and for income limits to claim deductions.
  • To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file IRS Form 1040 when you file your taxes, and you must itemize deductions on Schedule A.
  • If you receive a benefit because of your contribution such as merchandise, event tickets or other goods and services, you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

 

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With 2014 well over and the spring of 2015 looming, you may find yourself gathering all of last year’s tax information and getting ready to file your income taxes. Maybe you expect a refund or maybe you dread writing a check to Uncle Sam. If the latter, here are some tips to reduce your tax burden for 2015.

Contribute more to your 401(k). You make these contributions in your retirement plan before you pay tax on the money. This lowers the amount of your taxable income, potentially reducing the amount you may owe at tax time and increasing your retirement savings.

Contribute enough of a percentage of your pay to get your employer match. Many employers match around 5% of an employee’s pay.

Take advantage of a deductible individual retirement account contribution. If your employer doesn’t offer a plan, set up and automatically save post-tax dollars to an individual retirement account. Your contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible; withdrawals from a Roth IRA in your retirement will be tax-free.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, your total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs this year cannot be more than $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re 50 or older) or your taxable compensation for the year if your compensation was less than this dollar limit.

Generally, your deduction for the above IRAs may drop or completely disappear if you already have a workplace 401(k) available and your income exceeds certain limits.

Increase withholding. Changing the amount withheld from your paycheck can help you decrease, if not eliminate, what you owe at tax time. An IRS calculator helps you figure how much to withhold and how much of your paycheck to keep.

Events during the year may also change your marital status or the exemptions, adjustments, deductions or credits you expect to claim on your tax return. You may need to give your employer a new IRS Form W-4 to change your withholding status or number of allowances.

Make your home energy-efficient. Investing in lowering your home’s energy consumption may open up credits to in turn lower your overall tax bill.

Improvements qualifying for credits include devices to harness solar and wind energy, geothermal heat pumps and electricity-producing fuel cells. These credits often cover almost a third of the cost of installation. You can also credit up to $500 for more usual improvements such as insulation, exterior doors and windows and heating and cooling equipment.

To see if you qualify for these credits, click here.

Start or increase your charitable giving. Giving to help others not only feels good – the IRS also provides some tax breaks for charitable givers. From giving to your church to donating items to the local foundation, you can open your heart and lower your tax bill.

These breaks do come with conditions:

  • You can’t deduct contributions to specific individuals, political organizations and candidates, and you must give to a qualified organization. See IRS Publication 526, “Charitable Contributions,” for what constitutes such an organization and for income limits to claim deductions.
  • To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file IRS Form 1040 when you file your taxes, and you must itemize deductions on Schedule A.
  • If you receive a benefit because of your contribution such as merchandise, event tickets or other goods and services, you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

 

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Boosting Singles’ Benefits http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/boosting-singles-benefits/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/boosting-singles-benefits/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 21:30:19 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=5d9b2a46c278bd1120ea7de1c72897be If you’re like most who think about how much you need for your golden years, you probably calculated based on still having a spouse. Widows, widowers and divorcees approaching retirement and about to file for Social Security, though, need to recognize filing options that can significantly increase monthly benefits.

While rules are different for surviving spouses and divorcees than for those still married, you have options as a single senior. You may be able to file for spousal or survivor benefits instead of your own.

Widows and widowers. I recently met with a widowed client who was approaching age 66, which Social Security defines as her full retirement age (FRA). She lost her husband more than 25 years ago, never remarried and didn’t know to claim her survivor benefits (based on the work record of her deceased husband) instead of her own.

A survivor may be entitled up to 100% of his or her spouse’s Social Security benefit if not remarrying before age 60. When we compared both my client’s and her late husband’s monthly benefits, we found that she qualified to collect either her benefit of $2,300 at 66 or her survivor benefit of $2,000 based on her husband’s account. (A deceased spouse’s benefit continually increases to adjust for inflation.)

Most people would choose the higher benefit – in this case, her own. But each person’s individual benefits grow if delayed until age 70; survivor benefits do not. In her situation, her own benefit increases to approximately $3,130 per month if she waits four more years to claim it.

