The Caledonia Argus http://hometownargus.com The Caledonia Argus covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the cities of Caledonia, Eitzen, and Brownsville; Independent School District 299 and Houston County, Minnesota. Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:27:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ronald Rober http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/29/ronald-rober/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/29/ronald-rober/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:27:16 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36865 Rober_rgbRonald E. Rober, 81, of Dorchester, Iowa, died Monday, January 26, 2015, at his home.

He was born June 21, 1933, in Waukon, Iowa, to Erwin and Lulu (Fruechte) Rober. Ronald was baptized and confirmed at St. Luke’s U.C.C. in Eitzen, Minnesota, where he was lifelong member and served on the council. After graduating from Waukon High School in 1951, he farmed for two years. In 1953, Ronald was drafted into the United States Army and spent two years at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, and was honorably discharged in 1955. He then went back to farming on Golden Ridge until retiring in 2005. For several years, Ronald measured land for the feed grain program and also worked at Deter’s Implement off and on for two years. On June 5, 1960, Ronald married Delores Johnson of rural Ossian, Iowa, at First Lutheran Church, and they were married for 54 years. In addition to farming, he enjoyed fishing, playing organ and accordion for his own enjoyment and watching TV.

Survivors include his wife Delores of Dorchester; his children, Gary, Dorchester; Denise (Richard) Janechek, Cresco, Iowa, and twins, Darlene (Bob) Blong, Owatonna, Minnesota, and Daryl (Janice) Rober, Asbury, Iowa; nine grandchildren, Donald, Brian, Michelle, and DeAnn Janechek, Larissa and Mikayla Blong, and Nicholas, Alaina, and Emily Rober; one brother, Norlin (Audrey) Rober, Marshalltown, Iowa; one nephew, Paul Rober, Marshalltown; and one niece, Aline Rober, Maynard, Massachusetts.

Ronald was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial services will be at 12 noon, Saturday, January 31, 2015, at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, Eitzen. Pastor Michael McCann will officiate. Following the service, military honors will be rendered in the church by the United States Army Funeral Honor Guard. Burial will be in the church cemetery at a later date. A visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service Saturday at the church. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Caledonia Chapel, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.

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Kids’ Harsh Money Lessons http://www.adviceiq.com/content/kids%E2%80%99-harsh-money-lessons http://www.adviceiq.com/content/kids%E2%80%99-harsh-money-lessons#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 23:00:31 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=9f745db0a8159b6a7b1e8faee6e59a0c After last Christmas, millions of people – including maybe you – returned gifts you didn’t want and either exchanged or just pocketed a refund. The process only increased the pressure that exhausts everyone, especially parents: Rush and spend to the limit of your credit, often to help your kids. Your kids are watching, though, and for their own good you must teach realities about money.

Just before Christmas, I got a haircut. My haircutter talked about her only child, a 22-year-old son. She was a single mom who for 15 years supported him with a day-care service in her house before she started cutting hair.

Once her son turned 20, she asked him to pay a modest $100 monthly rent; he agreed. Then he started having his girlfriend over more often and my haircutter asked him to pay more because of the extra food and utilities. He refused and moved in with his grandparents.

My haircutter claimed the grandparents now spoil her son, an only grandchild they appear to see as capable of no wrong. The son attends the local community college and does not yet have a career.

The issue here is not the son paying $100 or $200 a month, but his learning to live in the real world where most people work hard every day to pay for rent, utilities, food and a car to get to work. If you know anything about the eating habits of a 22-year-old man and his girlfriend, my haircutter’s food bill alone probably hit $400 a month.

Rent for even a studio apartment averages more than $600 a month nationwide, not including utilities. When one adds $400 of food for two who are in their 20s, the minimum cost would be $1,000 per month for food and rent. The grandparents are making a big mistake not charging him rent, not to mention undermining the authority of his mom.

Many of the Greatest Generation (born between 1901 and 1924) or the Silent Generation (born between 1925 through 1945) complain about the money attitudes of boomers and boomers’ kids. Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, benefited from the Great Depression hardships of their parents – moms and dads who vowed to save their children from suffering and who, consequently, often seemed to spoil the boomer kids.

Boomers in turn spoil their kids, so the trend simply accelerates. In this first American generation where most wives worked outside the home, material items sometimes substituted for quality family time. Many boomers’ kids grow up with their own room, television, computer, smartphone and eventually their own car.

A recent survey also showed that Americans largely believe their children know little about finances yet also talk to their kids about money only a handful of days annually: a scary disconnect.

Young-adult millennials must often live at home; those who hold college degrees also often hold jobs unrelated to a chosen career – if employed at all. Between huge student loan debt (more than $28,000, on average, for the recent graduate) and bad job prospects, these kids delay marriage and owning a home.

Serious numbers, serious decisions and no clear solution: Giving too much support to your kids and grandkids usually only fosters unrealistic expectations. Your job, like it or not, is to use money to teach kids about an increasingly harsh real world.

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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After last Christmas, millions of people – including maybe you – returned gifts you didn’t want and either exchanged or just pocketed a refund. The process only increased the pressure that exhausts everyone, especially parents: Rush and spend to the limit of your credit, often to help your kids. Your kids are watching, though, and for their own good you must teach realities about money.

Just before Christmas, I got a haircut. My haircutter talked about her only child, a 22-year-old son. She was a single mom who for 15 years supported him with a day-care service in her house before she started cutting hair.

Once her son turned 20, she asked him to pay a modest $100 monthly rent; he agreed. Then he started having his girlfriend over more often and my haircutter asked him to pay more because of the extra food and utilities. He refused and moved in with his grandparents.

My haircutter claimed the grandparents now spoil her son, an only grandchild they appear to see as capable of no wrong. The son attends the local community college and does not yet have a career.

The issue here is not the son paying $100 or $200 a month, but his learning to live in the real world where most people work hard every day to pay for rent, utilities, food and a car to get to work. If you know anything about the eating habits of a 22-year-old man and his girlfriend, my haircutter’s food bill alone probably hit $400 a month.

Rent for even a studio apartment averages more than $600 a month nationwide, not including utilities. When one adds $400 of food for two who are in their 20s, the minimum cost would be $1,000 per month for food and rent. The grandparents are making a big mistake not charging him rent, not to mention undermining the authority of his mom.

Many of the Greatest Generation (born between 1901 and 1924) or the Silent Generation (born between 1925 through 1945) complain about the money attitudes of boomers and boomers’ kids. Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, benefited from the Great Depression hardships of their parents – moms and dads who vowed to save their children from suffering and who, consequently, often seemed to spoil the boomer kids.

Boomers in turn spoil their kids, so the trend simply accelerates. In this first American generation where most wives worked outside the home, material items sometimes substituted for quality family time. Many boomers’ kids grow up with their own room, television, computer, smartphone and eventually their own car.

A recent survey also showed that Americans largely believe their children know little about finances yet also talk to their kids about money only a handful of days annually: a scary disconnect.

Young-adult millennials must often live at home; those who hold college degrees also often hold jobs unrelated to a chosen career – if employed at all. Between huge student loan debt (more than $28,000, on average, for the recent graduate) and bad job prospects, these kids delay marriage and owning a home.

Serious numbers, serious decisions and no clear solution: Giving too much support to your kids and grandkids usually only fosters unrealistic expectations. Your job, like it or not, is to use money to teach kids about an increasingly harsh real world.

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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3 Financial Must-Dos http://www.adviceiq.com/content/3-financial-must-dos http://www.adviceiq.com/content/3-financial-must-dos#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 23:00:23 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=b10c1320633bcab0d8168de5c563a7de Winter is a good time to improve your financial life, making good moves for the rest of the year. Here is a trio of things to get done:

Investigate 401(k) matching contributions from your employer. Most 401(k) plans provide for employer matching contributions, often around 5% of your pay, though percentages can vary.

The match consists of your employer contributing a certain dollar amount to your 401(k) account based on the sum you contribute. Let’s say your plan has a dollar-for-dollar employer match up to $1,500. For every dollar you contribute to your account, your employer will also kick in the same amount. Once you contribute the whole $1,500, your employer stops contributing.

Think about it: You and your employer both put in $1,500 and now your 401(k) account is worth $3,000 more – half of it free money from your employer. Plans differ widely; check with your human resources department or supervisor to determine your company’s matches.

Start a savings account. Problems putting money aside? One good solution: Have a set amount automatically taken from your paycheck and deposited into a separate account, such as a savings, money market (MMA) or mutual fund account. MMAs and mutual fund accounts often require higher opening balances but pay more interest.

Start slow, socking away $25, $50 or $100 each month. Double the amount after about six months. If you deposit $25 a month and double it in half a year to $50 a month, by this time next year you will have $450 extra.

Put away $50 a month, double it to $100 in half a year and after 12 months you sock away $900. Start with $100 a month and double in six months and in a year you save $1,800. You get the idea.

