The Morrison County Record http://mcrecord.com Covering community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the Morrison County, Minnesota. Sat, 31 Jan 2015 15:58:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Beyond Ballroom Dance Company to perform in Staples http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/31/beyond-ballroom-dance-company-to-perform-in-staples/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/31/beyond-ballroom-dance-company-to-perform-in-staples/#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2015 15:58:10 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570730 Beyond Ballroom Dance Company, featuring performances by seven dancers and two guest artists, dance champs Elena, left, and Gene Bersten, will perform at Centennial Auditorium in Staples at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6.

Beyond Ballroom Dance Company, featuring performances by seven dancers and two guest artists, dance champs Elena, left, and Gene Bersten, will perform at Centennial Auditorium in Staples at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6.

Beyond Ballroom Dance Company will perform at Centennial Auditorium in Staples at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6. The performance is part of the Staples Motley Area Arts Council’s season and is underwritten by Ernie’s Grocery.

According to a Star Tribune review, “Splice competitive ballroom dance with a mischief-filled narrative, an eclectic song list and lots of sexiness and sass, and you have the Beyond Ballroom Dance Company.”

This company offers all the excitement of the TV sensation, “Dancing with the Stars,” with the artistry and expertise that these professional ballroom dancers bring to the stage. They have reinvigorated traditional dances — the waltz, tango, fox trot, etc. — by integrating them into dramatic narratives, according to event organizers. Their show in Staples will feature performances by seven dancers, including guest artists and dance champs Gene and Elena Bersten.

Founded in 2003 by dance champions who formerly competed against one another, the company blends the technical expertise of competitive ballroom dance with the artistic scope of theater. BBDC’s original works combine ballroom and Latin partnership dance with other dance forms, creating a new genre that stretches the boundaries of ballroom dance.

For more information about Beyond Ballroom Dance Company, visit www.beyondballroom.org.

For more information, visit the Arts Council’s website www.staplesmotleyarts.org

Tickets for Beyond Ballroom Dance Company are available in advance, at the door, online at the Arts Council’s website; or purchase them by cash or check at the Staples World. For more information call (218) 894-1112.

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Caleb Swant http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/caleb-swant/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/caleb-swant/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:00:45 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570796 Caleb Matthew Swant was born to Michelle and Jay Swant of Long Prairie, Jan. 18, 2015, at 7:13 p.m. at St. Gabriel’s Hospital. He weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.
Grandparents are Scott Fodness and Lynda Kobb of Alexandria, Brian and Marie Denn of Melrose and Mike Dulas and Brenda Beattie of Holmes City. Great-grandparents are Leo and Janice Meyer of Melrose.

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Annalyn Sobania http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/annalyn-sobania/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/annalyn-sobania/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:00:37 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570793 Annalyn Rebecca Sobania was born to Sara and Daniel Sobania of Bowlus, Dec. 11, 2014, at 11:30 p.m. at St. Gabriel’s Hospital. She weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long.
Annalyn is welcomed home by her sister Roseable, grandparents Wanda and Craig Melgard of Royalton and Claude and Linda Sobania of Bowlus.

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Is Soros’ Bet on Gross Smart? http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/is-soros-bet-on-gross-smart/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/is-soros-bet-on-gross-smart/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:30:09 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=fb9cf621c0b2495f95efabdeace4b508 When a financial genius invests in you, that’s usually a good sign. This seemed to be the case recently when George Soros invested $500 million with Bill Gross at the latter’s new firm. The Soros money went into a separate account that follows Gross’ new Janus Global Unconstrained fund.

Turns out that Gross’ returns since his arrival at Janus in late September are slightly negative, in keeping with his sub-par performance in his last days at his old fund house, Pimco. But since he started at his new employer, his former flagship fund, Pimco Total Return, has outpaced his Janus showing, up 3.5%.

Has Gross, whose long-term record is extraordinary, lost his touch? Soros might have made a bad bet here.

Sure, a lot of folks don’t particularly care for financier and philanthropist Soros. Those on the political right are specifically annoyed that he leans to the left and that he prides himself on his progressive views (“a prominent international supporter of democratic ideals and causes for more than 30 years,” according to the Soros website).

Few doubt his abilities to make, earn, manage and control money. Everyday investors might know Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett better. But Soros, along with the right-leaning oil magnets Charles and David Koch, appear to be among the largest benefactors of political causes.

We all seem to believe that money rules politics and big money rules bigger politics. Now put politics aside. Soros is one astute investor.

When this legendary financier recently made a $500 million bet on the future performance of Bill Gross at Janus Capital Group, it provided a vote of confidence for the onetime “bond king” of Pacific Investment Management Co., aka Pimco. So did reports of torrents of fresh investment coming into his Janus fund. Last fall, when Gross resigned from Pimco, it was one of the messiest exits from a major investment house in memory.

He now manages assets for Soros Fund Management, Soros’ private investment vehicle, a job that Gross calls an honor.

What gives? The Soros investment is small relative to Gross’ former gig at Pimco – though it does represent a significant amount compared with the total Janus holdings. Using a separate account also insulates Soros from any defections by Janus investors, if Gross’ new fund runs into the persistent under-performance problems besetting Pimco Total Return on the latter part of his watch – lagging behind the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, the standard fixed-income benchmark.

Disturbingly, much of the $1 billion-plus in new investments that flooded Gross’ Janus fund came from Gross himself. A Wall Street Journal article reported that Gross pumped $700 million into his new Janus fund. The nature of the Gross-Soros relationship is fuzzy.

Another WSJ story adds that Gross and Soros have met “but don’t have a close relationship.” That might change. You usually want to be close with someone who controls $500 million of your money.

Likely, the Soros move hinges a little on the bond king’s reputation. Gross, with Pimco for almost four decades, managed $293 billion in Total Return alone at its peak in August 2013, and oversaw billions more in Pimco. Reuters reported that $38 billion left Pimco in the two months following Gross’ departure.

Almost 20 years after its publication, his Everything You’ve Heard About Investing Is Wrong remains a solid seller, once critically applauded as “a surprisingly entertaining and thought-provoking book.” For years, the financial industry hung on every word Gross uttered.

Before his departure from Pimco, though, poor investment performance, months of hemorrhaging of fund capital as investors fled and even Gross’ erratic public behavior caused tension.

Last June, Gross donned sunglasses to deliver a disjointed (if not oddball) speech at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago. He likened himself to Gen. George Patton and pop singer Justin Bieber, then joked that he ought to control the media with brainwashing techniques from the 1962 assassination movie The Manchurian Candidate.

Mohamed El-Erian, Pimco’s former chief executive officer, left the company in January 2014, reportedly over personality clashes with Gross. Other key personnel also sought employment elsewhere.

To the best of my knowledge, Gross walked out of Pimco with no fanfare, unless you count the announcement soon after that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating whether Pimco inflated returns on one of its exchange-traded funds.

Except for that, it’s just how I retired from teaching: No golden parachute, bonus or party. Unlike Gross and probably like most of you who recently retired, I did not become a billionaire at my old job. Or at my next one.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

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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When a financial genius invests in you, that’s usually a good sign. This seemed to be the case recently when George Soros invested $500 million with Bill Gross at the latter’s new firm. The Soros money went into a separate account that follows Gross’ new Janus Global Unconstrained fund.