Since she can do without the additional $300 per month, she decided to take her survivor benefits now and switch to her own larger monthly benefit when she turns 70. If she lives to 90, she will collect approximately $185,000 more in benefits using this strategy rather than just collecting her own benefits now, at her FRA.

Divorcees. You can also claim spousal benefits on your ex-spouse’s record. Divorcees’ spousal benefits are typically 50% of the full retirement benefits of the ex-spouse who qualified for such benefits. You must be at least 62 and not remarried and your marriage had to last 10 or more years.

The benefits of your ex-spouse must be higher than your own when you begin claiming yours. As with surviving spousal benefits, this claiming strategy allows you to collect some income before claiming your own full benefit at 70.

If your ex-spouse dies before you do, you may also qualify to collect his or her full survivor benefit instead of the 50% spousal benefit if, again, your marriage spanned at least 10 years. Note: If you are caring for a child younger than 16 or who is disabled, and receives benefits on the record of your former spouse, you do not need to meet the length-of-marriage rule. The child must be your former spouse’s natural or legally adopted child.

We recommend that you start this process at least three months before you want to start collecting these benefits. You will need your late or ex-spouse’s Social Security number and date of birth.

Rules for claiming Social Security benefits are very complicated, so it’s best to consult with a financial advisor or Social Security specialist to understand all options. Ask questions and do the math to make your retirement years even more golden.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Barry Glassman, CFP, is the founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services, a fee-only investment management, financial planning and wealth management firm in McLean, Va. He has been honored with just about every Top Financial Advisor Award from the financial planning industry and his peers in publications including Barron’sInvestment News, Reuters, Washingtonian and Virginia Business. Barry provides investment and financial planning commentary on WTOP radio in the Washington, DC area. He is a member of the elite CNBC Financial Advisors Council and contributing writer at CNBC.com, Forbes.com, WTOP.com, Investment News and Financial Planning. Follow Barry on Twitter at @BarryGlassman. His website is www.glassmanwealth.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

]]>
If you’re like most who think about how much you need for your golden years, you probably calculated based on still having a spouse. Widows, widowers and divorcees approaching retirement and about to file for Social Security, though, need to recognize filing options that can significantly increase monthly benefits.

While rules are different for surviving spouses and divorcees than for those still married, you have options as a single senior. You may be able to file for spousal or survivor benefits instead of your own.

Widows and widowers. I recently met with a widowed client who was approaching age 66, which Social Security defines as her full retirement age (FRA). She lost her husband more than 25 years ago, never remarried and didn’t know to claim her survivor benefits (based on the work record of her deceased husband) instead of her own.

A survivor may be entitled up to 100% of his or her spouse’s Social Security benefit if not remarrying before age 60. When we compared both my client’s and her late husband’s monthly benefits, we found that she qualified to collect either her benefit of $2,300 at 66 or her survivor benefit of $2,000 based on her husband’s account. (A deceased spouse’s benefit continually increases to adjust for inflation.)

Most people would choose the higher benefit – in this case, her own. But each person’s individual benefits grow if delayed until age 70; survivor benefits do not. In her situation, her own benefit increases to approximately $3,130 per month if she waits four more years to claim it.

Since she can do without the additional $300 per month, she decided to take her survivor benefits now and switch to her own larger monthly benefit when she turns 70. If she lives to 90, she will collect approximately $185,000 more in benefits using this strategy rather than just collecting her own benefits now, at her FRA.

Divorcees. You can also claim spousal benefits on your ex-spouse’s record. Divorcees’ spousal benefits are typically 50% of the full retirement benefits of the ex-spouse who qualified for such benefits. You must be at least 62 and not remarried and your marriage had to last 10 or more years.

The benefits of your ex-spouse must be higher than your own when you begin claiming yours. As with surviving spousal benefits, this claiming strategy allows you to collect some income before claiming your own full benefit at 70.

If your ex-spouse dies before you do, you may also qualify to collect his or her full survivor benefit instead of the 50% spousal benefit if, again, your marriage spanned at least 10 years. Note: If you are caring for a child younger than 16 or who is disabled, and receives benefits on the record of your former spouse, you do not need to meet the length-of-marriage rule. The child must be your former spouse’s natural or legally adopted child.