Another option might be an online savings account, easy to establish and link to your checking account for movement back and forth. Some carry no fees or minimum balance, and they also tend to pay slightly more interest than the types of accounts above.

Track expenses. Not sure what you and your family spend? Having trouble staying on those day-to-day budgets? Try this over four days:

Taking no more than 30 minutes, write down all your monthly fixed expenses such as mortgage or rent, internet access fees and car payments. Include what dollar amount you spent on each. Do this first step from your memory and put your list aside for a day.

On the second day, again in no more than 30 minutes, look through your checkbook and see what monthly expenses you forgot to write down and correct any amounts you misquoted. Add in monthly variable expenses, such as clothing, groceries, car maintenance and fuel, as well as utilities such as electricity, gas, oil and water.

Once again in just half an hour, pull out your credit card bills on the third day and come to terms with what and how much you charge and still owe. Note all finance charges and late fees. Finally, on the last day pull all your expenses together.

Any revelations? At this point, you have good information and the perfect chance to improve your spending habits.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice located in Newton, Mass. and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit us at www.kjhfinancialservices.com or email Kim at kim@kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow on Twitter at @kimhowardcfp.
 
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.

 

]]>
Winter is a good time to improve your financial life, making good moves for the rest of the year. Here is a trio of things to get done:

Investigate 401(k) matching contributions from your employer. Most 401(k) plans provide for employer matching contributions, often around 5% of your pay, though percentages can vary.

The match consists of your employer contributing a certain dollar amount to your 401(k) account based on the sum you contribute. Let’s say your plan has a dollar-for-dollar employer match up to $1,500. For every dollar you contribute to your account, your employer will also kick in the same amount. Once you contribute the whole $1,500, your employer stops contributing.

Think about it: You and your employer both put in $1,500 and now your 401(k) account is worth $3,000 more – half of it free money from your employer. Plans differ widely; check with your human resources department or supervisor to determine your company’s matches.

Start a savings account. Problems putting money aside? One good solution: Have a set amount automatically taken from your paycheck and deposited into a separate account, such as a savings, money market (MMA) or mutual fund account. MMAs and mutual fund accounts often require higher opening balances but pay more interest.

Start slow, socking away $25, $50 or $100 each month. Double the amount after about six months. If you deposit $25 a month and double it in half a year to $50 a month, by this time next year you will have $450 extra.

Put away $50 a month, double it to $100 in half a year and after 12 months you sock away $900. Start with $100 a month and double in six months and in a year you save $1,800. You get the idea.

Another option might be an online savings account, easy to establish and link to your checking account for movement back and forth. Some carry no fees or minimum balance, and they also tend to pay slightly more interest than the types of accounts above.

Track expenses. Not sure what you and your family spend? Having trouble staying on those day-to-day budgets? Try this over four days:

Taking no more than 30 minutes, write down all your monthly fixed expenses such as mortgage or rent, internet access fees and car payments. Include what dollar amount you spent on each. Do this first step from your memory and put your list aside for a day.

On the second day, again in no more than 30 minutes, look through your checkbook and see what monthly expenses you forgot to write down and correct any amounts you misquoted. Add in monthly variable expenses, such as clothing, groceries, car maintenance and fuel, as well as utilities such as electricity, gas, oil and water.

Once again in just half an hour, pull out your credit card bills on the third day and come to terms with what and how much you charge and still owe. Note all finance charges and late fees. Finally, on the last day pull all your expenses together.

Any revelations? At this point, you have good information and the perfect chance to improve your spending habits.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice located in Newton, Mass. and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit us at www.kjhfinancialservices.com or email Kim at kim@kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow on Twitter at @kimhowardcfp.
 
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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Dollar’s Rise: a Good Sign http://www.adviceiq.com/content/dollar%E2%80%99s-rise-good-sign http://www.adviceiq.com/content/dollar%E2%80%99s-rise-good-sign#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:30:05 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=00f6594d019be687cd70edd2a24ea9f2 The dollar serves as an excellent prognosticator for the U.S. economy. Its remarkable strengthening lately serves as very positive signal. With the help of low interest rates and an improving economy, the dollar’s dominance should continue for a good while.

In late 2007 with a weak dollar it took roughly $1.57 to buy a euro. Now with a stronger dollar, it only takes a little less than $1.14 to buy one euro. Economic trends are cyclical, and we are in a cycle of dollar strengthening as foreign central banks weaken currencies to attack economic ills. What does that tell you as an investor?

As a dedicated traveler, this writer recalls the pain when the euro was north of $1.50. Europe was expensive. U.S. national parks and ski resorts were full of European tourists as America, even with airfare thrown in, was on sale.

Now the dollar buys more all over the world. That’s good news if you are planning a bucket list trip abroad. Pundits see the euro dropping further. Goldman Sachs predicts parity to the dollar by 2017, a level not seen since 2002 when the euro debuted. What’s behind these moves?

The global credit crunch, which induced recession and the 2008 market crash, introduced a new term to investors – quantitative easing (QE). In response to the financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sought to stimulate lending and economic activity by depressing interest rates. He also “created money,” by buying mortgage bonds and government bonds.

By July 2012, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rate hit a multi-decade low of 1.38%. After trending upward a bit, the 10-year has headed back down again, lately hitting 1.83%. Lower interest rates decrease the cost of government and consumer borrowing, and supposedly prod businesses and households to invest. QE can boost asset prices like stocks and real estate, something Bernanke wanted to bolster confidence.

When central banks engage in QE and other forms of stimulus, including money creation, currency weakens. The Fed has ended QE, signaling that policy will return to normal at some point, perhaps this year with an increase in interest rates. The Kiplinger newsletter sees the 10-year Treasury rate at 3.1% by yearend 2015.

Central banks also use QE to boost inflationary expectations. The theory is that, if consumers expect money to be worth less in the future, they will buy now and boost demand. Low interest rates penalize savers, and reward borrowers and spenders. The U.S. Fed has set 2% as an inflation target. Kiplinger forecasts inflation at 2% by the end of 2015, with gross domestic product growth at over 3% annually.

The current Fed chairwoman, Janet Yellen, will not surprise markets with rapid interest rate boosts in 2015. Trained as a labor economist, she watches wages and unemployment and underemployment as an indicator. Job numbers are improving, but wage growth remains weak. Combined with lower gas prices, consumer spending should get a boost.

But with too many people in part-time jobs and a dearth of full-time opportunities, labor force participation rates remain low at levels not seen since the late 1970s, increasing Yellen’s cautious approach.

On the surface, America is the shining star in the global economic sky, reflected in rising stock prices. Yet when governments in other economies apply stimulus, that signals the beginning of a recovery cycle. Investors who bought stock and selected real estate in 2009-2011 as the U.S. central bank applied stimulus were financially prescient and have profited.

Increased volatility notwithstanding, don’t abandon global asset allocations. As bankers in Europe, Japan, China and elsewhere depreciate currency and apply stimulus, sharp-eyed money managers are trolling for bargains. Bargain seekers also are eying depressed natural resource stocks relative to the next cycle. Money goes where it is best treated, and the U.S. stock market still is the deepest and most liquid on the planet.

Even with wage growth, inflation is not likely to accelerate near term over Federal Reserve targets. With bargain conscious consumers armed with smartphones trolling for bargains, it is difficult for companies to raise prices. Black Friday saw increased competition from Cyber Monday.

Lending has been anemic in the U.S. but that is changing. Commercial and industrial lending is picking up—a positive. In short, equity investors should retain a good balance between American and international equities. And plan that long-delayed trip to Europe. A good house wine in France (cuvée du patron), Italy (vino della casa) or Spain (vino de la casa) is a much better deal than it was not long ago. Santé.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Lewis Walker, CFP, is president of Walker Capital Management, LCC in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Securities and certain advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA). Lewis Walker is a registered representative of The SFA, which is otherwise unaffiliated with Walker Capital Management. 770-441-2603. lewisw@theinvestmentcoach.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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The dollar serves as an excellent prognosticator for the U.S. economy. Its remarkable strengthening lately serves as very positive signal. With the help of low interest rates and an improving economy, the dollar’s dominance should continue for a good while.

In late 2007 with a weak dollar it took roughly $1.57 to buy a euro. Now with a stronger dollar, it only takes a little less than $1.14 to buy one euro. Economic trends are cyclical, and we are in a cycle of dollar strengthening as foreign central banks weaken currencies to attack economic ills. What does that tell you as an investor?

As a dedicated traveler, this writer recalls the pain when the euro was north of $1.50. Europe was expensive. U.S. national parks and ski resorts were full of European tourists as America, even with airfare thrown in, was on sale.

Now the dollar buys more all over the world. That’s good news if you are planning a bucket list trip abroad. Pundits see the euro dropping further. Goldman Sachs predicts parity to the dollar by 2017, a level not seen since 2002 when the euro debuted. What’s behind these moves?

The global credit crunch, which induced recession and the 2008 market crash, introduced a new term to investors – quantitative easing (QE). In response to the financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sought to stimulate lending and economic activity by depressing interest rates. He also “created money,” by buying mortgage bonds and government bonds.

