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Be Aware of Common Tax Scams this Tax Season

first_imgBe Aware of Common Tax Scams this Tax Season FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare center_img Tax season provides the ideal opportunity for scam artists to prey on unsuspecting tax payers. These scams come in many forms, the most frequent of which are described below.The most commonly reported tax scam in the Vanderburgh County area involves potential victims receiving phone calls and recorded messages from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The fake IRS agent states this is the “final attempt” to contact the victim regarding a pending lawsuit against them. Potential victims are given a fraudulent number to contact the IRS, where presumably the victim will be asked to wire money or provide a pre-paid debit card number to settle back taxes. These con artists range from amateurish to highly sophisticated. Many posses basic background information concerning their victims and have the ability to “spoof” caller ID’s to make it appear a call is coming from the IRS.Sheriff Dave Wedding stated, “If you have any doubt about the identity of an official who calls you on the phone, get the official’s name, hang up, and then call the agency back at a phone number you know to be correct.”As anyone with an email account undoubtedly knows, the internet is a never ending source for fraudulent solicitations. Fake emails from the IRS (which often include a link to a fraudulent IRS web site) will direct the victim to “update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails often look realistic and contain “gov” designations within the email in order to bolster credibility.On their official website, the IRS reminds taxpayers that the agency will never:Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.4) Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.last_img read more

The best nights out in New Jersey

first_imgThe state of New Jersey is often overlooked in favour of its bigger neighbour, New York City. However, New Jersey arguably has everything New York City has, but for a lower price and without as much hassle. There are a million and one ways to have fun on a night out in New Jersey, whether you want to have a sophisticated girl’s night out at a cocktail bar, a romantic date night or a fun night watching the game with the boys.Whether you have lived in New Jersey all your life or you are just starting to plan your visit to the Garden State, our guide to the best nights out in New Jersey will help you discover someplace new and give you inspiration for your next night on the town.Bright city lightsNew Jersey is home to a multitude of small, quaint towns along with some of the biggest cities in the country. Jersey City and Newark are bustling metropolises where you can always find something new and have a fun adventure. Jersey City is located on the Hudson River and faces New York City. A walk in Liberty State Park before dinner is the perfect way to begin a romantic date – the walk will treat you to views of the Manhattan skyline, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.Newark is near to Jersey City and is situated on the waterfront. Newark features the lovely Riverfront Park, a performing arts centre and a series of museums. This waterfront city is something of a hidden gem and definitely worth visiting for an evening of exploration and culture.Walk the boardwalkA walk along the Atlantic City boardwalk is an unmissable New Jersey experience. Ambling along the boardwalk day or night, you will feel like you have travelled back in time to simpler days. Whether you want to spend your day sunning at the beach, enjoying the local casinos, or people watching at the boardwalk, you are sure to enjoy your time in the bustling streets of Atlantic City.Ocean City is also a great destination for families as it has a popular pier and amusement park called Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, which has a number of attractions, including a giant Ferris wheel, roller coasters, a hall of mirrors and rides for little children. Playland’s Castaway Cove also features a number of roller coasters and mini golf.Casino nightsEvery state has its own regulations when it comes to gambling and New Jersey is no different. Thankfully, this state has relaxed its restrictions on gambling and punters can now enjoy the best online casinos that the web has to offer.As the number of online casinos has grown in recent years, so has the quality of online casinos and gambling apps. You can now explore a vast array of different online platforms and apps that have a variety of games available in NJ, helpful support options and generous registration offers. If you are visiting New Jersey, you should consider trying some of the top online gambling sites and apps available, and enjoy the thrill of the casino from the comfort of your sofa or hotel lobby.Along with the boardwalk in Atlantic City, there are several famous casinos to visit. If you would like to have a fun and exciting casino night, you can hop between the casinos, bars and restaurants that populate the Atlantic City boardwalk area.Going gourmetIf you are looking for a truly gourmet experience in New Jersey, you will not be disappointed by its vibrant culinary scene – the innovative restaurant Bohemia has even earned a coveted Michelin star. Along with Bohemia, there is no shortage of fine dining options, including Cafe Matisse, Fascino, Elements, and Laboratorio Kitchen.These restaurants rival the best meals you can find in New York City and will excite even the most sophisticated foodies. Just make sure you book far enough in advance to secure your seat, as it can be difficult to make reservations at some of these incredibly popular spots.A quiet night at the beachIf you have enjoyed a few wild nights out, why not consider ending your trip to New Jersey with a quiet night at the beach? Ocean City New Jersey is located on New Jersey’s sun-soaked coast and features rolling beaches along with a vibrant boardwalk dotted with shops, restaurants and bars.Traveling to the south of Ocean City, you will encounter Corson’s Inlet State Park, a lovely park that features pristine dunes and wetlands, which are a favourite of shorebirds and other fauna.last_img read more