We recommend that you start this process at least three months before you want to start collecting these benefits. You will need your late or ex-spouse’s Social Security number and date of birth.

Rules for claiming Social Security benefits are very complicated, so it’s best to consult with a financial advisor or Social Security specialist to understand all options. Ask questions and do the math to make your retirement years even more golden.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Barry Glassman, CFP, is the founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services, a fee-only investment management, financial planning and wealth management firm in McLean, Va. He has been honored with just about every Top Financial Advisor Award from the financial planning industry and his peers in publications including Barron’sInvestment News, Reuters, Washingtonian and Virginia Business. Barry provides investment and financial planning commentary on WTOP radio in the Washington, DC area. He is a member of the elite CNBC Financial Advisors Council and contributing writer at CNBC.com, Forbes.com, WTOP.com, Investment News and Financial Planning. Follow Barry on Twitter at @BarryGlassman. His website is www.glassmanwealth.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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Dorothy Schraut’s 90th Birthday http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/90th-birthday/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/90th-birthday/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:41:28 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573519

Image-17451An open house to celebrate Dorothy Schraut’s 90th birthday will be held Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Brickyard in Pierz. No gifts please.

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Noell / Barry http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/noell-barry/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/noell-barry/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:41:21 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573516

Image-17450Roger and Judy Virnig of Little Falls announce the engagement of their daughter, Angela Noell to Timothy Barry, son of Sharon Burke of Shorewood, IL.
Angela is a 2000 graduate of Little Falls High School. She is employed at Control Products Corporation in Grand Prairie, TX.
Timothy is a graduate of DePaul University. He is employed at Corporate Strategies and Solutions, Inc., a Sandler Training Center in Naperville, IL.
A June 2015 wedding is being planned in Fort Worth, TX.

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Vivian Kimman http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/vivian-kimman/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/vivian-kimman/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:41:14 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573513 Vivian Rae Kimman was born to Tina and Tim Kimman of Little Falls, March 10, 2015, at 8:43 a.m. at St. Gabriel’s Hospital. She weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces and was 19 inches long.
Grandparents are Annette and Reinhart Kimman of Alexandria and Robert and Kay Hoheisel of Lastrup. Great-grandparent is Bonnie Isder of Round Lake.

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Harper Hart http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/harper-hart/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/harper-hart/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:41:06 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573510 Harper Marie Hart was born to Kimberly DeMeMarre and Joshua Hart of Little Falls, March 22, 2015, at 7:11 p.m. at St. Gabriel’s Hospital. She weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long.
Grandparents are Vivian DeMarre and Raymound DeMarre of Little Falls and the late Nancy Hart and Myron Hart of Minneapolis.

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Otremba / Brannan http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/otremba-brannan/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/otremba-brannan/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:06:59 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573507

Image-17434Tom and JoAnn Otremba of Pierz, announce the engagement of their daughter, Denise, to Justin Brannan, son of Jeff and Kimberly Brannan of St. Augusta and Dana Wallack of Sauk Rapids.
Denise is a graduate of Pierz Healy High School and Central Lakes College. She is employed at Dentistry For Children in Sartell.
Justin is a graduate of St. Cloud Tech High School and Minnesota School of Business. He is employed at Britz Store Equipment.
A May 30, 2015 wedding is planned.

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Olivia Seviola http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/olivia-seviola/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/olivia-seviola/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:06:52 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573504 Olivia Mae Seviola was born to Stacey and Christopher Seviola of Royalton, March 26, 2015, at 4:26 a.m. at St. Gabriel’s Hospital. She weighed 7 pounds, 14 1/2 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.
Grandparents are Dean and Sharon Zimmerman and David and Anita Seviola of Royalton. Great-grandparents are Tom and Barb Bye of Minneapolis, Dorothy Schraut of Pierz and Clara Zimmerman of Royalton.

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Emma Pflipsen http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/pflipsen/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/pflipsen/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:06:45 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573501 Daniel and Amanda Pflipsen are happy to share the birth of their daughter, Emma Jo Pflipsen. She was born March 27, 2015 at 9:57 a.m., weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and was 18 inches long.
Grandparents are David and JoAnn Cagle of Sauk Rapids, Janelle Goulet of Sauk Rapids and the Late Randy Pflipsen of Rice.