By July 2012, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rate hit a multi-decade low of 1.38%. After trending upward a bit, the 10-year has headed back down again, lately hitting 1.83%. Lower interest rates decrease the cost of government and consumer borrowing, and supposedly prod businesses and households to invest. QE can boost asset prices like stocks and real estate, something Bernanke wanted to bolster confidence.

When central banks engage in QE and other forms of stimulus, including money creation, currency weakens. The Fed has ended QE, signaling that policy will return to normal at some point, perhaps this year with an increase in interest rates. The Kiplinger newsletter sees the 10-year Treasury rate at 3.1% by yearend 2015.

Central banks also use QE to boost inflationary expectations. The theory is that, if consumers expect money to be worth less in the future, they will buy now and boost demand. Low interest rates penalize savers, and reward borrowers and spenders. The U.S. Fed has set 2% as an inflation target. Kiplinger forecasts inflation at 2% by the end of 2015, with gross domestic product growth at over 3% annually.

The current Fed chairwoman, Janet Yellen, will not surprise markets with rapid interest rate boosts in 2015. Trained as a labor economist, she watches wages and unemployment and underemployment as an indicator. Job numbers are improving, but wage growth remains weak. Combined with lower gas prices, consumer spending should get a boost.

But with too many people in part-time jobs and a dearth of full-time opportunities, labor force participation rates remain low at levels not seen since the late 1970s, increasing Yellen’s cautious approach.

On the surface, America is the shining star in the global economic sky, reflected in rising stock prices. Yet when governments in other economies apply stimulus, that signals the beginning of a recovery cycle. Investors who bought stock and selected real estate in 2009-2011 as the U.S. central bank applied stimulus were financially prescient and have profited.

Increased volatility notwithstanding, don’t abandon global asset allocations. As bankers in Europe, Japan, China and elsewhere depreciate currency and apply stimulus, sharp-eyed money managers are trolling for bargains. Bargain seekers also are eying depressed natural resource stocks relative to the next cycle. Money goes where it is best treated, and the U.S. stock market still is the deepest and most liquid on the planet.

Even with wage growth, inflation is not likely to accelerate near term over Federal Reserve targets. With bargain conscious consumers armed with smartphones trolling for bargains, it is difficult for companies to raise prices. Black Friday saw increased competition from Cyber Monday.

Lending has been anemic in the U.S. but that is changing. Commercial and industrial lending is picking up—a positive. In short, equity investors should retain a good balance between American and international equities. And plan that long-delayed trip to Europe. A good house wine in France (cuvée du patron), Italy (vino della casa) or Spain (vino de la casa) is a much better deal than it was not long ago. Santé.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Lewis Walker, CFP, is president of Walker Capital Management, LCC in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Securities and certain advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA). Lewis Walker is a registered representative of The SFA, which is otherwise unaffiliated with Walker Capital Management. 770-441-2603. lewisw@theinvestmentcoach.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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Suder Lois http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/28/suder-lois/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/28/suder-lois/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:11:36 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36857 NOTICE OF INFORMAL PROBATE
OF WILL AND INFORMAL APPOINTMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE AND NOTICE TO CREDITORS
STATE OF MINNESOTA
COUNTY OF HOUSTON
DISTRICT COURT
THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT
Court File No.: 28-PR-15-26
In Re: Estate of Lois K. Suder,
Decedent.
Notice is given that an Application for Informal Probate of Will and Informal Appointment of Personal Representative was filed with the Registrar, along with a Will dated November 30, 1982, and a Codicil signed November 13, 2014. The Registrar accepted the application and appointed Carolyn Gaustad, whose address is 601 N 2nd St, Caledonia, Minnesota 55921, to serve as the personal representative of the decedents estate.
Any heir, devisee or other interested person may be entitled to appointment as personal representative or may object to the appointment of the personal representative. Any objection to the appointment of the personal representative must be filed with the Court, and any properly filed objection will be heard by the Court after notice is provided to interested persons of the date of hearing on the objection.
Unless objections are filed, and unless the Court orders otherwise, the personal representative has the full power to administer the estate, including, after thirty (30) days from the issuance of letters testamentary, the power to sell, encumber, lease, or distribute any interest in real estate owned by the decedent.
Notice is further given that subject to Minn. Stat. 524.3-801, all creditors having claims against the decedents estate are required to present the claims to the personal representative or to the Court within four (4) months after the date of this notice or the claims will be barred.
Dated: January 16, 2015
/s/ Darlene L. Larson
Registrar
/s/ Susan M. Kasten
Court Administrator
ATTORNEY FOR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Michael A. Murphy (MN# 0347449)
Hammell & Murphy PLLP
PO Box 149
Caledonia, Minnesota 55921
Telephone: (507) 725-3361
Facsimile: (507)725-5627
Published in
The Caledonia Argus
January 28, February 4, 2015
341429

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January 5 Board http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/28/january-5-board/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/28/january-5-board/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:10:31 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36855 INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 299
Abbreviated Board Meeting Minutes
January 5, 2015
The Board of Education of Independent School District No. 299, Caledonia, Minnesota, met in an organizational school board meeting in the Middle/High School Media Center. The meeting was called to order by Director Michelle Werner at 6:00 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was said. The school board members present were Amanda King, Kelley McGraw, Jean Meyer, Michelle Werner, Jimmy Westland and Spencer Yohe. Also present were Superintendent Ben Barton and Karen Schiltz. Absent was Director Jared Barnes. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Kelley McGraw to approve the agenda as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Kelley McGraw, seconded by Spencer Yohe to appoint Jimmy Westland as a new school board member and administer Oath of Office. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Michelle Werner, seconded by Jean Meyer to nominate Director Kelley McGraw for the office of Chairperson. Director Werner called for nominations three times. Motion by Spencer Yohe, seconded by Jean Meyer to close the nominations for the office of Chairperson. Moved by Kelley McGraw, seconded by Spencer Yohe to nominate Director Michelle Werner for the office of Vice Chairperson. Director Werner called for nominations three times. Moved by Amanda King, seconded by Spencer Yohe to close the nominations for the office of Vice Chairperson. Moved by Kelley McGraw, seconded by Amanda King to nominate Director Jean Meyer for the office of Clerk. Director Werner called for nominations three times. Moved by Spencer Yohe, seconded by Amanda King to close the nominations for the office of Clerk. Moved by Spencer Yohe, seconded by Jean Meyer to nominate Director Amanda King for the office of Treasurer. Director Werner called for nominations three times. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Jimmy Westland to close the nominations for the office of Treasurer. Moved by Amanda King, seconded by Jean Meyer to nominate Director Spencer Yohe for the office Legislative Liaison. Director Werner called for nominations three times. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Jimmy Westland to close the nominations for the office of Legislative Liaison. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Jimmy Westland to approve the candidates for the office as stated above. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Spencer Yohe to hold one school board meeting per month on the third Monday of each month with the first Monday school board meeting to be held if needed; special school board meetings scheduled on an as needed basis; time of meetings to be at 6:00 p.m.; and place of meetings to be in the middle/high school media center unless otherwise designated. The board will also schedule some of these regular board meetings to be held in the surrounding communities at a date to be determined. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Spencer Yohe to hold the January 19, 2015, regular school board meeting on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in the Middle/High School Media Center, and the February 16, 2015, regular school board meeting on Tuesday, February 17, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in the Middle/High School Media Center. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Michelle Werner to set the compensation for regular, special and committee meetings at $50.00 per meeting attended; $75.00 for two consecutive committee meetings attended in a row; out of district meetings attended at $125.00 per day and $75.00 per half day; and mileage allowance per the IRS Guidelines. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Michelle Werner, seconded by Jean Meyer to name the following school depositories: General Fund at Merchants Bank; Secondary Student Activity Account at Bank of the West; Investments at Bank of the West, Merchants Bank, Eitzen State Bank, New Albin Savings Bank, Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus, and LaSalle National Bank. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Amanda King to authorize the Business Manager/Finance Director and the Superintendent to invest cash reserves and to make electronic transfers. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Amanda King, seconded by Spencer Yohe to designate duties of school board clerk to be given to the Office Manager/Human Resource Coordinator. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Jimmy Westland to name the Caledonia Argus as the official newspaper. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Jimmy Westland to appoint Directors Michelle Werner and Spencer Yohe to the Activities Committee; to appoint Directors Jared Barnes, Jean Meyer and Michelle Werner to the Administrative Negotiations Committee; to appoint Directors Kelley McGraw and Jean Meyer to the Building, Grounds and Transportation Committee; to appoint Directors Amanda King and Jimmy Westland to the Community Ed Advisory Council Representative; to appoint Directors Jared Barnes and Jimmy Westland to the Curriculum/PSEO/On-line Learning Committee; to appoint Directors Amanda King and Michelle Werner to the Finance Committee; to appoint Director Amanda King to the Hiawatha Valley Education District Representative; to appoint Directors Kelley McGraw and Michelle Werner to the Meet and Confer Committee; to appoint Director Spencer Yohe and Director Jean Meyer as an alternate to the Minnesota State High School League; to appoint Directors Amanda King, Jean Meyer, and Spencer Yohe to the Strategic Planning Committee (Worlds Best Workforce); to appoint Directors Jared Barnes, Amanda King and Jean Meyer to the Support Staff Negotiations Committee; to appoint Directors Kelley McGraw, Michelle Werner and Spencer Yohe to the Teacher Negotiations Committee; to appoint Directors Jared Barnes and Jean Meyer to the Technology Committee. Motions for the above temporary committees were carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Spencer Yohe, seconded by Jean Meyer to name as lawyers: Knutson, Flynn Deans, P.A.; and Ratwick, Roszak, and Maloney, P.A. Firm; and Kennedy & Graven for student/employee matters, and Hammell & Murphy Law Office for property and other local concerns. Those voting in favor: Amanda King, Kelley McGraw, Jean Meyer, Jimmy Westland and Spencer Yohe. Director Michelle Werner abstained. Director Jared Barnes was absent. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Michelle Werner to name Clifton Larson Allen, LLP, as the school auditor. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Amanda King, seconded by Jean Meyer to adjourn the meeting at 6:37 p.m. Motion carried by a unanimous vote.
These minutes are only a summary and complete minutes are available at the school district office or on the school district website at www.cps.k12.mn.us
Published in
The Caledonia Argus
January 28, 2015
340262

