CAUGHTCHA BEING GOOD!
Bill Steck, owner of Elk Rapids Automotive on Ames Street in Elk Rapids, is the winner of the Caughtcha being GOOD award this week. A young lady was getting her vehicle fixed at Elk Rapids Automotive and she made mention that she had a bike in the back of her truck that needed air in the tires. So Bill not only fixed her truck but he helped get the bike out of the back of her truck and load it back in. Additionally, while he was helping the young lady, another lady pulled up and needed help with her car tire and Bill so graciously helped her, too! Thanks very much, Bill!
Despite an autumn chill in the air and a few drops of rain, Harvest Days was held in Alden last weekend. Visitors stopped by the Downtown Alden Business Association (DABA) hospitality tent. Even Santa showed up unexpectedly and couldn’t resist stopping by for some cider and donuts.
Saturday morning saw the South Torch Lake Fire Department holding their annual pancake breakfast at the fire hall. The farmer’s market offered an array of fresh produce, flowers and handmade items for shoppers. Local merchants offered Harvest Day specials, while local artisans demonstrated their crafts.
A fun-filled scavenger hunt was held with 47 children participating. At the end of the event, a drawing was held and prizes were furnished by members of DABA. A classic car show rounded out the Heritage Days festivities. Text and photo by Priscilla Miller, Contributing Writer
Downtown Elk Rapids seeks input on community projects
The Elk Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA) urges the residents and business community of the Village to participate in a survey to help decide what projects the DDA should focus on in coming years to enhance the community.
The surveys are part of a larger effort from the DDA to solicit feedback for their long-term strategic planning process that will be completed by the end of 2015.
The DDA has developed two different surveys, one for resident and one for DDA business and property owners. The survey will be available to take online by using the following link:
Community Survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/ERCommunity
Business Survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/ERBusiness
Interested parties can also obtain a paper copy of the surveys at the Elk Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Elk Rapids District Library, or the Elk Rapids Government Center. The survey will be open until October 12. Please save the date for a public presentation of the strategic plan on Thursday, November 19 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. More details will be released in early November.
TART seeking a full-time Planning & Management Director
Traverse Area Recreation & Transportation (TART) Trails, Inc. is seeking a full-time Planning & Management Director. They are looking for a motivated individual enthusiastic about TART Trails’ mission and vision to work in our downtown Traverse City office. Become an integral part of this small staff and dedicated board to help improve the quality of life in the community as they build, maintain and promote an integrated network of trails, bikeways, and pedestrian ways in the Traverse region. Please visit the TART Trails website for more details on the position and a full job description: http://traversetrails.org/job-opportunities-2/. Interested applicants should send their resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Only electronic submissions will be considered. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m., Monday, October 19. TART Trails is an equal opportunity employer.
TAX BREAKS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN THE MILITARY
If you are in the United States Armed Forces, special tax breaks may apply. For example, some types of military pay are not taxable. Certain rules apply to deductions or credits that you may be able to claim that can lower your taxes. In some cases, you may get more time to file your income tax return. You may also get more time to pay your income tax. Here is a list of several tax breaks for military personnel:
1. Deadline Extensions. Some members of the military, such as those who serve in a combat zone, can postpone some tax deadlines. If this applies to you, you can get automatic extensions of time to file your tax return and to pay your taxes.
2. Combat Pay Exclusion. If you serve in a combat zone, certain combat pay you are paid is not taxable. You won’t need to show the pay on your tax return because combat pay is not part of the wages reported to you on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. If you serve in support of a combat zone, you may qualify for this exclusion.
3. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you get nontaxable combat pay, you can include it to figure your EITC. The EITC is a tax credit available to certain persons who work. The credit reduces the amount of tax you owe (if any) and it may give you a refund. However, the combat pay remains nontaxable.
4. Moving Expense Deduction. You may be able to deduct some of your unreimbursed moving costs. This applies if the move is due to a permanent change of station.
5. Uniform Deduction. You can deduct the costs of certain uniforms that you cannot wear while off duty. This includes the cost of purchase and upkeep. You must reduce your deduction by any allowance you receive for these costs.
6. Signing Joint Returns. Both spouses normally must sign a joint income tax return. If your spouse is absent due to certain military duty or conditions, you may be able to sign for your spouse. Usually when your spouse is absent, you need a power of attorney to file a joint return and sign for your spouse.
7. Reservists’ Travel Deduction. If you are a member of the US Armed Forces Reserves, you may deduct certain costs of travel. This applies to the unreimbursed costs of travel to perform your reserve duties that are more than 100 miles away from your home.
8. ROTC Allowances. Some amounts paid to ROTC students in advanced training are not taxable. This applies to allowances for education and living expenses. Active duty ROTC pay is taxable. For example, pay for summer advanced camp is taxable.