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Eric Tiny Storkamp http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/eric-tiny-storkamp/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/eric-tiny-storkamp/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:05:22 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573498

Image-17440Eric “Tiny” Storkamp, 38-year-old resident of Pierz, died March 2, 2015, at the St. Cloud Hospital due to complications from surgery.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, March 31 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pierz, with Fr. Kenneth Popp officiating. The burial will take place in the parish cemetery. A visitation will be held Monday, March 30 from 4 -8 p.m. at the Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service in Pierz, and from 9:0 a.m. – 10 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday evening at the funeral home.
Eric Storkamp was born Sept. 27, 1976, in Little Falls, to Glenn Paul and Jane (Schneider) Storkamp. Eric was raised in Pierz, where he attended Pierz High School. He worked various jobs in construction working with RL Excavating, Bauerly Brothers and most recently with Kowalczyk Gravel. Eric enjoyed hunting, ice fishing, mud runs, camping and clearing his mind on his 4-wheeler. He treasured his time spent with his daughter, Aleah and niece Jynesa Storkamp.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Shannon of Pierz; daughter, Aleah Storkamp in Pierz; mother, Jane Storkamp of Pierz; mother-in-law, Denise Okonek of Oak Park; father-in-law, Roger Wasner of Holdingford; sisters-in-law, Stacey Wasner of St. Cloud, and Ashley Okonek of Oak Park; brother-in-law, Aaron Okonek of Oak Park; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Glenn Paul Storkamp; brother, Aaron Storkamp in 2008; grandparents, Chester and Viola Schneider, Paul and Roselyn Storkamp and step-father-in-law, Darrel Okonek.
The casketbearers will be Aaron Okonek, Jon Lyon, Teddy Hoheisel, Ian Severson, Adam Storkamp, Cory Hofer, Chad Hoheisel and Cory Tretter.The honorary casket bearers will be Toby Block, Steve Block, David Block, Kelly Laubach, Cody Schneider, Bob Schneider, Alan Schneider and Steve Hoheisel.

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Ethelreda (Reda) M. Regnier http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/ethelreda-reda-m-regnier/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/ethelreda-reda-m-regnier/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:04:41 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573495 Image-17436

Ethelreda M. ‘Reda’ Regnier, age 88, of Sartell, died Friday, March 27, 2015 at Country Manor Nursing Home, Sartell after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Mass of Christian Burial 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Duelm. The Rev. Virgil Helmin will officiate. Burial in the parish cemetery. Friends may call from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Monday at the Foley Funeral Home in Foley and after 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the church. Parish Prayers will be at 6 p.m. Service with Dignity provided by the Foley Funeral Home.
Reda Regnier was born June 27, 1926 in St. George Township, Benton County to Paul and Agnes (Hennek) Jurek. She married Dennis Regnier on September 28, 1949 at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Duelm. Reda was a homemaker, a member of St. Lawrence parish all her life, a member of St. Lawrence Christian Mother Society, St. Lucille Mission Circle and a Miraculous Medal promoter. She cherished her family and friends.
She enjoyed cooking, baking, gardening, embroidering, camping, R.V. traveling and took many trips to Branson, Missouri. Her faith and the Rosary were very important to her.
She is survived by her sons and daughters, Elaine (Jim) Winkelman, Barb (Tom) Brand, Kathy (Reggie) Siemers, all of Rice, Karen (Joe) Foster, Joan (Mick) Abfalter, Connie (Chad) Pflipsen and David (Christina) Regnier, all of Sauk Rapids, Allan (Donna) Regnier of Sartell, Janet (Dan) Denfeld and Judi Regnier (Kevin Foster) of Foley, Roger (Holly) Regnier of Crystal, Jerry (Cindy) Regnier of Harris; 30 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; sister, Rosemary Girard of Fort Collins, CO, and sister-in-law, Dorothy Jurek of Sartell.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dennis on April 12, 2010; parents; brothers, Dominic, Raymond, Rudy, Stanley, Arthur and Peter; sisters, Clara Corrigan, Martha Lavigne and Lorraine Dorr.
The family wishes to thank Margaret Henning and St. Croix Hospice for all of their care and compassion.