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December 15 Board http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/28/december-15-board/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/28/december-15-board/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:10:26 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36853 INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 299
Abbreviated Board Meeting Minutes
December 15, 2014
The Board of Education of Independent School District No. 299, Caledonia, Minnesota, met in a regular school board meeting in the Middle/High School Media Center. The meeting was called to order by Chair Michelle Werner at 6:00 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was said. The school board members present were Amanda King, Melissa Marschall, Kelley McGraw, Jean Meyer, Michelle Werner, and Spencer Yohe. Also present were Superintendent Ben Barton, Principals Paul DeMorett and Gina Meinertz, Nancy Runningen, Barb Meyer, Karen Schiltz, Janelle Field Rohrer, Joan Heim Welch, Jimmy Westland, David Klinski and Brad Harguth. Absent was Director Jared Barnes.
Moved by Spencer Yohe, seconded by Jean Meyer to approve the agenda as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Melissa Marschall to approve the minutes of the November 17, 2014, regular school board meeting. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Amanda King, seconded by Melissa Marschall to accept the school audit report as presented to the board from Kim Hillberg of Clifton Larson Allen, LLP. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Spencer Yohe, seconded by Melissa Marschall to approve the electronic transfers and bills due and payable amounting to $374,393.82 including check numbers 57869 through 57982. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Kelley McGraw, seconded by Amanda King to adopt the final levy certification for 2015 in the amount of $2,610,180.43. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Spencer Yohe, seconded by Kelley McGraw to approve the maternity leave request of Angie Morken to begin around May 21, 2015, through approximately August 13, 2015, given there no complications. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Kelley McGraw, seconded by Jean Klinski to ratify the 2011-2015 Caledonia Principals Association Contract to include the following: There will be a 0% salary increase on the salary schedule for the 2011-2012 school year; a 1% salary increase on the salary schedule for the 2012-2013 school year; a 0.5% salary increase on the salary schedule for the 2013-2014 school year; and a 2% salary increase on the salary schedule for the 2014-2015 school year for the Middle/High School Principal position. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Spencer Yohe to adopt the teacher seniority list and the support staff seniority list as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Member Kelley McGraw introduced the Resolution Directing the Administration to Make Recommendations for Reductions in Programs and Positions and Reasons Thereof and moved its adoption. The motion for the adoption of the foregoing resolution was duly seconded by Member Jean Meyer and upon vote being taken thereon, the following voted in favor thereof: Amanda King, Melissa Marschall, Kelley McGraw, Jean Meyer, Michelle Werner, and Spencer Yohe. Absent: Jared Barnes. The following voted against the same: None. Whereupon said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Amanda King to hold an organizational school board meeting on Monday, January 5, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in the middle/high school media center. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Kelley McGraw to adopt the School Board Meeting Agenda Policy #203.5 as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Melissa Marschall to adopt the Open Meetings and Closed Meetings Policy #205 as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Melissa Marschall to adopt the Chemical Use and Abuse Policy #417 as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Spencer Yohe to adopt the Staff Development Policy #425 as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Spencer Yohe to adopt the Student Dress and Appearance Policy #504 as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Amanda King to adopt the Distribution of Nonschool-Sponsored Materials on School Premises by Students and Employees Policy #505 as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Amanda King to adopt the Field Trips Policy #610 as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Kelley McGraw to adopt the Student Activity Accounting Policy #713 as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Jean Meyer, seconded by Kelley McGraw to approve the recommendation from the Building and Grounds Committee to go with Option #2 for the replacement of the roof at the elementary building. Motion carried by a unanimous vote. Moved by Amanda King, seconded by Melissa Marschall to adjourn the meeting at 8:16 p.m. Motion carried by a unanimous vote.
These minutes are only a summary and complete minutes are available at the school district office or on the school district website at www.cps.k12.mn.us
Published in
The Caledonia Argus
January 28, 2015
340254

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Feb 10 http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/28/feb-10/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/28/feb-10/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:10:18 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36851 BROWNSVILLE TOWNSHIP
The Board of Audit and Regular Meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at the Brownsville Community Center, 104 North 6th St., Brownsville, Mn at 7:00 p.m.
Doris Mitchell, Clerk
Brownsville Township
Published in
The Caledonia Argus
January 28, 2015
340054

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Market Correction: 5 Moves http://www.adviceiq.com/content/market-correction-5-moves http://www.adviceiq.com/content/market-correction-5-moves#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 23:00:05 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=7741feaaaf1257a6d0054b89cfee750c Despite a good 2014, the stock market went through some tough days. At one point in October the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down about 8% from its all-time high reached just a month before, then a few weeks later rebounded to set records.

Such downdrafts will come again. While we are not now in correction mode – generally defined as a 10% or greater drop in an index – does such yo-yoing portend a market correction, and what can you do to prepare?

1. Do nothing. Assuming you have in place a financial plan with an investment strategy, you really need do nothing when a correction occurs. Ideally, you rebalanced your portfolio along the way, and put your asset allocation largely in line with your plan and your risk tolerance.

Making moves in reaction to a market correction (official or otherwise) is rarely a good idea. At the very least, wait until after the big plunge is over.

As quarterback Aaron Rodgers told the fans in Green Bay after the Packers 1-2 start: Relax. The team then racked up a 12-4 season and came within one victory of the Super Bowl.

2. Review your mutual funds. Rough markets are good times to look at various mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in your portfolio. How did they hold up compared with similar investments during the market downturn? When the market changed direction?

For example, during the 2008-2009 market rollercoaster, I looked at funds to see how they did in both the down market of 2008 and in the up market of 2009. If a fund did worse than the majority of its peers in 2008, I expected better-than-average performance the next year. Underperformance during both periods was a huge red flag.

3. Don’t get caught up in media hype. If you watch financial news outlets long enough, you will unfailingly find some expert to support about any opinion about the stock market during any type of rally or dip. This can be especially dangerous for investors who might already feel afraid when markets tank, however slightly.

I don’t discount the great and useful information the media provide, but take much of it with some skepticism. Instead, lean on your financial plan and your investment strategy as a guide during market turbulence.

4. Focus on risk. Use stock market corrections and downturns to assess your portfolio’s risk and, more importantly, your own tolerance for risk.

Assess whether your portfolio held up in line with your expectations. If not, perhaps you take more risk than you planned (whether aware of doing so or not). Also assess your feelings about your portfolio’s performance: If you find yourself unduly fearful about the recent market moves, consider revisiting your allocation and your financial plan once Wall Street settles down.

5. Look for bargains. If you eyed a particular stock, ETF or mutual fund before the market drop, this might be the time to make an investment. I don’t advocate market timing – but snagging a good long-term investment makes an even better deal when that investment is on sale.

Don’t believe me? Then believe investing guru Warren Buffett’s championing of buying low.

Markets always correct at some point. Smart investors factor this into plans and don’t overreact. Be a smart investor.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Roger Wohlner, is a fee-only financial adviser based in Arlington Heights, Ill., where he provides financial planning and investment advice to individual clients, 401(k) plan sponsors and participants, foundations, and endowments. Please feel free to contact him with your investing and financial planning questions. Roger is active on both Twitter and LinkedIn. Check out Roger’s popular blog The Chicago Financial Planner where he writes about issues concerning financial planning, investments, and retirement plans. He is also a regular contributor to Investopedia, has written for US News Smarter Investor Blog and has been quoted extensively in the financial press including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Smart Money. Roger is a member of NAPFA, the largest professional organization for fee-only financial advisors in the country. All NAPFA Registered Advisors sign a fiduciary oath promising to act in the best interests of their clients.