Turns out that Gross’ returns since his arrival at Janus in late September are slightly negative, in keeping with his sub-par performance in his last days at his old fund house, Pimco. But since he started at his new employer, his former flagship fund, Pimco Total Return, has outpaced his Janus showing, up 3.5%.

Has Gross, whose long-term record is extraordinary, lost his touch? Soros might have made a bad bet here.

Sure, a lot of folks don’t particularly care for financier and philanthropist Soros. Those on the political right are specifically annoyed that he leans to the left and that he prides himself on his progressive views (“a prominent international supporter of democratic ideals and causes for more than 30 years,” according to the Soros website).

Few doubt his abilities to make, earn, manage and control money. Everyday investors might know Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett better. But Soros, along with the right-leaning oil magnets Charles and David Koch, appear to be among the largest benefactors of political causes.

We all seem to believe that money rules politics and big money rules bigger politics. Now put politics aside. Soros is one astute investor.

When this legendary financier recently made a $500 million bet on the future performance of Bill Gross at Janus Capital Group, it provided a vote of confidence for the onetime “bond king” of Pacific Investment Management Co., aka Pimco. So did reports of torrents of fresh investment coming into his Janus fund. Last fall, when Gross resigned from Pimco, it was one of the messiest exits from a major investment house in memory.

He now manages assets for Soros Fund Management, Soros’ private investment vehicle, a job that Gross calls an honor.

What gives? The Soros investment is small relative to Gross’ former gig at Pimco – though it does represent a significant amount compared with the total Janus holdings. Using a separate account also insulates Soros from any defections by Janus investors, if Gross’ new fund runs into the persistent under-performance problems besetting Pimco Total Return on the latter part of his watch – lagging behind the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, the standard fixed-income benchmark.

Disturbingly, much of the $1 billion-plus in new investments that flooded Gross’ Janus fund came from Gross himself. A Wall Street Journal article reported that Gross pumped $700 million into his new Janus fund. The nature of the Gross-Soros relationship is fuzzy.

Another WSJ story adds that Gross and Soros have met “but don’t have a close relationship.” That might change. You usually want to be close with someone who controls $500 million of your money.

Likely, the Soros move hinges a little on the bond king’s reputation. Gross, with Pimco for almost four decades, managed $293 billion in Total Return alone at its peak in August 2013, and oversaw billions more in Pimco. Reuters reported that $38 billion left Pimco in the two months following Gross’ departure.

Almost 20 years after its publication, his Everything You’ve Heard About Investing Is Wrong remains a solid seller, once critically applauded as “a surprisingly entertaining and thought-provoking book.” For years, the financial industry hung on every word Gross uttered.

Before his departure from Pimco, though, poor investment performance, months of hemorrhaging of fund capital as investors fled and even Gross’ erratic public behavior caused tension.

Last June, Gross donned sunglasses to deliver a disjointed (if not oddball) speech at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago. He likened himself to Gen. George Patton and pop singer Justin Bieber, then joked that he ought to control the media with brainwashing techniques from the 1962 assassination movie The Manchurian Candidate.

Mohamed El-Erian, Pimco’s former chief executive officer, left the company in January 2014, reportedly over personality clashes with Gross. Other key personnel also sought employment elsewhere.

To the best of my knowledge, Gross walked out of Pimco with no fanfare, unless you count the announcement soon after that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating whether Pimco inflated returns on one of its exchange-traded funds.

Except for that, it’s just how I retired from teaching: No golden parachute, bonus or party. Unlike Gross and probably like most of you who recently retired, I did not become a billionaire at my old job. Or at my next one.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

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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Affording Retirement Travel http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/affording-retirement-travel/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/affording-retirement-travel/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:30:07 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=dcb0b5b47fa7360153344c674fe6d4ef If you’re like most people who think about retirement, you probably imagine traveling in your golden years. Before you browse Acapulco websites and whip out the credit card to buy your ticket, make sure your finances can handle your trip.

First, don’t wait to fulfill your dream. Enjoy the items on your bucket list now while you are healthy enough to walk easily. If that list involves extensive travel that’s suddenly possible with free time after working, realize that seeing the world isn’t cheap.

You can do two things to afford it: increase your spendable income and decrease your travel expenses.

The bonds trap. In today’s virtually zero-interest world of bank accounts, increasing income can be a huge challenge. You either risk your savings in the stock market, hoping for more-or-less continual appreciation of your equities, or you go into bonds.

Except bonds might well be the next big crash. If interest rates finally rise from today’s historical lows, bond values will decrease substantially. In June 2013, the well-known brokerage firm Oppenheimer issued a report entitled “Effect of Higher Rates on Fixed Income Portfolios,” widely taken as a warning about bond investments.

As noted in the report, an interest increase of three percentage points will nearly halve the value of a 30-year U.S. Treasury bond; a jump of only one percentage point will cause an 18% drop in this bond’s value. You take a big loss after even the smallest budge upward in rates.

You have options. Consider a personal pension, where you contribute part of your savings to a financial institution that in turn invests your money to build a lifetime pension for you at retirement. These pensions are based on actuarial principles that offer a higher cash flow than most alternatives.

For instance, if you are 70, deposit $200,000 and wait five years to start withdrawals, you can often get about $17,000 to $18,000 of annual income for the rest of your life. This can fund a lot of travel, particularly when you mix one big foreign trip with two cheaper domestic ones each year.

Look for bargains. You can find many websites to one-click breaks on airfare, hotels, car rentals and all-inclusive packages. Innovative thinking helps, too: Just consider the Gentlemen Host Program.

The cruise industry has long known that older, single women constitute a significant share of shipboard vacationers. These women, often either divorced or widowed, enjoy cruises for the organized activities, lavish dinner and drinks and the entertainment after the dinner. Only thing missing: someone to dance with.

Gentlemen Host, a placement program operated through Compass Speakers and Entertainment, matches groups of such female travelers with outgoing, unmarried conversationalists – who preferably can cut a serious rug on the dance floor. The requirements of the hosts are extensive and activities strictly platonic; hosts’ cruises are almost free.

How much of your nest egg and estate on travel? About three years ago, I met a couple in their 80s who had been educators in public schools. They retired about three decades before and took two cruises each year since.

With only some $80,000 saved for retirement through their entire lives, the couple relied on generous teachers’ pensions and Social Security to fund extensive travel. They estimated that they spent slightly less than $700,000 on the cruises – but the trips were a big life dream.

The couple expected to leave nothing except their house to their kids.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Dr. Harold Wong earned his Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley and passed the CPA exam in 1979. He has appeared on more than 400 television and radio programs and published numerous articles in 1,600 newspapers. He writes the column on money for The Arizona Republic, the largest daily newspaper in Arizona, where this article originally appeared in different form. Dr. Wong is a tax advisor and financial educator. He can be reached at (480) 706-0177, haroldwong1@yahoo.com, or www.drharoldwong.com .You can find much of his archived research at www.DrWongInvestorGuide.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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If you’re like most people who think about retirement, you probably imagine traveling in your golden years. Before you browse Acapulco websites and whip out the credit card to buy your ticket, make sure your finances can handle your trip.