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Little Falls Area Auction • Saturday, April 11, 2015 http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/little-falls-area-auction-%e2%80%a2-saturday-april-11-2015/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/little-falls-area-auction-%e2%80%a2-saturday-april-11-2015/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:11:51 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573492 Auction • 11:00 a.m.

8 miles W of Little Falls to CR 1, then right .7 miles

Houdek Auction Service

www.midwestauctions.com

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Auction • Thursday, April 9, 2015 http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/auction-%e2%80%a2-thursday-april-9-2015/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/auction-%e2%80%a2-thursday-april-9-2015/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:02:36 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573490 Auction • 10:00 a.m.

7545 135th Ave. NE, Foley, from the intersection of Hwys 23 & 25 in Foley, follow Hwy. 23 E 2 miles to CR 66 the N 1/4 mile to auction site

Siemers Auctioneers

www.siemersauctions.com

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Staples Area Auction • Tuesday, April 7, 2015 http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/staples-area-auction-%e2%80%a2-tuesday-april-7-2015/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/staples-area-auction-%e2%80%a2-tuesday-april-7-2015/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:55:54 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573488 Large Farm Equipment Auction • 11:00 a.m.

2 blocks W of Staples at the Jackson Welding Shop, 911 2nd Ave NW in Staples

Mid-American Auction Co.

www.midamericanauctioninc.com

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Farm Auction • Saturday, April 4, 2015 http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/farm-auction-%e2%80%a2-saturday-april-4-2015/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/farm-auction-%e2%80%a2-saturday-april-4-2015/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:45:49 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573485 Farm Auction • 10:30 a.m.

Located at 16807 370th St, Avon, being 4 miles N of Avon on CR 9 then 1/2 mile E on 370 St or 5 miles S of Holdingford on CR 9 to St. Anna then 1/2 mile E on 370th St.

Meagher Auctioneers

www.meagherauctioneers.com

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Consignment Auction • Saturday, April 4, 2015 http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/consignment-auction-%e2%80%a2-saturday-april-4-2015/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/consignment-auction-%e2%80%a2-saturday-april-4-2015/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:41:19 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573483 Bargain Billy’s Consignment Auction • 9:00 a.m.

16004 Hwy. 10 NW, located 2 miles S of Royalton on Hwy. 10

Paul Strunge Auctioneer

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Hay Auction • Thursday, April 2, 2015 http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/hay-auction-%e2%80%a2-thursday-april-2-2015/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/hay-auction-%e2%80%a2-thursday-april-2-2015/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:37:33 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573480 Quality Tested Hay Auction • 12:30 p.m.

Interstate 94 and US Highway 71 at Sauk Centre, MN 1/2 mile south on US Highway 71 to Modern Farm Equipment, then 1/10 mile east on 408th Street

Mid-American Auction Co.

www.midamericanauctioninc.com

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Inside the Fed’s Thinking http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/inside-the-feds-thinking/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/30/inside-the-feds-thinking/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:00:03 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=b4342c26f5d623c3e6bd63a693126903 The Federal Reserve bases its monetary policy on augury. Thousands of years ago, Roman soothsayers visited the oracles and interpreted the entrails of slaughtered animals. We haven’t advanced much since then, as a review of the Fed’s most recent prophecy shows.

Fortunately, no animals are slaughtered today, but many brain cells seem to die in the reading and interpretation of policy statements of the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policymaking body, which oversees short-term interest rates. Today’s economists, journalists and pundits pass along the committee’s thinking to the credulous public. Trouble is, it’s unclear whether the FOMC knows what it is saying.

Many well-paid experts make a living off interpreting what the Fed is going to do. They will tell you, with certainty, that the Fed will definitely maybe raise interest rates sometime this year – or perhaps next year – but they’re just guessing.

Consider, for example, when Fed Chair Janet Yellen used the word “patient” to describe the Fed’s approach to raising rates. They know, without a doubt, that at least two meetings will pass before rates would be raised.

How did they know? Why two meetings and not three? And what’s to be made of the absence of the word “patient” or any derivative of it in the latest pronouncement from the Fed?

