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Time to organize
URBANA -- The beginning of
the year is an excellent time to organize and update family and
household records, says Mary Ann Fugate, University of Illinois
Extension educator in consumer and family economics. Doing this
gives record keepers a jump start on the inevitable income tax
season. It's also a good way to keep close tabs on where a family's
money goes and to take inventory of the family's present financial
Fugate recommends getting started by
gathering all receipts and documents from 2002, then considering
what should be kept and what can be pitched.
For income tax purposes, the law
requires that people keep all records that enable them to complete
their tax return. "They should hold onto all receipts, canceled
checks, vouchers and other evidence to help them verify amounts
claimed and deductions for credits," said Fugate. "All such
documentation should be kept for at least six years, and all medical
bills should be kept for three years to back up the taxpayer's
But it isn't necessary to save
everything. Record keepers can lighten the load by discarding checks
and bills that no longer serve a purpose. For example, people who
are paid in weekly or monthly salary statements can throw these
statements away after checking them against their annual W-2 form.
Or they can save the year-end statement with the cumulative total
for the year.
"This is also a good time to update
household inventory records," said Fugate. "If fire or burglary
occurs in the home, this record will help families remember what has
to be replaced and how much each item is worth. They might find that
they need to increase their insurance because their possessions are
worth more than they thought."
For each item in the family inventory,
include model number, brand name, dealer's name, a general
description, how much it cost, when it was purchased and what it
would cost to replace it. Taking pictures of the rooms and household
possessions now will make future identification or replacement
To download a free copy of Extension's
64-page publication "Household and Personal Property Inventory," go
[to top of second column in
A net worth statement is a good way to
keep tabs on personal and family possessions, says Fugate. Net worth
can be determined simply by adding the value of all the family owns
and subtracting the total of all that they owe. If this is done
annually, record keepers can quickly see whether they are getting
ahead financially or falling behind, and, in either case, how fast
it is occurring.
This is a good time for families to
consider their present situation in light of major goals, such as
retirement. University of Illinois Extension has developed eight
easy-to-use checklists to help you gather and organize important
documents, become acquainted with investment and retirement income
options, and keep your plan on track as you move from step to step
in the process. To order "Your Retirement Planning Checklist" for
$16, call 1 (800) 345-6087 and request publication C1376.
When family records have been
organized, updated and evaluated, it's time to put papers in their
proper location. Important documents that are difficult to replace,
such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage
certificates, divorce papers, adoption papers and any other document
that is either government- or court-related, should be secured in a
safe deposit box.
household records that are kept at home should be stored in one
location. Proper storage of family records can be as elaborate as
setting up a home office or as simple as investing in an accordion
folder that can be kept under the bed, said Fugate.
[U of I news release]
At Logan County Animal Control —
Big to little, most of these dogs will make wonderful
lifelong companions when you take them home and provide solid,
steady training, grooming and general care. Get educated about what
you choose. If you give them the time and care they need, you will
be rewarded with much more than you gave them. They are
entertaining, fun, comforting, and will lift you up for days on end.
Be prepared to take the necessary time when you bring home a
puppy, kitten, dog, cat or any other pet, and you will be blessed.
[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies donated by
individuals and Wal-Mart.]
Warden Sheila Farmer and her assistant, Polly Farmer,
look forward to assisting you.
[As good as gold and better, this 4-year-old girl is just
waiting for some fun children to play with.]
[Mr. Peabody — an 8-month-old male pup — is looking for a
family to love. No young children, please!]
Ten reasons to adopt a shelter dog
1. I'll bring out your playful side!
2. I'll lend an ear to your troubles.
3. I'll keep you fit and trim.
4. We'll look out for each other.
5. We'll sniff out fun together!
6. I'll keep you right on schedule.
7. I'll love you with all my heart.
8. We'll have a tail-waggin' good time!
9. We'll snuggle on a quiet evening.
10. We'll be best friends always.
[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies
donated by individuals and Wal-Mart.]
Warden Sheila Farmer and her assistant, Polly Farmer, look
forward to assisting you.
In the cat section there are a number of wonderful cats to
in a variety of colors and sizes.