First, don’t wait to fulfill your dream. Enjoy the items on your bucket list now while you are healthy enough to walk easily. If that list involves extensive travel that’s suddenly possible with free time after working, realize that seeing the world isn’t cheap.

You can do two things to afford it: increase your spendable income and decrease your travel expenses.

The bonds trap. In today’s virtually zero-interest world of bank accounts, increasing income can be a huge challenge. You either risk your savings in the stock market, hoping for more-or-less continual appreciation of your equities, or you go into bonds.

Except bonds might well be the next big crash. If interest rates finally rise from today’s historical lows, bond values will decrease substantially. In June 2013, the well-known brokerage firm Oppenheimer issued a report entitled “Effect of Higher Rates on Fixed Income Portfolios,” widely taken as a warning about bond investments.

As noted in the report, an interest increase of three percentage points will nearly halve the value of a 30-year U.S. Treasury bond; a jump of only one percentage point will cause an 18% drop in this bond’s value. You take a big loss after even the smallest budge upward in rates.

You have options. Consider a personal pension, where you contribute part of your savings to a financial institution that in turn invests your money to build a lifetime pension for you at retirement. These pensions are based on actuarial principles that offer a higher cash flow than most alternatives.

For instance, if you are 70, deposit $200,000 and wait five years to start withdrawals, you can often get about $17,000 to $18,000 of annual income for the rest of your life. This can fund a lot of travel, particularly when you mix one big foreign trip with two cheaper domestic ones each year.

Look for bargains. You can find many websites to one-click breaks on airfare, hotels, car rentals and all-inclusive packages. Innovative thinking helps, too: Just consider the Gentlemen Host Program.

The cruise industry has long known that older, single women constitute a significant share of shipboard vacationers. These women, often either divorced or widowed, enjoy cruises for the organized activities, lavish dinner and drinks and the entertainment after the dinner. Only thing missing: someone to dance with.

Gentlemen Host, a placement program operated through Compass Speakers and Entertainment, matches groups of such female travelers with outgoing, unmarried conversationalists – who preferably can cut a serious rug on the dance floor. The requirements of the hosts are extensive and activities strictly platonic; hosts’ cruises are almost free.

How much of your nest egg and estate on travel? About three years ago, I met a couple in their 80s who had been educators in public schools. They retired about three decades before and took two cruises each year since.

With only some $80,000 saved for retirement through their entire lives, the couple relied on generous teachers’ pensions and Social Security to fund extensive travel. They estimated that they spent slightly less than $700,000 on the cruises – but the trips were a big life dream.

The couple expected to leave nothing except their house to their kids.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Dr. Harold Wong earned his Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley and passed the CPA exam in 1979. He has appeared on more than 400 television and radio programs and published numerous articles in 1,600 newspapers. He writes the column on money for The Arizona Republic, the largest daily newspaper in Arizona, where this article originally appeared in different form. Dr. Wong is a tax advisor and financial educator. He can be reached at (480) 706-0177, haroldwong1@yahoo.com, or www.drharoldwong.com .You can find much of his archived research at www.DrWongInvestorGuide.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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Your Advisor: Honest Opinions? http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/your-advisor-honest-opinions/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/your-advisor-honest-opinions/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:30:03 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=3eb3852a7e7e477757cf8b40ee9adce7 You’re in the middle of reviewing your finances with your advisor when you say you’ve got a chance to get in on the ground floor of a great new investment. Your advisor suddenly seems to cringe. How can an advisor best tell you that you have a lousy idea?

First, give yourself credit for daring to both plan with your money and for finding professional help for that planning. A recent survey by insurance and financial services company Nationwide found that a quarter of investors do not have a financial plan and that more than one in three in that group has no intention of creating one.

The most frequently cited reasons investors gave for not working with an advisor: no perceived need for professional assistance and, to a lesser degree, fear of trusting financial advice from a stranger.

So you might already be coming to the advisor meeting with mixed, if not fragile, emotions. With luck, your advisor has the wisdom and diplomacy to wave you away thinking that a questionable move might be a good idea?

Such an advisor would:

1. Identify what you are trying to accomplish, whatever the idea. Do you really need the benefit that you seek from this idea? Is it worth your potential risk?

If, for example, your idea involves investing in a vehicle that brings high risk but the potential for equally high reward, your advisor needs to talk through the situation with you. He or she must try to help you understand that if you really need such a return, this idea might not be really worth the risk.

2. Provide alternatives. After your advisor identifies what you want through the idea, you need to both discuss other possible ways of obtaining what you want – especially those potentially less harmful to your overall financial situation.

Compare and contrast your idea with the alternatives; perhaps make a list of pros and cons of each possible decision. Rather than simply dismissing your views, your advisor needs to also encourage your objectively investigating the given company’s industry, profitability history, competitors and other details.

3. Focus on how the idea fits into your long-term money strategy. Does the idea really even make sense for your particular financial situation or did it just sound like a good idea to you at the time?

Step back and, with your advisor, examine not only the size of the potential returns (and potential loss) but also when you can expect any good returns. Timeframes greatly influence desirability of an investment.

Are you investing to build funds for your child’s tuition in five years or for your retirement in 20? Generally, the longer before you need the money, the more risk you can assume. A good advisor will walk you through all aspects of this investment, including what its returns can fund both today and tomorrow.

You hired this professional for a reason. When it comes to financial ideas and decisions, that professional on your payroll must give you an honest opinion. Anything less and you’re wasting your money in more ways than one.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Karl Schwartz, CPA, CFP, is a consultant at Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC in Miami.
 
The information presented herein is standard information and intended only as a broad discussion of generally available incapacity-planning tools that a reader might consider
discussing in detail with their attorney or other qualified professional advisor(s). None of the information contained herein is specific to the laws, rules or regulations of any state or other governing body, and as such cannot be construed as, or used as a substitute for, legal advice. Further, none of the information contained herein has been written or personalized for any individual, and the information may not be applicable or beneficial to anyone’s personal situation(s). The documents and processes identified herein can be complicated, and in many cases require the assistance of a qualified attorney to execute effectively. To the extent that you have questions about or wish to make use of any of the tools or processes identified herein, you are encouraged to seek the advice of your attorney. You assume full responsibility for your use of the general information contained herein and acknowledge and agree that by using the information contained herein Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC, its affiliates, agents and/or employees shall have no responsibility or liability for any claim, damage or loss resulting from your use of such information. 
 
Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC and Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (together referred to as “Hewins”) are independent, fee-only investment advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli LLP. A copy of Hewins’ current ADV Part 2A discussing our investment advisory and financial planning services and fees is available for review upon request.

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.

]]>
You’re in the middle of reviewing your finances with your advisor when you say you’ve got a chance to get in on the ground floor of a great new investment. Your advisor suddenly seems to cringe. How can an advisor best tell you that you have a lousy idea?

First, give yourself credit for daring to both plan with your money and for finding professional help for that planning. A recent survey by insurance and financial services company Nationwide found that a quarter of investors do not have a financial plan and that more than one in three in that group has no intention of creating one.

The most frequently cited reasons investors gave for not working with an advisor: no perceived need for professional assistance and, to a lesser degree, fear of trusting financial advice from a stranger.

So you might already be coming to the advisor meeting with mixed, if not fragile, emotions. With luck, your advisor has the wisdom and diplomacy to wave you away thinking that a questionable move might be a good idea?