Since the Fed doesn’t do much, except issue occasional policy statements and print money, being an interpreter of Fed-speak has to be a good gig. I want in. So here’s my interpretation of the Fed’s latest policy statement, issued in the wake of its latest meeting – what FOMC says, versus (in italics) what it is really thinking:

“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat.” The Fed laid out $3 trillion- plus in bond buying, a stimulus effort called quantitative easing, designed to keep rates low and pump money into the system. And the economy still stinks: Since the Great Recession, gross domestic product has inched up barely over 2% annually, with no real improvement is sight.

“Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate.” It’s a good thing we have the U-3 unemployment rate to fall back on. This measure conveniently excludes discouraged people who no longer are looking for work. The workforce participation rate is still abysmal, but no one pays any attention to it. It has shrunk below 63% of the population, a level not seen since the stagflation-ridden late 1970s.

“A range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish.” The best that can be said is that fewer people are flipping burgers at McDonald’s – although that may be because of a downturn in McDonald’s business, not because of any improvement in the U.S. economy.

“Household spending is rising moderately; declines in energy prices have boosted household purchasing power.” Personal income is still down: Inflation adjusted, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it this way in 2000, the household statistic shows no room for optimism. Dated from when the recession officially ended in June 2009, for instance, it fell 5.6%. But because our efforts to boost inflation have failed, consumers have more money to spend.

“Business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow and export growth has weakened.” We’ll need to be “patient” a little longer before we increase interest rates.

“Inflation has declined further below the Committee’s longer-run objective, largely reflecting declines in energy prices.” Do not mention that, even after buying more than $3 trillion worth of bonds, we’re now in a period of deflation. Oh, well. At least we’re not Europe. Maybe it’s time to reconsider that arbitrary 2% inflation target.

“Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.” Sooner or later (OK, later), inflation will increase. When it does, we’re ready to take credit for it.

“Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability.” Let’s not dwell on how 2% inflation equals “price stability.”

“The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, with labor market indicators continuing to move toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate.” There’s no way we’re going much beyond the 2% growth we’ve had since Barack Obama took office. That’s the best you can hope for when you hand control of the economy over to the Fed.

“The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced.” We’re not sure how the labor market is supposed to balance economic risks, but saying something is “nearly balanced” sounds like we’re in some sort of equilibrium, so we’ll leave this sentence in.

“Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term, but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of energy price declines and other factors dissipate. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.” So the best thing that could happen to the economy would be for oil prices to increase. Didn’t we just say that lower oil prices boosted consumer spending?

“To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress – both realized and expected – toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation.” We have no idea when we’re going to raise interest rates, but if we wait until we achieve our “dual mandate,” they may remain near zero for as long as we’re alive.

“This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.” Maybe I should refer here to macroprudential supervision? Nah. That one was never much of a market mover. This idea means that the Fed is supposed to more tightly regulate financial institutions and stop speculative bubbles before they occur. The Fed didn’t go such a great job forestalling the dot-com crash and the housing crisis, though.

“Consistent with its previous statement, the Committee judges that an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April FOMC meeting. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term.” We’re in no hurry to raise rates. When we do, the stock market will tank and we’ll have to start picking up the tab when we visit Wall Street for lunch.

“This change in the forward guidance does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range.” We’ve been saying the same thing for months, but now all we did was ax the word “patient.” Not much of a difference in our wording here. Nevertheless, it qualifies as a “change in the forward guidance.”

“The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions. “ Let’s ignore the risk of all of those long-term holdings. When we leave the Fed, it will become someone else’s problem.

“When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.” In other words, you can expect this drama to continue for many years to come, at least through this administration, anyway.

“The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.” We did it: Got through a policy statement without using the word “patient.” Is it time for lunch yet?

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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The Federal Reserve bases its monetary policy on augury. Thousands of years ago, Roman soothsayers visited the oracles and interpreted the entrails of slaughtered animals. We haven’t advanced much since then, as a review of the Fed’s most recent prophecy shows.

Fortunately, no animals are slaughtered today, but many brain cells seem to die in the reading and interpretation of policy statements of the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policymaking body, which oversees short-term interest rates. Today’s economists, journalists and pundits pass along the committee’s thinking to the credulous public. Trouble is, it’s unclear whether the FOMC knows what it is saying.