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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Despite a good 2014, the stock market went through some tough days. At one point in October the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down about 8% from its all-time high reached just a month before, then a few weeks later rebounded to set records.

Such downdrafts will come again. While we are not now in correction mode – generally defined as a 10% or greater drop in an index – does such yo-yoing portend a market correction, and what can you do to prepare?

1. Do nothing. Assuming you have in place a financial plan with an investment strategy, you really need do nothing when a correction occurs. Ideally, you rebalanced your portfolio along the way, and put your asset allocation largely in line with your plan and your risk tolerance.

Making moves in reaction to a market correction (official or otherwise) is rarely a good idea. At the very least, wait until after the big plunge is over.

As quarterback Aaron Rodgers told the fans in Green Bay after the Packers 1-2 start: Relax. The team then racked up a 12-4 season and came within one victory of the Super Bowl.

2. Review your mutual funds. Rough markets are good times to look at various mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in your portfolio. How did they hold up compared with similar investments during the market downturn? When the market changed direction?

For example, during the 2008-2009 market rollercoaster, I looked at funds to see how they did in both the down market of 2008 and in the up market of 2009. If a fund did worse than the majority of its peers in 2008, I expected better-than-average performance the next year. Underperformance during both periods was a huge red flag.

3. Don’t get caught up in media hype. If you watch financial news outlets long enough, you will unfailingly find some expert to support about any opinion about the stock market during any type of rally or dip. This can be especially dangerous for investors who might already feel afraid when markets tank, however slightly.

I don’t discount the great and useful information the media provide, but take much of it with some skepticism. Instead, lean on your financial plan and your investment strategy as a guide during market turbulence.

4. Focus on risk. Use stock market corrections and downturns to assess your portfolio’s risk and, more importantly, your own tolerance for risk.

Assess whether your portfolio held up in line with your expectations. If not, perhaps you take more risk than you planned (whether aware of doing so or not). Also assess your feelings about your portfolio’s performance: If you find yourself unduly fearful about the recent market moves, consider revisiting your allocation and your financial plan once Wall Street settles down.

5. Look for bargains. If you eyed a particular stock, ETF or mutual fund before the market drop, this might be the time to make an investment. I don’t advocate market timing – but snagging a good long-term investment makes an even better deal when that investment is on sale.

Don’t believe me? Then believe investing guru Warren Buffett’s championing of buying low.

Markets always correct at some point. Smart investors factor this into plans and don’t overreact. Be a smart investor.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Roger Wohlner, is a fee-only financial adviser based in Arlington Heights, Ill., where he provides financial planning and investment advice to individual clients, 401(k) plan sponsors and participants, foundations, and endowments. Please feel free to contact him with your investing and financial planning questions. Roger is active on both Twitter and LinkedIn. Check out Roger’s popular blog The Chicago Financial Planner where he writes about issues concerning financial planning, investments, and retirement plans. He is also a regular contributor to Investopedia, has written for US News Smarter Investor Blog and has been quoted extensively in the financial press including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Smart Money. Roger is a member of NAPFA, the largest professional organization for fee-only financial advisors in the country. All NAPFA Registered Advisors sign a fiduciary oath promising to act in the best interests of their clients.

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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Diversification: Now Harder http://www.adviceiq.com/content/diversification-now-harder http://www.adviceiq.com/content/diversification-now-harder#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:30:15 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=3ffac2c0af4efaae1519a4596ccaccde We hear all the time that spreading our portfolio’s holdings across many classes of assets is the best defense against losses when the bears hit Wall Street. There’s a good chance your diversification strategy may now not work as you intended, though.

Here’s why.

The cornerstone of diversification is a mixture of investments, each of which has broadly differing patterns of strength and weakness. That way, strengths in one investment can potentially offset weaknesses in another at any given time. The greater the difference in performance patterns of any two investments, the bigger the potential benefit from diversification.

Historically, such alternative investments as real property and precious metals provided a non-correlated counterbalance in portfolios to traditional holdings such as stocks. Over the past decade, some investments that once differed significantly began performing more alike; this reduced their potential to offset each other’s ups and downs in your portfolio. As financial instruments and global markets became increasingly liquid and accessible, different asset classes became more closely interrelated.

Correlation is a common measure of the variation in performance between two investments. The closer two investments’ correlation is to zero, the greater their potential to diversify your holdings. In other words, the less alike two investments are, the less they can drop in the same market conditions.

Different asset classes once tended to correlate at a relatively low level. And the correlations they did have tended to vary; even as one pair became highly correlated, others went in the opposite direction.

The chart below shows how diversification potential for U.S. equities and other assets differed over time. The best diversification potential occurred when chart values were relatively near the center (that is, the zero axis). Weaker diversification potential occurred when values fell near to the top or bottom edges of the chart.

The weakest sustained potential occurred when correlation remained near 1.0 for long periods, as in recent years, between U.S. and foreign stocks.

 

The Correlation Picture, 1992 to 2014

Each of the lines above represents the correlation between U.S. stocks and the indicated investment class over time, reflecting annualized 36-month returns for trailing 5-year periods. A correlation of 1.0 means that all changes are synchronized exactly. A correlation of minus 1.0 means that the amount of change synchronizes precisely but that the changes run in opposite directions.

A correlation of 0 denotes no statistically measurable relationship between changes in one set of returns and changes in another. Note: In the chart above the following indexes and benchmarks represent the following stocks:

Convergence of key asset classes’ performance may be clear but the underlying reasons are complex, making potential solutions complex. Some point to the 2008-09 financial crisis or the aggressive explosion of ultra-diversified hedge funds and exchange-traded funds. Others credit the melting borders of international trade. No one answer seems to constitute a sole reason.

Investors need to consider not only the risk and reward potential for each investment category but those categories’ correlations, as well. This lets you know how much of a portfolio can rise or fall at once.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Stephen P. Giulietti, CFP, CIMA, is Senior Vice President - Wealth Management, Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Boston. Contact him at stephen.p.giulietti@morganstanley.com.

The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC, or its affiliates.

Stephen Giulietti may only transact business in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration http://www.morganstanleyfa.com/giulietti/. Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Stephen Giulietti is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.

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.

All indexes cited above are generally considered representative of their broad asset classes. Investors cannot invest directly in any index. Index returns are hypothetical and do not reflect the effects of taxes, fees, commissions or other costs of investing. Returns are calculated from monthly index values between July 1984 and June 2014. Past performance does not assure future results.

 

 

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We hear all the time that spreading our portfolio’s holdings across many classes of assets is the best defense against losses when the bears hit Wall Street. There’s a good chance your diversification strategy may now not work as you intended, though.

Here’s why.

The cornerstone of diversification is a mixture of investments, each of which has broadly differing patterns of strength and weakness. That way, strengths in one investment can potentially offset weaknesses in another at any given time. The greater the difference in performance patterns of any two investments, the bigger the potential benefit from diversification.

Historically, such alternative investments as real property and precious metals provided a non-correlated counterbalance in portfolios to traditional holdings such as stocks. Over the past decade, some investments that once differed significantly began performing more alike; this reduced their potential to offset each other’s ups and downs in your portfolio. As financial instruments and global markets became increasingly liquid and accessible, different asset classes became more closely interrelated.

Correlation is a common measure of the variation in performance between two investments. The closer two investments’ correlation is to zero, the greater their potential to diversify your holdings. In other words, the less alike two investments are, the less they can drop in the same market conditions.

Different asset classes once tended to correlate at a relatively low level. And the correlations they did have tended to vary; even as one pair became highly correlated, others went in the opposite direction.

The chart below shows how diversification potential for U.S. equities and other assets differed over time. The best diversification potential occurred when chart values were relatively near the center (that is, the zero axis). Weaker diversification potential occurred when values fell near to the top or bottom edges of the chart.

The weakest sustained potential occurred when correlation remained near 1.0 for long periods, as in recent years, between U.S. and foreign stocks.

 

The Correlation Picture, 1992 to 2014

Each of the lines above represents the correlation between U.S. stocks and the indicated investment class over time, reflecting annualized 36-month returns for trailing 5-year periods. A correlation of 1.0 means that all changes are synchronized exactly. A correlation of minus 1.0 means that the amount of change synchronizes precisely but that the changes run in opposite directions.

A correlation of 0 denotes no statistically measurable relationship between changes in one set of returns and changes in another. Note: In the chart above the following indexes and benchmarks represent the following stocks:

Convergence of key asset classes’ performance may be clear but the underlying reasons are complex, making potential solutions complex. Some point to the 2008-09 financial crisis or the aggressive explosion of ultra-diversified hedge funds and exchange-traded funds. Others credit the melting borders of international trade. No one answer seems to constitute a sole reason.