Such an advisor would:

1. Identify what you are trying to accomplish, whatever the idea. Do you really need the benefit that you seek from this idea? Is it worth your potential risk?

If, for example, your idea involves investing in a vehicle that brings high risk but the potential for equally high reward, your advisor needs to talk through the situation with you. He or she must try to help you understand that if you really need such a return, this idea might not be really worth the risk.

2. Provide alternatives. After your advisor identifies what you want through the idea, you need to both discuss other possible ways of obtaining what you want – especially those potentially less harmful to your overall financial situation.

Compare and contrast your idea with the alternatives; perhaps make a list of pros and cons of each possible decision. Rather than simply dismissing your views, your advisor needs to also encourage your objectively investigating the given company’s industry, profitability history, competitors and other details.

3. Focus on how the idea fits into your long-term money strategy. Does the idea really even make sense for your particular financial situation or did it just sound like a good idea to you at the time?

Step back and, with your advisor, examine not only the size of the potential returns (and potential loss) but also when you can expect any good returns. Timeframes greatly influence desirability of an investment.

Are you investing to build funds for your child’s tuition in five years or for your retirement in 20? Generally, the longer before you need the money, the more risk you can assume. A good advisor will walk you through all aspects of this investment, including what its returns can fund both today and tomorrow.

You hired this professional for a reason. When it comes to financial ideas and decisions, that professional on your payroll must give you an honest opinion. Anything less and you’re wasting your money in more ways than one.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Karl Schwartz, CPA, CFP, is a consultant at Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC in Miami.
 
The information presented herein is standard information and intended only as a broad discussion of generally available incapacity-planning tools that a reader might consider
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Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC and Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (together referred to as “Hewins”) are independent, fee-only investment advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli LLP. A copy of Hewins’ current ADV Part 2A discussing our investment advisory and financial planning services and fees is available for review upon request.

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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Recipes from the Past http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/recipes-from-the-past-26/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/recipes-from-the-past-26/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:07:20 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570783 Timeless-TastesPANKO CRUSTED SPINACH

AND ARTICHOKE DIP

  • 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, 14 oz.
  • 1 can white beans, 15 oz.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2 cups Asiago cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. lemon rind, grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs

Start by defrosting and squeezing water out of spinach. Open and drain cans of artichokes and white beans. Combine drained spinach with grated cheese and chopped artichoke hearts. Place the beans, spinach and artichoke hearts in a food processor and pulse together until well combined (don’t over mix). Then, mix with the remaining ingredients (except for the panko bread crumbs).  Lightly grease or spray a two-quart baking dish. Fold in mixture. Top with panko bread crumbs. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven uncovered for 25 minutes. Serve immediately with pita chips, crackers or crostini.

STUFFED BAKED POTATOES

  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • 1 1/2 or more low-fat cottage cheese
  • Garlic to taste
  • 4 green onions, minced
  • Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Wash and dry the potatoes. Prick the skins. Bake at 425° for 60 minutes or until done. Putting a metal skrewer through each potato saves cooking time. Cut a slice from the top of each potato and scoop out the pulp. In a blender, whip the cottage cheese until creamy. Mash the potato pulp and blend enough of the cottage cheese to make a light, fluffy-mixture. Stir in green onions. Spoon the mixture back into the shells, mounding it slightly. Place the stuffed potatoes on a baking sheet, dust the tops with Parmesan cheese and paprika and return to oven until lightly browned.

CHICKEN SANS SOUCI

  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. chicken pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. soft margarine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 c. orange juice

Use an assortment of your favorite chicken parts. Trim away ecess skin and fat. Soften the margarine and rub the chicken pieces with it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in a pan or casserole, pour in the orange juice, bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Serves four.

GARLIC SOUP

  • 8 large cloves of garlic 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 bay leaf 1/2 tsp. dry basil
  • 1 trp. dry parsley Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. butter 4 cups water

Peel the garlic cloves and put them into a saucepan. Peel the potatoes and chop into 1/2-inch pieces and put in pan. Pour in four cups water. Add the bay leaf, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cover; then simmer for  about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and pour the mixture into a blender and puree it. Return to pan and reheat and serve. Serves about four people.

CREAMED CARROTS AND PEAS

  • 4 large carrots
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 -3 Tbsp. flour
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Some chopped parsley
  • (Optional — to garlic sauce, some finely minced onion)

Cut the carrots up into 1/4-inch rounds and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. When cooked, drain and put in a medium saucepan with the butter, sugar, milk, garlic, parsley onion and peas. Add the flour, mixed with a little cold water and blend well. Add the nutmeg and simmer for about three minutes until the sauce is thick. Serve at once.

CAULIFLOWER WITH GARLIC-CRUMB TOPPING

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 dry whole grain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. wheat germ
  • 1/2 c. butter (or low cholesterol margarine)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Steam head of cauliflower whole, using a little water as possible, until its tender, but firm (approximately 20 minutes). Keep warm. Saute garlic, crumbs and wheat germ in butter until golden brown. Spoon over cauliflower, top with chopped parsley and serve (four to six servings).

GARLIC RYE TOASTIES

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 c.) margarine softened
  • Garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 24 slices party rye bread

If you are using raw garlic, combine it with the softened margarine and spread each slice of bread with the mixture. If you use garlic powder, first spread margarine on bread and then sprinkle with the garlic powder. Arrange slices on a baking sheet and bake in a hot oven (400) for 10 minutes or until crisp.

TURKEY SURPRISE

  • 4 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1/2 clove garlic, chopped fine
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 c. diced turkey

Hot cooked rice (or noodles or biscuts), chow mein noodles. Melt shortening, add garlic and sauté slightly. Stir in flour and cook until bubbly, stirring constantly. Add broth or chicken bouillon (two bouillon cubes in two cups boiling water), soy sauce, turkey and seasonings, if desired. Cook until thickened and thoroughly heated about two minutes. Serve with hot cooked rice. Makes six servings.

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

  • 2 (10 oz.) cans chunk chicken, drained
  • 1 c. Ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup pepper sauce
  •  2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4-Inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 c. c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8 oz.) box chicken flavored crackers

Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.

BLT DIP

 

  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 tomato – peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 c. sour cream

Fry bacon, drain on paper towels. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and sour cream. Crumble bacon into the sour cream and mayonnaise mixture. Mix in tomatoes just before serving.

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Upsala/Swanville Sports pairing input, concerns voiced http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/upsalaswanville-sports-pairing-input-concerns-voiced/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/upsalaswanville-sports-pairing-input-concerns-voiced/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:40:40 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570777 By Liz Verley, Correspondent

About 200 parents, students and area citizens gathered in the Upsala School auditorium Wednesday to voice their concerns and opinions and to listen to reasons to pair or not to pair additional sport teams with the Swanville School District.

At a meeting in November 2014, the Upsala and Swanville school boards met to gather input and discuss the possibility of pairing girls sports in the future due to falling turnout numbers. Following that meeting, the Upsala Board voted not to pair at that time but said it would look at each sport and evaluate the issues as they arose.

The Swanville Board has since visited with Browerville to discuss the possibility of pairing with its sports team.

At the present time, the two schools are paired as the USA Patriots for football, baseball and track. In other sports the teams are known as the Upsala Cardinals and the Swanville Bulldogs.