Many well-paid experts make a living off interpreting what the Fed is going to do. They will tell you, with certainty, that the Fed will definitely maybe raise interest rates sometime this year – or perhaps next year – but they’re just guessing.

Consider, for example, when Fed Chair Janet Yellen used the word “patient” to describe the Fed’s approach to raising rates. They know, without a doubt, that at least two meetings will pass before rates would be raised.

How did they know? Why two meetings and not three? And what’s to be made of the absence of the word “patient” or any derivative of it in the latest pronouncement from the Fed?

Since the Fed doesn’t do much, except issue occasional policy statements and print money, being an interpreter of Fed-speak has to be a good gig. I want in. So here’s my interpretation of the Fed’s latest policy statement, issued in the wake of its latest meeting – what FOMC says, versus (in italics) what it is really thinking:

“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat.” The Fed laid out $3 trillion- plus in bond buying, a stimulus effort called quantitative easing, designed to keep rates low and pump money into the system. And the economy still stinks: Since the Great Recession, gross domestic product has inched up barely over 2% annually, with no real improvement is sight.

“Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate.” It’s a good thing we have the U-3 unemployment rate to fall back on. This measure conveniently excludes discouraged people who no longer are looking for work. The workforce participation rate is still abysmal, but no one pays any attention to it. It has shrunk below 63% of the population, a level not seen since the stagflation-ridden late 1970s.

“A range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish.” The best that can be said is that fewer people are flipping burgers at McDonald’s – although that may be because of a downturn in McDonald’s business, not because of any improvement in the U.S. economy.

“Household spending is rising moderately; declines in energy prices have boosted household purchasing power.” Personal income is still down: Inflation adjusted, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it this way in 2000, the household statistic shows no room for optimism. Dated from when the recession officially ended in June 2009, for instance, it fell 5.6%. But because our efforts to boost inflation have failed, consumers have more money to spend.

“Business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow and export growth has weakened.” We’ll need to be “patient” a little longer before we increase interest rates.

“Inflation has declined further below the Committee’s longer-run objective, largely reflecting declines in energy prices.” Do not mention that, even after buying more than $3 trillion worth of bonds, we’re now in a period of deflation. Oh, well. At least we’re not Europe. Maybe it’s time to reconsider that arbitrary 2% inflation target.

“Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.” Sooner or later (OK, later), inflation will increase. When it does, we’re ready to take credit for it.

“Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability.” Let’s not dwell on how 2% inflation equals “price stability.”

“The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, with labor market indicators continuing to move toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate.” There’s no way we’re going much beyond the 2% growth we’ve had since Barack Obama took office. That’s the best you can hope for when you hand control of the economy over to the Fed.

“The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced.” We’re not sure how the labor market is supposed to balance economic risks, but saying something is “nearly balanced” sounds like we’re in some sort of equilibrium, so we’ll leave this sentence in.

“Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term, but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of energy price declines and other factors dissipate. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.” So the best thing that could happen to the economy would be for oil prices to increase. Didn’t we just say that lower oil prices boosted consumer spending?

“To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress – both realized and expected – toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation.” We have no idea when we’re going to raise interest rates, but if we wait until we achieve our “dual mandate,” they may remain near zero for as long as we’re alive.

“This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.” Maybe I should refer here to macroprudential supervision? Nah. That one was never much of a market mover. This idea means that the Fed is supposed to more tightly regulate financial institutions and stop speculative bubbles before they occur. The Fed didn’t go such a great job forestalling the dot-com crash and the housing crisis, though.

“Consistent with its previous statement, the Committee judges that an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April FOMC meeting. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term.” We’re in no hurry to raise rates. When we do, the stock market will tank and we’ll have to start picking up the tab when we visit Wall Street for lunch.

“This change in the forward guidance does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range.” We’ve been saying the same thing for months, but now all we did was ax the word “patient.” Not much of a difference in our wording here. Nevertheless, it qualifies as a “change in the forward guidance.”

“The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions. “ Let’s ignore the risk of all of those long-term holdings. When we leave the Fed, it will become someone else’s problem.