Investors need to consider not only the risk and reward potential for each investment category but those categories’ correlations, as well. This lets you know how much of a portfolio can rise or fall at once.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Stephen P. Giulietti, CFP, CIMA, is Senior Vice President - Wealth Management, Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Boston. Contact him at stephen.p.giulietti@morganstanley.com.

The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC, or its affiliates.

Stephen Giulietti may only transact business in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration http://www.morganstanleyfa.com/giulietti/. Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Stephen Giulietti is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.

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.

All indexes cited above are generally considered representative of their broad asset classes. Investors cannot invest directly in any index. Index returns are hypothetical and do not reflect the effects of taxes, fees, commissions or other costs of investing. Returns are calculated from monthly index values between July 1984 and June 2014. Past performance does not assure future results.

 

 

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Your Investment Policy Statement http://www.adviceiq.com/content/your-investment-policy-statement http://www.adviceiq.com/content/your-investment-policy-statement#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:30:07 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=0b7393e38270bbcab9ceda6fe41a1263 A written statement that outlines your goals and investment strategy is a must for all investors. When market risks arise for real, an investment policy statement helps you stay committed to your plan.

New York Times columnist Paul Sullivan says an investment policy statement is “to a financial plan what a Range Rover is to a minivan. Both will carry your children safely, but only the Range Rover will power up a gravelly mountain.”

Who among us hasn’t had to soldier through some rocky markets from time to time? Whenever markets do turn sickeningly steep, second-guessing your plan is instinct. A well-maintained investment policy statement serves as a reliable touchstone during these risky times, when your human emotions may otherwise overtake your financial resolve.

A 2013 Russell Investments survey found that most financial advisors didn’t use an investment policy statement for all of their clients. One in five didn’t have it at all. This is a significant concern. You may rarely refer to your investment policy statement on any given day, but it’s like a parachute, when you do need it, you really need it.

Your investment policy statement should include detailed, up-to-date descriptions of the factors influencing your ongoing investment experience, such as:

  1. Investor “personality.” Your risk tolerance and other individual challenges and opportunities that shape your investment expectations.
  2. Financial life goals. Your and your family’s desired goals, including tax considerations, dollars and specific time horizons.
  3. Investment approach. How your advisor manages your investment portfolio to advance your goals, including your investment strategy, desirable portfolio holdings and target asset allocations.
  4. Roles and responsibilities. Whom the portfolio is for, your investor rights and responsibilities, and ditto for your advisor.
  5. Procedures. Guidelines for how you and your advisor review, rethink and revise the statement to keep it current.

Besides keeping you on track, on a more practical front, this document comes in handy when you, your family members or others involved in your financial affairs forget the details of your personalized investment strategy. Is my portfolio a 60/40 fixed income/stock allocation or a 70/30? Which accounts are earmarked for retirement and which are for college funding? Is my portfolio on track toward my stated goals or does it need adjustments? A quick check of your statement can answer these questions.

Having these sorts of details laid out in plain view is especially important if you are unable to handle your portfolio, and a spouse or other family member must take over the decision-making. With an investment policy statement to reference, the person acting in your place can resolve questions that might otherwise be difficult to answer.

In short, an investment policy statement gives you both the big picture as well as the granular details in writing. This way, come what may, everyone can best act in synchronized concert toward the same goals: yours.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP, is a principal of SageBroadview Financial Planning with offices in Morristown, N.J., and Farmington, Conn. The SageBroadview blog covers a wide range of financial planning and life topics.

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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A written statement that outlines your goals and investment strategy is a must for all investors. When market risks arise for real, an investment policy statement helps you stay committed to your plan.

New York Times columnist Paul Sullivan says an investment policy statement is “to a financial plan what a Range Rover is to a minivan. Both will carry your children safely, but only the Range Rover will power up a gravelly mountain.”

Who among us hasn’t had to soldier through some rocky markets from time to time? Whenever markets do turn sickeningly steep, second-guessing your plan is instinct. A well-maintained investment policy statement serves as a reliable touchstone during these risky times, when your human emotions may otherwise overtake your financial resolve.

A 2013 Russell Investments survey found that most financial advisors didn’t use an investment policy statement for all of their clients. One in five didn’t have it at all. This is a significant concern. You may rarely refer to your investment policy statement on any given day, but it’s like a parachute, when you do need it, you really need it.

Your investment policy statement should include detailed, up-to-date descriptions of the factors influencing your ongoing investment experience, such as:

  1. Investor “personality.” Your risk tolerance and other individual challenges and opportunities that shape your investment expectations.
  2. Financial life goals. Your and your family’s desired goals, including tax considerations, dollars and specific time horizons.
  3. Investment approach. How your advisor manages your investment portfolio to advance your goals, including your investment strategy, desirable portfolio holdings and target asset allocations.
  4. Roles and responsibilities. Whom the portfolio is for, your investor rights and responsibilities, and ditto for your advisor.
  5. Procedures. Guidelines for how you and your advisor review, rethink and revise the statement to keep it current.

Besides keeping you on track, on a more practical front, this document comes in handy when you, your family members or others involved in your financial affairs forget the details of your personalized investment strategy. Is my portfolio a 60/40 fixed income/stock allocation or a 70/30? Which accounts are earmarked for retirement and which are for college funding? Is my portfolio on track toward my stated goals or does it need adjustments? A quick check of your statement can answer these questions.

Having these sorts of details laid out in plain view is especially important if you are unable to handle your portfolio, and a spouse or other family member must take over the decision-making. With an investment policy statement to reference, the person acting in your place can resolve questions that might otherwise be difficult to answer.

In short, an investment policy statement gives you both the big picture as well as the granular details in writing. This way, come what may, everyone can best act in synchronized concert toward the same goals: yours.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP, is a principal of SageBroadview Financial Planning with offices in Morristown, N.J., and Farmington, Conn. The SageBroadview blog covers a wide range of financial planning and life topics.

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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United Auto Supply is now Auto Value http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/united-auto-supply-is-now-auto-value/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/united-auto-supply-is-now-auto-value/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:20:56 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36843 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  John Welscher, manager at Auto Value. As part of the conversion from United Auto Supply, the store can offer increased heavy duty parts, more import vehicle parts and more variety. The business is staffed by the same five friendly individuals who worked for United Auto Supply.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
John Welscher, manager at Auto Value. As part of the conversion from United Auto Supply, the store can offer increased heavy duty parts, more import vehicle parts and more variety. The business is staffed by the same five friendly individuals who worked for United Auto Supply.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

It was once a root beer stand. It was also at one point in its history, a wood working shop.

In 1997, United Auto Supply moved from across the street into what is now “Auto Value” parts store.

United Auto Supply stores have joined forces with Automotive Parts Headquarters from St. Cloud and will operate under the Auto Value name.

While the name has changed, the same friendly faces will greet you when you walk into the store looking for that automotive part.

John Welscher continues to manage the Caledonia store and John and his staff will contniue to provide the kind of service that you have come to expect in Caledonia.

“As part of a larger organization, we now have access to more tools and more resources to serve our customers better than before,” Welscher noted.

The Caledonia Auto Value location employs five individuals, the same five who served at United Auto Supply.

As part of the change, the Caledonia Auto Value will now get overnight delivery from the massive Automotive Parts headquarters in St. Cloud.

With access to an over $13 million inventory of parts, Caledonia customers benefit because there is a second delivery each day from the $2 million hub store inventory in La Crosse.

“We’ve also improved our delivery system of professional installers,” Welscher noted.

That service is available Monday through Friday from 8 to 11 a.m.

The changes means more heavy duty parts, more import vehicle parts, a greater variety of products.

“We can also offer inventory tailored to Caledonia and the surrounding area,” Welscher said.

Deep roots in Caledonia 

Vernon “Bud” Marnach was one of the original five individuals who started the auto parts supply store.

Located across the street from its current location, Marnach was instrumental in relocating the store to the location in which it is currently housed.

“It used to be located in the front of that building right there,” Welscher said pointing to the now St. Mary’s Body Shop.

United started in 1958 and Caledonia was the third store in United’s chain.

While long-time Caledonia resident Bud Marnach was one of the original founders of United Auto Supply, his son Greg was vice president at the time of sale in September 2014.

The business operated in the current body shop location since 1967 until the move in 1997.

United Auto Supply, founded in La Crosse at the time of sale had 14 locations covering western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and northwest Iowa.

All United Auto Supply locations are being converted to the Auto Value name.

Auto Value is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The United Auto Supply management team is expected to join the APH management team. Once all of the locations are converted, the corporate store count across the upper Midwest will be 98 stores.

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While young, new Caledonia mayor Josh Gran knows it takes a village, points to so much support in his position http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/while-young-new-caledonia-mayor-josh-gran-knows-it-takes-a-village-points-to-so-much-support-in-his-position/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/while-young-new-caledonia-mayor-josh-gran-knows-it-takes-a-village-points-to-so-much-support-in-his-position/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:18:42 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36840 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  New Caledonia mayor Josh Gran has been appreciative of the support by the previous mayor, current and former council members as well as the community. Gran, 21, is the youngest current serving mayor in the state.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
New Caledonia mayor Josh Gran has been appreciative of the support by the previous mayor, current and former council members as well as the community. Gran, 21, is the youngest current serving mayor in the state.