Speakers on both sides of the issue addressed those gathered. One questioned, “How will pairing be beneficial to our district? The low potential athlete will not get the opportunity to participate. We have good numbers. There are other options.”

Upsala Board Chair Dean Peterson, said, “We did not say we would not pair. We said we would look at each sport when needed. Swanville is our go-to school for pairing. There are a lot of details on coaching, logistics and cost that need to be considered for each individual sport. We have different arrangements for each sport. We also have an agreement with Royalton for wrestling and Holdingford for girls swimming. Each agreement is different.”

Opposing pairing, one resident said, “I am definitely a Cardinal. I think this is being shoved down our throats. Why do we have to have everything (USA) Patriots.”

Another person countered, “You are not going to take away the achievements just because of the name.”

People spoke out in support of pairing by explaining how hard it is to fill teams which leads to younger athletes not having teams of their own age and often having to help fill the rosters for the older teams.

One said, “Kids should play their own age and not be beat up because they have to play older and bigger players.”

The question was asked why pairing girls sports should be any different then pairing boys sports.

Speaking against pairing, one resident said, “We don’t need any pairing. The low potential student won’t be able to play. I think we have the numbers. There are other options.”

“What are we going to do if Swanville walks away? Are we going to play nine-man football? What are our plans for basketball? Numbers are continuing to drop. Put the past in the past and let’s look to the future,” said B.J. Lange, a former Upsala athlete and coach.

Jim Bartkowicz, a former board member said, “We are putting the cart before the horse. We don’t have to rush into anything. We need to gather all the facts. There is plenty of time for discussion.”

“We have to do what is best for our kids. Let’s get it done,” said Dave Schultz.

After 1 1/2 hours of input, Peterson said, “We need to let Swanville know we are interested and they are still our go-to school.”

The public was told that no decision would be made at the Board’s regular meeting which followed the community meeting.

Upsala School Board Briefs

Other business that came before the Upsala School Board Wednesday, included:

•Electing 2015 Board officers. They include Dean Peterson, chair; Marvin Wensmann, vice-chair; Matt Ripplinger, treasurer; and, Karin Nelson, clerk;

•Setting the Board’s 2015 compensation at $15 per hour for special meetings. The Board receives no compensation for its regular monthly  meeting;

• Making various committee appointments and approving the district’s various organization memberships;

•Setting the regular board meetings for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 25, March 25, April 22, May 27, June 24, July 22, Aug. 26, Sept. 23, Oct. 28, Nov. 25 and Dec. 16;

•Approving a resolution directing administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions. Supt. Gery Arndt said, “I am just starting the process to look at the budget. I don’t think we will be making any cuts in positions;”

•Approving a tentative 2015-2016 school calendar which shows the first student day as Sept. 8 and the last day as June 2, 2016;

•Approving an anonymous donation of $4,000 for the Save Our School and the Lions’ donations of $100 for the Geography Bee, $450 for the Knowledge Bowl, $300 for the USA Honor Squad and $325 for elementary snow tubing. The Board also accepted a $300 donation from Land-O-Lakes; and

•Accepting the resignation of Joan Solorz as bus driver effective May 29; approving a maternity leave for Kara Poissant and a three- year leave of absence for Linda Anderson-Piasecki.

The next regular meeting of the Upsala School Board will be held Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

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Little Falls Kiwanis Club serves local children while opening its arms to new members http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/little-falls-kiwanis-club-serves-local-children-while-opening-its-arms-to-new-members/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/little-falls-kiwanis-club-serves-local-children-while-opening-its-arms-to-new-members/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:16:50 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570754 By Eric Beuning, Correspondent

Little Falls Kiwanis Club President Brian Bernander in front of the Kiwanis sign showcased in Little Falls with the signs of other service organizations.

Little Falls Kiwanis Club President Brian Bernander in front of the Kiwanis sign showcased in Little Falls with the signs of other service organizations.

Kiwanis International is a worldwide service organization of men and women focused on the challenges of world and community improvement. The primary focus of Kiwanis is to serve the children of the world, including eliminating iodine deficiency worldwide.

In 2015, Kiwanis International will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The local Little Falls Kiwanis Club was founded in 1961 and has developed a long history as a hands-on service club dedicated to serving local children.

Some of the Club’s most successful service projects include the Adopt a Highway, playground equipment, Adopt a River, food drives, park equipment, the Little Falls Flyer Key Club and the creation of the Kiwanis Park.

“We are very proud of the over $150,000 in parks and playground equipment we’ve helped provide to the community,” said former president and former lieutenant governor of the Kiwanis Minn-Dak District, Charles Erbstoesser.

“The Kiwanis Park is one of our biggest projects. We originally purchased the land and developed the park, then turned it over to the city for people to enjoy,” said Erbstoesser.

Kiwanis members give a little of their time to the community and the world to better the community they live and work in. Local Club members enjoy the opportunity to make business contacts, while learning first-hand about local, national and international issues.

Kiwanis meetings are designed to help members improve their leadership skills, build lifelong friendships by getting involved and serving the community and its children.

“Recently, we’ve been working a lot on events to benefit the local Boys and Girls Club,” said current President Brian Bernander. “Last October we held our first inaugural trivia night that generated over $2,000 for the Boys and Girls Club.”

Other fundraising events include the Lenten fish fry, peanut sales, brat sales, home delivered meals and participation in the Morrison County Habitat for Humanity.

“Our best fundraiser by far though is the proceeds that come from our parking lot during the annual Arts and Crafts Fair,” said Bernander. “The parking lot is furnished by the Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union. We wouldn’t be able to do as much good as we do without their generous help.”

“We raise almost all of our funds locally, so we make it a point to spend all of our funds locally,” said former president, Wayne Scherling.

Beyond donations and providing equipment, the Kiwanis Club also supports a scholarship which donates $500 annually to a member of the Little Falls High School Honor Team. They also work with the school supporting the KEY Club, which stands for Kiwanis Educating Youth.

The KEY Club meets frequently to work on community service projects.

“The Club is student-led, while members of the Kiwanis Club serve as advisers,” said Bernander. “It’s a great opportunity for the students to experience the value of service.”

The Little Falls Kiwanis Club meets at noon every Thursday at St. Otto’s in Little Falls.

“We make it a point to hold our meetings at a time that works with members’ lunch hour,” said Bernander. “These days many families have both parents working, so it can be hard for people that want to get involved with a service organization to get find the time in the morning or evening to attend a meeting.”

Lunch is provided at the meeting for a very affordable $6. Profits from the lunch go directly to fund the Club and its programs. Each week a different member hosts a professional from the community. They give the group a 20 to 25 minute presentation about their business or other programs. The goal is to build awareness as well as network with Kiwanis members.

“I like to think of it as membership education about the community,” said Scherling.

The Kiwanis Club is led by a board of eight officers. The Club itself currently has 24 members, down from a one-time high of 52.

“We are currently in the process of developing a plan to connect with the community to recruit new members. One of the goals is to connect with companies that encourage their workers to get involved with the service community,” said Bernander.

“When I joined Kiwanis 50 years ago, I was working for a utility company and it was a requirement of the job that I joined a service organization,” said Scherling. “It’s disappointing to me that a lot of companies don’t do that anymore. I think sometimes companies forget that serving the community is also good for business.”