9. Civilian Life. If you leave the military and look for work, you may be able to include the costs of travel, preparing a resume and job placement agency fees. Moving expenses may also qualify for a tax deduction.
10. Tax Help. Most military bases offer free tax preparation and filing assistance during the tax filing season. Some also offer free tax help after April 15.
For more information, refer to Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide available at WWW.IRS.GOV. Search Pub 3.
– Submitted by Char Kirchner, CPA, MSA, Williamsburg
Elk Rapids Library Corner
The Island House Readers: The new reading list for the upcoming year is out. Stop by the library to see what is coming up for discussion, and join the group on the first Wednesday of every month at 12:00 noon to join in.
Mobile Device Users’ Group: Are you interested in learning how to get more out of your smart phone or tablet or about useful apps? Chris is putting together a group to share ideas and tips. Contact her at email@example.com to let her know if you are interested and what times might work for you.
Did you know? People ask all the time what we have done with the generous bequest we received from Charles Heffer’s estate. The money is safely tucked away in CDs earning a modicum of interest while we explore our options for improving the library. Based on the results of the strategic planning process we completed last year the Village Council has given the Library Board their approval to hire an architect to develop a concept for expanding the building. Community input meetings will be scheduled for next summer to hear your thoughts and ideas in detail.
Preschool Story Time - Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Join Sue and Chuck for stories, songs, crafts and fun every Wednesday when school is in session.
An Evening with an Author – Ann Marie Oomen – Thursday, October 15, 7:00 p.m. @ The Elk Rapids Historical Museum. Ms. Oomen will discuss her new memoir, Love, Sex, and 4H. The program is free but donations for the preservation of the museum are always appreciated.
As Seen on Pinterest Craft Class – Saturday, October 17, 11:00 a.m. Join Kim as she teaches you how to make ornaments from book pages. The class is free but space is limited so call to sign up soon.
Do you love the library? Like us too! Follow us on Facebook to receive updates and information about future programs. See you at the Library!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The colors of October include yellow leaves, orange pumpkins, and perhaps most importantly pink ribbons. Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Health Department of Northwest Michigan and its partner Antrim County High Tea for Breast Cancer Prevention remind all women to schedule their annual exams. Make your appointment today; it could save your life.
Joy Klooster, who coordinates women’s health programs for the Health Department, encourages all women to seek preventive care. “‘Every Woman, Every Year’ is our motto for women aged 40 and older to get screened for breast cancer,” she says. “With regular screening, breast cancer is more likely to be detected at an earlier stage, when it is most treatable.”
The Health Department has partnered with Antrim County High Tea for Breast Cancer Prevention to provide awareness and education about breast health and breast cancer prevention to all residents of Antrim County. If costs associated with screenings or treatments are a cause for concern, Klooster said the Health Department can help. “We want to make sure all women have access to preventive care, like breast exams and screenings,” she explained.
Klooster coordinates the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation Program (BCCCNP) at the Health Department. BCCCNP provides free annual breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to qualifying women ages 40-64 who have no insurance, or who have high deductibles. Navigation services are available for eligible women with insurance who may have a barrier to getting screened. Women younger than 40 years of age can also benefit if they’ve been previously diagnosed with abnormalities. If screening results require follow-up, the treatment may be covered by the Medicaid Treatment Act.
To learn more about BCCCNP, visit www.nwhealth.org or call (800) 432-4121 to schedule an appointment. Visit www.antrimcountyhightea.org for more information about Antrim County High Tea for Breast Cancer Prevention
KUDOS: Local student named a finalist in Detroit Film Challenge
Maggie Marshall, along with two classmates, created a documentary “The Key of B” that won U of M’s Lightworks Film Festival for Best Documentary. They entered the film in the Detroit Film Challenge and it was recently selected as one of the top ten finalists. The public can vote for their favorite film. A People’s Choice award will be given, as well as others. To support these budding filmmakers go to www.clickondetroit.com/entertainment/film-challenge-detroit/33376118 and vote for “The Key of B.” Maggie is a senior at University of Michigan, majoring in Screen Arts and Cultures and a 2012 ERHS graduate. She is the daughter of Jeanne and Lynn Marshall of Elk Rapids.
Team Karilyn named top fundraiser at Remembrance Run
The Remembrance Run/Walk benefitting The Women’s Cancer Fund in Traverse City was held last Saturday at Timber Ridge Resort. Among the many participants this year was Team Karilyn, in honor of Karilyn “Kari” Christensen, a former Elk Rapids High School teacher, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last winter. Team Karilyn was named the top fundraiser of the day, as family members and friends participated in the run or made a financial contribution to the worthy cause, which celebrates the lives of those challenged with breast cancer and to honor those who have passed.
UnderToe Farm donated the cantaloupes to the Manna Food Project Backpack Program. We regret the error. – Editor
VILLAGE OF ELK RAPIDS