Born in August, when Josh Gran was elected as mayor of Caledonia, he was a ‘very young’ 21.

“I think I’m the youngest mayor ever elected in the state,” he smiled.  “I don’t really know how you look that up, but that’s not what I’m focused on.”

Gran has jumped right into the job. After being elected and prior to taking office, Gran attended as many city functions as he was able to.

“I just want to jump right in and learn as much as I can,” he noted.

Gran has also reached out to the county board and the school board even attending their meeting in January to show his desire to work with the school.

“I think we’ve got a great school here,” he told the board. “I want to work together and partner to help market Caledonia. I think this school is a gem.”

Appreciative of the sentiment, superintendent Ben Barton too expressed a desire to cooperate.

“We think that is great and thank you for being here,” Barton said.

Always interested in politics

“My dad (Mike) and I have always been able to talk politics,” Gran said. “It is something I’ve always been interested in.”

Gran said he got involved to “make a difference any way I can.”

“I want to have an impact on my community,” he added. “I love Caledonia and I think we can really promote what Caledonia has to offer.”

While Gran said he might have designs on holding a higher office one day, he said for now he is content with doing all he can to make Caledonia better.

“That will come one day,” he said of future political opportunities. “Would I love to be President of the United States, you bet. At some point I may run for senator or a state office, or governor. But for now I want to do all I can to help Caledonia.”

Gran said he’d like to work with the EDA to help bring new business to town. While no official news has been made public yet, Gran said there are several irons in the fire on the new business front that he is excited to be a part of.

He also noted that the current council has done so much to help him transition into the mayor role.

“They’ve been very supportive, very helpful,” he said. “It is a huge learning curve and they bring a lot of years of experience.”

Gran was pleased to learn that Caledonia has the third lowest tax rate in southeastern Minnesota, and said he wants to work to keep that rate low.

“Our people are living on a fixed income,” he said. “I don’t want to see our taxes increase.”

Still lives with his parents

Gran understands the irony of being such a strong advocate against raising taxes while still living in the same bedroom he did as a kid.

The UW-La Crosse student knows how hard his parents have worked to provide that roof over his and his siblings, Courtney and Zach’s heads as they grew up.

“My mom (Karen) joked that she might disconnect the phone so that she doesn’t take so many phone calls for the mayor,” Gran smiled. “But overall my family has been very supportive of my decision to run and my being elected as mayor.”

Gran said that he hopes to make it up to them by never having to increase their tax rates.

Gran is set to graduate with a double major in Finance and Economics and a minor in Accounting.

He is a 2011 graduate of Caledonia high school and credits the school with helping to make him what he is today.

Gran extends a thank you to the community regarding the support they’ve shown him since being elected.

“People have been very helpful and supportive. This town really watches out for each other,” he added.

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One Act Play performs over the weekend http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/one-act-play-performs-over-the-weekend/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/one-act-play-performs-over-the-weekend/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:15:11 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36838 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus After expressing their interest in a written essay, Abby Hoskins, Olivia Schmitz, Amanda Forrester and Joe Haverty joined over 1,100 students from around the Midwest at the annual Dorian Music Festival held on January 10 and 11 at Luther College in Decorah.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Pictured front row left to right: Michaela Kasten, Kelsea Evans and Katrina Paulson. Back row: Advisor Tory Kale-Schulz, Mason Anderson, Dalton McHan and Casey Scanlan. Congratulations on a great performance.

The cast and crew of the One Act Play in Caledonia have been busy this past week with performances for the students and staff, a performance open to the community, another given to the Caledonia Rotary Club, as well as continued practices. Over the weekend the One Act competition was held in Rushford where Caledonia finished in 4th.

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Ordinance approved, will now go to Houston County Commissioners for their consideration http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/ordinance-approved-will-now-go-to-houston-county-commissioners-for-their-consideration/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/ordinance-approved-will-now-go-to-houston-county-commissioners-for-their-consideration/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:13:47 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36836 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Feedback from a public hearing held on January 6 regarding a proposed mineral extraction ordinance sent the Houston County Planning Commission back to the drawing board.

On January 15 a new ordinance regarding mineral mining and extraction was released for public review.

A week later, on January 22, the commission voted 5-2 to approve the ordinance.

It will now go to the county board to be adopted or rejected.

“The goal of the planning commission was to adopt a mining and extraction ordinance that would protect the residents of Houston County from the negative impacts of large scale industrial mining, but in doing so, not hinder the economic viability of our existing sand mines and rock quarries,” Planning Commission Chairman Dan Griffin said. “I think this draft ordinance accomplishes that goal.”

For nearly three years, proponents of the ordinance sought to limit or outright ban the practice of frac sand mining in Houston County. Many would argue that this does so.

The ordinance allows sand mines to produce up to 60,000 cubic yards of material per year. Any more would be classified as an industrial mining activity, which is prohibited. A wide range of other materials, including metals and petroleum-based products are also classified as “industrial,” and cannot be extracted. That leaves sand and aggregate mines as the only operations permitted in Houston County.

“As long as you stay at less than 60,000 yards you can do what you want with your sand,” Griffin said. He added that the 60,000 yard per year limit was adopted because some existing sand mines already produce anywhere from 30,000 to 45,000 cubic yards.  Large frac sand mines produce anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million yards, Griffin stated.

Editor’s Note: It was reported last week that this provision was removed from the language in the ordinance. That was incorrect.

January 22 meeting

Like the meeting on January 6, the meeting was well attended. However, unlike the previous meeting where the public was given the chance to speak, no comments were allowed. Instead written questions were taken following a review of the draft ordinance.

The biggest change from earlier versions of that ordinance is the substitution of conditional use permits over interim use permits for long-term operations. While an IUP will still suffice for a “short term” mine for up to three years and up to 10,000 cubic yards of material per year, a CUP will be required of all other applicants. That (CUP) permit has no “sunset” provision, and can be sold or  inherited. The IUP cannot be transferred to a new owner, and it cannot be renewed beyond its original term, according to the language in the draft.

“The reason we went to a CUP for new mines was because of the investment requirements,” Griffin said. “A new mining operation could easily spend $100,000 to get off the ground.”

The pervious draft placed all new mines under an IUP. Every time they change hands a new permit would be required.

Another substantial change  in the January 15 proposed ordinance is in regards to non-conforming “grandfathered” mines.

Those operations pre-date zoning regulations (which began in 1972), and will now be required to either register bi-annually or reclaim and close.

Zoning administrator Bob Scanlan said that some of those mines could be considered as “naturally reclaimed” since they are now re-vegetated. For the rest, some work and/or expense will be required. The registration paperwork will carry a fee which has yet to be determined. In addition, mines that want to continue will need to meet “minimal requirements,” as far as following the regulations that other prospectors are expected to follow, Scanlan added. Those laws refer to density, volume, size and reclamation standards.

The draft now goes to the Houston County commissioners for their consideration.

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Student school board representatives happy to represent their fellow students http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/student-school-board-representatives-happy-to-represent-their-fellow-students/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/student-school-board-representatives-happy-to-represent-their-fellow-students/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:12:45 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36834 Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus  Brenna Werner and Emily Ranzenberger are the student school board representatives at Caledonia. The pair joined the board at the regular January meeting.

Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus
Brenna Werner and Emily Ranzenberger are the student school board representatives at Caledonia. The pair joined the board at the regular January meeting.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

They didn’t win any election to be there, but their service is none-the-less very important to the overall goals of the Caledonia area school board. Emily Ranzenberger and Brenna Werner stepped up to serve as student representatives on the board.

“When the teachers came to us in a group setting and asked if there was anyone who wanted to be on the board I didn’t really think about it,” Werner said.

But as her mother, Michelle who serves on the board, and her father, Mike, talked to her about the opportunity, she began more and more to consider it.

However, it wasn’t until one- on-one conversations with teachers happened that she and Emily decided to sign up.

“I think it worked better when our teachers talked to us about it,” Ranzenberger said. “Mrs. Link asked me if I’d be interested and I decided to give it a try.”

Glad they did is the early report from the newest board members.

“You see a side of the school that you wouldn’t normally get to experience,” Ranzenberger said.

The duo attended their first meeting on January 20 and were welcomed by board chairman Kelly McGraw.

“Thank you for your service,” he said. “We appreciate having the perspective of the student.”

Brenna Werner said that by having students involved with the board, “we can provide perspective and bring information to the board on behalf of our fellow students.”

“It is nice to provide that different point of view,” Ranzenberger added.

Involvement at the school

For Werner and Ranzenberger, the transition to the board was a natural one.

Both are involved in National Honor Society and serve on Student Council.

Ranzenberger plays softball and Werner is involved athletically in soccer and track.