“I joined the Kiwanis Club because I think it’s the best opportunity to do some good for the community I live in,” Erbstoesser said.

People who are interested in donating to Kiwanis or who are interested in joining the club can visit http://www.littlefallskiwanis.org/contact-us.html.

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Little Falls Schools’ $37 – $40 million needs reconsidered http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/little-falls-schools-37-40-million-needs-reconsidered/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/little-falls-schools-37-40-million-needs-reconsidered/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:15:04 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570751 By Jim Wright, Correspondent

The Little Falls Community Schools Facilities Steering Committee sat down in small groups at its public meeting Monday, to take a critical look at the proposed maintenance and improvements the committee of 60 school district residents has advanced during the past four months. They are preparing a proposal for a referendum to fund needed repairs and maintenance, security updates, interior space usage improvements and a new community center field house building. Pictured are committee members (from left): Nancy, Bill and Neil Leisenheimer, Peter Ploof and Kevin and Nancy Kapsner.

The Little Falls Community Schools Facilities Steering Committee sat down in small groups at its public meeting Monday, to take a critical look at the proposed maintenance and improvements the committee of 60 school district residents has advanced during the past four months. They are preparing a proposal for a referendum to fund needed repairs and maintenance, security updates, interior space usage improvements and a new community center field house building. Pictured are committee members (from left): Nancy, Bill and Neil Leisenheimer, Peter Ploof and Kevin and Nancy Kapsner.

The Little Falls Community Schools (LFCS) Facilities Steering Committee met Monday to possibly defer some of the proposed solutions to the needs of the LFCS’s five buildings.

Gathering in the Little Falls Community High School for the sixth time since the Nov. 6, 2014, start-up, the committee of Little Falls school district residents pored over their previous work.

The 44 people at the meeting, ranging from young adults to retirees, sat in small groups looking at itemized cost estimates for the overdue maintenance, security and safety upgrades, overcrowding solutions and several other categories of work needed.

Little Falls Supt. Steve Jones, who has seen five previous school referendums during his career in education, again called the continued turnout of concerned residents “incredible.”

“I saw two or three residents from those towns come to the meetings,” he said. “We’ve had 45 to 60 people involved in this process all the way.”

The Steering Committee’s loyalists were tasked with balancing the costs of the schools’ many needs with proposed referendum funding that is affordable for district residents.

The Committee has previously set priorities. First is “deferred maintenance.” All those needs were reviewed, as committee members considered what possibly could again be deferred, this time into a three- to five-year plan, and be gradually financed from the LFCS annual deferred maintenance allotment of about $119,000.

As an example, the auditorium’s deteriorating, 50-year-old stage is being considered for inclusion in the three- to five-year plan. But roof replacements and other repairs at the five schools can’t wait, confirmed through inspections by construction management company Contegrity Inc.

“Can’t argue about that; it has to be done,” said Committee Member Brad Durfee.

“Protect our greatest assets — first our children, second our schools,” has been a rallying theme for the Steering Committee since its inception. Currently, 2,500 kids attend the five schools, which are 43 to 65 years old.

The Committee has intended to do that during the process of determining the priorities of all the work needed. The next priority determined is security.

“All schools are looking at security improvements,” Jones said.

That includes secured entryways, which enable staff to see who has come in the first door before they can get through the second door. Entryway and office remodeling is needed in all the schools for that. That’s just one example of the security and safety concerns reviewed as the group looked for what has to be done now and what could be deferred awhile longer.

Many schools are also making investments in community center field houses, due to their schools’ previously overcrowded physical education and athletics gymnasiums — while fulfilling their communities’ needs for indoor exercise, meeting spaces, adult education classrooms and more. Those facilities are open to the public, all ages, days and evenings.

LFCS has more than twice the number of athletic teams than when its gymnasiums were built many years ago, largely due to Title IX legislation requiring that girls have equal opportunities for participation in sports. Where 10 teams once practiced and played, 20 teams are now.

The committee set a community center field house as its third priority, to solve many activity space shortages for LFCS students and the community’s residents, while attracting more people to visit (and spend money) and move to the district (and pay taxes).

At Monday’s meeting, former Flyer basketball coach Al Bauman, enshrined in the Minnesota High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2008, said, “I think it’s a must. If our community is going to grow, going to attract people and industry, we have to upgrade.”

He said, “I travel a lot for sports; everywhere we go, even little towns, we see field houses, like Rockford’s (population 4,316).”

The Rockford Community Center was built after that school district’s voters approved a $27 million bond sale in 2012 to cover the district’s three schools’ maintenance and improvements needs — including the community center field house.

LFCS Steering Committee Member Jackie Devine said she had a chance to see the Foley Community Field House schedule.

“They had things (student and adult activities) scheduled every night,” she said.

Committee Member Nancy Kapsner said, “I’m excited; it’s been a long time coming, but we really can’t wait much longer.”

Even the community center proposal, that the committee thoroughly agreed is a much needed improvement and problem solver, was subjected to major revision, as it shrank from about a 120,000 square-foot initial conception to a tentative 77,000 square feet. Work continues to downsize it even further.

All the community schools’ prioritized needs and estimated costs were scrutinized again and discussed in seven small groups. At the end of the evening, each group submitted its collective opinion in response to comprehensive budgeting questions put before them.

Those responses will largely put final touches on the scope and total cost of the project to be proposed to the Board of Education, May 17.

“We’re coming in right on time, according to the timeline (established four months ago),” Committee Member Bill Mushel said. “If it wasn’t timely, then all the work would be for naught this year.”

Pending the Little Falls Board of Education and Minnesota Education Commissioner’s approval, a bonding referendum would be put before Little Falls Community School District voters, May 19.

The final Steering Committee meeting, open to the public, is set for Monday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m., in the high school commons.

More about the proposed referendum may be found on the LFCS website www.lfalls.k12.mn.us/district/facilities-planning.

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Pierz Council accepts Bell’s resignation http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/pierz-council-accepts-bells-resignation/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/pierz-council-accepts-bells-resignation/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:13:32 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570749 By Liz Verley, Staff Writer 

Monday the Pierz City Council accepted the resignation of Matthew Bell, effective Feb. 24.

Bell who will be moving out of the city limits, has served as city clerk since he was elected in January 2013.

Mayor Toby Egan said, “I really appreciate everything you did for the city.”

The Council had the choice of appointing or taking applications to find someone to fill out the rest of Bell’s term which will end in December 2016.

It chose to take applications and hold interviews.

Applications will be taken at city hall through Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. with interviews to be held sometime before the Council’s next meeting Feb. 23.

Anyone with questions may contact city hall at (320) 468-6471.

Pierz City Council Briefs

Other business that came before the Pierz City Council Monday included:

•Approving a negotiated contract in the amount of $1,125 with the Morrison County Animal Humane Society to care for the stray, abandoned or lost animals;

•Hearing every Local Board of Appeals must have at least one member at each meeting of a Board of Appeal and Equalization, who has attended appeals and equalization training developed or approve by the Commissioner of Revenue;

•Tabling action on the construction of the ordinances covering the construction of the memorial for veterans;

•Approved the renewal of a consumption and display permit for the Pierz Golf Course;

•Approving a $250 donation to the Morrison County Agricultural Society;

•Approving the pay equity report; and

•Receiving the annual Pierz Public Library report. The report showed circulation is increasing upward with the total circulation in 2013 at 33,106 and in 2014 at 33,336.

