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March 24, 2019

No question is too outrageous this tax season
For many, taxes are a complicated and confusing matter.
How do you plan ahead for filing season? What do you need to keep for records? What's the difference between a deduction and a subtraction? How does the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affect my return?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Do you know your Apps?
I read an article recently about a company named AV-Comparatives that tested 250 supposed anti-malware security apps in the Google Play Store.
They would install one of the security apps on their list on a Samsung Galaxy S9 and download an app they knew to be malicious and see if the security app would detect the security threat.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
A shot from the gallery
There's nothing like a little levity in the middle of a high-pressure event like a PGA golf tournament.
Last week, I mentioned Justin Rose took a breather early in his opening round to pose and chat with a group of kids as he headed down the 10th fairway - a very touching moment.
Well, not to be outdone, Brandt Snedeker had his own moment with the fans.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Nervously watching the river
"What do you think will happen with the river?"
"Is the river already seeping into the ballparks?"
"Are we going to have a repeat of 2018?"
I've been getting these questions almost daily over the past week. It's as if people are assuming that a 2019 flood is not a matter of "if," but "when."
You can't blame people for being nervous. We entered this past fall with a high river and rainy fall. Tack on one of the snowiest January-February stretches on record and you certainly have some ingredients for a flood.
However, a couple of the biggest factors have not yet played out - the spring melt and spring showers.
So far, we have seen a steady pattern of midday temperatures well above freezing, followed by overnight freezing. The frozen street puddles we've seen lately are clear evidence of that.
However, a quick glance at the forecast shows highs in the mid-40s to mid-50s through the weekend, with overnight lows ranging from 36 to 42. For some reason, it seems like Minnesota spring temperature forecasts often seem to be on the low side. Looking further into next week, I see high temperatures of 58 and 61 degrees forecast for March 27 and 28.
Where does that leave us? Given the amount of snow that is still sitting on lawns, pastures, hillsides and farm fields, it certainly feels like the Des Moines River and Perkins Creek will eventually receive more water than their banks can handle.
The only good news is that there is no rain in the current forecast.
Shopko closure
This week's page 1 story about Shopko's closure seemed inevitable to anyone who has been paying attention.
Retailers like Shopko, Sears and Kmart have struggled to keep up with Wal-Mart and Amazon.com. As a community, we have been generally supportive of our local businesses.
However, it appears that local support remains more critical than ever. Without question, our area retailers are far stronger local supporters than those in Mankato and Sioux Falls.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Wolves and water will headline outdoor forum
In keeping with their past spring forums this year's topics will be no different. In fact, for 2019, very few things have been in the news more than the gray wolves of northern Minnesota and Isle Royale.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Daylight Saving Time . . . did your clock change?
This past weekend everyone in the area was moving their clocks forward one hour for Daylight Saving Time.
While we have to do this with some electrical or battery operated clocks, our phones and computers and other smart devices take care of this automatically! It's a nice feature to just have done instead of having to manually change the time yourself.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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