Jim James Covers “True Love Ways” At Sensational Performance In Denver, CO [Setlist/Gallery]

first_imgLoad remaining images Photo: Andrew Rios My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James has been on a roll of late, touring with his solo project in support of the recently released album, Eternally Even. James brought his triumphant sound to the Paramount Theatre in Denver, CO last night, treating fans to material new and old for the performance.James’ solo music was on full display, as he worked through most of the new album and pulled favorites from his 2013 debut solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God. He also played Velvet Underground’s “I’m Set Free”, as well as Buddy Holly’s classic tune “True Love Ways.”Check out the full setlist and a gallery from Andrew Rios Photos below.center_img Photo: Andrew Rioslast_img read more

Student named Gates Scholar

first_imgHarvard Divinity School master’s candidate Zachary Guiliano has been selected as a 2012 Gates Cambridge Scholar, and will pursue a Ph.D. in history at the University of Cambridge.The scholarship program, the result of a $210 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, pays the full cost of pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Cambridge, in any field of study. The program is open to students from any country in the world except the United Kingdom.Since the program began, Harvard students have won 70 Gates Scholarships, more than any other college or university.For more about the Gates Cambridge Scholarships.last_img read more

Mexican journalist Marcela Turati honored by Nieman Fellows

first_imgThe Nieman Fellows at Harvard have selected Marcela Turati of the Mexican news magazine Proceso as recipient of the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism. Turati was chosen for her coverage of the drug war and her role in protecting and training members of the media. She is a standard-bearer for the journalists who have risked their lives to document the devastating wave of violence in Mexico.In their nomination, the Nieman Fellows cited Turati’s “journalistic excellence and leadership” and the courage shown by her and other Mexicans covering organized crime.Mexico has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, with more than four dozen killed or gone missing in the past six years.Turati has long sought to give voice to those who lack political power and access to the media. In 2007, she and her colleagues co-founded Periodistas de a Pie, a journalism network created to support reporters covering issues such as poverty, civic participation and human rights.As the war against the narcotraffickers intensified, the organization refocused to support journalists covering the conflict and to defend freedom of speech. The network began to train journalists in ethics, personal safety, cybernetics and how to care for their own emotional well-being — and it encouraged more journalists to organize networks to protect themselves and create strategies to avoid censorship. It also helped connect researchers and international human rights organizations with people on the ground affected by violence.last_img read more