The next Pierz City Council meeting is at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 9.

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Le Bourget partnership continues independently of city funding http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/le-bourget-partnership-continues-independently-of-city-funding/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/le-bourget-partnership-continues-independently-of-city-funding/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:12:40 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570747 Sister city organization plans fundraising to host French visitors this summer 

By Gabby Landsverk, Staff Writer

The Little Falls Sister City Exchange, which was removed from the city’s code last fall, is continuing as an independent organization. Their first order of business is raising funds in order to host a group from France this summer.

The committee began about 27 years ago, according to member Susy Prosapio, and was formed to oversee the sister city relationship between Little Falls and Le Bourget, France. Every two years, a group from one of the cities would host guests from their sister city.

Problems arose, however, when it was brought to the city’s attention that official city organizations are not allowed to solicit donations. The committee had been formed specifically to raise funds for sister-city visits, and was therefore in conflict with rules governing city organizations.

“We couldn’t find anything giving the city explicit authority to raise funds, so as our attorney interpreted it, we can’t do it,” Finance Officer Lori Kasella said.Furthermore, a portion of city fees, such as those collected from the Arts and Crafts Fair, was being using to fund the organization. According to Kasella, this amounted to about $3,000 a year.

The contention was that this money from the city was not being properly used for public benefit, but solely for the benefit of the people participating in the committee activities.

“The City Council had a legitimate concern on two fronts. One is people acting on behalf of the city being involved with fundraising. Two, are we being clean with the money, making sure the money from these fees is used for public benefit,” Prosapio said.

The confusion regarding the committee’s role within the city charter was confusing to many people, according to former committee president Gabrielle Meyer. She added that this discouraged participation because residents were unclear about what the committee’s purpose was.

“There wasn’t a lack of interest. There was a lack of understanding about how the committee fit into the city,” Meyer said. “There were so many things we didn’t understand.”

Prosapio said that freeing the organization from city code could be a help, rather than a hindrance, for both parties.

“No one wanted the city to be out of compliance,” Prosapio said. “We think the new structure is cleaner. … It’s very transparent.”

Now that the organization can fundraise, its goals are the same as they always were, Prosapio said; to promote friendship, understanding and cultural exchange.

“(The sister-city relationship) builds bridges between communities,” Prosapio said.

The process of establishing the committee as an independent organization involved some paperwork, Prosapio said. Brigid Fitzgerald, who has been involved with the organization, said that the group, officially referred to as Little Falls, MN Sister City, Inc., is officially recognized under Minnesota Statute 317A as a nonprofit corporation.

As an independent organization, the committee is open to more members, including people outside the city limits, Prosapio said.

The downside, however, is that the organization will no longer receive funding from the city. As a result of the recent transition, the group has some financial catching up to do, Meyer said.

The organization’s main focus now is making sure it has the resources to fund the French visit to Little Falls this summer.

Prosapio said the organization plans to have an official meeting in the spring, at which point it will elect an executive board. As a membership organization, Prosapio said the Sister City Exchange will collect membership dues.

The group will also organize fundraising events, including a French dinner at the Black & White on March 1.

This money, along with dues and any other income, will all go toward hosting a group from Le Bourget every four years.

“One hundred percent of the funds will go toward hosting,” said Meyer.

She went on to list things like transportation, recreational activities and admission costs to events or attractions as some of the projected expenses.

Prosapio said that the organization has few financial needs besides hosting the French, since the group has no administrative costs and no paid staff. Expenses like printing costs and other minor resource needs are covered by members, according to Prosapio.

“It becomes a lot of personal donations,” she said.

Prosapio said the group hopes to raise between $8,000 and $10,000 to fund activities for the French visitors in the summer.

The schedule for the visit from Le Bourget has not been finalized, although Meyer and Prosapio hope the organization will gain a lot of support from folks in Little Falls by the time the French visit.

“Now we’re really trying to push for the community to get involved,” Meyer said.

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Trisha Witucki named Royalton Student of the Month http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/trisha-witucki-named-royalton-student-of-the-month/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/30/trisha-witucki-named-royalton-student-of-the-month/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:40:47 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570779 Trisha Witucki

Trisha Witucki

Royalton High School (RHS) has named Trisha Witucki, daughter of David and Gaylene Witucki, as its December student of the month. Laell Welle, Knowledge Bowl coach, said, “Trisha is one of the hardest working students I have ever met. She gives her all in every class and strives for the best grades possible. I wish I had her organizational skills. As a Knowledge Bowl member, Trisha has been a great asset to our team. Her best topic is science, and her cheerful spirit keeps her team energized.”

Witucki said, “My favorite high school memories are when the school and community came together to help people and families, like Lulu Martinez.”

Chemistry, taught by RHS Science Teacher Patrick Ross, is Witucki’s favorite class and teacher. “Trisha is one of the hardest working students I have had the chance to work with. She likes to challenge herself and takes a great deal of pride in her work. But even more impressive than that is her kind and thoughtful personality. She is a student that I am very confident will do great things in the future,” Ross said.

Kelcie Tschida, RHS science teacher said, “Trisha is an extremely hardworking student. Things don’t come as easy to Trisha, but you would never know it by talking to her. She is so upbeat and positive all the time. She truly will be successful in whatever she decides to do in the future.”

High school freshmen should “use their planners, do their homework, and make sure they understand their homework,” said Witucki.

Although she still has decisions to make on colleges, Witucki intends to major in the medical field. Post college, she envisions her future to include marriage, a family and a satisfying career.

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Ayres charged with burglary http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/ayres-charged-with-burglary/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/ayres-charged-with-burglary/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:22:58 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570745 Dustin Gene Ayres, 32, Cushing was charged Jan. 20 with one felony count of first-degree burglary.

On Jan. 16, a resident of Cushing reported a break-in. Officers arrived at the residence and were told by the owner that she had awakened in the middle of the night and heard a creaking upstairs, from the bedroom where her mother was sleeping. The homeowner went upstairs to check on her mother and found a male subject, later identified as Ayres, standing next to her mother’s bed. The suspect was allegedly trying to remove the covers as if he was attempting to get into the bed.

The homeowner left the room to call 911, and observed the suspect had left the bedroom and hid in a bathroom. Police checked the residence and allegedly found Ayres hiding in a bathroom closet. Ayres allegedly would not cooperate with police orders to exit the closet, and officers deployed a taser to take Ayres into custody.

In a statement, the home-owner said that she did not know Ayres and he had no right to be in her residence. She stated she also did not know if he was armed and feared for her safety and the safety of others in the residence.

If convicted, Ayres faces up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a $35,000 fine.

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Rosenmeier was a legend in his own time http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/rosenmeier-was-a-legend-in-his-own-time/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/rosenmeier-was-a-legend-in-his-own-time/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:22:54 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570762 Tom West, West Words

Tom West, West Words

Older county residents undoubtedly remember former state Sen. Gordon Rosenmeier of Little Falls. However, if they would like their memories refreshed, check out the winter issue of “Minnesota History,” the publication of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Steve Dornfeld, longtime political reporter and editorial writer for the Minneapolis and St. Paul newspapers, has written an excellent article about Rosenmeier.

