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Posts published in “Day: September 20, 2007

Highlands Chamber honors local Heroes

HIGHLANDS– At their monthly luncheon, the Highlands Chamber presented service awards to local public safety officials, and community leaders in an annual tradition.
The top award is the Terry Davis Award, named for a person each year who gives outstanding service to the community, beyond what is necessary to make a difference in the Community.
Chamber president Jessica Woods said that she was honored to be able to award her father, C. R. “Dickie” Woods with the Terry Davis award. Dickie was cited for his leadership, support of community activities including the Chamber and Rotary, and outstanding business practices in the community, including many years as owner of several key businesses.
Another key award is to the Business of the Year. This went to Woodforest National Bank, for their participation in Chamber activities, and support of community events. The award was presented by Jessica Woods, and accepted for the bank by Tonya Russell and Tammy Earls.

Public safety awards included the following:
Outstanding Sheriff’s Deputy, to Deputy Gordon Trott, Jr. who made over 1500 calls for service over the last 12 months. The award was made by his Captain, Mike Talton, who also paid tribute to Gordon Trott, Sr. for his service in the military, specifically at Iwo Jima during World War II.
Outstanding Constable’s Deputy, to Herman Eagleton, for his work in making a large number of drug arrests in his 7 years on the force, helping to eliminate a community problem. The presentation was made by Constable Ken Jones and Capt. Gary Jones.
Outstanding Firefighter of the Year, to William “Tommy” McMorrow, who also serves as a deputy constable as well as a volunteer firefighter. Fire Chief Harvey Little cited McMorrow for his work in keeping the communications equipment of the department up to date.
The Chamber also presented a check for $500 to Principal Karen Thomas of B. P. Hopper Primary School, who is the Partners In Education school for the Highlands Chamber. Kristi Stallings, PTO president and Chamber president Jessica Woods made the presentation to the Principal.

Rotary Washer Tournament set for this Saturday, Sept. 22nd

HIGHLANDS– The Rotary Club of Highlands will hold its 2nd Annual Washer Tournament this Saturday, Sept. 22nd at Charlie’s Ice House at 906 N. Main Street.
Two man teams will compete, with 50 teams signed up, according to Rotary President Charlie Ward. In this double elimination tourney, the top 3 winning teams will receive Prize money and bragging rights for a whole year.
Rotarians from around the Houston district are expected to attend, including District 5890 Governor Jeff Tallas.
The public is invited, and can participate in the silent auction, food and drink. Proceeds from the tournament will go to the Rotary Foundation’s Annual Program Fund, which includes scholarships and other community programs.

More ‘Where were you?’ questions

It seems I am frequently among the last to know! Such is life!
In the September 13th issue of the Star-Courier, my good friend and fellow newspaper buddy, Bobby Horn, Jr. asked the question “Where were you on 9-11?” As with you it brought back some memories, in this case not many years ago but it also took me back many years about other, “Where were You?” questions.
On September 11, I’m sure I was among the last to know about that tragedy. As I recall the first plane hit the New York tower shortly after 9 a. m.( EST). I did not know about the event until just a couple of minutes before noon EST.
I’ve been retired from Union Carbide Corporation (a large chemical company of that day) since 1991. A few weeks before 9/11 some UCC officials had asked about 30 of us, all retired, to meet with a couple of company reps and discuss improving communications between UCC and its retirees. We met in a large conference room in a company building but only a couple of people knew we were there. We had entered the facility about 7:30 a. m. (EST).
When reports of the attack began, since no one knew we were there, we were not told.

Not until we emerged a few minutes before noon to go to the cafeteria for lunch did we find out what had happened. As we walked into the lobby of the building it was filled with people watching on a couple of available TV sets. Like you, we were astounded. Our work had ended and only lunch was left. Some of us skipped this free lunch and headed for home.
Once there I watched the events on TV for the rest of that day and into the next.
Bobby made me feel old in his written word of the last issue. He mentioned being too young to answer the question, “Where were you when JFK was shot?” I can well remember, as I was sitting in a Workman’s Compensation hearing at the Statehouse with several attorneys dealing with compensation problems. I stepped out of the hearing chambers for a soft drink and got the news. I returned, told the group and the hearing was immediately stopped.
The question “Where were you when Pearl Harbor was attack?” was the first memorable “Where were you,” of my life. That was a Sunday and my mother, dad, a cousin who was visiting with us, and I had all gone to church that morning, had finished Sunday dinner and I was sitting at a table with my mother and cousin playing three-handed bridge. My mother was a bridge player and at eleven I was learning the facts of bridge.
Those are the three memorable historic occasions of my life that are still quite clear. Other “where were you” questions concerned President Roosevelt’s death while in office, D-Day, the day World War II ended and the day President Reagan was shot but not killed. They still stick in my mind but have less significance than the top three—particularly Pearl Harbor.
Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my West Virginia home!

Take this retirement planning “quiz”

Your school days may be behind you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test yourself on various subjects from time to time. And one of the most important topics you can study is Retirement Planning. So, take a couple of minutes to take this “quiz.” The answers – and even the questions – may prove valuable to you as you save and invest for retirement.
Have you put a “price tag” on your retirement lifestyle?
All of us have different ideas of the “ideal” retirement. Your brother may plan to travel the world, your sister may want to open her own small business and you may choose to volunteer. Once you know how you want to spend your retirement years, you can calculate about how much your retirement will cost. A financial advisor can help you arrive at a good estimate of how much you’ll need to spend per year.
Do you contribute to your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan?
If you have a 401(k) or similar plan where you work, you’ll receive several key benefits by contributing. First, your money has the potential to grow on a tax-deferred basis, which means it can potentially grow faster than if it were placed in an investment on which you paid taxes every year. Second, you typically invest pre-tax dollars, which means your contributions can actually help lower your annual taxable income. And third, you can spread your dollars among a range of various investment choices.

Do you boost your 401(k) contributions every time your salary increases?
If you don’t, you should. Your annual 401(k) contribution limits are pretty high: $15,500 in 2007, or $20,500 if you’re 50 or older. Obviously, the more you contribute, the greater your chances of achieving your retirement savings goals.
Do you also contribute to an IRA?
Even if you contribute to a 401(k), you can put money in an IRA. A traditional IRA has the potential to grow tax-deferred, while a Roth IRA offers tax-free earnings potential, provided you’ve had your account at least five years and you don’t start taking withdrawals until you’re 59-1/2. (Income limits apply to the Roth IRA, however.) In 2007, you can put in $4,000 to an IRA, or $5,000 if you’re 50 or older. And you can fund your IRA with a variety of different investments.
If you’re self-employed, have you set up a retirement plan?
If you work for yourself, or run your own small business, you’ll need to set up a retirement plan. Fortunately, you’ve got many attractive options, all of which offer tax deferral and a range of investment choices. Depending on your situation, you can establish an “owner-only” 401(k), a SEP-IRA, a SIMPLE IRA or a Keogh plan. Your tax advisor can help you select the plan that’s right for you.
Have you explored other retirement savings vehicles?
If you’ve “maxed out” on your IRA and your 401(k) or self-employed plan, and you can still afford to put away more for retirement, you’ll want to explore other investments, such as annuities, which offer tax-deferred growth potential and have very high contribution limits.
There’s no passing or failing grade to this quiz – but if you’ve answered “yes” to all the questions, then you’re probably putting yourself in a good position to ultimately work towards your retirement goals.