VtSBDC announces top five businesses

first_imgAt its recent breakfast celebration and awards ceremony (November 18th – Sunset Ballroom, Burlington) for the Northwest Region (Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties), the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) announced the following winners in five categories. Ted Brady from Senator Patrick Leahy’s office and Brent Raymond from Congressman Peter Welch’s office, along with Steve Densham, Area Business Advisor with VtSBDC presented the awards to:1. ‘Young Entrepreneurs’ – Eric Lavigne and Dana PontbriandVT Meat & Seafood Market – Williston, VT – Offering:Fresh Local Organic Meats, Fresh Seafood – from Boston, Local Produce – from around VT, Specialty Roasts & Marinated Meats and Local Breads & Cheeses2. ‘Social Responsibility’ – Janice ShadeTrue Body Products – Richmond, VT – Mission to make products that:Contribute to a healthy lifestyle: are manufactured, packaged, marketed, distributed,Used and disposed of in ways that are kind to the Earth; and are fairly priced/widelyaccessible3. ‘Strategic Growth’ – Amy JohnstonMassage Envy – Williston, VT – Makes:Wellness and massage therapy a part of everyday life ‘ for a healthier lifestyle..4. ‘Woman Owned Business’ – Sue BetteBlue Bird Tavern – Burlington, VT – Brings:Local, sustainable, and delicious food grown by our friends – committed to bringing our guests the best offerings from the market and from the farm.5. ‘Community Involvement’ – John Perkins and Jay KerchPhineas Swann Bed and Breakfast Inn – Montgomery Center, VT – Hosts of:2010 Most Pet Friendly Award by Pamela Lanier Guides, 2009 B&B Innkeepers of the Year by the VT Hospitality Council, and #2 Top Rated B&B/Inns for VT, ‘The Top 50’ Great Getaways – by Frommer’sSeveral experienced business owners, nascent entrepreneurs, advisory board members, guests andmany sponsors of the event including: Community National Bank, Granite State Development, OpportunitiesCredit Union, Paul Frank + Collins Attorneys, People’s United Bank, Pomerleau Real Estate, TD Bank,Vermont Business Magazine, Vermont Economic Development, Vermont Federal Credit Union, Wicks andMaddocks Attorneys were present to here the announcements, as well as here from featured guest speaker,Ted Adler with Union Street Media.The Vermont Small Business Development Center is a non-profit partnership of government, education and business, organized to help Vermont small businesses succeed.For more information contact: Steve Densham, Area Business Advisor at: [email protected](link sends e-mail)Attached photos of each winner:From left to right in each photo:â ¢ Steve Densham, Area Business Advisor VtSBDCâ ¢ Ted Brady, Senator Leahy Staffâ ¢ Winner (name listed on each photo)â ¢ Brent Raymond, Congressman Welsh StaffSource: Vermont Small Business Development Center. Burlington, VT ‘ (November 22, 2010)last_img read more

Mountain Mama | All the Joy

first_imgTears glisten in his blue eyes. “These days I feel all the joy, I’m so happy to be here.”He spent so much of his life flirting with mortality – from professional rugby to motorcycle racing to extreme kayaking. But when death stared him down, he started chasing something else – joy.Over breakfast, we catch each other up about what’s happened in our lives over the past seven years.We met in Panama after my first summer of kayaking on a continuous class II and III stretch of river. It started raining at the put-in and didn’t let up. The river raged a chocolate brown, mud sliding in carrying rocks and small trees. I flipped, missed my roll and swam. He helped me get back into my kayak and asked me if I was okay. I grabbed him in a big hug and buried my face into his PFD and cried, cementing our friendship.He tells me how a stroke on the river changes everything. He’s paddling into an easy rapid when half his body goes numb and does everything he can to make it to shore.In the process, he flips.His face is under a few inches of water but with the half of his body still working, he can’t right himself. He thinks this might be the way he dies.Then a nearby paddler flips his kayak right-side-up. He lives.After two years relearning how to use his body, he’s ready to paddle again. He spent the night at his friend’s house on the river, and woke up to the sun shining, the green river flowing. He laces up his running shoes and goes for a run for no other reason than he can.We hug good-bye and I drive to another river to meet friends. This year I’ve been trying to get back into paddling Class IV and my belly fills with fear every time I get to the put-in.I tell everyone who will listen that I don’t want to feel this. They tell me that I have to in order to get out there and move to the other side, to transcend the fear I must feel it.For the first time in as long as I can remember I get into my kayak feeling the pure thrill and excitement replaced the noose of fear I usually feel. Perhaps I’ve felt the fear enough to move through it. Or maybe it’s the morning’s conversation.The river is a spicy level and turns me backwards before the second drop. I smile, staying lose and bracing into the frothy white. The sun illuminates the water and paddling through it, I begin to shine too.Between rapids, I admire the granite boulders, the wild flowers in brilliant orange and lavender hues.  That’s when I see her.She’s massive, perching on a boulder outcrop.I hear bleating sounds and follow it to first one cub and then another.The bigger cub scrambles up, finding a path around the boulder to his mama’s side. The smaller cub follows, but tumbles down several feet, crying out for help. The mama bear looks on from a distance, patient but not overly indulgent.I watch the cubs learn how to climb and paddle with a heightened sense of wonder. I finish the river, joy pulsing through every stroke.I stand at the take-out basking in the twists and turns of the day, realizing that joy is my antidote for fear. A swarm of butterflies surround me and I take a vow to seek joy, to cultivate joy, to live with joy.Nothing is more important than remembering joy.last_img read more