“When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.” In other words, you can expect this drama to continue for many years to come, at least through this administration, anyway.

“The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.” We did it: Got through a policy statement without using the word “patient.” Is it time for lunch yet?

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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‘MakerSpaces’ in LF school libraries engage students in learning http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/29/makerspaces-in-lf-school-libraries-engage-students-in-learning/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/03/29/makerspaces-in-lf-school-libraries-engage-students-in-learning/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:58:50 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=573366 By CASSANDRA KING, LFCS Intern

Libraries are no longer solely for reading. MakerSpaces are now making their way into many libraries, including the libraries of Little Falls Community Schools (LFCS).

A MakerSpace is a designated area where students can go to create, build and learn using a variety of supplies and technology.

Tyler Fimon, a Lindbergh Elementary School fourth-grader builds with Legos in a “MakerSpacer” designated area at his school’s library.

Tyler Fimon, a Lindbergh Elementary School fourth-grader builds with Legos in a “MakerSpacer” designated area at his school’s library.

The first MakerSpace to open in the community was at Lindbergh Elementary School, followed by Lincoln and S.G. Knight MakerSpaces, which opened in the last week of February.

Mark Diehl, district technology coordinator and instrumental in coordinating the space, said that the idea began circulating around December of 2013. The idea was brought to Supt. Steve Jones in the spring of 2014.

The MakerSpace at Lindbergh Elementary School offers a wide array of activities, so there is something to engage a student at any grade level. Craft supplies include anything from wooden Popsicle sticks and cardboard tubes to marshmallows and spaghetti. Students can use their imaginations to create something, or they can take inspiration from one of the challenges posted around the room.

MakerSpaces at every school incorporate technology to help students explore and learn. Lincoln’s MakerSpace focuses on letting older students create working electronic systems using parts provided in Snap Circuit kits. Some kits can build a motion detector or lie detector, and others focus on using alternative energy sources.

Combining pulley systems, wheels and axles and levers with standard Legos, students can build moving and working Lego creations. Computer programs allow students to build Lego towns in Google maps and three-dimensional Lego models using virtual Lego blocks.

When they aren’t using the computer to build with Legos, students can use them to learn about computer coding. Coding is telling a computer what to do using step by step instructions. The activities resemble games and use popular characters from Angry Birds and Frozen to encourage kids to learn the basics of coding.

Students who enjoy music can play a song on the keyboard and use the computer program Garage Band to mix their music.

The purpose of a MakerSpace and everything in it is to let kids use their creativity to build and solve problems. Mark Diehl said the MakerSpaces are new environments where kids can go to do something that they are interested in. “It gives them a dedicated place to go and be creative,” said Diehl. He noted its importance with so many jobs based around creativity.

In the classroom setting, students are often given specific instruction, but Diehl says that MakerSpaces “let them think and problem solve on their own.”

Tony Bergman, a fourth grade teacher at Lindbergh Elementary School, said his students use the MakerSpace once or twice each week. One of their favorite activities, he said, is using the circuit boards, an extension of the electricity and magnetism unit.

Bergman said his students are encouraged to work independently, but they are always willing to help each other out. His students view it as a reward and Bergman said they do not want to lose the privilege of using the MakerSpace.

Still a fresh addition, Lincoln’s MakerSpace is focused on building using Legos and circuit boards. Shawn Alholm, Lincoln and Dr. S. G. Knight elementary schools technology coordinator, said the space has huge potential. He hopes to introduce the space to the kids so they understand how to use it.

“We hope it’s a place for them to blossom with whatever talents they have,” said Alholm. He believes it will help kids focus on their strengths and use their imaginations.

The materials and supplies are what make a MakerSpace special. Diehl said that many of the craft materials were donated by families, while some materials like cardboard tubes are recycled. The computers and Lego kits were purchased using the district’s technology budget. In total, Diehl estimated the cost to create MakerSpaces district-wide to be around $23,000.

There are plans to bring MakerSpaces to the middle and high school. Diehl said these MakerSpaces will be based more around technology, featuring computer programming and robotics.

Cassandra King is a student intern with the Little Falls Community Schools.

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