Farm cats available for free!
[This 1˝-year-old Siamese mix is ready to be the prince of
[Meow! I may be only a year and a half, but I'm full-grown
and ready for anything. I'll purr in your lap or chase mice
off your farm. Just give me a chance!]
[This beautiful female is full-grown, 2 to 3 years old and
longing to purr her way into your heart.]
These animals and
more are available to good homes from the Logan County Animal
Control at 1515 N. Kickapoo, phone 735-3232.
Fees for animal
adoption: dogs, $60/male, $65/female; cats, $35/male, $44/female.
The fees include neutering and spaying.
Logan County Animal Control's hours of operation:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Warden: Sheila Farmer
Assistant: Polly Farmer
In-house veterinarian: Dr. Lester Thomson
New species invades
URBANA -- Another exotic
species, a scud or sideswimmer, has been detected in the Illinois
River. It's a crustacean called an amphipod in the family
Corophiidae, normally a saltwater, coastal inhabitant.
"Many species of corophiids cause
tremendous ecological damage when introduced out of their natural
range," said Edward DeWalt of the
Illinois Natural History Survey.
"Its cousin, Corophium cuvispinum, introduced from the Caspian Sea
area to the Rhine River in Western Europe, has drastically reduced
the population of zebra mussels and native mussels."
DeWalt says that the scud smothers
mussels with tubes and competes with mussels for fine particulate
food to the point of clearing the water of much of its suspended
"While the demise of zebra mussels
might be viewed as a wonderful development in the U.S., the
potential competitive interactions with native mussels, other
invertebrates and fish might have severe repercussions for native
species in the Illinois River," he said.
The current known locations in the
Illinois River are at Pekin in Peoria County, Goofy Ridge in Fulton
County, Hardin in Calhoun County, Havana in Mason County and Valley
City in Pike County.
Specimens of this unknown crustacean
were collected by Jim Hefley of the Illinois Environmental
Protection Agency and Matt O’Hara of the Illinois Natural History
Survey. Dr. Edward A. Hendrycks of the Canadian Museum of Nature
finally identified the exact species, Apocorophium lacustre (Vanhoffen
1911), which is native to the Atlantic Coast of North America from
the Bay of Fundy to Florida and is a dominant species in estuaries
such as the Chesapeake Bay.
[to top of second column in
DeWalt says that it is not known how
the scud got into the Illinois River, but he speculates that it was
likely in a ship's ballast water and entered through the St.
Lawrence Seaway to the Port of Chicago. From there, ballast water
was released into the harbor with larva and subsequently flowed into
the Illinois River through the Sanitary and Ship Canal.
species is unlike any other native scud. It is flattened from top to
bottom (natives are flattened side-to-side); the second antennae
(especially in males) are enlarged and modified (natives have
antennae narrow throughout their length); and they are darkly
pigmented on top (natives are often white-opaque, or slightly orange
colored). This species is a comparatively small scud, only 3-4 mm
length; however, it is possible these might be juveniles," said
[News release provided by the
University of Illinois from the Illinois Natural History Survey]
Eagle watch this weekend on the Illinois at Starved Rock
Illinois Raptor Center’s “Education on the Wing” presentations will
be featured at Bald Eagle Watch Weekend again this year at Starved
Rock. The event is Jan. 25 and 26. The Illinois Raptor Center’s presentations are scheduled each
day at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Illinois Waterways Visitor Center
at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam in Ottawa. The
raptor center's bald eagle, Coates, and the center's golden eagle, Phoenix, will
make appearances, along with other raptors.
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Viewing bald eagles through
high-powered scopes provided by Starved Rock Audubon, Illinois
Raptor Center presentations and booth and various concessions will
be located at the Illinois Waterways Visitor Center. Seminars on
butterflies and bats, nature and conservation exhibits, nature
crafts for kids of all ages, and raptor shows presented by the World
Bird Sanctuary will be located across the river at Starved Rock
The event is
sponsored by the Illinois Audubon Society, U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, Starved Rock Audubon Society, Starved Rock Foundation and
Starved Rock Lodge. Admission is FREE to all activities.
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