MOUNT AYR — The Newton County Historical Society visited a building from the pinnacle of Mt. Ayr’s past. The building, owned and restored by resident and Building Commissioner, Dan Thomas, marks a chapter in Mt Ayr’s long standing history. Since obtaining the building, formerly the Mt. Ayr G…

BROOK — Brook is making progress on water and drainage issues. Nick Snodgrass reported on the strategies and advancements for the continuation of the water problem investigations. He put a catch basin in to fix the tile on West Washington Street and repaired tiles on Fletcher Street that wer…

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BROOK — Tee time was a brisk 8 a.m. for the ladies in the Midwest Conference 2019 Tournament at Hazelden Golf Course. North Newton, South Newton, and Tri-County all stepped out onto the course…

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FAIR OAKS — The Economic Development Directors for both Jasper and Newton County got together and made a proposal for the Indiana Economic Development Association to come to Fair Oaks Farms for its annual conference, a first for the counties and northwest Indiana. Among the other proposals g…

It doesn’t matter what sport a person is pursuing, if it involves hitting a target, longer is more challenging. In basketball, arching the ball through the hoop at three-point range is more difficult than a lay-up. In golf, hitting a 20-foot putt is hard, a 20-inch putt is a “gimme.” It’s tr…

To have a stable population of living creatures, the number of births has to equal the number of deaths. It doesn’t matter if that creature is a human or animal or if the animal is a bird, reptile or mammal. If the birthrate doesn’t replace the death rate, the population will decline. If mor…

Every year eager duck hunters await the first cold fronts of late summer to start pushing ducks from their nesting areas to their wintering grounds. The first trickle of migrants are already underway. Blue-wing teal, one of North America’s smallest waterfowl will often show up in our area in…

HAMMOND — A federal judge is delaying for another three months a decision on whether to exonerate former Portage Mayor James E. Snyder or sentence him to prison.

Crossing the line separating Indiana and Illinois sometimes means dealing with different laws and customs. Readers are asked to share ideas for this weekly feature. This week: Stop the bleed.

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Can your checking account affect your credit score? It's possible, but only in certain circumstances that you should avoid.

Your credit score is calculated using information from your credit report, which is a history of all of your credit-based transactions. Checking accounts are funded by your deposits – there's no borrowing of money involved. Normal daily activities like writing checks and transferring funds aren't reported to credit reporting agencies and don't show up on your credit report.

When you open a new checking account, banks can ask for a hard credit pull as part of your evaluation. Hard credit pulls will cause a small temporary drop in your credit score. However, most banks use soft credit pulls that do not affect your credit score at all.

So how can checking account activity affect your credit score? Generally, there's only one way to damage your credit report with a checking account. You have to allow your checking account to be used fo...

Bank Overdrafts 101

Surprise! Debit Cards Have Fees

How To Avoid Bank Overdraft Fees

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With the school season starting again, education is job number one for students and parents alike. A proper education includes an education in personal finance, and one of the best ways to start is to learn how to protect yourself against scams.

You can and should learn fast, too, because scams can become more common during the back-to-school buying season. Here are some practical suggestions on how to avoid credit and debit card fraudsters:

  • Only patronize known retailers.

  • Avoid jackpot online deals that offer items like $3,000 laptops for $400. These are often scams.

  • "Good PC hygiene" cannot be overstated for every handheld device, laptop, and phone. Anti-virus and anti-malware programs are key to staying safer online.

  • Avoid pooling or sharing credit card information in a dorm setting. There is no reason for students to share...

Video: What Should I Look For In An Identity Theft Protection Service?

Identity Hygiene 101

Keep Your Data Off The Dark Web

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You're ready to take out a loan, only to realize that your credit score actually dropped since you last checked it. With a low credit score, you'll be paying higher interest rates than you expected – and you may not qualify for the loan at all.

What happened?

Remember that your credit score reflects your risk to a lender at any point in time. As new information is reported to credit bureaus, your credit report is updated. Your credit score is periodically recalculated to incorporate that new information. If the update implies any risk of non-payment, your score will suffer.

To find out why your score dropped, ask the following five questions and think like a lender. Would you be less likely to lend someone money if you didn't like the answer?

1. Did You Miss a Payment? – On-time payments are the most important factor in your credit score. Lenders assume that if you've missed a payment before, you're more likely to do it again....