Superintendent Ben Barton hopes that Werner and Ranzenberger can help to grow the position and provide future opportunities for other students.

“We really hope you’ll take this back to students who are juniors,” Barton said. “We hope to expand and grow this as an ongoing thing.”

The girls have some ideas on who might be excellent candidates to one day take their place.

“We have some ideas,” Ranzenberger said. “We’ll go talk to them on a one-on-one basis.”

“I think it will be easier to find somebody when we can go to them and tell them what we’re doing,” Werner added.

Serving on the board will be a learning experience but neither would commit to it leading to a political career.

Ranzenberger, the daughter of Mark and Kris, plans to attend Winona State University next year and said she’ll draw on her experience on the school board.

Werner, unsure of where she plans to attend college, said she is happy to represent Caledonia at the moment, but stopped short of following in her mother’s footsteps and one day serving on the board herself.

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Houston Area Cancer Support to hold events February 7-8 http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/houston-area-cancer-support-to-hold-events-february-7-8/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/houston-area-cancer-support-to-hold-events-february-7-8/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:06:59 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36832 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

The Houston area cancer support group and the Houston area Lions invite you to their pancake breakfast at the Community Center. On Sunday, February 8 from 7 a.m. until noon, breakfast will be served.

On February 7 at 6 p.m. on Saturday night, food will be served from 5 until 7 p.m. There will be an auction and a door prize will be given away. Please note you need to be present to win.

The money made at the auction is used by the Houston Area Cancer Support (HACS) to help families within the area that are battling cancer.

“We have helped with gas cards, grocery cards, medical bills, insurance and, sorry to say, funeral expenses,” the group noted.

The designated geographical area from which applications for cancer support will be accepted is the city of Houston, the Townships of Houston, Money Creek, Sheldon, Mound Prairie, Yucatan and Union (in the state of Minnesota).

Donations are still being accepted and can be dropped off at Fingers in Motion or Snow’s Beauty Salon.

Please come out and show your support at this important auction and breakfast.

Your bidding number will be used for the drawing for the door prize.

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HVED gives update to school board http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/hved-gives-update-to-school-board/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/hved-gives-update-to-school-board/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:06:26 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36830 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Simoine Boilin, region director with Hiawatha Valley Education District (HVED) came before the Caledonia area school board to give the board an update about how her agency has been benefiting the district.

Boilin noted that her agency has offered support specialists who cover 17 unique learner needs, from birth to three early intervening speech services, to helping with hard of hearing or visually impaired students.

HVED helps the district prepare state/federal reports and monitor their special ed funds.

“We’ve really been happy with all of the services HVED provides to our district,” superintendent Ben Barton noted.

HVED serves multiple districts throughout southeastern Minnesota.

Other news

New board chairman Kelley McGraw thanked several businesses, organizations and individuals for what they do for our district.

• Thank you to the Caledonia Bakery for donating treats to our elementary students of the month.

• Thank you to the Caledonia Fire Department for donating 70 window punches to the Caledonia Area Public School District.

• Thank you to Merchants Bank for their generous donations to the Caledonia Area Elementary, Middle School and High School Buildings.

• Thank you to Keith Hollatz for all your years of service and dedication you have given Caledonia Area Public School District as a teacher and as a driver’s education instructor.

The district approved the Memorandum of Understanding between Mr. Paul DeMorett, Middle/High School Principal, and the school regarding the additional $3,500.00 as the activities director stipend amount retroactive to  the 2013-2014 school year.

Spring coaches contracts were also approved by the board.

The district also approved the leasing of approximately ½ acre of tillable land located north of Warrior Avenue to Eric Johnson beginning April of 2013, through December of 2016, at rental amount of $240 per acre ($120) with the payment date of May 15 each year.

Several policies received both their first and second (implementation) readings, as required by state statute.

Caledonia mayor Josh Gran was on hand for the meeting. He spoke of a desire to work with the district any way possible.

The 2011 Caledonia graduate was welcomed by chairman McGraw and Barton noted that dialogue will continue between the city and school.

He thanked Gran for his attendance and spoke of looking forward to working with him.

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MEnD to provide correctional care services to Houston County http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/mend-to-provide-correctional-care-services-to-houston-county/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/mend-to-provide-correctional-care-services-to-houston-county/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:05:32 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36828 By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

The Houston County board approved a contract with MEnD Correctional Care to provide the county with correctional health care services.

“We had a nurse who terminated her employment with the county so we thought this was the perfect time to take a look at our options,” Mary Marchel, County public health director stated.

Marchel, whose agency had provided this service to the county for several years, said that correctional medicine has become a specialized field in itself.

In areas like mental health services and more director doctor to patient care, public health was unable to offer these types of services, whereas MEnD does offer them, and at less cost to the county.

“It is the one place in America where you have to provide health care,” said Mark Schiltz, the jailer who worked closely with Marchel on the change.

In 2014, while the program was under Public Health, the county spent $102,913.81 in an 11 month period.

“We wanted to look at how can we more effectively and efficiently and progressively provide for the inmates we house,” Marchel said. “We really believe this is specialty care. Thirty years ago it was what can we do with Q-tips, band aids and aspirin, but now things have changed.”

Under the contract that commissioners approved for 2015, MEnD will provide a medical director who will provide general and urgent care to all inmates housed in the Houston County jail.

They will hire and train one part-time RN who will conduct routine health assessments, lab draws and will provide other general health services.

The contract, which will cost the county $86,400, will also include mental health services, dental care, diagnostic testing, hospitalizations and ambulance transportation when needed.

These services were estimated to cost the county $106,844 were they still to be provided by Public Health staff.

Sheriff Mark Inglett who was a part of the discussions and research into the options as well, was also in favor of making the change.

Officials from MEnD met with Inglett, Schiltz, Marchel and others regarding the services they offer.

Schiltz called several other facilities where MEnD operates and said they all spoke very highly of the company.

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5th Annual Rock ’n Roll Extravaganza is February 14 http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/5th-annual-rock-n-roll-extravaganza-is-february-14/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/01/27/5th-annual-rock-n-roll-extravaganza-is-february-14/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:04:51 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=36825 Submitted  Studebaker 7 will perform on Saturday, February 14 at the Four Seasons Community Center. Playing rock and roll from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, the band is made up of: Row 1, left to right, Ross Martin, Shane Drey, Ken Isler. Row 2, Mary Jo Bilot, Jeff Abraham. Row 3, Ban Backhaus, Shaelan Barr, Dustin Moburg, Wally Crook.

Submitted
Studebaker 7 will perform on Saturday, February 14 at the Four Seasons Community Center. Playing rock and roll from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, the band is made up of: Row 1, left to right, Ross Martin, Shane Drey, Ken Isler. Row 2, Mary Jo Bilot, Jeff Abraham. Row 3, Ban Backhaus, Shaelan Barr, Dustin Moburg, Wally Crook.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

If you’re up for a rockin’ good time right here in Caledonia, all for a good cause, then plan to attend the 5th Annual Rock ’n Roll Extravaganza on Saturday, February 14.

Held at the Four Season Community Center, doors open at 6 p.m.

The band, Studebaker 7, will take the stage from 7 to 11 p.m. where they will play ’60s, ’70s and ’80s music.

“It is a fund-raiser for our music department’s trip,” Ross Martin, Caledonia Choir instructor and lead singer of the group said.

The fundraiser is something that Martin has done at previous schools and was such a hit he brought it with him when he joined the Caledonia district.

Band director Dustin Moburg would add his talents to the band when he joined the nine piece outfit based in La Crosse, three years ago.

“Ross has been with the band a little longer than I have,” Moburg said.

Martin said that the fundraiser has been well received.

“It seems to keep growing,” he noted. “A lot of people have come forward and said it is a great idea for a fund-raiser. Something different. Last year we had the biggest crowd we’ve ever had.”

“And we hope to top that again this year,”  Moburg added.

The tickets are $10 when purchased in advance or $12 at the door.

Tickets are available from high school band and choir students, The Country Store, Redwood Cafe, True Value Hardware, The Caledonia Argus, Eitzen State Bank, Bank of the West, The Pine Cone Place and Quillin’s.

The pair said that the band has been working on some new music.

“When Dustin joined the group, and added horns, our sound really changed,” Martin said.

The band is made up of four current high school music instructors and one current.

“We’ve grown a lot as a group,” Martin said. “We have some very talented musicians.”

The money raised will go to help offset the cost of the music trip to Nashville where students will visit the Grand ‘Ol Opry, record music in a recording studio, visit the Arch in St. Louis among other things.

“All of the proceeds will go to the trip,” Moburg noted.

Cats Pajamas

The Rock ’n Roll Extravaganza is the main fund-raiser for the music department.

They hope you will all attend and support the students and the music program.

In addition, on March 9, “Cats Pajamas” an acapella group from Branson, Missouri, will be in Caledonia where they will hold workshops during the day with music students and will hold an evening concert that will be a fundraiser as well.

Plan to attend both of these unique musical opportunities, all for a good cause.

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