Brazil to Decide Fighter Jet Tender Soon: Lula

first_imgBy Dialogo November 05, 2010 Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on 3 November he would decide a multi-billion-dollar fighter jet tender soon with his successor elected the weekend prior, Dilma Rousseff. “We are going to talk over the issue of the fighters, me, her (Rousseff) and (Defense Minister Nelson) Jobim,” he said in a joint media conference with Rousseff in Brasilia. Brazil has pushed off for months declaring a winner in an international competition to supply it with 36 modern fighter aircraft for a value of between four billion and seven billion dollars. France’s Rafale by Dassult, Sweden’s Gripe NG by Saab, and the US-made F/A-18 Super Hornet by Boeing are all on the shortlist for the tender. Lula initially said a year ago that negotiations were underway to buy the Rafale, but then stepped back from that position to see through the contest. A final decision was put on hold since March until Brazil’s presidential election was over. Rousseff, Lula’s former cabinet chief, easily won a 30 October runoff and will take over as head of state on January 1 next year. Both Lula and Rousseff will be attending a G20 summit in South Korea November 11-12 at which French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama were also expected. Brazil has insisted on full transfer of technology in the deal so it can build its own advanced military aircraft in the future.last_img read more

Cacao for Coca: Vichada’s Path to Legalization

first_imgBy Marian Romero/Diálogo April 05, 2017 With the delivery of 3,000 kilos of high-grade cacao to one of the largest cacao processing plants in the country, communities in Colombia’s Vichada department ratified their decision to replace coca crops with cacao, marking the country’s first successful illegal crop substitution effort. The Colombian Air Force (FAC, per its Spanish acronym), which oversees this initiative, is providing the support needed to transport the harvest from the nation’s jungle area. So far 248 families have switched from growing illegal coca to planting cacao for export. “Drug trafficking is a problem that has always plagued this region. The Combined Joint Task Force ARES was started in this zone in 2012 to fight trafficking and to block criminal and insurgent group activity,” said FAC Colonel Jean Paul Strong, ARES director. “From the beginning, we knew it was essential to give people other options, as 90 percent of residents have devoted themselves to planting coca for a living over several generations, and this was their only source of employment in the area.” Agriculture is a skill deeply rooted in the region, formerly known as the Black Triangle due to the predominance of drug trafficking. FAC and local officials proposed to the community the voluntary replacement of illegal coca and the creation of different incentives for legal crops. Local farmers considered that cacao would be a better alternative, as it is a plant that grows naturally in that soil and climate, the seed can be easily stored for prolonged periods, and it is an agricultural product that is in high demand. They are hopeful that through this change in livelihood, the region will come to be known as the Cacao Triangle. “Here, we all made a living from coca. We came from other villages when ‘scraping’ [harvesting the leaf] was booming in the 90s. Things have changed since then. Crops got scarcer and it has been harder and harder to find work. A lot of people are still doing that work but others of us wanted a change,” said farmer Pedro Tobías, treasurer of the Association of Agricultural Producers of Alto Vichada (PROAGRO, per its Spanish acronym). To close the production cycle, FAC entered into a commercial agreement with a cacao processor and with PROAGRO, which brings together producers from nearby communities in Güérima, Chupave, and Puerto Príncipe. The agreement includes the payment of fair prices in accordance with the commodities exchange, the payment of freight costs, a harvest plan to support the families, and cash advances so farmers can buy the necessary equipment, like trucks. Comprehensive development of Alto Vichada Several meetings were needed for local farmers to arrive at the best crop alternative and come together as partners. “The departmental government of Vichada donated the cacao plants but the advising on best practices for