Survey: Women More Likely Than Men To Miss A Credit Card Payment

6 Top Credit Myths

How Millennials Can Improve Their Credit Scores

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It's always best to pay off a loan as soon as you can, isn't it? Not necessarily. There are several reasons you may not want to pay off your loan early, including the effects on your credit score.

The obvious reason for early payoff is interest savings. By paying your loans off early (especially large ones), you can save substantial interest charges. Some loans discourage early loan repayment by charging penalty fees. Know the terms of your loan and include these fees in your calculations when deciding whether to repay a loan early.

When assessing early loan repayment, follow two trains of thought. How will this affect my credit score, and is early loan repayment the best use of my money?

Consider your credit score first. Five factors influence your score – on-time payments, amounts owed/credit utilization (the amount of your available credit that ...

Video: When To Accept Mortgage Prepayment Penalties

Understanding Mortgage Prepayment

How Credit Utilization Impacts Your Credit Score

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After a long search you've finally found out who's dragging down your credit score.

Surprise! It's you.

Your credit score reflects your entire credit history as recorded on your credit report. Lenders and creditors report your account activity to each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) – whether that activity is positive or negative.

It's possible your credit report contains reporting errors that are dropping your score – or worse, identity thieves are running up unexplained charges on your credit report or establishing fake accounts in your name. Get a copy of your credit report and address any mistakes or fraud immediately. If you would like to monitor your credit to prevent identity theft and see your credit report and score for free, Don't Let Anyone Cancel Your Credit Card!

Canceling Credit Cards

Survey: Women More Likely Than Men To Miss A Credit Card Payment

Commonly known as ALS, the condition is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and it is always fatal. The affected motor neurons deteriorate and the brain and spinal cord lose their ability to send signals to muscles, which begin to atrophy. As muscles lose nourishment, those affected lose their ability to speak, move, eat and breathe. The average life expectancy of those afflicted with ALS is two to five years, and there is no cure.

Project Fit America is a charity that works alongside educators to create opportunities for kids to stay active and healthy. It offers fitness grants and programs to help fund resources such as equipment, teacher training and curriculum. The goal is not only to get students involved physically, but also nurture an environment in which children enjoy living a healthy lifestyle. For the past five years at Homer-Center Elementary, in Homer City, Pennsylvania, that opportunity to stay active has been the Lub Dub Run Club.

Vaping has come of age in the most perfect of social conditions. Smoking cigarettes is falling out of favor socially and even among nicotine users, and is wholly rejected by many young people today. To get their fix they're turning to what is marketed as a cleaner and safer method of ingestion. Enticing flavors, edgy technology and social media are empowering the tobacco industry to ensnare a new generation with nicotine addiction
by way of vaping. And it’s working. In 2016, 43.8% of high schoolers in New York state tried vaping, more than double the total two years prior. This trend has Ontario County officials deeply concerned.

We’ve all experienced sticker shock. It’s one thing to gasp over the cost of a new dishwasher, but sticker shock for those who need to purchase medications for a chronic disease such as diabetes is a serious issue.

Unions representing more than 80,000 Kaiser Permanente workers said their members will participate in a weeklong strike starting Oct. 14 to protest the company's labor practices. The healthcare giant's workers will strike in California and five other states as well as the District of Columbia, the unions said. The strike will affect employees with jobs as optometrists, a variety of ...

SAN DIEGO - Concerns about the carbon footprint of air travel have taken off around the globe with "flight shaming" the latest cultural battleground set up by the escalating climate crisis. Under public pressure, the international aviation industry is poised to inject hundreds of millions and eventually billions of dollars into environmental projects under a United Nations' deal to counteract ...

SAN DIEGO - A group of San Diego community leaders on Monday called for San Clemente High in Orange County to apologize for racial slurs they say targeted Lincoln High students at a football game Friday night. The Capistrano Unified School District and Lincoln High School said they each are conducting investigations of the allegations. Capistrano Unified spokesman Ryan Burris said Monday the ...

SAN DIEGO - There's security camera footage, a 911 call, an alleged confession and an internet posting that police and prosecutors say point to John Timothy Earnest as the man who fatally shot one person and wounded three others at a Poway synagogue in April. This evidence and more could be presented at a preliminary hearing in San Diego Superior Court on Thursday as prosecutors lay out their ...