Younger residents may only know the name because the headquarters for the Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau is located in the “Rosenmeier House” on Southeast First Street.

However, Gordon Rosenmeier was a legislator’s legislator, a legend at the capitol in his own time.

He served this area in the Minnesota Senate from 1940 through 1970. Even though he never served as majority leader, he had as much clout as any legislator ever did.

Gordon came by his talents naturally. His father was from Royalton and also a lawyer. He was elected Morrison County attorney in 1912 and state senator in 1922. He served in the Senate until his death in 1932, just as Gordon was graduating from Stanford University law school.

Gordon returned home and took over the law practice during the depths of the Great Depression.

In 1940, following the death of Sen. Frederick Miller of Little Falls, he won election to the state Senate.

Dornfeld’s article is filled with stories and quotes, but it is the list of Rosenmeier’s achievements that are impressive. Most of the legislative deal-making back then was done in the evening in the bar at the St. Paul Hotel.

In those days, legislators did not serve under partisan labels like Republican or Democrat. They caucused as “conservatives” and “liberals.” If a label could be applied to Rosenmeier, it would probably have been as a “progressive conservative.” He did not want to destroy the government; he simply wanted to make it work better.

Among his achievements for this area were the expansion of Camp Ripley, establishing the state hospital and community college in Brainerd, and designating the Charles Lindbergh home as a state historical site.

More impressive was his statewide impact. He was the chief force behind the establishment of the State Planning Agency, the Pollution Control Agency and in preventing the Metropolitan Council from becoming an elected board.

In 1970, after 30 years in office, Rosenmeier was defeated by a young lawyer from Brainerd named Win Borden. The major issue was abortion, which is still important to Morrison County.

This was before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, making abortion legal. Each state was seeking its own way on the abortion issue.

Rosenmeier voted in committee for a bill that would have eased the state’s long-standing ban on abortions. He said afterward, Dornfeld reports, that he only wanted the bill to go to the Senate floor for further debate and scrutiny, and that he was opposed to it.

That didn’t wash with the voters, and Rosenmeier’s legislative career came to an end.

Former Little Falls legislator Steve Wenzel is quoted in the article, saying of Rosenmeier, “The great things he did, he didn’t advertise. I don’t think people knew all of the great things that he did. They didn’t understand how great and powerful this man was.”

I hope Dornfeld expands the article into a book. Capitol old-timers still speak with reverence whenever Rosenmeier’s name comes up.

Tom West is the editor and general manager of the Record. Reach him at (320) 616-1932 or by email at tom.west@mcrecord.com.

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Standing up for babies’ rights http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/standing-up-for-babies-rights/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/standing-up-for-babies-rights/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:22:51 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570764 To the Editor:

On Jan. 22, we boarded our bus, made possible by the Knights of Columbus, and arrived at the Capitol to march against the most horrendous holocaust of our time, the killing of unborn babies. Babies without guns or defense. Babies without rights. We stood at the Capitol steps and gazed up at the huge dome against the blue sky to gather strength and solidarity with thousands of other Minnesotans. We clapped and waved as our pro-life political leaders were introduced. We sang “Amazing Grace” in praise of our creator who is our ultimate Supreme Court.

We prayed that spiritual eyes across our country would be opened to the immoral war taking place in abortion clinics in our land. We prayed for hope that babies in the womb could make it to full term without shedding their blood at the hands of predators of death. We prayed to change the culture of death to the culture of life.

In closing on that day of witness, we sang “God Bless America,” land that we love. And with this prayer in our hearts; that he would stand beside us and guide us with a light from above. God save America and God save our babies. — Kathy Hanowski, Little Falls

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Davis convicted for making terroristic threats http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/davis-convicted-for-making-terroristic-threats/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/davis-convicted-for-making-terroristic-threats/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:22:49 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570737 Carlton Jermaine Davis, 32, St. Paul, was convicted Jan. 21 in Morrison County of one felony count of terroristic threats.

On Oct. 15, 2013, law enforcement officers received a call that a woman had been threatened by a man with a handgun at the Country Inn and Suites in Little Falls. Officers arrived at the site and saw a man matching the suspect’s description in the parking lot, and identified him as Davis. The officer searched Davis, but did not find a gun.

The woman who reported being threatened told the officer that Davis had been in the hotel lobby for several hours and claimed he had a room there. The victim repeatedly told Davis to leave, at which point he removed an object from his pants which the victim stated was clearly a gun.

The officer then searched the area, and located a black handgun on the ground, next to a bag and other items that had previously been identified as belonging to Davis. Further examination revealed the handgun was an air gun. Inside the bag was a large BB gun revolver still in its package and a traffic citation issued to Davis.

Davis has previously been convicted of second-degree burglary.

Davis was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Additional felony charges were dismissed, including: one count of terroristic threats, one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of possessing a weapon after a previous conviction.

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Johnson charged with fifth-degree possession http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/johnson-charged-with-fifth-degree-possession/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/johnson-charged-with-fifth-degree-possession/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:22:48 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570741 Nikki Lee Johnson, 26, Little Falls, was charged Jan. 26 with one felony count of fifth-degree possession of methamphetamine.

On Jan. 23, law enforcement received a report that Johnson was using methamphetamine, and went to his residence to investigate.

At the residence, an officer met with Johnson, who allegedly admitted that he had used methamphetamine the previous evening. The  officer allegedly found a glass pipe of the type used to smoke methamphetamine, along with a plastic bag containing a white crystal rock. Johnson allegedly admitted that the rock was methamphetamine, and the rock later field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

If convicted, Johnson faces up to five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

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Vilinski charged with DWI, fleeing an officer http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/vilinski-charged-with-dwi-fleeing-an-officer/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/vilinski-charged-with-dwi-fleeing-an-officer/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:22:35 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570739 Steven James Vilinski, 27, Little Falls, was charged Jan. 27 with one felony count of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, two gross misdemeanor counts of DWI and one misdemeanor count of fleeing an officer by means other than a motor vehicle.

On Jan. 24, a Morrison County officer observed a vehicle driving in an unsafe manner through a parking lot. The officer followed the vehicle and activated his emergency lights and siren. Instead of stopping the vehicle, the driver, later identified as Vilinski, allegedly accelerated and drove for a short distance to turn into a driveway. The vehicle stopped in the driveway outside the residence and Vilinski and a passenger allegedly fled the vehicle toward the residence. The officer deployed a taser to stop Vilinski and place him under arrest. In jail, Vilinski allegedly tested at a blood alcohol level of .118.

Vilinski has a prior DWI conviction in Morrison County from Sept. 30, 2009.

If convicted, Vilinski faces up to three years and one day in prison and/or a $5,000 for the felony, one year in jail and/or $3,000 fine for each gross misdemeanor, and 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for the misdemeanor.

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Think before bullying http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/think-before-bullying/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/01/29/think-before-bullying/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:22:33 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=570766 To the Editor:

To students of the surrounding area who are bullies.

I know a man that lived many years ago, who was bullied and persecuted. He didn’t have many friends, they called him a false prophet. So put yourself in his shoes and think twice before you pick at or bully your fellow students.

Do you know him? His name is Jesus Christ. Help all of us grow to be more like Jesus. — David Ostrander, Motley

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