crop cultivation was sporadic, as none of the technicians wanted to stay in the region for longer than a month,” Col. Strong said. “Also, while the cacao was growing, the farmers needed a means of subsistence, so they kept planting coca over the four years that it took to get to their first cocoa harvest.” In view of the development of the cacao crops over time, the willingness of farmers to properly maintain their crops in order to secure a different livelihood and the social milieu in a country seeking peaceful solutions to the armed conflict, the Colombian government will subsidize the second phase of the project. On October 14, 2016, the Comprehensive Development Plan for Alto Vichada was established to promote the coordinated replacement of illegal crops — mainly the replacement of coca with cacao, as well as with other crops. The plan also creates the conditions necessary for viable agricultural economic activity, including improvements to roads, health services, and education, as well as PROAGRO training. This project was the first of its kind to be formalized within the framework of the Final Agreement for the Termination of the Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace, specifically in terms of Article Four of that plan regarding solutions to the illegal drug problem. This new form of technical and financial support includes the Immediate Assistance Plan, a food assistance and a quick income generation strategy to assist families through the transition to legality. Under this agreement, 183 new hectares (about 452 acres) have been planted and 108,710 cacao plants have been grafted. Producers in charge The plan has two components: cash assistance to prepare the soil for planting, and a short-term production project along with the main crop — agricultural products that can be consumed or commercialized in the region, such as plantain, corn, or rice. The Commander’s Advisory Group (GAC per its Spanish acronym) of the Ministry of Defense is the project coordinator and ensures that government entities and the food processors continue their alliance under the initiative so that the community takes control of this new alternative livelihood. The key to developing a comprehensive effort in the triangle area is “the ongoing partnership with the community to reach an effective repositioning toward legality through voluntary crop replacements,” said Orlando Bustamante, a consultant for GAC Consolidation and Comprehensive Action of Joint Task Force Ares. “One of the main challenges the program faces has been convincing farmers that earning a living legally is a real option. In fact, it’s hard to talk of ‘illegality’ here, because this is a community that has always grown coca. Their trust in this project has grown enormously since the first harvest when the farmers began receiving payments and ongoing support from the government and the FAC to achieve sustainability in this business,” he added. The United Nations (UN) is taking part in the project as an observer to certify that complete substitution is taking place. At the time of the first inspection, 130 hectares had been replaced. Currently, the UN is conducting a second survey to confirm whether the farmers have lived up to the agreement.last_img read more

The power of using data to drive decisions

first_imgThese days, data is ubiquitous. As consumers, we carry it with us and leave a digital footprint wherever we go. Lending leaders need it, value it, and are able to amass it—but many of them are not leveraging it to its full potential to further enrich their business goals. In this blog, we’ll explore DDDM, or data-driven decision making as a process and how, in conjunction with artificial intelligence, credit unions and other financial entities are utilizing it to develop and drive strategic goals.The Value of Utilizing DataCredit unions have tremendous access to more data than ever from their members. Data is this century’s intrinsic currency. Many credit unions sit on a mountain of data without the necessary mining capabilities to offer a greater personalized membership experience, accurate credit decisions, fraud detection and enterprise risk management. Using AI with sophisticated analytics, credit unions can discover trends within their existing data sets that ultimately lead to better service options for their members. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more